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Chance Hope McCarty

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Bella watched as the little boy walked around looking at the stuffed animals in her thrift store, simply called Bella's, he was probably no older than 7 years old. Seeing him nod towards a short pixie-woman who she can only assume is the boy's mother, Bella went back to reorganizing all the dusty old books a nice old lady, who was a frequent costumer, had donated.

Bella noticed the little boy walk up to her with one of the medium sized stuffed dogs clutched safely in his arms while his mom wasn't paying attention.

"Hi ma'am, my name is Jacob. How much this is?" He asked, holding out the dog at arm's length, sounding much older than he looked, and definitely much more polite than other kids his age.

"This particular dog is twenty dollars." she replied, watching his face fall. "What's wrong?" He looked up at Bella.

"I wanted to give this to my daddy for his birthday, it's in two days, but I only have five dollars." He said, clearly upset he didn't have enough money for what he thought was the perfect present.

"What about your mommy?" Bella asked, curious.

"Daddy says she went on a vacation, he doesn't know when she's coming back." He replied, looking confused. So the woman he nodded at isn't his mother, and it sounded to Bella like the boy's parents had recently gotten a divorce; it was the same line her mom gave her when her own parents split up. She smiled at him.

"I'll tell you what Jacob, just for you this puppy is exactly five dollars." His entire face lit up as if Bella just told him Santa was coming early this year, and it made her whole day better knowing she had made him so happy.

"Really?" The boy asked, Bella just nodded. She took him up to the counter and watched as he dug out a handful of coins and a few crumpled dollar bills and laid them on the counter, counting the money, he only had four dollars and seventy-nine cents, but she took it without a word; she wasn't about to dash a little boy's dreams for a couple of cents.

"Would you like this in a bag?" Bella asked, treating the boy like the adult she wished she had been treated like. He shook his head.

"It's going to be a surprise, and my daddy will see the bag and figure it out." He provided sagely. Bella nodded and helped him stuff it into his backpack. He walked out with the woman with the biggest smile she had ever seen on anyone's face while showing off the cutest set of dimples she have ever seen.

A week passed with nothing out of the ordinary, and every time she thought of the little boy who gave everything he had to buy his dad a present she smiled. Just as she was about to close up for the day, an extremely large man came in, looking around.

He had to be at least 6'6" and was built like a linebacker, in his hand was a plastic bag and Bella could barely make out the shape of what looked like a stuffed animal in it. Spotting Bella, he walked over; pulling out the stuffed animal she had given Jacob last week.

"Hey, my son said he bought this here last week. He only had a little more than four dollars and this is obviously worth more…" He trailed off, obviously not knowing what else to say.

"Yes Jacob, I remember him, he was incredibly sweet and very polite. He bought it fair and square, and I can only assume you're his father?" The bear of a man smiled when Bella complimented his son, and she instantly realized where Jacob had gotten his adorable dimples.

"This had to have been worth more than what he gave you, and thank you." He reasoned.

"Monetarily? Yes, but what he gave me was enough." The boy's dad looked at Bella in confusion, so she elaborated. "He gave me everything he had to buy something for someone else, and that's more than enough for me. Oh, and happy late birthday." She said, smiling at him. Amazed that she was able to speak so calmly to the man while she had internally been melting into a puddle of goo at the handsome man.

"At least let me do something to make it up to you, especially now that I've prevented you from closing up. I'm Emmett by the way. Emmett McCarty." He said flashing those dimples at her, and any composure she had managed to gather since I saw them the first time completely dissolved.

"Well it's nice to meet you Emmett McCarty, I'm Bella Swan. As for making it up to me, you and Jacob can come and hang out with me tomorrow, keep me company… that is if you don't already have plans." She said smiling up at him again. Internally she was screaming; Did I seriously just ask that? Where did all this confidence come from?!

"It's a date… I mean not literally… unless you… never mind, I'll just shut up now." He stuttered as a light blush appeared. Bella giggled as she wrote her number down on the back of her business card.

"That's my personal number, I thought we could go to the park or something, and if something comes up and you guys can't make it, just give me a call." I said, grinning from ear to ear.

"Will do. Thanks again, and I should probably get out of your way now…" The man said, looking reluctant to leave. Bella just giggled lightly again and jokingly shooed him from her shop. Locking up, she made my way out to the parking and drove home, feeling lighter than she has in a long time.

The next morning Bella was up bright and early as the sun seemed to shine a little brighter than all the other days. Going through her morning routine, she decided it was as good a time as ever to call her dear older brother, Peter, and catch him up on her life, the man had, after-all, been insistent the past couple of days that she called him soon. Getting dressed in her normal Sunday attire of sweats and a tank top she got to work cleaning the house while catching up with Peter through speaker.

Before she knew it noon had come and gone and it was time to get ready to go to the park. Thankfully the insane cleaning mission was a success, and she had even had time to prepare a lunch for the three of them.

"Hey bro, I'll talk to you some other time, I got to go." she said into the phone; before she could hang up the now hours long call, she heard him telling her to be safe, and to find herself a boyfriend.

Arriving at the park, her smile grew as she saw Emmett and Jacob standing at the meeting spot looking so much alike it hurt.

"Hey guys! I have lunch!" I exclaimed while lightly jogging up to them, exaggeratedly gesturing at the picnic basket in my hands. Before Bella knew what was happening Jacob was hugging her legs and saying something so fast she couldn't make out what it was. Emmett just chuckled at his son's actions, picked him up and put him on his shoulders. She watched as Jacob's hands tangled themselves into Emmett's hair to hold on.

"Thank you for inviting us Bella, you didn't have to bring lunch." Emmett said shyly.

"Well thank you for coming to keep me company." Bella smiled back. "Hopefully you guys haven't eaten yet? It would be a shame to let all this food go to waste." Emmett just shook his head no, they had not eaten yet.

The three of them scouted out a nice shaded spot and Bella started pulling out the lunch she had made; she could feel Emmett's eyes following her, as she smiled to myself.

"Do you fellas have any allergies that could be troublesome? I'd hate to accidentally hurt either of you." She asked the two guys sitting with her, the thought that they may have food restrictions occurring to her.

"I don't and papa doesn't either." Jacob answered for himself and Emmett. Bella nodded.

As Bella finished pulling out lunch she noticed both Emmett and Jacob make a face at the 'green stuff' that is a salad, Emmett ate the greens anyways, but Jacob continued staring at it as if it would give him cooties. Bella just laughed.

"Do I have to eat that? It's gross." Jacob asked, whining.

"Have you tried it before?" Bella asked him in return, the boy shook his head. "Well if you just try it we can go back to mine and make cookies in a little bit." Bella said, pausing to glance at Emmett to make sure he was okay with this change of events and she wasn't overstepping her bounds. When the man smiled and nodded at her she continued, "If you don't like it you can just leave it." Jacob nodded and tried the salad with some ranch dressing. When he chewed and swallowed his face lit up and he stabbed another forkful, munching away happily. Emmett was looking at her in amazement.

"So we're making cookies?" He asked, with a hint of laughter in his voice.

"Looks like it." She replied, just as amused.

A little while later Bella was sitting on her kitchen floor with tears streaming down her face from laughter, as Emmett looked dazed at how he too ended up looking up at the ceiling. Jacob was now covered in cookie dough from the flipped over bowl and was currently sitting on the floor licking himself. All three of them were a mess.

"How did this even happen?" Emmett asked bewildered. Bella managed to stop laughing long enough to reply.

"I think it started when I dropped that egg because you scared me, then immediately slipped and fell in it. Then you, trying to help tripped over my legs, slipped in the same egg, and in an effort to not fall brought that bowl down." She said through her laughter, pointing at the bowl in question. "Said bowl just so happen to land on Jacob's head." She finished still chuckling. Emmett just shook his head, laughter in his eyes.

"Let's clean this up and get back to those cookies." He said, getting up and holding a hand out the her to help her up.

They were having so much fun together that father and son ended up staying for dinner as well.

After the most eventful day Bella's had for a while, she walked Emmett and Jacob to their car, cursing time for passing so fast even though they had spend hours together.

"Thank you for dinner, Miss. Bella." Jacob said sweetly up to her.

"You're very welcome Jacob." Bella replied as Emmett strapped him into his car seat. With the car on and the door safely closed, Emmett turned back to her.

"Seriously, thank you for dinner... and lunch, and just a great day, it was amazing." The man said, looking relaxed but serious for the first time all day. Bella just smiled up at him.

"It's no problem, feel free to come over anytime." She said still smiling, completely serious with her offer.

"I'll be sure to take you up on that." He said, smiling back, and opened his arms out for a hug. Bella stepped into his embrace, and felt her heart skip a beat. She could feel his gaze on the top of her head, and it warmed her from the inside out.

"What?" She whispered into his chest, afraid to break whatever spell they're under.

"I didn't think it would happen this fast." He replied, causing Bella to look up at him in question. "That I would fall again so quickly." He elaborated, seeing her confusion. Bella was sure her entire face was red by now.

"I didn't think I would fall at all." She whispered back; she watched in fascination as he leaned down and softly pressed his lips to the crown of her head, she melted in his arms. Much too soon he pulled away, and Bella had to step away. A look crossed Emmett's face that told her he missed having her in his arms just as much as she already missed being in his arms. She could see Jacob curiously looking at them through the car window.

"We're going on a real date soon, just us." He stated, just daring anyone to disagree. Bella just nodded, completely agreeing. Today was fun, and Jacob is amazing, but she wanted to get to know without the censor that is required around children.

As Emmett got into his car, Bella heard Jacob ask his dad if she was going to be his new mommy, and she couldn't help but hope that she would be, even through the blush both she and Emmett sported.