So, this story is the brainchild of Clo Rodeffer (Heart For Twilight) and Josie Beckmann (Tufano79). We’d gotten to talking and that talking turned to planning and the planning turned into this collaboration, Fire of your Soul. As we were working on this plan (which came together after about a week of planning, and that’s shockingly fast), we realized that this is something special, hopefully. With that said, both Clo and Josie are busy … working full time (or for Josie, full time starting in August … she’s recuperating from ankle surgery at the moment). Updates will come when they come and if we can get a surplus of chapters, we’ll be able to give you an update schedule.
Anyhow, here’s the extended summary for you.
In the blink of an eye, your world can change. You can experience the greatest happiness … or succumb to the world’s worst pain, losing someone that had no reason to die …
Edward Cullen, a decorated fireman, after losing a woman in a deadly apartment fire, left his life and family in Seattle, trying to escape the ghost of the beautiful woman, the concert mistress of Seattle Symphony. He stayed away from Seattle, living in Boston, working as an arson investigator until his mother called him, informing him that she had cancer. Without a second thought, Edward moved home to help his family.
Dr. Isabella Swan, a renowned oncologist, specializing in women’s cancers, went through the paces of life. Her mother, an ovarian cancer survivor, was her impetus to become a doctor. However, she was closed-off and had been for many years … since the death of her twin sister, Angela, in an apartment fire. Bella focused on her job, working to forget the empty pain of losing her soul mate. Even eight years after her death, Bella was profoundly broken because of it. She never let anyone in … Until … a handsome, sexy man and a son of one of her patients … Edward Cullen … Everything in her mind told her it was wrong, but in the blink of an eye, your world can change. You can experience the greatest happiness. Your life can come back to life, especially when you find your new soul mate … the Fire of your Soul.
Here is the extended summary from the collaboration of me (Tufano79) and Clo Rodeffer (HeartForTwilight), Fire of My Soul. As of right now, we’ve got the first chapter written and it will be posted next week. It will be posted under my author name, Tufano79, but make no mistake … this is a collaborative effort between me and Clo. It will be posted on all writing platforms (FFn, Stars, AO3, FicPad, Wattpad and on Clo’s blog). I can’t give you an update schedule, but we are hoping that we can post a chapter a week. It’s all dependent on our muses and time to write.
Looking forward to hear what you all think! See you next week with the update! Make sure you put ‘Tufano79’ under author alerts!
Bella didn’t think she had any more fight left inside. She could barely hear her parents or Carlisle anymore; they all seemed to be in the far off distance. As the bright light beckoned her closer, she slowly felt herself drifting towards its warm, inviting glow. Drawing nearer, she began to feel like she did before her heart decided to fail. This must be heaven, she thought. As her body floated into the warmth, she felt an overwhelming calm. In the distance, she saw a figure of a woman coming towards her. Bella had never seen anyone as beautiful as this woman; she had long red hair, striking green eyes, and flawless smooth skin.
“Take care of them, love them with all your soul and with all the heart that I am giving you,” she pleaded.
“Who?” Bella questioned.
“You will know,” the woman answered, then disappeared.
Bella looked all around; however, she did not see the woman anywhere.
“Bella, baby, open your eyes,” Renee implored. She had been sitting in the ICU beside Bella’s bed ever since Carlisle had finished replacing her damaged heart with the donor. The surgery seemed to take forever and, with each passing minute, both she and Charlie prayed that the donor’s heart hadn’t come too late to save their pride and joy. Carlisle looked exhausted when he walked in with her and stayed with the nursing team as they made sure every monitor was hooked up and operating correctly. Sitting down with Charlie and Renee, he told them that, just as they were preparing to put Bella on the bypass machine, her old heart stopped.
“I am sure that this is nothing short of a miracle because, without the donor’s heart, she would not be alive,” Carlisle said.
“Thank you, Carlisle, for bringing our daughter back to us.”
Carlisle was relieved that Bella had a chance at a healthy, long life, and he hoped that it would be filled with joy and love. Even though he was happy for Bella and her family, his own heart was breaking over the loss of his daughter-in-law. He wished he could have gone when Emmett and Jasper left for New York, but he couldn’t leave Bella at this critical time.
The hours ticked by with Charlie and Renee keeping watch over Bella. The heart monitor was a source of comfort, sounding the strong heartbeat that had once been faint and weak.
Bella loved the comfort and warmth, but she felt herself being pulled from the light. She fought to stay, but, with each struggle, she moved further and further away. She reached out to try to grab onto something, anything. Then, she felt the warm, secure grip on her hand. Looking down, Bella saw a familiar hand. A hand that held her as she took her first steps, the hand that helped her up when she fell down and skinned her knee, the hand that held her as she began her ballet moves, the hand that held onto hers over the last few years of waiting for a heart, the hand of her mother.
“Bella, please open your eyes,” Renee pleaded after she felt Bella grasp her hand.
Bella heard her mother’s voice and tried to open her eyes, but they were so heavy.
“You can do it, Bella,” Charlie said. “Come back to us.”
Pulling with all the strength she had, Bella slow opened her eyes. As her eyes began to focus, she noticed that she was no longer in the hospital room that she had been in for weeks. Drifting her eyes to the right, she saw her mother with tears running down her face.
“Don’t cry,” Bella said hoarsely. Damn, why was her throat so sore and dry?
“Oh, baby, you are awake.”
“Where am I?”
“In the ICU,” Renee explained. “Don’t you remember Carlisle telling you that a donor had been found?”
“No,” Bella said and then brought up her finger to her chest to feel the bandage. “It’s in there already?”
“Yes, it is,” Carlisle said as he walked in the door. He was happy to see that Bella was awake and talking. He had been keeping an on her stats from the monitors in his office, and he had been happy with the numbers. Coming over to the side of Bella’s bed, he began his checks. “Well, everything is looking great. How are you feeling?”
“My throat is sore.”
“That is understandable, because of the breathing tube you had in during the surgery.”
“Am I going to okay now?” Bella questioned.
“You are going to be great. There are going to be some guidelines you will need to follow and some medicine that will be part of your daily life, however, you will be back to where you were before your heart decided to fail.”
“I could dance again?”
“Yes, but before you get back on the dance floor, you have to take easy and heal first,” Carlisle said.
“I can do that,” Bella smiled.
Charlie walked over to Carlisle. “How is Edward doing?”
Bella had heard about Edward; actually, Carlisle confided in her about how he felt he would never mend the relationship with his oldest son. “What is wrong with Edward?”
Carlisle breathed in deeply, trying to control his emotions. “He’s not doing well. Esme said that he is only holding on by a thread. Maggie’s parents have arrived and it has been really hard on them.”
“When are you leaving?” Renee asked.
“I don’t know,” Carlisle answered.
“Carlisle, Bella is out of the woods and there are plenty of doctors here that can take care of her. Go, be with your family during this time,” Charlie urged.
“Why won’t someone tell me what happened?” Bella said.
“Bella, Edward’s wife, died after having their child,” Renee explained. She really didn’t want Bella to get worked up so soon after surgery.
Bella took Carlisle’s hand. “I am fine, because of you. Now you need to go and be with your family. I promise to be good and listen to all the recommendations.”
Carlisle couldn’t help but chuckle at that. “When have you ever done everything you were told?”
“I know I have been bad in the past, but, for you, I promise,” Bella swore. “Cross my new heart.”
Carlisle leaned down and placed a kiss on her head. “Thank you.”
Carlisle was on the next plane and on his way to New York. He had called Esme and told her the great news that Bella was doing great and that he was on his way. Jasper met him at the airport and told him everything that had been happening. When the arrived at Edward’s home, Carlisle was nervous to walk in, not wanting to cause any more stress or pain for Edward.
“Dad, it is going to be okay. Edward needs you here.”
Carlisle nodded his head, hoping that Jasper was right. Jasper grabbed his dad’s suitcase and suit bag from the back of the rental and walked up the steps. When they reached the top, Esme was already at the door and Carlisle collected her up into a tight hug.
“How are you doing, my love?” She asked.
“I am tired. The surgery took longer than I expected and Bella was a little longer to wake, but she is doing great.”
“After you talk to Edward, you need to take a nap,” Esme instructed.
“I will, dear.”
Esme took him into the den, where Edward was sitting and feeding Elizabeth. Carlisle looked at his son’s face and saw the conflict looks of unconditional love and indescribable pain.
Edward looked up and frowned. Fuck, he was here. “Well, well, well look who finally showed up.”
“Edward, please,” Esme begged.
“Mom, will you take Elizabeth back upstairs,” Edward urged. He was so full of emotions…seeing his father, just multiplied the effects. Elizabeth didn’t need to be around him at this moment.
Esme came over and took Elizabeth from Edward’s arms. Cooing to Elizabeth, she walked over towards Carlisle, so he could at least get a look at his granddaughter.
Carlisle choked up as he looked down on the angelic face of his granddaughter. She had to be the most beautiful baby he had ever seen in his entire life. Taking his finger, he rubbed it lightly over Elizabeth smooth pink cheek.
“Carlisle, outside,” Edward growled.
“Edward,” Esme snapped.
“No, dear, it is okay,” Carlisle said.
Esme’s heart was breaking as she took Elizabeth up the stairs. She was worried about both Edward and Carlisle.
Carlisle followed Edward through the kitchen and out to the backyard. He watched as Edward paced back and forth, clenching his fists.
Edward couldn’t believe Carlisle had finally come to his house. His mother had told that his dad was doing a surgery for one of his patients and couldn’t leave until she was stable. Once again he put his job before his family. “Why the fuck are you here?”
“Edward, I came for you and Elizabeth,” Carlisle said.
“Well, I don’t want you here. You were never around when I was growing up and I don’t want Elizabeth to think that her grandfather is going to be around for her.”
“I know I was a horrible father. I left your mother to raise you and your brothers, while I studied and trained to be a doctor. But, by the time I could spend time with you, it was too late. The walls were already up and I tried to break them down, but the hurt that built them was too great,” Carlisle explained. “But don’t ever think that I don’t love you, because I love you with all my heart.”
“The fuck you do. You care more about your patients then you did us. Hell, look at today. You would rather be at the hospital with a patient, then be here with me. I LOST MY WIFE! The one who made my heart open up and allowed it to love another person.” Edward cried, then fell to the ground, sobbing.
Carlisle got down on the ground and pulled Edward into a hug. At first, Edward was stiff, but finally he gave into the warmth of his father’s hug. The gentle whispers: he loved him, had always loved him, would be here for him, all resounded into Edward’s broken heart.
Esme had changed and rocked Elizabeth to sleep and laid her in her crib. Looking out the window to the backyard, she saw Edward and Carlisle sitting on the ground, with Edward wrapped in Carlisle’s embrace. Tears ran down her face and she prayed that this was the beginning of a new relationship between them
Edward had returned from his trip to Vegas, where he had been the keynote speaker at the main convention meeting. He didn’t see himself doing anything different than most professional tattoo artists; however, he had gained the reputation as the being the best in the country. Even though he enjoyed his time in Vegas, his thoughts continued to drift back to Texas. He couldn’t help but be disappointed that he was missing his first BDSM party and the opportunity to find his first submissive. Before leaving for the convention, the last of his equipment had arrived and had been installed. Angela had come over and given her approval on the placement of each piece, the security that had been established, and, lastly, put in place the most important safety measures. As a Dominant, you took the safety of your submissive under your care in the highest regard.
He called Angela when he had unpacked. “Hey, Angela.”
“Edward, how was the convention?”
“Good. I got some new equipment ordered, along with some new dyes. Did everything run smoothly at the shop?” He asked.
“Yes. The guys did a great job and you will be impressed by some of the work they did,” Angela answered.
“That is wonderful to hear,” He said.
The awkward silence set in and Edward was trying to think about how to bring up the subject of the party.
“Edward, grow a pair and ask me the fucking question that you are skirting around.”
“All right, how was the party?”
“It was excellent, several people have entered into new contracts.”
“Oh,” Edward groaned, thinking he had missed out on his chance to get his first submissive.
“Edward, there are several submissives who are still available. I have set up some interviews on Thursday for you to meet some of them.”
Edward relaxed for the first time since knowing that he wouldn’t be around for the party. Angela had, once again, been an excellent mentor and friend. “Thanks, Angela.”
“No problem. Several are very new in the community, but there is one that has been in several contracts and is available. I think she will be a good match for you. Edward, you are going to be a great Dominant, but you need to center yourself before conducting these interviews. You must walk in that room a confident, powerful Dominant.”
“I know and I will. Thanks again,” he said.
Edward read over his notes and spent several hours reflecting and writing his thoughts in his journal. Of course, Angela had been right, the journal would be a great tool to have when trying to center yourself and work through your feelings. He had designed several scenes and had finished up his contract along with the checklists. Then, he began reflecting on a statement that Angela had written in his journal, “You need a submissive just as much as they need a Dominant.”
The day was finally here and Edward was excited at the possibility of getting his first submissive. The toughest decision of the day was what to wear. He wanted to convey his Dominant persona, so, he decided to wear one of his black tailored Armani suits, a crisp white shirt, a black silk tie, and a pair of Italian shoes.
Then, he slipped on the cufflinks that had been a present from Angela, which bore his initials. Angela had filed the rest of his paperwork at the club and signed off that his training was complete. His hard and soft limits, along with his contract would be kept in his file. This was done for all members to ensure that rules were followed and if there was ever a question, the information was readily available. He decided to take his grandfather’s 1954 cherry red Jaguar xk140 to the club instead of one of his many bikes. Pulling in the club’s parking lot, he locked up, straightened his jacket, and took a moment to steady his nerves.
Walking up to the security door, he saw the tall, formidable looking guard standing watch. “Good evening, Felix.”
“Good evening, Mr. Cullen,” Felix replied.
“Please call me Edward.”
“No, sir. We all must follow decorum and address our Dominants by either Mr. or Ms. This shows the submissives that we recognize the person as the Dominant,” Felix explained.
Damn, this was something that Edward didn’t think about. Nodding to Felix, he proceeded to the club and looked around. Several Dominants were sitting and mingling around, some with submissives, others alone. Walking up to the bar, Edward ordered a drink, then looked around for a place to sit down, when he saw Garrett. Garrett was a client of his at the tattoo shop and had a full back piece with a phoenix in the middle. He had been in the Marines and had come back from his third tour a broken man. After a long battle and finding himself once more, he wanted the tattoo to represent his coming back from the fire to live again.
Edward noticed that beside Garrett’s leg was a young dark-haired woman, in perfect submissive form. As he took a closer look, he saw that her delicate hand was wrapped around Garrett’s calf and he was stroking her hair.
“Garrett, how are you?” Edward asked.
“Edward, good man. Damn, I don’t think I have ever seen you in a suit before. Please, have a seat.”
“I had heard you became a Dominant,” Garrett said. “Have you found a submissive yet?”
“No, but it looks like you have.”
“Oh, yes, my little pet is also new to the community; however, she is excellent. Tonight is the first time we have been out in public together,” Garrett explained, as he continued stroking her hair.
“Did you meet at the party a few weeks back?” Edward asked.
“Yes, we did.”
“I wanted to be here, but had a conference.”
“Too bad, but there are plenty of submissives looking for a Dominant,” Garrett stated.
“I know, actually I am here tonight to meet a few of them,” Edward confirmed, then took another look at Garrett’s submissive.
“I am pleased with my little pet. We had a few issues, but she took her corrections very well. Fuck, the thought of her ass, red from my paddle, makes me hard,” Garrett groaned.
Bella had been listening to her Master talk to the man called Edward. She was so aroused that she wanted to move to find some relief, but she didn’t want to be back on the punishment bench. Garrett had been everything she had ever dreamed of for in a Dominant; he had a clear set of rules and if she didn’t follow them, there would be a correction. Her first correction was because she came before giving permission. She had not had an orgasm in so long and when Garrett began the scene with a strap-on vibrator, only moments after he turned it on, she came. He quickly unstrapped her from the vibrator, took her to the punishment bench, and instructed her to why she was receiving her punishment. After punishment, he ensured she was okay and asked if she would be okay continuing the scene.
“My pet, you must use your safe words,” Garrett instructed.
Garrett began again and Bella tried her best, but had to use her safe word to slow down the scene. He praised her for using it and, in the end, she was so sexually satisfied that she went to sleep that night with a massive smile on her face. But, as fantastic as the sex was with Garrett, Edward’s rough voice was vibrating through her body. Bella recognized it as the man who had captivated her that evening after class. However, she must not think of this man, Edward, as she was in a contractual relationship with Master Garrett for the next three months.
Edward looked at his watch and saw it was time to meet his first prospective submissive. “Garrett, it was great talking to you, but I must hurry off to make my first meeting.”
“Good luck, Edward. I hope you find what you are looking for,” Garrett said.
Edward went to the upper section of the club to the private meeting room. Angela had arranged for him to use the room so he could talk to each of the women in private. The first one he met didn’t show up on time and didn’t act like a submissive. The second one did arrive on time, but the more they talked about their limits, he knew they were too far apart on several hard limits for them to ever be compatible. Before the last one was supposed to arrive, Edward had lost hope that he would find his first submissive. Lost in his thoughts he didn’t see the young woman walk up to the table, but he finally looked up. Then, he noticed…standing with her head down was a striking woman.
“Good evening, you must be Jessica, please have a seat and feel free to answer all my questions,” Edward said.
Jessica sat down and took a good look at the man who might become her next Dominant. Damn, he was fucking hot. They began to talk and went over their limits list and they were close, not exact, but something both could work with.
“Jessica, I would like to take this to a contract relationship, if you are agreeable.”
“Yes, Sir. This girl would like to do that as well.”
The black shroud of darkness wrapped itself around Edward, pulling him deeper into despair. How was he going to survive without her? She was his everything, his reason for getting up in the morning, the reason he laughed, the reason that his heart beat. Over the years, he’d had to tell the families of some of his patients that they didn’t make through the surgery and, even though he had compassion for them, he never truly understood or felt their pain. However that all changed today.
“Edward, you need to eat,” Esme implored as she walked back in the room to find the sandwich untouched. She had come home with Edward and Elizabeth after Maggie had been taken off the machine and was wheeled to surgery to harvest her organs. Her lungs, kidneys, liver, and heart were matched with donors all over the country. Elizabeth had been checked out by her pediatrician and was given a clean bill of health. Edward numbly held Elizabeth in the back of the cab as they traveled to Edward’s home. “You need to keep your strength up and Maggie’s parents will be landing soon.”
“Fuck, I had forgotten about them,” he groaned as he looked around for his cell phone.
“Don’t worry, Jasper and Emmett have also just landed and they are going to meet them at the airport.”
“They don’t know them,” Edward said.
“They know their flight and have a sign.”
“Okay,” Edward said, as he thought about her parents. “Mom, how am I going to tell them that their daughter is dead? Hell, I haven’t even met them in person yet. Maggie and I were going to take the baby when she was a little older to Ireland, but they decided they would travel here when the baby was born. Now they are coming to see their dead daughter. Damn it, this is my fault.”
“No, it is not. Neither of you knew that she had this brain issue, so stop beating yourself up over that,” Esme said.
“I don’t know if I can, Mom. She was my life and I really don’t want to live without her.”
“Maggie is not with us any longer, but a huge piece of her still remains in Elizabeth. You have to be there for her because no child should be without both her mother and her father.”
“How am I going to do that? I know nothing about raising a baby,” Edward confessed.
“I know and I am here for you as long as you need me,” She offered.
“Mom, you can’t stay in New York. You have a home and a life back in Baltimore.”
“I do, but, until you get back on your feet and maybe hire a nanny for Elizabeth, I will be here for you both.”
At that moment, Elizabeth decided to wake up and began to cry. Edward jumped to his feet and rushed over to the bassinet that was in the room. Maggie had decided that for the first few weeks that the baby would be in their room, so she could keep an eye on him or her and make sure they were okay. Edward down at her precious face all wrinkled up and reached in, picking her up. “What is the matter, little bug?”
Her cries grew softer as she stared at her father. Pulling her tiny fist up to her mouth,she began to suck on it. By this point, Esme had come over. “Looks like someone is hungry. Let me go make her a bottle.” She was thankful the hospital had sent bottles and formula home with them. The entire staff had been so supportive of Edward during this horrible time. His boss had come down when he heard what had happened and sat with Edward as Elizabeth was being checked out. He told Edward to take an extended leave of absence and keep the team up to date on any need that he might have.
After Elizabeth was feed and changed, Edward took her over to the rocking chair and slowly rocked her back asleep. As he did, he thought about what his mom had said. He knew she was right. He had to be there for Elizabeth and be the best dad and mom he could for her. Once she had fallen back asleep, she was placed back in the bassinet, so Edward took the baby monitor with him and walked out of the bedroom, leaving Elizabeth to sleep peacefully. Walking downstairs, he found his mom in the kitchen eating a sandwich but also had his plate beside her. Sitting down, he began to eat the sandwich, soon, it was gone along with the glass of milk that she had poured.
Esme hated to be the one to bring it up, but they needed to start thinking about Maggie’s funeral. “Edward, do you have a plan for Maggie’s funeral?”
“It was her wish to be cremated and her ashes scattered back at her home in Ireland.”
“So you are planning on taking her back to Ireland?” Esme asked.
Edward thought for a moment. “Someday, but I really want to wait until Elizabeth is old enough to understand.”
“I think that is a wonderful idea, Edward. It might be a good way for Elizabeth to say her goodbyes.”
As they continued their conversation, Emmett and Jasper had found Maggie’s parents and had broken the devastating news. Esme had discussed with Emmett and Jasper, feeling it would be best if they were told immediately after they landed. Of course, they were devastated and had many questions about what had happened and how the baby was. Soon, they arrived at Edward’s home and his brothers helped them with their luggage and opened the door. Esme had heard the door open and walked towards it to greet them.
“Hello, I am Esme Cullen, Edward’s mother.”
“We are Michael and Linda McGuire, Maggie’s parents. Where is Edward?” Michael asked.
At that moment, Edward walked around the corner and looked at Maggie’s parents. He recognized them from the photographs and the web chats that they had during the time that he and Maggie were together. As soon as they saw him, they walked over and wrapped their arms around him, allowing their tears to flow. After several minutes, they pulled away. “What happened?” Linda asked.
“Come into the living room and I will tell you everything that I know. Also, I know you will want to see your granddaughter, but she is sleeping right now,” Edward said.
Edward explained to them what had happened and what the doctors had found during their scans of her brain. They believed that she had been born with it, but there was no way she or anyone else would have known it was there. As they continued talking, Esme went upstairs to get Elizabeth so she could meet her grandparents. They were overcome with emotions as they held her for the first time.
Jasper had gone into the kitchen and called his girlfriend, Alice. They had been dating for the last six months and he had planned on asking her to move in with him, but, now he didn’t want to waste time; he couldn’t see himself with anyone else. He could not help but smile with the memory of how they met. He had just left the hospital and was on his way home when he decided to see if he could get a haircut. It had been months since his last cut. He pulling into a parking space in the downtown area and began walking up the street, looking in the windows hoping to find a salon. A few minutes later, he saw a sign that said that said walk-ins were welcome. Opening the door, he was taken back by the decor. It looked like something straight from Alice in Wonderland. The floor was black and white checkerboard, along the walls were large mushrooms with the Cheshire cat, White Rabbit, Mad Hatter, and Queen of Hearts painted on the walls. The chairs were designed to look like teacups. Jasper thought he had stepped into another dimension and was about to turn around and leave when he heard the voice of an angel.
“Welcome to Alice’s Wonderland, I’m Alice; how may I help you today?”
Jasper was floored by her beauty. She was short, no more than 5’2″, long dark hair and the bluest eyes he had ever seen. She was dressed in a short, white ruffled skirt, that showed off her creamy white toned legs and a tight, low cut red top that emphasized her breasts. Damn, she had to be at least a C cup or maybe even a D cup. Instant thoughts of having his mouth and hands on them flooded his mind. Then, he saw that she had several tattoos down her arms and on her chest. Fuck, that was hot.
“Sir, are you okay?” Alice asked, staring at the fuck–hot man standing in her shop. He was tall and had broad shoulders, a narrow waist, and, fuck, he had a massive cock; she could see the outline of it through his tight jeans. Damn, if it was this big now, she couldn’t help but wonder what would it be like erect.
“Yeah, sorry. I need a trim,” he murmured. “Do you have time?”
“I sure do, good looking. Come, let me give you the Alice Special.”
After she had washed his hair, which had given him a massive hard on as she scrubbed her fingers through his wet, lathered hair, she had him in one of the teacup chairs, trimming his hair. As she worked her magic, she chatted away asking him question after question, some were basic questions, while others were quite risque, no, downright dirty. Before he left, they exchanged phone numbers and made plans for dinner that evening. After that dinner, they spent every minute they could together. A few days later, he had come to pick her up and was met at the door by a very naked Alice holding a pair of handcuffs. “Want to play?”
There were no words that could describe Alice in bed;to say she was fantastic was an understatement. Moreover, she had a huge heart for children. She came to the children’s ward at the hospital several times a week, dressed as Alice, from Alice in Wonderland, and read to the children. He could not believe he had not seen her there, but now he made it a point to be there when she did.
“Hello, sweetheart,” he cooed.
“Jasper, how is everything going?”
“We just arrived at Edward’s home, however, I don’t think he even realized that we walked in. We brought Maggie’s parents with us from the airport. Emmett and I broke the news to them, not wanting Edward to face that duty.”
“Oh, how horrible. I am en route to pick up Rose and we will be there a little after ten tonight,” she stated. She had wanted to go with him when he received the call, however, she needed to call her clients and cancel their appointments. Rose agreed to wait for her and they would ride up together, since she had been giving Bella’s parents a break as they sat with Bella. Alice only hoped that she would be back before Bella’s heart finally gave out. She had met Bella through Rose. Jasper had introduced Alice to Rose and Emmett a few weeks after they began dating. She hit it off with Rose and they became fast friends. Rose even came with her to her weekly read along at the children’s ward at Johns Hopkins.
One afternoon, after they were finished, Rose waved over a tall, good looking older man. When he came close, Alice could not help but notice how familiar he looked.
“Rose, my dear, so good to see you,” he said, placing a kiss on her cheek.
“You, too, Carlisle. I would like to introduce you to Alice, Jasper’s girlfriend,” Rose said.
“Oh, the spitfire that has captured my son’s heart,”
“Dr. Cullen, what a pleasure to meet you,” Alice said, sticking out her hand, but instead of shaking it, Carlisle placed a kiss on her hand.
“None of that, it is just Carlisle, and when you meet Jasper’s mother, it will be just Esme,”
“All right, Carlisle it is,” she smirked.
“Are you here to see Emmett or Jasper?” Carlisle asked.
“No, we just finished Alice’s weekly read along with the children,” Rose replied. “We don’t mean to keep you from a meeting.”
“No meeting today, Bella has a check-up,” he said.
“Is she feeling okay? I mean I talked to her on Tuesday and she sounded a little tired.”
“She is a good as she can be; this is just a checkup. Would you like to come and say hello?”
“Yes, I would. Alice hasn’t met her yet.”
They walked through the hospital and met Bella at his office. Once Alice met Bella, she felt like she had known her all her life. Bella loved that Alice didn’t treat her like someone with a bad heart. She also loved her view on living life to the fullest.
“I can’t wait until you are here,” Jasper proclaimed.
“Me, too. I will call when we land,” Alice said.
Once he had talked to Alice, he went to find Emmett, who was standing outside of the living room, keeping an eye on his brother. He might be the youngest and the one who always joked around, but he was the protector of the family.
“How is he doing?” Jasper asked.
“Not good. I have never seen him like this,” Emmett said. “He is holding on by a thread.”
“Damn. I just talked to Alice and they will be here after ten tonight.”
“Okay, thanks. Have you heard any news from Dad?” Emmett asked. Esme had explained that their dad wouldn’t be coming right away because a heart had been found for Bella. They all knew the special bond that they all had with Bella and her family. They would have loved to been there for Bella’s family, however, Edward’s need was more dire.
“No, but we know that the surgery will take some time and I am sure he will want to make sure she is out of the ICU, before leaving her,” Jasper commented.
“Yeah. It was a miracle that one was found, because, the last time I talked to dad, he said that she only had a few days left,” Emmett said.
“Yes, it was a miracle.”
Edward had been talking to Maggie’s parents and watching them love on their granddaughter. He had explained what had happenedin a way that they could understand as well as Maggie’s wishes for her final plans. They understood, but wished she had wanted to be buried in the family plot. “I haven’t talked to the funeral home yet, but I am sure we can have a small jar of the remains to give to you that you can take back with you. When Elizabeth gets older we will come over and do a formal service.”
“That sounds like a great idea. Thank you,” Michael said. “Is it all right with you if we visit Elizabeth as often as we can?”
“Of course. I just want her to understand when we have Maggie’s service. Hopefully, it will bring her some closure.”
“We understand. Do you have any idea what you are going to do with Elizabeth, once you go back to work?” Linda asked.
“I am staying here as long as he needs me,” Esme interjected.
Edward looked up and saw his brothers. Getting up, he walked over to them and, as soon as he was at arm’s length, Emmett wrapped him up in his massive arms, pouring all the love and compassion he had for him. Together, as a family, they would help Edward through this, no matter what it took.