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Welcome to Camp Cullen

Summary:
Bella takes a vacation with the Cullen's during the perfect summer after her junior year. new chapters are up, and more on the way. Thanks for reading. ")


Notes:
This story takes place during the summer between Twilight and New Moon. It is light and hopefully amusing, I was aiming to ease off the angst and portray the characters "happy". There will be some conflict, and it wouldn't be Edward without a little angst remission,so look for that in future chapters


4. Chapter 4

Rating 5/5   Word Count 923   Review this Chapter

CHAPTER FOUR

I nearly laughed out loud because my first impression of Camp Cullen was like the entrance scene in Jurassic Park where the massive gates open silently and the character says, “What exactly do they keep in there?”

Stretched overhead across the road was an arched sign of sawn logs reading “Camp Cullen”. In the center of the sign was a huge enameled family crest, one I had seen all of the Cullen’s sporting in one form or another. Beyond, a winding dirt driveway led into the trees. After a couple hundred yards, sunlight began to glow strongly ahead of us and we emerged into a clearing. Standing at the center was a massive log lodge. Two stories and riddled with windows and river rock chimneys, it stood as foreground to the backdrop of Mt. Regan and a thundering waterfall that misted the air behind it.

Camping, Cullen style. I could only shake my head in wonder.

In front of the lodge was a manicured lawn with benches and gazebos amidst rose gardens, and closer to us a soccer field, a baseball diamond and a tennis court. To the right were four much smaller versions of the lodge, identical except in scale and to the left, four more. Behind those on the right, nestled against the tree line stood a barn and stable, also made of logs, and in the corral milled approximately 10 horses. Behind the lodge and stretching away toward the falls was a lake of alpine blue and a long dock leading out into the water. Moored to the dock was a catamaran, several canoes, a powerboat and four very sleek jet skis.

Behind the cabins on the left, stood a massive shop and a six-car garage. Lined up inside were 8 ATV’s, an open top Jeep, a Humvee and a 4x4 pickup that looked as if it was on stilts. My eyes widened marginally and Esme, watching my reaction giggled, “Of necessity, eternity demands excessive distractions.”

Speechless, I simply contented myself with a wobbly nod. Esme went on, “Four times a year, the camp is open to underprivileged kids and most of what you see here is for their use as well. The children are referred to Carlisle’s foundation through the various medical organizations he has belonged to over the years. Most of those that attend are terminally ill and their parents could never afford to give them this kind of opportunity.” Esme’s gaze wandered to where the Cullen men were hopping down from the other truck. Her eyes locked on Carlisle and a beatific smile lit her already angelic features, “Carlisle says it’s his way of giving something back, to pay forward his good fortune.”

I smiled at her and touched her cold hand gently, “It’s very generous…though that seems to run in this family.”

She turned back to me, casually laying her other hand on top of mine. “Yes…it might even seem over the top, but we have so much it would be unconscionable not to share. Carlisle is the best of us all though. His spirit is pure, he’s the heart of this family and it’s always been his example we try and emulate, Edward especially.”

“He’s done well then,” I assured her seriously, “Edward is his father’s son. In fact, you all are testaments to that example.”

Esme eyed me critically.” Don’t undersell yourself Bella. There are other kinds of generosity that have nothing to do with material wealth. You dear, have a generosity of spirit and forgiving nature that makes all of us wonder if we haven’t been short changing ourselves by excluding humans from our lives.”

Taken aback by her candid confession, I blushed and began to deny her assertion when she smiled and laid a finger against my lips. Her gaze fell on Edward and the smile softened and grew tender and loving. She was his mother in far more than name. “What you have done for Edward, Bella….well, it’s more than he ever hoped for or thought he deserved and your acceptance of us has changed him, all of us actually, in ways we could have never anticipated.

I….we…all of us, are deeply in your debt.”

Shaking my head slightly in bemusement, I let my eyes roam over Edward’s perfect face and said, “Everyone acts like he’s the lucky one, when in fact it’s me who has been granted my every wish.”

Esme chuckled and replied, “Bella honey, that’s exactly why he’s so lucky.”

Alice and Rosalie had already dropped lightly to the ground, and Esme cleared her throat,”Come on Bella, before Edward gets so impatient with me that he drags you from the truck. We’ve got to set up camp.”

Wondering what could possibly need to be “set up” I pushed the truck door open to find Edward standing just on the other side, his hands held up towards me to help me down from the dizzying height. I slid ungracefully off the seat and into his waiting arms. He hugged me close for a moment, burying his face in my neck and whispered, “I missed you.”

I laughed breathlessly, bemused by his fervency and replied,” Same here.” Which sounded lame, but at this proximity my mind wasn’t working all that well.

He set me on the ground and turned me to face the lodge, a huge smile on his face,” So...? What do you think?” he asked eagerly.

I tipped my head back against his chest and drew his arms around my waist. I sighed and replied,” Edward….it’s perfect.”