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Caught in the Flames

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As always, none of this is mine. I’m just the perv who want to make our beloved Twilight characters swear, drink, and go at it like horny rabbits. This story will be a combination of love, suspense, some violence and steamy, sweaty sex.

Many of you asked if I was going to do a sequel, but Fireward and Graphic Designerella – their story has been told. I did promise an outtake for their third child, with Leah as a surrogate. I don’t like to renege on my promises, so here is the outtake/future-take of Leah’s second pregnancy and Edward and Bella’s third child. What will they have?

You’re Having a Baby: A Caught in the Flames Future-Take

“Momma, do you think Aunt Leah is going to have a boy or a girl?” asked Marie. She was looking at the ultrasound photo that her father had given her, trying to make sense of the blurry, grainy image in front of her.

“I don’t care what Aunt Leah has, just so long as the baby is healthy,” Bella replied, crouching down in front of her oldest daughter. The rest of the family were working on dismantling the barbeque from Emmett’s promotion and Edward and Bella’s good news. After they were done, Amelia and Marie were going home with Nana and Papa for some grandparent spoiling while Edward and Bella celebrated their anniversary and newest addition. “What do you want, sweetheart?”

“A boy,” Marie nodded. “Daddy is surrounded by too many girls.”

“And this is a bad thing?” Edward scoffed, rolling the grill back into the firehouse’s garage. “I have three of the most beautiful girls as my dates, permanently!” He scooped up Amelia, kissing her cheeks. She squealed, squirming in his arms.

“Daddy! That tickles!” Amelia said, blowing a raspberry on his nose. Edward barked out a laugh, setting down his youngest daughter onto the ground. She tore off, hiding behind her mother, Edward’s wife for ten years and peaking behind her legs.

Leah Clearwater was Bella’s stepsister and surrogate mother to Amelia and the newest addition growing in her belly. In an act of devotion and love, Leah offered her womb to Bella and Edward when they wanted to grow their family. Bella had suffered from a difficult pregnancy with Marie, aggravated from a messy miscarriage due to her ex-boyfriend who had used her as a punching bag. As a result, Bella had a hysterectomy to save her life. Obviously, her life was spared but her body had paid the unbearable price. She could never bare children, naturally, again.

Amelia Grace Cullen was born happy and healthy. Now, through the grace of God, Leah was expecting again. Bella’s fertilized eggs were implanted into Leah and hopefully, another happy and healthy baby would be born. Secretly, Bella hoped that it was a boy. Edward took all of the pink and frilliness in stride, but she knew her husband would adore to have a mini-me to share that father/son bond. Marie was a total daddy’s girl and Amelia was attached to Bella, but it wasn’t the same as the bond that Emmett shared with his little boy, Tristan.

“Okay, Cullens, I think we can go,” Edward said, looking around the firehouse. “I know that the house will be happy that we put away all of the picnic stuff.” He shot a look at his heavily pregnant sister. “Nice of you to help, Alice.”

“Shut up, Edward. My ankles are the size of my thighs,” Alice barked, massaging her feet. “And I got a headache.”

Edward arched a brow, walking over to his sister. Jasper was working with Charlie to take down the banner strung across the top of the firehouse. Carlisle and Esme were walking back to the driveway, having put away the food from the barbeque. Edward crouched down in front of Alice and took her pulse. “How long have you had this headache and swelling?”

“I’m fine, Dr. Cullen,” she said, pulling his hand away from her wrist. “I’m giving birth to twins. My body is going to be a little wonky.”

“I’m worried about a lot wonky. You could be experiencing preeclampsia, Alice,” Edward said, frowning deeply. “When was your last doctor’s appointment?”

“Edward, you’re not a gynecologist,” Alice pouted.

“I’m not, but even a first year resident can recognize the symptoms to preeclampsia,” Edward said, shooting a look at Jasper. He had gotten down off the ladder. “We should take her to the hospital. Get a blood pressure …”

“I’ll take her,” Jasper said, helping Alice to her feet. “You go home with your wife and celebrate your anniversary.”

“Jasper, I’m fine,” Alice huffed.

“And I’m a Wookie,” Jasper snickered, guiding Alice to the car. “Be prepared for the last three months of your pregnancy to be on bedrest, Mary Alice.”

“Kill me now,” Alice wailed as Jasper closed the door. Jasper waved, hopping into the car and driving to Northwestern Memorial, where he was an attending physician.

“Marie and Amelia, let’s go,” Carlisle called, opening his arms to his granddaughters. They skipped over to him, hugging him tightly and they were placed inside of their SUV. Edward and Bella gave them sweet kisses, vowing to pick them up the following morning to go to Brookfield Zoo.

Edward and Bella drove back to their brownstone. Together, they celebrated their anniversary and good news. They made love, kissing and caressing each other’s bodies. After they came together, they curled up in their arms. Edward ran his fingers down Bella’s silken skin. “Today has been …” Edward trailed off.

“Amazing,” she breathed. “First, the news about Emmett. Did you know about him taking the test?”

“He came over and studied a few times while you were out with Esme and Alice, shopping for Alice’s twins,” Edward explained, nuzzling Bella’s soft, curly locks. “However, I didn’t know he had actually taken the test.” He tightened his arms around Bella’s lithe, sexy body. “And what did you think about Leah’s news?”

“I can’t believe that we’re going to be parents again, Edward,” Bella whispered in the darkness. “I was afraid that it wouldn’t take.” She frowned, threading her fingers through her husband’s. Even though they had two healthy children, both biologically theirs, Bella felt like a failure as a woman because she couldn’t carry her own babies to term. She worked with a therapist for several years. It helped with her feelings of failure, but there were still moments where she hated what had happened to her.

“What’s with this face?” Edward asked, running his finger down the furrow between her brows.

“I’m overwhelmingly happy that Leah is expecting again, but I still feel like …”

“Don’t even finish that statement, Isabella Marie Cullen,” Edward said, pulling her over his lap and cupping her heart-shaped face in his warm, soft hands. “I know what you’re thinking.”

“Are you a mind reader?” Bella quipped.

“When it comes to you, yes,” Edward replied. “I know that you’re beating yourself up over what happened when you had Marie. Bella, you are not less of a woman. You are an amazing mother. Marie and Amelia are perfect, wonderful little girls. They adore you. Amelia is lucky that she has two women who love her. Our newest baby will be just as lucky.”

Bella sighed, threading her fingers into his soft hair. “These feelings are going to be something that I’m going to struggle with all of my life, Edward. We’re lucky that Leah offered her body to us. She went above and beyond the call of duty. I don’t know what we’d do without her.”

“We probably would have adopted children. Regardless, they would have been loved,” Edward murmured, kissing her soft, sweet lips. “Now, I want to show you how much I love you. We very rarely get any time alone.”

Bella smiled against his mouth, feeling his arousal grow between them. “Quite the recovery time, Dr. Cullen,” Bella cooed.

“When I have the most gorgeous woman in my arms, there’s no question,” Edward purred, maneuvering his wife over his hardness. They made love again, falling asleep in a tangle of naked limbs. The next morning, Edward made Bella breakfast in bed, spoiling her with all of her favorites before they took a shared shower before they drove over to Carlisle and Esme’s to take their girls to the zoo.

The rest of the weekend went by quickly. Leah was no longer a Chicago firefighter. She retired, officially. They all celebrated her retirement at Charlie and Sue’s townhouse in Glenview. They also talked about Leah’s pregnancy. Leah was going to spend the duration of her pregnancy in Edward and Bella’s brownstone, just like she had when she was pregnant with Amelia. It worked out with Amelia’s pregnancy. Leah had broken up with her long-time girlfriend and moved out of their shared apartment. Now, she was staying with Seth and his wife, but she was anxious to move out into her own place. Living with Bella and Edward was a stepping stone to her freedom.

Besides, Edward gave the best foot massages. And being pregnant, with fat, unhappy ankles, Leah lived for those massages.

xx CITF xx

“You know where everything is,” Bella said as she helped Leah hang her clothes in the closet a couple of weeks after Edward and Bella’s anniversary. “Anything we have is yours. You know that.”

“Just so long as you keep Cherry Garcia in the freezer and cans of anchovies in the pantry, I’m a happy camper,” Leah snickered, sitting on the bench in front of her bed.

“Anchovies?” Bella replied, wrinkling her nose. “I hope you are not mixing those together.”

“I have strange cravings, but that’s too much for me,” Leah laughed. “Have you decided on whether you’re going to find out what junior’s gender is going to be?”

“We’ve got some time, Leah,” Bella said, smirking at her sister. “You’re not even showing yet.”

Leah snorted, raising her shirt to display her unbuttoned jeans. Her normally flat stomach was rounded. “This one is popping out sooner. I think it’s because I already had one,” Leah said, rubbing her belly. Bella walked over, asking with her eyes to touch Leah’s stomach. “Bella, your child is only renting my uterus. I don’t want you to feel like you have to ask every time if you want to touch my stomach. I love you and I love your family. I wouldn’t do this for just anyone, Bella.”

“I know, but I don’t want to presume,” Bella said, pressing her hand to Leah’s belly. She gasped, wishing she could care for her own baby. The memories of Marie’s pregnancy were distant, but happy ones. “What does it feel like?”

“Right now, I feel bloated and horny,” Leah shrugged. “My BOB is getting a workout.”

“You have a battery operated boyfriend?” Bella asked, smirking.

“A battery operated bitch,” Leah replied. “I need a girlfriend. These empty orgasms are just so …”

“Empty?” Bella retorted.

“Exactly,” Leah sighed, flopping back on the bed. “Do you know any attractive, sexy, single women who are interested in a knocked up surrogate mom, shacking up with the parents of the baby she’s carrying?”

“I don’t know anyone, but I’ll help you find someone,” Bella said. “Come on. It sounds like your stomach is about to eat itself. Let’s get you fed and then we need to pick up Marie and Amelia from school. Edward has a shift at the hospital after his day at the office. We can have a girl’s night in.”

“We can watch Disney movies until we puke. Or we could visit Alice. She’s been miserable being on bed rest,” Leah retorted, arching a brow. “That’s my idea of a hot Friday night.” Tapping her finger to her lips, she smiled crookedly. “At least, I’m not working tonight. Seth and Claire have to hold down the fort at Clear Waters along with Garrett.”

“He hasn’t been stiffing your tips, lately?” Bella asked as they walked up the stairs to the kitchen. Bella worked easily to make them some late lunch.

“He never was, but I like to give him shit,” Leah snickered.

They spent the afternoon talking before getting into Bella’s SUV to pick up Marie and Amelia from school. After making a few calls, they picked up some pizza, garlic bread, soda and several pints of Cherry Garcia before invading Alice’s house. Jasper let them in before darting out to his overnight shift at the hospital. Alice was set up in the family room, her sketches from her spring/summer design strewn everywhere. Despite her forced confinement, Alice looked like a model for maternity clothes and her makeup was perfectly put on.

“Thank you for coming,” Alice sang, putting her sketch book onto the cocktail table. “I love my Jazzy, but he’s such a hoverer and a worrier.”

“He has every right to be,” Bella said, putting the pizza on their kitchen counter and making dishes for her two daughters. “Eat in here, okay? You know how Aunt Alice is about her rugs.”

“Forget it,” Alice laughed. “With me being stuck on this couch or in bed, I’ve spilled more than I care to admit. Come give Auntie Alice some kisses, girls!”

Marie and Amelia tenderly kissed Alice, sitting next to her and prattling on about school. After that, they went and ate their meals in the kitchen while Bella and Leah sat down to talk to Alice. “What did the doctor say?” Leah pressed.

“Well, I’m on bed rest for the remainder of my pregnancy. My brother, the nosy, know-it-all that he is was right about me having preeclampsia. Jasper was kicking his ass for not recognizing it, but he was pulling double shifts so he could take time off after the babies are born,” Alice said, rubbing her huge belly.

“Jasper is your husband, not your doctor,” Bella murmured, taking Alice’s hand. “He should be focusing on you, his wife, not the patient.”

“He still feels guilty,” Alice shrugged. “I had been experiencing headaches and feet swelling for a couple of weeks. But, he was barely coherent when he was home since he worked himself to the bone. I don’t blame him, really. I’m grateful that Edward said something, but … it is what it is.”

“Do you know what you’re having?” Leah asked, smirking.

“There are so few surprises in this world. We decided to not find out. It was still a shocker when the doctor told us that we were having two!” Alice laughed. “We have an adorable jungle themed nursery for the two of them. Edward and Emmett helped hang the wallpaper border last weekend.”

“Well, I can’t wait to meet my nieces or nephews,” Bella said, squeezing Alice’s hand.

“Me neither. Though, being able to do normal things like go to the bathroom unassisted or not having my husband watch me like a hawk when I’m taking a shower would equally as welcome,” Alice snorted. “I don’t mind Jasper joining me in the shower for naked fun time, but his penetrating gaze, making sure I don’t pass out is disconcerting!”

“If Edward tries to pull that shit, I’m moving out,” Leah snorted. “I’m pushing out a kid for you, but that is a line I don’t want to cross. I mean, yes, Edward has seen all of this, but ewww …”

“He’s equally as scarred, Leah,” Bella laughed. “He sees you as a sister.”

“Well, he’s not getting all up in my business with this birth. Yes, he’s a doctor and a good one, but he ain’t delivering his own child,” Leah snickered. “I do have my dignity.”

“Not while you’re pregnant,” Alice sighed wistfully. “So many doctors, nurses and nurse practitioners have seen my hoo-ha. I feel strangely violated. It’ll be a long, long time before I want to have sex with Jazzy. And that says something. Jasper has the most perfect cock.”

“Yeah, I wouldn’t know anything about that,” Leah snickered. “Okay, once, but it was painful and gross.”

“Marie and Amelia, go downstairs to play Wii,” Bella shouted to her daughters. They were still innocent and did not need to hear about Alice or Leah’s sexual history. Thankfully, the girls bounded down to the basement to play on Jasper’s Wii. “Sorry, little ears.”

“The filter disappears when I’m pregnant, Bells,” Leah said, shooting a wicked grin to her. “You know this.”

“Yes, I do,” Bella deadpanned.

“You slept with a man?” Alice squeaked.

“One time. It was one time,” Leah sighed. “It was shortly after my father’s death. I was feeling sorry for myself and I went to a local bar to drink my troubles away. On top of my dad’s death, my then girlfriend had broken up with me because I was depressed. Well, duh. My dad just died, bitch. Anyway, I ordered a beer and chatted with the bartender. He had recently inherited the bar from his own deceased father, trying to find a way to make it work. We talked for most of the night and at the end of the evening, David, the bartender, invited me up to his apartment, which was above said bar. I wasn’t drunk, neither was he, but the next thing I knew, we were kissing on his leather sofa. We both wanted to feel, I guess. He knew I was a lesbian, but it didn’t really stop him or me from making out with each other.

“Anyway, one thing led to another and he took me to his bedroom. He spent almost an hour with his tongue between my legs. That was fucking pleasure. If all men loved to lick pussy like David, I might consider turning straight, but no dice. I tried to return the favor but dicks are so unattractive. He understood and kissed me fervently as he reached for a condom. Sliding it on, he positioned himself between my legs and pushed in. I’d been with girls with a strap on, so I wasn’t unaccustomed to the feeling, but it was different than a vibrating piece of plastic. Plus, he was bigger than any of the dildos I’d been with. We fucked and I felt conflicted. I had liked it, but I still liked girls much more.

“Regardless, he stayed in Chicago for about a month. He became my clit buddy. He loved to lick my pussy and I loved getting my pussy licked by him. We never had sex again, but he thoroughly enjoyed tongue fucking me. He sold the bar and moved back to New York or New Jersey. We’re Facebook friends. I mean, his tongue was in my twat for the better part of a month,” Leah chuckled. “He’s married to a woman and has three kids, a dog and a Volvo.”

“Don’t be hating on the Volvo,” Bella laughed. “It’s a solid car!”

“And that was your one foray in straight sex?” Alice asked.

“Yep. I mean, David was hot and very tender, but since I was a ‘technical’ virgin, it still hurt,” Leah said. “Like I said, if I could find a man like him who loved to lick pussy … hmmm.

“Good thing you and Edward never, um, well, you know,” Bella blushed.

“I had my suspicious about your hubby. He seems like an unselfish lover and always wanted to make sure his woman would experience earth shattering orgasms,” Leah giggled. “He loves to lick?”

“Oh, yeah,” Bella beamed, remembering their anniversary. He could have given David a run for his money with the time he spent feasting on Bella’s needy sex.

“Okay, let’s stop talking about sex and tongue fucking because Alice is not getting any,” Alice wailed. “Not that I feel sexy, anyway. I’m a house.”

“Knowing you, you’ll bounce back to your slender, twig-like physique in a day,” Bella snorted. “I still haven’t lost all the baby weight from Marie and I gave birth to her ten years ago!”

“Whatevs, Bella. You’re gorgeous,” Leah said, hugging her sister to her side. “Now, I want to enjoy my Friday off and watch some movies and gorge myself on Cherry Garcia. Alice, do you have any anchovies?”

xx CITF xx

It was early December. Leah was waiting with Edward in the reception area of her gynecologist. Bella was coming from a business meeting. It was the twentieth week of their baby’s gestation. The possibility of finding out of whether or not the baby was a boy or a girl was weighing heavily on all of their minds. Edward wanted to know. Bella wanted to be surprised and Leah just wanted more anchovies. “Bella needs to get here soon. I’ve got to pee,” Leah hissed, rubbing her growing stomach.

“She just texted. She’s parking now,” Edward snickered. “There was an accident on Lake Shore Drive.”

Leah nodded, shifting in her seat. “Do you think Bella is going to want to find out if the baby is a boy or a girl?” she asked.

“She’s adamant on being surprised. My sister convinced her of that,” Edward said, flipping through a magazine. “I want to know so I can paint the walls of the nursery either blue or pink.”

“There’s nothing wrong with green or yellow,” Leah said. “My favorite color is hunter green.”

“I’m just such a planner. I never used to be, but …” Edward sighed. “Whatever Bella decides, I’ll go with her.”

“Well, I think the baby’s a boy,” Leah said, patting her belly. “My mom said that I’m carrying low, which is usually an indicator that the baby is a boy. With Amelia, my baby belly was up around my ribs.”

Bella breezed into the waiting room, looking frazzled. “I’m so sorry. The roads were slick and some idiot decided to cross five lanes of traffic on Lake Shore Drive, causing a huge accident. Emmett says hi, by the way. Firehouse 18 was one of the first on the scene and he let me slip by so I could get to this appointment.” She sat down, hugging Leah and kissing her husband. “Have they called you back yet?”

“We were waiting for you,” Leah said, squeezing Bella’s hand. They waited a few more minutes before the nurse called the three of them back. Leah was weighed and she peed into a cup before walking into the examination room. The nurse asked a few questions, took her blood pressure and left, presumably to get the doctor. “So are we finding out if this little peanut is a boy or a girl, Bella?”

“I don’t know,” Bella said, looking at Leah’s stomach. “I want to know, but on the other hand, I don’t.”

“Do you have names picked out?” Leah asked.

“For a girl, we’re leaning toward Elizabeth or Carlie,” Edward answered. “For a boy, Ethan or Jackson.”

“Carlie?” Leah snorted.

“It’s a combination of Carlisle and Charlie,” Bella said. “And Elizabeth is Edward’s grandmother’s name. The boy’s names were more difficult to come by, but these were the only two that we agreed on. I was partial to naming our son after his father …”

“I was adamantly against it,” Edward retorted, wrapping his arm around his wife’s waist.

“I love your name, baby,” Bella cooed, kissing his jaw. “It’s so regal.” Edward rolled his eyes, kissing Bella’s temple.

The doctor, an older woman named Dr. Leuschen, came in. “How is everyone?” she asked, smiling brightly.

“So far, so good,” Leah answered. “I’m getting bigger by the day.”

“I see that. You’ve gained almost ten pounds since your last visit, Leah,” Dr. Leuschen said, reading her chart. “Any nausea?”

“Not really,” Leah shrugged. “I’m tired and horny, but that’s to be expected.”

Dr. Leuschen chuckled. “How are you enjoying retirement?”

“Not having to run into burning buildings? It’s awesome,” Leah sang. “I mean, I loved my job, but I’m not getting any younger. You know?”

“Well, let’s take a look,” Dr. Leuschen said, helping Leah to lay back on the table. She ran her hands over Leah’s belly, feeling the location of the baby. “Everything feels fine. I’m a little concerned about your weight gain, but since this is your second pregnancy, everything tends to happen faster.”

“So, does that mean I’ll lose weight faster?” Leah asked, waggling her brows.

“That might take a little longer,” Dr. Leuschen snickered. “Let me get the ultrasound machine. Do you want to know what you’re having?”

“We’ll let you know,” Bella replied. Dr. Leuschen left the examination room. Bella looked at her sister and her husband. “I still don’t want to know. I hope you don’t hate me.”

“Bella, I don’t hate you,” Edward murmured, kissing his wife. “I’m just anxious to know, but if you want to wait, we’ll wait until Leah gives birth.”

“I still want to know,” Leah frowned. “I promise to keep my mouth shut. Maybe Dr. Leuschen can write down the gender and put it into a sealed envelope.”

“That seems like a logical compromise,” Edward nodded.

Dr. Leuschen came back in with the ultrasound machine with a petite blonde nurse. The nurse looked at Leah, blushing slightly. Leah responded in kind, holding her hands over her rounded belly. “Johanna, can you get the gel? I forgot to grab it from the supply closet.”

“Of course, Dr. Leuschen,” Johanna said, her voice soft and raspy. Leah watched Johanna as she slipped out of the room. Bella elbowed Edward, nodding at Leah. Edward threaded his fingers with Bella’s as Johanna came back with the gel, handing it to the doctor.

“Thank you, Johanna,” Dr. Leuschen said, squirting the gel onto Leah’s stomach. “So, have you come to a decision about the baby’s gender?”

“We don’t want to know,” Bella said, gesturing to her and Edward. “Leah does want to know. Write down what the gender is on a piece of paper, giving it to her after you find out what the baby is.” Dr. Leuschen nodded, turning on the ultrasound and pressing the transducer to Leah’s belly. The sound of the baby’s heartbeat filled the examination room. Bella gripped Edward’s hand, tears filling her eyes.

“Nice strong heartbeat,” Dr. Leuschen smiled. She turned the screen to them. “Here’s the spine, skull, heartbeat and hands. Everything looks on point for the baby’s point in development.” She printed out a few pictures before turning the screen away from Edward and Bella. She wrote down something on a piece of paper, handing it to Johanna. “You look great, the baby looks great and I don’t want to see you for another month. Johanna will give you the information you wanted, Leah. Have a great Christmas and I’ll see you next year.”

Johanna wiped the gel from Leah’s stomach, smiling at her sweetly. Bella and Edward couldn’t help but notice their interaction. Covering her stomach, Leah got up. Edward and Bella walked to the reception desk, giving Johanna and Leah a chance to speak.

“Here’s the envelope with the baby’s gender, Ms. Clearwater,” Johanna said, handing her a small white envelope.

“Please, call me Leah.”

“Leah,” Johanna blushed. “I read your file. What you’re doing for the Cullen’s is so amazing.”

“Bella is my sister and they wanted to have more babies,” Leah explained. “I love them both and being able to do this for them, I would do it again in a heartbeat.” Smiling sheepishly, she shrugged. “Okay, this is the last time, but I was more than willing to give them this gift.”

“Not many would do this,” Johanna said.

“Look, I may be shooting from the hip, but are you attracted to me?” Leah asked. “Heaven knows I think you’re something else.”

Johanna looked up at Leah, taken back by her beauty and her bluntness. “I am, but you’re a patient. I can’t …”

“Dr. Leuschen,” Leah called, gently tapping her doctor on the shoulder. “Is Johanna your normal nurse?”

“Not usually. My nurse, Molly, had a sick child and called in today,” Dr. Leuschen said. She ran her hand over Leah’s shoulder, ducking into her office.

“I may be a patient, but it’s unlikely we’ll be in this situation again,” Leah smirked. “Would you like to go out for dinner?”

Johanna bit her lip, a warm flush covering her pale skin. Blinking up at Leah, she nodded. “I’d like that.” She took the envelope, jotting down her phone number on it. “Call me. I’m available most nights. I do some work at Northwestern Memorial in the labor and delivery ward when Dr. Girani is on call. But, he’s on vacation until next week.”

“How about we go out on Friday?” Leah suggested, picking up Johanna’s hand and kissing her knuckles. “I’ll call you tonight.” With a grin, Leah breezed out to reception to make an appointment for a month from now. She clung to the envelope that held the gender of Edward and Bella’s baby for two reasons. One – because it held the information about the child she was carrying. Two – on that envelope was the phone number of the woman who may change Leah’s life forever.

A couple of days after that fateful appointment, Leah and Johanna went out for dinner. Something just clicked with them. Leah had a much stronger personality, but it was tempered by Johanna’s quiet confidence and snarky comebacks. As they were getting ready to go to the movie, Johanna’s cell phone rang. Frowning, she saw that it was the hospital. One of Dr. Girani’s patients had gone into labor. Leah’s cell phone rang a moment later. It was Bella. Alice was being admitted to the hospital and needed Leah to stay with Marie and Amelia.

“I hate that our date was cut short,” Leah said, taking Johanna’s hands. “But, you have a job to do and I’m on babysitting duty.”

“Normally, they’d just use one of the nurses at the hospital, but this patient is very high risk,” Johanna murmured, threading her fingers with Leah’s. “I had an amazing time, Leah.”

“Hmmm, me, too,” Leah purred, pulling Johanna closer. “Do you know what would make this night almost perfect?”

“Wild, raucous sex?” Johanna snickered.

“Not on the first date,” Leah snickered. “This …” She leaned forward and brushed her lips against Johanna’s. Her heart jumped and butterflies took flight in her belly. Or was that just gas? Johanna eagerly accepted Leah’s kiss, tracing her lips with her tongue. Leah threaded her fingers into Johanna’s soft curls, moaning quietly. However, the pesky need to breathe broke them apart. Leah pressed her forehead against Johanna’s. “Can I see you again?”

“I certainly hope so,” Johanna replied, taking Leah’s face in her hands.

They kissed once more and Johanna walked to her Volkswagen Beetle. With a wave, she drove to the hospital while Leah hopped a cab to Bella and Edward’s brownstone. Leah traced her lips with her fingers. “I’m going to marry her one day,” she whispered. Grinning widely, she hugged herself, happy that she found her forever.

She hoped …

xx CITF xx

Christmas came and went. The holiday was spent in Alice and Jasper’s home since they were still trying to juggle having twins. Ava and Elisa were born that same night as Leah’s date with Johanna. They were beautiful little girls, but colicky and fussy. Both Alice and Jasper were overwhelmed with their babies. Jasper took a paternity leave and was not scheduled to go back until the end of March.

New Year’s happened and everyone converged on Edward and Bella’s house for their annual New Year’s Eve party. The entire house from Firehouse 18 came over, along with their significant others and children. As midnight came, happy couples kissed and made promises of renewed love and joy. For the first time in years, Leah had someone to kiss on New Year’s Eve. It was also the first time that Leah and Johanna made love.

The baby bump made things challenging, but they took that significant step together.

On Valentine’s Day, Leah volunteered to babysit for Marie and Amelia so that Edward and Bella could have the evening together. Edward had been pulling insane hours since one of the doctors in his practice had to take a leave of absence due to his wife’s illness. It had made for some very tense moments in the Cullen house. Leah decided to play cupid and give her sister and her husband the night off to bring back the romance. Heaven knows that in a couple of months, their lives were going to change with the birth of their third child.

Leah arranged for a spa day for both Bella and Alice and made reservations at their favorite restaurant, a tiny Italian place near Lincoln Park. She even made a hotel reservation for Bella and Edward. They’d done so much for her. Now, she was repaying them in kind. Besides, Johanna was working at the hospital. They were going to celebrate Valentine’s Day the following weekend with a trip to the chalet where Edward and Bella got married.

Upon their return from the spa, Alice helped Bella get dressed for her date with her husband. With a hug and a kiss on the cheek, Alice left and Leah took Marie and Amelia out to eat. Bella waited anxiously for her husband and when he came home, dressed in a black suit and red tie, she nearly exploded in happiness. He was holding a massive bouquet of roses in varying shades of red, pink and white. He walked over to her, placing the bouquet on the counter. “I’m sorry, my love,” he whispered. “I know my schedule has been hectic, but we’ve hired a new doctor to take over Dr. Zeller’s part of the practice. He’s starting next week and I’m off the rest of the week.” He plucked a rose from the bouquet. “You are exquisite, Bella. So incredibly beautiful.”

“I can say the same about you, baby,” she purred, taking the proffered flower and inhaling deeply. “I do love you in a suit.” She stood on her tiptoes, kissing his lips tenderly. “Happy Valentine’s Day, Edward.”

“Happy Valentine’s Day, my love,” Edward responded, deepening their kiss. She squeaked, gripping his lapels as his tongue slid between her lips. Nibbling on her bottom lip, he pulled back. “Now, cupid has done her magic and we’re going out to eat and spending some much-needed alone time, Mrs. Cullen.”

“What has Leah done?” Bella asked, snickering.

“We have reservations at Il Sogno and then we’re spending the night at this bed and breakfast overlooking the lake in Evanston,” Edward said. “Leah sent me all of the information. Suffice it to say, we will be reconnecting as much as possible, my beloved wife.”

“So, clothing optional?” Bella giggled.

“Exactly,” Edward sang, helping her into the car. He drove to Il Sogno, using the valet to park the car. They shared a delicious meal and much-needed conversation. After their espresso, Edward drove them to the bed and breakfast in Evanston that Leah rented for them for the evening. Edward paid for their room, following the proprietor to the top floor with an elegant king-sized bed and romantic candles lit all around. Edward tossed his keys onto the dresser, enfolding his wife in an embrace. “It’s been too long since I’ve been inside of my wife.”

“I wonder why?” Bella cooed, rolling her body against Edward’s. He growled lowly, unbuttoning her coat and letting it fall into a heap on the floor. His hands moved slowly up her bare arms, reveling in their softness. Edward’s lips took purchase behind Bella’s ear, suckling and teasing her skin. “Fuck, Edward. That feels so good.”

“Hmmm, that’s what we’re going to do, Mrs. Cullen. You’re going to fuck Edward,” he chuckled, his fingers unzipping her black dress. It loosened and he slid the wool fabric down her body to reveal the most delectable red lingerie set. It enhanced Bella’s beauty, making her look more gorgeous. She turned around and tugged at his tie, wanting to feel his skin against hers. They kissed passionately as Edward’s suit joined Bella’s dress on the floor. She straddled his waist as he sat on the bed, his hand cupping and massaging her bare ass.

He loved when his wife wore a thong.

And the garters were just enough to put him over the edge.

“I need you, my Bella,” Edward whispered, rolling them so she was on her back. He looked down at his wife, panting and pleading for more. Kissing her deeply, he plunged his tongue into her mouth as he made quick work of her red bra. Picking her up, he moved Bella so she was against the pillows. Edward’s mouth moved down her heaving chest, wrapping around her pink, puckered nipple.

“Oh, shit,” Bella breathed, her head falling back against the pillows. His hands glided over her smooth skin, teasing her and making her more aroused. Sliding his fingertips along her thighs, he spread her legs apart and cupped her sex, shocked at how wet she was. The satin between her thighs was soaked with her arousal.

“All for me, Mrs. Cullen?” Edward asked, nipping at her breast.

“Yes,” she whimpered, bucking her hips against his hand. Pulling her panties aside, he rubbed his hand through her slick folds. She was drenched and desperate for release. Edward kissed her lips hard before moving so he was between her legs, his face right in front of her soaked, needy pussy. Tugging the panties aside, he plunged his tongue inside of her body, tasting her sweet, tangy core. Bella arched off the bed, screaming silently as she clenched her fingers on the bedspread. Edward kept his eyes on his wife as his tongue plundered in her pussy. She was writhing, bucking and grinding her sex against his face. He reveled in it. It had been too long since he’d feasted on her succulent nectar.

Never again, he thought to himself. Even though they were both successful professionals, parents and members of the community, they had to keep and maintain their relationship.

Adding two fingers to her soaked core, Edward pumped his hand in and out of his wife’s body. She was moving with him, trying to take him deeper. With a shudder, Bella’s body exploded with pleasure and her release coated Edward’s hand and tongue. He eagerly lapped up all she had to offer, keeping his mouth on her until her body calmed to sporadic twitches. Pressing a kiss to her mound, Edward crawled up her body and took his wife into his arms. She kissed him, tasting her release on his mouth. “I’ve missed that,” Edward murmured, biting at her lips.

“Not as much as I missed making love to you,” Bella cooed, cupping his hardness through his boxer briefs. He let out the most delicious combination of a strangled groan and feral growl. Licking her lips, Bella pulled his underwear down his legs and gazed at his leaking erection. She wrapped her lips around his arousal.

“Bella, I’m so fucking close that if you keep doing that, I’m going to come in your mouth. I want to be inside of you, in your pussy, when I do,” Edward choked out. Bella released him with a pop, moving so she was hovering over his cock. With a smirk, she took him inside, coming almost immediately as his hardness filled her. Edward sat up, wrapping his arms around her waist. “I love you, my Bella.”

“And I adore you, Edward,” she murmured, rolling her hips. They kissed feverishly as they made love. Edward easily slid in and out of Bella’s pussy, feeling complete for the first time in almost a month. Bella’s fingers were tangled in Edward’s hair, desperately needing to get closer to him. “So full, baby. I can never get enough of you.”

“I know, love,” Edward whispered, grunting as he thrust as deep as he could. “So tight … so fucking tight, baby.”

“Yes,” Bella moaned, plunging her tongue into Edward’s mouth. He cupped her ass, moving his hips faster. Bella’s arousal was spilling down his cock, making their movements effortless. Bella gasped as her body warmed, her orgasm building deep within her belly.

“That’s it, love. Come for me,” Edward cooed, his fingers snaking between their bodies and circling her swollen clit.

“Edward,” she whimpered, her fingernails dragging down his muscular back. “Fuck, baby!”

“I can feel your pussy clench around me, Bella. I want to feel it all,” he snarled, his hand roughly rubbing her bundle of nerves. Her head fell forward on his shoulder as her pussy pulsated with each thrust from her husband. “Shit, Bella, I’m so fucking close. Come with me. Please!”

“Harder, Edward,” she pleaded. He eagerly complied, slamming his length into her quaking and needy body. With a gasp, Bella’s orgasm zipped through her like wild fire. Her arousal gushed down Edward’s length, triggering his own release and spilling into his wife. He kept pumping until his cock softened, slipping out of her quaking pussy. “Hmmm, it has been way too long since we’ve made love.”

“You’re telling me, my sweet girl,” Edward said, his hands running up and down her back. “Now, there’s a huge Jacuzzi tub that I want to take full advantage of while we’re here. In a matter of a couple of months, our lives are going to change with the birth of our third little miracle. I want get as much time with you as possible.”

“Are you going to take a leave like you did with Amelia?” Bella asked as she got off Edward’s lap. He got up, walking them to the bathtub, which was also bathed in a romantic glow from various candles. He started the water while Bella removed her garters and thong. “Edward?”

“I’ve put in for the time, but it may not be as long as the time I had off with Amelia,” Edward replied. “Probably three weeks at most. However, I won’t be working the ER until our newest addition is at least a year. So, I’ll just be maintaining office hours and the occasional admit to the hospital. Bankers hours, essentially.” He tested the water, smiling and offering his hand to Bella. They got into the tub, snuggling in the warm, bubbling water. “What about you? What about the graphic design business with Peter?”

“He’s more than willing to take over while I’m on maternity leave,” Bella said, spinning Edward’s wedding band. “Now, what about the nursery? We have to choose a theme, Edward.”

“It would be so much easier if we knew the gender,” Edward teased. “Leah still has the results.”

“I want it to be a surprise, Edward Anthony,” Bella chided. “So, we have to go gender neutral. Circus, zoo or farm?”

“Alice did the jungle/zoo theme. We live in the city and the mere idea of a farm freaks me out,” Edward snickered. “Let’s go with the circus theme. No clowns, though. They’re creepy.”

“Agreed,” Bella laughed.

They stayed in the tub until they were wrinkled. They also planned out the baby’s nursery and making a list of everything they needed. After their bath, they clambered into bed, making love quietly and reverently before falling asleep in a tangle of limbs and post-coital bliss.

xx CITF xx

“Leah, come on! You have to tell me!” Alice wheedled. “How am I supposed to plan a baby shower when I don’t know what gender the baby is?!”

“Alice, I can’t tell you. If I tell you, then you’ll spill the beans. Just go with the theme that Edward and Bella chose for the baby’s nursery, the circus!” Leah said as she went over the books for Clear Water’s.

“But, you know! I won’t tell a soul,” Alice whined.

“No, Alice. The only other person who knows is Johanna and she ain’t saying boo,” Leah said, arching a brow. She ran her hand over her baby bump – though it was more a baby beach ball. “Alice, Edward and Bella were adamant on keeping this a secret. I’m respecting their wishes. So, use the nursery theme as the theme for the shower. Capische?”

“Yeah, yeah,” Alice said, sitting back in the leather chair in Leah’s office. “Are we cool with having it here?”

“Of course, Alice,” Leah replied. “I already have it booked on the calendar – March eighteenth from eleven in the morning until seven at night. We’re good.”

“Sorry. Even though I gave birth to Ava and Elisa, my brain is still Swiss cheese. They sucked out the brain cells,” Alice snorted. “I’m totally scatterbrained.”

“And that’s different from how you were before?” Leah teased.

“Bitch,” Alice snorted.

“And proud of it,” Leah smirked. “Look, I know you want to make this a big deal for Edward and Bella since this will most likely be their last child, but relax. It’ll all work out.”

“Okay, okay. Enough about my stressors. Tell me about your Johanna. How are things going with you?” Alice asked, waggling her brows.

“Things are amazing,” Leah breathed. “Johanna is everything I have been looking for in a girlfriend. She’s smart, funny, beautiful, and compassionate and deals with my special brand of shit.”

“Have you said that you loved each other?” Alice asked.

“Not in so many words, but I know that I do love her,” Leah murmured. “I’m afraid to say anything because every time I do, the relationship goes to hell in a handbasket. Plus, Johanna is so much younger than me. I’m thirty-five. She’s just turning twenty-eight. Why would she want to be with an old hag like me?”

“Oh, stop it. I’ve seen you two. You are destined to be together. And this negativity? Where is this coming from, Leah? You are the most self-assured woman I know,” Alice chided.

“I don’t know. It’s just that every relationship that I’ve had has fallen apart. I want that forever kind of love that you and Jasper have and like what Edward and Bella have. You know?” Leah sighed. “I want to start a family of my own. Though, Johanna, if she’s the one, can be the one to carry the baby. I’m done being pregnant.”

“You’re telling me,” Alice snorted. “It’s been almost four months and my body still hasn’t recovered from giving birth to the twins. I want my waist back and to not have to worry about peeing a little bit when I sneeze.”

“I don’t need to hear that, Alice,” Leah deadpanned.

“And don’t get me started on the chafed nipples and …”

“ALICE! Stop! I’m well aware of the travails of being pregnant and its aftermath,” Leah laughed. “Minus the chafed nipples. I did not breast feed, though I did pump for a month for Edward and Bella for Amelia.”

“Are you sure you can’t tell me what they’re having?” Alice pleaded.

“No,” Leah snorted. “Now, I’ve got to finish these orders before I man the bar. You do want the shower to go off without a hitch, right?”

“Yes, I do. Thanks, Leah,” Alice said, hugging her.

She left the office and Leah went back to ordering the necessary supplies for the bar along with a few decorations for the baby shower. As she submitted the order, she opened up her desk drawer, seeing the envelope with the baby’s gender. She never opened it. Running her fingers over the seams of the envelope, she sighed, putting it back into the drawer. Locking her computer, Leah went out to the bar and began her shift. She didn’t do much. Garrett and Seth were concerned about her slipping and falling. So, she commiserated with the patrons until her brother told her to go home.

The weeks went by and the baby shower came together. Edward and Bella didn’t want one, but since they had donated most of their baby items to Salvation Army or Goodwill, they needed to have the shower to replenish their baby needs. Clear Water’s had been transformed from a firehouse mecca to a circus extravaganza, without the chandeliers. Leah was dressed in a chic maternity wrap dress that coordinated with Bella’s outfit. In addition to the baby needs, there were many gifts that were going to be given to Leah for her selfless act of being a surrogate for Bella and Edward.

Food was served and various party games were played. The most embarrassing was guessing how big Leah’s baby bump was. Charlie won that, much to Leah’s chagrin. She had popped and Charlie’s guess was the largest of the entire group. After food and games, the presents were opened. Edward and Bella received a lot of baby clothes, toys and gender-neutral accessories to go with their nursery. Leah got several spa packages, an all-expenses paid vacation to wherever she wanted to go and a new wardrobe, courtesy of Alice. Leah was flummoxed at the generosity of her friends and family. She didn’t expect to get anything from the shower, but her sister and her husband managed to give Leah a small token of their appreciation, but nothing could ever truly thank her for what Leah was doing for them.

As Edward and Bella were loading up their SUV, Leah was sitting and nibbling on some cake. Johanna was helping Seth and Claire clean up the bar. Edward asked Seth for some help, leaving Johanna and Leah in the bar by themselves. Claire had to pick up her daughter from the babysitter. “How’s the cake?” Johanna asked.

“Best fucking cake ever,” Leah said, licking the plate. “The buttercream was delicious.”

“I can tell,” Johanna snickered. “I can just scrape off the icing for you, baby.”

“Tempting as that may be, I probably should stop. The wee one is doing somersaults in my belly from all of the sugar,” Leah snickered, massaging her stomach. “Thank you for coming, Johanna. It meant a lot to me that you were here.”

“I wouldn’t have missed it for the world, Leah,” Johanna said, sitting down next to Leah. “You mean a lot to me.” She took Leah’s hand, threading their fingers together. “I don’t know if you feel the same way, but these last few months, I’ve been so incredibly happy. I’ve had relationships in the past, but nothing compares to what I feel when I’m with you, Leah.” Johanna gulped and looked directly into Leah’s eyes. “I love you, Leah. I’m in love with you and being with you has been the most amazing thing that has ever happened to me.”

Leah’s eyes filled with tears. She had always been the one to say ‘I love you’ in all of her relationships. This was a first. “You love me?”

“With all my heart,” Johanna breathed, wiping an errant tear away from Leah’s cheek.

“I love you so much, Johanna,” Leah smiled, kissing Johanna’s lips. Their kiss quickly became heated.

“Whoa!” Edward laughed, covering his eyes.

Johanna and Leah broke apart. Leah was grinning proudly while Johanna was blushing. “Haven’t you ever seen two chicks kiss before?” Leah teased.

“Kiss, yes. You two were practically mauling each other,” Edward said, smirking. “I’ll just take this and let you two get back to your make out session.” He picked up several bags and ducked out of the bar.

“I don’t know whose redder – you or Edward?” Leah chuckled, running her fingers down Johanna’s cheeks.

“Probably me,” Johanna giggled. She kissed Leah again and bit her lip. “I have a question for you, Leah.”

“What, love?”

“Are you going to stay with Edward and Bella after the baby’s born?” Johanna asked.

“No. I need to find a place to live. I don’t want to stay with my brother and his wife,” Leah snorted.

“Well, here’s a crazy idea. My lease is almost up. My roommate is moving to Seattle and well, perhaps … um …”

“You want to move in with me?” Leah asked, smiling softly.

Johanna nodded. “We could get an apartment or perhaps a condo or even a small house,” she rambled.

“Johanna, I’d love to,” Leah smiled. “After the baby’s born, we can start looking. When is your lease up?”

“July.”

“Well, we’ve got a couple of months after this one is born,” Leah beamed. “But, I can’t wait until we’re officially moved in together. I love you, Johanna.”

“I love you more, Leah.”

xx CITF xx

“Honey, I’m home,” called Edward as he came into the house after a long day in the office. It was mid-April and sports physicals were needed for spring sports.

“Your honey is over at Alice and Jasper’s. She’s doing work on Alice’s website for her latest clothing designs,” Leah said from the kitchen, eating her usual disgusting snack of Cherry Garcia with a side of anchovies. “Marie is working on homework in her room and Amelia is playing with the girls behind you, having dinner with the Sullivans.” Leah grimaced, shifting on the chair. Her back had been hurting her for the past few days and it was progressively getting worse.

“Are you okay, Leah?” Edward asked.

“My back is hurting, but I’ll be fine,” Leah responded, popping in an anchovy. A spasm rippled along her back, causing her to groan. “Or not.”

“Leah, let’s take you to the hospital. You may be experiencing back labor,” Edward said, grabbing Leah’s coat.

“It’s probably Braxton-Hicks like I had all last week,” Leah argued, getting up from her seat. Her eyes widened when she felt a gush between her legs. “Fuck me.”

“Leah, I know you don’t swing that direction,” Edward snickered.

“My water just broke,” she squeaked. Edward looked at her and saw a puddle of amniotic fluid at Leah’s feet. However, there was blood mixed in. More blood than normal. She hissed, grabbing her stomach and fell back onto the chair.

Edward flew into action. “Leah, I know you don’t want me delivering my own child, but I think you’re further along than you think,” he said, putting in his Bluetooth headset. He picked her up, placing her on the kitchen table.

“From what I’m feeling, you might have to,” Leah screamed. “FUCK!”

Edward whipped off her yoga pants and underwear, checking to see how dilated she was. To his shock, the baby was already crowning. He dialed 911 as he sprinted up the stairs to get towels and supplies to deliver his own child. He was prattling to the operator, explaining that he was a doctor and a friend of his was having a baby in his home. They dispatched Angela and Jessica from Firehouse 18. Edward scoured his hands and looked up at Leah. “We’re doing this here, Leah. I’m sorry.”

“No, I’m sorry. I should have …” she trailed off with a groan.

“Contraction?” Edward asked. Leah nodded, in too much pain to say anything else. “Okay, on the next contraction, you’re going to have to push.”

“When was the last time you delivered a baby?” Leah snarled.

“About a week ago, in the ER. I was doing rounds in the hospital and they were short staffed. I delivered a pair of twins,” Edward said, rubbing Leah’s legs. She whimpered, another contraction taking hold. “Okay, Leah. I need you to push.”

With a guttural scream, Leah bore down, trying to stop the pain. When she gave birth to Amelia, Leah was drugged up and couldn’t feel her legs. Edward was encouraging her, but his face was set at the task at hand. Angela and Jessica came walking in, per Edward’s instructions to the dispatcher. They readied everything for the delivery of the baby. Angela sat behind Leah while Jessica called Bella to tell her that Leah was in labor on their kitchen table. Ten minutes passed and Leah had finally pushed out the head. “Hold on,” Edward commanded, sweeping his fingers inside of the baby’s mouth. He rotated the little body, giving Leah a nod. “You ready to go?”

“Yes,” she whimpered, her body exhausted and sore. Gripping Angela’s hand, Leah screamed as she pushed out the baby. It slid into Edward’s arms, squirming and crying. Leah leaned against Angela heavily, panting with exertion. Jessica clamped the umbilical cord while Edward snipped, freeing his son from Leah. As he wiped away the goop and stuff off his baby, Edward’s emotions bubbled to the surface.

“It’s a boy,” Edward breathed, tears flowing down his cheeks. “Leah, we have a son!”

“You have a son,” Leah said tiredly. “Congratulations, Daddy.”

“Come on, Edward,” Jessica murmured. “We’ll finish cleaning up Leah while you attend to your baby.” Edward nodded woodenly, carrying his baby boy to the counter in the kitchen. Using the towels, he wiped away and gave his son his first bath. He swiped a diaper from the bathroom and swaddled him in a blue blanket.

“What’s the APGAR?” Jessica asked.

“A perfect ten,” Edward answered automatically.

“Come on, Dad. We need to take him to the hospital to get him checked out,” Jessica said. “Bella will meet us there with Alice and Jasper.”

Edward followed Angela and Jessica as they rolled Leah out of their home. He sat in the back, cradling his bundle of joy, in awe of the beauty that was his son. He had a son, a little boy. He looked at the squirming bundle in his arms, grinning happily. “Hello, Jackson. I’m your daddy,” Edward murmured, leaning forward to kiss his son’s forehead.

“I’m glad you went with Jackson,” Leah quipped tiredly.

“Jackson Charles Cullen,” Edward said proudly. “Bella and I decided just last night on the final choices for names. If he would have been a girl, the name would have been Lilian Anne Cullen.”

“Jackson Charles is much better,” Leah nodded, closing her eyes.

Arriving at the hospital, Leah was rolled into a trauma room to be looked over by Dr. Leuschen. Edward was met by Bella, who eagerly took her newborn son. They went into another room so a pediatrician to check out little Jackson. He was a little small since he was delivered a couple of weeks early, but other than that, he was perfectly healthy. The pediatrician wanted to keep him overnight. Begrudgingly, Edward and Bella agreed – after the pediatrician took a photo of the new family.

Edward held Bella on his knee while she cradled Jackson in her arms. The doctor took several photos and Bella sent out a text to everyone in their family.

Jackson Charles Cullen was delivered on April 10th at 4:45 in the afternoon by Daddy! Leah and the baby are doing fine, being admitted for observation, but all is good. Love, Bella, Edward, Marie, Amelia and baby Jackson!

xx CITF xx

A couple of months after the birth of little Jackson, they were all heading to Leah and Johanna’s new home after the baby’s christening. They were having a housewarming party for Leah and Johanna and celebrating Jackson’s baptism.

Arriving at the party, Jackson was whisked away by his godmother, Kate. She coddled and cooed at the sweet boy while Edward and Bella got some food. They also wanted to see Johanna and Leah, the gracious hostesses for the party. Leah was working in the kitchen, preparing some cheese and sausage tray. Johanna was trying to balance two trays to bring out to the dining room. Edward graciously grabbed one and kissed her cheek. They ducked out of the kitchen. Leah took Bella’s hand, dragging her out to the backyard, where the kids were playing.

“What is it, Leah?” Bella asked.

“Do you think that Johanna will like this?” Leah asked, shoving a box into Bella’s hands.

“A box?” Bella quipped.

“Don’t start with me, Cullen. It’s inside the box, nitwit,” Leah growled.

Bella opened the box and saw an elegant, but understated engagement ring nestled inside. It was white gold and the profile of the ring was close to the hand. It was perfect for Johanna since she was a nurse. Having a ring that sat up on her hand would cut the gloves she wore. “You’re proposing?”

“I’d like to do it today, but I’ve had that for about a month,” Leah giggled anxiously. “I got it once we signed the paperwork for the house. You know? I know moving in is a big step, but Johanna’s my forever, Bells. I want to be with her forever. I want her to be my wife.”

“This is beautiful, Leah. Absolutely gorgeous,” Bella smiled, hugging her sister. “Johanna will love it. It’s perfectly her.”

“I was quite proud when I picked it up,” Leah beamed, taking the box back. “So, you don’t mind that I steal some of Jackson’s thunder?”

“He’s three months old, Leah. He won’t care,” Bella snickered. “Besides, this party is for you, too. Your housewarming?”

“Oh, right,” Leah laughed. “Come on. Before our significant others start worrying about us.” Leah dragged Bella back into the house.

Emmett had arrived with Tristan and his girlfriend of almost a year, Anna. This was the first time he’d brought her to a function that was more than just a small group. He was gun shy especially since what happened with Bella, Edward and Rosalie. Anna had meet all of Emmett’s friends, but in small spurts. They all loved her, thinking that she was the sweetest woman in the world and perfect for the gentle giant. She understood his trepidation and was willing to wait for him. She knew what he was capable of and lovingly helped him rediscover how to be the best man he could. What was most important was that Tristan adored Anna. That proved, right there, that she was the perfect woman for both of them.

The party was going along perfectly. Jackson was being passed around and he was taking it all in stride. He only started crying when his godfather, Garrett, held him. Apparently, Jackson didn’t like facial hair. Garrett recently grew out a goatee and scared him. Edward took his son from Garrett, feeding him a bottle and gently singing him to sleep. Placing him the pack and play, they all went outside while Jackson slept. The weather had cooled down and the party moved to the backyard of Leah and Johanna’s home. Marie, Amelia and Seth’s daughter were playing tag and running around the backyard with Johanna’s golden retriever. Ava and Elisa were on a blanket, rolling around with Jasper and Carlisle.

Leah looked around, deciding that it was the best time to ask her important question. Her friends, family and loved ones were all in the same location. She walked over to Johanna, who was chatting with Esme. “Can I borrow her for a few?” Leah asked, flashing Esme a bright smile. Esme nodded, sitting next to Alice, Charlie and Bella. Leah took Johanna to the large oak tree in their backyard. It was one of the many reasons they chose this spot. Despite being in the city, it had large trees and a suburban feel.

“What’s up, LeeLee?” Johanna asked, cupping Leah’s face.

Leah responded by kissing her. “Nothing. I just wanted to ask you something,” Leah said, taking her hands and kissing her palms.

“Couldn’t it wait until everyone was gone?” Johanna snickered.

“Not really,” Leah replied, blowing out a breath and reaching into her pocket. She clasped her hand around the tiny box that held Johanna’s ring. Hopefully. “Jo, you know I love you, right?”

“As I love you, LeeLee,” Johanna breathed.

Leah got down on one knee, holding up the now open box. “I love you so much, Johanna Elizabeth Ames. I can’t imagine you not by my side. I want to spend the rest of my life, showing you how much I love and adore you. Will you do me the honor of marrying me? Become my wife?”

“Oh, shit,” Johanna choked out. “You want to marry me?”

“The whole shebang! You in a poofy white dress, while I wear something a little more slinky,” Leah blushed. “Once I lose the rest of my baby weight.”

“You’re perfect,” Johanna admonished. “I love you regardless of what you weigh, baby.”

“You still didn’t answer my question,” Leah retorted, her heart stammering against her ribs. “Will you marry me?”

“Yes!” Johanna squealed. Leah grinned, pushing the ring onto Johanna’s hand before crashing her lips against her fiancée’s. They made out, unaware that everyone was clapping for their excellent news. Amelia and Marie ran over to their favorite aunts, hugging them tightly and pleading to be flower girls. Amelia more so than Marie.

“It’s about time my big sister decided to settle down,” Seth snickered.

“I was waiting for the perfect woman,” Leah teased, sticking her tongue out at her brother. “And I found her.”

“We all found our happily ever after,” Emmett said, squeezing Anna’s side. She smiled at him, brushing her fingers through his curly locks. “It’s no proposal, but I do love you, Anna.”

“I know you do, my sweet Emmett. I love you, too,” Anna said, kissing him tenderly.

“What a love fest!” Garrett laughed. “All we need is a unicorn and rainbows.”

“Don’t be such a snarky ass, Garrett,” Kate bellowed, smacking her husband’s shoulder. “It’s about time we had another wedding to plan. I love weddings!”

Leah rolled her eyes, walking over to Bella and Edward, her fingers intertwined with Johanna’s. Leah looked at her sister. “Will you be my best woman, Bells?”

“Do I get to wear a tux?” Bella snickered.

“If you want,” Leah laughed. “And Edward, will you stand up next to me? As a bridesmaid?”

“I’ve got a better idea,” Johanna suggested. “Edward, give Leah away. I know that don’t want to walk down the aisle alone.”

“I knew there was a reason why I asked you to marry me. You’re a fucking genius!” Leah smiled, kissing Johanna’s lips. “Will you, Edward? You’re one of my best friends and I love and respect you like no other.”

“What about Seth?” Edward asked, his voice catching in his throat.

Seth sauntered over, draping his arm over his sister’s shoulders. “I’m cool with it. As long as I get to dance with my married sister. Besides, it would be weird for her younger brother to give her away. It was Dad’s job and you and Leah share a bond similar to what we shared with our Pops.”

“I’d be honored, then,” Edward replied. “But, Seth, you get to share the first dance with Leah, after your gorgeous bride, of course.”

“One thing, Jo. If we have children … it all you,” Leah snorted. “I pushed out enough babies for this one.”

“I’m more than happy to do that,” Johanna beamed, kissing Leah’s lips. They all hugged. Leah and Johanna walked away, showing off Johanna’s ring. Edward and Bella smiled happily at their abundant love and joy.

Their family was growing by leaps and bounds with the addition of baby Jackson, Johanna and Emmett’s girlfriend, Anna. Bella smiled as she snuggled into her husband’s arms. She never had a large family before. Now, it was huge and she loved them all. But adored her husband the most. Turning her head, she kissed Edward’s lips. “I love you, Dr. Cullen. Thank you for giving me everything.”

“No, my love, it’s you who have given me everything,” Edward cooed, caressing her cheek. He brushed his lips with hers before turning back at the happy scene in front of them. It truly was a dream come true.

Fin