“Wake up, Emma Lily,” I cooed to my baby girl.
“Don’t wanna,” she grumbled. “Sleepy.”
“Do you want to surprise Mommy with breakfast in bed before we go out for our surprise?” I urged.
“You drive a hard bargain, Daddy,” she said dryly, looking up at me. Her face was marred with pillow lines and her strawberry blonde hair was a rat’s nest on her head. She couldn’t have looked more beautiful. “Okay. Is Mommy still asleep?”
“Yeah,” I said as I handed her a pair of shorts and hair tie. Emma hopped out of bed, tossing the shorts on her little legs and pulling her back in a messy ponytail.
Bella had a rough night last night. I could tell that she was trying to hide her fear. She jumped in her sleep at every creak and moan of the room. Her nightmares had returned full force. She spent most of the night out in the cabana, giving me the opportunity to sleep. But, I didn’t sleep. I worried about her. I watched as she climbed into the chaise lounge, hugging her body. Her tiny frame rocking with gut-wrenching sobs. Her wails of ‘why?’ broke my heart. I went outside to comfort her but she insisted on being alone. Kissing her forehead, I went back to bed but didn’t sleep. It wasn’t until she crawled back into bed, smelling of the ocean, vanilla and freesias that I managed find some peace.
Emma and I walked to the morning buffet. I asked the host for several to-go boxes and a tray. We filled our boxes with a wide variety of breakfast foods. Carrying back to the room, I set them up on the veranda of our suite.
“Can I wake Mommy up?” Emma asked as she bounced on her toes.
“Don’t scream in her ear, Emma,” I said, arching a brow over my glasses.
“I won’t.” Emma tiptoed into our room and crawled into the bed. She slipped under Bella’s arm and caressed her cheeks. Bella’s face was in a grimace but when Emma’s hands touched her, her face relaxed and she smiled. “Momma, wake up, please?”
Bella grumbled unintelligently, burying her nose into the pillow. “Please, Mommy,” Emma giggled, hugging Bella’s neck.
“I’ll wake up for a price,” Bella said, her voice rough with disuse.
“What is that?” Emma snickered.
“Two kisses, a hug and some cuddles,” Bella said, smiling at my baby girl.
Emma leaned up and kissed Bella’s cheeks. Then, she hugged her tightly before burrowing into Bella’s arms contentedly. “Don’t think I don’t know you’re there, Little Cullen,” Bella snickered. “The price is double for you.”
“Four kisses, two hugs and some cuddles,” I snickered.
“A lot more than some cuddles,” she said, kissing Emma’s hair. I slipped behind her and wrapped my arms around both of my girls. I kissed Bella’s neck softly as we had family ‘cuddle-time.’ After ten minutes, Bella got up and went to put on a pair of shorts while I reheated the breakfast food in the microwave. We ate outside, inhaling the delicious breakfast food. Afterward, I asked Bella to help Emma get ready for a day in the sun while I darted around with last minute arrangements. She nodded and they went upstairs to get ready.