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Returning to Chicago

Summary:
Following their Honeymoon, Edward and Bella return to Chicago to live in his family's home. Yet Edward and Bella aren't the only ones residing in 254 Cherry Lane--Elizabeth Masen's resides in the home and is not just welcoming Edward home, but a mysterious girl who seems to have captured her sons heart. Sequel to 1918, pre-Breaking Dawn. Now Complete. only adult for profanity when appropriate, and used sparingly.


Notes:
Following their Honeymoon, Edward and Bella move into his former home in Chicago where their are more than vampires wandering the halls, Told from the Point of View of Elizabeth Masen, with Bella in Italics. Chapter Nine, Walking Two Worlds, now updated!


6. Transylvanian Bedtime Stories

Rating 3.8/5   Word Count 2400   Review this Chapter

D: I own a suitcase full of camp clothes and a thing of bugspray. That's it. The end. Characters prop. of Stephenie Meyer

AN: Ha! I was able to cram one more chapter in before I go on my exodus to camps out of the wazoo. I'll be out of the writing world early next week so savor this chap b/c after this its iffy. Thank you all for your reviews, it really does make my day! Now remember, Lizzie and Bella switch off know and then at the ; other then that, read on noble readers, read on.

The morning light fills the bedroom, illuminating everything. My eyes open to me staring at the ceiling and I notice for the first time the light colors used to decorate. Soft greens against the walls, with white crown molding. The molding even has little carvings that remind me of a Grand Staircase on the Titanic, or some liner from long ago. I get tiered of trying to find all the tiny designs and look over to Edward, turned on his side with his hair out of place, his night shirt open slightly showing a faint glow coming from his skin as his eyes kindly smile a ‘Good Morning’ as he gazes down at me.

It should be against the laws of nature to wake up and see an angel sitting at your side. Luckily, I don’t have much regard to the laws of nature, and it by that disregard that Vampires exist.

“And how did Mrs. Edward Masen sleep?” He asked, taking a strand of my hair, playing with it casually before moving his hand lovingly against my cheek.

I close my eyes and give a smile; all things considered I slept quiet well, I think as I review the dreams. There had been no werewolves chasing me, no Charlie and caskets... “It was a good night, I was with you—“ I start to answer until I look above his ear at a picture hanging on the wall and I see her.

Even in the small frame, the smile and eyes make me remember; the heavenly haunting.

“Bella, Bella what is it?” He starts, noticing my eyes are not focused were they ought to be, in his own.

“Edward, who’s the girl in the picture?” I ask getting out of bed and walking towards it for better examination. There she is. The red headed house keeper, in black and white, standing next to what must be Edward and his parents and a tall, well built Quincy Whicker.

“The Girl?” Edward asks casually, getting out of bed to stand behind and look over my shoulders at the picture. “Well that’d be Sherrie Kelley, our Irish housemaid.”

“Did she live her?” I ask, my mind suddenly remembering with a perfect clarity the events of my tea excursion.

Edward looks at me confused but starts without any questions asked. “Well, yes and no. She lived down in the Orphanage on the southern side of the city, but the sisters would let her work her during the day. Mother often cleared it so Sherrie could stay some weekends with us; I suppose you could say she was our Foster child,” he gave a slight chuckle. “Wasn’t really a housemaid, but more a companion for mother while I was at school and father at his office.”

“And the picture, where are you all—“

“ That picture was taken when we were on a vacation at the lake, before we entered the war. Sherrie came because Edna got sick last minute and couldn’t join us...thank heavens for that, she was Edna after all,” he starts, ready to start his own series of questions.

“What happened to Sherrie?” I ask, looking at him with questioning eyes, “Did she—“

“Yes, Like I told you last night, Sherrie died in the epidemic. She didn’t suffer long, but put up a good Irish fight,” his eyes rest on me as though I’m a puzzle he’s trying to solve. “Bella,” Edward starts quietly, ‘Why do you want to know about her?”

“Edward, did I go downstairs for anything last night?” I ask, turning and looking up at him. He starts nodding, still confused. ‘ You went down for some water, and came back running up the stairs like you’d seen a monster. It must have been horrifying if you’d run to a vampire as fast as you did. What are you going at Bella?”

“Well, Um---I...”

I really did try and say, “Oh, I just thought I saw this Sherrie girl and she talked to me. Knew my name too. Don’t know how, but she did, and it took me by suprise. After all, is not everyday you meet a ghost that knows your name, or better yet make tea.” But rather I played the classic excuse,

“Oh, just saw a picture down stairs and my eyes were playing tricks on me.”

There’s no need to make him think I have suddenly lost all common sanity. I think he had been questioning it since we first went to the Meadow, no need to make him think I am completely loony.

He takes an arm and wraps it around my waist, pulling me around to face him, his cold hands cupping my face as he looks down at me with an apologetic grin. “I didn’t mean for my little ghost story to scare you,” he starts, “I’ll remember to only tell you good stories before you sleep, with little sheep running away from a girl named Bo and her friend Bambi trying to find them.”

I give a weak chuckle, “Don’t do that, I may grow into a soft pansy and then you’ll win and I’ll never become a vampire.”

His smile widens, “That’s not a bad idea—Shall we start with Bram Stoaker for tonight’s bedtime story or would you prefer darker stories from Transylvania? You’ve always struck me as perhaps an Agatha Christie fan, perhaps I’ll go through the library sometime today; there were some books mother wouldn’t let me read—”

I try punching his shoulder but as always the effect is ineffective. Instead, I give up and instead wiggle closer into his grasp as he begins humming a song so low that only the top of my hair can hear its words. “I’m only kidding Bella dear,” he smiles, “Now, you go a head and get ready for the day and I’ll fix you a breakfast—“

“Since when did you be come a chef?” I ask, raising an eyebrow as I picked up the blue night cover from the previous night and slowly stalk toward the bathroom.

“While Alice was preparing your for the wedding for weeks on end, Emmett and Jasper threw a Bachelor party for me—as well as could be done I suppose you could say. You see, the human intention’s were there but when Alice foresaw what Emmett and Jasper were planning they had to come up with different festivities...Regardless—Emmett thought It’d be amusing if my gift was a collection of films from the Food Network so I could feed you for the first few months.”

“Should I be concerned?” I ask wearily, “About the Bachelor party?” Although I knew Edward was the over the top ,sometimes annoyingly moral vampire, I was a little suprised how much I worried in regards to Emmett and his values. If they were human I’d be concerned far more then I was at that moment, but still the thoughts and images of lamp shades on heads and speed racing on deserted stretches of highway distracted my world of thoughts, even more disturbed if Alice had to intervene.

“No,” he smiled, “You should just pray that you never have to hear Emmett singing That’s Amore while wearing a hairnet, up to his shoulders in Flour while Jasper argues the pros and cons of handwashing dishes versus washing machine. That would make Alice the Wedding planner seem like a desirable situation...”

“You simply had to talk to her, didn’t you Sherrie?” I ask annoyed as I watch Edward pull out some pots and pans from the cabinets bellow. We were sitting at the table near by, the sun streaming through the lace curtains...Heaven’s, I should have changed them out with the embroidered muslin ones my sister had given me before I died, these lace and cotton ones Eddie’s mother gave simply look tacky.

“Well, in full honesty, our paths collided and it would’ve been rude to just let her walk past me without a word being exchanged....” Sherrie starts innocently, smiling in hopes that that would make her story fly past my grump interrogations; she needed more then hope for this one, she needed me to develop short term memory loss.

“Sherrie—“

“Ok, so I wanted to talk to her. Just to see if I ‘twas right---you know, ‘bout the night communications— don’t you think there has to be some connection possible?” She asks hopeful that I agree.

“Well, of course I’d like to think that was possible... but how is it that she can see me and Edward can’t? I was with him when he was,” my mind flash back to his rebellious years, the endless nights when he would look at his reflection in the mirror, staring and cursing himself and his crimson eyes, “without Carlisle and Esme—and he never noticed me. I’d be sitting right next to him and he’d show no response.”

“Well Mrs. Masen, I think there’s something different ‘bout this girl,” Sherrie explains as Bella comes down the back stairs on cue, noticing the empty tea cup she had last night and then turns smiling and bright eyed towards Edward. “She doesn’t seem ordin’ry, for the love of Ireland of course she’s not. She ‘tis married to a vampire, but there’s something special about her. Maybe she has a strange gift, like that Nickelodeon Mr. Masen was telling us he saw back when he came a couple years back—“ her voice suddenly gets eerie as she remembers Eddie’s movie review from a couple years ago’s death day, “perhaps she sees dead folk.”

Rolling my eyes I stand up, trying to clear my head “That’s absurd; I’m going to the garden...I need to think.”

‘Say what you will Mrs. Masen, you know you’re dying to try again,” Sherrie smiles, picking up some embroidery hoop she has in her apron pocket. “Try again? What on earth are you talking about Sherrie?”

“Oh you know what I be talking about Miss,” Sherrie smiles widely and deep down I do; in a few matters time I’ll see if she is as special as Sherrie assumes.

I turn to leave the room and cast my eyes back at Bella and Edward, the first eating what looks like colored beads from a bowl covered in milk—such a shame people don’t eat oatmeal anymore—They’re discussing irritable Grizzlies—Bella can’t wait to see if they are as delicious as Emmett say they are, I begin wondering whither she’s being serious or not before I wave it off as just another vampire inside joke. Perhaps Grizzly is code for small village in Siberia...or maybe they are actual grizzlies.

I look at Edward as he watches her eat and talk; his eyes are so soft, like Carmel whisks on a Sunday dessert. They are focused on every movement she makes; I have no doubt that he’s allowing his ears to echoing her every word as though they are the words of a symphony, because to him, they are.

He simply smiles through it all, as though this is the life he is content with, now that she desires so strongly to share it with him, yet it seems that her words that start with “After it happens. . .” or “When I change. . .” the corners of his mouth are pulled down, and rain clouds seem to trouble his eyes. He doesn’t want this, I realize my eyes growing wide at the discovery, He doesn’t want to have her subjected to his pain...I look again at Bella, talking happily, swinging her feet from a high bar stool the renovation crew added, as carefree as a little girl. A pale hand tucks behind her ear what had been a stray hair. She looks up and smiles at him, “I love you, you know.”

“Yes, and I cherish you,” he replies soft and warmly, bending over to kiss the top of her forehead.

“Shall we let the two hav’ their moment Mrs. Masen?” Sherrie asks, picking up her hoop and walking to my side. “Yes Sherrie, let’s go to the gardens... I need to go to the gardens...” I stammer as we go up the backstairs, leaving the two alone for their moment.

We walk in silence up the stairs, and down the hall to the stairway leading to the gardens. “Sherrie,” I begin, still walking at a slow pace up the stairs. “I have a question that I need to ask,” I start turning around to see her, walking in my shadow up the stairs.

“Ask away miss, I’ll do my best in answering,” she smiles gaily.

We enter the gardens, the sunlight hitting the glass making the garden shine like the heavens, we sit on the little bench that Edward and Bella had the night before. “It’s rather personal,” I hesitate.

“Mrs. Masen, you know me just as well as me own Mam, I have nothing personal that I doubt you already know,” she jokes, taking out her hoop from the apron and working on a little design.

I take a breath and try and imitate calmness against my anticipation, “Sherrie, If you could have gotten a letter from your parents, after they died, what would you want it to say?”

AN: And it is with this evil little cliff hanger, I leave you. As you finish reading this note, I want you all to ponder that question, and ponder it well. I’m afraid that, Like our dear Lizzie, I’m struggling with this part of the story. I’m afraid there are too many things she’d want to say, to many warnings, details, motherly advice, she’d like to pass onto her son and new daughter. So please think for yourself, then if you would, leave it in your review, and we’ll go from there. In other words, think as Lizzie, and answer as Sherrie.

As Always—Kait Hobbit