“Kate, remember the pique at the end of the routine,” Bella instructed.
“Okay, Mademoiselle Swan,” Kate said, and as she came up on her toe, she turned slowly and awkwardly on her five-year-old little leg.
Bella smiled and clapped. “That was wonderful, Kate; great job. I will see everyone next time.”
“Bye, Mademoiselle Swan,” her students yelled out as they collected their bags and ran to their parents.
Bella looked at the clocked and hurried to pick up the studio. She had a doctor’s appointment in a half hour and didn’t want to be late. It had been four years since her transplant and, other than a small infection after the surgery, her new heart had been doing great. She had to take anti-rejection drugs and would for the rest of her life, but it would be a long life.
She would see Dr. Martin, because Carlisle had retired and moved to New York to help his son, Edward, with his daughter, after Edward’s wife’s tragic death. Carlisle had kept in touch to see how she was doing, but she had not seen him seen that morning after her surgery. She missed him and Esme, but understood why they had moved. Bella planned on going to New York in the spring, since her ballet studio was doing so well.
Once she was out of the hospital, she was shocked by the amount of energy that she had back. Bella knew that her chance of being a prima ballerina had passed, but she couldn’t wait to possibly train the next one. Taking the money her grandmother had left her, she opened her studio and accepted every little girl or boy, not turning them away if they couldn’t pay for the lessons. Bella also gave the children who couldn’t pay leotards, tights, and toe shoes, so they had the same advantages as the children who could afford them.
Bella was blessed by how many people knew of her dancing abilities and wanted their children to learn from someone who was as talented as she was. After a few months, she had to hire extra staff so more students could join.
Bella quickly took off her toe shoes and pulled on a pair of pink leggings, ballet flats, and a flowy, long peasant top. She removed the pins that were holding her bun in place, allowing her long hair to fall over her shoulders. As it fell, she knew that she needed to get a haircut soon. Pickup up her bag, she rushed out of the studio and to the parking lot where her cute Mini Cooper was parked. It had been a gift from her parents after she came home from the hospital. She had not driven for years while her heart was bad but, with her new heart, she able to drive once again. The freedom of getting behind the wheel of her vehicle was so uplifting.
Making her way to the hospital, she was happy to find a parking place close to the entrance. Locking her doors, she quickly made her way in and up the elevator to Dr. Martin’s office. Arriving at the office, she checked in with the receptionist and sat down. Taking out her phone she checked Facebook to see what was happening, but, before she could begin scrolling through her feed, she was called back.
“Bella, you are looking great,” Martha said as she walked Bella back to the exam room. “Please make yourself comfortable, and the doctor will be with you a few minutes.”
A few minutes later, the door began to open, and Bella gasped. “Carlisle.”
“Hey, sweet girl,” he gushed.
“What are you doing here?” Bella asked, shocked but excited to see Carlisle.
“We moved back this past weekend. Edward decided that the city was no place to raise Elizabeth and decided to take a position here at the hospital. When I called in to check with Dr. Martin, he told me you had an appointment today and I thought I would surprise you.”
“Well, you did. How is Esme?”
“She is great. She’s excited to be back home and is helping Edward find a place for him and Elizabeth.”
“Oh God, how old is she now?” Bella asked. Over the years, Esme had sent her photos of Elizabeth and she thought she was the most beautiful little girl in the world with that button nose and fiery red hair.
“She is four and so precocious,” Carlisle gushed. “Esme is going to bring her to your studio next week. Elizabeth wants to take ballet lessons and we can’t think of anyone better than you to teach her.”
“I would be honored. I have a beginners four and five-year-old class that meets on Tuesday and Thursday mornings,” Bella explained.
“That is great. I will tell Esme when I get home,” Carlisle said with a huge smile. “Write down the studio’s address, please. Then I get the privilege of checking you over.”
“Are you coming back to work?”
“No, but that doesn’t stop me from checking on my all-time favorite patient,” Carlisle joked.
After giving Bella a check-up, Carlisle was happy to give her a clean bill of health. He checked to make sure she was taking her anti-rejection drugs and if she needed an update on her prescription. After a strong hug, Bella was off to go back to the studio for the next class, while Carlisle headed home to help Esme.
They had not sold their home in Baltimore but, after four years of not living in the home, it needed a good cleaning. Carlisle had tried to convince Esme to hire a cleaning company to come in and do it. However, she wanted to do it herself. Jasper and Emmett’s wives had donned themselves in old jeans, t-shirts, and tennis shoes and appeared at Esme’s doorstep with cleaning supplies in hand. Esme tried to convince them that she didn’t need the help, but they wouldn’t leave.
“Momma, we are here to help and that is that,” Rosalie said with a smirk.
She had met Emmett on a plane from New York to Baltimore when he was subjected to sit in the middle seat on the flight. She was sitting at the window. At first, she was pissed when the big, burly guy sat down beside her, knowing that she would be smooshed against the window the entire trip, but that changed when, during the routine flight, the plane lost cabin pressure and had to make an emergency landing.
As the plane descended quickly, Rose mindlessly grabbed hold of the burly guy beside her and held on for dear life.
Emmett turned and looked at the woman who had grabbed his hand. At that moment, his heart skipped a beat. Not because of the plane driving from the sky, but because of the young woman’s sheer beauty. He had never had this feeling about any woman before and he didn’t want to end.
As the plane dived towards the ground, hitting pockets of air which caused the passengers to bounce around, Rosalie’s head tossed to side, causing it to hit the window hard, knocking her unconscious. When she awoke she was in a hospital room, with the burly guy sitting beside her bed, holding her hand.
“Where am I?” Rosalie whispered.
“Baltimore General. You hit your head pretty bad and when we landed I had you brought to my hospital,” Emmett explained.
“Yeah, I am a doctor; I can say that you are going to be just fine. Only a bad bump and bruise,” Emmett explained as he continued to hold her hand.
“Thank you; I am Rosalie.”
Emmett looked sheepishly, his cheeks bloomed in bright red. “Yeah, I know. I had to go through your purse to get your I.D. Sorry about that.”
“I should be upset with you, but those damn dimples are memorizing. So, Doc, what is your name?”
“Shit, sorry, Emmett; Emmett Cullen.”
“Well, Emmett Cullen, are you going to let go of my hand or not?” Rosalie asked with a smirk.
“I don’t I am ever going to let you go,” Emmett declared.
Emmett was true to his word and after a whirlwind romance, they two ran off to Vegas for a quicky wedding. There was not one day that went by that she was thankful for him being beside on her on that plane.
On Tuesday, Esme brought Elizabeth to Bella’s studio for her first class. Esme had called Bella and they had a long conversation about anything and everything, making up for lost time. After inquiring what Elizabeth would need for class, Esme took her out and allowed Elizabeth to pick out her leotards, tights, tutus, and toe shoes.
When Edward came home from work, he was met at the door by Elizabeth, dressed in her new pink ballet costume. “Daddy, look at me, I’m a belly dancer.”
Edward chuckled, placing his case on the floor and bending down to Elizabeth’s level. He opened his arms; as soon as he did, Elizabeth jumped into his arms, wrapping her little arms around his neck. “It is a ballet dancer, sweetheart, and you certainly look the part.”
Elizabeth let go of his neck and twirled around in circles. “Nana is taking me to class tomorrow.”
“I know. I bet you are excited,” Edward said with a huge smile on his face. The days, weeks, months, and years after Maggie’s death were difficult but Elizabeth’s shining light kept him going. He never knew he could love anyone more than his sweet Maggie, however, the love for his daughter proved him wrong.
“Are you coming to class with me, Daddy?”
“I am sorry but I have to work, but I will try to get there before the class is over, so we can go out for dinner,” Edward explained. He was not going to be like his father and not be around for all her activities and that was the stipulation he demanded before accepting the job here in Baltimore.
“Okay, but can we get pizza?” Elizabeth asked staring at him with her bright green eyes. She had him wrapped around her little finger.
“Sure, sweetie. Now let’s you get out of ballet outfit and fix some dinner,” Edward said, picking her up and twirling her around, causing her to belly laugh.
The next day, Esme took Elizabeth to meet with Bella before class.
“Is Ms. Bella nice?” Elizabeth asked with a worried look on her face.
“Oh, Lizzy, Ms. Bella is so nice; you are going to love her,” Esme explained squeezing Elizabeth’s hand. “Pappy and I have known her for a long time. You are going to learn so much from her.”
They arrived at the studio and as they walked in the door, they were welcome by Bella, who was dancing in front of the mirrored wall. The last time Esme had seen Bella dance was the night that she collapsed on stage. A tear escaped her eye and she watched Bella’s graceful form move and twirl around the room. Bella was as exciting to watch as she was before. When the music stopped and Bella finished en pointe, Esme and Elizabeth began to clap.
“Bravo!” Esme exclaimed.
“Esme, Elizabeth, I didn’t hear you come in,” Bella said, breathless from dancing. She loved these quiet moments when she could let herself go and get lost in the music. “Welcome, come over, and let’s get to know each other.”
Esme, Elizabeth, and Bella sat on the floor and began to get to talk. Soon, Elizabeth was at ease and had fallen in love with her teacher. The other students arrived and the class began. Bella assisted Elizabeth with her different positions and placement of her hands and feet. By the end of the class, Elizabeth had picked up very quickly and Bella was sure she was going to be a excellent dancer.
“Bella, dear, that was so much fun to watch,” Esme said. “Are you still coming to dinner Friday?”
“I wouldn’t miss it,” Bella confirmed then bent down to Elizabeth. “You practice each of the positions and I will see what you have remembered in the next class. You did very well today.”
“Thank you, Ms. Bella. I had so much fun and I can’t wait to tell Daddy all about it,” Elizabeth exclaimed.
After everyone left, Bella picked up the room and put away all the equipment. The music still played in the background and before long she was back to dancing across the room. There was no feeling in the world like when she was losing herself in the music.
Edward was running late from his last patient, but he thought he might be able to catch his mom and Elizabeth. Parking his vehicle, he saw the lights were still on in the studio. He walked in and followed the sound of the music. As he walked into the room, he found it empty, except for one lone dancer. A dark-haired beauty wearing a black leotard and fluffy white tulle skirt. He couldn’t take his eyes off her as she twirled around the room with such grace and poise. As the music died, she pivoted on her toe and landed facing him with a smile.
“Who is this woman and why is my heart feeling so free?” Edward thought.