Chapter One

The blistering August sun blared outside the window. Edward was enjoying a few minutes of peace and quiet before his next patient. Leaning back in his leather chair, he glanced around the room and sighed. How had he become so lucky to have everything he ever wanted? At the young age of thirty-seven, he was the Chief of Cardiac, Vascular Surgery and the Director of Congenital and Pediatric Cardiac Surgery at New York Presbyterian Hospital. He had pioneered a procedure for non-invasive vascular repair. Turning towards his bookshelf, he smiled. In the silver and crystal frames was the true love of his life, his beautiful wife, Bella.

It felt like it was only yesterday that he first laid eyes on her. He had just finished the last day of his fourteen day stretch in the cardiac surgical unit and decided to walk home. This was his favorite time of the year. Winter’s last cool breath finally disappeared as the warmth of spring wrapped itself around the city. Central Park was coming back alive with the blooming of the cherry blossom trees.

After soaking in the atmosphere of the park, he headed down the street towards his apartment. Each window he passed held a different type of shop. He was about to cross the street when someone passed by the window and his heart stopped. The woman was absolutely stunning. She was medium height, with shoulder-length blonde hair, a killer body, and milky smooth skin.

Edward looked up and saw the sign of the store, The Swan Gallery. Taking a better look into the store, he found it was, in fact, an art gallery. He was frozen in the spot as he watched her walk over and lift a large painting. Suddenly, the frame shifted to the right, causing her to lose balance. Without another thought, he burst through the door and rushed to her side. He wrapped one arm around her tiny waist and grasped the frame with his other hand.

She gasped and looked up at him. He stared down into her mystifying hazel eyes and knew he could never let her go, ever. After introducing himself, she told him her name was Bella Swan. Even though he should’ve been exhausted, he found himself energized. They spent the rest of the afternoon together, hanging art works on the wall and getting to know each other.  

Six weeks later, in a small ceremony at his parent’s home in Greenwich, they were bound together for the rest of their lives.

As his career took off, he was in high demand all over the world to perform his groundbreaking surgical technique. Bella came with him and while he was performing surgeries, she was teaching the local children art. They knew they wanted children, but decided to wait until they had experienced more of the world.

“Dr. Cullen, Jay Jenkins with the W.H.O. is on line three for you,” Margaret said.

“Thank you,” Edward answered, picking up the phone. “Jay, how are you? How is fatherhood treating you?”

“I never knew how little sleep you can function on,” Jay chuckled. “Just wait until you have a baby and you will know.”

“Bella and I are looking forward to it.”

“So, are you trying yet or are you wanting a few more adventures together first?”

This was something they had been discussing a lot lately. When they first got married, they wanted to see the world first, but now they were ready for the biggest adventure of their lives and that was to become parents. Bella didn’t get her depo shot two months ago, and they had been having sex like crazy. Her doctor told them it could take a while to become pregnant since she had been on the shot for over ten years. “We are trying.”

“Wonderful,” Jay said. “Edward, the reason I am calling is that a researcher on St. Lawrence Island in the Arctic has fallen ill. The tests they were able to perform leads them to believe he has a vascular problem. The physician’s assistant doesn’t think he is well enough to fly or can endure the road trip to the nearest hospital. We need for you to go and evaluate the situation and perform whatever procedure he might need.”

Edward hadn’t planned on going out of the country. However, he couldn’t allow someone to die if he could help them. “Let me talk to Bella and tie up some loose ends here.”

“Can you be ready to leave by tomorrow morning?” Jay asked. 

“I should be able to,” Edward answered.

“Edward, the conditions are quite treacherous and I don’t recommend Bella going.”

If Jay said it was bad, then Edward knew it was bad. “I will call you in a few hours.” Once Jay hung up, Edward called his friend and asked him to take over his patients and then notified the hospital administration he was leaving for a rescue mission. They always supported him and his efforts to help others around the world.

 

He arranged for the medical supplies he would need and had them sent to the airport. Gathering his jacket and bag, he headed home to tell Bella what was going on. Twenty minutes later, he was pulling into his assigned parking spot at their apartment building. Getting onto the elevator, he put his key into the switch panel and pushed the P button. They loved their apartment for not only privacy but also the stunning views of central park. No one could gain access to the floor without a key or being buzzed from the control panel in the apartment building lobby. 

Stepping off the elevator and into the foyer, he breathed in deeply, taking in the aroma of Bella. Her unique sweet smell which calmed his nerves no matter how stressed he was. “Bella,” he called out, then listened to see where she was in the apartment. 

“Upstairs,” she answered.

 

He stepped across the north star, which was inlaid in the marble floor in the foyer. It was a custom piece they had put in, always reminding them when they left, to always follow the north star back home if they ever lost their way. Edward walked up the dark walnut stairs to the second floor. On this floor were the master suite and two other bedrooms, while the other four bedrooms were on the first floor.

This floor also had a large deck which overlooked central park; it was Bella’s favorite spot to be. He slipped off his suit coat, laying it over the back of the chair in the bedroom, before heading out to the deck. Sure enough, she was sitting on a loveseat, under a large potted tree, for shade.

Striding over to her, Edward sat down beside her, wrapping her up into his arms and pulled her onto his lap. They didn’t say anything to each other, just drank in the peaceful calm which happened every time they were like this. 

“Your home early,” she whispered against his neck.

“Yeah,” he answered. “Jay called me a little while ago. There is a researcher on St. Lawrence Island who has a vascular emergency and can’t fly.”

Bella thought for a moment and couldn’t place where St. Lawrence Island was at. “St. Lawrence Island?”

“Yes, in the arctic circle,” Edward explained.

“Arctic circle?” Bella wheezed. In all the trips they had been on together, never had they been in the Arctic circle or Antarctica. Then she remembered she had a huge show coming up in two weeks and it would be almost impossible for her to leave.

“I know you love coming with me on these trips, but sweetheart, this is not a place I feel comfortable for you to go,” Edward said.

“Is it dangerous?”

“The weather is what is most dangerous. It is very unpredictable, though this time of year we should be fine getting in and out. I don’t know how long I will be there since I don’t know his condition until I get there.”

“I understand, and I do have a new show coming up in a few weeks. When do you leave?” 

“Tomorrow morning. I don’t know the travel plans, but Jay is sending them to me in a little while.”

“I hate you going, even though I know you are doing it for a good cause,” she said, looking into his eyes.

“Me too, love. So why don’t we order in and spend the most of our evening wrapped in each other’s arms before I go,” he suggested, before claiming her mouth in a kiss full of love.