In a Heartbeat ~ Chapter Nine

Bella snapped out of her trance when she heard Esme’s voice. Opening her eyes, she saw that Edward had moved back, leaving her to feel that the almost kiss could have been a huge mistake. She was not worldly when it came to men. When she fell ill, she didn’t have the energy or the desire to date anyone. The unknown of when or if she would receive a heart transplant drove her to not want to put anyone else through the pain that she of her impending death. The pained looks of her parents as they watched her slowly deteriorate as her damaged heart continued to fail was enough of a deterrent. When she was fortunate enough and received her new chance on life, she had poured herself in living each day to the fullest and putting smiles back on her parents’ faces. She was busy with the studio and had not found anyone who interested her wants enough to pursue a relationship, well up until tonight.  However, when she looked up at those crystal green eyes of Edward Cullen, her thoughts had veered in that direction. Esme’s interruption may have been a blessing though. She can see that was all a mistake. It was obvious he was still mourning his wife and had directed all of his energies into raising his daughter. Ducking underneath Edward’s arm, she quickly moved to the hallway.

“Esme, I just realized I have an early class tomorrow, so I am going to find my way back to the house,” Bella said as she kept walking.

“Bella,” Edward murmured.

“Oh, sorry, thank you, Edward, for the tour,” Bella blurted, hoping she would get out of the house before she broke out in tears. Rushing down the stairs and out the back door, Bella ran down the path towards Esme’s house, tears rolling down her face. Why had she even thought that someone like Edward Cullen would want to be with someone like her? As she neared the house she remembered that she had left her purse in her car, which she was thankful for. Climbing in her car, she laid her head on the steering wheel and bawled. How had she been so stupid to think that a man like Edward Cullen would find interest in her? Yes, she had a new lease on life, but she was damaged.  Wiping her eyes, she started the car and headed home. 

Driving down the dark lonely streets, Bella’s mind kept thinking about the almost kiss. She could still feel his hot breath on her lips, the warmth seeped to her very soul. Shaking her head, she had to stop thinking about something that would never happen. When she finally snapped out of it, she was in front of the studio. Pulling into her parking space, she got out and went inside. The one thing that could lift her broken heart was a twirl around the floor. 

Changing into a white leotard, a sheer long flowy skirt, she looked at her pointe shoes and decided to go barefoot. Turning on the lights in the studio, but dimming them to the lowest setting, she then turned on her favorite song. The soulful voice of Norah Jones echoed through the speakers as she sang Come Away With Me. Bella allowed her heart to release the pain with each step, jump, and spin. Dance would never break her heart, the music would always sing to her soul, and it would always be her friend.

**************IAH****************

Edward stood for several moments wondering what had just happened. Had he said or done something wrong? Walking past his mother to Elizabeth’s room. “What is it LadyBug?”

“I just wanted to tell you that I really like Miss Bella and I hope you do too.”

“I know you do and so do I,” Edward said kissing her forehead. “Now remember what Miss Bella told you, you must get lots of sleep.”

“Love you, Daddy,” Elizabeth proclaimed.

“I love you, too,” Edward murmured kissing her once again on the forehead. Walking out of the room, he found his mother leaning against the wall.

She quirks her eyebrow at him. “Do you want to tell me what is going on between you and Bella?”

Edward ran his hand through his hair. “Mom, I don’t know. There is this strange pull towards her, damn it, I can’t explain it.”

“She has been through a lot and has led a pretty sheltered life,” Esme explained.

Edward thought for a moment and felt that perhaps he should go after her.  It was obvious that she was upset after his mom’s interruption. Had he scared her, or maybe made her feel uncomfortable. “Mom, can you stay with Elizabeth?”

“Of course. Take your time and I would go to the dance studio first. When she is upset or needs to work out something in her mind, she dances.”

Edward kissed his mom on the cheek and rushed down the steps. Getting into his car, he began driving towards the studio. Thankfully there were no cops around and the traffic lights were on his side. A few minutes later he pulled up to the studio and was happy to see a faint light on in the one studio. Not knowing if the door was unlocked, he checked by pulling on the handle and it opened. Happy that it was open for him, it upset him that she had made herself vulnerable. Walking towards the music he stepped into the room and stopped. She was dancing, no she was floating in sync with the sensual notes of the song. Like a siren, she pulled his heart towards her. What was it about her that made him feel this way? Without even thinking, he stepped towards her.  Bella was just finishing a series of pirouettes when she noticed someone in the room walking towards her. Noticing Edward had reached out his hand towards her, she placed her delicate hand into his, he lifted it up and twirled her to him. When her body became flush against his, he wrapped his arm around her waist and pulled her even closer. They were not two people but one. Dropping his head so the side laid against hers, he sighed. 

They were dancing around the room in perfect rhythm as if they had been dancing together forever. When the music stopped, the only sound in the room was the sound of their breathing. 

“What are you doing to me?” He whispered into her ear.

“I could say the same thing about you.”

Edward pulled back and looked into her eyes.  They were the color of a melted chocolate. They were so impassioned, yet there was something else that he couldn’t quite describe.  There was a familiarity there of something or someone. “Why did you run?”

Bella turned away, not wanting to see his rejection. “You were embarrassed by what happened with me.  When your mother called, I could see that you were confused and bothered by what almost happened.”

Edward was shocked by her declaration. How could she think that? Taking his hand he cupped her face and raised it up to him. “Oh, my sweet Bella, I could never be ashamed or embarrassed by you or whatever this is. I haven’t felt this way for a very long time and I want, God no, I need to find out what is happening here.  Why I feel so connected to you, when I hadn’t met you before tonight.”

Bella shook her head in denial. “Edward, you are so out of my league. For years I hoped and prayed just to live another day so that I could dance. I have never considered a relationship of any kind.  My dancing was all I ever needed. Then you walk in and I feel as if I would throw that all away just to have a chance with you. I don’t understand the connection either, but I can’t deny the attraction I feel for you.”

“God, Bella it is the other way around. I am a broken man, so unworthy of your attention. But you’re right, there is a connection, attraction, whatever you want to call it, and I am at a loss as to why that is.  I haven’t had any feelings of this sort since the death of my wife, but I’m willing to figure this out, if that is something you want to do as well?” He begged.

Bella really wanted to say yes, but she was so afraid. This was foreign to her.  Relationships were difficult under the best of circumstances, but she would always have to worry about her health.  She was afraid that he would tire of her, and the constant vigilance it would take to maintain her health for the rest of his life.  There was no doubt in her mind that there was someone else out there better suited to be his partner. “I am afraid to try,” she replied as a tear fell from her eye.

Edward wiped the tear away. “So am I, but if we don’t we will never know what this attraction is between us.  Don’t you want to figure this out?”

Could she take this  chance, possibly allowing this man to break her heart? But then again, wouldn’t it break her heart to never know what could be, what this was between them? Looking into his eyes, she could just catch a glimpse of a beautiful future, happy in his arms and mothering Elizabeth. “Yes, I will take a chance.  We could see what this is between us, together.”

Edward’s face broke out in the biggest smile and he picked her up, her feet dangling, he began dancing around the room. 

“There is no music playing,” she laughed.

“We don’t need music when we are this happy,” Edward said continuing the dance. Finally stopping and slowly placing her back on her feet. Cupping her face within hands. “May I kiss you?”

Bella tilted her face to his, settling it even deeper into his touch, basking in the warmth, then sighed. “Yes, please.”

Edward lowered his mouth and gently touched her soft lips. A burst of energy surged between. He needed more. Angling his mouth he deepens the kiss, rubbing the tip of his tongue across her lips, begging, no demanding entrance. When she opened them, his tongue swiped inside her mouth, erotically dancing with her luscious tongue. When he heard her let out a throaty moan, he knew she was enjoying it as much as he was. They continued the kiss until their lungs demanded air. However, Edward did want to break the connection, so he placed kisses along her jawline to the ear. “Bella,” he moaned into her ear. 

Bella was holding on to his biceps for dear life. The kiss had made her weak in the knees and she wanted nothing more than to have his lips on her again. 

Edward finally pulled back after he had gained some control. “I want to do this right. We really need to get to know each other. Will you go out with me tomorrow evening?”

“I would love too,” she said with a smile.

Edward brushed his lips once more over hers. “Great. Now let me walk you to your car.”

“Wait, I need to change,” she said.

“Go quickly, I’ll be right here,” Edward growled.  He almost lost control of the kiss; he felt so comfortable and relaxed.  The thought of her naked in the other room, while she changed her clothes, was really taxing his control.  He was still confused about the intensity and swiftness of their attraction.

Bella giggled and took off for her private dressing room. As she slipped off her skirt and leotard and stood before the mirror in nothing but a bra and panties, she thought of Edward and his eagerness with the kiss.  It felt wonderful, comfortable, and even a little familiar. She was sure he might lose control. She wasn’t so sure she would mind that at all. 

Running her fingers over her scar, she wondered what Edward would think about it, if or when he would see it. 

“Hurry up or I am coming in there,” Edward yelled. 

She giggled once again and quickly got dressed. Collecting her purse she went back out to the studio to find Edward leaning against the doorway. He looked so fucking sexy. “Alright, here I am.”

He pushed off the door frame and walked over to her. “Next time you come in to dance studio alone, please lock the door. I don’t think I could handle something happening to you.”

“Normally I do, but I was upset and unfocused. But I do promise to remember to do so,” she assured.

“Thank you, now let’s get you to car, because I have a date to plan for,” Edward advised with crooked grin.

Wish Upon a Snowflake ~ Epilogue

One Year Later

The tree was even more glorious than the one from last year with twice as many presents but also special envelopes for the parents of the children. Noelle’s selflessness in giving had spurred a wave of kindness from others as well. 

  So much had happened during the year, that Bella couldn’t help but sigh. She remembered every detail of that wondrous night. When Noelle had tugged on Edward’s lab coat and asked him if he was her father, his face displayed a kaleidoscope of emotions. First was shock, but in the briefest moment changed into overwhelming joy. His green eyes sparkled just like Noelles’ whenever she saw a puppy. 

When he dropped to his knees and enveloped her into his strong arms, Bella couldn’t help but start crying. Placing her hand on his shoulder, wanting to feel his warmth, she watched through her tears. When Edward pulled back with tears running down his face, he cupped Noelle’s tiny cheek in his large hand.

“Noelle, I don’t know how, but I think my heart always knew that you were out there somehow. On the day of your birth, I felt your spirit being born and I had an unknown longing to find you. Oh, precious girl, yes, I am your Daddy and I promise that from this day forward to never be lost again.”

At this point, all their family and friends were weeping, overcome with joy for their cherished Noelle. Even though all of them but one had figured out that Edward was Noelle’s father, it didn’t take away from the special moment.

Rose couldn’t believe that she hadn’t seen the resemblance between Ed and Noelle. It was plain as day, but somehow it had eluded her. When everyone began to speak, she realized that she had been the only one not to see it, hell, even Emmett had figured it out.

As they gave out gifts to the children on the floor, Noelle never went far from her Daddy and Bella never let go of his hand. They both needed him close. When they had given out all the gifts, Edward picked up Noelle and wrapped his arm around Bella, then stood in front of Christmas tree enjoying the decorations and the sparkling lights. Jasper motioned for everyone to step away from them and once they were out of hearing, suggested  to them that even though they all wanted to be around them, that they needed time alone. Carlisle and Esme were the most upset but realized that Jasper was right. 

“Why don’t we get you home,” Carlisle said to Edward and Bella.

Edward smiled looking once more at his daughter and the love of his life, Bella. “That sounds great Dad.”

Jasper took Alice, Rose, and Emmett in his truck back to their apartment building while Edward, Bella, and Noelle rode with his parents. The ride was unusually quiet, as they just held each other. Once arriving at the apartment building, his parents said they would see them tomorrow and invited all their friends to their home for a festive Christmas/Birthday party. 

Edward looked at Bella who nodded in her agreement to the invitation. When they stepped out of the car, Esme gave each one a hug and kiss. Carlisle stood back, but Edward walked forward once again, still holding Noelle in his arms. “Thank you, Dad.” Carlisle’s eyes began to tear up and as soon as Edward engulfed him with a hug he lost it. The love he had for his son rushed out of him and he silently promised that he would be a better Grandfather than he had been as a Dad.

The rest of Christmas Eve was spent together as a family catching up and just enjoying each other’s presence. Noelle fought sleep not wanting to be apart from her father, but after promising her that he would be right here when she awoke and reading her a bedtime story she drifted off to sleep. Edward sat beside her for the longest time just watching her sleep. This was his daughter. 

Turning back to Bella, who stood in the doorway just admiring the scene before her, and smiled. “She is perfect,”

“She is,” Bella whispered.

A few moments later he stood and took Bella into his arms. “I have a lot of time to make up for,” he growled into her ear. The rest of the night, they made love over and over again. Their hearts and souls reconnecting, healing,  and growing even closer.

Esme had done the impossible by throwing together an unbelievable party in such a short amount of time. Noelle was the center of the party and she drank in all the attention. 

Edward couldn’t keep the smile off his face. For so long he had to force himself to smile, but now it came naturally. His parents had welcomed Bella with open arms. She was a perfect fit for his family and he knew that he wasn’t going to waste another moment to make her his. As Noelle was sitting on her Grandfather’s lap, Edward took Bella’s hand and led her toward the door. Once they donned their coats, he took her hand they walked outside. Walking around the side of the house, well mansion, they made their way to his mother’s garden. Esme had designed it and lovingly cared for it throughout the year. They stopped in front of the large fountain which was not working, but the water that had remained had become ice, making the whole area appear magical.

He was thankful that his mother had slipped his great grandmother’s ring in his pocket earlier. Getting down on one knee he took Bella’s hand and smiled.

“The past twenty-four hours have taught me that when you find your soulmate not to let them getaway. I have loved you from the first moment I saw you, yearned for four years for your return, and will love you until my last breath. I want us to make brothers and sisters for Noelle. Marry me, Bella,” he urged holding up the ring. His great grandfather had designed it and it had stayed on his great grandmother’s finger until her death at the ripe old age of one hundred and one. 

“Yes, oh God, yes I will marry you,” Bella cried.

Not wanting to wait, but wanting a special day, they decided to have a destination wedding in the place where it all started, St. Barts. A lovely sunset ceremony on the beach on Valentine’s Day. Noelle stood beside her parents and held their rings. She was so excited because she was officially Noelle Edella Cullen. The judge had signed off on the name change the day before they left.

They held their reception at the restaurant that they had met and they served their favorite drink, rhum vanille. Everyone was having a great time, but Bella noticed that Rose wasn’t drinking. 

“Do you have something you want to tell me?” Bella whispered.

Rose smiled and placed her hand protectively on her stomach. “I’m pregnant.”

Bella hugged Rose. “When are you due?”

“Get this, Labor Day,” she laughed.

“Oh my, that is funny. How is Emmett handling it?” Bella asked.

“You would never guess that he was an obstetrician,” Rose answered. “He is worried about everything.”

“What are you hoping for?” Bella questioned.

“We don’t care and we are not going to find out. I remember the look on your face when you heard Emmett tell you it was a girl. We want that surprise.”

After their wedding and honeymoon, they returned to New York and their respective jobs at the hospital. On top of the list of things to sort, was finding a larger place to live, because they were actively trying to get pregnant. Thankfully, the penthouse apartment in their building went up for sale and Edward quickly made an accepted offer, securing the sale. 

Jasper decided to buy Bella’s old apartment and renovate it, joining it with his own. Once Emmett heard what Jasper was doing, he decided he would do the same with Edward’s old apartment. It is a miracle what an unlimited budget can get done quickly, so by the end of July both apartments were ready and none too soon. On the morning of August eighth, Rose went into labor. As soon as the labor pain started, Emmett went from a nervous father to the omnipotent OB doctor he was. Bella was Rose’s coach, and thrilled that she could be there for her as she had done for her at the birth of Noelle.  She was also excited that she was again carrying Edward’s baby. By a strange twist of fate, this child’s due date was December twenty-eight, just like Noelle’s due date.

Two hours later, Rose held Lilly as Emmett held her twin sister, Bree. They were identical and looked just like their mother. He was going to have his hands full.

Noelle didn’t think she could be happier. Her Daddy was here, and she was going to get either a baby brother or sister around her birthday. Along with having her Daddy, she also now had and loved her Nana and Papa, spending lots of time with them. They doted on her, but also helped her with her dreams of making Christmas bright once again for the children in the hospital. Carlisle had set up a foundation to help her and she was allowed to name it. The foundation was named Snowflake Wishes, it’s  main purpose was to make the holidays bright for sick and injured children. But because of the outpouring of support, they were fortunate to be able to pay off hospital bills for them as well. 

Carlisle loved every moment he got to spend with Noelle. He had once loved being the Mayor, but it took much of his time away from his family. Talking it over with Esme, they decided that he wouldn’t run again. As he had heard from his wise son, life was too short.

Jasper and Alice’s love bloomed. They still had not had been intimate and she was apprehensive if she ever could. She was still afraid that her step-father would find her and abuse her again. However, Jasper Whitlock wasn’t going to allow James Hunter anywhere near her again. He had friends in high places, but he also had friends in low places and James Hunter became a victim of a home robbery gone bad. When Alice heard the news, her worries were set to rest, her therapy was progressing, and she began to heal; allowing her to fully embrace her relationship with Jasper. 

On a magical carriage ride through Central Park after the first snow of the season, he promised to love and care for her. He presented her with a beautiful diamond to rest on her delicate finger.

As they placed the last present under the tree,  Bella felt the first contraction. Not wanting to spoil Noelle’s hard work, she hid the pain until the last gift was opened, however, when she stood from her spot near the tree, her water broke. Edward was nervous about Bella’s health. As a doctor he knew she would be fine, but as a husband he was also aware that there were things that happened during childbirth that were beyond even the doctor’s control.  If he knew one thing, it was that he couldn’t survive without her. Funny that he became calmer after his daughter told him that it was going to be okay, and for him to settle down and enjoy the experience. Bella was the strongest person he had ever met, handling the pain to bring their child into this world for a second time. 

Two minutes past midnight, Nickolas Edward Cullen took his first breath with a strong cry. All their family and friends had been a part of the experience.

Noelle couldn’t fall asleep until she saw the baby. After Auntie Rose had checked out her brother and brought him back to her Mommy, her Daddy picked her up and placed her on the side of the bed to see him. 

Looking down at Nickolas she smiled. “Hey, little brother. I promise to be the bestest big sister ever. I will never allow you to become lost and will always be here for you.”

Bella and Edward had no doubt of this declaration. Their family was together, and they were perfect; all because of Noelle’s Wishing Upon a Snowflake.

The End

Wishing Upon A Snowflake ~ Chapter Four

Wish Granted

Bella woke the next morning with a smile. Yesterday had solidified why she had felt compelled to move Noelle to New York. 

Yesterday, she had read over Bree’s file and did an assessment. During the assessment, she noticed that Bree wasn’t having seizures, but Brainstem Myoclonus spasms. To the untrained eye, they appear to be seizures, however, the movements were caused by Bree’s MS. Bella had worked with several children with MS and had seen on many occasions these particular spasms. After consulting with Dr. Volturi, they designed a treatment plan to help Bree. 

When Bella got home last night, she was welcomed by her excited daughter. “Mommy, did you see it is snowing?”

“Yes, sweetheart.”

“I made my wish,” Noelle bragged.

“Okay. I am sure you will get everything you asked for Christmas,” Bella said giving her a hug. 

“No, Mommy. My special wish,” Noelle said.

The rest of the evening Noelle was quiet, but Bella figured that the time change had finally caught up with her. If she was off tomorrow, she would have Rose to take a look at her. 

“Mommy,” Noelle said as she opened the bedroom door and crept into her mother’s room the next morning.

Bella held the blanket up, Noelle took off running and jumped into the bed and snuggled close to her mom. “Did you sleep well?”

“Yes. I looked outside and the snow is still there,” Noelle said.

“It is too cold for it to melt,” Bella explained. “I think we might have to go back to the store and get more sweaters.”

“Oh, Mommy. Today is going to be too busy for that. I am taking my gifts to the hospital and Ed is going to be there,” Noelle exclaimed.

“Who is Ed?”

“He is the nice man from the park,” Noelle said.

Bella was worried. Where was Alice and why was she allowing Noelle to talk to strange men in the park? “Where was Alice when you met this man?”

“She was sitting on the bench with Jasper. Ed is Jasper’s friend. He is a doctor and he has my eyes,” Noelle explained pointing to her eye. “Oh, and his hair is this color,” Noelle continued as she pulled her hair around her shoulders to show her Mommy.

“Oh, and you said he is a doctor?”

“Yup, at your hospital. Jasper said he works with kids. Do you know him?”

“No, but I just started. I guess I will meet him today,” Bella confirmed.

“I want to be pretty,” Noelle informed.

“You are always pretty, my love.”

“I know, but I want to be prettier,” Noelle said then her eyes got large. “Oh no, I need a red dress. I don’t have one of those soft long sleeve dresses. We will have to go shopping. Get up Mommy we don’t have all day.”

“Calm down sweetie. It is still early and I promise to take you shopping,” Bella said trying to calm her down.

“Can I have pany cakes?” Noelle asked.

Bella tapped her chin with her finger as if contemplating the question and after a few moments, she smiled. “Of course. Why don’t you call Auntie Rose, Uncle Emmett and asked them to come over for pancakes.”

“But Uncle Emmett takes mine from my plate,” Noelle whined.

“Well little one, you just need to be quicker and take his pancake first,” Bella jested.

Noelle thought about what her Mommy had said and began to think of a plan. Bella handed her the cellphone and Noelle pressed the three-button, which was the speed dial number for Auntie Rose’s phone. She chatted away with Rose for several minutes, before she hung up. 

“They will be here in a little bit. Uncle Emmett was making those funny groaning sounds again. I think he might need to see a doctor,” Noelle explained.

Bella tried not to laugh. Sweet little Noelle interrupted Rose and Emmett once again. She would have to hear how if she continued to cock block him, they would never get pregnant. Getting out of bed, taking a quick shower, then dressing in a pair of skinny jeans and a lovely cashmere purple sweater, she was ready to make breakfast. Twenty minutes later, Rose used her key and walked in with a grumbling Emmett.

Bella chuckled at him. “Oh, Emmett you know you love her.”

 “I am beginning to reconsider that fact,” he growled, with a raised eyebrow.

Suddenly, Noelle came running in and towards Emmett. “What fact, Uncle Emmett?”

Emmett looked at Noelle’s smiling face and all his frustrations melted away. He loved this little girl with all his heart. Reaching down and picking her up, he placed a raspberry kiss on her cheek. “Nothing Little Bit.”

Bella finished up breakfast and Rose helped her take it to the table. “Breakfast,” she called out. 

Emmett came running with Noelle over his shoulder. “Did someone say food?”

“Uncle Emmett put me down,” Noelle growled.

“Nah, more pancakes for me,” he jested.

“Uncle Emmett put me down or I will pee on you again,” Noelle said. Her Auntie Rose told her that secret. When she was just a baby, every time Emmett would go to change her diaper, she would pee on him. 

“You better not,” Emmett groaned putting her down.

Noelle took off and sat down in her chair. Bella placed a pancake, a piece of bacon, and some fruit on her plate. Emmett sat down beside her and filled his plate with food. As they ate they talked about their day. Emmett turned his head to answer a question that Bella asked and Noelle reached over and took his pancake. She began to eat it and was all but finished when Emmett turned back to see that it was missing. Looking around he glanced at Noelle, whose mouth was so full of pancake that she looked like a chipmunk. 

“You little thief,” Emmett bleated.

Noelle smiled, pancake pushing out the sides of her mouth. She finally chewed enough to get the cake down. Taking a big drink of her milk and wiped her mouth on the napkin. She was so proud of herself.

As they were finishing breakfast, Alice walked into the apartment, with a dreamy look on her face. She had just taken a long walk with Jasper and he had kissed her goodbye. Never did she think she would enjoy a man’s kiss, but Jasper’s was magical and healing.

“Auntie Alice, where were you, we were eating pany cakes?” Noelle asked.

“I went for a walk,” Alice replied.

“And you didn’t take me?” Noelle gasped before she put on the perfect pout.

“You were asleep when I left. You needed your rest because we have a big day ahead,” Alice explained.

“Okay. Mommy when are we leaving to get my dress?” Noelle asked.

“Dress?” Rose asked.

“Noelle wants a new dress to deliver presents.  One of those pretty red velvet numbers.” Bella answered.

Rose bent down to Noelle. “I think that is a grand idea.”

“Fuck. Shopping again Rose?” Emmett groaned.

Noelle ran up and held out her hand. “Uncle Emmett,” she sang. “You said a bad word.”

Emmett reached into his wallet and gave her the money. “Getting an early start for next year, aren’t you?”

“Yup,” she said and skipped over to the jar, placing the bill into it. “Auntie Alice, can you start my shower for me?”

“Sure pumpkin.”

An hour later, Noelle, Bella, Rose, and Alice were off to the store to find a new dress. Emmett and Jasper were hanging out in Jasper’s apartment watching ESPN. 

“I saw Ed last night,” Jasper said.

“Really? I called him to see if he wanted to come over and meet Bella, but he said he was working extra shifts,” Emmett explained.

“He is, but he came through the park last night and met Noelle. He was quite taken with her,” Jasper said. “And Emmett there is an uncanny resemblance between them.”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean, Ed looks like he could be Noelle’s father,” Jasper revealed.

“He can’t be. Noelle’s father was a man that Bella met in St. Barts. They had one night together, but it changed her forever. Fuck she even wears a necklace made from one of his shirt buttons.” 

Jasper thought of what Emmett was saying, but something inside of him couldn’t dispute that there was a chance. “What was the man’s name?”

“She didn’t get his last name, but his first name was Edward,” Emmett replied.

“Fuck, Emmett.  Edward and Ed are very fucking close,” Jasper growled.

Emmett’s mouth dropped open. Could it be true? “Jasper we can’t say anything until we know for sure.”

“Wait, Bella and Ed haven’t seen each other yet?” Jasper quizzed.

“No, but if it is true, we need to get these two together. She has never gotten over him and we know he hasn’t gotten over her.”

Jasper thought for a moment. “Don’t say anything to Rose or Alice. Ed is going to be at the gift giving party this afternoon. We have got to make sure Bella is around at the same time. If it is not him, she won’t care. However, if it is him, how perfect would it be for them to find each other on Christmas Eve?”

Emmett couldn’t even imagine. If this was true, his friends, Bella and Ed would finally be happy and little Noelle would have her daddy.

The girls were in the crowds at Macy’s looking for Noelle’s perfect dress. After looking through all the racks, they finally found it. It was a red velvet dress with long sleeves and white fur trim around the cuffs and hem. It had a white velvet sash with a bow, clasped with a rhinestone buckle. It had a sequined top with sparkles throughout the dress. Rose found a cute pair of white Ugg boots with white fur and satin trim and matched it up with a pair of red leggings with white snowflakes on them. She looked like the cutest elf you ever did see.

Noelle was so excited about her outfit that she convinced everyone else that they needed a new dress as well. Before they left, Rose, Alice, and Bella each had a new dress. Noelle thought her Mommy was the prettiest in the red sweater dress that matched hers. 

Bella was a little apprehensive about how the dress clung to every curve. However, looking at the mirror she liked how she looked. Maybe it was time to let go of Edward and move on. Rubbing her necklace she sighed, feeling closer to him every time she did it and knew that she couldn’t move on yet. She still loved him. 

“Mommy,” Noelle whispered.

Bella glanced down at Noelle and saw her sad face. Squatting down she pulled her into her arms and hugged her tightly before pulling back. “What is wrong Sweetie?”

“I don’t like it when you are sad,” she murmured. 

“I don’t mean to be,” Bella said.

“Mommy, I know you miss Daddy,” Noelle said. 

Bella was shocked by Noelle’s comment. Had she been that transparent? “Baby, I do, but I have all that I need because I have you.”

Noelle smiled and kissed Bella on the cheek. Leaning close to her Mommy’s ear she whispered. “I got to make my wish.”

Bella looked confused. “What do you mean, sweetie? What wish?”

“I can’t tell you, but when it comes true, you won’t be sad no more,” Noelle confessed as she gave her a hug. “Can we go get a donut?”

Bella really wanted to know what Noelle was talking about, however, she seemed excited about it. “You are hungry all the time, you know that?” Bella asked as she tickled Noelle.

“Yup, I want to grow up big and strong like Uncle Emmett,” she said then with a wicked smile. “And be smart like you and Auntie Rose.”

Bella laughed out loud. This had been the standing joke for a long time and Emmett hated it. “Alright.”

After paying for their purchases, they walked down the street and found a coffee shop that made donuts. Bella, Rose, and Alice got a latte, while Noelle got her donut with a hot chocolate. Bella told Rose that she thought she was going to love working at NYPH. 

“Have you met any other doctors in the Peds Unit?” Rose asked.

“I met Dr. Stanley, who seemed to be a little flighty at first, but she was a great help and had a wonderful bedside manner,” Bella said. “The nurses that I met in the unit appear exceptional. They are the best I have ever worked with and as we all know they are the lifeblood of any hospital.”

“You are so right. They work harder than we do and get fewer benefits for it. I am always in awe at how dedicated they are,” Rose responded.

After talking a little more about work, they noticed how quiet Alice was and how she was staring out into nothing with a smile. “Alice,” Bella said but she didn’t answer or even look at her. “ALICE!”

“What?” she asked oblivious to her surroundings. 

“Alright, spill the beans,” Rose commanded.

“Not here with little ears about,” Alice whispered.

“Oh, this must be good,” Rose giggled.

Alice’s blush confirmed that assessment. 

“Look, Mommy, I am all finished,” Noelle said her lips encircled with a chocolate milk ring.

They all looked at her and smiled. “Little Bit, why don’t we go clean your face up before we head back out?” Alice asked.

“Okay, Auntie Alice,” Noelle sang.

After they had walked away Rose leaned closer to Bella. “What do you think is happening between Jasper and Alice?”

“I don’t know for sure. But this is the first time I have seen her allow herself to be alone with any man,” Bella said.

“Yeah, it took a year for her to open up fully when Emmett was in the room. Then wham bam thank you ma’am, Jasper and her go out alone for a walk,” Rose declared.

“As long as she is happy and Jasper is good to her, that is all that matters,” Bella proclaimed.

Once Alice and Noelle got back to the table, they all bundled back up and started back home. When they got to their building, Peter opened the door and assisted them into the elevator. 

“It looks like you have been doing some Christmas shopping,” Peter remarked.

“Mr. Peter, I got a new dress. It is so pretty and I am going to wear it to the hospital to give out presents,” Noelle bubbled.

“I can’t wait to see it,” Peter said.

“Peter, we’re going to need a couple of taxis around three o’clock this afternoon going to the hospital,” Rose informed. 

“I will make sure I have them waiting for you,” Peter replied. The McCarthy’s had been so kind to him and he would do anything for his new tenant Noelle. She was a breath of fresh air.  

They arrived on their floor and went into Bella’s apartment. When they didn’t see Emmett they figured he was hanging out with Jasper. Rose sent him a text and said that they were back. A few minutes later, he came walking in with Jasper behind him holding his phone.

“What the fuck costs seven-hundred-fifty dollars at Macy’s?” Emmett growled turning the screen towards Rose with the credit card text alert.

Rose smirked. “You knew God damn knew well I was going shopping and this bitch doesn’t buy cheap.”

Emmett looked around and there were only two bags by Rose’s feet. “You mean those two shitty bags have seven-hundred-fifty dollars worth of clothes?”

At that moment Noelle ran over between and looked up with her angelic smile. Holding out her hand first to Emmett who’s temper calmed upon seeing her. He reached into his wallet and gave her a five-dollar bill.

“Uncle Emmett you said two,” Noelle informed.

“The hell I did,” Emmett growled.

Noelle giggled. “Now you owe me for two.”

Emmett handed her a ten. Damn, she was good, he thought.

Noelle then turned to Rose. “Auntie Rose pay up.”

Rose smiled at Noelle, then looked up at her big burly husband. She loved him so much, even when they fought over her obsession with shopping. Taking a step around Noelle and closer to Emmett, she ran her hand up to his large bicep then placed her hand around his neck. Rubbing the back of his neck and tugged on the soft curls rising up close to his ear, she ran her tongue along the edge then whispered. “I don’t carry cash.”

Emmett’s eyes grew large. “Fuck Rose.”

Noelle laughed out loud holding her hand out. Emmett knew there was no getting out of it and handed her another ten-dollar bill.

“That is for Rose and mine,” Emmett said with an evil glint. 

Noelle knew he wasn’t mad because his blue eyes sparkled. Motioning him to bend down to her, when he did she kissed his cheek. “I love you, Uncle Emmett.”

Emmett’s heart sighed. This girl had him wrapped around her little finger. “I love you too.”

Noelle smiled and went to put her money in her jar. While Bella and Alice took their purchases to their bedrooms, Noelle headed over to the tv and turned it on. Switching it to her favorite channel, she was excited to see one of her favorite movies was on, Frosty The Snowman. Frosty was made from magical snowflakes. Rose, Emmett, and Jasper joined her and even though they had seen it a hundred times, they all became engrossed. They didn’t even notice when Bella and Alice joined them. At the end of the movie, it was time to prepare lunch. 

Noelle got down and went over to Jasper crawling up on his lap. “Sir Jasper?”

“Yes, Miss Noelle,” Jasper answered.

“Is it okay with you if I call you Uncle Jasper?” Noelle asked twirling one of her coppery curls around her finger. She liked Jasper and he made Auntie Alice happy which she loved.

Jasper was shocked. He had few friends, hell the only people he trusted were Rose, Emmett, and Ed. Most people he met wanted to be his friend or lover for his money. Did he have a lot of money? Hell yeah and he didn’t even know his exact net worth, but it was in the top five percent in the country. His lawyers and accountants had kept his name out of the lists of the most wealthiest, but he knew it was only time before it happened. He had confided in Ed about his worth because Ed himself was also on the same list. Not as high as he was, but pretty damn close. Looking into Noelle’s green eyes. “I would be honored.”

Noelle threw her arms around his neck and hugged him tightly. Pulling back she screamed. “I HAVE A NEW UNCLE!”

Everyone looked over at them and smiled. “Welcome to the family,” Emmett boomed.

“He is only an Uncle right now Emmett. He will be part of the family when he marries Auntie Alice,” Noelle instructed. 

Everyone laughed, except for Jasper and Alice who just looked at each other. Jasper knew in his heart that Alice was the one, but knowing her story he was going to move at her pace. When she felt comfortable, then he would ask. Their wedding would be everything she ever dreamed of and more.

Jasper leaned closer to Noelle and whispered. “One day that will happen, I promise.”

Noelle nodded putting her finger up to lips and making a twist like she was locking a door, then crossed her heart. She would keep his secret. Then she remembered. “Uncle Jasper, did you let Ms. Esme know what time we were going to the hospital?”

“Not yet. The store called and they didn’t get all the gifts wrapped until late. Emmett and I are going to pick them up, then meet you at the hospital,” Jasper explained. “I will call her now.”

Jasper took out his phone and found Esme’s number. After two rings her soft voice answered. “Mrs. Cullen?”

“Good Morning, Jasper,” Esme answered. She had been waiting for this call since yesterday. She and Carlisle had talked all evening about Noelle and the possibility that she could be their granddaughter. “How is Noelle?”

“She is as bubbly as ever,” he answered with a smile. “Emmett and I are going to get the gifts then meet y’all at the hospital at three-thirty.”

“Is Noelle and her mother going with you to pick up the gifts?” Esme asked.

“No, we all won’t fit in my truck. They are going to take taxis to the hospital,” Jasper said.

“Alright. Carlisle and I are looking forward to it. Thank you for calling,” Esme gushed.

After Esme’s phone call, Bella called out that lunch was ready. It was a light fair of sandwiches and soup, but it was warm and comforting. Once it was over, Alice picked up Noelle and took her to her room. She didn’t want to take a nap, but Alice’s soothing voice, reading her a story, lured her to sleep.

When Noelle awoke, she looked at her clock and saw it was two o’clock. Getting out of bed she walked into the living room. Her mommy, Auntie Rose, and Auntie Alice were sitting around talking. “Hi,” she said her voice gruff with sleep.

“Hi, sweetie. Did you have a good nap?” Bella said opening her arms.

Noelle climbed up on her lap and laid her head on her chest. “Yes. I had the bestest dream, but I can’t tell you or it might not come true.”

Bella kissed Noelle’s head and hummed. This was her heaven. “Are you excited about giving out the gifts?”

“Yes I am,” Noelle answered then looked around. “Where is Uncle Emmett and Uncle Jasper?”

“They have already left to get the presents. We better get up and start getting ready ourselves,” Bella informed.

Rose rushed to her apartment to get ready, so she could come back to make sure Bella wore her new dress. She had seen the look on Bella’s face when she tried it on and it wouldn’t surprise her that she ended up in a pair of jeans and a long-sleeve t-shirt. Rose had mastered getting ready in fifteen minutes and was running back to Bella’s apartment with her boots in her hands.

Bella stood in front of the mirror look at herself with her bra and panties, debating whether or not to wear the dress. She liked it, but she didn’t want unwanted attention from any man. Looking at the dress laying across the bed she sighed and went towards her closet to find something else.

“STOP RIGHT THERE!” Rose yelled.

Bella turned around and gapped at Rose. “What do you mean?”

“You were going to get something else to wear. You bought this dress to wear today and you are wearing it,” Rose commanded.

“Rose, I don’t know,” Bella started.

Rose came over and stood before her. “I know you are still in love with Edward, but honey you need to go out and enjoy life more. Noelle is getting older and can sense your sadness.”

Bella took a deep breath. “She already does and you are right I need to enjoy life more.”

“Then start by putting on that red dress,” Rose said with a smile.

Bella put on the dress, stockings, and black knee-high boots. Looking at the mirror, she didn’t recognize the woman before her. The old Bella before St. Barts was standing before her. 

“You look so pretty, Mommy,” Noelle chirped as she skipped into the room. She loved her outfit and couldn’t wait to give out the gifts.

“Not as pretty as you,” Bella praised.

Alice joined them, dressed in a lovely ice blue sweater, black leather skirt, and black boots. The color reminded her of Jasper’s eyes. They all gushed over Noelle’s adorable outfit and it was one of the few times she blushed. Her little cherub cheeks a perfect shade of red. 

 Emmett texted saying that they had loaded all the gifts and were on their way to the hospital. He had called ahead to have carts available to haul them to the Peds floor. Earlier in the week, a large artificial tree had been put up with traditional decorations in reds, greens, and golds. 

Bella, Noelle, Rose, and Alice put on their coats, then took the elevator to the main level. Peter saw them coming and was about to hail a couple of taxis when a long limo pulled up. He quickly went to the back door to open it and gasped.

“Mayor Cullen,” he said. 

“Hello. We are here to pick up Miss Noelle and her family to take them to the hospital,” Carlisle informed as Esme emerged from the backseat.

Noelle saw Emse and took off towards her. “Miss Esme.”

Esme bent down and Noelle ran into her arms. “Hello, Noelle.”

“What are you doing here? I thought you were going to help give out gifts?” Noelle asked.

“I thought I could give you a ride to the hospital,” Esme said.

Noelle looked at the car. It was so big. She turned to see her Mommy walking towards them. “Mommy, this is Miss Esme and she said we could ride with her in that.” As she pointed to the car.

“Hello, I am Doctor Isabella Swan. It seems that you have already met my daughter,” Bella said.

Esme stood and held out her hand. “I am Esme Cullen and this is my husband Carlisle Cullen.”

“Don’t you mean Mayor Cullen?” Bella quizzed.

“Not today, I am just Carlisle and it is a pleasure to meet you and this wonderful child.  My wife has told me wonderful things about your precious Noelle. Please allow us to be your transportation to the hospital.”

“That would be wonderful. Let me introduce my friends. This is Dr. Rosalie McCarthy and Alice Brandon.”

“Come let’s get out of the cold,” Carlisle insisted motioning towards the door.

They all got in and Noelle was mesmerized by the interior. Once they were moving, Esme spoke up. “Doctor Swan I can’t get over the fact that you look so familiar. Have you ever lived in New York?”

“Please call me Bella and no, this is the first time I have been here.”

“Hmm, maybe it was on a vacation or something?” Esme questioned. “We love to vacation in St. Barts.” 

“We went to St. Barts about five almost six years ago,” Rose answered.

“That must be where I saw you. Unlike my husband, I am good with faces,” Esme said poking Carlisle in the ribs. Hearing that Noelle’s mother’s name was Bella and that she was in St. Barts around the same time as Edward just confirmed that she was, in fact, their granddaughter. 

Noelle started chatting away to Esme and Carlisle about how she liked living in New York. They questioned her about her favorite foods, movies, and books. 

“My favorite book is Wishing Upon a Snowflake,” Noelle gushed.

“What is that book about?” Carlisle asked.

“It is about the magic of snowflakes and how they can make miracles happen,” Noelle explained.

Bella listened intently to Noelle and when she explained about the snowflake book, it clicked why Noelle was so obsessed with snow. She was hoping to wish for her to find her Daddy. Willing herself not to cry in front of strangers was the hardest thing she had ever done.

They arrived at the hospital and stepped out of the car, where they were greeted by Emmett and Jasper, who were waiting for them to arrive.  They appeared slightly shocked to find them stepping out of a limo. When Carlisle followed them out, they knew for sure that Ed was Noelle’s father and Bella’s lost love.

“UNCLE EMMETT, UNCLE JASPER,” Noelle screamed. “Did you see what I rode in?”

Emmett picked her up. “Yes. Was it fun?”

“Yes and I got to meet Miss Esme’s husband. He is so funny,” Noelle said.

“Ladies we have a load of presents to give out,” Jasper informed. 

“YEAH!” Noelle yelled. “This is going to be so much fun.”

When they walked into the hospital Dr. Volturi met them and was shocked to see Mayor Cullen with them. Emmett had told him that Dr. Swan’s daughter had purchased the gifts for the children who were stuck in the hospital for Christmas. He was so impressed that a child would think of this. “Miss Noelle, I am Dr. Volturi and I want to thank you for thinking of the children who can’t be home for Christmas.”

“You are welcome. But I did have some help from my Uncle Jasper and Miss Esme.”

“Well thank you as well, Uncle Jasper and Miss Esme.  Now, why don’t I direct you to the room on the children’s floor, where the tree is located.  You can place all of your wonderful gifts there for the children?” Dr. Volturi suggested as he guided the group to the PEDS floor.

Getting off the elevator they saw the tree and began unloading the carts of gifts, wrapped beautifully with decorative paper and large handmade bows. The group began to unload the carts, however, Esme slipped away. She had to make sure that Edward would appear while Bella and Noelle were here. Having the nurse page him to the floor, she slipped back to the group.

Noelle was having a grand time and couldn’t wait to see the other kids’ faces when they got a look at all the gifts. 

Bella was placing gifts on the side of the tree because the front was so full and didn’t see when Edward walked into the room. 

Edward wondered why he was being paged to the PEDS floor, but when he arrived he saw his parents, his friends Emmett and Jasper, and then he saw Noelle. She looked like a Christmas angel in her red dress with fur trim, snowflake leggings, and white boots. Walking over to the tree he took in the vast amount of gifts that they were piling underneath it. 

It was at that moment that Bella stepped out from the side of the tree and gasped. Her hand went to her necklace.

Edward heard a gasp and looked toward the sound. His heart stopped as he tried to catch his breath. Stepping towards her, he reached out to touch her cheek to make sure that she was real. “Bella,” he murmured softly.

Bella felt the electric charge pulsate through her body as soon as he touched her. For the first time since St. Barts she felt whole.”Edward,” she sighed.

Just as they were about to kiss. Edward felt someone tugging on his jacket. He looked down to see that it was Noelle.

Noelle saw the smile on her mother’s face toward Ed and for some reason, she knew. Ed was her Daddy, but she needed to ask. “Are you my Daddy?”

The only sound heard in the room were the gasps from all of their friends and family.

Wishing Upon a Snowflake ~ Chapter Three

Possibilities and Realizations

Edward couldn’t take his eyes off the little girl. He had heard every word of her wish and the word that stuck in his head was lost. He had been so lost for so long, ever since that morning in St. Barts. 

He awoke the morning after the glorious night with Bella. Reaching out he expected to feel her soft smooth skin, but instead only cold sheets. Jumping up he saw that she was not in the room. Scanning the room, he noticed that her clothes were gone.

“Bella,” he called out, but he heard nothing but silence. Had he dreamed of her?

Look at the bedside stand to see what time it was, he saw a piece of paper and a gold chain. Picking up the note, he read it, then he read it once more. She had been real, but why didn’t she wake him. He wanted to say goodbye, to find out what her last name was, where she lived, would she like to be his forever, however, she was gone. Picking up the gold chain, he noticed the tiny gold swan dangling from the chain. Carefully placing the necklace in his palm , he closed his hand around it and brought it up to his heart.

“I promise to always remember our night together and will never stop hoping to see you again.”

He had two more days left at the resort because he couldn’t get an earlier flight. He spent those days walking the beach and thinking of Bella. Even though they were both a little tipsy from the rhum vanille, he still remembered every smile, laugh, moan, and sigh of satisfaction. The nights were the worst, knowing that she would be beside him in his dreams as he slept. 

Checking around the room one last time to ensure he hadn’t forgotten anything, he saw a sliver of white under the chair. Bending down and retrieving it, he pulled it out and gasped. It was Bella’s tiny panties that he had removed. Without even thinking about it, he brought them up to his nose and breathed deeply. Her aroma engulfed him and for a moment warmed his heart and soul. He placed them in his carryon luggage to ensure that the panties, the necklace, and the note made it safely back to New York.

Edward returned to his apartment and checked his voicemails. His parents had called and requested his presence at their estate. He couldn’t call it his home, even though he had known no other home growing up. It was a showcase, not a warm inviting home. Maybe he could just ignore them for a few more days, because he really didn’t want the third degree about his trip. Even worse would be the questions about whether or not he found a woman. Fuck, it was none of their business. He would rather have them think that he was a homosexual than to be subjected to their prying questions about any woman he might have met. There was no way in hell he was going to tell them about Bella.

He was able to avoid his parents for another three days, but on the morning of the fourth day his mother showed up at his doorstep. “Hello, Mother.”

“Don’t hello, Mother me, why the hell have you not returned my calls?” Esme growled, but then she took a look into his eyes she saw so much heartache. Opening her arms wide, she waited. 

Edward stared at his mother and after a deep breath, he fell into her arms. Let go of all the tears that he had been holding back. He wasn’t one to cry, but his heart was so broken. 

Esme was crushed by hearing her son weeping in her arms. What had happened to cause this? As much as she wanted to demand he tell her what had happened, she knew that right now she just needed to hold him and pour as much love as possible into her embrace. 

It felt like he had cried forever, but finally, he was able to stop. Pulling back he looked at his mother’s tender face. “Thank you.”

“You are welcome. Do you want to talk about it?” She questioned.

“Yeah,” he sighed.

They sat on his sofa and he told her how he had met Bella. He didn’t go into graphic details of the night they spent together but told her of the connection that they had. He showed her the note and necklace. Esme, as a woman, could feel from the note that this woman had feelings for her son. 

The months passed and it was Christmas Day. He had volunteered to work in the Peds Department, so doctors with families could spend the holiday with them. It was late in the afternoon, when he began to mindlessly walk around the hospital. Suddenly he thought he heard Bella scream, looking around and not seeing her, he found himself standing outside of the view window of the newborn babies. Scanning over all of their sleeping faces of the newborns, his mind wandered to what his and Bella’s baby would have looked like. He hoped that it would have been the spitting image of Bella. She was such a rare beauty with those brown eyes, button nose, full lips, and mahogany locks. He closed his eyes and could almost picture them laying in their bed, as Bella held their baby. She was radiant.

“Dr. Cullen 3244, Dr. Cullen 3244,” the voice over the speakers announced.

After that night, Christmas was always the most depressing day of the year. He didn’t know why, even though he tried to make the best of it. His mother had been very supportive.  His father was another story. They had a huge fight about him quitting his position at the hospital to take over the family company. His father eventually came around, but their relationship was never quite the same. Yet each year the holiday season became more and more difficult.

For the last few days, he had been feeling a warmth that he hadn’t felt since St. Barts. Finishing up a long day at the hospital, he decided to take a walk in the park. While he had been at work, it had begun to snow and he loved the beauty of freshly fallen flakes. Coming in from the back gate, he began walking toward the decorated pine that stood in the middle of the park. Its branches were loaded down the newly fallen snow and the street lights cast a translucent glow on it. Taking in its beauty, he felt that warmth again, but this time it was even stronger. Then he heard a child’s voice coming from the back of the tree. Her voice was like a symphony. As he listened, her wish for her father tugged on his heart. He was mad as hell with the man who had left this angel and her mother. There was this invisible pull to see the child and as he stepped around the tree his heart stopped. Other than the color of eyes and hair, she was his dream child with Bella. Squatting down to her eye level, he smiled at the child.

“Hello,” he said.

“Hi. You have my eyes,” Noelle said, pointing towards Edward’s face.

“Mine are not as pretty as yours. Are you here with your mommy?”

“No. I am here with Auntie Alice and Sir Jasper,” Noelle answered pointing towards the bench. 

Edward looked towards the bench and saw his friend Jasper sitting with his arm around a petite dark-haired woman. He waved at Jasper and smiled.

Alice had been watching Noelle as she stared at the tree, then suddenly a strange man walked around and began to talk to her. She began to stand, but Jasper stopped her.

“Noelle is safe. That is my friend and neighbor, Ed. He is a doctor and a good man,” Jasper informed her. 

“Sir Jasper is a friend of mine,” Edward said to Noelle. “Are you visiting New York?”

“No, Mommy is a doctor and got a new job here. I am so excited because Auntie Rose and Uncle Emmett live next door,” she informed him. “What is your name?”

“My name is Edward, but everyone calls me Ed.”

“Hi Ed, I am Noelle,” she said with a bright smile and giggled. “My middle name is like your name. It is Edella. Mommy wanted me to have a part of my daddy’s name.”

“I couldn’t help but hear. How long has your daddy been lost?”

“Forever. I listened one day as Mommy talked to Auntie Rose, she wished she could find him and tell him about me. She is sad, I see her cry sometimes as she plays with her necklace,” Noelle shared with a frown. “I don’t like my Mommy sad.”

Seeing Noelle’s sad face, Edward’s heart broke. He became overcome, and opened his arms, just like his mother had done all those years ago. Without a moment’s hesitation, Noelle propelled herself into them. As soon as he wrapped his long arms around her tiny body, he felt an electric charge that went straight to his soul. Her tiny arms went around his neck and squeezed tightly. Edward was truly happy for the first time since St. Barts. He had not noticed that Jasper had walked up to them.

“Hey Ed,” Jasper called out. 

“Jasper. I understand you know this little princess?” Edward inquired as Noelle released her hold and turned.

“Yes, I do,” Jasper answered with a smile.

“Sir Jasper, I like your friend. He has my eyes and hair,” she giggled.

Jasper looked at them and he saw the similarities. In his business, he constantly looked for common attributes and they had several. The silence was broken by the ringing of Alice’s phone. 

“Excuse me,” she said as she turned and answered. A few minutes later she turned back around. “Your Mommy is leaving work, but would like for us to pick up dinner.”

“Okay,” Noelle said then turned back to Ed. “I got to go.”

Edward squeezed her once more before placing her down on the ground. “It was a pleasure meeting you Noelle. If I don’t see you before, Merry Christmas.”

“I always have a Merry Christmas because it is my birthday. I am going to be five.”

“Wow, then Happy Birthday,” he wished.

“What are you doing this evening?” Jasper asked.

“I have a little bit of shopping to do and off to bed early. I am working twelve hours tomorrow for Dr. Stanley, however, this year I am not working Christmas Day,” Edward explained.

“Ed you must come over Christmas Day for lunch,” Alice implored. “Emmett, Rose, and Jasper will be there. I am sure Miss Noelle would like for you to be there as well to celebrate her birthday.”

“YES!! PLEASE COME!!” Noelle screamed looked up at him with those bright eyes. “We are going to have cake.”

“Are you sure her mother wouldn’t mind?” Edward questioned.

“Yes,” Alice replied.

“Alright. Jasper shoot me a text when you are ready for me to come over.”

“Okay, Ed. Maybe we will see you tomorrow at work,” Jasper said placing his hand on Noelle’s head. “Miss Noelle is going to be Santa’s elf tomorrow and bring toys for the children in the wards.”

Edward looked surprised. He knew there was more to the story, but he knew they had to leave. “I will look for you then. Goodnight, Princess.”

Jasper and Alice took Noelle’s hand and walked away. With each step, Edward’s heart longed to go after them. What the hell? Turning back toward the tree his thoughts once again went to Bella. If she had become pregnant on that glorious night, their child would have been due around Christmas and be Noelle’s age. Shaking his head, he knew he needed to stop living in the past. He was never going to find Bella among the three-hundred-twenty-seven million people. Holding out his hand he waited until a snowflake fell on it and then closed his hand.

“Magical snowflake my wish is simple. I wish that Noelle’s request come true. She is a kind, loving child who deserves both her mother and father,” Edward pleaded. As soon as the words were out of his mouth a breeze blew around him,  and a swirl of snow encircled him.

Esme had arrived home hours before and was sitting in the living room staring at her phone at the picture of Noelle. She couldn’t get over the fact that the child looked just like Edward. Their family photo albums laid on the coffee table opened to the pages where Edward had been five. The resemblance was uncanny. There were some slight differences, but she looked like Edward. How was this possible?

“Esme, I’m home,” Carlisle called out. When she didn’t answer he walked towards the light in the living room. Walking over he sat down beside. “Sweetheart, didn’t you hear me call out to you?”

“Oh Carlisle, I am sorry. I didn’t hear you,” she said.

“What are you doing with all the albums?” Carlisle queried as he looked down at the picture of Edward when it was a little boy. He loved his son and only wanted the best for him. He knew that sometimes he pushed Edward too hard to take over the company, but it was the family business and should be run by the family. Carlisle hadn’t wanted to run for Mayor, however, he couldn’t sit idly by and allow the previous Mayor to win again; he loved his hometown too much. After winning the election, the job had taken him away from his family more and more.  His and Esme’s activities were centered around the requirements and prestige of the position. 

Carlisle was proud of Edward when he became a doctor, but he didn’t look happy. So that was when Esme and himself decided to send him to St. Barts to relax and maybe find some happiness. However, when Edward came back he was worse than before he left. Esme told him that it was because of a woman and that their son had lost his heart to her. Carlisle would have spent all the money he had to find this woman, but having only a first name, made it was impossible. Hell, he had even gone as far as to try to bribe the hotel to give him the names of all of the hotel guests. But the hotel refused. A couple of years later the necklace that the woman had given Edward broke and he convinced him to encase the swan in a protective shell so he could carry it with him. It was one of the only times he had seen a genuine smile on his son’s face.

“Carlisle, I met someone today and I am so confused,” Esme said laying her hand on his knee.

“What do you mean?”

“I was walking down Rockefeller Plaza when I spotted this angelic little girl staring up at FAO,” Esme began, then told him all about her time with Noelle. After she was done she turned to Carlisle. “I know it can’t be possible, but you have to see her.” Esme handed her phone to Carlisle and waited for his response. 

Carlisle looked at the picture of Esme and Noelle, then gasped. The child looked just like Edward, who looked like Carlisle’s mother. “Who is this?”

“Her name is Noelle Swan. She just moved here from California, because her mother, Dr. Isabella Swan took the position as Head of the Pediatric Neurology Department at New York-Presbyterian. Oh, Carlisle, she has the kindest heart. She took her savings and was buying presents for the children in the hospital,” Esme explained.

“Who is her father?” Carlisle asked.

“See that is the thing. Her father has never been around. She kept going on about wanting for it to snow so she could make a wish for her daddy to become unlost.”

Carlisle kept staring at the photo. It was impossible, however, there was no mistaking that she was the spitting image of Edward. “Do you know how old she is?”

“She will be five on Christmas Day,” Esme answered.

Carlisle got up and walked over to the window. The city looked so pretty with the freshly fallen snow. His mind was racing thinking about Noelle and Edward. Then it hit him, but he needed clarification. “What month did Edward go to St. Barts?”

“It was the first week of April. Why?”

Carlisle began to count and the realization hit him hard. As impossible as it sounded, Noelle Swan could be their granddaughter.

Wishing Upon A Snowflake ~ Chapter Two

Snowflake Wishes

Noelle jumped out of bed and ran to the window. “It is not snowing,” she cried. How was she going to be able to make her wish if it didn’t snow? After getting dressed, she went to the kitchen to find her mommy and Alice drinking the yucky coffee. 

“Good morning, sweetheart,” Bella called out.

“Morning,” Noelle whispered.

“What is wrong?” Bella asked worriedly. 

“It is not snowing.”

“Oh. The weatherman said it might start around lunch,” Bella divulged. 

Noelle smiled but decided not to get her hopes up until she saw it. After breakfast, her mommy got dressed in her work suit. 

“I won’t be long, but you and Alice go have fun shopping with Jasper,” Bella said hugging Noelle tight.

“I will. I love you.”

“I love you more,” Bella urged.

Bella headed out the door, passing by a man that was going into Dr. Cullen’s apartment. She only saw the back of his head and he had unique colored hair which reminded her of Edward. Shaking her head, knowing that she was just imagining things, she hopped onto the elevator. Peter helped her hail a cab and she was off to work. She was nervous but excited about her new job. She only hoped that she wouldn’t have to put up with Men Only Club. Studying and working hard, she had proven that she knew her job and knew it well. Paying the cabbie, she got out, took a deep breath, and walked in. 

Alice was floating on a cloud. Her evening with Jasper had been beyond perfect. She never thought she would ever meet a guy that would make her feel safe, however, that was what Jasper did the entire evening. It was easy losing track of how far they walked, because one minute they started down the block and the next minute they were in the elevator, three hours later. Never had she talked so openly to any man and Jasper was open about his life, past, and future. He held her hand during the entire walk, opened doors, and when they got to her door when they returned, he didn’t try to kiss her. Instead, he kissed her hand and told her that his heart was finally content.

“Aunt Alice,” Noelle said pulling at Alice’s hand. “Are you okay?” She didn’t know why Alice had this goofy smile on her face. It was similar to Uncle Emmett’s face when he let a stinky fart and denied he had let it.

“I am great. Are you ready to do some shopping?”

“Yes. Did you count how much cuss money I have?” Noelle asked.

“Your Mommy has a potty mouth,” Alice giggled. “You have one thousand, two hundred and fifty-five dollars.”

“WOW!!” Noelle exclaimed.

“I know, right. But I also have something special to share,” Alice began.

“What?”

“Jasper was so impressed that you wanted to use your money to buy gifts for sick children, that he is going to match your money. So you will be able to buy double the gifts.”

“WOW!!” Noelle yelled again. 

“If it is okay with you, he would like to drive us to the store,” Alice suggested.

“Sure. He talks funny, but he is nice.”

Alice chuckled. He did talk funny, but his accent was part of his charm. “I am going to shoot him a text and let him know.” 

Alice texted Jasper, who responded immediately. Five minutes later he was at the door and escorted the ladies downstairs. They waited with Peter, while Jasper went to get his vehicle. Ten minutes later, a massive black, four-door Dodge pickup, with an extended bed with a matching cover, pulled up to the door. He jumped down from the driver’s seat and ran up to Alice and Noelle. 

“Come on ladies, let’s go shopping.”

“Mr. Jasper that is a big truck,” Noelle gasped.

Alice’s eyes grew large. Noelle was right it was a big truck. “How are we going to get up in that?”

“Like this,” Jasper said taking out his remote and pushing a button. Suddenly a set of running boards appeared from beneath the truck.

“That is so cool,” Noelle declared.

They walked over to the truck and Jasper opened the back door and inside was a brand new child seat. Alice was stunned. “When did you do this?”

He looks down at Alice with warm caring eyes. “Early this morning. Miss Noelle’s safety is now my priority as well.”

At that moment, Alice’s heart surrendered to Jasper. This man had touched her unlike any other man had in her entire life. She knew that she was safe with him and he would never allow anyone to harm her. Reaching up she placed her arms around his neck and placed a kiss upon his lips. The warmth radiated throughout her body to her soul. 

Jasper was shocked at first by Alice’s kiss, but he quickly deepened the kiss, pouring all his feelings into it. If he had any doubts they melted away with this kiss. Alice Brandon was his missing piece. 

“Are you done sucking face?” Noelle giggled.

They pulled away and smiled. Jasper whispered in Alice’s ear. “We will continue this later without prying little eyes.”

Jasper opened the front door for Alice and helped her up. Even though the truck had running boards, she could get her short legs into the door. He knew where he was going to take them and that was FAO Schwarz. Making his way around the busy streets he turned onto 5th avenue. Pulling into the Icon Parking Garage, he stopped the vehicle.
“We will walk from here,” he told Alice and Noelle. He handed the attendant the keys and a hundred dollar bill with a wink. He rounded the truck and opened the door for Alice then took Noelle out of her seat. They walked the few blocks to the store.

Noelle stood outside the store with her mouth open and her eyes just as large. She had never seen anything like it. 

“It is magical,” an older woman said to Noelle.

Noelle turned towards the voice and was welcomed by a warm smile. The lady had reddish-brown hair with streaks of grey and her eyes were the same color as hers. As her mother called them “green crystal”. “It is. My name is Noelle.”

“Hello Noelle, my name Esme,” the lady said.

“Esme? I’ve heard that name before.”

“It is short for Esmeralda. I love your name. It is very pretty,” Esme said. The little girl was stunning, but she couldn’t get over the fact that she looked familiar.

“I was born on Christmas day and my mother thought I was her very special gift. I am going to be five,” Noelle explained holding up five fingers.

“Noelle, who is your friend?” Alice asked as she walked up beside her. She had been watching, but the lady seemed to be having a good time speaking to her.

“This is Ms. Esme. She thinks this place is magical and so do I,” Noelle exclaimed.

“Hello, Ms. Esme. I am Alice and this Jasper,” Alice said.

“Are you Noelle’s parents?” Esme asked, not seeing any features similar to Noelle.

“No. I am her nanny and this is our friend,” Alice explained.

“Oh. Are you visiting New York?” Esme questioned.

“No. We have moved to New York for Noelle’s mother’s job. They just arrived a few days ago, but we are on a mission today,” Alice said.

“Mission?” Esme asked.

“Miss Noelle is using her cuss jar savings  to buy presents,” Alice began.

“For herself?”

“No, she is buying gifts for the children in the hospital at New York-Presbyterian,” Alice answered with a proud smile.

Esme was shocked. This little five-year-old was spending her savings to buy gifts for sick children. Then she remembered the type of jar, cuss. “Cuss?”

Alice giggled. “Her mother has a bad habit of cussing.”

Esme laughed. “My son does as well.”

“Oh. Does your son live in New York?”

“Oh yes, all his life. He is a doctor at New York-Presbyterian,” Esme proudly said.

“What is his name?” Jasper asked. He had been quietly allowing the ladies to talk, but hearing that Esme’s son was a doctor, his curiosity was piqued.

“Dr. Edward Cullen,” Esme answered with a smile.

“Mrs. Cullen, I am your son’s friend, Jasper Whitlock.”

“Oh my stars, I didn’t catch it when Alice introduced you. It is a pleasure to finally meet you,” Esme said as she stepped up and wrapped her arms around him and gave him a warm hug.

Jasper was taken back by the hug. Ed had told him how his parents were all about their station in the city, but this woman was nothing like that. 

“Aunt Alice, can we go shopping please?” Noelle asked tugging on Alice’s hand.

“Noelle, remember your manners,” Alice instructed.

Noelle’s bottom lip came out. “Sorry.”

Esme came back over and patted her on the head. “I am sorry to delay your shopping trip, however, I wonder if I might join you?”

“You have a grandchild?” Alice asked.

“No. Edward is our only son and he is pining away for a lost love,” Esme murmured. He had not been the same since his vacation from St. Barts. When he returned he was sad and depressed and was wearing a woman’s delicate swan necklace. A few years back, the chain broke and she convinced him to encase the swan in a protective shell. He carried it with him every day.

Jasper knew that Edward wasn’t happy, he could sense it, but it didn’t know it was because of a woman. Next time he saw him alone, he would talk to him.

“I would like to help with your gifts for the children,” Esme told Noelle.

“Yeah!!” She screamed grasping Esme’s hand and headed towards the door. Alice and Jasper followed behind them smiling. 

They began their shopping. Emmett had sent them a list of names and ages. Soon they were having a grand time. Esme had commanded to see the manager. Once he saw who it was, they were given three staff members to assist in their adventure. When they were ready to check out, Noelle’s mouth fell open by the total. Alice handed the clerk Noelle’s cash, Jasper handed her his credit card for the matching total, then Esme handed her credit card for the remainder plus the cost of wrapping each gift. 

“It will take us several hours to wrap all the gifts,” the manager instructed.

“Can you call us when they are ready for pick up,” Jasper asked. “We would like to pick them up tomorrow since we want to deliver them to the hospital.”

“Of course, Sir.”

Walking out of the shop, Esme turned to Noelle. “Thank you for giving me the joy of helping you today.”

“I liked it. But would you like to go with us when we give them out?” Noelle asked.

“Really?” Esme squeaked.

“Yes,” Noelle said with a bright smile.

Esme gasped at that moment. It had been bugging her all-day that there was something familiar about this precious little girl, but when Noelle smiled up at her with those green eyes, she looked just like her son. It couldn’t be. “Excuse me, but I didn’t get your last name.”

“Swan, like the big white bird,” Noelle explained.

Esme couldn’t believe it, there was no way this child was Edward’s. However, not only did she look just like him, but her last name was Swan, like the swan necklace that he carried with him for his lost love from St. Barts. She needed to talk to Carlisle. Reaching into her purse she pulled out a card and wrote her number down and handed it to Alice. “I look forward to your call.”

Esme looked at Noelle with a smile and suddenly Noelle wrapped her arms around her waist. “Goodbye, Ms. Esme.”

Esme stifled back her tears and wrapped her arms around Noelle. “Goodbye, Noelle. Alice, Jasper take care of this little angel.”

At that moment Alice suddenly recognized how much Noelle resembled Esme. Strange. However, it was very touching how she hugged Noelle. “Ms. Esme, would you like me to take a picture of the two of you?”

Esme gasped. “Oh, would you? I would love that.” She reached in her purse and retrieved her phone and handed it to Alice.

“Smile,” Alice said as she took the picture. Looking at the screen it was even more startling how much they looked alike. It couldn’t be, however, she had heard of people with stranger look-alikes. “Would you send me a copy of the picture?”

“Of course,” Esme said taking her phone. After getting Alice’s number, she texted her the photo. “Please don’t forget to call me.”

“We won’t,” Jasper proclaimed.

Esme began to walk away, but hesitated after a few steps, to take one last look at Noelle. In her heart, she hoped that by some miracle of fate, that she was her granddaughter.

Jasper took Alice and Noelle out to lunch. After lunch, they went on a carriage ride around Central Park. Noelle was so excited at all the sights, that she hardly stayed seated. Alice had to put her foot down and make her stay seated while the carriage was moving. When Noelle finally calmed down, the rocking motion of the ride rocked her to sleep. At the end of the ride, Jasper carried her back to the truck and carefully placed her in the car seat and secured the safety latch. Noelle didn’t wake up, even when they arrived back to the apartment or when they placed her in her bed.

Bella thought she was only coming in to get her keys, identification, and fill out her tax forms, however, she was stuck in the office of the President and CEO Doctor Marcus Volturi. He looked like he was in his mid-fifties, tall, long angular face, and the strangest gray eyes. 

“Doctor Swan, we are very excited to have you as a part of the NYPH family. Doctor Ness did his job well, but we are looking forward to seeing what new ideas you have for the department.”

“Thank you. I am excited to make a difference in the lives of your smallest patients,” Bella proclaimed. “I was planning  to initially observe the staff in order to assess the strengths of each one of the team members. Depending on those observations, there may be  some required reassignment of personnel into other positions to ensure the most productive outcome in patient care. I’m aware that initially these reassignments may be met with some opposition, however, you hired me to lead and to improve the efficiency of the  operations of the Neurology Department.”

“Yes, that is why I hired you,” Marcus said with a smile. Several of the other doctors who had heard he had hired a young woman to be the department head, grumbled that no woman would know how to do the job. However, she already had friends at the hospital and they would be supportive. “How is your daughter enjoying the city?”

“She loves it,” Bella said with a smile. “Noelle is excited to see snow for the first time. She asks everyone she meets when is it going to snow.”

Marcus chuckled. “I was born and raised in New Mexico, so I didn’t see snow until I came to New York for college.”

Suddenly the phone on Marcus’s desk began to ring. “Excuse me,” Marcus said and answered the call. Marcus was informed that Bree Tanner was being medi-vacked to the hospital with life-threatening seizures. He had met Bree and her parents three years ago when he was making rounds with Dr. Cullen. She was a lovely five-year-old with dark brown hair and chocolate brown eyes, however, her tiny body was being attacked by multiple sclerosis. Bree had become important to Dr. Cullen and himself.  After ending the phone call, he concluded his meeting with Dr. Swan, however, Bella stopped him. She knew she wasn’t technically to begin working until the first of the year, but the apparent urgency of the child in question left her with the desire to offer any assistance she might be able to provide.

“Dr. Volturi,” Bella called out.

“Yes.”

“I would love to review Bree’s chart and possibly provide an assessment,” Bella requested.

Marcus was shocked at first, but relieved that this young woman was the real deal. Many candidates had a tendency to provide the desired answers  during the interview process to get hired, but Dr. Swan had been upfront and honest. “I would love your assistance.”

“Wonderful. Let me call my nanny and explain to her that I will be a little late,” Bella stated.

“Certainly,” Marcus replied and stepped away.

Bella called Alice and explained what was going on. She said that Noelle was taking her nap after a morning full of shopping. Bella thanked her and told her she would keep her up to date.

“I am all set, other than a lab coat,” Bella announced.

“Come with me, your coats should be in your office closet,” Marcus explained.

“Oh, I didn’t realize I had an office to myself.”

“Yes, it is next door to Dr. Cullen, who is the Pediatric  Surgery head. You will like him, his work ethic is much like yours. I really think you will make a great team,” Marcus remarked. “Come let me show you and then I will introduce you to Bree.”

When Noelle woke from her nap, she had been having a wonderful dream that it was snowing and she got to make her wish. Swinging her little legs over the bed, jumping down to the floor, she took off to find her mommy and to look out the window. Getting to the living room she didn’t see her mommy, however, Alice was sitting by the fire. Looking out the large window she saw what she had been waiting for, SNOW! Running to the window, she placed her hands onto the glass and stared at the tiny white flakes falling from the sky. 

Alice had heard Noelle walking into the room, but was waiting for her to see what was happening outside. Getting up she walked up behind her and got down on her knees so she was eye level with Noelle. “What do you think?”

“Oh, Auntie Alice it is so pretty,” Noelle sighed. “Can we go outside?”

“In a little bit,” Alice answered. “Jasper will be back in a while and your mommy is busy at the hospital helping a sick little girl.”

“Rats, she is missing the snow,” Noelle grumbled. 

“Honey, it will still be around when she leaves the hospital,” Alice explained. “Would you like a snack before we go outside?”

“YES!!” Noelle yelled. “Can I have some fruit and hot chocolate?”

“Of course.”

As they were finishing their snacks, Jasper had returned. He had checked in with his office and made sure that everyone had tied up any loose ends and were ready to close until January third. It was time for his hard-working employees to spend time with their families. He didn’t have any living family, his parents had died when he was just thirteen and he had been placed in a foster home until he reached eighteen. He had worked two jobs to pay his way through college. He started JW Security with one client, however, one became ten, ten became a hundred, and soon he was the leading company for cybersecurity. He always spent the holidays alone, but this year he was looking forward to spending it with Alice and her friends. 

“Hello, ladies,” he sang.

“JASPER, IT IS SNOWING!” Noelle screamed.

“I know sweetie. Would you ladies like to go play in it?” Jasper asked.

“YEAH!” Noelle yelled jumping up and down.

Noelle was bundled up with her new snow boots, puffy jacket, scarf, hat, and matching gloves. Her eyes were sparkling with excitement. They made their way outside and Noelle just stood and looked up to the falling snow. 

“Let’s go to the park,” Jasper urged. He knew it would be a great spot for Noelle to enjoy her first snow. Jasper and Alice kept a tight grip on Noelle’s hands while walking carefully on the snow-covered sidewalk until they reached the park.

“Go have fun, but keep us in sight,” Alice instructed as they released their grips on her hands. 

“Okay,” Noelle chirped, then turned and took off running. She loved the feel of the snow on her face. It was so magical and she just knew that this was going to be what it took to have her daddy to become unlost. Running over to the tree that was in the middle of the park, its branches already becoming heavy with snow, she giggled because it reminded her of an ice cream cone. Looking back, she saw that Jasper and Alice were seated on a bench making goo-goo eyes to each other. Standing in front of the tree she took off her glove and held out her palm. As soon as a snowflake fell onto her palm she closed her eyes and began her wish.

On a magical snowflake, I have only one wish. My wish is that my daddy not to be lost anymore so he can come home to me and mommy. I miss him and so does my mommy; even though she doesn’t say it,” Noelle wished with all her heart.

Edward had been on the other side of the tree when he heard the angelic voice of a child. Stepping closer, he overheard her wish and was overwhelmed by it. What kind of man would leave a child? Walking around the tree he took a look at the child. She was bundled up, but her long reddish-brown hair hung below her hat. She turned her face towards him and looked upon his face.  When he saw her he gasped, his heart skipped a beat. It was like a dream come true.

Wishing Upon a Snowflake

Waiting for Snow

When the taxi pulled up in front of the high rise apartment building, Bella paid the driver and opened the door. As she stepped out, taking a look around,she noticed that it was so much different than their home in California. She had always been a southern Cali girl, but the offer had been too good to pass up and Bella wanted the best for her little girl.

“Mom,” Noelle said tugging on her hand. “Is it going to snow?”

“It feels like it,” Bella said. 

“Excuse me, ma’am, let me help you with your luggage,” the doorman said standing next to her with a luggage cart.

“Thank you,” Bella replied.

The doorman loaded all their bags and began pushing the heavy cart towards the door. Once inside the warm foyer, he asked “Are you visiting for Christmas?”

“No, we are new tenants moving in,” Bella explained.

“Doctor Swan?” He asked.

“Yes, how did you know?” Bella was surprised he knew who she was.

“The movers were in a few hours ago. I am Peter.”

“Hello Peter, I am Bella and this is Noelle,” Bella introduced.

“Glad to meet you. Come let’s get you up to your apartment.”

Once they were all in the elevator, Peter pushed the button and it began its ascent to the top. When Bella had agreed to take the position, she began her search for the right apartment for her and Noelle. She had been Bella’s number one thought in every decision since the first moment she found out that she was pregnant. God what a surprise that had been, she remembered as she unconsciously grasped her necklace and ran her thumb over the top of it.

Bella had just finished her residency and her best friends talked her into going to St. Barts to celebrate. She had already been offered a position at UCLA Medical Center as a pediatric neurologist and she had worked hard to get to this point in her life. Knowing that this may be the only time she would get to relax before starting at her new position, she took the opportunity to spend some down time with her friends.  Once they arrived at the resort and they all began to unwind. 

She had been Rosalie Hale’s roommate in college, where both were pre-med. They studied their asses off and both were accepted to UCLA Medical School. On their first day of classes, they were joined by a massive teddy bear of a man from Tennessee, Emmett McCarty. At first, Rose detested him, but over time his southern drawl and over the top personality won her heart. They moved in together and at the beginning of their last year in medical school they married in a small ceremony on the beach. 

The week at St. Bart’s went by too quickly and it was their last night on the island. Bella convinced Rose and Emmett to spend it alone.

“Are you sure?” Rose asked.

“Yes,” Bella urged. “I will have a quiet dinner and maybe take a walk on the beach.”

“Alright,” Rose gave in. “But be careful.”

“Yes, momma,” Bella sassed.

Later on, Bella was dressed in a lovely teal blue sundress, that showed off the tan that she had gotten during the week. Deciding to leave her hair down, she brushed it until the soft waves fell over her delicate shoulders. She didn’t need any makeup, other than a soft application of mascara to accentuate her already long lashes. The only jewelry she wore was a simple gold swan necklace, with her initials on the back. She had found it at a little boutique down the street from her condo in LA. Slipping on her sandals, picking up her small purse, she headed out the door. The temperature had cooled considerably from the heat of the day, with the breeze blowing off the ocean. Walking down the path, she reached the restaurant that she had fallen in love with during the week. However, when she reached the door she noticed it was packed and there were people waiting to be seated. 

“Well, shit,” she grumbled.

“They are busy tonight,” a silky voice said behind her.

She turned and her heart stopped. Standing before had to be the sexiest man that ever walked the earth. He was tall, with coppery colored hair, that she desired to run her fingers through.  He had the greenest eyes, which reminded her of emeralds, and a body made for sin. He was dressed in a white long sleeve shirt, with the sleeves rolled up to his elbows, a pair of khaki pants that hung low on his hips, and a pair of loafers. Damn.

“They are and I really wanted their pineapple chicken,” Bella said.

“Edward,” the hostess called out.

“That is me,” he said then decided to take a chance. “Would you like to join me?”

“Really?” Bella asked in total shock.

“Yes,” he replied and held out his hand to her.

“My name is Bella,” she said as she began reaching for his hand without even giving it a second thought. When their hands touched an electric charge radiated between them. “Wow.”

“Yeah, wow,” Edward said. “It is a pleasure to meet you, Bella.”

Not dropping their hands, they followed the hostess to their table. It was a small table for two on the edge of the dining space, next to a large palm tree. They sat side by side, their knees touching each other under the table.

“It is beautiful,” Bella said, looking around and then up to the star-filled sky. 

Edward couldn’t believe he was sitting next to this goddess. He really didn’t have a lot of experience with women, being too busy with school, then beginning his career. This trip was a gift from his parents, who wanted him to enjoy life. “Not as lovely as you are.”

Bella blushed as she stared into Edward’s piercing green eyes. “Thank you.”

“Hello, my name is Juan, can I get you something to drink?”

Bella and Edward broke out of the trance that they were in. “Yes, I will have the rhum vanille.”

“Is it good?” Edward asked Bella.

“Oh, my God, yes,” Bella exclaimed.

“I will have the same,” Edward told Juan.

“Excellent,” Juan said turning to get the couple’s drink. A few minutes later two tall glasses were placed before them. 

Edward took a tentative sip and found that Bella had been correct. “God, this is so fucking good.”

Bella giggled hearing Edward cuss. She began drinking her drink and before she knew it, it was gone. Looking around for Juan, she caught his eye, raise her glass and held up two fingers. “I figured you would want another,” she told Edward.

“I do,” he confirmed and finished his as well.

Juan came back with two more glasses. “Are you ready to order?”

“Yes, we both would like the pineapple chicken,” Edward ordered then looked at Bella and gave her a wink.

Fuck, could he be any sexier? Bella was so attracted to this man. They talked about St. Barts and what they have done during their time here. Bella didn’t want to reveal a lot of personal information about herself. Over the years she had run into a few men that once they found out she was a doctor, were only interested in her for the potential money she would be making. 

Edward also didn’t want to reveal too much about himself. His family was well known and once he said his last name, it wasn’t about him. He was having too good of a time to ruin it.

Dinner came and so did glass after glass of rhum vanille. By the time they were finished eating, they were both drunk off their asses. After a fight about who was going to pay for dinner, even though it was more like foreplay, Edward whipped out his black credit card and won the battle. Leaving Juan an insanely generous tip and getting directions to the nearest liquor store, so they could get more rhum vanille. Taking each other’s hand again, they staggered to the store, purchasing several bottles, and headed to Edward’s cottage. Bella didn’t want to intrude on Rose and Emmett’s time, but she did send them a text telling them she was fine but was staying out much longer. Rose sent a text back telling her to have hot dirty sex and that she wanted all the deets when she got back.

Edward unlocked his door and they walked into the room. It was similar to hers but nicer. “Nice,” she whistled.

Putting the bottles on the counter, Edward opened up one of them and pour two glasses. Handing one to Bella, he lifted his. “To the sexiest woman I have ever had the pleasure to meet.”

Bella clinked her glass to his. “Fuck, Edward, you are sex on legs.”

They both downed their drinks and placed their glasses on the bar. Edward wanted her so badly. Taking a step towards her and reached out to her, while she closed the remaining distance. Their lips crashed into each other, allowing the building passion to erupt into fiery passion. When Edward licked her bottom lip with his tongue to gain entrance, Bella opened immediately, their tongues wrestling for dominance. All too soon, they had to break apart, allowing themselves to take deep jagged breaths. 

“I want,” he moaned in her ear as he placed kisses behind it.

“Take me,” Bella murmured placing her hands around his neck and grabbing his silky hair, pulling it hard.

“Damn, I need to be inside of you,” he growled overcome by the pleasure of her hands in his hair. It hurt, but a pleasurable fucking hurt. Leaning down he placed his arms under legs and picked her up. Walking her to his bedroom and once there he placed her back on her feet. “Bella, I want you to know that I never do this, but there is something about you that I can’t resist.”

“The same for me,” Bella confirmed. She reached down and picked up the hem of the dress and pulled it over her head. Standing before him now only in a tiny white lace thong. 

“FUCK ME!” Edward yelled taking in the view before him. Her flawless, sun-kissed body was nothing less than perfection. Damn, where had he been when she was sunbathing in the nude because she had no tan lines. Why hadn’t he seen her earlier in the week? Reaching out to touch her, but she raised up a finger and wagged it at him with a smirk on her face.

“Strip,” she commanded.

“FUCK!” Edward groaned.

“As soon as you strip out of those clothes, I have every intention of making you forget your name,” Bella bragged. Being a woman in a still male-dominant world, she had to grow a set of balls and learned to speak her mind. Now it was this fuck-hot man in bed having the wildest unbanded sex possible. 

Edward’s hand shook as he tried to unbutton his shirt, after several attempts he said fuck it and ripped it open, sending buttons flying all over the room. Kicking off his shoes, he then unzipped his pants, pulling them and his underwear down to the floor. He was now standing before her, completely naked his cock hard erect and weeping. Smiling back at her and pointing at her barely-there panties. “Take them off or I will rip them off you.”

Bella loved the idea of him ripping off her panties. “Go for it stud.”

“Lay on the bed,” he commanded with a crooked smile.

She brought her bottom lip between her teeth and bit down. Just when she didn’t think he could be even sexier, he becomes aggressive, which was a huge turn-on for her. Complying to his command, she steps over to the bed, crawls to the middle, then turns to lie on her back. Leaning up and steadying herself on her elbows, she watched as Edward stalked towards her. Holy Fuck!

Edward steadied his heart and nerves before he stepped forward to the bed. How could this goddess not be married? Picking up her left leg, he began to place sweet kisses, starting at her delicate ankle and continued up her leg until he reached her upper thigh. Never in his life had he tasted someone so delicious and her aroma was intoxicating. He didn’t know if he could stand much more because his poor cock was in excruciating pain, waiting to be encompassed by her heat. “I need you,” he moaned.

“Take me, I’m yours,” she sighed meaning every word.

Edward moved over her pushing her back onto the bed while the tip of his cock brushed up her wet lips. “I’m clean, just had my yearly series of tests last month and I haven’t been with someone in a very long time,” he confessed.

Bella reached up and placed her hand on his cheek. “I am also clean and am on the shot. It has been over a year since I was with someone.”

“Fucking idiots,” he said, wondering in which part of the country was so stupid not to want to be with this woman. Leaning down he captured her lips in a hot, needy kiss and just as he plunged his tongue into her mouth, he thrust forward embedding his balls deep into her pussy. Holy Mother of God, she was tight. Breaking from the kiss he cried out. “God you feel so fucking good.”

“Edward, please,” she begged.

He looked concerned. “Am I hurting you?”

“NO! I need you to move,” Bella cried. 

Edward smirked and obeyed her command. Starting out with slow, deep thrusts, but soon picked up speed and strength. At one point, she shifted her hips, causing him to dive even deeper into her hot depth. Reaching down between them he began to rub her nub, causing her to lean her head back and let out a long moan. “I need you to come.”

“I am so close.”

Thrusting again and as he pulled back he took her nub in between his fingers and pinched hard as he rammed into her once again.

Bella screamed out in pleasure and a white-hot orgasm pulsated through her. It felt like her soul broke free from her body and joined with Edward’s. Never in her entire sexual life had she ever experienced anything like this.

Edward felt Bella’s orgasm pulsate in her pussy, gripping harder on his cock, causing his own orgasm to start shooting long streams of cum deep inside of her. There were no words to describe the feeling. Hell, he should have been a poet. Coming down from his high, he rolled off her yet pulled her close to his chest as he collapsed, breathing hard as if he ran a marathon. “I think you tried to kill me.”

“I could say the same about you, ” she wheezed. The room was quiet, the only sound was of their breathing and soon they fell off to sleep.

They woke two more times during the night to make love again. The sun shined through the window onto Bella’s face. Forcing herself to open her eyes, she looked around and wondered for a moment where she was. However, the night’s activities and Edward came flooding back. Damn it was the best sex of her life. Looking at her Fitbit, she jumped up. Fuck, she had to be at the airport in less than an hour. Getting out of the bed, she found her dress and pulled it over her head. Walking around the room looking for her thong, but didn’t find it. Oh well, she would just have to make the walk of shame without it. Seeing her shoes by the door, she went towards them but stepped on something. Bending down she found that it was one of the buttons from Edward’s shirt. Wanting a little reminder of the night, she decided to keep it. Putting on her shoes, she looked back towards the bed. Edward was so fucking sexy as he slept and as much as she wanted to wake him she didn’t know what she would say. Glancing to the right she saw a small desk with paper and pen on it. Sitting down she wrote him a note as she rubbed her necklace and a thought came to her.

Edward,

I couldn’t leave without telling you how much I enjoyed last night. The memory of our time together will stay with me forever. I wish I could stay, but my flight leaves soon. I am leaving you my swan necklace and my wish is that when you look at it, that you will remember me. We will always have last night and our love for rhum vanille. 

Bella

She placed the note and necklace on the end table next to Edward and placed a feather-light kiss on his forehead. God, she wanted to crawl back into bed and snuggle back up against his muscular chest. Then she felt it, tears were running down her face. What the fuck? She was astonished because she never cried. Wiping away the tears, she walked out of the room and rushed back to her room. As soon as she walked in, Rose began to say something but she saw the look on Bella’s face and knew that this was a conversation to be held at a later date. 

They made their plane and Bella remained silent the entire trip back. A few days later she opened up to Rose and told her about the magical night she had had with Edward. Rose asked if they exchanged phone numbers or addresses.

“No, I only know him as Edward and I didn’t give him my last name, ” Bella murmured willing herself not to cry once again. She held the button that she took and rubbing it gave her a sense of attachment to Edward.’

“What do you have?” Rose asked pointing towards Bella’s hand.

Bella looked down at the button and sighed. “It is Edward’s button.”

“You ripped off a button off his shirt?” Rose questioned at the bizarre answer.

Bella’s face bloomed into a bright shade of pink. “No, but we were in a hurry to get his shirt off.”

“Damn girl,” Rose giggled. She reached out and took Bella’s hand, giving a squeeze. “Why don’t we break out my jewelry making supplies and make something more permanent for it.”

Hours later, the prize button was encased in acrylic attached to a sterling silver base and matching chain. Bella placed it around her neck and hummed with approval. 

The months passed by and Bella was extremely busy with her new job. The hours were long and stressful, but every time she saw a smile on a child’s face when they began to feel better, she knew it was all worth it.

She had just finished a long day at work and was walking down the hall when all of the sudden the world began to spin. Then out of the blue everything went black.

“Bella, wake up,” Rose implored dabbing a cool cloth to her forehead.

“Where am I?” Bella asked groggily. 

“One of the exam rooms. You passed out in the hall,” Rose advised. “We are running blood work to see if there are any answers to why you fainted.”

Bella tried to sit up, but once again her head began to swim and she laid back down. “I am fine.”

“Well you are not going to die, but I did find a little something,” Emmett laughed as he walked in with papers in his hand. He was a high-risk obstetrician, while his lovely wife was a neonatal pediatrician. They were a team at work and in life. He couldn’t believe what he had found in Bella’s blood. He thought of Bella as a sister he had never had and this news was going to be a shock to her.

Bella worriedly looked at Emmett. “What did you find?”

Rose looked at her husband cautiously, concerned about the health of her best friend. Emmett walked over and stood beside her. Leaning down he whispered in her ear. “She is fine but will need our support more than ever.”

“Emmett,” Bella pleaded.

Emmett took her hand and smiled. “As I said, you aren’t dying, hell you are not even sick, but you are going to be a mommy.”

Bella’s mouth fell open. She didn’t just hear that word. There was no way she could be pregnant, she was on the shot and she hadn’t been with anyone except Edward. “It can’t be.”

“Excuse me, you know that I am the omnipotent pussy doctor,” Emmett declared with a chuckle. Rose and Bella had come up with the name as a joke for Emmett. In his profession, it was very uncommon to see a man of his size. 

Rose elbowed him in the ribs. “You can’t make jokes at a time like this. Bella are you okay.”

Bella opened and closed her mouth several times. She really didn’t know what to say. Being a mother wasn’t something she had thought about. Concentration on her training and career had been the only thing that she thought about. She couldn’t be a mother, she didn’t know how and she didn’t know how to tell the father. Rubbing her necklace, she thought of Edward. Would he be excited or mad with the news? 

Rose laid her hand on Bella’s arm. “We will be with you every step of the way.”

“I don’t know how,” Bella said.

“Neither do any first-time mothers, but I have a feeling that you will be a great mother,” Emmett said meaning every word. “Now let’s take a look at the little spider monkey and see when your due date is.”

Emmett walked out and got the sonogram machine. Rose helped Bella pull up her top and applied the warm gel on her belly. Emmett took the wand and began to roll it around her stomach. Suddenly the room filled with the sound of a rapid heartbeat, then on the screen appeared the baby. Emmett did his measurements and calculated the date. It helped that Bella knew the date of conception. “The baby is perfect, just like its mother and I put the due date on December twenty-eighth.”

“Oh, Bella a Christmas baby, how special,” Rose cooed.

Bella stared at the screen and at that moment she fell in love. She was going to a mother and this child was going to be her number one priority. The months flew by and it was the night before Christmas. Rose, Emmett, and Bella were sitting around the tree looking at the blinking lights. The house was ready for the new addition. Emmett had gone overboard on decorating the nursery, but after it was completed Bella had to admit that it turned out like a child’s dream. 

“Merry Christmas,” Bella said. “I have been given the best present ever and that is the love of friends.”

“We do love you and can’t wait to see this little bundle of joy,” Rose said with tears in her eyes. 

“Did you decide on a nanny?” Emmett asked. As much as Bella would have loved to stay at home, she did have to work and she didn’t want to leave her child in a daycare center day in and day out. A nanny was a solution that they came up with. 

“Yes. I feel that Alice is perfect,” Bella answered. “She is so full of life and has outstanding references.”

“She sure is a spitfire,” Emmett said.

Bella was feeling tired and decided to head to bed. Once in her room, she wrote a new entry in keeping with her daily entries in her journal. She started journaling once she found out about the baby as a diary that one day she would give to her child. She had decided that once the child got to the age to understand, she would tell them about their father and the connection that she felt even though they were only together that one lovely night.

She changed into her nightgown and climbed into bed. Looking out her window at the clear December night, with stars shining brightly. “Merry Christmas, Edward. The only wish I make tonight is that we will see each other once again,” she said out loud. Closing her eyes she went off to sleep, dreaming of being in Edward’s arms once again.

It was a little after three when she felt something wet in her bed. Turning on the light, sitting up, she found that her water had broken. “HOLY SHIT!” She screamed.

A few moments later, Emmett came running into the room. “Bella, are you okay?”

“My water broke,” she cried.

Emmett was shocked, but he remained calm. Babies didn’t come when you told them to, they had their own schedule. “Are you having any pains?”

“I don’t think so, but there is a dull pain in my back,” Bella replied. 

At this point, Rose rushed into the room and went directly over to Bella. “Alright, Rose why don’t you help Bella get cleaned up, while I change her bed and call the hospital. I might have to induce to get the show started since your water has broken.”

An hour later, Bella was in her birthing suite, with Rose and Emmett by her side. Emmett was monitoring her stats, while Rose was coaching her breathing through the contractions. She had come in not having any, but then quickly went to contractions that were two-minutes apart. They were sharp and there wasn’t much time between them for her to rest. 

Two hours later, she was fully dilated and ready to push. Emmett was gowned, as well as Rose, who would be checking the baby as soon as it was delivered. 

“Alright Bella, on the next contraction I want you to push as hard as you can,” Emmett instructed from his position between her legs. Rose helped Bella up and as the pain started she bore down and pushed with all her might. This continued for the next hour and her energy was running low. 

“Come on Bella, I need one more big push,” Emmett commanded. He knew she was tired, but they were close. 

“I can’t,” she groaned.

“You are the strongest person I know, now give me one more push,” Emmett said.

Rose wiped her brow and held her up. “Come on, I want to see my Godchild.”

Bella smiled at her friend, pulling every ounce of energy that she had left and pushed with all her might. 

The head had been born and as he turned the shoulders emerged. “Stop pushing,” Emmett instructed, then the little bundle of joy came all the way out. Wrapping it in a blanket, he cleaned its mouth and it let out a strong cry. The nurse beside him clipped the cord and Emmett stood up and carried the baby to Bella.

“Congratulations momma, it is a little girl,” Emmett gushed with tears in his eyes as he laid the baby on her chest.

Bella was tired, but seeing her daughter for the first time gave her a burst of energy. “Hello, Noelle, I am your mommy.”

Knowing that babies’ eyes change color, she still examined Noelle’s  eyes and saw they were the color of her father’s. She also had his nose and full lips. She was the most beautiful baby in the entire world. 

Rose came up beside her. “I have to take her for just a little bit, but I promise to bring her right back.”

Bella hated giving her up, but in her heart, she knew that this was for the best for Noelle. Rose carefully carried her over to the table and did her checks and Noelle was perfect. She took her back to Bella and placed her in her arms. “She is perfect. Now, are you going to tell us her full name.”

“Emmett, Rose, I would like you to meet your goddaughter, Noelle Edelle Swan,” Bella announced. 

Bella took Noelle home and began their life together. Alice moved in and fell in love with the little one. The next three years passed by quickly but was filled with love and happiness. Noelle was a special angel who loved her momma, Auntie Rose, Uncle Emmett, and Auntie Alice. However, she wondered where her daddy was and why he wasn’t around. She had asked her momma and she told her that he was lost.

“Can we go find him?” Noelle asked.

“It would take a miracle to find him, sweetie. However, I know he would love you as much as I do,” Bella explained hoping this would make her feel better.

Noelle thought about and wondered what she could do to make a miracle happen. One night Alice read her a story about how miracles come true if you wish upon a snowflake. But it never snowed here. She needed to go where it snowed, but how?

Rose and Emmett were offered a position at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. At first, they were going to decline, not wanting to leave Bella and Noelle. However, Bella told them that the positions were too good to pass up. They were ready to start their own family and these jobs would be perfect for them to do so. With heavy hearts, they accepted and moved. Noelle still got to say her goodnights to them, using the facetime on the iPadthat her Uncle Emmett had gotten her. 

A year later, Bella was offered the position as Head of the Pediatric Neurology Department at New York-Presbyterian. She had never lived anywhere other than California, but there was nothing tying her to California. Her main priority was to take care of Noelle. With the salary they were offering, she would be stupid not to take the position, plus they would be with Rose and Emmett again. 

Bella first thought that Noelle would be upset about moving, however the only question she asked was if it ever snowed there. After telling her yes, she was ready to go immediately. Even Alice was excited about the move. Bella rubbed her necklace and looked out at the night sky on their last night in California. This had become a ritual where she would talk to Edward and tell him what was happening in their lives. Tonight as she spoke, a warm breeze blew around her almost like a soft caress. For the first time in a long time, she felt Edward”s warmth and she didn’t know what it meant.

“Dr. Swan, we are here,” Peter the doorman said as the doors opened. “There are four units on each floor.”

“I remember that. I was lucky that this unit came up for sale, my best friends own unit three,” Bella said.

“That is wonderful. Unit two is owned by Mr. Whitlock and unit one is Dr. Cullen,” Peter informed her.

Bella looked at each door, but for some reason, her eyes remained longer on door one. It was like something was pulling her towards the door. Weird.

Shaking her head to clear it, she walked to her  door and unlocked it walking in. It was bigger than the pictures and she loved all the windows. Noelle ran in and over to the windows. “Mamma, look at all the buildings.”

Bella came up behind her and kneeled down beside her. “It sure is big.”

“Yeah, do you think it will snow?” Noelle asked.

“I don’t know sweetheart, but it sure is cold enough,” Bella answered.

“Not today, Miss Noelle, but the weather forecasters are saying it should snow on Wednesday,” Peter informed.

“That is two days before my birthday,” Noelle said. “I will be five on Christmas Day,” she proclaimed proudly. 

“Yes, she was a wonderful Christmas gift,” Bella said with a large smile on her face. 

“I bet. I must get back to the door, but if you need anything please let us know,” Peter said as he walked out the door. 

“When is Auntie Alice getting here?” Noelle asked.

“Later tonight, but Aunt Rose and Uncle Emmett should be getting home soon,” Bella told her. Noelle had been excited to see them in person and was even more excited to learn that they would be living next door. “Alright, let’s go see your room.”

They went through the apartment and went into the second bedroom down the hall. The first was going to Alice’s and Bella had the master bedroom on the end. “Looky mommy I have a big window.”

“You do. Do you like your room?”

“Oh yes, it is so pretty,” she said as she twirled around with her arms opened wide. 

“Great, let’s start putting away our clothes and we will need to go to the store to buy some groceries,” Bella said.

“Okay, mommy,” Noelle answered. “I’m a big girl, I know where to put my clothes.”

An hour later, they were back in their coats, hats, gloves and they were off to find a store to buy some groceries. Peter told them where the store was and offered them a small cart to place their bags in. Bella thanked him, took Noelle’s hand and headed down the sidewalk. Two blocks away was a park with a large Christmas tree in the middle of it loaded with twinkling lights. Bella made a mental note to bring Noelle back when the sun went down. They found the store and purchased what they would need for the next few days. Bella would come back when Alice was here to watch Noelle and stock up her kitchen. She loved to cook and bake, however, there was limited time for her to do so with work and Noelle.

They made it back to the apartment and Bella put away her groceries. Noelle ran off to her room to unpack some of her toys. There was a knock at the door, Bella looked out the peephole and broke out a large smile. Opening the door, she was attacked with hugs from Rose and Emmett. 

“Bella, it is so good so see you,” Rose cried.

“Oh Rose, I have missed you so much,” Bella replied.

“Where is my girl?” Emmett asked looking around the apartment.

“Back in her room,” Bella answered. “Go surprise her.”

Emmett took off down the hall and a few moments later, Bella and Rose heard Noelle burst out in laughter. They came bounding down the hall, Noelle slung over Emmett’s massive shoulder. 

“Look what I found,” Emmett boomed.

“Put her down you big goofball,” Rose commanded. 

Emmett put Noelle down and soon as he did, Noelle took off and jumped into Rose’s open arms. “Auntie Rose, I’ve missed you.”

“Oh sweet girl, I have missed you,” Rose cried. Finally pulling back, Rose took a good look at her. “You have gotten so big.”

“I know, I will be five in a few days. Have you bought my presents yet?” Noelle asked.

“Noelle Edelle Swan, you don’t ask that,” Bella scowled.

“Sorry, mommy,” Noelle murmured.

“Bella, why don’t we let Emmett take Noelle out for some bonding time, while we start unpacking?” Rose urged.

“Can we mommy?” Noelle asked, her green eyes sparkling brightly. They had only gotten brighter after her birth. They were the exact same color as her father’s.

“Yes, can we mommy?” Emmett pleaded as he stuck out his bottom lip.

“Okay, but she needs to eat,” Bella instructed.

“Great. Come on Noelle, I know the best place to get your favorite,” Emmett said.

“PIZZA?” She asked.

“You bet,” Emmett answered as he picked up her jacket and helped her in it. 

They went out the door, with Noelle chatting away about how she had to get a coat because it was so cold here. 

“God she has grown so much,” Rose said.

“I know. It was only yesterday she was still in diapers,” Bella remembered.

“Are you ready to get started at your new job?” Rose asked as she began unpacking boxes in the kitchen. 

“I think so. I have to go in on Wednesday to fill out paperwork and get my ID and keys,” Bella answered.

“When is Alice getting in?”

“Later this evening. I don’t start until January second unless there is an emergency case,” Bella explained.

“You are going to love everyone on the peds team. They are a fantastic group of doctors. You will be working closely with the peds surgery head. Oh my god, he is very talented and has a huge heart. You wouldn’t know that his father was the Mayor,” Rose explained.

“Mayor? Of New York?” Bella questioned with a shocked look on her face.

“Yes. However, Ed doesn’t act stuffy and doesn’t like the publicity. He lives in unit one.”

“Oh, Dr. Cullen?”

“Yeah, that is him. And I know you don’t care about it, but the man is sex on legs,” Rose exclaimed waving her hand in front of her face.

Bella didn’t care about his looks, only that he was a good doctor. Her heart still belonged to Edward and she hadn’t looked at another man. Rose had tried to get her to go out, but Bella was adamant. 

Rose didn’t bring it back up and changed the topic. She told Bella about the man who lived in the other unit on the floor. “His name is Jasper Whitlock. He is the CEO of a cybersecurity company.” 

“Jasper? What kind of name is that?” Bella asked.

“He is from Texas and has a thick southern drawl,” Rose answered. “He is really nice but quiet.”

A few hours later, Emmett came back with a sleeping Noelle in his arms. After placing her in her bed for the rest of her nap, Emmett came out and helped with the unpacking. When they were done, they broke the boxes down and Emmett took them down to the trash. 

They were all tired, so they decided to just order in for dinner. Instead of sitting in the dining room, they all sat on the floor in the living room enjoying Chinese food. Bella was still trying to get used to the cold and was thankful for the fireplace. As they were finishing up, Alice finally arrived. She was tired and cold but excited to see everyone. Bella showed her to her room and Noelle followed her chatting away about her day so far.

“How about we go out and get you a tree?” Emmett asked.

Bella thought about it. She was tired, but it would be nice to get it today. She could decorate it tomorrow while Rose and Emmett worked. “Sounds good. I am sure Noelle will love it.”

“What will I love?” Noelle chirped, skipping down the hall holding Alice’s hand.

“We are going to pick out our Christmas tree,” Bella explained.

“YEAH!” Noelle yelled jumping up and down. “Are you coming with us, Auntie Alice?”

“Of course,” she replied. Bella was so glad that she had chosen Alice to be their nanny. There was no doubt that she loved Noelle with all her heart and would protect her with her life.

“Bundle up because baby it’s cold outside,” Emmett sang off-key.

“Uncle Emmett, please don’t hurt my ears,” Noelle said covering her ears.

Emmett jumped up and ran over to Noelle picked her up, lifted her sweater and blew raspberries on her tummy. “Who is the best singer?” Emmett asked with a threatening look in his blue eyes. Leaning back again to her tummy, Noelle yelled out.

“You are, you are!!” She yelled in between her laughs.

Emmett placed her back on the floor and kissed the top of the head. “I knew I could make you admit the truth.”

After getting all bundled up, they were waiting for the elevator. At that moment, Jasper walked out of his apartment. “Jasper come meet our family,” Emmett said.

Jasper was tall, lean, with dark brown hair, a goatee, and golden amber eyes. He had an air of mystery. He strolled over to us and smiled.

“This is Dr. Isabella Swan, her daughter, and our goddaughter, Noelle,” Emmett introduced.

Jasper strolled over and offered his hand to Bella. “It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance,” he said as he shook her hand.

“Please call me Bella,” she implored.

“Bella.” Then he dropped down on one knee to Noelle. “I am honored to be around such a lovely young lady such as yourself, Miss Noelle.”

Noelle giggled and did a little curtsey. She had never met a stranger. Remembering how princesses acted towards a knight on one knee. “Thank you, Sir.”

Jasper was immediately taken with the child. She had an aurora that was the brightest he had ever seen. Joy, love, and peace emulated from her. Glancing away from her cherub face, his heart jumped. There, beside the charming child, was a woman who seemed like a dream.  A dream that he had dreamt for years. She was petite, long dark hair, and ocean blue eyes. Her face was worthy of a portrait in the Louvre for the world to see, but would have to earn the right to see, feel, and worship her every moment of the day. He had been searching and waiting for the day that he would meet the woman who called to his soul and this goddess was her. Jasper leaned closer to Noelle and whispered. “Who is that?”

Noelle looked up at Alice. She had a funny look on her face like she was looking at a puppy in the window. “That is Aunt Alice. She takes care of me when my mommy has to work. She tells the best stories and makes the goodest cookies.”

“Do you think she would be my queen?” Jasper asked with a smile.

Noelle looked up at Alice and then back to Jasper. He was Alice’s knight, like all the stories she had told her.

“Do you have a glass slipper or a shiny necklace?”

Jasper patted his pockets and grinned. “Not on me, but maybe you can introduce me and I will make sure I have them at our next meeting.”

“Okay. Auntie Alice this is Sir Jasper, your knight. He hasn’t got his armor, because it is at the cleaners,” Noelle announced.

Alice didn’t know what was wrong with her, no man had made her feel this way ever. Her childhood had scarred her from looking or feeling anything for a man. The pain was with her every day, knowing that no man would want her damaged body and bruised soul. However, this man with his serene good looks and comforting smile caused her to pause. It was like his existence was wrapping itself around her hurt soul and healing it.

Jasper stood, bowed to Alice taking her hand and bringing it to his lips, placing a soft kiss on her knuckles. “Mistress Alice, I am overwhelmed by your presence.”

Alice’s cheeks bloomed into a bright shade of pink and her heart raced. “Good day kind, Sir.”

Noelle watched them with a huge smile. She always knew that Aunt Alice was a secret princess. 

“Jasper, man, stop slobbering over Alice’s hand. We are on a mission to find the perfect Christmas tree for Noelle,” Emmett laughed.

Noelle walked over to Emmett and slapped his leg. “Shh.”

Bella had been watching the interaction between Jasper and Alice. They were all shocked because they knew Alice’s life story and over the years had seen how she shied away from men. But not this total stranger. Leaning towards Rose. “Is he a good guy?”

“Yes. He is polite, helpful, and killer humor. Jasper,  Ed, and Emmett have a standing men’s night out. Emmett says that women are basically dropping their panties at both Jasper and Ed, however, neither of them ever look their way.”

“Wow,” Bella exclaimed as she looked at the couple again. “Maybe this was meant to be.”

The elevator finally arrived and everyone loaded in, even Jasper. He had offered Alice his arm and her hand currently rested on it. They weren’t talking, but they couldn’t take their eyes off each other.

Once outside, Emmett held Noelle’s hand as they walked down the block towards the tree stand. Bella was freezing, she had never felt wind this cold before. “It is freezing.”

Rose chuckled. “It is going to get worse.”

“What?” Bella gasped.

“You will be okay. We will go shopping for your winter wear,” Rose promised.

“Still have the shopping habit?”

“Shh. Don’t let Emmett hear you say that.”

Noelle had to look at every tree before she decided on the most perfect tree. Bella paid for the tree but before they left, Noelle asked the salesman if he thought it was going to snow soon. He smiled and said that his knee had been hurting, which meant that it was going to snow. Noelle gave him a hug and thanked him.

“What is up with Noelle and snow?” Rose asked.

“I have no clue,” Bella answered.

Emmett and Jasper lugged the large tree back to the apartment. While the men set the tree in the tree stand, the girls made hot chocolate. Rose ran next door and brought over the cookies she had baked yesterday.

“I knocked on Ed’s door, but he wasn’t home,” Rose said carrying the tray of cookies to the living room.

“He had to go to his parent’s Christmas party,” Emmett said from under the tree. “He was dreading it for weeks.”

“Why?” Bella asked.

“Because his dad wants him to quit being a doctor and take over the family business,” Rose explained.

“His dad is the Mayor, right?” Bella questioned.

“Yes, but the Cullens own CC Pharmaceutical,” Rose explained.

“Damn,” Bella gasped.

Noelle ran over and held out her hand. Bella walked to her purse and took out a five-dollar bill and gave it to Noelle. Taking the money, Noelle ran over to a large dog-shaped cookie jar and placed the money in it.

“How much does she have?” Rose asked.

“You know me, so about a thousand dollars.”

“What is she going to do with the money?”

“I’m buying Christmas gifts for the sick kids at the hospital,” Noelle proclaimed.

Bella didn’t think she could love her child any more than she did, but hearing how selfless she was made her love her more. She was so proud of her little girl.

“Why don’t we go shopping on Wednesday when your Mommie has to work?” Alice asked. 

“Yeah!!” Noelle yelled.

“Would you like some help?” Jasper asked peering from underneath the branches. He was amazed by Noelle’s willingness to buy presents for sick children. Bella had been teaching Noelle how to be a good compassionate human being. That was what the world needed more of.

Alice smiled and blushed. “That would be very nice, Jasper.”

After Emmett and Jasper finished attaching the tree to the stand and watering it, they sat around drinking the hot chocolate and cookies. Bella enjoyed just sitting back and listening to everyone talking and laughing. She didn’t realize how much she missed being around her friends. Rubbing her necklace, she wondered if Edward had friends like this and if he was happy.

The next day Noelle and Alice helped Bella decorate the tree. When they finished, the tree and apartment were decorated with reindeer and snowmen, Noelle’s favorite. After Noelle was put to bed, Alice left to go out with Jasper. He was going to show her around the city and take in all its beautiful holiday decorations. 

Bella opened the liquor cabinet and got out a bottle of rhum vanille. Pouring a tumbler full, she went over and sat in front of the fireplace. As she enjoyed her drink, her mind drifted to Edward once again. The rhum vanille took her back to that night where she lost her heart but gained the greatest gift of all. Finishing the drink, Bella got up and looked out the window at the city lights. “I miss you,” she murmured and rubbed her necklace.