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.
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.
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.