That¶s when I knew I could do it; I could break down the walls for him if no one else, and use him as my coping mechanism. The thought of him giving up on me was enough to make me see that. We talked that day, more than I have talked to someone in years. I had cooped up all of my impurities and it was poisoning me gradually as time passed. I think he knew I needed to let it out. It wasn¶t without hard work that I achieved this happiness; when I first arrived I didn¶t think it possible at all: Especially when I thought about him. I went through therapist after therapist, hour after hour talking about my past with total strangers. I had to talk about him and that hurt more than all of my past combined. EPOV She looked so fucking broken and damaged yet alive and exuberant I couldn¶t quiet place it but something about her sparked my interest like static electricity the moment I walked into the room. She was holding in her issues and I knew firsthand how dangerous that could be. She had to let it out and I wasn¶t going to stop until she did. I didn¶t spend much time thinking about college, especially over the last three years. I spent most of my time partying and letting lose. I lived the shit out of my childhood, one to remember. The parts I don¶t want to remember, Bella, I try and tune out minus the dreams because there isn¶t much I can do about that. Journal Entry: 145 Five years, it¶s been, and I still have the dreams. Every night it¶s the same: Like I¶m living the same day over and over again. On the rare occasion when I happen to think about her, I dream of the last time I saw her. The promise I kept and the one she shattered. I hate the thought of her, but I cannot shake her. She has forever been imprinted in my mind and there she will stay. I have been to shrinks and told them my issues, I have seen psychiatrists and told them my problems; all to get her out of my mind so I can sleep. Nothing helps; I am doomed to the memory of Isabella.



I didn¶t want to wake up, the back of my eye lids; endless black abyss was more comfortable than the grungy walls I would see when I gave in to consciousness. At least here; in the world I

wished I belonged, I had family, I had friends and I had a life. I made people laugh and I even laughed myself. But in reality I haven¶t laughed in well over six months. I have been in this group home for almost four years. Apparently nobody wants a lanky 10 year old klutz. It constantly smelled of feet and dirty laundry due to the amount of kids they took in every year. Endless amounts of kids that have been abandoned or left alone, much like myself. Thrown out into the world much too soon to fend for themselves or pushed into a place where no one really truly cares about them. Only because they get a paycheck or volunteer brownie points do they give two shits to the wind about any of us. That is what the government thinks is best for those abandoned kids; empty compassion and false connections. Life can be a living hell on earth when you are the only one that actually sincerely cares about your feelings. What keeps you going? What keeps you motivated to hope that this isn¶t it, that life will get better? What keeps me here, in this place where I cry every night when I go to sleep? It wasn¶t until the day he came, the day I discovered that my life did have meaning, that I got the answers to those questions consistently floating around in my head. A spark ignited inside me that took my breath away the moment I saw him and I knew he was the reason why. The reason I stayed in persecution, the reason I didn¶t sneak out the window one night and run as far away from this place as possible. He was the reason I fought with my inner self over the reasons I should have left. I had been here two years, always staying to myself and not making friends with anyone because I knew it wouldn¶t last. Everyone in my life has always been temporary, never sticking around long enough to learn one damn thing about me. Like that is the way to grow up. Do you know how screwed up that can make a person? More so in the earlier stages of life. Well I do and it isn¶t pretty. I have seen some messed up kids that have been in the system since they were born. Some people think they want to be a foster parent because they want to help kids, some people adopt because they are incapable of bearing any offspring of their own and some people foster for the money it provides every month. Almost all of these cases end up back at the group home or passed around from home to home. Those are the kids who end up going in and out of jail because that is the only thing they know, the only thing that keeps them constantly under supervision like they have been their whole lives. Some kids will rebel and runaway or throw fits about everything in hopes that someone will actually show real worry about their feelings. Which brings me to the fact that not one person in my life has asked me how I feel or how I was coping. Maybe that is partly my fault because I refused to see a shrink but they are the fakest

of them all. They really don¶t give a shit, only asking those stupid no precedence questions so they have something to write about in their journal. Not until he came did I have someone to talk to, to vent, to hold me when I was down or when I needed a friendly companion. When he came into my life, it was like my soul was kicked into gear and I was living again, I was feeling and I was experiencing real happiness for the first time ever. I had never laughed so much or smiled in my life. We didn¶t hit it off right away though; we didn¶t even introduce ourselves when we first met. I was sitting on the end of a long couch that was used for a bed sometimes when we had too many kids. I had Withering Heights in one hand and my ear buds in the other. Yes I listen to music and read at the same time. It drowns out the people around me completely; guaranteed. He was brought in by Larry, the overnight guardian whose only job consisted of meeting up with the police when they brought in another child that needed help. He had to settle on the couch because we were overcrowded and that¶s what it was here for. The only plus side to being here for as long as I have was having a room with a bed; granted, I shared with three other girls, I still had one. I put my ear buds in and he started talking to me like he was talking to a friend, ³What landed you in this dump?´ He rested into the couch and Larry had excused himself to his office. I hadn¶t turned the volume up so I heard him but wasn¶t sure if he was speaking to me. I looked in his direction and he was running his hand through his wild hair. ³Are you talking to me?´ I had asked. I was out of touch with having casual conversations, no one bothered anymore. ³No, I¶m talking to the big pink elephant in the room,´ he said sarcastically. I pulled one of my ear buds out and an incredibly mouthwatering heart wrenching smile formed on his face. That wasn¶t even the part that left me speechless, it was his eyes. They were emerald green and they sparkled under the yellow light that shown all around us. The worst kind of lighting for reading but the best kind for the vibes this place put off. ³Well, how long have you been here?´ He asked a different question this time, probably sensing I didn¶t want to talk about his previous one. I thought about answering him for a moment, starting a friendly conversation and maybe making a friend. But history repeats itself and the least amount of people I had to lose the better. ³Why does it matter?´ I said putting the ear bud back in my ear. ³Aren¶t you a snooty little bitch,´ he snarled and I turned the volume up. He knew nothing about me and anything he said wouldn¶t matter in a few days time. He would be chosen to go to a foster home or he would be out of my life forever. So I silently gave him the finger before jumping into my book.

Not a day went by that he didn¶t try and talk to me and I didn¶t respond. My heart was telling me to let him in, to drop the walls I have built so strong around me and for once confide in someone. But I couldn¶t do it, not until about two months later. ³Bella, I think you need a friend and I¶m trying really hard to be that for you, but if you won¶t fucking let me in what am I supposed to do? I can¶t just sit around this shit hole all day talking to a mute.´ That¶s when I knew I could do it; I could break down the walls for him if no one else, and use him as my coping mechanism. The thought of him giving up on me was enough to make me see that. We talked that day, more than I have talked to someone in years. I had cooped up all of my impurities and it was poisoning me gradually as time passed. I think he knew I needed to let it out; that is why he hounded me so much over the first couple of months he was here. By the time my 12 birthday rolled around we were inseparable, you would not find one of us without the other. He had been here for seven months and I couldn¶t be happier. More than a few potential guardians came and had their eyes set on Edward, who could blame them, he was the epitome of gorgeous not to mention he was very cunning and had the voice of an angel. He was athletic and had the most eye popping physique imaginable, at 13 that is. Of course I never told him I thought those things, I cringed even at the thought of revealing such intimate feelings. I had gotten accustomed to rejection and false pretenses and every time I got even a millimeter close to spilling my emotions out for him to crush, I reminded myself of that and halted all of my thoughts. Edward didn¶t get adopted for another 10 months 3days, but that was only because he would always cause a scene and make outrageous gestures with his words to scare them away. I asked him once why he did that and he told me because he wouldn¶t leave me to rot in this place by myself. He would always say we only have so many years until I turn 18 and you can come live with me when I get an apartment. He wanted to take care of me and I wanted to let him do it more than anything. A man and his wife; rather Dr. Cullen and his wife came to the group home and had their eyes set on Edward. Once again he threw a fit, cussing and yelling inappropriate things at the woman and getting up in the doctor¶s face; everything to get them to turn around and run. Instead they did just the opposite; they went through with the adoption papers. They were interested in him because he was troubled and he was exactly the kind of kid they liked to adopt. ³What¶s going to happen?´ I remember asking him as he held me close to him in the lobby while he waited for the Cullen¶s to finalize the paperwork in the other room. ³I¶ll figure it out Bella; no fucking body is going to keep me away from you.´ His grip on me tightened like I was some prized gem that he had to hold onto as if his life depended on it. I know mine did.

³Do you know where they¶re taking you?´ my eyes were stained with tears as the words left my mouth. ³I don¶t know but I will find a way to tell you. I won¶t let them keep me from you; if they try I will come back for you.´ There was sincerity in his voice and I believed him. I had to believe him because if I didn¶t nothing was going to make sense. My whole life was going to be over just as quick as it had started. ³I believe you,´ was all I could say and it was enough. ³Are you ready Edward?´ Dr. Cullen said from behind me where Edward was facing. ³Does it look like I¶m fucking ready? Can¶t you see I¶m in the middle of something?´ Edward spat and his heart beat started to race. I concentrated on it to drown out the arguing that was going on around me. Eventually he had to go and he left me with a promise to come back and a locket that was the only thing he had when he arrived in the system. I cried that night, the most I have cried since my parents and I felt like the hole in my chest was ripped to its fullest. For the next 4 months I did nothing but listen to the CD Edward left behind, Debussy. It was his favorite because it allowed him to think and achieve peace of mind. All it did was provide me with the little piece of him I needed to keep myself intact; proof that he did in fact exist. I finally opened my eyes and took in exactly what I expected. The four grey worn walls that encased me every night, the sun yellow curtains that swayed on the east side window of the room and the three girls up and about primping and priming. I hadn¶t heard from Edward at all in six months, I didn¶t know where he was, if he was thinking of me or if he even still cared. I was starting the process; a process I have perfected over the years. The process of letting him go; releasing him from my memory and putting the walls between us. I hated him for showing me that side of me still existed and that I could still let people in just to get hurt. Never again will I let that guard down; never again will I let anyone get close to me. The Swan¶s came to look at the options of the group home and they kept looking at me and throwing around words like ³she¶s so beautiful´, and ³she¶s perfect, exactly what we were hoping to find´. I didn¶t understand why they chose me, but they did and I was happy to go, to start a new life and hopefully be happy. I was not capable of true happiness²life just wouldn¶t allow it²so I hoped for whatever amount of happiness I was capable of achieving. This part of my life I like to call Acceptance. Charlie was the chief of police in the good town of Forks, that¶s how they found out about me. Charlie had seen so many kids go in and out of there but I remained. I was the only one to be left there for more than a year. I was there for over four. I was happy he noticed; he and his wife Renee were really great.

Charlie is the chief of police and that will not be tolerated. ³What do you think?´ Renee asked as we both stepped out of the car. ³Oh. . I guess. They were bubbly and happy and giddy almost all of the time. just as the outside portrayed it to be. Two: No smoking.´ I don¶t smoke. showing me everything and explaining the rules of the house. She continued to talk to her husband and I continued to gaze out the window as we drove down the windy country roads. she¶s a designer of sorts and she insisted. Not too long after we pulled up next to a moderately good sized house with a fenced backyard and rows upon rows of flowers in the front yard. There was one other car parked in the drive way and it was Charlie¶s police cruiser.Rosalie and Alice were okay too. I only wanted one hand to touch me and that was never going to happen again. ³It¶s nice. even though I know that¶s what I am. drinking or illegal substances. She was trying so hard to get through to me and I really wished she wouldn¶t. Swan mentioned once we were in the car and on our way. the first couple of days in the Swan house were the worst. I just wanted it for future reference. She stopped talking after that. I didn¶t like the way she held my hand. just a little notch out of my already notched up heart. ³No. Rosalie could be a little harsh sometimes. ³Alice set up your room. ³We have two other girls you will be sharing the upstairs with. if you were 18 you wouldn¶t be here now would you?´ she said mockingly. They would probably ignore me like everyone else does. the feel of another person¶s skin against mine was awkward. They never seemed to last so why even try to bond or get to know someone. The Swan¶s adopted Rosalie when she was 10 and Alice when she was 7. well at least to me. not the bleak shy person I actually am. I hated being treated like a child. It¶s inevitable and it won¶t hurt as much. ³One: No sneaking out. She tugged me through every room. I guess not. They were both now 14 as was I. It was my usual reaction to a new temporary home. I only wished I could be like that.´ she grabbed my hand and started leading me to the house. I didn¶t respond. my way of protecting myself. wait until you see the rest.´ ³What if you¶re 18?´ ³Well.´ Mrs. The house was beautiful. Everything seemed to be in the perfect spot to set a different vibe and feel to each room.´ I replied impartial.´ she continued. I wasn¶t particularly thrilled about that but it didn¶t really bother me either. I have never liked it. I still didn¶t answer. If you do that it means we cannot trust you and a family is built on trust.

It¶s supposed to be about the kid not the damn family they¶re being forced into.´ Not good with authority«beep. I walked to it and listened for a moment. with a dark purple comforter with black lace designs all over it. They both looked to be my age so I could only assume the girls were Alice and Rosalie. on the right. The second dresser was one of those woman one¶s. Now that I didn¶t have an audience I looked closer. Then there was a light but furious knock on the door. ³Where is the bathroom?´ I always avoided the whole. ³Here is your room. ³Isabella«´ ³Bella. beep. for all of us. it won¶t take long. The bed was full.´ ³Like I said. beep. ³Thank you. ³We really want this to work out. The next was another girl but she had long flowing blonde hair and she was really pretty. That¶s all I¶m asking.´ she gestured to the door directly across from ³mine´. ³Bella. There were four doors and she opened the second one down.´ ³I¶ll do my best.´ she was staying calm and collected but I knew that pissed her off. I¶ve heard that before. it was more like a stamped of wild animals. I would never be that happy.´ I rolled my eyes even though I wasn¶t facing her. I¶ll do my best. . I ran my fingers along the lace as I passed by it. long with six drawers and a big vanity mirror in the center. It was as if this Alice knew exactly who I was and what I would want my room to look like. ³It¶s this door here. dark black hair spiked in every direction. She shut the door and left me to the room. Chief Swan and his wife were in this picture and holding onto them was Alice and Rosalie.She led me up a flight of stairs and down a long hallway. There was a dresser pushed up against the eastern wall. Her smile was almost too painful to look at. I heard footsteps coming up the stairs. ³oh thank you thank you for my new temporary room´. ³I¶m not saying you are the only one that needs to adjust Bella. speech because I refuse to thank anyone who is only going to add another notch to my pain and suffering. She would have to be someone who wanted to torture me because this time would be that much more painful because of her. I had to be the one to get along with everyone else. positioned perfectly between the window sill and the perpendicular wall. It too was a dark purple and had the same material and designs as the bed spread. The last picture basically confirmed my belief. That is exactly why I fucking hate being in the system. too bad it wasn¶t really mine.´ I was surprised at how nice the room actually was. please don¶t be scared to get comfortable here. I just want you to put in some effort while the rest of us do the same.´ of course it was all on me. I noticed the big fluffy pillows pilled at the head of the bed as well. the first of a girl. There were three pictures on the mirror. Whatever.´ I corrected her as I continued to look around the room.

³We¶ll see. this was going to be so much fun. I think you¶ll like it here. heavy sarcasm. Rose shut up. ³Rose is kind of like a puppy. EPOV . ³How do you like your room?´ I shrugged. so I pushed further. ³If that¶s alright with you Bella?´ ³Okay Rose.´ ³No. she should be the one to tell you.´ ³The Swan¶s are really good people Bella. not ever.´ ³But I want to see her first.´ It was whimsical and pitched like a melody.´ ³You¶re such a bitch. ³I don¶t ever stay long enough to like a room. I promised myself I wouldn¶t do it. yes I am.´ She bounced onto the bed that was meant for me and waited for my reply. something I banned myself from doing.´ she butted in. Her voice matched her physique. charming and happy.´ ³This is Rosalie. Alice was nice and I wanted to be nice back but the pain was too much to bear.´ I was actually interested in hearing her story. Her mom was a junkie.´ ³You can call me Rose. I won¶t tell you anymore. I¶m Alice. Rose I was here first.´ I left the door open for her and she shut it behind her. There was another light knock on the door a few minutes later. not again. Something about this Alice. Intelligent. she always had tons of people around and going in and out of the house so she got used to putting up a front. ³Can I come in?´ ³Sure. ³It¶s Bella. I thought with heavy.´ I spat back and slammed the door in their faces. friends and I wasn¶t going to put up with some ³riding on her high horse´ girl all in my face and if she didn¶t like it then tough. Hi. She was so small and petite.´ is what I came up with. she warms up to you once she gets to know you. this pixie like dark spiky haired girl with green eyes sparkling back at mine. ³What¶s your story?´ I went for it. nor do I need.³Shh.´ My sisters. ³Hi. this time it was just Alice.´ ³Beautiful. you must be Isabella. I don¶t want. something about her made me want to trust her. I¶m sure this one will be no different. I opened the door and they both straightened up and the dark haired one smiled. talented.

³But I can¶t. it looked like it was built in like the 1400¶s and I could already smell the stench still sitting in the back of the police cruiser. I didn¶t see one thing in there that held any interest to me. ³Fucking do it.´ I lifted the board up above my head after another failed attempt. but. was small dark and a disaster if I ever fucking saw one. a month tops.´ He leaned down and gazed at me through the back window.³You can do it. I gave up on the trick for tonight and started the long skate to nowhere. ³He hasn¶t been too much trouble. it was rudimentary.´ I mentally yelled at myself before attempting the heel flip for the umpteenth time tonight. Stupid fucking pigs. I do. not one thing that stood out. I was trying to forget about the family I had been with for over three months. feigning like I was going to bust it in a million trillion different pieces. if anything they were the ones doing the bothering. that was quiet the feat for me. The yard. and I should know this stuff. some fucking scrawny guy that looked like he just came out of his shack in the middle of the woods with no running water came out to take me inside. The smell got worse as we got closer and I dreaded staying here for any amount of time. ************ I don¶t know who the fuck these people think they are bringing me to this place. I couldn¶t fucking do it. They didn¶t even really do anything for me to runaway but I knew they would eventually. Inside was just as bad. if that¶s even what you would call it. frustrated that I couldn¶t do the damn heel flip. Then to top it all off. She looked so fucking broken and damaged yet alive and exuberant I couldn¶t quite place it but something about her sparked my interest like static electricity the moment I walked into the room. Why try and fight fate right. it was dark so I walked along the shoulder of the oncoming traffic. fate doesn¶t decided my future. . it wasn¶t dirty but it was visibly old and worn out.´ I brought it down hard. ³Fuck fate. I don¶t know how anyone did it. Sitting with her knees up against her chest was the most mesmerizing female I have ever laid eyes on and the fragrance emitting from her was something otherworldly. I could have taken care of myself. It wasn¶t a hard fucking trick.´ I heard the pig tell the grease monkey.´ I said out loud though no one was around to hear it. I wasn¶t bothering anyone. ³I don¶t think you¶ll have any trouble with this one. The place he took me to was a dump. The epitome of hell right smack in the middle of Forks. I skated down a long serpentine road. until he showed me where I would be sleeping until other arrangements could be made. come on. Of course the first pair of headlights to come around the corner would be a police officer. How the hell people can live like that is far beyond me. My usual is a few weeks. just like the damn trick.

So I made a scene. . Why she stayed to herself and didn¶t let anyone break through her borders. that I would always be near her to help her get through this and help her break through to her true personality. Weeks went by and we were already connecting on a whole other level. living and breathing and portraying any kind of normalcy she could muster. As the months went by people started coming and showing interest in taking me away from her and breaking every promise I ever gave her. She was protecting herself. for a while. She was here. I wanted to see it every day for eternity. I called her a bitch because girls that act that way typically are. She was holding in her issues and I knew firsthand how dangerous that could be. After a whole month of badgering I was getting restless with trying so hard to get through to her that I finally fell over the edge. She was so fucking beautiful. about how they were young and didn¶t have a lot of money. to at least lessen the amount of times I saw it any given day. she told me about her parents. Every time she smiled I captured it and stored it away in my memory. She confided in me things that were hard for her to talk about. I could hear it and see it emerge from time to time and I worked hard to get it out of her every chance I had. She died on the 10th of December and that¶s when she came here. She was under the impression that that¶s what people did. I was determined. laying it all out for me to see. I wasn¶t going to let that happen lying down. Yeah. I wasn¶t trying to meddle or get under her fucking skin. so fucking smart and had so much fucking potential to be happy and that was my driving force.I tried to talk to her but she just blew me off and flipped me the bird after I called her a bitch. It was there. She needed me just as much as I needed her. Her parents were notified. I was going to put up a fight for her. I basically told her that she needed to wake up and smell the fucking coffee. every time someone came to introduce themselves to me I went off. left you and threw you out like a used paper towel. She did the same thing the next day and it made me want to try even harder. there was trouble and animosity behind her deep chocolate eyes. things that happened that would make a grown man break down. She had to let it out and I wasn¶t going to stop until she did. When she was four her grandma took her and raised her as her own until the day she died. separately because they had split shortly after she left. they couldn¶t do it. I felt her pain in that moment and I was able to see why she was the way she was. I did anything and everything I could to turn them away and it worked. if not to erase it entirely. yet here she was. She actually spoke to me. both of them declined to take her in. I swore to her²and myself²that I would never leave her. I saw through it. but I knew I could listen and be there for her like the friend she knew she needed.

those times were the fucking worst. she holds me and tells me I¶m someone special. Journal Entry: 32 August 18th 2002 . When I got there my heart felt like it was going to pound out of my chest. every night she hugs me. making me want to heave. I grew up in a poor house. Trust²out the window. I had to leave Bella to fend for herself.The day Dr. nothing else mattered. It was the fact that Bella wasn¶t there. the worlds the limit. up until two years ago. we do everything together. hunger and filthy unemotional sex. Esme. There was nothing I could do but go home. my foster parents and bothers. nothing was good enough. nothing else mattered. She could be anywhere. When it came to the piano. They even got me a top of the line Zero skateboard. I know what not having dreams or an education will lead to. I couldn¶t call her because the line had to be authorized to go through. in the poor house. When it came to school. I dream of her. unless I was playing the piano. All I can do is sit by and watch it happen. it¶s my baby. I hated the Cullen¶s for an even longer time. she had been adopted. Love²gone and the void filled with lust. I don¶t trust anyone except Emmett and Jasper. but something else was wrenching it. I needed to see her. fuck them. Abercrombie sporting attire. It has been two years and I try so fucking hard not to think about Bella. right back where I fucking started. That was the first of many entries I put into a journal Carlisle had given me a few months after I¶d moved in. they sprung for the spendy shit and I was all for it. at least not willingly and never during the day. go back to Carlisle. I couldn¶t send her a letter because they wouldn¶t give it to her even if I did. to put up with all the crap that place had to offer. It¶s what got me through the time post Bella. After I made the trip to Forks to see Bella I decided to use it as a form of therapy. So after six months I finally talked Carlisle and Esme into buying me a plane ticket so I could go see her. Not even the good ol¶ doctor and his wife. When the lights go out and I fall asleep that¶s when I indulge. Cullen and his wife came was the hardest day of my life thus far. Emmett and Jasper. Sure they let me live in their fuck of a nice house and they clothe me well enough. I hated myself for a long time after that. ********************* Journal Entry 1: July 17th 2000 It feels like the world is crashing down all around me. He wasn¶t going to tell me where she was. The only thing I managed to hold onto was my willingness to learn and my passion for music. I begged and pleaded with the grease monkey but he wasn¶t budging. I was angry all the time.

they continued and grew into something magnificent during my time with Bella. Here in Chicago it was easy to fit in. a college prep high school.´ He always saw through my cover ups. I was performing a song I had written a few years ago. I wrote most of my own music but I covered a few songs if it was requested. What would have happened if I never would have left.´ she was sweating my nuts hard. fundraisers.´ I unleashed my persuasive side on her and my pantie wetting grin.´ I think of what could have been. That¶s just the formal fucking way to say party planner. we¶re in Chicago. You need to let it go bro. I thought I was pulling them off but he knew better. ³You¶re thinking about her aren¶t you? That¶s a good tactic to use but only when you¶re performing. talent shows and anything else that involves planning. Any other time and it just puts you in some kind of induced coma.´ Jessica was one of my many followers. I asked Jessica to assist my name getting on one of the tickets to perform. She handles all matters when it comes to graduations.´ He rolled his eyes at me. Yes. You¶re never going to see her again. I feel like I¶m going to wake up and she¶ll be right next to me. But she never is and I always wake up to that disappointment. ³I knew I could count on you. They knew about her but they didn¶t know about the dreams. ³I get pissed the fuck off. what would¶ve happened if she would¶ve been there when I returned to the group home. banquets. ³I¶m good Emmett.´ I tried to play it off as no big deal but he could always see right through me.´ didn¶t mean I had to put up with it. the ladies love me and I love being with the ladies. You get the idea. I had to tell someone and it definitely wasn¶t going to be them. I seemed to have a shine for people and people loved to hear me play or watch me skate. ³It¶s just memories. dances.The fucking worst part is that it feels so real. ³Anything you need. ³Hey Edward the slips came in today. ³You let me know. you¶re on one of them. Who could blame me for being so touchy? That was an entry I wrote after Emmett and Jasper got on me for being such a grouch in the mornings. I picked up my pace just as we were crossing the street to Jones Prep. she also happened to be in the president body as the head of organized activity. ³So what¶s up bro? Is there something bothering you?´ Emmett asked on our way to school. By people I mainly mean the female type.´ . ³Get over it man. and after Bella. The notes started before Bella.´ ³That¶s because when I think of her. ³Yeah and my name is Abraham Lincoln. The talent show was coming up and there were scouts coming to check out what Jones prep had to offer.´ he yelled after me and I tried to ignore him. anything at all. fuck. it¶s just going to eat at you until you do.

´ my English teacher greeted when I entered through the door without even looking to see that it was in fact me.³I¶ll keep that in mind. Deschene.´ I took off to my first class. ³Mr. what¶s up?´ I tried to play cool and of course it worked. it started in five and I still had half the grounds to beat to get there. . Every girl in that room was undressing me with their eyes. Cullen. ³Mr. Deschene started his lecture for the day«. Mr.and life goes on. It was like a sixth sense of mine if you will. I was a bad boy but I was good with the ladies.

My hair had fallen into my face and I brushed it back with the back of my hand. I was happy. beyond happy and I had been for awhile now. I was working with the zipper to my suitcase which was not working out in the least. Alice and Rose were the best sisters a girl could ask for.´ Alice yelled from her room. It wasn¶t without hard work that I achieved this happiness. nothing could keep the dreams away. ³Now let¶s get out of here.´ I yelled back. I put in hours of intense sessions to get over him. . BPOV Generation Now We¶ll call this part of my life µFinding my way¶«June 12th 2004 Five years I have been with the Swan¶s and I could not think of a better family to have. He was a great father and I would miss him terribly.´ she Congo danced out of my room and into her own down and across the hall.2. But during the day. Edward was not someone I ever wanted to see again. It didn¶t work completely. that was a work out. you can¶t even zip up your luggage?´ She met me at my side and hoped up onto my suitcase. to erase him from my memory. the first man that I let myself have feelings for and he never came back. he didn¶t cross my mind. ³For Christ sake Bella. Only on the rare occasion and those were few and far between. ³We¶re going to be late for our flight. hour after hour talking about my past with total strangers. ³You girls ready to go?´ Charlie asked when he met us in the foyer. a whole 26 minutes late and Alice was bouncing around from room to room rushing me and Rose. I went through therapist after therapist. ³Phew. We had gotten up late. He was the first person I ever let through my barrier. ³I¶ve almost got it. when I first arrived I didn¶t think it possible at all: Especially when I thought about him. when I lived my life the best way that I could. I had to talk about him and that hurt more than all of my past combined.´ I zipped it up and it took a lot to get it to go. zip it up chicka we got a plane to catch.´ I joked. ³Well. I would never be able to thank them enough for what they have done for me. I towed my luggage out of my room and down the stairs right behind Rose.

³One of us will call every day. We waved hysterically at them as they did the same and then we took the few steps out of their sight and they were gone. this was a first for all three of us and I was happy as a clam to be experiencing it with my sisters. I would definitely miss them. I didn¶t have to deny it anymore. At least that¶s what the brochure said. We had to go through security and Charlie and Renee stood on the sidelines until we were through and about to walk down the hall where there was no turning back.´ Alice cooed as she hugged her tight. LA here we come. ³We¶ll miss you. When we finally were able to head off.´ she cut short. The flight landed a few hours later at San Diego International but for some reason it took forever for them to position the plane in its boarding dock. I¶m so excited. I felt my eyes water. what better place to experience life¶s little lessons. don¶t hurt the boys to bad. Yes. ³I can¶t believe all of my girls are leaving.´ She cried when she wrapped her arms around my neck. how could I? My past is what made me the person I am today. my beautiful Rose. proceed with caution. but it¶s who I am.´ Renee commanded. I would scream it if it weren¶t for the people all around us. Of course I would never truly leave it behind. When we got there it took another hour and a half just to get our luggage off the conveyer belt.The Seattle airport was hectic and we barely had enough time to check in our bags. I may have been dealt one royally screwed up hand. We boarded the plane. The corridor was packed and it took almost a half hour just to get to the luggage pick up. my dear sweet Bella.´ Rose sang the last part. My last therapist. promise to call every day. I am a fucked up person. we did so without hesitation. one of them will be Mr. ³Bella. ³Oh Rose. I was definitely nervous. . her emotions getting the best of her. When the flight took off it almost felt like my past did too. Right. None of us had ever been to California. Rose.´ She hugged her too while Charlie was saying bye to Alice. we were headed to good old Los Angeles California. before I stopped therapy all together. You have come so far and I¶m so happy to see you off. I got the window. she had said that screaming was a very good way at relieving stress and letting out your frustrations. Alice and I were sharing a set of seats and thankfully. ³I can¶t wait. apparently they had trouble with luggage on the tarmac and that¶s why it took us so long to get to the loading dock.

The moment they walked in they smelled the stench and took us to Wal-Mart. They arrived this morning and saw the mess we were destined to live in. Other than that it was home sweet home. we wouldn¶t be attending college at all.We had our bags in hand and were headed to the doors to catch a cab.´ . ******* ³Do you want this kind?´ Renee asked about the carpet deodorizer. I still seemed to walk with my head facing the floor whenever I walked. The place wasn¶t what you would call luxury but it had its perks. if it weren¶t for their aid for adopted children. Renee felt terrible but we were happy to have it. some from Charlie and Renee and the rest from the state. We threw our bags in the truck and I was shocked when they all fit snuggly. the one bathroom had a water stained shower curtain and the living room had the faint smell of body odor. taxi cabs lined up in all three lanes of traffic. that¶s a good combination. I picked up my pace and made my way through the door after them. My mind ran with that as Alice told the driver where to take us and we left the airport and my déjà vu experience in the rearview mirror.´ Rose called from the rotating glass door. The feeling was gone. half because of my self esteem issues that haven¶t fully recovered and half because I was known for my awkwardness. but I¶d never been here before. I was expecting to carry a few on our laps but the truck was big enough to fit a few bodies. We were staying in an apartment not far from where we would be spending most of our days for the next few years. It was three bedrooms and a year of rent paid. The kitchen came with old mouse traps. not all at once. I had a sudden overload of Déjà vu. ³Bella. ³It¶s strong and holds its fragrance. ³Lavender would probably cover it up best. Our furniture and other belongings would arrive in two days when Charlie and Renee brought it all down in a U-haul truck. Outside the airport was just as hectic. Thankfully we packed two whole suitcases with blankets and pillows.´ ³What about air freshener: Chamomile?´ ³Yeah. At least. Thankfully. they weren¶t hard to flag down.´ Alice replied. We had the state to thank for our being here. I looked up and around me and there was nothing to trigger it. come on. but something lingered.

³I hope you like it. This was one of those times. We¶re hoping you all will have jobs by then. Towards the end Charlie informed us that they had a surprise for us and we couldn¶t go back outside for a while or we would see it. ³Glad you like it because we would lose a lot of money if you didn¶t. ³We¶ll see you on breaks right? We¶ll send for you. Financial aid would cover all of your expenses and food and a little fun too.´ I replied.´ Rose cooed as she ran her finger down the side of it.´ ³Don¶t forget gas.´ which I did. Cleaning was rather fun. where it would tell me: An Accord. changing the subject. ³Oh this. I love you don¶t forget that okay?´ ³I know you do. ³It¶s beautiful.´ Charlie chuckled. There against the curb was a car. what do you guys think?´ He asked. us girls wore bandanas over our hair to keep the smell and whatever else out of it. ³Definitely we¶ll need gas money«Well. letting them in because they would hurt me the moment I did. Renee¶s eyes seemed to light up every time she said it. I haven¶t shed a tear for anyone else since« ³Bye Bella. and insurance. It smelled divine. ³Dad. green in color and black on the inside. We helped Charlie bring in all of our furniture and belongings and Alice showed us where to put everything. It took a . about something we found and later ³Yeah. it¶s for you three´. I actually shed a tear. no way. We scrubbed the walls in the kitchen. When they adopted me I had no intensions of getting to know them. I guess she was young enough when they adopted her. It¶s a hefty payment every month but we¶ll pay it for the first year. and the bathroom floors and doused the carpets.´ Renee ordered as we were saying our goodbyes.We bought $45 worth of cleaning supplies and a new shower curtain then headed back to the apartment.´ Alice was the only one out of all of us that called Charlie dad and Renee mom. Did I mention Charlie is the type that likes to make you think one thing when really it¶s another? He would always tell us things like. I couldn¶t be sure what kind of car until I saw the back. no this is for one of my cadets´. They stayed for dinner and left shortly after because Charlie had to work and they had a twenty hour drive ahead of them. and I love you too.

´ Rose joked. ³You wanna go cruise around in our new car?´ Alice clapped. a very popular street in San Diego. and hit the switch. Renee and Charlie are it hands down. Some were homeless. she was an on the whim kind of girl. If I have any parents. the constructor guy gave us a free ride after our turn was over. when she was kidding or when she really wanted something. I can¶t wait to start. but I finally broke that barrier. ³I love you too Charlie. it¶s the only time she ever called them mom or dad. There wasn¶t a line as all the stores were closing for the night and we got right on it. They hugged her then and they both left shortly after.´ Rose agreed.´ I mad fun. ³Are we ready for school on Monday? I don¶t want to go unprepared. I snatched them from her hand and ran to the car. I don¶t want to get lost. ³Welcome to California´.´ I said. Alice locked up and jumped in the back and we were off. we are all registered for our classes.´ Alice broke the silence. We made our way through Hollywood District and ended up at Mission Bay Park. I just want to venture out and learn the city. bouncing in the back seat. He said with heavy enthusiasm. LA was beautiful at night: Lots of people littered the streets. ³Only if I¶m driving. .´ Charlie said when he hugged me.´ Alice wasn¶t one to be prepared. I pulled into the north parking lot and I was grateful when I figured out the alarm on the car. We walked out to the beach and sat there for awhile. ³We know what your score was on the driver¶s test.´ she giggled and kicked her feet in the sand. It was fun. ³Good. ³Do you want to ride the big dipper?´ Alice sang.´ ³I already typed our address into the tom tom so we¶re good. our feet bare and toes wiggling in the sand. yeah.´ ³Well«what are we waiting for?´ Rose said dangling the keys in front of my face. ³I love you too kid. at least for them. we expected that much.year maybe more. ³I checked the online registration for all of us when Charlie hooked up the computer and internet.´ ³Oh mom. We ended up on Mission Bay Drive. It was a lot of fun. ³Yeah. I would hate to have our car stolen the first night. ³Pay attention to where we¶re going.´ I replied. ³We¶re ready.´ Rose informed me. some weren¶t. ³Let¶s do it.

We ate Top Ramen for dinner because none of us felt like cooking not even me and I usually found refuge in the kitchen. there were a few people walking along the boardwalk. I nearly lost it. Rose drove this time. That¶s when I started thinking about him. ***A chain of gold was twisted and tangled around a little gold heart. the tears started to fall. I thought about him the whole ride home. I opened the box and lifted the lining. in the room Alice had designed for me before she even knew me. ³Bella. . I didn¶t look at it often but tonight I was already doomed. I walked over to the bed and sat on the end of it. every night I dreamt of him. I held my fist to my chest and took in a deep breath before opening it and looking at its contents. how green and tantalizing they were. so I was going to indulge. the way he made me smile and the way he made me feel. Still to this day. fresh. My eyes were locked on it. get the night over with and start again tomorrow. Tonight was sure to be a long one.´ I forced myself to walk. Of course I dreamt of him. to walk away from the feeling that I was missing out on something. it felt like I was back in Forks. This night was like all other nights when I thought about him during the day. one in particular stood out to me. I always hid it away so I wouldn¶t see it if I happened to add something to the box.We left shortly after. His hair was a mess. I love everything about it. ³Coming. I thought about his laugh. I thought about his eyes. The last time I saw him. I just wanted to go to sleep. the promise he made to me and when I wake up he is never there. I couldn¶t look away and when I opened it to reveal the picture of the little boy and his mother. That same feeling from the airport washed over me and I was stopped cold in my tracks. He promised me he would be. On my dresser was my jewelry box that held only one item. come on. bronze in color and his physique was gorgeous from behind. My chest felt heavy and my body started to vibrate. When I entered my room it was odd. the way he broke his promise and never came back. I pulled it out and held it tightly in my fist.´ Rose called a few feet in front of me. I lay down with the locket closed tightly in my fist again and cried silent sobs until I finally fell out. Then I thought about the way he made me cry.

Every night it¶s the same: Like I¶m living the same day over and over again. Bella. I have been to shrinks and told them my issues. one to four plus years we would spend in San Diego. I grabbed for my coke and drank it greedily to clear my trachea. ³Nothing. Emmett. Today. ³What?´ Jasper brought me down off cloud nine the bastard. I dream of the last time I saw her.´ Jasper asked. all to get her out of my mind so I can sleep. Jasper and I were leaving Chicago.´ We had a rental car waiting for us and we had a 20 minutes drive to our off the campus apartment. On the rare occasion when I happen to think about her. She has forever been imprinted in my mind and there she will stay. We walked . I lived the shit out of my childhood. We made our way through the crowd of people and stopped off at the Wendy¶s near the rotating glass doors. Nothing helps. I try and tune out minus the dreams because there isn¶t much I can do about that. I hate the thought of her. well mine is music but really I haven¶t decided yet. Jasper¶s major²Psychology and mine. I have seen psychiatrists and told them my problems. I¶m cool. I spent most of my time partying and letting lose. I didn¶t spend much time thinking about college.´ I¶d never felt anything like it before. The promise I kept and the one she shattered. but I cannot shake her. ³That was wicked. especially over the last three years. the only one in the US. I had to know what caused it. The parts I don¶t want to remember. The college there has all three of our majors on the list. We arrived at San Diego International Airport and right after our plane docked one of the luggage carts came apart and suitcases and duffle bags were all over the tarmac. ³You okay.EPOV Journal Entry: 145 Five years it¶s been and I still have the dreams. I am doomed to the memory of Isabella.´ I took my tray to the garbage and they followed. ³Time to hit the road huh. When I took the last bite of my double stack a shock ran through me and made me choke. one to remember. Emmett¶s major²Physical Education. I needed more. It caused my heart to thrash and my head was in a whirl.

There was a deck that overlooked a private beach that was shared between us and the condo next to us. it only made me thirst for it that much more. ³What do you think?´ he asked. Bella wasn¶t next to me when I opened my eyes. I woke up restless and discouraged. It was a condo. He held his hands up and Jasper and I hit them with one of our own. it countered the sun. whoo! Our neighborhood was nice. I knew the good doctor would spring for nice digs. here. ³ He high fived me at the same time Jasper came out to join us. We talked about the girls we would meet and the parties we would attend. ³We¶re fucking free man. did you see the bathrooms. It was bone chilling on the beaches there. keggers included.´ Emmett boomed. like I expected her to be. ³What are you doing out here? Jasper. unoccupied. The chill from the ocean was nice. right off the beach. ³I think we¶re going to have a shit ton of parties and see more than a few women in skimpy bikinis. Classes didn¶t start for a few days. ³Dude.´ Jasper replied. That condo was a vacation rental. My hair was in its usual disarray and the wind felt nice flowing through it. horrible choice for a car but rather comfortable for the ride. two stories. get out here. ³What did I miss?´ ³You missed the first high five of many my brother. who the fuck needs four bathrooms?´ I heard Emmett telling Jasper while I was out on the deck.´ Emmett joined me at my side and leaned his forearms on the ledge and looked out at the sea. very little was said about the actual attendance to UCSD. very different from anything I ever felt in Washington. We were definitely going to have some good wholesome fun on the beach. ********************** . laymen¶s terms. Have I ever mentioned I hate mornings. ³Apparently we do.through the doors and that same shock came back but it wasn¶t as strong this time. Our rental was a Sebring. we would all be full time college students. and three rooms on the top floor with four bathrooms. but by Monday. can you feel it?´ I did feel free«until I went to sleep.

³Oh man.´ Emmett: Such a lady lover. We had the Sebring for two weeks. I to the music hall and Emmett to the physical Education building. ³Party. They weren¶t kidding when they said leave at the very least. I was never looking though. He was always looking for his next fling. the ladies always came to me. ³2:15.´ I took off in the direction of the main office and Emmett followed. ³So we¶ll meet back here at 2?´ I asked when we stood outside the car gathering our bags. but I have no room to talk. thank god I¶m not jasper. an hour early. There was a vibrant woman sitting next to an open seat in the .´ he smiled widely. I can¶t even tell you why they broke it off. They were together when I first met him and they lasted a whole four years after. The long distance relationship probably would have done them in if they hadn¶t already split.´ ³Okay. Oh. I¶ve already met eyes with three perspective hookups.The two days passed quickly. but I had to convince Emmett and Jasper to feel the same. are you proud of that?´ I mocked. ³Oh yeah my brother. we had until then to get a permanent form of transportation. It¶s been about eight months now. make that four. We got our maps of the campus and went our separate ways. he¶s getting laid. but it was definitely an addiction that left me jonesing for more the moment it wore off. ³My last class ends at 2:10. 2:15. I felt the same shock that I did at the airport when I was on the beach night before last.´ Jasper has had one serious relationship with a girl named Marie. That¶s five years. drugs I¶ve done and nothing felt so good. I was all for having my own ride. It wasn¶t like drugs. we could either buy a new car and share or each buy a used car and have our own. see ya. ³You are the epitome of a womanizer Emmett.´ Jasper replied straightening his shirt under his backpack. so right. I couldn¶t even begin to explain what it was like but I promised myself I was going there every night until I figured out what caused it. beach party at our condo.´ the words rang hangover. ³Oh he is our goal for this weekend. The campus wasn¶t far but it took us 45 minutes to get there because of traffic. I think they just fell apart. There was a set budget. but that was the price you pay for a good time. I don¶t think I¶ve seen him in one serious relationship since I¶ve known him. ³Hell yeah I¶m proud of that.´ Emmett was of course game for that.

blond hair and a body that would thrive in sports illustrated. what was it about her? I knew what it was. The therapists¶ were right. I started the car and drove down to the closest beach which was La Jolla. We talked until the instructor started class. I would never settle down because nothing would compare to what I have experienced. I was mad. I found out her name was Erica and she played the violin. I¶ll give him that much. feeling the wind against my face for some time. like on a real date. When I thought about asking her out. I didn¶t want that ever. I loved Bella. Nothing would compare to the amount of pain I feel when I wake up and she isn¶t there next to me. took her long enough. ³Do you mind?´ I asked referring to the seat next to her.´ she stuttered and looked away from me. I had two hours to kill and after 20 minutes of sitting in the car I grew restless. My next class was English. not at all. The pain would be unmerciful. intro into sociology. She must have realized she was staring. I couldn¶t bear the thought. made me the womanizer type just like Emmett. I hated that my memory of her lingered. I was the only one there and it felt good. That was the end of my schedule. The professor was an imbecile in my book. but he knew his stuff when it came to literature. tomorrow would be one extra class that I had twice a week. it was such a relief. I was incapable of loving a woman. ³No. So instead I just treated her like any other female. . my past came back to haunt me. like something to eat.classroom and she looked up at me with the expression I have seen on women¶s faces nearly my entire life. other than Esme. The moment Bella popped into my mind my whole demeanor changed. The fact that she threw it all away was the part that made me hate her. it was required for my ³degree´ and I hate English. another required class. I found a look out and stood leaning against the edge. not after I had experienced it and lost it. She was rather beautiful. I realized at a young age the control they can hold over a man. I yelled at the top of my lungs because it felt good to release the pent up aggression that was poisoning my soul. and I know she felt some kind of connection between us because she let her guard down for me.

1:45 rolled around and I made my way back to the campus and arrived just in time to see Emmett scratching his head, standing in the front of the spot that we were parked in that now held a Mazda Miata. I honked when I pulled up beside him and he jumped because he hadn¶t noticed my arrival. ³What the fuck man, not cool,´ he reprimanded when he opened the door. I just laughed and pointed because it was hilarious. ³Where were you?´ ³Just driving around, I had two hours to kill.´ Jasper showed up at exactly 2:15 and we started the drive home. Traffic was a real bitch but we saw something that we all only thought happened in movies. We were bumper to bumper moving at about three miles an hour if we were lucky. We had the windows down and the custom stereo turned up listing to slip knot. Not my cup of tea but it made the time pass quicker, or so it seemed. We all heard it, as soon as the song was switching and we turned, all looking in the same direction. As soon as we did a motorcycle, a street bike, flew by our window; inches away from the side mirror. ³Holy shit dude, did you guys see that?´ Jasper didn¶t use foul language often but this was the perfect time for it. ³Fuck yeah, that was sick,´ I replied. I was getting a motorcycle. Emmett and Jasper were going to get used cars because I was 100% getting a motorcycle. We saw three more do the same thing until we got off the freeway and took the road that led to our condo«on the beach. Intro into Sociology was a bitch, the whole class time, which was two hours, was strictly lecture. I hate taking notes but I did. I was good at three things, which I have mentioned in the past; school²my future, piano²my passion and women²my pleasure. SPW, that¶s the order of my priorities, has been my whole life. Thursday we talked about the vehicle situation, Emmett and Jasper agreed but I didn¶t inform them what I planned on purchasing. We went to a few dealers and Emmett found what he was looking for, a 2004 Jeep Rubicon; $12,000 bucks down. Jasper found what he wanted which was a gay man¶s car if you ask me, 1995 Camaro Z28; $10,000 more down which left me with $8,000 to work with. That would be plenty to get what I¶m looking for.

On Friday after we got home I jumped on the computer and navigated to craigslist. I looked up motorcycles and found a 2004 Kawasaki ZX-10R for $7,500. Jasper took me to get it in the gay man¶s car and he flipped when he saw what I was looking at. ³You are not getting a motorcycle Edward, it¶s dangerous. The percent of motorcycle accidents double when you¶re under twenty-five.´ ³Jasper, stop being such a pansy, I won¶t do anything stupid; I just want one.´ I got out of the car and in the end, drove away on my new bike. The shifting took some getting used to but by the time we turned on our street I had it down. Emmett came out when he heard us pull up and he looked just as stunned as Jasper was. ³Wicked dude, damn I should have gotten one of these,´ he boomed after he took it for a spin around the block. ³I have to get a motorcycle license,´ I informed him, ³The guy I bought it from said they aren¶t hard to get.´ I had no idea. ³Really, wow, California¶s no joke. Go Arnold,´ he bellowed in his best Swartzenager impression. Jasper made flyers for our party Saturday night, hopefully running over to Sunday morning at the least. He even made his way to the LAU campus and hung some up around there. Emmett and I had the responsibility of finding someone to buy the kegger and the rest of the drinks we would need. Surprisingly enough, it wasn¶t hard to do. Homeless people will do just about anything for some dough, ³You¶re going to get drugs with this aren¶t you?´ I asked him before I handed over the bill; twenty as promised. ³No, no I¶m getting food,´ he said and he sounded sincere, but what hobo doesn¶t? ³You don¶t have to lie to us we don¶t care,´ Emmett said as he handed over the bag full of goodies and loaded the kegs, three to be exact, into the back of his Jeep. He shrugged and accepted the money before turning and walking right back into the liquor store. ³Fucking bums, don¶t they know everyone see¶s through them?´ I mentioned as we pulled away. ³They¶re delusional if they think otherwise.´ Saturday rolled around and Jasper listed the time for the party as 5pm. People started showing up at 3pm. Some we knew or recognized from school but most of the faces were foreign to us.

The house was off limits, only for VIP I guess you could call it. People we choose to come in, others were left to the patio and the beach; which worked out perfectly. There were people from LAU, we knew by their college sweaters and some of the guys wore hats. They made a 40 minute drive to come to our party and we were bound and determined to show them a good time. Emmett turned the tunes up on our oversized stereo system and the party began like that was the cue. Jasper was having a conversation with a cute little petite girl that looked as if he was talking about the most interesting thing in the world. In reality though, he was probably talking about the fucking weather. Marie had totally fucked him up more than he was willing to admit. I walked across the crowded patio and down the stairs to the beach, grabbing a pint of Jack on the way. When I sat on the edge of the water I heard footsteps coming up behind me. ³Is this seat taken,´ a feminine voice came from above me. I looked up to see a fairly decent looking woman, maybe a little older than me. That¶s an added bonus, I thought to myself. ³No please, by all means.´ She sat down daintily with her legs twisted under her and the wind blew in her chocolate brown hair. Chocolate; I hate chocolate. ³What¶s your name?´ She asked and this was my favorite part of any introduction. When I say my name, my new name, it always rolls right off my tongue; nothing like Masen. ³Edward, Edward Cullen.´ She bit her bottom lip and it instantly threw me down memory lane. ³Chocolate brown eyes,´ I said. ³Oh, my eyes are hazel,´ she said assuming I was talking to her. I regained my composure and replied. ³Forgive me,´ in the best way I could to convey normalcy. ³Your name is?´ ³Heather, Heather Jackson,´ she held her hand out for me and I took it in mine. She was soft, I hadn¶t touched a woman in a while, the feel of it ignited something inside me and I went with it.


Can¶t Hardly Wait

The first week of school was hell; the first day was the worst. I got lost numerous times and was late to all three of my classes because of it. My instructors understood, but everyone still stared when I entered each room. High school all over again. ³How was your day?´ Alice asked when she joined me in the car Thursday afternoon. ³Easier than the first three, how was yours?´ ³It was great actually, we start color coordination beginning of next week and I¶ve already been doing that for years; it should be a piece of cake.´ Her eyes shot to mine and she made an µO¶ face, ³Wait I don¶t really like cake,´ we both laughed because it was funny. ³What¶s so funny?´ Rose inquired when she opened the door and slung her bag into the backseat before climbing in herself. ³Oh, it¶s one of those µhad to of been there¶ kind of things,´ I said holding back a giggle. ³Okay«ask me what we¶re doing Saturday night,´ oh this was going to be good; heavy sarcasm. Alice looked over her shoulder at Rose who was sitting right behind her, ³What are you doing this Saturday night?´ ³We are going to a party on the beach in San Diego,´ she squealed. ³Is that the party with the flyers hanging all over campus?´ I asked, ³The one with the keg and a ton of people?´ ³One in the same,´ she revealed one of the flyers she¶d grabbed and we all read over it.

³Count me out,´ I replied as I drove out of the school parking lot. ³Standing around watching a bunch of people I do not know does not sound like a good time.´ ³Bells, come on you have to go«we can¶t go without you,´ Rose pleaded in my ear. ³Why not, you¶re young adults, you can make your own choices,´ I replied a bit smartass-ish. ³We don¶t want to go without you,´ Alice agreed. ³Well you are going without me because I¶m not budging.´ They both harrumphed and continued to talk about the party until we got home. The day came and Alice was up getting ready by noon with Rose. Alice had delved through my closet last night looking for something that was beach appropriate that also said I have class. Why she was looking in my closet was a mystery but she actually found what she was looking for. We didn¶t share a lot of things, but clothes were one of the exceptions. Being Alice¶s sister meant I had to have a sense of style; if not she would have one for me. She may be small and pixie like but she packs a mean bark. They spent hours upon hours preparing for this party and left an hour before it started. ³Don¶t get in that car if you drink, do you hear me?´ ³Yes mom, we¶ll be back, don¶t worry about us,´ Rose replied before getting into the driver¶s seat. I waved them off and went back into the house to do some online research for Sociology. Ridiculous that it would be a requisite for music studies but it is and it¶s one of my first quarter classes. Luckily I took intro into Sociology in high school so I was able to skip ahead to Soc. 2. I fell asleep sometime between 11 and 12 and was startled awake with my laptop still on my lap when the girls walked in through the door. ³How did it go?´ I asked sitting up and rubbing my eyes. ³You totally missed out; we both met a guy tonight. Oh my god,´ Rose fanned her hand in front of her face. ³And they¶re brothers,´ Alice squealed, jumping in place. ³Seems I missed out on an eventful night,´ not that I was disappointed in that. ³And, they have another brother, you should totally meet him.´ ³Yeah, we could totally make it a brother-sister-fuck-fest,´ Rose said fervently. ³No thanks,´ I quickly changed the subject. ³What time is it?´ My eyes wouldn¶t focus on the clock; it was just a red splotchy mess.

³It¶s 5am and I¶m going to sleep,´ Alice started indolently to her room. ³I¶m right there with you,´ Rose followed. ³Night,´ I called after them by the time they reach the hall. ³Night Bells, we¶ll fill you in later.´ Love didn¶t make me sick, I actually still believe in love and fate and soul mates. I just don¶t think I¶ll ever experience it; I think I did and lost my own chance at love and happiness. When Alice and Rose told me about the two guys they met at the party I was thrilled for them. I¶d never heard them talk about guys as much and with such enthusiasm. ³Bella, I wish you could have seen him, mmm,´ Rose moaned over her cup of coffee, ³He was gorgeous; a real thick piece of man. He seemed sweet underneath and I just want to unbury him and keep him all to myself.´ I just laughed, ³And you Alice, was your guy a real thick piece of man?´ I quoted Rose. ³Oh god no, but he was really nice to look at and to talk to; he was really insightful and smart.´ Rose snorted, ³Whatever Rose, at least my guy has a brain. Who needs brawn?´ ³So do we know these guys names?´ I asked, curious if they really did. ³Oh, um,´ Rose looked guilty. ³Well«´ Alice added. ³You don¶t know their names, are you serious? Did you sleep with them?´ I was shocked, who doesn¶t get names? ³We did not sleep with anyone Bella,´ Alice defended them, but Rose didn¶t say anything. We both looked at her and knew the answer to my question. ³Well Rose,´ I pushed, ³Spill.´ ³Okay, I slept with him, it¶s not like it¶s a crime,´ she threw her pillow at me because my mouth was agape. ³Rosalie Swan how could you,´ Alice gasped. ³How could I not, you should have seen him Bella. No way I could resist that.´ ³He¶s going to think you¶re such a whore,´ Alice teased. ³Good,´ Rose smirked, ³Maybe we can hook up again.´ Because they didn¶t get names and they couldn¶t find the house, we spent the next six months trying to run into them. I didn¶t know who I was looking for, so I wasn¶t much help but I did go along when I didn¶t need to study; which wasn¶t often.

It was like feeling my past all over again. dressing expert and accessory extraordinaire. warm and soothing against my skin. you don¶t have to. When it ended I hesitated but managed to move my feet to get a glimpse of the person who could play like that.´ I yelled.It was now the middle of our first year and Rose had a ballet dinner to attend. The piano bench was empty. Three large chandlers hung from the ceiling. I stood still as stone as that same feeling came over me. I stayed planted where I was. the one from the airport. something I would have to get over for my profession.´ I told Rose when she asked me to go. all in a row and each one lit up brilliantly. but you have to mingle.´ I added. I heard a melody floating out to me as it started to play from inside. ³Help. yeah«Alice. The ceiling was tall. no sitting alone and looking miserable. EPOV . It hit deep and made my breathing hitch when I heard the full effect of it. The tables were lined with white table cloths and purple flowers complemented them placed in the middle. and a tear ran down my cheek. ³Yeah. She was my makeup artist. held up by wooden arches every few feet. Unable to move because of the impact the song had on me. I didn¶t see Rose and Alice much as they were okay in big crowds. ³Fine. After two long hours and three broken bobby pins later. There was a grand piano on a stage where I assumed someone would be playing. I hadn¶t gone out and done anything for myself since we got to LA so I was thrilled to go out. When we finally got through that we entered the ball room and it was awe inspiring. The place was packed when we got there and we had to sit and wait for valet parking forever . The air was nice. She invited Alice and I and we both accepted. ³But I refuse to dance.´ Since I can remember that has always been her stipulation and why she thinks I would do it now is beyond me. The long wall had six large windows side by side with long floor length curtains that were tied at the side with white lace underneath them. I eventually made my way to the balcony and the view was better than anything inside. we were ready.

paying bills etc. I can take care of myself. I know this because Emmett always says how they were meant to be because their lives are so parallel. ³That¶s cool and all but I don¶t need you booking shit for me. really I should feel bad about causing the tears that trickled down her cheeks but I just didn¶t feel anything. prick. clingy and narotic would be the two words I would use to describe her.Heather was a mistake. ³Thanks for the short notice too«I appreciate it. I turned to walk away from him and gather myself before I had to go and perform for a bunch of brown nosing rich bitches. always wanting to come over. Agree to do your share of the duties. thanks a lot. Love is just a more romantic term for agreement. ³It was just a fuck. She left with a broken heart and with every broken heart. ³I was helping you out. Love doesn¶t really exist. you¶ll make a few bucks extra cash and people will get to hear your magic fingers. I had to be blunt with her and tell her how it was.´ ³I meant that hypothetically dip shit. mine felt a little more repaired.´ I didn¶t want to do this but it was already set in stone and there was no turning back now. some LAU ballet gathering or some shit. What makes them so deserving over myself? ***************** Middle of the year.´ ³Thanks. Ever sense the party Emmett and Jasper both have been talking nonstop about these two girls they met. If I have to be miserable so does everyone else.´ I knew. I¶m a big boy Em. ³Trust me bro. Marriage: Agree to see only each other.´ I told him and he just shrugged. dinners.´ Id said to her face. I have had it up to here with their bickering and whining. repairs. ³You¶re welcome.´ . All we know was that they¶re sisters. love doesn¶t work like that. which only further aggravated me. standing in front of our condo on the lawn. I told him he was delusional.´ he was offensive. She called non-stop. it¶s a win win situation. which is a breakable agreement because it¶s so easy to get away with. Six months later and they still haven¶t run into them. ³But you said you cared about me.´ Emmett took what I said all wrong. It¶s an endless list of agreements. ³Learn how to accept a gift and say thank you.´ Emmett booked me a gig at a ball room in LA. Eventually she just started showing up on our doorstep like a lost puppy. Em. adopted like us.

but I would like to not be reminded of the way she smiled. or her laugh or the way she looked at me like I was the most important person in her world. I wanted to find out where it was coming from. He showed me a few things that previous customers had chosen but I wanted something original. The tattoo would stand as a constant reminder. yes I¶m getting her initial on me because she is everything that was my past. definitely not my scene. and hopeful that the dreams would start to desist. I told that to the guy with ear gauges the size of my fist standing behind the counter. Sounds gory I know. all the people in the ball room were stuck up prissy bitches. That. because if I could just forgive her for breaking my heart maybe. just maybe I could love again. I was more than thrilled about it. All I want to do is forget about her. something personal only I would know the meaning of it. I had 300 bucks in my pocket and I knew just where I was going to spend it. It was a Letter B with wings and fire creeping up it in all directions. The wings represent her flee. 150 bucks later and the tattoo on the upper right side of my chest. There were sketches all over the walls to give ideas of what you would want. electricity was running through my veins. The entire time I was there. I¶d met a woman named Kat at a Motley Crüe concert a few weeks ago and she told me about her shop. I could definitely live without. but the B stands for her. When Kat arrived I told her and she helped me come up with something I was happy with. was it something within myself? Was it something influential around me in those moments? If so. what the fuck was it? I didn¶t wait around to find out. I had no idea. I hoped on my ZX-10 and got out of there the moment my performance was over. It was also my way of forgiving her. The song flowed out of my soul and it played beautifully in the air around me. I walked into the shop on the corner of North La Brea and Fountain Avenue. I felt alive.******************* I was going nuts over the feeling that washes through me every so often. and the fire represents me taking charge of my life and not letting her run it any longer. I walked out with my first tattoo. I¶d never played it with so much«passion. but I wanted something to represent my past full of sorrow and my future full of possibilities. . tonight at the ballet gathering for LAU. The first time at the airport²twice²then at the beach and now. not completely because she is a big part of my past.

´ I extended my hand and he shook it firmly.´ he laughed. ³You¶re free to come join us whenever you like. It was a track of some kind. just because the girl of your dreams didn¶t come back doesn¶t mean ours won¶t. you¶ll probably never see them again. It was very tiresome. give it a rest. ********************** Graduation year had gone by in the blink of an eye. led you to believe it was real but then you do the research and hard work only to find out that it¶s all a lie. LAU. ³Hey. I wasn¶t sure if it was free to the public or not but I was definitely going to do a lap or two if it was. What¶s your name?´ ³Edward. ³Do you think by hanging the flyers up in the same spot as last time it will give us a better chance of finding the girls?´ Jasper asked Emmett as we waited for guests to arrive.´ Emmett said in a tone I did not find amusing. ³Dude.´ he hollered when the white Honda Civic hatchback smoked the black Volkswagen Golf.´ I was pissed and hurt and ready to . Edward Cullen. It¶s usually just a bunch of us from LAU. ³You¶re really talking about them aren¶t you. she has nothing to do with the fact that you¶ll never see them again. you been riding long?´ He hopped off his bike and rested his helmet on the back of it. I got the bike a little over 6 months ago. My studies were over. ³Do you come here often?´ I had to speak loud because two cars roared to life and screamed down the track at full throttle. I sped up to see what the rush was about and it ended with me following the guy to some spot where they were riding.***************** I was riding down the street on my ZX-10 when another bike flew past me. What about you?´ ³I¶ve been riding since I was around six. everyday LAU.´ the guy on the bike spoke to me after his helmet was removed. ³Good to meet you man.´ I hated to be the sour puss of the group but love was like a myth. ³Who the fuck said anything about that? Why the fuck do you have to bring her up. Emmett was going off to train for the San Diego Chargers and Jasper still had a year to go. every Wednesday and Saturday night. You¶re such a downer man. Best believe we had a party planned. it¶s the ³it thing´ in my family.´ Why was there always something about LAU. ³Yeah. ³I haven¶t seen you around these parts. ³No. LAU.

something in my gut told me I should.get the fuck out of there. Who the fuck needs them. ³Fuck you both.´ I said calmly and seriously. or should I say Emmett and Jasper¶s place. the music capital of the West Coast. I was leaving everything in my past and starting fresh. were they to me really anyways? Only by a piece of paper were we really brothers. but I didn¶t. Who the fuck. I should have been on my own a long time ago. My lid had been flipped and I was ready to go ape shit on the next mother fucker that crossed me. I thought. . they have just been weighing me down. I was going to Portland Oregon. my brothers included.´ I grabbed my luggage that I planned on taking with me to the airport a few hours from now and I was out the door without looking back. ³I hope you have awesome lives filled with kiss my ass and eat dick. I wanted to go back. Instead I decided to be the bigger man and handle this with professionalism and calm. I hopped onto my bike and headed west down my street. I got that feeling for hopefully the last time as a Honda Accord sped past me and stopped at my house. I was ready to give up the addiction as well as the family I thought I had.

´ I heard Rose before she opened the door. I am not going anywhere except to my chair with my laptop sitting on my lap. She screamed as soon as she shut the door behind her. that was as far as I needed to go. ³I don¶t want to hear you complaining when you get a poor grade. look.´ Alice opened the door then. the weekend of finals?´ I hated being the motherly type of the group but someone had to keep us on track.´ ³Ha. you and Alice are going with me. I was sitting in the car waiting for Alice and Rose to show up so we could go home.´ I scolded her. Wednesday next week was the last day and then we were going back to Forks for a week.´ ³Right about what?´ I asked as she handed me the paper. It was Friday and we had the weekend to study for finals. ³You were right. ³Oh you are going. ³I can¶t believe it. ³Are you crazy. and so were we. ³Oh my god. Fate works in mysterious ways. ³About fate and about the guys«They¶re having another party.´ she defended.4.´ I read the first line on the paper and knew exactly what she was talking about. . like they were so sure of then they would run into each other again. they totally mean us. absolutely not.´ Alice celebrated. holding the same sheet of paper in her hand that Rose had.´ she mentally put her hands on her hips. ³Bella look. I actually couldn¶t wait. ³You¶re really going to go to this. they were obsessed beyond words. ³You¶re the one who said it not me. they put ³Two girls from LAU´.´ she whined. ³No. I was worried about Rose and Alice more than I was worried about myself. BPOV What Dreams May Come School had been hectic and I was thrilled I¶d made it through the first year without trouble.´ ³Oh I¶m not going alone. ³Don¶t say I didn¶t warn you. I¶m not messing with fate. her hands balled in fists as she threw a little mini fit over it.´ She¶d lost her damn mind if she thought I was going to do anything else but study this weekend.´ She was pointing rapidly at a piece of paper in her hand. if they were the ones. this is a graduation party Bella. I tried to tell them on multiple occasions that it was pointless. look. They had been searching for the two guys they¶d met over a year ago. it will always find you.

Rose and Alice both checked themselves in the . ³I think this is the street. that¶s the house. ³Turn here. like something off the syfy channel. ³Right there. ³I¶m fine.´ I hate when anyone talks about my driving negatively. there were too many people on I5. ***************** Driving to the condo was a pain.´ We came up on a skinny road that led us closer to the beach. He was visibly ahead of me and I corrected my overturn before he was within five feet from us. I know I¶m a good driver so don¶t put me down. ³I¶m not going to drink and I didn¶t almost get into a car accident. We were lost and this was the third time she¶d said it. we haven¶t even had anything to drink yet and we¶re already getting into almost car accidents. ³Bella!´ Rose called with worry. I started to drive home. ³You almost hit that motorcycle. ³Alice. he was way ahead of me. right there.´ Alice was bouncing in the back seat up until I stopped and parked the car a block down. please shut up. Just as I was rounding the corner one headlight was coming towards us.´ I shook my head trying to bring my mind back to earth.´ Alice interrupted. and the rider looked in my direction but I couldn¶t see his face through the dark helmet. ³I¶m fine.´ ³Just watch where you¶re going Bella. jeez.´ I wasn¶t happy about being dragged to this thing in the first place so us getting lost was just icing on the cake. ³No I didn¶t.³Eee.´ Rose exclaimed. We took the diamond lane (or HOV lane or carpool lane) when we could but it only got us so far. tests to stress about and sleep to try and catch up on.´ Alice sang from the back seat. only lingered. It was spinning and revolving around the feeling that. I know my sisters weren¶t saying it to be mean in anyway but I just have a soft spot for driving. there was no way I was going to agree to this. I know what I¶m doing.´ I replied when I found my breath. now. I have finals to study for. ³Are you okay?´ I looked ahead of me to see the one headlight morph into a dark motorcycle. In the same moment the feeling came over me that I feel sometimes and I swerved from the impact of it. unless you know what you¶re talking about.´ Rose joined her. all six lanes going 20 mph. something just«something came over me.

We reached the door and walked right in. that was just unthinkable. . Now I was going to sleep and hopefully going to get caught up.´ she basically apologized in her roundabout way. All in all a very good night.´ I ushered her to walk and I would follow. ³They¶re over there. gave them both their phone numbers. Obviously he¶ll give it up if he¶s bold enough to ask for us on the flyer. who was apparently pinning over Rose since the beginning of the year and Jasper. ³We won¶t be here long. same night same place. ³Are we just going to stand here all night?´ Rose didn¶t say anything. there were that many people. you could hear the banter and chatter through the walls. resting her arm around my shoulders. I have a test on Monday and a test on Wednesday. I knew when they had spotted their guys because their eyes lit up and a smile unconsciously crossed their faces. like she was better than me or she felt that I thought I was better than her. ³Oh.´ Alice pointed and I saw two guys surrounded by a group of girls sitting on the ledge to their deck.rearview mirror and visor mirrors by the time I was out of the car with my arms crossed and waiting. ³You ready Bells?´ She asked sarcastically. ³Okay we¶re good. I followed a little further away. as long as you¶re ready. Emmett. I hated when she was in these moods. whom is head over heels for Alice. I just want to get his name and number and hang out for a minute. ************** We didn¶t go home empty handed. she just started forward with Alice at her flanks.´ Rose said as they both exited the car. I actually got them to leave by midnight like they¶d promised. On top of all of that. They did have another brother. then it was straight studying tomorrow. actually. We have always had these little tiffs because we aren¶t as close as Alice and I are. it was quite the opposite of that. then it¶s off to Forks after Alice and Rose¶s dates. We always made up though.´ I pushed after they were silent for what seemed like minutes. They made plans to meet up after finals and Alice and Rose gave them their numbers too. ³So. I¶m fine. I only wanted to make sure they kept their end of the bargain.

The car won¶t cave in around me because of the roll cage. I love to drive. I¶m not just talking about your run of the mill muscle car or tuned up Honda. turbo or a vtec head. that doesn¶t mean anything to you?´ She waited impatiently for my response and I guess I wasn¶t fast enough for her. add a roll cage.´ the announcer stated over the loud speaker. ************** ³I think you have gone nuts. As soon as it was green my foot is going to the floor. The light that was red disappeared and a yellow one took its place right below it and then another. My mind wandered even further and as I drifted off«their brother Edward was my Edward. not my Edward«Edward from my past. what better way than on a track? ³You have a roll cage Bella. I haven¶t and. are you really going to do this?´ Rose was such a worry wart sometimes. take out any and all insulation to guarantee lightest weight and you got yourself a track car. The last . I don¶t know what to tell ya. because they did have a third brother and by coincidence his name is Edward. Charlie and Renee will be pissed.´ ³That is the stupidest thing I¶ve heard come out of your mouth. ³I think she¶ll be fine. No.´ Rose stalked off and Emmett followed close behind her. ³All persons and personnel off the race way.´ she scolded.´ I positioned my hands on the steering wheel and concentrated on the lights to the side of me.´ I had made one or two friends at LAU and one of them like to drive fast cars. and I am going to do it. The LA runway wasn¶t far from the LAU campus and I finally decided I was going to give it a shot. it is what it is.´ I heard him reassuring her. ³I hope you don¶t kill yourself Bella. ³Well.I let my mind wander on that.´ the announcer called and I put my thumb up through the windshield. ³Driver ready. I¶m talking about track cars. You take your everyday muscle/tuner car. I like to drive fast and I don¶t like to get tickets. racing harnesses. ³Or are you some kind of adrenaline junkie now?´ ³It means that if the car was to flip and it decides to bounce around a few times. I¶ll be safe and snug against the seat by the racing harness. ³No. yes.

Drifting wasn¶t really my forte. I had to correct myself a few times from over turning but moments later I was straight again. ³Bella Balls. I purposefully let the tires spin for a second and then I was off. it was more than a stress reliever like I intended it to be. it was such a thrill to go that fast. Eric. Every day since they have talked to each other. I was getting better at this whole people thing. ³Whoo Bella. The second and last turn on the course came and I didn¶t have to decelerate to take it with ease. . claiming it¶s boring at home without their other brother there. I climbed out of the window and saw the 100¶s of people watching me. The car I was driving was a 2001 Acura Integra. I said I liked fast cars and I wasn¶t lying. ****** After the graduation party Rose and Alice had given the boys their phone numbers and vice versa. It does 0 to 80 in seven seconds and it¶s lowered to four inches off the ground allowing better control around corners. The car bucked forward as the rear wheels caught traction. Once I hit the straight away I shifted into fourth at 100 mph. It was nerve wracking but I wasn¶t there to impress anyone. You do have balls Bella. I was only there to relieve some aggression. ³Well. ³I didn¶t expect it.´ Emmett¶s booming laugh could be heard all the way across the track. The first turn came and I went around it at 90 mph.´ he called. but the car was nice«and fast. completely tracked out with the vtec head to prove it. that was off the hook girl«you got cohunes. black with leather racing seats. ³145 mph. Emmett and Jasper were seated.´ he teased. This was a defining moment for me. the owner of the Acura and my friend from school.´ We made our way across the track to where Rose. Alice. met me on the track and offered me a high five. I think Alice or Rose or both said something to them about my problem with the name Edward because they never bring him up. the guys come out to our place a lot. It¶s been modified to rear wheel drive for better handling while drifting. The speedometer needle inched passed 80 when I shifted into third gear and the rush was amazing.light turned green and I slammed my foot over the accelerator. Way more effective than yelling at the top of my lungs.´ he agreed with Emmett. By the time my turn was up I had done 145 mph on the straight away.

from day negative one when she set up my room in the Swan house. never to be mended because there is only one person that can mend it and I have no idea where that person is. ³What?´ I asked. did you hear me?´ Emmett tapped my shoulder bringing me back to the present. I wouldn¶t go out of my way to see him if I knew where he was. ³You have pretty amazing driving skills. I will forever be broken. he could be anywhere.´ ³I knew she could do it. .´ Want to race back to your place?´ ³What in your Jeep? I¶ll smoke you in our Accord.´ They all had a good laugh on my expense. such as my situation. ³Yeah. ³I have to give it to you Bella.´ ³I will. The couple that adopted him was well off. ³Bella and Eric sitting in a tree. k-i-s-s-i-n-g.´ Jasper commented before anyone else. not even of each other. so I never got to see what he looked like.´ Alice added and I smiled in her direction.´ heavy sarcasm.´ Rose scolded again. When something so catastrophic happens in one¶s life it sometimes alters it irrevocably. they could literally be anywhere.´ I laughed and rolled my eyes before handing Eric the helmet. She always believed in me. I¶ve come to the terms that I will probably always be minimally happy with my life.´ I turned back to see Alice giggling. I would be lying if I said I didn¶t want to know if it were him. thanks again. The fact that I¶m always miserable when they¶re happy or the fact that graduation is coming up and we¶ll be leaving sunny California and Emmett will be staying in San Diego to play for the Chargers.They don¶t have any pictures in their house. that was such a blast. you¶re lucky you aren¶t dead. What did you say?´ ³I said. ³What«no I¶m sorry. ³We meet here every Wednesday and Friday night so come by any time. just give me a call. I could never thank her enough for that. ³Bella.´ ³Anytime. yeah. the worlds the limit. ³Thank you. but if I ran into him randomly I would ask him all the questions I¶ve wanted answers to for over seven years. Oh. There were a number of reasons behind why Rose was being so ill towards me.´ he was headed back to his car but stopped mid step. Seven years is a long time. Bella. Maybe even the fact that we were moving to Seattle and the fact that I¶m always miserable was making her angry at herself and she was taking it out on me because I¶m already unhappy.

The city was full of people. 2006 I never saw my life as being what I am. The buildings were tall. Seven fucking years and I still see her face when I close my eyes. Alice and Jasper sitting in a tree. it did nothing for the dreams. They all had their regular fans show up and some even had merchandise. every last one of them in down town were light up every night. not that it was a great site to see but a lot of people would die to see it every time they looked out their window. one of the most beautiful cities at night. I even told my colleague Laurent about them.´ he suggested. some not so fortunate people. ³Maybe you should see a specialist about it. but it still caused quite the raucous. which was very convenient considering I have a façade to uphold. He offered me a job at the CC preparing sets for the local music.´ . I didn¶t go to college and get a degree for this shit but everyone had to start somewhere and the CC is it for me. Funny guy. ³God«get a room you two. seven ridiculous long agonizing years and I am still burdened by the dreams every night. ³I have and it only helped me to stop thinking about her all the time. Every Saturday night was open mic. any Joe Blow off the streets had a chance to woo the good people of Portland. If you have ever seen a Jamaican guy with dreads then you¶ve seen Laurent.´ EPOV Portland Oregon. I am convinced they will never end.´ I mocked her and she kissed him causing me to stop reciting it. and some such as myself: Fortunate. which we sold for them for a small fee.³No. He also hooked my up with a friend of his who had his hand in all the music derived clubs and the Convention Center along with the Rose Garden. Journal Entry 222: August 27. he lightened my mood most of the time. Mostly rappers and wanabes showed up. The job is hectic and fucking nerve wracking but it always seems to keep my mind off of other things like the whole of my misery. Carlisle put me up in this apartment overlooking the Willamette River.

³Mr. ³Thank you. the CEO of the Rose Garden stadium came by and asked me to meet with him and discuss possible employment. she ruined women for me. ³Edward. ³And to repopulate. please take a seat. only the present and the future. just like the others but it was across from a little park that reminded me of the park me and Bella used to go to. no more thought of Bella and my past. ³Yeah. Just my smile caused so many adoring glances and even some stares. don¶t forget that.´ he added in his comical demeanor. Mr.´ We were preparing the set for tonight and he was climbing up the ladder to mess with the wiring to the curtain.³That¶s the breaks man. There . Cullen. It was a tall building. make yourself at home.´ I told the receptionist when I entered the main office downtown.´ For some reason Laurent was easy to talk to. in his 80s maybe. I¶ll only be a minute longer. to tempt me and make it hard for me to concentrate on what¶s important.´ the receptionist called from her post. They¶re just pawns to me. she was cute and I didn¶t even have to think about giving her my crooked grin because it was already plastered on my face. Getting my foot in the door was what was important. he always had real insightful advice and he was older. Here I am barely 20. ***************** ³Hello. This little secretary behind her desk was probably mentally begging me to ask her for her number. it was nice with a dark cherry wood theme. It was more of a lake but the park setting looked identical. My future started three days from then.´ I sat in a chair opposing him and admired his office. for years. she must have made some kind of impact on you. He looked very fit for his age. The man at the desk wasn¶t the man that came and saw me two days prior. I wasn¶t sure what I was interviewing for and I didn¶t much care.´ my mind was aloof. who can forget that. I¶m here to see Charles Jones. it wasn¶t opening properly on both ends.´ I continued on through the door she was holding open and she closed it behind me. I can¶t look at them the same. He wore a pin striped suit and his hair was combed over.´ She smiled at me. Jones will see you now. ³He¶s in a meeting right now but I¶ll bring it to his attention that you¶ve arrived. like women are only there to confuse me. around 30. ³Oh yeah. this man was older. If this wasn¶t a job interview I would have. probably the type that runs every morning and has.

I have all of those qualities and I am good with the ladies.´ ³Pleasures all mine. Yes. I guess I am good with people. ³I ah. I¶ll call them here in a few minutes and notify them of your transfer. I make sure the talent has entertainment while they¶re in town if they¶re from out of town and I check up on them and make sure they¶re taken care of. ³People tend to migrate toward me so yeah. yes I would very much appreciate the opportunity. You¶re in good hands son. ³How did you get your information?´ ³Someone recommended you for the job.´ I was a little thrown back at the type of information he had on me.´ ³And it says here you have a degree in music management and you¶re fluent on the piano. they won¶t mind.´ I didn¶t know what I did made that much of a difference. ³Don¶t worry about that. He stood up just before I followed suit and we shook hands. and gave me what they had on you. Do you disagree with what they say?´ ³No. I also. Is all of that true and do you agree with it?´ ³It is. I have a few people that help but I do most of the preparation for the event. set up the props and make sure everything is in working order. You have a way with people that¶s hard to find and that you would make an outstanding music director. ³I hear you¶re doing wondrous things over there at the convention center? Tell me about it. not at all.´ He stayed on his computer.´ ³Would you like to work for me Edward? Your salary will be substantial and we have all accommodations available to you if there is anything you need. It also says that you¶re outgoing and a smooth talker when it comes to the ladies.´ I chuckled nervously. It was so surreal I felt like I was on top of the world. a very reliable source.´ He was actually giving me the option to turn down the job of a lifetime.was a little mini bar in one corner of his office and pictures littered his desk. this isn¶t part of my job title. ³I¶m a little shocked. but. make sure the talent is synched. ³I have to give notice to the convention center. I can let you know by tomorrow afternoon?´ it was more a question than a request.´ ³Well um. I assumed they were of his family. when can you start?´ he was inputting information into his computer but continued with his questioning. his eyes fixeated on .´ he startled me and I jumped. I¶m just surprised. ³Forgive me.

not just for the recommendation but for everything. I won¶t let you down. Jones. The game that got them the chance at the Super Bowl was a memorable one in more than just that way. they saw something in me when no one else did. I was happy for him but I hated the happiness he had over my own. they let me watch it without serving me any alcohol. with very little help from the state. ³I have some things to do. He actually cried and I shed a tear myself. Even before I turned 21. they trusted me. A year was all it took. ********************* I watched every game Emmett had at a little sports bar and grill down the street. He made me promise to come home for Christmas this year and I agreed. . and an anonymous recommendation. They took care of me for the remainder of my adolescence and put me through college. now that I saw what I¶ve been missing has been right under my nose. For being the best father to me and my brothers when he didn¶t have to be. I couldn¶t wait to see them now. I got a little emotional as I told him thank you. This was the job I had wanted since I moved here. I had all the reasons in the world to be nice to them but I never was. 2007 I always put off that I hated him but in reality. I was pretty sure I knew who it was and a much needed long awaited thank you was in order. They sent me back to Forks to find her. well him and Esme. That¶s the day I found out about Jasper¶s engagement to Alice. for being the man I look up to and being the man I want to become. he was thrilled to hear from me on a personal note instead of business. come see me tomorrow around 12 and we can discuss this further. Carlisle put me up in this apartment rent free until I got the job that would suffice. They both wanted what was best for me and that¶s why I had to show my appreciation for once. I called Carlisle after arriving home. I would never feel that for anyone. They took me in even when I fought them. I hated him. which I am now 22.whatever was across his screen.´ ³Thank you Mr.´ I shook his hand as firmly as I could because on the inside I was shaking. knew it by heart but never told him that. he was the one person I truly held any respect for. Journal Entry 303: September 22. Once I got to my apartment I dialed his number. even when there was a chance I would not return.

³Every single person can teach you something new.´ I repositioned my bags so they wouldn¶t end up on the floor. Anyway I put it. I could find no real correlation that would cause the feeling to return. pretty cool.not again. sorry about that. I still hadn¶t seen them since the last Christmas I went home a year ago. they paid for the therapy session so of course they wanted . I have a family member on one of the teams. ³Oh. I was excited to see my brothers and my parents again. I met my family at the hotel we were all staying at and the déjà vu feeling that came over me sent me off balance and I almost ran into a guy with my luggage cart. ³Yeah. ³Did you ask him for pointers?´ she was always telling me to learn as much as I can from the people around me. love does not conquer all.´ Her smile faded a bit. her favorite pianist of all time. Esme¶s eyes lit up when I told her I¶d met Elton John. I was spending three nights in Tampa Bay. He loved Mandy Moore¶s character. they were intrigued when I told them stories about all the famous musicians I¶d met over the years. Her motto. The plane ride was torturous.´ He was a nerdy looking fellow. I checked in and the feeling I haven¶t felt since I left San Diego hit me three times before I reached my room. Carlisle and Esme came up to my room to talk about whatever came to mind. I got the time off to go. ³So does my girlfriend.´ She seemed to except that.´ ³I didn¶t. but the only thing I could come up with was the beach. Louis Vuitton isn¶t something to mess around with. it hurts too much when it ends badly. He was a fool. even married her in the church that her parents did a year before she died from cancer.´ I apologized when I realized I¶d hit him in the ankle. excuse me. but we were miles from the closest one. we were on a short schedule so I didn¶t get much time to talk about anything else but the show. I couldn¶t fucking fathom the pain of going through that a second time. there¶s no lucky lady in your life?´ This was the question I¶d been dreading. ³But next time he comes I¶ll do my best to sneak that in. which was where the Super Bowl was being held this year. Present two Christmas¶s ago when Carlisle and Esme thought I needed better luggage. they played ³A Walk to Remember´ and I felt pity for the leading male character. you here for the Super Bowl?´ he asked. but seemed decent enough. I tried to think of any connections between here and California. ³No problem man. They knew everything about Bella. ³So Edward.

I don¶t think I ever will. That name sent a shiver up my spine and I think they both caught on to it. they need too much attention and I¶m a busy guy. I laughed nervously. . Now they always want to know if I¶ve moved on from it. No more testing.´ I do not want kids. She¶s very feminist when it comes to things like that.´ Carlisle always had a logical explanation for everything. still testing the water. Isabella?´ Carlisle asked. ³I¶m sure it has nothing to do with him but I surely hope not. she¶ll be sharing our box tomorrow with her boyfriend mike. I was meeting my family downstairs for breakfast and supposedly meeting the infamous Isabella and her boyfriend Mike. ³Have you met Alice and Rose¶s sister. ³I want three grandbabies. ³Well. so you better get in the game soon. ³Someday. The sun shining through the curtain of my sliding glass door that led out onto a balcony woke me early the next morning. Esme has always been the type to give people the benefit of the doubt. ³Nope.´ she said and it seemed like she was trying to convince herself. ³I¶m sure it has nothing to do with Mike. ³I don¶t think babies are my thing. In all the years I¶ve known them she¶s never come around. Black slacks and a button up blue shirt.status updated regularly.´ I replied smoothly. that¶s what I wanted to say but I couldn¶t break Esme¶s heart just like that.´ she tried convincing herself yet again. he¶s a pretty decent guy. ³No I haven¶t. one from each of you. I¶m tired. I think I¶m going to hit the sack.´ Esme contemplated. All I could see when I closed my eyes was the name Isabella. my favorite color.´ Esme practically barked.´ I told them goodnight and they left shortly after. ³Like she¶s being held down by something. Isabella« Bella.´ ³She¶s here. Her smiles seemed forced and so did her laugh. probably a loser if my interpretation of what Esme said is correct. maybe she¶s just nervous about meeting us today.´ ³She seems a little troubled. no judging a book by its cover. I showered and went with casual attire for the day.

My family was definitely one of the best. or maybe right side up when I saw her walk through the door behind the man I¶d run into last night with my luggage cart. My entire world was turned upside down. every dream and every tear I have shed in almost the last decade in his hand. I looked around to see what it could be that was causing it. . and also looking to the door because it could only be the only people who were missing. ³Yeah. my brother it¶s been what over a year since I¶ve seen you. I wished I would have run him over completely because he had every nightmare. look at how you¶ve aged.´ I teased and he punched me on the shoulder and we hugged genuinely. healthy and big as always. There were bar servers in the box and I got a scotch on the rocks first thing. that¶s too long man.Of course she wasn¶t there and we ate breakfast without her. ³Edward.´ Emmett looked good. Breakfast went without a hitch and game time came quickly. Right after I finished that thought the feeling came over me and I heard the door open. ³She¶s not feeling well so they¶re going to meet us in the box before the show starts. I¶m not a heavy drinker but when it¶s free I¶m always down to take advantage of it.´ Alice informed us. The mystery sister and her boyfriend were still MIA and I was beginning to think they weren¶t going to come at all.

I was teaching 4th graders how to orchestrate and play together as a group. I knew he would take good care of her though. He was breathing hard and she was worried that something had happened. as an instructor. They were the cutest couple but they made me blush sometimes with the way they looked at each other. and I got mine in teaching music. you could see the intensity of his love for her. We turned her room into an office and Alice and I split the bills 50/50. Rose received her degree in dance. Time really flies by. That was the best part . I wasn¶t the greatest at playing all of the instruments but I could definitely teach someone else to be wonderful. She deserved that kind of treatment because she never asked for it and she never took it for granted. Alice received hers in fashion and design and also got a nice letter of recommendation for being top in her class the whole term. We were required to attend any games close to home because we would have VIP seating along with free accommodations.E Seattle. It wasn¶t until a few days later that she came to us and told us she was going on the road with him while he traveled with the Chargers. he knocked on the door drenched like a wet dog and Rose was in her pajamas with her hair piled on top of her head. She gasped and said yes before he even got the question out. A year after we had moved to Seattle Emmett showed up unannounced and asked Rose to marry him. It was a sad goodbye when she left. BPOV A Lot Like Love This part of my life is a new start. Jasper moved to Seattle not long after Rose moved out so he could be closer to Alice.5. Alice was picking out all of our furniture while Rose and I were out looking for jobs. it felt like just yesterday we arrived in our new apartment in Seattle. He also did everything she wanted to do and treated her like a princess. They had been doing the long distance relationship thing since we left and I guess he got tired of it. He got down on one knee and she thought he was trying to rest until he held the little black velvet box up to her. With Emmett on the team I knew we would be making that trip. I was nauseatingly happy for both of them. It was one of those fairy tale kinds of proposals. I got a job a few weeks after we moved at an elementary school in S. We were also required to attend the super bowl if they so happened to make it that far.

was one of the worst since«we¶ll just say it was the second worst experience of my life.of my job. I was reluctant at first but decided maybe a man could take my mind off of another man. what more could a girl ask for? We made it a tradition to watch any games that included the chargers over at Alice and Jasper¶s house. how¶s everything?´ .E Seattle. well. more like acquaintances. it didn¶t. I met someone. I guess you could say he wasn¶t well endowed or skilled. we were friends at first. Yes. We didn¶t speak much until the day he asked me out on a date.´ She held out her cell phone and it rang three times before Rose could be heard on the other end. He was nice. white picket fence included. it was going to hurt. we¶d run into each other on a few occasions. The last couple of games I brought Mike with me and he seemed to get along with Alice and Jasper just fine. Alice and Jasper live in a cute little house in S. it was going to feel so good like my whole body would fill with feel good juice and release it causing it to erupt. I loved my sister and I didn¶t want to live by myself. The playoffs were in full swing and the Chargers were playing against the Dallas Cowboys for a shot at the Super Bowl. The day Alice moved out. It was half time and Alice pulled me to her loft. he didn¶t talk a lot like some people do and he didn¶t mind the silence which made him more attractive. That made me happy. Yeah. he put all of my needs before his and he spoiled me often. We¶d been doing it through three seasons now and they still hadn¶t made Super Bowl. I had sex for the first time and it was nothing like what I expected. seeing a kid realize they can play the flute or the trombone and watch their eyes light up when they see how fulfilling practice and determination can be. I didn¶t. Yay«it was dull and didn¶t feel like anything. The first couple of dates were overbearingly awkward but after that it wasn¶t all together terrible. I was going to bleed. at least I¶d found someone that could mix well with my family. I¶d heard so many things. ³We¶re calling Rose because this is important. which was two years after we moved to Seattle. I envisioned one of those KY Jelly commercials when they cut from the bed to a waterfall and back to the couple after they already did the deed. He was sweet and kind and I could tell he loved me. actually it¶s brown but it still puts off the same vibe. I miss you. ³Hey sis. He works for the company that delivers the food to the cafeteria.

but the look on his face was sheer happiness and I couldn¶t break that.´ ³Oh my god Alice that¶s huge. ³We won.´ I gasped when I saw the giant diamond ring on her tiny finger. The whole game I stared at his hand on my leg. it isn¶t right to let it go on for much longer. and I said yes. We said bye to Rose and joined the guys back in the front room just as the second half started. ³Does that mean we¶re going to the Super Bowl?´ Mike asked. the one with the weight on it.´ we could hear people celebrating in the background as they watched the half time show. I can¶t help how I feel and I don¶t feel a thing for him. I wanted to say ³No we need to talk´. he took me out to this really fancy restaurant in downtown. I miss you guys so much. or ³Maybe that¶s not such a good idea´. He scooted over so our legs were touching and rested his hand on my thigh. through the air fist pumping like a champ in a deep voice for her. I knew right then and there that we weren¶t going to last much longer.´ she chanted in his arms. I knew he would do what he did next because he always had to be basically sitting on top of me to be happy. we¶re going to the Super Bowl. She held out her hand.´ Alice sang with excitement. just perfect.´ Alice was bouncy and the excitement rang high in her voice. trying to figure out how I was going to do it. ³Aw. it was perfect you guys.´ she moved her tiny fist. that was obvious but it just didn¶t feel right between us. I can¶t wait to see you. ³Last night at dinner. ³Yes. ³Yes we¶re going to Super Bowl. The more time we spent together the more I could feel it. Whoop whoop whoop.³Bella¶s here too. I gave my congratulations to Jasper and sat a few inches away from Mike. ³Ahh!´ Alice¶s high pitch scream brought me back to reality and she was hugging Jasper energetically. She was destined for pure happiness while I feel like I am settling. ³When did he ask you?´ ³What«when did who ask who what?´ Rose¶s voice carried through the phone that was on speaker. We¶re going to the Super bowl.´ ³Jasper asked you to marry him?´ Rose questioned. we won.´ She was beaming with joy and to be honest it made me sick. I was going to break his heart when I know how much that hurts. Plus Alice replied before I could. ³I have some news. . Mike is a good catch.

I told myself this was the last weekend I was going to pretend. . The feeling of déjà vu came over me. I text Alice and told her I wasn¶t feeling well and that I¶d see them in the box. something that hasn¶t happened since the graduation party three years ago. I wanted to tell him that time would never come. ³I don¶t know what to say to that. but of course I couldn¶t say either of those things. ³I think I love you Bella. once we got home I was going to tell him the truth.´ I answered honestly. I was lying to him and myself by doing it. The next couple of things seemed to happen all at once. Really I didn¶t want to sleep in the same bed with him. That just gave people more reason to look in my direction or stare. I wasn¶t sure it was from me or someone in the group of people sitting in the bleachers.´ he added that last part with a lump in his throat. I felt like I was lying to everyone in the room when we entered holding hands.´ Again he caught me off guard and he looked so vulnerable and easily offended. ³You don¶t have to say anything until you¶re ready to say it. I feel fine. We were running late because Mike takes an unusually long time to get ready and I hate being the last person to arrive anywhere. I think he was trying to hint that we should take one together but that just wasn¶t something I wanted to do at all. ³Nothings wrong. and then I saw him. I want you to be my wife someday and I hope you feel the same way.´ Morning came and I really didn¶t feel like eating breakfast with everyone and to be quite honest I was a little uncomfortable around their parents. this was definitely going to be a long and agonizing game. *********************** ³What¶s wrong Bella?´ Mike asked when we were getting ready for bed the night before the game. ³You would tell me if you were having second thoughts about us wouldn¶t you?´ his question startled me and I think he saw the answer. I took an extra long shower and Mike took one after me. Then a loud intake of breath came from somewhere in the room. that I cringed at just the thought of sleeping all night in this bed with him. ³Thank you.´ I lied.We were going to the Super Bowl. Mike was coming along and I had no idea what to do about the mixed up feelings I was having.

like I¶d just run a mile and my heart mirrored its pace. This whole time. I thought back further to the first time I¶d had that feeling. to try and make sense of the world because I must have done something to deserve this torture. . free. starting from the tips of my fingers and toes and meeting in the middle.I remembered instantly where I¶d seen Carlisle and Esme. What the hell did that even mean? I found the smoking area and dipped out the door. Cullen. at the beach. they were Dr. at the airport. I won¶t be long. shit«I need to get some air. light. I held onto the fence for balance and attempted to look back at what just happened. the graduation party and last night. ³No! I¶ll be fine. and hysterical all at once. the brother of my soon to be brother in laws. apparently when he is in the vicinity.´ I laughed nervously and excused myself quickly making my way all the way to the corner where the fences came together. It made me the feel the most alive I have in a long time. started creeping up my body. Was it ever going to stop? I felt so confused. Ten years has passed and not a night has gone by that I haven¶t seen his face. I don¶t smoke.´ I turned and released Mike¶s hand to walk back out the door. ³You okay sweetie?´ an older woman asked blowing smoke from between her lips lazily. and now here he sits. calm. ³I¶m fine. The feeling I sometimes get. It was like I was back in Forks. ³Wait. So many memories flashed before my eyes until Mike stepped between us.´ with that I hurried out the door and didn¶t even make it to the other side of the hallway before my knees started to buckle under me. ever sense the first week of college he has been within my reach and I didn¶t even know it.´ he offered. When I went to take a deep breath as I turned to face whoever was out there I inhaled someone¶s secondhand smoke and gagged from the pain it caused in my throat. ³Something wrong?´ he asked. wild. at the group home looking into his emerald scorching eyes. stay and have a good time. I reached out to grab the wall for support and thankfully I found it without falling on my face. My breathing was something fierce. the ballet dinner. I liked it. well the boys face. I suddenly couldn¶t breathe and Mike¶s hand was like a heavy weight holding me there in that room. and Mrs. ³Um. I¶ll go with you.

her eyes were still the same deep chocolate I remember. I allowed myself to examine the small subtle. and then it stopped. mine or her¶s. The universe officially has it out for me. ³Um.´ she replied to something the douche bag said to her and then she was out the door. He started back towards the room then back towards the smoking entrance more than a few times until he finally decided to make his next move. I could have asked her right there. but I couldn¶t do it. I won¶t be long.´ She was trying to avoid my question. aged but not so much. I had to know why she did it. her voice was like angels to my ears. more so than I remember. age only made her look that much more tantalizing. only 15 feet away from. Someone would suspect something and I didn¶t need the distraction.I saw his tousled hair first. Her face looked the same. This was his once in a lifetime opportunity to play in the Super Bowl. . The realization of that hit me like a ton of bricks. literally speaking. I had to wait so it didn¶t seem like I was going after her. This mother fucker was already on my bad side. made a scene and ruined everyone¶s good time. yet noticeable. ³No. So many moments when I felt like nothing made sense anymore because of those sleepless nights. shit«I need to get some air. I never thought I would hear its beauty again and there I was. stay and have a good time. When Mike interrupted our locked eyes fury raged within me. I¶ll be fine. to corner her somewhere and demand answers to the question that have been haunting me for years. Not my Bella. the woman of my dreams. changes. this just made him on the worst side possible. EPOV There she fucking was in all her splendor. My memory didn¶t do them justice in the least. I wasn¶t going to make him look bad over something I can¶t change. why she left and didn¶t leave me a way back to her. Bella from my past. my Bella was in this room. it was coming fast. It wasn¶t for their sake. My feet itched to follow her. it was for Emmett. The fucking bitch comes into my brothers box with some dip shit holding her hand to top it off. she was gorgeous. So many sleepless nights I have spent looking into those eyes.

She said she needed air. She betrayed me for all the good I did for her. 10 fucking years is my guess. I managed to move my feet which felt like blocks of concrete and she never looked in my direction but she moved slightly with every step I took. ³You are the one that never came back.´ she shot at me. my inner voice suggested. She didn¶t look at me but she had to know I was there. Alice gave me some kind of look I wasn¶t able to translate it but it looked accusing. up against the fence gripping it for support. . She hated me.´ she pushed when I didn¶t give her the answer. Subconsciously I looked right at her.´ I told Jasper.´ I choked on the words and it came out as more of a plea than a demand like I intended. No one else gave a second notice. looking up from the ground and directly into my eyes. ³I can¶t do this. As I got closer my emotions were conflicting. starting in the tips of my toes and fingers and it started to fill me and expand as I walked further and further away from the room.´ I spat the last part because that¶s just fucked up.´ ³You owe me an explanation. to hold her and tell her everything was going to be okay. the only place to get it would be the smoking section. crouching in the corner area. ³The hell you don¶t. Unless this feeling is only something I feel.´ I heard her say when I stood but five feet away from her. ³I don¶t owe you anything. She had some explaining to do.Five minutes went by and I decided to make my move. causing me to change my mind several times before I managed to grasp the door and pull it open. I came upon the door. why don¶t you explain that to me? No. ³I wasn¶t prepared for this and I can¶t do it. I could see it some 30 feet ahead of me. That thought brought back memories of the way our relationship worked when we had one. ³What makes you think I didn¶t come back?´ ³Well did you. I¶ve spent the last 10 fucking years trying to rid my mind of you and here you are flaunting your shit all in front of me. As soon as I stepped out of the door the feeling came over me. Break a man¶s heart and then stomp on it too. including the dip shit she came in with. I had an overbearing need to comfort her. ³I¶ll be right back. on second thought don¶t because it¶ll be a lie anyway.´ She looked angry like she¶s been waiting to release this frustration for a long time.

seeing the woman I thought I¶d never see again yet I see her every night in my subconscious.´ I turned away from her. everyone except Edward. BPOV I started hyperventilating after he left. She wouldn¶t believe me if I told her that I showed up there only to have my heart ripped out and shattered. . ³I don¶t know you tell me. It was tantalizing and this was going down at the most important football game of my brother¶s career. ³It¶ll be a lie anyway. I took a deep breath and willed myself to a standing position and made my way to the box. I just walked the rest of the way to everyone else who was laughing and having a good time.´ I snapped. Did he really go back for me? I was there for six months after he left. ³I have to get out of here. almost lethal. I had to get myself together. He didn¶t even notice I entered the room. His eyes that bored into mine were deep and they were hurt. we¶ve been waiting for you. My hand rested on the door knob longer than necessary until I finally got the courage to open it and walk through it.´ Alice snatched my hand and pulled me into the group. I¶m not hallucinating.´ he growled under his breath. still pissed and hurt but calmer. nothing like I remember them. would he have called if I would have left him a number to reach me? I had to stop my train of thought there because it would only add to my frustration and bewilderment. I didn¶t answer.³Why should I tell you. the feeling that came over me was so powerful and overbearing. ³No. ³What?´ he asked in an angry tone. I feel like I¶m going to explode. The game was just about to start and everyone was talking and laughing. ³It¶s not even worth my time. probably mirroring my own pain and suffering.´ He slammed the phone shut and looked over at me. wont it?´ I was actually in shock. He kicked back a shot of something clear and slammed the shot glass down on the countertop. He was sitting at the bar with a drink in his hand and the phone in the other. ³Where have you been. she¶s fucking here. She wouldn¶t believe me if I told her that I have dreamt of her every night since then and she definitely wouldn¶t believe me if I told her about the feeling that comes over me whenever she is in the same vicinity. as hard as it was I did it and walked right out the door and back to the box. or at least he didn¶t act like he did.´ her tone was calmer.

³What¶s wrong?´ ³Nothing. anytime my eyes tried to trail across him I darted them the other way. The way it felt silky smooth running between my fingers and how it would go right back to the mess it was after I twisted a strand around my finger. if anything time only did him well. I kept my eyes planted on the ground but I could see Edward¶s eyes following me in my periphery. I was tense because of it and I prayed no one noticed. but I could feel his ominous stare on my back. I spent the rest of half time looking at the disarray of Edward¶s tangled bronze hair. I think I need some water. I remember the way he liked me to run my fingers through it when we sat together in the park. The whole game was a blur. I could feel his anger pulsating out of him and reaching out and touching me. Our families didn¶t need to know the background we share.´ I replied with the smile I¶ve gotten used to perfecting over the years. two rows up. He was so sweet to me then. He was still just as gorgeous as I remember. I didn¶t really need water but I needed to get out of the situation I was in. I¶ll be fine. I must have been convincing enough. I tried not to look in his direction. He stayed at the bar until the game actually started and he took a seat directly behind me. He was truly one of a kind and I . ³I feel a little nauseous. It was all I could think to say. Everyone was clapping and cheering and having a good time except me and Edward.³I just needed some fresh air.´ I blurted. it would only make things awkward. Mike gave me a look but continued on with his conversation with Jasper about the dynamics of being a psychologist to high school students.´ I stood up and passed by him as he lifted his legs and followed me with his eyes. even when he was jerk to everyone else. When we would argue he would cave. Ten years and he still has this effect on me. he couldn¶t be mean to me. like a cloud was looming around me and my ears muffled by cotton. When half time hit he turned his attention to me and I was startled by his sudden interest. I leaned away from him and his smile faded. ³Are you enjoying the game?´ he leaned in close to me and his closeness was worse than ever before. ³No. do you want to head back to the room until the next half?´ He sounded concerned now. I couldn¶t see him now. when we would disagree he would agree after I put up enough of a fit. Jasper kept Mike entertained all through the first half of the game.´ ³Oh. The burning desire to be close to him was so intense I had to concentrate on not moving from my seat.

The next half came and I took my seat. like it didn¶t faze him in the least and that pissed me off more than it hurt. ³Oh.was molded just for him. I couldn¶t really make any of them out from where I was seated so I moved yet again to stand against the railing so I could try and spot him. but we¶ll get it during this half. it isn¶t set in stone. ³What¶s the score again?´ I asked Mike. 21 to 24 Dallas. He was smiling and laughing along with everyone else and that only added to my emotive state. Edward had moved while I was watching him from the bar and he was now sitting in the front row between Carlisle and Rose. Edward noticed me right away but he kept his composure. I realized that I hadn¶t seen Emmett since we arrived in Tampa so I started searching for him.´ His attention turned back to the field that was a good 300 feet away. I learned that a long time ago. ³So we¶re down three points?´ ³Yeah. There was no way I was going to give him the chance to open my wound further if he hasn¶t already just by the mere sight of him. . louder than necessary. the wounds too deep to be healed completely. but our chance had past. a feeling I remember having towards Alice and Jasper. He was good at hiding his feelings but I was just as good. ah. the love that they have. Two can play at this game. Open wounds only get worse if you keep messing with them. He was having a good time after he broke my heart.´ he resisted. Something came over me. I couldn¶t quite put a name to it but if I had to call it something«I was jealous. if not better.

She doesn¶t have the same effects on me as she used too. My phone vibrated loudly on the kitchen counter. But something she said to me. I needed to do something about my streak of bad luck. ya down?-L Absolutely. quick shower. If she apologized I¶d more than willing to put it in the past and move on. Portland was booming this time of night. Hey Eddyword. I got up and went to the kitchen to whip up something quick to eat. here I sit in my apartment alone for the sixth day in a row.´ It almost sounded like she were hurt by me not coming back. I did go back but I was too late. Laurent beat me to the punch. Tomorrow was my last day off of the two week vacation I¶m given every year by the company. But she had to be difficult so I was going to be difficult right back. She didn¶t even have the decency to tell me why she did what she did nor did she apologize for it. jeans and a t-shirt and I¶d be ready to go. that much I have gotten past. something was definitely wrong with me. I had a good time and I think she saw how happy I was. I even convinced myself and I know better. why don¶t you explain that to me? No on second thought don¶t because it¶ll be a lie anyway. how long?-E Be there in 20-L Perfect-E Twenty minutes was just enough time. I wasn¶t going to do what she fucking wanted me to do which was stay to myself and basically disappear. but it wasn¶t that way at all. anything to get my mind off of last weekend. ³You are the one that never came back. trying to make me squeal and I wasn¶t fucking going to do that. club trio. hopefully getting rid of the dreams in the process. I tried like hell but I would be lying to myself if I said I didn¶t think of Bella once while in . Too late to say anything now. The Notebook EPOV She was baiting me. I thought about calling Laurent to see if he wanted to go out on the town. She was never that lucky.6. something she said kept replaying itself over and over in my head.

³Hey bro. My vision was blurry and all I could make out was chocolate brown hair and I instantly thought it was Bella even though she wouldn¶t be here for obvious reasons. it was Jasper. ³where to?´ Here comes the big Hell no.´ he waved. ³We¶re going to Al¶s Gentlemen¶s Club on MLK and Columbia.´ he replied hesitantly. no fucking way man. don¶t know.´ he shrugged. we have a healthy and trusting relationship. Plus. The girls there are of substantial quality. ³Doors unlocked. ³I suppose I can tag along.´ he howled and I broke down. ³Jazz. I¶m envious of his happiness and the love he has from another person. ³Who¶s with you?´ I asked not taking the time to look out the hall way to find out. It was still someone just as random.the shower or even when I looked in the mirror to make sure I looked presentable.´ He knew I would have made up an excuse not to see him.´ I yelled from my bathroom. The click to the door opening till the click to when it shut alerted me that he wasn¶t the only person here.´ he shrugged as if this. I officially lost her twice. would you like to join us?´ I invited him cordially. I love Jasper. ³What. the fresh eyes that I could conjure up. That sparked my interest and I took the two steps it took to reach the door and leaned out to see who it was. It was just like the first time all over again. ³Sorry to come by on such short notice. My mind had inevitably wandered to her eyes.´ Yes I refer to my women as quality. ³Bella is with her. ³Depends. but I can¶t stand to be around him since he found Alice. I¶m in town for a seminar and my hotel is just around the corner from here. his next words were going to null and void the strength of what he just said. ³I ah.´ . ranking from looks to their experience levels. ³Won¶t the old ball and chains serve you your balls on a silver platter?´ ³She is my fiancée and no she won¶t. Laurent knocked on my door exactly twenty minutes later. he is my brother in every way that matters. that¶s why he didn¶t call. but it doesn¶t hurt as bad this time around.´ I called his bluff. ³We were just about to go out. a guy can look can¶t he? As long as he doesn¶t sample the buffet.´ he must have noticed the look of shock on my face because his face spread out in a goofy grin.

I believe in fate.´ . ³She has dreams. college days. I really don¶t want to go through this. she ruined her chances. ³I have a rental.´ We walked down a few blocks and when he walked up to a Sebring.´ I pushed them out the door hypothetically and grabbed my coat on the way out. ³Really Jasper. Those were it Jazz. I was thrilled and I wasn¶t going to say anything to my future sister in-law. ³Man.´ I cleared my throat.´ ³Why the fuck would I want her number?´ Oh. We arrived at my apartment and nothing else was said until we had scotch in our hands. ³You¶ll see. ³You okay?´ he asked. ³I don¶t give a fuck what she has. too. times a-wasting. ³I want to tell you what I know of her and maybe give you her number to give her a call. I¶ve spent a lot of time getting over her. 2007 at least. she¶s the reason I don¶t sleep at night. I started the car and we were off. he even put a dollar in a strippers gstring. this brings back memories. how are you handling that?´ and out comes his psychology degree. We were out until 3am and Jasper was letting loose. to the Gentlemen¶s club.´ ³You don¶t think it¶s quite the coincidence that she was there the whole time during college or that she was there when you played at Rosalie¶s banquet those years ago? I don¶t believe in coincidence¶s Edward.´ I quirked a brow in confusion. ³Let¶s go. ³Do you want me to tell you her story or do you want to hear it from her? Either way you¶re going to hear it. I smiled. she was the reason for the night we just had. Just because she¶s Alice and Rosalie¶s sister doesn¶t mean shit. I want the number.I choked on my own saliva. ³Fuck Jazz. you want to take that? You can drive for old time¶s sake.´ and mine I added mentally.´ He put the keys in my hand and we got in. She was going to tell Alice and then I was really going to hear it. ³Fine. but only if you talk to me about this. I¶m fine.´ he sipped on his drink and took a seat in one of my leather chairs. those were the days. Bella was with Alice. not that we spoke a lot anyways.´ he said without warning. I know that Alice¶s sister is the girl from your past. we just had a fucktastic night and you want to bring up bad memories?´ I really didn¶t want to be in session right now. ³Edward.

where¶s that Wii. I decided I would call her. My fingers hovered over the keys to my phone for some time until finally I just pushed send and put the phone up to my ear. I don¶t get to see you that often and I would really like to enjoy it. I felt horrible that he didn¶t think I would want to see him. ³Now. I wanted this night to be over and I didn¶t want to dream about her. He wrote something on a napkin that he pulled out of his coat pocket. When I woke up later that day and after my shower. but she was a mess when she was adopted by the Swan¶s and they helped her to be as happy as she was capable of being. breakfast and a quick round of home gym. ³Hello.³Give me the fucking number.´ he downed the rest of his scotch and pulled out a pen. I should hear her story. I was wondering if we could get together one of these days and talk?´ ³About what?´ she pushed. ³Don¶t be a jerk to her. I don¶t know how we managed to stay up until then but we did and it was a lot more fun than I would have imagined. folded it and placed in my chest pocket. ³Okay. When she answered I could swear I heard bells rings. ³But you were in Tampa. ³Edward. she¶s been through a lot. she told Alice about your confrontation and Alice told me. ³Who¶s this?´ she questioned. is this Bella?´ her short intake of breath told me that yes it was.´ ³I was never a jerk to her.´ I poured another glass of scotch and took a big gulp of it.´ That pissed me off. I was nothing but nice and caring and fucking right by her. and god only knows that¶s the one thing that¶s been haunting me since I lost her. she¶s very fragile and can be broken easily. Before he left for his flight back to Seattle I told him next time he was in town to call me because there was no need for him to stay in a hotel. I want to get down on some Wii sports. but only if you¶ll call her. I¶ll call her when I get a chance. can we please stop talking about this.´ We played until 10am. Emmett and Jasper¶s brother. I¶ll call okay.´ I gave in because I wasn¶t going to win. He was right. You hurt her by doing whatever you did.´ ³Jasper.´ ³Fuck Jazz. .´ ³Hi. and I know you have too.

´ she pleaded and how could I deny that? The sound in her voice took me back 10 years ago. ³I think everyone was planning on going to Chicago and Forks this year. closure. I won¶t be going to Forks. forget I called.´ ³Why not. asking me if everything was going to be okay. I just don¶t need to go. about what the hell happened when we were younger and what it means now that were about to be part of the same families. when are we doing this?´ my response was laced with acid. ³No. forget it.´ ³Oh.´ ³I have to go to Chicago a few days before and I¶ll have a couple of days off when I get back home. when will you be arriving?´ . okay«´ ³Unless you want me to go. ³Yeah. I work at a school so when they¶re off I¶m off. The same tone in her voice when I left. Hearing it enraged me.´ she couldn¶t hide the pain that it caused her to say the words.´ She was going to my house. ³You do?´ The surprise palpable in my voice. ³I have time off for Christmas coming up. the house where I spent most of my nights lying awake. We could meet somewhere in between. I was invited. So I¶ll see you in Chicago then?´ ³Yeah. ³Oh well I suppose we can talk then. ³It¶s not that I don¶t want to go.´ I offered. ³Well?´ The other end of the line was silent and I was beginning to think she wasn¶t there. ³You know what. I¶m sure I¶ll meet them at one of the two weddings that will be coming up soon.´ ³Wait.´ she said quietly. ³Yes. I think we could both use some closure. calmer. Your sisters are both about to marry my brothers aren¶t they?´ She really needed me to explain this? Maybe our views on things are different after all. ³I want to talk. it¶s fine. Edward wait. I had pictured her in my room on more than one occasion. it rang loud and clear.´ I didn¶t really know what to say but I didn¶t want her to think that Alice and Rosalie¶s family²and hers for that matter²didn¶t mean anything. thinking about her. you don¶t want to meet Charlie and Renee?´ She sounded offended. I could taste it on my tongue.³I don¶t know.

´ she responded.´ ³Yeah. let¶s talk about this in Chicago. ³Okay. ³How could I not. we used to do it back in Forks almost every night. She didn¶t like to be alone. But this time I was happy she was here. . She was apologizing. see you then. There was silence between us but my mind was yelling. the one from the group home?´ I knew she would and I worded it ridiculously. ³Hmm. for me it was solitude. I couldn¶t talk about it now. ³Alice. which isn¶t often.´ I asked to get her attention. logs burning and hot chocolate warming our hands. ³Well I guess I¶ll talk to you then. ³I¶m sorry I wasn¶t there when you went back. are you still having the dreams?´ Since I saw Edward at the Super Bowl four days ago. Alice comes back to our apartment and stays with me.´ she said through the awkward silence. ³Oh«Edward. my dreams have been a mutilation of that weekend. BPOV Every time Jasper has to go out of town.´ The tone that came from my mouth was not one I have used sincerely. Bye. it was already too late. We were sitting in the front room in front of the fire place.´ I was stunned speechless. ³Edward?´ ³I¶m here. not even in my wildest dreams«but they did. Things happened that I wouldn¶t think would happen. It was one of our favorite past times. There were something I needed to get off my chest and some things I needed to figure out.´ That¶s when I¶ll be there. to see if she was sincere. but I was accustomed to avoiding anything that had to pertain to him and she was the one that helped me do it.´ I wanted to do this face to face. I didn¶t want the conversation to end.³I think we¶re leaving on the 24thd and then leaving to Forks on the 27th. ³Do you remember that guy I told you about. sipping her cocoa.´ I sounded too excited but I couldn¶t hide it. ³Until then.´ She hung up before I could respond.

³I saw him at the Super Bowl. ³That guy is your Edward?´ ³Not my Edward Alice. ³Jasper and Emmett¶s brother is Edward. . He¶s the one that has the explaining to do. just Edward. He¶s the one that never came back for me. ³Maybe he did go back. but wow. especially with Mike there. ³Well. but that isn¶t why I brought him up. how?´ She knew what I went through to be happy again. so he¶s bound to come over at some point and that¶s when I¶ll tell him. ³In our box suite.´ She was speechless and I didn¶t blame her because I was beyond lost.´ I corrected her. what do I do Alice? When I left for air he followed me and told me I had some explaining to do.´ I was trying to make sense of the situation and Alice was always good at aiding me when I couldn¶t get very far. ³What? Really? Where.´ I pushed. She still didn¶t get it. ³What¶s the statistics on that? Like 1 ± 3 million? Looks like family reunions are going to be awkward as all hell.´ ³What are you doing about Mike by the way? I can tell you don¶t like him.´ She looked at me apologetically.´ I was hoping she would get it but she was looking at me like she wanted me to continue. I know not your Edward. ³He¶s been calling me and I¶ve been ignoring him. But I did and they brought out the best in me. I actually ran into him. it was the most uncomfortable I have ever been. ³You never lean towards him. ³I¶m pretty sure places like group homes can¶t give out personal information about the kids that get adopted out. loving or laughing. I was unhappy before Edward and even more unhappy after. at least she always seemed to be right.´ She had a point. nothing ever gets past Alice. you¶re always leaning away.´ ³Are you kidding me. but after you left.´ she was taken aback.´ She is very observant. ³It¶s really funny actually.´ ³I know. not the other way around.´ She was all knowing when it came to things like this.³Yeah.´ I looked in her direction and she was gaping at me over her cup. ³You should have seen what I had to go through in that box while he was there. when.´ ³Tell him what?´ she liked to play stupid when I didn¶t come right out and say something. Not until I moved in with the Swan¶s did I show any signs of living.´ I smiled nervously.

³That I don¶t love him, that I don¶t want to see him anymore, that I¶m not good enough for him because I¶m incapable of having a real relationship because I¶m fucked beyond repair.´ That¶s the jist of it. ³Isabella Marie, you are good enough for any man, and you are not beyond repair,´ she was always very protective of me and I loved her for it. ³Just because you saw Edward and well, now you have to see him on occasion, that doesn¶t mean you have to fall back into the slump you were in.´ ³I know, and I¶m not going to, I just can¶t be with Mike, it isn¶t right. I¶ve always heard that there is like an instant connection with the person you give yourself to and there was no connection between me and Mike.´ ³Just tell him how you feel and if he¶s a good man like I think he is he¶ll walk away without causing a big scene.´ Her whole attitude changed with her next words. ³But I want to know more about Edward; what went through you mind when you first saw him? How do you feel about him now? Please spill Bella,´ she begged, ³I haven¶t heard some good drama in a long time and I am so due.´ She crossed her legs under her and rested her head against her hand that was propped up on the side of the couch. I guess I could let this out, Alice has always been trustworthy and I¶ve told her just about everything since I met her. ³Well, first I was shocked and pissed and hurt, that¶s why I had to get out of there.´ I decided still, not to mention the random feeling that comes over me, ³When he came and met me out in the smoking area my mind was spinning.´ ³Bella, so you still love him, that¶s what I want to know?´ she pushed. ³I don¶t love him if anything I hate him. He¶s bombarded my memories and taken over my dreams, how could I love that?´ ³How could you not?´ she looked at me all knowing again and scooted closer to me. ³If you don¶t love him then those things wouldn¶t happen Bella. Maybe you should talk to him, find out his story and maybe he wants to find out yours. Maybe he did go back and was devastated that you weren¶t there. Obviously he still thinks about it since he approached you.´ What she said made sense and it would be nice to have some closure, ³I can probably handle that, but what if it turns out he does and then we date or whatever and then he leaves me again? What do I do then?´

³You won¶t know until or if the time comes, maybe it was just as hard on him as it was on you. Maybe you can be you again when you¶re with him. You won¶t know until you talk to him.´ ³Okay, I¶ll talk to him, but I don¶t know how to get a hold of him, where he lives or anything.´ ³He lives in Portland Oregon and Jasper knows all of that, actually, he¶s in Portland right now. I¶m calling him,´ she pulled her cell phone out of her back pocket and I lunged at her. ³Alice, no please don¶t, I don¶t want my future family in-law to know about our past together. Just give me his number and I¶ll call him.´ ³No, I¶ll call Jasper, he can talk to his brother and give him your number, he should be the one calling you.´ She snagged her phone out of my reach and started dialing. It would be nice to not have to call him, so I let her do it. ******************************** I knew it was him when I saw the 503 area code; no one calls me from there except Jasper a few days before telling me that he had my number. It was now up to him if he was going to call, I was actually really anxious. Now that he was calling I was a little nervous, I felt like the girl I used to be, broken and confused. I didn¶t like it and I think he brought that out in me. When I mentioned closure I¶d offended him and it made me want to scream, I didn¶t mean to and I could sense the regret in his tone. Phone conversations aren¶t the greatest at reading someone¶s true intentions so I didn¶t let my mind wander too far with it. When he said he didn¶t want to meet my parents, well, not like that just that he didn¶t want to meet his future in-laws«Oh geez, not like that either, when he didn¶t want to meet his future bothers¶ in-laws, it made me a little angry. ³Unless you want me to go,´ he had said in his sultry voice. It made my mind spin and I didn¶t really know what to say after that. I had to tell him I was sorry about what happened. I did leave the group home with no way for him to contact me, so it is partly my fault for the way things ended up. Or is that just what he wants me to think? That is why I was happy to hear him say let¶s talk about it in Chicago, then I could see his expression and judge accordingly. ******************

We were transferring from Vegas to Chicago and there was a four hour layover because of the holiday. Alice and Jasper decided to go and gamble while I sat at the boarding gate reading my favorite book, Wuthering Heights, for the umpteenth time and it¶s still the original I bought 10 years ago. I was just at the part when Catherine and Heathcliff reaffirm their love for one another when I felt it. He was here. I didn¶t move my head but my eyes instinctually darted from side to side and I noticed a figure standing to the left of me. I hadn¶t noticed I curled my legs up beneath me acting as if I were at home lying on my couch. ³Now this takes me down memory lane,´ he chuckled. I jumped at the pulsing sensation that shot through me when I heard his voice. Something so mesmerizing would do that to anyone right? ³Oh, hi, what are you doing here?´ I straightened up and put my feet on the ground. ³I have a layover here as well it seems, is this your next flight?´ he gestured toward the boarding door for D12. ³Yeah, Alice and Jasper are around here somewhere.´ I desperately wanted them to be closer than they were. I wasn¶t prepared to see him her or to deal with this until later today or even tomorrow if I was lucky. ³Oh, if you¶re busy I can go sit over there,´ he started toward the row of seat directly across from me. I didn¶t answer because I didn¶t want to. I could have told him no I wasn¶t busy and had a conversation with him about what was going on in our lives but that wasn¶t the conversation I wanted to have with him. I couldn¶t do that here, with all these people; It was sure to cause a scene if we did. He sat across from me and pulled out a book from his bag. It was bound in leather and looked to be pretty old. He flipped a cover piece over and then flipped open the cover. He flipped through more than half of it and then he pulled out a pen. He started writing in it and he didn¶t stop for over 20 minutes. Was he writing a novel? Was he writing in a journal? I wanted to ask him but I couldn¶t get the words out. I¶d finally managed to get back into my book and I wasn¶t paying attention to anything around me and then the feeling was gone. It wasn¶t like a gradual thing, it was like an all of a sudden thing. I looked up and Edward was gone, along with his luggage. I felt betrayed by his absence, not that I had any right to, or that I should.

I couldn¶t think of anything except his absence for the next hour. That was until him, Jasper and Alice came back into the dock. ³God Bella, you should have came with Edward, it was a blast. Jasper won $75 bucks on a nickel machine.´ Alice was delighted and Jasper was all mighty and proud. Edward was silent at their side, he didn¶t look in my direction. I guess my not answering him was harsher than I thought. ³I was reading and I wasn¶t aware that he left until a few minutes ago,´ I lied. I didn¶t want to show any sign of how much it actually affected me. ³Well, we¶re going to the bar and I want you,´ she came closer to me and grabbed my hands, ³to come with me.´ She pulled me up off the chair and bounced in place. Same old Alice. ³Let me grab my things, you have to get yours I can¶t carry them all.´ ³Well duh Bella, you aren¶t CinderBella,´ she scoffed and started grabbing her luggage. Jasper did the same and we headed off down the long corridor. There was a little Tiki looking stand in the middle half way down and that was our destination. Edward sat on one side of Jasper and I sat on the other side of Alice. We ordered drinks, I had Patron on ice, the only thing I could manage without going all sour faced. Jasper and Alice were all giggles and smiles while Edward and I mirrored each others enthusiasm. After a while of silence Alice finally spoke to me. ³We¶re going to go gambling real quick before boarding call, watch our stuff?´ She asked me. ³Okay, but don¶t be late, I¶m going on that plane with or without you and I mean it.´ I really didn¶t want to stay and wait for another flight but of course I would do it for Alice. ³We won¶t, we¶ll be back with time to spare,´ Jasper assured me. ³Are you coming bro?´ he turned and asked Edward. The edges of my mouth trembled; it was one of the most comical things I have ever heard come from Jasper¶s mouth, ³Bro.´ ³Uh, no I think I¶ll stay here and have another drink,´ he was edgy I could tell and it made me nervous. ³Okay, see you guys in a few.´ They left and then there was silence. I took the last drink of my patron and turned the glass in between my hands for a moment. ³Can I buy you another drink?´ Edward asked from two seats away. My eyes darted to his and the feeling that had been coursing through me intensified.

³No need, I can get my own,´ I replied stubbornly. He mumbled something then said, ³I would really like to buy you another drink.´ ³And I can really buy my own if I want one, tequila makes me angry, it¶s a woman thing.´ ³I really can¶t buy you a drink?´ he questioned, his right brow raising up a bit, totally making my heart pound through my shirt. ³Okay,´ I agreed nervously, anything to stop his persuasion; it was too much. ³Another Patron on ice,´ he told the bartender, ³Make it a double,´ he added. ³Whoa, I don¶t think I should consume all of that before getting on a plane.´ That was the last thing I wanted, to throw up in front of him. ³Okay, scratch that and give me one also,´ he put down a twenty and the bartender went to work on our drinks. ³Thanks,´ I told him looking down at my glass. ³It¶s the least I can do.´ Damn straight it is, I thought. I still haven¶t forgotten what happened, I don¶t think I ever will, and I wasn¶t going to let him take control over me like that again.


A Walk to Remember

Bella let me buy her a drink; it was something puny and didn¶t mean anything but it showed progression and forgiveness. It meant that maybe we could, at the very least, be civil to each other during the family get-together¶s we were destined to attend simultaneously in the future. ³Can I ask you something,´ she said when the bartender delivered our drinks and got consumed with another customer. She was fidgeting with her glass as she spoke, ³It isn¶t anything personal, I¶m just curious?´ ³Sure, you can ask me anything.´ I moved one seat closer to her and tried to gauge her reaction to it. She swallowed and looked down at her glass nervously. ³What made you chose San Diego to attend college?´ ³Umm,´ I wasn¶t expecting that. ³SDU was the only college at the time that my brothers and I could attend together. A little corny, I know, but they are really good guys, fun to hang with too.´ I think I¶d forgotten that over the years. ³Oh,´ was her response. ³Can I ask you the same question?´ ³Oh, we chose LA because it¶s warm and affordable; also because they had Juilliard for Rose. It was her dream to go there, and she did,´ she answered simply. We sat the rest of the time in silence until the boarding call for D12 was pronounced over the intercom. ³Crap!´ Bella lifted her glass and downed the remainder of it. ³Alice and Jasper are still not back,´ she said with slight bitter face. She started grabbing bags and struggled to keep a hold of them as she attempted to make her way to the dock. I reached down to grab Jaspers roll bag and my hand brushed hers. ³Here let me help you with that.´ Her hand jerked away from the handle of the bag and the look in her eyes said she felt it too. I was curious if she had the feeling too, but I didn¶t want to push her. ³If they aren¶t here in the next 24 seconds I¶m going to wrap my hands around that little pixie¶s neck and«,´ she scoffed. Tequila really must make the girls get angry, too. I was² randomly enough²in a pleasant mood.

. ³Looks like this is me. She shot back up when it didn¶t hit her.´ she told me looking out the little window. In a not so random turn of events.´ she laughed nervously. I reached up just before it toppled onto her and she cringed away from it. ³Okay. I thought to myself.´ Her head whipped around and she lost hold of her luggage. ³Sorry. ³I requested a window seat. Bella was putting her carryon in the upper compartment and a small patch of skin was showing just above her waist line. It was about four months after we¶d met and we were sitting in the living room and she was trying to teach me how to make a Budweiser frog. We were all buckled and waiting for the captain to notify us of our departure and I took notice to the things about Bella that hadn¶t seemed to change.´ I showed her my ticket that was clearly marked as the seat previous hers. ³You were SO cutting it close. she was sulking.´ she exclaimed as they grabbed their bags and we all headed to the check in line. There were three seats and Bella¶s was nearest the window. She still loved that damn Wuthering Heights.´ she let out a heavy breath of air and I saw Alice and Jasper running into the dock. my seat was next to Bella¶s. I had to peel my eyes away from it before she caught me. She still seemed withdrawn. probably the same fucking one from when she was 13. ³You mean this one?´ I joked. how many signs did there need to be? Were we so blind that fate kept throwing us together and we kept avoiding it.³Oh thank god. apparently my seat is next to yours. until now. I remembered the first day I saw her smile a real smile.´ she sighed. you take your right ring finger and the middle one«´ I flipped her off. She slid into her seat after I pushed her bag all the way back in the top compartment and stuffed mine under our seats. but it seemed more like an exhausted sigh than a dejected one. **************************** ³No Edward. ³You startled me. like she put on a smile for the people around her but really when she was alone.

´ ********************************* I remember the toothy smile that took my breath away. I have blamed her for everything. ³Your very own Budweiser frog. but I wanted to tell her that none of it mattered now. all of the days I lost being pissed off at the world when really I was pissed off at her. something I haven¶t done in over eight years.´ She demonstrated and I followed.´ This is where I always got confused. her chocolate brown eyes like it was just yesterday that I looked into them for the last time for a long time. with her sitting next to me.She pushed my hand down.´ She was looking into my eyes. well.´ she leaned back to look at it and I observed too. ³Then you put your left middle finger over your right ring finger. ³Yeah. ³I can¶t believe you do. Not the real smile I remember when the frog comes to mind. I did as she instructed with a grunt. I didn¶t think you paid enough attention. She positioned my fingers like she wanted them. all of my nightmares. But now. smiling her fake smile. ³Now hold our index fingers together and put your thumbs together and there you have it. That was a good memory. but she smiled.´ I let my fingers fall and her eyes fell with them. ³And then put it over your left ring finger«like this. Then put your right index finger under your left ring finger and do the same with your left index finger. She pulled apart her hands and I almost did the same but her hands caught mine before I could. ³Okay you got it. and I held it up for her to see. some things are unforgettable. unbreakable.´ She held her pale petite hands up in front of our faces and wiggled her ring fingers that were overlapping each other. even at 12 I could see the wonderful person she was and the amazing person she was going to be. I could see that the time has had an effect on her just as bad. I wrapped my fingers around themselves. impenetrable«and then she smiled. She was looking out the window as the plane was ascending and I could only hope that what I was going to do wouldn¶t upset her. under your right ring finger. . Her eyes grew wide for a fraction of a second and then I saw the guard. it was up and standing strong. as long as she could forgive me. I wanted to tell her that I hated her for ruining the last decade of my life. ³Do you remember this?´ I called for her attention and she looked over from the window.

you look good. ³They¶ve carved out most of the roads but there¶s still a few left for you to play on.´ My response was collected and lucid. me and Jerry go way back. . ³Hey guys. ³Edward. I found out she still talks in her sleep.´ Jasper greeted and hugged Esme while I shook Carlisle¶s hand. I was able to grab all of them off the belt when they came around so that was convenient. Did you all fly together?´ she asked looking from me to Bella.´ he said. ³Bella.´ I informed her and pointed out the window. ³Are the roads nice and slick or has the snow plow already ruined them?´ I loved coming home when I did because I had my baby still sitting in the garage. so I couldn¶t make anything out and I secretly hoped she was dreaming about me. ³There they are. much more than the last time I saw you. ³Well. it has a dual overhead cam with twin turbo configuration and all custom carbon fiber parts. Esme was smiling and watching every step Jasper and I took. It frightened her and her eyes darted around the plane in surveillance ³We¶re about to land.We spent the next three hours in silence. how was the drive?´ I asked changing the question. it wasn¶t so intense. Bella looked nervous. My Volvo C30. son.´ I greeted her after Jasper moved on to Carlisle. ³Hey Esme. we did. ³Not intentionally. We rolled our luggage down the long corridor and Bella was walking beside me.´ She did as I suggested and we landed safely at the Chicago International. Getting our bags was hell. so glad you could make it. we had the same layover in Vegas and we all ran into each other.´ Oh. thanks in full to ranger Jerry.´ Jasper said looking straight ahead. ³Yeah. I remember that from back then too. When the plane started to descend that¶s when I woke her up.´ she beamed. she slept most of the ride. She didn¶t talk as clearly. ³Edward you look so healthy. that¶s wonderful.´ she reached for her and they hugged. Carlisle and Esme were standing on the other side of the metal detectors waiting for us to make it around. ³You should put your seatbelt on. The only thing that¶s stock is the block and there¶s no getting around that. The shocking feeling was present as ever and it felt more like a humming now. Did you have time to get to know one another.

The ride to their house was long. isn¶t he like 80?´ I joked knowing damn well he was in his mid 40¶s. Also. not one thing. it¶s more like an oversized walk-in closet but without the hangers and gadgets and shit. It wasn¶t like a hurting sensation. We passed the city and started down a serpentine type road. Now I was probably the one who looked nervous. how long have I been trying to convince you to do that?´ Jasper chuckled. I wanted to know if I was going to be having this feeling in my chest the entire time spent here. She snapped. ³What?´ She looked confused so I decided I would elaborate. how¶s the old geezer now. I wanted to know if he felt it but he never acted like he did.³Oh. . the plane was descending and that part of the flight always gave me chills. ³This will be paved the next time you all come home.´ Alice said coolly. more like a nagging buzz. but I knew it was all an act. ³Are you staying at our place?´ ³Yeah. they lived somewhere in the boondocks. So you can understand the shock and grateful look on my face when I woke up. Esme and Carlisle were there when we got off the plane and they greeted all of us with hugs. I slowed my pace and soon she was walking beside me.´ She was going to be basically sleeping in my bedroom. BPOV How many times is fate going to shove us together? How many times am I going to have to go through withdrawallike symptoms after I see him? How long was this flight going to take? Eventually I fell asleep and I dreamt of nothing. I noticed Bella quiet. walking a ways behind me with her head down. I was seated next to Edward. it¶s been what« a year since you got engaged?´ ³We¶re waiting for the right moment.´ Esme said looking back at her sons. Every few miles we would pass a house until we turned onto a dirt road. ³The guest room is connected to my room. our legs barely touching and it felt like a current of electricity was running through me every few seconds. ³Finally.´ I snorted.´ We started toward the doors and Esme turned her attention to her future daughter in-law. ³So what¶s taking you guys so long to set a date. ³You know he¶s younger than me right?´ ³I¶m kidding. Esme said there¶s a guest bedroom I can stay in.

Three days I would be here. ³This is your room. ³Welcome home boys. His back was to me and I didn¶t want to disturb him but I needed to get my things in the guest room. ³Yeah. ³Oh.´ Jasper opened his door and offered his hand to Alice. but I ducked my head before I could. biggest house we have seen during our drive from the airport. I looked up at him and he smiled at me. but the kind of nice where you feel at home.´ he didn¶t look back at me and started toward the house. ³Not much around here but the city is always open. The edges of my lips trembled to smile back. The hall that started once you climbed the stairs was littered with them and I stopped to look. ³Okay«Thanks. ³Thanks.´ He opened the doors at the same time and I walked through them. They had pictures everywhere and I had to look at them.´ he chuckled fretfully. Edward got out on his side and left the door open for me. I knew because there were a lot of the same pictures at Renee and Charlie¶s only the person in the picture was me. He started grabbing his things out of the back and he sat mine out on the ground. it¶s been a while. not the kind of nice when you¶re afraid to touch anything. I saw a ton of pictures of Edward. When I noticed he did I felt the red creep up my face. easier to spin the tires. well basically. We pulled up to a house. a dresser and a door that led somewhere.´ ³You¶re welcome. I continued down the hall looking at the pictures on the way until I found Edward lying on a bed through an open door. He looked happy in some but others I could tell his happiness was staged. come in. I knocked on the door frame and his head shot up to find the culprit. The inside was nice.´ Carlisle said when he put the car in park.´ he scurried out of his bed while I entered and walked around to a set of double doors. some that were old enough that they must have been taken shortly after they adopted him. Esme designed the house and she thought it was a good idea.´ Edward disagreed. ³So what is there to do around here?´ I asked making small talk.´ he shrugged. I have to sleep in Edward¶s room. There was a bed. .´ I put my bag next to the bed and sat down on the edge of it.³I like it. ³That¶s the bathroom.

Personally I liked the country feel.´ I took a few steps closer to it. they were talking quietly and I was almost positive they were talking about me. it was nice being out of the city. I could feel his presence all around me. nothing. ³Ah. who I met once or twice. ³I¶ve never seen one in person«can I touch it?´ . I had 1000 already saved up.´ I had to gather my thoughts. ³Um.´ he smiled and this time I smiled back. Eventually I was going to get my own track car. I was planning on taking a ride if you want to join me?´ he sounded reserved. like he was ready for the worst response possible. We walked down the stairs and I felt every nerve ending reaching out to him. but maybe. ³Well. Eric from college gave me the number to his cousin.´ He turned and started toward the door that was positioned right under the stairs. He went through it and flipped a light on. ³What. ³That¶s Carlisle¶s pride and joy.´ Esme said with a forced smile on her face. ³We¶ll be back. ³Pristine condition. ³We¶re going out for a drive.´ he sighed. ³What happened?´ ³No.´ his left brow rose. What kind of car do you have?´ ³A Volvo. encasing me like a cloud and sticking to the strands of my hair. We found everyone in the kitchen. When we moved to Seattle. illuminating the entire garage. ³You have an Aston Vanquish in your garage.´ I was stunned stone cold. I like this. who had his hand in the Seattle Raceway. we¶ll see. ³Do you like cars?´ ³I love them.´ he asked frantic.´ Edward informed them. I couldn¶t take my eyes off of the pure muscle beauty in front of me and I wasn¶t talking about Edward. I don¶t know much about the mechanics but I love to drive them. ³Rose and Emmett will be here in a few hours and dinner will be ready by six. you can take it for a spin if you want. or Edward and me both. Alice caught my eye and looked at me in a way that said ³are you sure´? so I smiled. sure«why not. ³Holy shit.´ That was for certain. I went there every Thursday and Saturday evening.´ He ran his finger along the side of it. ³I¶m not used to the snow. ³I¶m not much into the city.´ I stood up and he gestured for me to exit the room first.´ ³Same here.´ I exclaimed and put my hands over my mouth.

it always turns out the same way. it¶s my baby I can¶t just leave it uncovered so it can get scratched. What would have happened if we stayed in touch? . He came back in wearing a big smile and it made me smile too. Then I think about what it would be like if I¶d gone back and she was there. a silver Volvo C30.´ he held the keys out for me to take them and I snatched them out of his hands. to know why we were separated and never found our way back to one another. It had dual over head cam and a twin turbo«I know what fast involved and it was definitely those two things. names are called and then she slaps me and walks away. I thought to myself. ³Wow this is amazing.´ I looked around at all the gadgets and gizmos. if you¶re done here we can go for that ride. ³So where¶s your car?´ I asked. we can sit but we can¶t drive it. ³It¶s under that wrap. very well cared for. ³it isn¶t built for the snow.´ he almost choked on his words. I took a moment to breathe.³Definitely. I never thought I would be sitting in a Vanquish. I want to see her. After I¶d admired the car for a good 10 minutes I remembered we were supposed to be going on a drive. yeah«here. I got out too and stood next to the car that had the cover over it. to know the truth. careful not to touch him. ³Here. customized by Evolve.´ I darted around the car to the driver¶s side and he was in it before I was. I opened the door and sank into the most comfortable seat I have ever sat in. ³I¶ll take us somewhere fun and then you can get behind the wheel. even converted from front wheel drive to all wheel drive. EPOV Journal Entry 222: When I try to think about actually seeing her again. We argue. at least not this one. Basically a street track car.´ ³Oh.´ I handed him the keys and he darted out of the car and back into the house.´ He grabbed the front part of the cover and threw it off revealing underneath. and then looked in the back seat. ³What do you have in it?´ It wasn¶t just any Volvo C30. I gasped when I saw it. Everything was in immaculate condition.´ ³Can¶t I see it?´ ³Yeah.

The Vanquish is an exquisite car. that¶s pretty fast. just drive it?´ ³Well that. ³Why didn¶t you leave a number?´ . ³Hence the empty lot. here we go. I could see that.´ I egged her on. ³Do you want to try it?´ Like it was my way of saying I¶m sorry but just in a roundabout way. I could hear the tremble in her voice.´ I gestured out the windshield. ³Okay. anyone would be a total fucking idiot if they didn¶t think it was sex on wheels. Would that have hurt more if it would have turned out any one of those ways? I guess I¶ll never know.´ We looked into each other¶s eyes for a moment and I ruined it by talking. and I go to Seattle Raceway twice a week and drive as fast as any car will let me take it. Being it¶s an all wheel drive it was harder to make it slide than front wheel or rear. ³I guess. I drove her down the icy roads until we reached our destination. but she was smiling and holding onto the µoh shit handle¶ above her.´ She was damn proud of it too.´ she replied. but she liked Carlisle¶s car even better and I couldn¶t hold that against her. A lot that had no poles or buildings or anything around it but it was paved and the snow was untouched in most places. ³What do you usually do in a car. but I¶ve never drifted before.´ she was nervous.´ she laughed. but I knew my baby through and through. ³That was great. ³It is such a thrill.Would we have stayed in touch? A lot of people lose touch with their closest friends because things change. ³I¶ve never tried to do it but its fun. ³Damn. So far that¶s been 185mph. I just can¶t get enough of it. I have never let anyone drive my car before but I couldn¶t help but offer it to her. The car jerked back into a straight position and it came to a standstill. ³Oh my god.´ Bella let out a high pitched noise as we headed straight for a pile of snow.´ I floored it and snow kicked up all around us and we plowed through the lot. ************************** She liked my car. ³Are you into drifting?´ I asked before I just jumped right into it. I pulled the e-brake and turned the wheel to one side and we were sliding.

´ She did as I said and we were still going sideways. A song called ³Wait For You´ came on and she turned it almost instantly. and pull the e-brake.´ I know she had to hear the pain in my voice. ³Did you see that rock.´ she quoted me from earlier. She did and we were sliding sideways. She looked away from me and down into her lap where she was fingering the hem of her shirt. There was a big rock that I hadn¶t noticed and we were headed straight for it. ³Yeah. I got in and buckled up just before she got in the drivers seat.´ she screamed and laughed at the same time. that was a close one huh?´ she was breathing hard from the thrill and she was smiling uncontrollably. It was killing me.´ I managed to instruct her. but keep the button pushed so you can give it what it needs to slide.´ I unbuckled my seatbelt and got out. ³Now turn the wheel and pull the brake halfway.´ ³Okay. ³Can I drive?´ she asked to change the subject. Before I could say anything about it she counter steered and we were headed in the opposite direction. ³Yeah. she wasn¶t ready to talk about this and I was dying to get it over with.´ she replied softly.³What do you mean?´ She looked confused momentarily until she realized what and when I was referring to. I saw the forced smile on her face before she even spoke. but not before this line carried through the car« . here goes. sure. ³So what do I do?´ ³You want to go fast because it¶s all wheel drive. I opened her door for her and she got out without even looking at me. ³Ahh. but you had already left. ³You never came back. She started to accelerate and accelerate and accelerate. her in the driver¶s seat and she found a radio station that she wanted to listen to. ³Now release the brake.´ I asked when we started moving straight again. The wind was chilly and I thought about her being cold when she stepped out into it. We headed back to the house. ³I did come back. All of my thoughts were solely on her and I couldn¶t even get her to talk to me. She perked up and I saw the guard again.

very down to earth. because that was the reason I liked it.´ We pulled up to the house and there was a rental car in the driveway. ³Have you seen him since?´ ³Oh yeah. Baby why can¶t we just. her eyes still in front of her. I pushed the garage opener on the visor above Bella and she pulled in just after I saw Carlisle looking out the window at her sitting in the front seat.´ I stated the obvious.´ she smiled. ³I actually met Elliot Yamin while he was on American Idol.Why can¶t you look at me? You¶re still in love with me? Don¶t leave me crying. he¶s played at the Rose Garden a few times.´ ³Well. I watched him on American Idol and he looked like such a country boy.´ ³So«has the fame gone to his head.´ ³Really?´ she asked. ³No. most girls love it I thought.´ she giggled as we pulled onto the dirt road. not at all. ³So he feels more confident about himself. I think I did know. ³You don¶t like that song?´ I asked. ³It¶s a good song but it just has too much meaning to it.´ I chuckled. just start over again Get it back to the way it was. ³Looks like Emmett and Rosalie are here. If you give me a chance I will love you right Don¶t tell me it won¶t be enough. if you know what I mean. . except he fixed his teeth. he¶s a cool guy. ³But then in the video for that song he looked so«different.´ she glanced at me quickly before returning her eyes to the road. an interest sparked in her voice.

calm down pixie lady. It¶s still up in the air. ³Carlisle might make a big deal about you driving my car.´ his head cocked to one side. I didn¶t say we made a choice did I?´ Sister rivalry at it¶s finest. ³What does that mean?´ ³I don¶t know.´ Rose came and hugged me and Alice joined her. ³We haven¶t decided between Portland. ³She hates it when people call her Rosalie. how could you not move back to Seattle?´ ³Whoa.´ ³No.´ Esme¶s blissful scream ripped through the air and everyone joined in. really.´ I said when I turned the key in the ignition. ³No. BPOV If Only ³You know.´ ³Oh. . oh my Bella I have missed you so much.´ There was a gasp from every person in the room and it went silent. Emmett and Jasper will be close and Edward¶s only a four and half hour drive depending on your speed.´ ³Really. but how could there be a choice. He is the only who drives it besides me and that¶s only to keep it in shape. ³Ahh. ³I¶m going to be a grandma. ³It¶s not the same being away from you guys. ³Never mind.´ ³Well. you have been warned. ³Bella. are you coming back to Seattle now that the season is over?´ I asked. Rose and Emmett were surrounded by everyone and they were all talking animatedly.8.´ Alice was pulling out the big guns. ³I know. what could be better than that?´ ³We¶re having a baby.´ I turned and walked through the door because. she prefers Rose. ³You¶ll be close to us again. forget I asked. he might bring it up. ³She never mentioned that to me.´ she half cried as we hugged each other. I mean«why did you let me drive?´ His face fell and a light color spread across his cheeks. I didn¶t want to know.´ We got out and before I got to the door he stopped me. ³Rosalie Swan.´ Alice¶s angry tone of voice shocked us all. I felt the shocking sensation dissipate and it made my body yearn for its return.´ was my simple response. Seattle and Chicago.´ she celebrated.

³Congratulations you guys.´ ³Thank you Emmett but there¶s no need. except Carlisle.´ Emmett replied as Rose was being half attacked by Esme and Alice. well Alice guessed but she¶s always right so I should have known. ³She told me about your past and it was the same as Edward¶s. ³Um. They both worry about me and I worry about them.³Oh. you both always said how much you hated each other so I didn¶t say anything because I figured it would come out eventually and why make matters worse when they don¶t have to be. ³So how are you holding up?´ he asked and I knew the only thing he could be referring to would be about Edward. I love kids and I hope to have one someday. Carlisle. So when Emmett pulled me to the side. ³Thanks Bells. .´ I said. I just wanted to make sure you were alright. ³I waited for him every day until the day the Swan¶s adopted me.´ I found him in the kitchen helping Esme with the dishes. you know he doesn¶t let just anyone drive it. same names same group home. but I also understood why he never said anything. ³Don¶t be mad at Rose. Over the years Emmett and I have bonded like brother and sister. it was just pillow talk. it¶s a give and take relationship. he told me that. ³Well it looks like we were just not meant to know one another were we?´ I crossed my arms and stared at him. away from the group. I knew what was going on but I didn¶t tell her. Same with Jasper and I. ³I think you should talk to him about this but I¶ll tell you he did go back and he was devastated that you weren¶t there.´ He was the second person to say that to me. ³Yeah.´ Alice cheered.´ ³I saw you were driving his Volvo.´ ³He said he hates me? Why would he hate me?´ He¶s the one that never came back. ³Well. We all ate dinner and went our separate ways.´ ³How long have you known?´ ³About two years now.´ ³Shh.´ his voice lowered. I¶m fine.´ I was a little irritated that Emmett knew for over two years. She doesn¶t know. it wasn¶t anything out of the ordinary.´ he added. ³How do you know about that?´ I asked cautiously. I¶m going to be an auntie.´ he informed me.

I could still feel the static running through me so I knew she wasn¶t far. no hope for the future and my heart. ³You¶re very welcome. I don¶t know what I was waiting for. maybe I just wanted her to be close to me. I appreciate it. except Carlisle¶s study. Being around Edward made me feel«lost. something I haven¶t done in years. Every light was off. He hates me. and stopped when I reached the door with the illuminating light.³Yes Isabella. what¶s the point? EPOV I waited and waited in my room for Bella to walk through the door. ³What can I do for you?´ ³I heard you have a study full of books. I heard nothing but silence. something to keep me busy so he couldn¶t bother me. It is now one in the morning and she is still not in her intended bed. I took a chance and opened the door to peek out down the hall. There were three shelves full of books. I needed something to take my mind off of him. I tip toed down the hall. I felt like I was 13 again. clicking the door shut silently behind me. the wound felt like it was being opened. no motivation to carry on. I pressed my ear up against the door to try and hear something from the other side.´ ³Thank you. I walked quietly up the stairs and went directly into the study. I was wondering if it would be okay if I went and snooped around a bit?´ ³Oh please.´ he turned back to his wife and took the clean dish from her hand and started drying off with a separate towel. I ran my fingers along the spines of all the books. Coming here was probably a mistake that I won¶t let happen again.´ he grabbed a towel and rolled his hands around in it. thank you for sharing Christmas with us. I entered the room and that¶s when I saw her. The study is across the hall from Edward¶s room. by all means.´ I was nothing if not polite to the people that were worthy of it. Take all the time you need. Bella was sitting. I remember from when I was younger. looking for something that would hold my interest for the remainder of my stay here. bundled up in a fleece blanket on the chair Carlisle . three doors down. I turned the knob slowly and opened it to the point it was going to creak. some were even nestled on top of them. I hate him. I poked my head through and at first I didn¶t see anyone. further than it¶s ever been.

the night we would give out our gifts.´ I told her and she joined me in the foyer.´ she poked me in the chest and I cringed from her nick name.´ she smiled genuinely at me.´ I didn¶t want her to think I was trying to win her over with material objects but I also didn¶t want her to be the only person I didn¶t get a gift for.has had in his study since I first arrived. It was oversized and comfortable. ³Anyone likes receiving gifts. she must have fallen asleep reading it. I left her there to rest and went back to my room. I already had it but it¶s the thought that counts right?´ she mocked me not taking her eyes off the glass she was filling from the water dispenser on the fridge. So I decided to ask Alice what her thoughts were. ³Sure bro. it¶s just a name. ³For one.´ God please let Alice help me.´ ³I have a dilemma. I don¶t want to know. please don¶t call me that. being our past is so rocky.´ She skipped off back to the living room and just as she did Bella walked in. I was wondering if you would be opposed to accepting a Christmas gift from me. I guess it would be okay. I felt better knowing she was still here. ³Tonight we will be giving out our gifts and I wasn¶t sure if I should get Bella anything. it sounds like you¶re referring to a dog. ³It won¶t be anything extravagant or anything important. everyone except Bella. I had gotten everyone something. . don¶t be such a sour puss. I have something for you. take her anytime you want. can I steal your fiancé for a quick chat. ³Well. if you play your cards right. There was a book in her hands lying upside down. The next morning was Christmas Eve. on second thought. ³What was that about. Oh wait.´ he joked and Alice swatted him on the head. I wanted to get your opinion.´ She looked at me quizzically. the thought that counts and all that. ³Thanks Alice. If you decide to get her anything make it count because with Bella you don¶t get second chances.´ she giggled feebly. ³What¶s up Eddy boy.´ I practically pleaded with her. ³Hey Jasper. ³But trust me. one of those love chairs (not to be confused with love seat). I wasn¶t sure if I should. ³Actually. You know. you¶ll get it.´ I started. but Bella isn¶t just anyone. ³You are going to have to work hard to get yours. Actually. Bella included.´ They were all sitting in the living room. just something.´ I heard her underlying message and it nearly broke my heart. ³Oh.

Jasper and Emmett can handle that after dinner.´ Bella smiled nervously at Esme before looking down at her lap. ³I think we¶re fine. she¶s dissing presents. ³Emmett Cullen. ³Who doesn¶t fucking like presents.´ ³PRESENTS. ³You watch your tongue in front of the ladies. I don¶t mean to offend.´ Esme barked. ³Really?´ I didn¶t expect that.´ Esme found her voice before Carlisle did. I needed to go into town but I wanted to be sure I wasn¶t needed before I did. I sometimes pry and I don¶t even know I¶m doing it so don¶t be afraid to tell me so. it¶s not a happy story and it¶s Christmas. until Esme started probing at Bella¶s childhood.. I got up and went to the kitchen. My little man is going to love the shit out of them. ³Yeah. we want to get that out of the way so we can move on to the fun part. They were both silent for a moment. . we could use some logs for the fire but I think you. ³You guys are a couple of little kids. I¶m usually a don¶t-give-a-fuck kind of guy but I had an urge to make this Christmas a good one.´ He put his hand on Rosalie¶s belly.´ ³What. I joined them and we had a lively conversation about our lives and what we did for fun and all of that.´ Bella replied mercifully ³Well. that wasn¶t showing any sign of pregnancy as of yet.´ Emmett shot back at her. ³I ah«really.´ Jasper and Emmett both cheered. close enough I could feel her warmth and continued back into the living room. I¶m not sure how you¶ll feel about it so don¶t get your hopes up.I was shocked. but I¶d rather not talk about it now. It was very informative.´ Esme is such a wonderful understanding woman and she is very hard to displease. ³Thank you.´ Rose sneered teasingly. do you need my help around here before I go?´ Esme turned to look at me and so did Carlisle. I guess we should get dinner started. and moved his face closer to it.´ the room erupted in laughter. ³I have to head into town for some last minute shopping. even I couldn¶t help laughing.´ She walked right by me. you don¶t have to talk about anything you don¶t want to. ³Its okay sweetie. ³Wont you little slugger?´ ³Your little princess is going to end up with a potty mouth just like her father. I don¶t know why.

move on or steer clear of him forever. I dressed in the bathroom for fear of him opening one of the two doors that divided us. paid the man and headed back to the house. a room¶s length between us. about being here. I haven¶t the slightest clue what the fuck she likes or what the fuck she¶s into. I had no clue what to get her. When I got in the car I could smell something. I needed the time to myself and I wasn¶t going to let anyone take that away from me. holidays and birthdays. The shower felt good. When I arrived I was just in time for dinner. I grabbed the item and took it up to the counter. but I could find a way to make it work if that¶s what needs to be done. I felt better today. His back was muscular. BPOV I woke up in the morning. what with the weddings. My body temperature raised and I¶m sure my skin was red when my eyes fell on him. well as perfect as it was going to get with what I knew of her now. I was about to say fuck it and just get her a card or some shit but then I came across the perfect gift. That seemed like an impossibility. Edward seems so different yet the same in so many ways. I went into several stores and didn¶t find squat. I didn¶t want to give anyone the chance to try and tag along. my body was aching from the night¶s sleep on the chair and the water relieved some of the tension.³Okay. I either needed to get over it.´ I left without telling anyone else. I made it out of my part of the room silently but stopped when I saw the light breaking through the curtain shinning on Edward¶s bare back. and I snuck into Edward¶s room and into the guest room without waking him up. Chicago was still open for business. I know it isn¶t his fault I started to fall back into the state of mind I was in the last time I was near him like we are now. I involuntarily licked my lips and caught myself . My neck hurt like hell and my back felt like something had been pushing into it all night. It was early. curved and touchable. still in the chair in Carlisle¶s study. and if it wasn¶t the honey and lilac scent that followed Bella around it would have pissed me off. I¶ll be back in an hour or so. 6am. Instead. girly smelly shit. the stores were all lit up waiting for the last minute shoppers such as myself. it calmed me and I breathed it in heavily. I think I doubted my strength last night.

We talked about our lives. undoubtedly.´ I confessed. memories that were both good and funny.´ I plunged it into the juices that surround the bird and let it slide down the sides of the turkey. I was actually really enjoying myself and I continued to do so even after Edward came down to join us. I b-lined it for the door and stubbed my toe on his bed frame. like a wild animal. Edward left shortly after to go into town. getting my Christmas gift. When Carlisle came out I headed into the kitchen to see if Esme needed a second pair of hands. He stirred but I slipped out and closed the door.´ She didn¶t stop with the turkey as she asked. ³Thank you Bella. that¶s sweet of you to assist. ³Is there something going on between you and Edward? I noticed you drive up in his car yesterday and that¶s a first. made homemade pies and mashed the potatoes.before my mind wandered anywhere else. We steered clear of anything remotely depressing and when Esme asked me about my childhood I asked her in the nicest way possible if we could not talk about it. I just like to talk and get to know as much as I can about a person. ³Can I ask you something?´ She asked while I was gathering the plates and utensils. ³Shoot. ³What was that about?´ I asked Edward when I saw him standing there. The morning was much better than the previous night. ³I¶m sorry about earlier. I didn¶t mean to make you nervous or put you on the spot. I have learned that the hard way. When he pulled Alice away from the group I got a little nervous. ³Here. hopeful that he didn¶t notice.´ I replied without a second thought. You really cannot judge a book by it¶s cover.´ We batted. I know how he eats. ³Could you use some help?´ I rolled up my sleeves and grabbed the turkey baster. There was enough food to feed a small village which was good considering Emmett would be involved. Much to my relief. After about five minutes had passed I got up to get some water and Alice was leaving the kitchen. she agreed and pushed no further. She winked at me as she skipped by and I wasn¶t sure what to make of it. I decided I didn¶t want to know and continued to the water dispenser on the fridge. I had something for him. . I didn¶t buy it but it¶s priceless. He asked me if he could give me a Christmas gift and I saw no harm in that. hammered and crushed the cookies.´ ³I love to cook and I like to help out.

I looked at Carlisle and Esme when I spoke clearly. SNOWBUNNY DRIFTER. That was fine with me. no. ³We grew very close.´ Esme stood and headed toward the kitchen taking her plate with her. We all followed and started on our assignments. so this is going to be quite the experience. another thing I have perfected over the years. it had a little pink bunny skidding around in the snow on its big feet. ³Yeah. ³I don¶t really know much about you.´ He held his hand out with a floppy wrapped flat present occupying it. ³I. ah. we were just out driving and I asked him if I could drive. you boys go out and find us some logs to burn in the fire while us girls clean up. I didn¶t expect nor did I want anything from him.´ I blushed as I took it from his hand. Somehow I ended up on the opposite side of the room as Edward and for some reason it really frustrated me. careful to not rip it and inside was a sticker. wrapping paper strewn about. He put up a fight though. Before he left he gave me . It was very sweet and sentimental. and while Edward was there. so I had a hard time finding you a gift. Half hour later the boys were back and a log was crackling in the fire place. Edward arrived just as I was setting the table and he looked to be empty handed. ³I don¶t know how much you know about me or if you remember at all but I knew Edward in the group home back in Forks Washington. I wanted him to be closer.´ She took the turkey on its way out to the dining room table and I caught my breath while she exited the room. ³Thank you. ³You must have. which I was prepared for. but I got you one anyways.´ I laughed but even I could tell that it was forced. I was there with him when you adopted him. Now it was my turn.´ Esme¶s mouth fell open. ³Okay.´ I swallowed loudly to keep back my emotions. ³You¶re Bella? I knew I recognized you from somewhere. he has never let anyone drive that car«he must trust you. For some reason it really pulled at my heartstrings. ³So. I laughed out loud when I read it.´ Edward started after all the presents were passed out and opened on the floor.I tensed up and forgot how to breathe. We all got comfortable in the living room in front of the tree. ³Okay. I peeled the tape off.´ She sounded stunned.´ I said mostly to myself but I know everyone heard me. for reasons unknown to me but I know that¶s what I wanted.

his gaze fell to the opened box.´ I held the little box in my hand and directed toward Edward who stood quick on his feet and accepted it. He ripped the paper off without taking his eyes away from mine until the paper was sufficiently removed.´ I saw the glee in his eyes when he looked at me.something. clutching the box in his hands. He pulled out the locket I have held in my hands countless times over the last 10 years. . and the box fell to the floor. ³I want you to have it back because I know how much it meant to you.

´ she said.´ I made her look at me. ********************************* ³You¶ve had this all these years?´ There were tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat but I didn¶t care.´ she wouldn¶t accept it. That¶s all I ever had the balls to do. I would not leave it here with you if I didn¶t intend on getting it back. .´ she sniveled. I squeezed her to me. My mother¶s locket. and took her snuggly into my arms. there wasn¶t a lot of emotional expression during my upbringing. it¶s these fuckers tearing us apart. she just kept crying.´ Every pair of eyes in that room were on her and she was handling it beautifully. ³What did we do wrong?´ she whimpered. I was feeling it. ***************************** ³Take it Bella. this locket proves that. really fucking sucks.´ She still cried.´ I said it loud enough so everyone could hear me. ³Bella. it wasn¶t her style. still in the same condition I left it in. ³Why does this have to happen?´ ³We didn¶t do anything Bella.9.´ Bella didn¶t curse. I lifted her off the couch she was seated on. the picture of me still snug in its spot where it has been since my mother gave it to me. ³This sucks. EPOV Love Actually Every present I received did not amount to a tenth of the happiness Bella¶s gift brought to me. ³It really. only when she was really pissed or really hurt. ³I couldn¶t throw it away if that¶s what you mean. I never could express my feelings well. ³It¶s too sentimental and holds too many memories. her blood shot eyes tore into me like a stake to my heart.´ I slid it into her hand and clenched her fist for her. ³I know but Bella. I didn¶t have to guess which time it was. you know how much this means to me. Bella had kept my locket for almost 10 years. I wouldn¶t leave it behind because it was the only thing left to remind me of where I came from. ³I will be back for you. praying and hoping to god it wasn¶t going to be the last time and kissed her head. I gave it to Bella so she would know I would be back. too. waiting while I got my things to leave with the good doctor and his wife. Having a dead beat for a father and a push over for a mother.

There was one thing I needed to do. I figured it was gone forever. I had to get out of there before anyone noticed. having cried myself to fatigue. I mean right into it and fell to the floor.´ ³Please don¶t be. I would never hear the end of it.´ then there was a loud banging noise and I jumped up out of bed. I thought I¶d never see it again. My eyes were adjusted to the dark and I could see what happened. leaving the locket there on my sheets. Bella ran right into my dresser. Until she hugged me back. just a little clumsy. I never did this. It totally sucked. clutching the locket in my closed fist close against my chest. I¶ll be going to bed now. especially my brothers.´ I said through the dark. when the door creaked open and I heard the sound of feather light footsteps heading toward the guest room. thank you for letting me hold on to it.´ I reached down for her and she let me pull her up by wrapping her hand around mine. to be safe and want to hug you back.´ ³Okay. ³Let me help you. ³Oh shit.´ She started for the double doors but I wasn¶t done with her yet. I was just about to fall asleep. ³How are you doing? I didn¶t think it would be that hard on you or I would have given it to you privately.´ she chuckled nervously. something I¶ve wanted to do since the airport. I hadn¶t forgotten anything. it was all still fresh in my mind. My hand found hers in the dark and before she could object I pulled her close to me. ³Are you okay?´ ³I¶m fine. well. I mean really cried in my room on my bed. ³Bella. I can¶t even remember the last time I hugged a woman that wasn¶t Esme. letting all of the memories of Bella consume me. . I couldn¶t be happier. I had forgotten how good it could feel to really want that person to be happy. I cried. I¶m sorry.³Thank you Bella. not once did I let them flow freely without caution. wrapping my arms around her shoulders and I just hugged her. I lay there for what felt like hours. even when I saw her and talked to her over the phone the thought never crossed my mind to ask her if she still had it.´ I breathed and the tear that was teetering on the edge fell and I exited the room swiftly.

I held on tight. He hated that you weren¶t here. I didn¶t blame her. . That definitely wasn¶t what I was expecting. ³I have to get some sleep.´ I looked down at my lap and suddenly felt like I wasn¶t welcome any more. ³Can we talk tomorrow?´ The words came out before I even thought about them. we can talk. I do not mean to be rude. this is just«wow.´ ³I can¶t believe it¶s you. persistence was probably a better word for it. BPOV The moment Edward left the room I could feel everyone gawking at me. But of course that wasn¶t going to happen and too soon her grip fell. god no. ³You have no idea what that boy has gone through since we brought him here. ³Oh no dear.She wrapped her little arms around my waist and held me tight against her. ³Forgive me Bella. nothing ever will. he still cares about you. but it still doesn¶t change anything.´ I glanced at Emmett and he faux smiled.´ Alice couldn¶t find the words. but I knew she had to feel this. I think I do. Alice was shocked as was Rose. ³Bella. always has. she wasn¶t letting herself feel.´ I chuckled nervously. I just hated to see him so torn. the tears falling from her eyes. I could tell she was being safe. a mother¶s wrath see¶s no mercy.´ Esme finally spoke. wow. Emmett and Jasper were stunned stupid and Carlisle and Esme looked heartbroken. ³Do you? Can you really consider how much that affected him and not just yourself?´ maybe it wasn¶t anger. ³I know that probably wasn¶t the best way to tell you. that he couldn¶t find you. it doesn¶t make it go away.´ she said when she released me. ³Yeah.´ I said to Carlisle and Esme in an attempt to explain what just happened.´ She was definitely fighting for her son and I admired her for it. He let you drive his car sweetie.´ she went through her door and as she went to shut them I saw. ³I can. that he had to live with breaking the promise he made to you and there was nothing he could do to fix it. ³Oh.´ ³Last I heard he hated me. ³But the gift wouldn¶t have made sense to anyone if I hadn¶t. Her head rested against my chest and she felt so fucking right in my arms. so broken.´ She almost seemed mad. prepared to hold on forever if she would allow me the pleasure. by the light of the moon.

After making a complete fool of myself and having him help me up I headed to the double doors but something stopped me. Thank you for the gifts but I think I¶m ready for bed.´ I got up and headed toward the stairs. I didn¶t see anything besides his back side but damn did he look good. I think you¶ll like what you find. how are things?´ ³As good as they can be considering the circumstances. I left him standing there and retired to my room. I had a feeling he felt the same so I was the one to let go first. I NEED to get out of the situation I was in for my own sanity and emotions. ³Oh god. Esme was right behind me.´ ³We planned on talking and I still plan on it. I never wanted to let go. For a moment I fought with myself against my needs and my wants. please. in the arms of the only man I have ever loved. With tears rolling down my cheeks and my mind spinning in so many different directions. The longer it went on the more it felt right. I¶d gotten more sleep in the last three days than I would in any given week. *************** After I showered and got dressed my phone rang on the dresser and it was Renée. I WANTED to be right where I was.´ ³Thank you. I tried to be covert like this morning but he scared the crap out of me when he said my name and I ran right into his dresser. I¶m sorry.³Things don¶t change overnight and my wounds won¶t heal easily. My wants won in the end and I returned the hug that I wanted so badly for so long. I have been through a lot too and I don¶t forget.´ I held my hand up to cover my eyes and closed the door snuggly as I darted back to my bed and threw the covers over me. . I headed straight for the bathroom and when it opened right up I did not expect to see Edward standing at the sink brushing his teeth with a towel wrapped around his waist. ³Merry Christmas sweetie.´ She left me on the stairs and I continued to the room. For the third time and second night I woke up from a dreamless sleep. ³Bella talk to him. It was refreshing but it also made me groggy when I woke up. A shock ran through me as his hand gripped mine and he pulled me to him.´ I shrugged even though she couldn¶t see it.

³Nothing is wrong with you Bella. You only live once Bella and you should do your part in making the best of it. knowing what I was about to do.´ I sniffed my emotions back and took a deep choppy breath. What is wrong with me?´ I lost my control for a moment. did you know that he¶s Emmett and Jasper¶s brother.´ ³Edward does. I think somehow you¶re avoiding fate and it¶s taking more action. Yeah. I don¶t think so. It ripped through me. what if we do talk and then he leaves«again? I can¶t let there be that possibility. maybe you should give him the benefit of the doubt and talk to him. It¶s so hard to be around him and act like nothing happened because something did happen and it¶s been haunting me for the last decade. which he sat right next to me and I haven¶t any night since. You shouldn¶t just shrug it off. I was startled by a light knock on my door and then I heard Edward¶s voice. but that doesn¶t mean anything. ³Nobody hates you Bella.´ ³Have you been having the dreams?´ ³No. I hope he doesn¶t. ³I know but I don¶t know what¶s going on in his head.´ ³What? Is he there now?´ ³Yes. opening the wound completely all over again. It¶s ruined my life.´ I plopped down on the bed and prepared for the water works that were coming. and he wants to talk about what happened but I don¶t think I can.´ ³Is he coming here?´ ³No. Or you could avoid it entirely and continue living unhappy and alone. it turns out some higher power hates me. Edward from my nightmares is Emmett and Jasper¶s brother.´ ³Maybe it¶s been haunting him too.´ ³Did he come to you and ask to talk?´ ³Yeah. I just can¶t take that kind of pain again. Carlisle and Esme are the couple that adopted him. you should see where it takes you. we were touching on a sensitive subject.´ ³I have to go. .³How so? Did something happen?´ ³Well. I haven¶t had one since the flight from Vegas.´ I hung up before anything else could be said that would make me feel smaller than I already felt. I¶ll call you later after my life gets ruined all over again.

but I wasn¶t ready for any of this. EPOV I woke up with mixed emotions about the day ahead of me. Alice was ready at the entrance to the Kitchen with car keys in her hand. I needed more time. µThank you.´ I looked into the kitchen and saw all the faces looking back at me. Rose and Emmett were coming to Seattle after Forks to visit and look for a house so I would see them again soon enough.I couldn¶t do this.´ She gave me a hug and returned to her seat. I wanted to tell her it was fine. I couldn¶t stay afloat any longer. ³Do what you think needs to be done. it¶s not like she saw anything. It wasn¶t because it was Christmas and it wasn¶t because everyone in the house knew mine and Bella¶s business and it definitely wasn¶t because Esme always makes the best Christmas breakfast. refreshing and the hot water felt great against my skin. Renée called me. ³Are you sure this is what you want to do?´ ³Yes.´ Esme left the table and stood in front of me.´ ³You haven¶t ruined anything. the present and the future. but she left and shut the door before I had the chance. I felt horrible for not giving him the closure I¶m sure he desperately needed. but it wasn¶t about him. I can¶t deal with this and I know it¶s the easy way out but for now. all the hard work I¶d put in over the years all lead up to this and it was weighing me down. The shower was nice. the pink that I used to make fun of her for. Alice argued with me the whole drive down to the airport. On my way to the shower I saw Bella sleeping. but you are part of this family now whether you accept it or not. . I wish I could sleep like that. It was harder than I thought but I did it. I tried to tune her out because I knew deep down that what she was saying was true. it¶s my only option. Bella had agreed to talk to me today about our past.´ I headed out the door not saying another word. she looked so peaceful and calm. ³I¶m very sorry if I¶ve ruined your Christmas breakfast and I really appreciate the gifts but I¶m not this strong person. I told him I had to go and that I forgave him. that now only made her more stunning covered her cheeks and she adverted her eyes. While brushing my teeth Bella walked in and the moment she realized I was standing there with a towel wrapped around my waist.

´ ³No.´ I smiled as I exited the room. just look not touch.´ she scolded me teasingly. it is Merry isn¶t it?´ I took my seat at the bar and snatched a piece of bacon off its tray before Esme could stop me. but I didn¶t do it. it¶s all good. ³I¶m so sorry Edward. nothing was seen. ³Good morning. ³I don¶t know. we¶re going to talk more today.´ I laughed. I hope you work out whatever it is that needs to be worked out. I wasn¶t thinking straight. well find out. ³A little. it isn¶t your fault at all. I could hear her moments later moving around and rummaging through her belongings then she went to the bathroom. I don¶t have one memory of Esme being angry. ³Mmm.´ ³She seems hurt Edward.´ Esme was a big Christmas fan. I had an urge to go and look around in her room. ³Well. ³How are you handling things?´ she asked under her breath. I feel terrible that we didn¶t send you back there sooner.´ I hope. you eat when everyone else eats. ³Merry Christmas.I looked for her when I exited the bathroom and I noticed she was completely immersed under her blanket. I mean really angry with me.´ She had to know that she has been wonderful to me the entire time. you mean with Bella being here?´ she shook her head. ³I know. I¶ll be in my room changing so you¶re free to do as you please. Is it because of her?´ She asked under her breath again. ³That¶s good. I¶m just testing it. have you two talked about what happened?´ She was always worried about me.´ Esme and Carlisle were the only ones up and they were both preparing Esme¶s Christmas breakfast. Instead I headed downstairs and bacon and eggs filled me and suddenly I was ravenous. but that was okay with me.´ ³Edward Anthony. I feel responsible. I just didn¶t notice it sooner. she did the caroling thing every year with a group of her friends. ³Better than I expected. Her face fell and she looked serious. ³No need. ³Oh. I hate seeing you so miserable and you seem happier. and it was just a really good time of year for her. don¶t. . ³Yeah.´ I said nonchalantly.´ she apologized from under the covers. more than Emmett and Jasper. I should have knocked.

´ She sniffled and took a deep choppy breath. ³Um. everything is not alright. it felt the same as it did back then. ³Is everything alright?´ I chanced. I knocked on the door. I don¶t think so.´ I headed back toward my door and I heard the door open behind me. yeah. Her hands dropped to her sides and she looked up at me with the most devastating expression. She exhaled heavily. I just can¶t take that kind of pain did I. her lips turned into a small frown and her cheeks were painted pink. I went in. ³I guess but that doesn¶t mean anything.´ she whispered to herself.´ I exited the room and started ascending the stairs. ³No. ³I have to go.Alice and Jasper came down not long after I started setting the table and Rose and Emmett after them. Her eyes were blood shot. The door to my old room was cracked open and I could make out the sound of soft sobs coming from the guest room. It¶s so hard to be around him and act like nothing happened because something did happen and it¶s been haunting me for the last decade.´ she answered a question directed at her. ³I¶ll be right back.´ ³No. Hearing her cry was like a knife to my heart. not knowing exactly what I was going to say or what I was going to do but I had to do something. I could hear something muffled and my pace faltered. I¶ll call you later after my life gets ruined all over again. I haven¶t had one since the flight from Vegas. two at a time. what if we do talk and then he leaves«again? I can¶t let there be that possibility. ³You coming down?´ She cleared her throat. I¶ll be down in a minute.´ ³What is wrong with me?´ She broke down and on the inside. ³No need. I¶m coming.´ ³Okay. ³No Edward. It¶s ruined my life. I stopped in mid step right before I reached her door because I realized she was on the phone.´ ³Yes. ³I know but I don¶t know what¶s going on in his head. ³You can do this.´ When I looked at her she shielded her face from me and I wanted so bad to comfort her. I hope he doesn¶t.´ I heard her phone snap shut and the covers on the bed being ruffled. Everyone sat down and Bella was nowhere in sight.´ She sat down on the edge of my bed and her head fell . we¶ll wait for you. where he sat right next to me.

³I forgive you Edward.´ she started towards the door. ³How about what the fuck we both went through over the last 10 years. ³I¶m leaving. ³I don¶t expect things to go exactly as planned. ³Here you come back into my life and act like nothing ever happened.´ ³I can¶t do this. your leaving. but it was weak. it might help to know that we were both having issues.´ Her eyes fell to her knees and her voice was softer.´ I caught her attention with my eyes and she had her guard up. I had no way of knowing that and I didn¶t leave you any clue as to where I was. ³You have to eat something Bella. one last chance to say what I needed to say. I did not leave you on my own accord«I never would have left if it was up to me. it¶s too much. it was within my reach and then.´ Her tone changed. what about our talk?´ she started pressing past me and stopped right next to me.into her hands. her rolling bag close behind her. it¶s time we move on. I¶m going to Forks early so I can see Charlie and Renée before you and everyone else arrives.´ her head shot out of her hands and her eyes were fierce looking into mine. but I want to fucking talk about this.´ I was panicking. I could feel it. ten very long years wasted because I couldn¶t let go. I could sense it. I couldn¶t help the anger that coursed through me.´ ³Do you forgive me?´ she asked. That¶s the story what else is there?´ her eyes were steady on mine as she waited for my response. I stopped her. ³I was almost there.´ I stood to follow her and when I got to the door she had her bags in hand. she was leaving I wasn¶t going to get my chance and I wasn¶t going to get my talk. ³Stop being so calm about this. ´ I went with a calm and understanding approach.´ ³No.´ I got down on my knees and tried to comfort her the best way that I could. ³You can¶t just show up one day and expect things to work out like you want them to. ³I know it won¶t be fucking easy but I want to try and put it behind us. ³Ten years Edward. . I had every intention of going back and finding you there. now. I did not mean to leave you there Bella.´ She stood up and walked back through the double doors. ³You didn¶t intend on leaving me.´ ³Wait. ³Yes. no I know what happened.

maybe I should. I cried a lot and Renée comforted me the best way that she could. the only people I could say that about and know wholeheartedly that it was true. I know where he is.³What if I don¶t want to move on?´ ³It isn¶t only about what you want. Sorry about not keeping my word. Please forgive me and we¶ll talk soon. ³What are you doing?´ ³I¶m going to call him.-B . I¶ll call him when I¶m ready to talk.´ ³Maybe you should tell him so he doesn¶t get the wrong impression.´ I took sip of my cocoa and got up. yes I am chicken. I knew they would never leave me.´ I walked out of the front room and followed the stairs up to my old room which was now a study. Renée said I should talk to him. Thank you for the gift Edward. I panicked and I know I cannot handle this kind of pressure right now. I wanted to start over with Edward.´ Renée always thinking on the bright side. We talked about Edward. ³They¶ll be here tomorrow around three and I¶ll be leaving at around 10 am«I just can¶t stand up to him right now. I almost pushed it but instead I pushed the send sms button. BPOV I arrived in Forks later that night and was beyond happy to see Charlie and Renée. I really didn¶t want to but she dug it out of me. I don¶t think I¶m capable of doing that. I told her how I really felt. They were my safe haven. I had my phone set right to his contact information but my finger lingered over the call button. The hole in my heart was open now and there wasn¶t going to be any healing anytime soon. ³How long are you staying?´ she asked when we sat on the floor in front of the fire place. ³Yeah. I have his number. at least give him something if I don¶t want anything. hot chocolate in our hands. I wanted to see if there was something more there than just my own insecurities.´ then she walked out the door. He deserves that much.

It was odd how I thought of this person every day of my life for the last ten years and dreamt of him too. The first thing I noticed was his profile name. In the section where it asked you to list your hero¶s the answer confused me to the point I had to sign in to my account and send him a message.I sent the message and sat down in the office chair. In love. afraid of being abandoned and afraid to open my heart to him for the second time and have history repeat itself. The computer illuminated to life and what I did next was strictly by impulse. how ironic. It was his MySpace page. musicians by the looks of them. and now he¶s here in the flesh yet I push him away still. The first few were some celebrities. but incapable of love. I know exactly what¶s wrong with me«I¶m afraid. There were picture images available and other articles. something I found to be a bit offending. afraid of rejection. so I clicked on the first link. Something is wrong with me. . I navigated the mouse to the search engine and went straight to Google. I typed in Edward Cullen and pressed search. All the others were girls with very revealing clothing. FuNk Me RiGhT. I scrolled down and his friends list was even more revealing.

Yeah. standing right in front of me. I called the airline and had them change my flight so I could return home early. it was parties and women. I didn¶t feel like being funny anymore. I had 102 messages in my inbox. . I grew out of it after two years of teenybopper and homosexual advances. So I changed it to something simple yet meaningful to me. honey and lilacs and I let its effect on me go wild. There were more of those than anything even remotely appealing. It was a big long drawn out run on sentence before. I hadn¶t checked mine in a while.10. It was snide and conceded when you read it but really. I went through and fixed it. I didn¶t even go down for breakfast. I have no hero¶s. Going to club trio tonight«holla at cha boi. I wanted to wallow in my own self pity alone. When I came to the section titled Hero¶s I read what I had written before and it was actually really sad. 47 people wanted to be my friend. I didn¶t want anyone¶s pity and I didn¶t want to hear their whispers behind my back. Her scent still lingered. I went and looked at my profile page and all the information on it was from three months prior. I changed my interests to piano and music in general. I changed my movies to action and horror because I couldn¶t watch anything but. Can¶t find a hero in there! Nothing. So much has changed since then. 117 people had replied to my status update that read. my father a drunken abuser and my mother a pushover. The computer was up and the login screen was on for MySpace. Before. It cost a pretty penny but I didn¶t give a shit. I also changed my about me to say Just ask. I stayed in Carlisle¶s study most of the day. turns out it¶s not even important enough to talk about. It¶s only been me. How the emptiness felt so wrong I could not say but it was devouring me slowly. Before it was depends on my mood. the last three months have had their toll on my social life. waiting for my flight and sitting in the chair that last held Bella. I am my own hero because there is nobody better than me. When a Man Loves a Woman EPOV She left. She was right there. I just sat on my bed trying to pull myself together. anything really. I didn¶t think anything could be worse than leaving her but her leaving me was definitely heartbreaking. Hero¶s don¶t exist so what¶s the point? I thought I had a hero once.

³Edward. ********************* ³I¶m not calling her Jasper. I was professional when I needed to be. You¶re going to have to fight and fight hard to get her to trust you again. I felt 14 years old again. cunning at times and entertaining when the situation called for it. the feeling was void. she¶s only seen people leave her until the Swan¶s and²as bad is it sucks²you are one of those very people. There was nothing more to do. She¶s scared. The most important thing to me was taken away for the second time in my life. not like I expected. Ironically. What was the point? The only reason you even get a MySpace is to keep in touch with friends or meet people. I didn¶t want to do either of those things.´ I yelled over the phone. like I was a walking shell. I wasn¶t going to let this depression take that from me. After I¶d told him yes he decided to bring up the one person I was trying desperately not to think about and failing miserably. I didn¶t answer the door or the phone the entire time. but it eluded me. she isn¶t the type of woman that has the initiative or the self confidence to make the first move. He¶d called me to tell me that he was coming into Portland on business but he also wanted me to hook him up with tickets to see whatever was scheduled for that weekend. my apartment was uninviting when I walked in. but when I was home I let my emotions and feelings swallow me.´ All knowing Jasper has come out to play. Deep down I knew it shouldn¶t get to me like it was but the feeling was so unexplainable: like I was empty. Real life did return and I had to go back to work. When she was back in my life for that short amount of time. I was looking for solace. but when it came back it came back hard with a vengeance. I didn¶t feel it before because I was pushing it away. I didn¶t want anyone to see me like this. . that thing is one and the same and it was never really mine at all. The job I have been hoping for was now mine. hospitable when necessary. I fought against it. It went on like that for weeks.After that I logged out and told myself I wasn¶t going to subject myself to MySpace. After flying home. I did what people expected of me when I was out and about. The remainder of my time off was spent in my living room. So I threw all of my emotions into work. The problem was resolved for the moment.

Why should I have to do all the work?´ ³If you want to be with her as much as we all know you do. of course Top Ramen isn¶t the healthiest of options but it isn¶t the worst either. figured people would have gotten the hint by now. I¶d had enough of this. captivating. Teaches him to keep his nose out of other people¶s business. is even more depressing than before. It was comfortable and made for easy access to all of my needs. anything but actually. I finally decided it was time to eat. now it is Bella in all her beautiful. Then the alert went off that notifies me of a text message. why did he need three? Could it be that Bella is coming along? I didn¶t want to get my hopes up so I stopped that thought before it could get any further. What I mean by better. I didn¶t have the rosy red childhood either. He and Alice were far from SlipKnot fans. they were better. . she¶ll be trying to find the man of her dreams and fail just as miserably as you will when you search for the woman of yours. I was overjoyed to be doing him this favor. the dreams haven¶t wavered since seeing her face.³It isn¶t like I wasn¶t hurt. I didn¶t check that either. where I have been spending all of my time outside of work. I thought about how many tickets he¶s asked for. It was now Adult Bella. Much more depressing. then you¶ll make the effort. if anything. if she wants to fucking talk to me.. before seeing her it was 13 year old Bella. Until you can figure that out for yourself. she knows how to get in touch with me. After a while of thumbing through the channels and discovering that nothing was on that held my interest I grabbed my phone and the missed call icon said that it was Bella. I chuckled to myself. The microwave dinged and I grabbed my bowl and made my way to the couch. I wasn¶t sleeping well. When I looked into what was booked that weekend I laughed out loud because Jasper and Alice²and their mystery guest²were going to be at a SlipKnot concert. all I saw was the 207 area code. mature adult glory. I didn¶t answer it. I wasn¶t up to more of his conversations and psychoanalysis.´ I slammed my phone shut and threw it at the couch. I had just put my bowl in the microwave when my phone rang and I figured it would be Jasper.´ ³Stop with the psycho babble bull shit Jazz.

See you Friday night. . I had worked so hard at protecting myself and I didn¶t want to throw 10 years of hard work away only to have a few days. That¶s all I could think about. not over a text message. or even months of time with him before he left again. I clicked on it and this is what I saw. I was going to wait to talk to you until Friday when we come down or Saturday«whatever was going to be better for you. I would fall hard and fast. like it seems. I knew that if I gave him the chance we both wanted him to have. it was unread. it¶s on me.-E BPOV Every day I wanted to dial his number but every day I talked myself out of it. I wasn¶t going to call at all to be honest. He was already the only person that caused my heart to flutter. O it. But I¶d like to make it up to you over lunch o-B R dinner or even breakfast. So this is what I said instead. I don¶t blame you for not answering my phone call but I needed to talk to you. If you don¶t want to talk anymore-B . I had a text message so I navigated to that quickly and in the list of messages received it said Bella in bold highlighted letters. but Jasper practically forced me to d-B I had to go back to the list and navigate to the next message that read Bella.-B I looked at the time on my phone and the time I received the message.My heart started to thump loudly in my chest and my palms became sweaty and I was agitated as the anger and regret of not answering my phone came crashing down on me. 45 minutes ago. whichever you prefer. If he couldn¶t even respond to a message through MySpace that must mean he didn¶t want to talk to me. I¶ve been foolish to make you wait and it was wrong of me to go back on my promise. So many things I wanted to say to her but not like this. I will understand.

If you could see him. today was one of those days. until finally my phone vibrated and I jumped almost to the ceiling. ³I¶m not calling him now. no way. promise. Almost an hour and still nothing. No answer.´ He shoved my hand towards me. you¶ll call him before we go. I¶ll admit. my panties to dampen. hear his sultry voice. call him. ³Well. ³Wouldn¶t you want to know? Plus.´ he tried to quote him but it wasn¶t quite right. I started to write out a text message and I told myself it wouldn¶t be a long one.-E A small smile crept onto my face and I handled my phone with care.´ I corrected him. which actually didn¶t surprise me. but what came out was three whole messages.´ I replied. ³Why can¶t I just wait to talk to him?´ Jasper was trying like hell to get me to call Edward and tell him that we could talk when we went to Portland later this pulse to quicken and yes. ³Stop trying to change the subject Bells.´ Jasper had a point. the hand that was holding my cell phone. yours would be too. ³You mean ³be like Nike and just do it´. Wednesday night rolled around and I decided on a whim to call him. it¶ll make him anxious to see you. Summer time in Seattle is still cold and windy at times. . I wanted to hug it and hold it close to me but I refrained from feeling like a crazy person. sitting in the diner by myself. ³Maybe. I was torn. I waited and waited and got nothing. ³Screw maybe Bella. happiness that may only last for so long or the misery-like state I have been in since the event that changed everything. as Emmett would say ³just do it´.´ I put my phone in my coat pocket. I didn¶t think about what I was going to say or what he might say«I just did it. See you Friday night. He¶ll be thinking about it all week. I sent them and waited for a response.´ he eyed me suspiciously and I nodded my head.

³God Jasper. lonely people like me. ³Fuck you Jasper. Especially Rose. but I can see how much you both want to talk and at least give it a try. just wait. but I was serious too. Jazz says we should be there in an hour and a half. Jasper. we¶re on our way now. how was your day?´ Alice asked in her whimsical voice. ³Did you call Edward yet. They were also always looking at each other like one couldn¶t live without the other. Something we do every Wednesday night so we don¶t lose track of each other. Or maybe it was car sickness. ³Oh. ³Same old thing. I couldn¶t be sure. ³No. half teasing. or maybe it just seemed that way to empty. you¶ll both be thanking me. of course. Friday came and on our drive down to Portland. Have you decided where you want to eat?-B . which we road in Jasper¶s Avalanche because it was comfortable for the four hour ride.I was waiting for Alice. She¶s showing and it¶s really sweet how Emmett treats her.´ I replied dryly. They were always laughing and having a good time.´ Rose and Emmett entered the diner and they were two people that no one could miss. Alice and Jasper arrived first and took their seats across from me. who is now five months pregnant. Emmett¶s booming laugh carried through the rooms of tables and people and Rose¶s followed right behind. I¶ve never seen Edward truly happy so that¶s something I can¶t wait to witness. Yes.´ Jasper asked first thing.. I got a message from Edward. ³Hi Bella. I want you both to be happy. It was sickly sweet to say the least.´ I half joked. Are we still on for tonight?-E I¶d been sure since I told him but now that we were on our way my stomach started to do flips.´ he chuckled. Rose and Emmett to meet me here. are you like the match maker or something?´ I seethed.

which apparently was only four blocks from Edward¶s apartment. I never answered Edward¶s question but I thought about it until we pulled into the Marriott Hotel. Did Jasper decide on staying at my place or getting a hotel?-E My head snapped up from my phone and I leaned forward between Alice and Jasper. I didn¶t complain. seeing his personal belongings and standing in his bedroom. it wasn¶t like we¶d be sharing a room anyway. ³Okay. ³Whoa. are you staying at Edward¶s or not?´ I pushed. . That would only feed fuel to my already too vivid dreams. I checked in and Alice and Jasper decided they would stay at Edward¶s place to keep him company for the couple of days we would be here.´ ³So you¶re texting Edward. I never decided on that?´ ³Edward just asked if you decided on a hotel or his place. I¶ll try anything at least once. I¶m not sure what you like now-a-days so I didn¶t decide on anything. who said we were staying at Edward¶s. ³What do you want to do?´ he asked me.I was hoping you would choose. ³I was wondering.-E Wherever you want to go is fine by me.´ she added under her breath. I¶m not so picky anymore. why would you keep that from me?´ I shot a look at him. ³You never mentioned we were staying at Edwards. I had just sat my stuff down on the bed when my phone vibrated. ³I want to stay in a hotel. I¶m not staying at his place. I don¶t even want to see his place.´ I tried to imagine being in his house. calm down drama queen. I couldn¶t and I shook it out of my head.B I¶ll have a place picked out before you get here. ³That isn¶t the issue right now.´ Alice¶s tone was contemplative.´ he laughed at his insult and I seethed quietly in the back seat the rest of the way to Portland.

´ she replied. for both of us and I won¶t begrudge you your right to change your mind. I found my phone and I looked over the messages. I¶m ready now«is now okay?-E I take that as a no then?-E If you changed your mind. . ³He¶s having a panic attack as we speak. I understand. I never did understand that.-E I smiled at his sweetness and his way of understanding and replied. what it could mean.When should I pick you up?-E Whenever you¶re ready. but I let it pull me toward him. I stumbled out the door and grabbed the phone mid ring. I¶ll check my phone. ³I have to get off the phone to reply Alice. The elevator music just made me more nervous and when I stepped out the doors I spotted him right away. I¶m nervous too. He wasn¶t facing me but I knew it was him. why aren¶t you answering Edward¶s texts? Please DON¶T tell me you changed your mind?´ Alice said on the other end. I had my towel wrapped around me and my hair tied up in another when the phone rang to my room. his hands in his pockets and he was looking away from the counter beside him. I was just in the shower. ³No. This is big. **************************** I was ready to go and Edward was waiting downstairs in the lobby. that feeling came over me and it seemed to be directed towards or from him.´ We said goodbye.´ ³Okay. you better. I think I even saw her lick her lips. and then headed out the door. He was leaning smoothly against a pillar.´ she informed me. I double checked myself in the mirror.-B I hopped in the shower to rinse off and freshen up before going to whatever fancy restaurant he had decided on. ³Hello.´ ³Bella. A really nice looking girl that stood behind the counter was ogling him. But I really hope you didn¶t.

I didn¶t care that Jasper and Alice were witnessing my outburst. When my phone vibrated.-B My heart practically leapt out of my throat it was pounding so fast. you caught me off guard. I was sure I wasn¶t going to hear from her at all.´ He waved his hand in front of him and I started descending the stairs. ³Oh shit. they knew our past so what was the point in hiding my feelings? 45 minutes had passed and still nothing. Should I message you when I get there?-E . I threw my coat on over my grey button up and dashed towards the door. confirming she was in the city. to not give the girls behind the counter the pleasure any longer.´ he balanced himself and smiled at me when our eyes met. Now is good.She tapped the girl next to her and brought Edward to her attention. I tapped him on the shoulder and he spun around so fast he almost fell down the flight of stairs that were preceding him. you ready?´ I was ready to get out of here. I would never do that to you twice and I¶ve already done it once so«I¶m ready when you are. I really hope she didn¶t change her mind. ³Did she message you?´ Alice asked as I fled past the living room.´ ³It¶s okay. a shiver ran through me and my hands started to shake. I didn¶t stop to answer her I just yelled I¶d be back and sprinted down the hall to the elevator. ³Sorry. I haven¶t changed my mind. ³Yeah. after you. I navigated to the message I¶d received and read Bella¶s name out loud in a whisper. I¶m heading out. My hopes were dashed along with the light feeling I have had since Alice and Jasper arrived. She looked at him the same way and I quickened my pace. EPOV I started to panic when Bella didn¶t respond to my third text.

I couldn¶t see women as I used to. since I saw her standing in front of me like I thought I never would. I saw her look over at me but I kept my eyes on the road ahead. almost falling down the flight of stairs. I got out and told the valet I¶d be right back and he nodded his head to me. I will. Cullen. I sent her a text when I pulled up to the front of the hotel. ³Have a good night Mr. I hope you still like sea food?´ I remembered she loved shrimp. They must remember seeing me here. ³We¶re going to Salty¶s. . Over 8 months it¶s been since I escorted a woman. She was examining me. ³Yeah. I spit out a profanity before I caught myself and smiled ludicrously up at her entrancing brown eyes. the security guard said when I passed by him. ³Where are we going?´ She asked after a moment. It startled me from my concentration and I turned to see Bella but tripped on my own foot. I suddenly felt that strange feeling that came over me a few times when we lived in California and then again when we were at my parents at Christmas. I saw him look her over and it shot a wave of jealousy through me. I knew exactly where the Marriott was. No longer are women posed as sex symbols in my eyes. but that was so long ago. She seemed uncomfortable by the watching eyes and we left with a quick and breathless exit. She kept silent as I drove to the restaurant and I was starting to wonder if she was going to talk at all. There was only her. They still mean nothing to me²as arrogant as that sounds²but they don¶t hold anything of value like they used to.´ James. I¶d been there many times before for reasons I don¶t want to think about. Since finding out Bella is Alice and Rosalie¶s adopted sister. Why would I be jealous? I hardly know her anymore. I had been trying to act unaware of the audience I had when I was tapped on the shoulder. so hopefully she still does.´ I ran through the double doors that lead out to the street and found my car sitting right out front where I¶d left it. My car was waiting for us and the valet held the door open for her. thanks. I stood against a pole close to the front desk and the women there kept staring at me.I sprinted from the elevator. Bella has forever changed my vision of the world. squeezing through the doors as they opened. before she left I was contemplating what that could be and starting to realize it must have something to do with her A physiological jolt to my system when she is anywhere near me.

³I¶m sure you¶re used to guys buying you dinner.´ I chuckled trying to start the conversation. Her lips were pierced in a small line and she was concentrating intently on the menu choices in her hands. not really. It would be private and hopefully we could talk about what happened. ³No. that¶s kind of what we¶re here for isn¶t it?´ She fully looked at me and her eyes seemed to pierce right through me.´ Still not looking at me. I shrugged my shoulders and said. I had them move it even further so Bella would be comfortable to talk. Unless you count Jasper and Emmett: They¶ve bought me dinner a few times. not since after Christmas.´ I looked up at her to judge her expression«was she serious? Yes. ³Are you still with Mike?´ She peeked up at me quickly. ³Yeah. she continued to look down at her lap. ³So. ³Yeah. ³No. I needed and wanted to know. ³Have you«had many«boyfriends over the years?´ I felt it wrong of me to ask but I couldn¶t stop myself. It was a nice night and I reserved a table on the balcony.´ She didn¶t look at me. for the second time in her presence. ³Yeah. ³We¶re here. ³I have never paid for dinner for a man. I¶ve never had a woman buy me dinner.´ I exhaled the air I didn¶t realize I was holding until I heard her answer. so this is a first for me too. Mike was the only guy to ever buy me dinner.´ She smiled sweetly but didn¶t take her eyes off the menu. ³Can I ask you something?´ ³Sure. I can¶t believe you remember that. ³Some things are unforgettable. .´ this time I didn¶t look away from the menu. she was. her gaze not lingering long. this is a first. We sat directly out over the water at the furthest table from anyone else. go for it.She cracked a smile before ducking her head and hiding her face behind her long mahogany hair.´ I informed her when the restaurant came into view. ³Can I ask another?´ I chanced. I suppose´.´ ********************************** Salty¶s Restaurant is located right on the Columbia River.

That was something I did when I was a kid.´ ³Make that two. I continued to look down at my lap and Bella was quiet and contemplative. The waiter came to our table then. I¶d forgotten all about it because I haven¶t been nervous in years. you¶re still a ketchup junkie huh?´ I asked Bella.³Well. ³No. I didn¶t expect that one. ³Anything to drink?´ ³I¶ll take a coke.´ ³Really?´ I couldn¶t hide the excitement in my tone but I attempted to cover it up anyways.´ she pointed out. It was easy to just be with Bella. ³I¶ll take the same. What guy would want that?´ She actually believed everything she said.´ and handed him my menu. ³And so are you.´ Bella spoke first. ³No«Mike was the only one. ³I would like the shrimp dish with ketchup. ³And so am I.´ I fiddled with my napkin. Usually. it came so naturally. to know what she was thinking. I didn¶t look away from Bella¶s stare.´ she replied. and you¶re the right guy?´ she shot the question at me like a dagger. have you decided on your order?´ he asked. ³So. . We didn¶t speak. it was a paper clip in my pocket but I didn¶t come prepared for that. ³Good evening.´ though to be honest I would like to see if I am. that was funny. ³That¶s only because you haven¶t found the right guy. ³And for you?´ he asked. ³Guys usually tend to shy away from me because of my behavior. I¶m not really funny and I¶m not experienced. no conversation. ³How did you manage that? I¶m sure there were plenty of guys trying to win your affection. I¶m not outgoing. ³Yes. The wind was gusty and you could see and hear the waves splashing beneath us.´ ³Oh.´ She handed him the menu and her gaze fell to mine in a reproachful manner.´ she mocked.´ I said before he left. I wasn¶t saying that. I wanted. I always had to have something in my hands to keep me so bad.´ ³Yeah. It wasn¶t hard to be with her though. something I forgot I did when I get nervous. no need to impress²well maybe a little. Was she happy to be here or did she feel that she was being forced by my family and hers? I peeked up at her and she was looking out to the river. Washington was right on the other side.

´ The river was calming to me and it wasn¶t cold tonight. The third was Lower River Road. she spoke. since we haven¶t really had a chance to talk about things. I don¶t know. but it¶s on the river. ³Maybe we could go somewhere quiet.´ She still held her eyes on her plate. Bella had a pile of ketchup on her plate that mirrored my own and it made me think of all the other things we had in common. ³Um. the brown abyss so mesmerizing. Three spots in Vancouver. and a dock that is open to the public. I had to cough out my answer. The docks at the Double Tree hotel. a few places actually. I knew exactly where we would go. There were many spots along there but one in particular was Fisherman¶s Barge. Going home I guess. There¶s a bench that looks out at the river there. ³What are you doing after this?´ Her eyes bore into mine with an intensity that almost knocked me out of my seat. Wintler Park which is a swimming spot.Our food was brought out to us and we had light conversation while we ate. ³Sure. Before my mind could wander too far. A lot of barges float down the Columbia. we can go to another spot along the river.´ ³Well. I was stunned speechless by the beauty held deep within her. It was also right next to the Vancouver Wild Life Rescue. . her fork poking at the food that remained. might as well take advantage of the moment. ³I was thinking. many holding new cars delivered form their manufacturers.´ she took a deep breath.´ her eyes diverted from mine as she continued to talk.

´ he draped it over my shoulders and a musky fragrance enveloped me and I breathed it in greedily. My body stiffened again until we drove around to the back and I saw a bench overlooking the water. He took a seat on the bench and I followed. ³Here.´ My throat felt like it was swelling and my body started to shake but not visibly to anyone.´ ³What do you do Edward?´ I asked changing the subject to the direction it needed to go. He stood there. I thought you knew that. Before this. Edward must have noticed my observation because he started telling me about it. I couldn¶t pin point where exactly it was coming from but my whole body tensed and Edward seemed to notice.´ ³This is a good spot huh?´ he asked for my approval while we walked toward the water. ³Yeah. ³What . now that they know. He opened my door for me and wind bit at my skin and a chill ran up my arms. After a few minutes passed I got up and walked toward him. it¶s beautiful. ³Are you cold?´ he asked. feeling his electric pull more and more the closer I got.´ he looked back out to the river and I was just about to ask him what happened after he left that kept him from contacting me when he got up abruptly and stalked off toward the ledge that separated us from the water. The South Shore hasn¶t been in business for years.´ The bridge was to the left of us.´ ³No.S I Love You BPOV Going back over the I5 Bridge into Washington brought on some kind of panic attack. ³Thank you. They were both called The Double Tree but this one was known as the North Shore and that one was known as the South Shore. leaning on the railing with his forearms. ³This hotel. high above the water yet the lights were still reflecting from below. ³I¶m the Music Director at The Rose Garden. ³Oh. it was The Red Lion. no one talks about you much when I¶m around. waiting for his response. P. already assuming I was and unbuttoning his jacket.´ he pointed to the one behind and to the side of us. I wonder why he doesn¶t feel it or if he does why he never said anything? Maybe it is just me. We took the second exit off the bridge and he pulled into a hotel parking lot.11. ³And that one across the river used to be basically the same one. Across the river was an old out of commission hotel a lot like the one we were at.

I don¶t know who he is anymore. He looked so vulnerable. I looked up at him for the first time and the tears flowed over and rolled down my cheeks. ³What made you think I wasn¶t coming back? I promised and I meant it?´ I looked down.´ His arms came up and wrapped around my neck. crushing my face against his chest. ³Thank you. Maybe it was the tone in which he said it or the expression on his face. I had to find my voice. It would have been college. The expression on his face made me want to hold him. I tried to call but you had to be authorized. He let out a deep sigh. ³I don¶t know.´ Not to mention the dreams. or that you¶d forgotten. I tried to send you a letter but it got returned. I¶d been thinking about this moment for so long and here it is. to comfort him.´ I believed every word he said. ³I cared Bella and I never forgot. but I kept that to myself. but either way.´ He pushed off the ledge and came closer to me. He turned around to face me. nothing like I imagined it would be. Like nothing could take me down. so easily broken. I tilted my head to lay it against him and wrapped my own arms around and up the middle of his back. I froze in my tracks.´ I replied as reserved as I could. or at least I could have kept in touch with him until we could see each other again. leaning against the railing with his back now. ³Yeah. I didn¶t stop trying to contact you until I went back to that shit hole and you weren¶t there. fighting back his own emotions.´ ³Can we be friends?´ His voice gave him away. I didn¶t want him to see how much he truly affected my well being. tense and . ³Can I ask you something?´ He asked. that wasn¶t at all what he wanted. Just being in his proximity makes me feel whole. making me look into his eyes. I could feel the muscles there. I believed him. happy and just right. I didn¶t necessarily want that either but I couldn¶t just be with him romantically. hiding the anguish in my eyes. I would like that.happened?´ he asked when I was standing directly behind him. ³Yes. I would be a completely different person than I am now. maybe a little less flaccid. The traitorous tears threatened to betray me as I realized I could have been with him the whole time. I just didn¶t think you cared anymore. ³I thought of you every day. and I could have introduced Jasper and Emmett to Rose and Alice.

That would mean that she does somewhere inside too.´ She turned to Jasper. Jasper and I headed over to the Rose Garden. Like an explosion inside me. I couldn¶t wait to see what she would look like dressed all in black. I hoped they would choose something Bella would like. She agreed we could be friends. Jasper jumped up out of his chair. Not taking my eyes off of hers. I have to go see her. ³We will wait for you by the North entrance. ³I¶ll see you then. We got right in because the whole working crew knows my car and knows me. ³For now. ³Oh crap. that gave me hope. I make damn sure of it. we took my car since Alice took theirs. ³You know what. how could she not. I decided to tell him what it was and we called some people to take the girls something fitting for the show.´ then she darted out the door. ³Better?´ I said with my mouth full. She would be the sexiest woman alive in anything she wore. ³So.´ and grabbed his coat on the way.´ Jasper started. ³Does she know where the Marriott is?´ I asked after she was gone for a few seconds.´ Alice let out a high ear piercing sound. I scooped up a fork full of hash browns and scarffed them down.overbearingly prominent under his thick shirt.´ Alice broke through my trance and I looked into her green eyes that seemed to sparkle even in the dim lighting of the kitchen. The electric hum between us had to be felt by him too. EPOV Last night with Bella went as good as I could have dreamed.´ she replied with a smile.´ I replied for him. ³Yay. ³How did it go?´ ³What?´ I acted like I didn¶t know what he was talking about. ³Eat Edward.´ Jasper handed her the keys and she kissed him goodbye. don¶t play with us. ³What time do we need to be there for the concert?´ ³Six. 5:30 rolled around and Jasper and I dressed for the occasion.´ Alice nearly shrieked. ³What happened?´ ³We just talked and decided to be friends«´ I let that sink in for a moment. ³Much.´ he yelled and ran through the front door. it was throbbing throughout my entire being. she had to know I want more than that. . I¶d hate to have her decline it.´ ³Okay. don¶t be an idiot. ³Alice. I thought to myself.

´ I told Jasper.´ The line went silent and I returned the head piece to its spot. Cullen.´ I said out loud then turned and headed down the hall to my left. give it to me straight. ³You waited until now to panic? Why wasn¶t I notified earlier?´ I started back in the direction of the rehearsal hall. no bull shit. I lingered on the a . she had a tendency to beat around the bush when she knew something was going to upset me. I pushed open the door to my office and walked in quickly around my desk and started fingering through the rolodex that sat on the edge there. what¶s happnin captain?´ he laughed at his own joke.´ I told Erica. it¶s really bad. I mean this as in now.´ I stopped dead in my tracks. When we got there I saw what Erica had already told me. Tell the girls I¶m sorry. Until then. can I open for them. alright. ³I¶ll see what I can do bro. we have no one to open the show. ³Okay. we need you in rehearsal division. ³Well«the opening act decided to bail. ³Mr. on the real though. and asap. I was pretty convinced that she had a crush on me. ³Shit. I had a few phone calls to make. There had to be something I could do.We made our way through the crowd of people to the North entrance but when we got there I was met by my assistant. ³Show the ticket person this and go to suite 334. will you make sure that my friends make it in okay?´ I reached for my pen and wrote down each of their names. I mean I can come up with something. but no guarantee¶s they¶re going to forgive you. towards my office. it doesn¶t have to be great right?´ he laughed again because he was fucking with me.´ She was freaked to be telling me this because she knew how I felt about last minute foul ups. ³I¶ll meet you guys there as soon as I can. This was just my luck. hey do you have anyone right now that would want to open for us tonight? I need someone good.´ ³Alright. I knew a few people and a couple people owe me a favor.´ he replied and I took off with my assistant following right behind me. I found the first person I was going to call. the room was empty.´ The show starts in two hours. ³Seriously bro. ³What happened. I¶ll hit you back. we¶ll see what Laurant can do for us. I need your help. ³Laurant.´ ³Alright. Barely three rings and ³Eddyward. there always is.

They play the same kind of genre so it should work out. I downed the rest of my drink and headed to suite 334. All the qualities I look for in a man.´ he knew that. he possesses. Someday I will have to ask her if she feels that electricity when I am near or if it is just me. as weird as that may sound. BPOV On the one hand. you fucking know that. I walked over to the big windows and watched the traffic that was lined up for the show. They were good and all over the stage. Hopefully these guys are good under pressure. That¶s another thing. I know it¶s only to clarify who I¶m speaking about. something I cannot just forget. He also has a bad rap with women. he knows what he wants in life and he looks amazing. but it makes me feel like I¶m putting some kind of claim on him. ³If they can be here in 30 minutes they have the job. since I helped am I invited?´ ³You¶re always invited. He has a great career. ³See you there bro. it will have to be a long time before I can bring myself to ask her that Question. I got something better than that. It was different. I keep referring to him as my Edward. On the other hand. Maybe I want to put some kind of claim on him. all the cars bumper to bumper to get parking. Any other time and it was painful. for him to be mine and for him to never want to break my heart.´ We said our goodbyes and I notified the crew that they would be arriving within the half hour. My phone rang on my desk and I hurried around to grab it before it got transferred to my voicemail. Emmett also told me that long ago before any of us knew he was my Edward. You know the group ³Iron Knuckles´ on Youtube? They live here in Portland and they said they¶d be honored to open for SlipKnot. Edward seemed like he has grown into a really great man. It was easier to write it. this time I think I even felt a jolt like I feel when she is near. .in Bella¶s name because I had yet to write it down since the new hope that has filled my empty heart. I headed over to the mini bar in my office and poured scotch on the rocks.´ He sounded jazzed about it and I knew the group. On second thought. he has a bad past with me. good audience grabbers.´ ³Oh my brother. I saw it first hand on his MySpace and he still hasn¶t reply to my message. After stirring it lightly with a straw and returning it to its holder.´ ³Hey. ³Tell me something I want to hear.

not in front of Edward. She wouldn¶t hurt me.But Edward is human just like the rest of us and humans are unpredictable. ³Are they serious?´ ³I don¶t think Jasper had any say in this. ³Do we even know who it is?´ I asked. When the clothes arrived we both were shell shocked at what the shirt said. After Edward she was the only one I trusted to let in. at least not intentionally. no makeup. ³Alice.´ That little devilish look in her eyes told me her gears were spinning. I knew exactly what she was going to try and do but I wasn¶t having it. One day he could be so in love with me he¶s blinded by it and then the next day he could feel different.´ I laughed. ³I think Edward is the one who planned it.´ I said for his benefit. That wasn¶t an easy task then but the room had me convinced.´ I whined. Alice knows better than anyone else what I have gone through. she¶ll make them work. ³Oh Bella. Alice and I have always been the best of friends since day one. She is a fashion designer by trade. ³I figured you would say that. ³Bella. she can¶t help it. the only thing I worry about. Alice showed up at my door around 11. . ³Is this some kind of joke?´ Alice said holding the shirt up to get a better look at it.´ I added that last part so she knew I was serious. you¶re a mess.´ Of course Alice always had a backup plan. We have to get ready for the concert. Those are the things I am worried about.´ I flopped back down and gave her my just-woke-up-out-of bed look. better than Rose. this is going to be good. If the pants don¶t work. not today. Maybe he would see some drop dead gorgeous girl and be utterly taken away by her and hurt me in the worst way possible. that she was pure. along with her eyes. getting my heart rebroken. ³No. If it isn¶t right. but the boys are going to send us over some clothes that will suffice and I¶m sure we can figure it out from there.´ She sat down her bag of unmentionables. but if they¶re horrible than we¶ll have to figure something else out now wont we. she was coming up with a plan. so I¶m only going to dress you.´ I looked at her perplexed. ³I don¶t want to play dress up Bella day today. it¶s in her blood. she¶ll make it right. ³I thought clothes were being sent to us?´ ³They are.

There was a bar. She faux curtsied. ³Mr. ³Thank you. like cheese and crackers with tuna dip and ham slices on hoagie bread. She was dressed. We walked past the long line of people waiting to get in and continued through the gate and into the auditorium. We were definitely dressed for the occasion. We had to park in a residential area. ³You really know how to go to a show.´ his eyes looked like they were going to pop out of their sockets when he saw us. stocked with liquor and wine and even had a tap for draft beer. At . ³Wow. in black which further brought out her black spiky hair. hopefully it wouldn¶t get towed. Of course. We found Jasper at the North entrance after searching for at least 20 minutes for a parking spot. I don¶t know how they got my size.´ I pointed out the windshield between two cars. her green eyes were popping and vivid. ³Come on Bella. We took a right and followed it down about 200 feet until the woman stopped in front of a door that read suite 334. head to toe.´ he commended her.´ I bounced in my seat like a school girl. The garage was full along with the little parking lots around that charged a few for you to park during shows.´ the woman opened the door and moved aside to let us enter. Alice has a way at persuading people and it¶s almost always worked on me. ³Here you are. Cullen will be joining you shortly. that would be horrible.´ she put her other arm through mine and we continued to the entrance. A rather short woman approached Jasper and said something to him that I couldn¶t hear and then Jasper followed her. mainly Alice. ³Hurry. There was a long hall that went in both directions and curved as it went. ³So it looks more flirty and sexy. still the same from when I met her. but they fit like a glove. pulling us along with him. She did something of the same to hers and the pants were apparently good as they were. I wasn¶t going to do it until I saw the bands logo on the shirt.´ she basically bowed then exited the room.´ and put one of her arms through his.´ she¶d said. Dressing up was not something I liked to do or ever planned on doing. the shirt that Alice ripped in several different places. shutting the door snuggly after her. but skin tight and I think leather. She µpainted¶ her face with black eyeliner and thick mascara. There were also plates of appetizers.****************************** ³There¶s a spot.

We had one of the best views in the stadium.´ he laughed and looked me²just me²up and down.´ She stuck her tongue out and shook her head. given his job title. ³How else am I supposed to behave?´ I mentally quoted him.´ It tasted of black licorice and yuck. ³You ready to get your freak on. ³Ahh. I was feeling the Jaeger shots. ³I hate JagerMeister. ³Hey. ³Eeww.´ To see him letting his grunge side out was more than comical. ³It¶s a SlipKnot concert. two. ³One. you guys look great.the end of the suite was a set of glass double doors that led out to three rows of seats.´ Alice was counting. Of course he was dressed in a suit and tie. I shook my head in agreement before throwing back some soda to chase it. And that was only further reason for me to do it. ³Please don¶t ever say that again. honestly.´ Alice was running in place. Beyond that was a long drop down to center stage.´ All three of us slammed a shot of Jager and each of us had bitter face. I laughed at him because he is such the professional type most of the time. He started pouring us drinks and I mentally decided I would get fucked up tonight why not. ³Three. We had taken three shots of the black licorice grossness before the knob on the door tuned and Edward walked through it. that was to be expected.´ Jasper hollered and held up a bottle of Jager. . how else am I supposed to behave?´ Jasper replied. A smile was spread across his face in amusement and I had to laugh at myself because.

´ a little slurry but it was there. ³So how are Emmett and Rose coming along with finding a house up there?´ Jasper fell right back into his sophisticated side. the entire ensemble. ³Are you enjoying yourself?´ I tried to fight back my smile but I know it was visible. trying hard not to focus all of my attention on Bella alone. especially.´ Jasper had a slight slur in his words. ³Awesome.µ She was so fucking cute. dressed in all black with their SlipKnot tshirts and skin tight leather pants. ³Bella was definitely feeling the effects of the alcohol. ³Are you ready to partayy?´ He poured some liquor into a shot glass that he intended for me. Her feet were wrapped in red flats. showing every curvature in her lower half. Music and Lyrics EPOV The girls looked like they fit right into the scene. her ass being complemented so much it held my eyes for a moment longer than it should have. ´I·m«seem to be a little fucked up. ³No drinks for me tonight. Her pants were tight. She looked down quickly and I saw the light rosy pink color flush her cheeks. especially right now. ³Are you enjoying yourselves?´ I asked all of them. Bella was quiet at my side and Jasper had turned his attention over to his half intoxicated fiancée. Her mahogany hair was curled in every direction. complementing the overlay of her tattered shirt. I¶m happy for them. they¶ve found a few they liked. now that I had a possible future ahead of me filled with the one person I¶d walk the earth to share it with.´ and that wasn¶t a lie. I would thank her for it later. her eyes were glossed over and she was all smiles sitting next to Alice. looked gorgeous. I looked back over my shoulder and caught Bella¶s eyes. I really was. I could willingly feel happiness for others that have found the same.´ I reached into the mini fridge and pulled out a bottle of water. ³Oh. Bella. it had to be an Alice creation. . ³Sorry.12.´ she smiled embarrassingly and looked to her side. It seemed to produce a frame around the center part of a woman¶s body that lies just between the shoulders. ³Bro.

I marveled in the feel of her skin against mine and that little buzz we seem to produce yet again. but most of all every fucking time she hugged me was another step close to her trust. She leaned into it and was startled when she thought she was going to fall back but instead met my arm.´ she giggled. I was not in the right state of mind to be this close to Edward. The lights dimmed out in the arena and we all made our way to the balcony.´ her body swayed on the bar stool and I could tell she was about to fall over. the whole of my misery for the last 10 years. A few times I couldn¶t stop myself from resting my hand on one of Edwards. but I wasn¶t going to complain. I put my hand out to help Bella and she took it gingerly. BPOV Edward was gorgeous in his suit. His electric hum was vibrating between us and it only made me want to stay like that forever. When the last song was over I hugged him for the third time that night and he held on to me tighter than before. as he was seated right next to me. I probably would have fallen over the ledge if he hadn¶t helped me. anyone would see it. Each time. ³Thanks. his hand twitched under mine like he wanted to hold it in his and I wished he would. The music was loud and so were the screaming fans. even though I was definitely feeling the alcohol. Knowing me. I reached my arm around her back and held her up. The concert went without a hitch. So I pushed away first this time. but I can only hope that I get the chance to find out. even though every fiber of my being was flexing towards him. the best part about the night in its entirety was every moment that Bella touched my hand or every time she looked at me. not now in the state I was in. Every time I looked his way he was smiling and looking at me. ³NOTE TO SELF´ Drinking and balconies are a no no for me. His thumbs rubbed small circles on my upper back right below my neck and I could have fallen asleep from the feel of it. not away. I wanted nothing more than his company and that¶s exactly what I was getting. I don¶t know if it will do that forever. . I was not on stable ground so when he offered to keep me steady from the bar to the balcony seat I didn¶t refuse. I don¶t think he watched the concert at all.³Yes.

Soon I was in a dreamless state. He was speaking softly to me and I wanted to talk back but I couldn¶t find my voice. I kept my eyes closed but every noise and every movement made me think it was him. I wasn¶t sure so I didn¶t plan anything.´ I did miss Alice. ³Yes. Intoxicated remember. ³No worries. I promise no funny stuff.´ he said as soon as I loosened my grip on his jacket. We had already gotten my stuff from the hotel and were now about to take it up to Edward¶s apartment. being away from home and Alice was not two things I wanted to be away from and especially both at the same time.´ ³Okay. ³Sure. Well we would see about that.³I have to go. finally coming home. I couldn¶t believe I agreed to this. maybe we can talk some more. I can stay completely hidden if you want me to. and I was left with silence. ³I have to go and congratulate the group and escort them to the hotel. That¶s what I thought until it finally came down to it. in Edward¶s apartment.´ ³Why don¶t you stay at my place. which. ³Okay. their request. will I see you tomorrow before we leave?´ I asked calmly.´ He seemed so put out by that fact. I have a couch that is plenty comfortable and you would be near Alice. ³Can I ask you something?´ I felt like he was going to ask something important. currently I didn¶t have. I was going straight to the couch and going straight to sleep. something I would need a brain for. which was acting as their room for our stay. . ³We¶re old friends. and I won¶t invade your space or anything. until I opened my eyes to see Alice and Jasper sitting at the table. nothing but blackness. ³I would like that very much. Alice and Jasper had retired to the spare room.´ he said sultrily. I could smell him and feel his presence like every other night of my life. that is if you want to see me. to take advantage of me. 1:32.´ I joked. I was close to sober when we pulled up to a building that appeared to be apartments. He looked into my eyes. one and then the other. not clingy.´ He winked. Edward¶s apartment. I risked glances at the digital time clock on the cable box. I laid there for a while until I was so close to slumber I could hear Edward¶s voice. his eyes darting back and forth.´ I shrugged my shoulders. Maybe he knew I would and that¶s why he asked then. maybe figure out the dynamics.

Look at how much he¶s been trying to make you happy. EPOV The after party took too long.´ She tossed what looked like a grape into her mouth and chewed it greedily. I don¶t like the alcohol having any influence over her actions. I thought about Bella the whole time I was at the party. resting my chin on my knees. The last time she hugged me I thought she might kiss me but I wasn¶t going to push on anything. Preferably sober. That one thing has formed who and what I am today. ³Bella. ³Well that¶s«weird. I¶ve come to terms that it isn¶t completely his fault but I still can¶t just throw it away. It goes against everything I¶ve ever been told and everything I¶ve told myself I wouldn¶t do. Edward had a pillow under his head from the couch and a blanket sprawled across his body covering not even half of him. there¶s no putting it behind me Alice. ³How did I get talked into coming here?´ I whispered. even when the gorgeous women there approached me and I didn¶t even take a second glance.´ she stopped me. ³You have to stop letting the past run your life. I want to be around her while she is completely sober.´ I thought out loud. It just isn¶t going to happen that easily. he was out here just like that when we woke up. I pulled my feet up onto the chair and held them close to my chest. especially the way she bit down on her bottom one when she was concentrating or nervous. Alice turned to face me while Jasper got up and went to the kitchen.I rubbed my eyes groggily and then saw what was lying next to me on the floor. I stood up on the couch and hopped over to the other side of him and joined Alice at the table. Bella would be there and hopefully awake when I got home. You weren¶t the only one hurt by what happened and he¶s trying like hell to make up for it. I wanted to leave before I even got there but I had to do my job. I knew it was too soon to be thinking like that but I couldn¶t fucking help it. No regrets. Her lips looked so soft and inviting. I didn¶t regret it or even want them . ³What is he doing?´ I asked whoever was listening or felt like they wanted to answer.´ ³There is nothing he could do that would make up for what happened. ³We don¶t know. I can¶t believe I¶m doing this.

I had been standing in the same spot for most of the time. When I reached the hall I was more like sprinting.thinking about me. I wanted her to keep talking.´ I replied to her. ³Don¶t go. 1:32. I could get there in 10 minutes if I hurry. all I think about is Bella all the time. or was I forever to be in the friend zone now that it¶s been so long? ³Stay. since she reemerged into my life. and the rest of the band members.´ I told her. I unlocked the door to my apartment and went straight to the living room.´ Her words were hard to decipher but I definitely heard that comment . kneeling down to be on her level. for her to be thinking about me at the same moment I¶m thinking about her. ³It¶s just me. I¶m here. ³You supposed to be somewhere?´ Steve asked me.´ I replied frankly. dead on. do you mind?´ I really wanted to go but I would stay all night if I had to. ³Mm. then walking out. go man. maybe I could find out what her feeling are toward me. ³No. we¶ll see you next round. was she dreaming about me or did she unconsciously know I was here? ³Yes. but I wanted a closer look. I haven¶t mingled in the least and usually I¶m the life of the party. Was it more than just friends. barely audible.´ I replied before shaking his hand. I want to be somewhere but I don¶t have to be there. sleeping on my couch.´ She said it so clearly. That wouldn¶t be possible because recently. yet she was still sleeping. Bella was in my apartment. She said my name. ³I will stay.´ . I was stunned when I saw Bella sleeping soundlessly on my couch.´ she stirred in her sleep but she didn¶t wake. ³A woman isn¶t it. I looked at my watch. ³Stay with me. I thought about how much I really wanted that to be true.´ he called me out. things have just«changed. I didn¶t want to wake her.´ I whispered softly. I moved close to her being as quiet as I could be. I got up to get a pillow but her quiet plea kept me planted where I was.´ she cooed. ³No.´ ³You better plan on it. ³You¶ve been reined in my good man haven¶t you?´ ³I suppose I have. I only wanted to run through Bella¶s mind like she¶s the only one that runs in mine. ³Edward.

It¶s hard to say that I¶d rather stay awake when I¶m asleep. waiting to see if she would say anymore. ³Leave my door open just a crack. Her right hand was tapping her ankle in a rythmic gesture and I wasn¶t sure if she noticed me or if she was totally oblivious.´ she chuckled nervously. but better than most.´ ³Please. . away from here. slowly. take me.´ Her voice was good. she was in a quiet comfortable sleep and I joined her soon after.´ She laughed and I smiled. I laid down next to the couch on the floor and closed my eyes. I was about to bring my presence to her attention when she belted out ³I like to make myself believe. I couldn¶t hear them and I didn¶t want to interrupt so it was the most logical decision.´ ³Please. Then she added in her head bobbing.´ I continued the song. that was until I had to take a leak.´ ³Why do I tire of counting sheep. ³Cuz I feel like such an insomniac. I rolled over onto my stomach and stretched out my limbs. away from here. take me. I woke up to Bella and Alice whispering about something and I kept my eyes closed until they were done.I settled with a pillow from the couch and the blanket that I had used during my stay on the couch. away from here. Her cheeks blushed cherry red when she noticed I was awake. ³No. my hair felt like it was everywhere.´ that¶s a good song that doesn¶t get enough credit. She started humming along with the tapping and her feet started to sway from left to right. I heard one of the chairs being pushed across the linoleum floor and that¶s when I decided to make my escape. I got up stiffly from the floor and my back felt like someone stomped over it all night.´ she sang silently. ³That planet earth turns.´ ³When I¶m far too tired to fall asleep. ³Please. I quite enjoyed it actually. cuz everything is never as it seems. I took a peek in the table¶s direction and I could see Bella sitting with her legs to her chest on one of the chairs looking uninterestingly out the window that over looked the river.´ her voice quieted down to a whisper. ³Sorry you had to witness that. take me. She didn¶t speak after that. not shockingly so.

³Awh. because Bella was leaving to head back to Seattle today. surprisingly my back did feel better.´ I flopped down in the chair opposing hers and a sharp pain ran up my back. . I didn¶t waste too much time in there. ³Does it hurt?´ she asked.´ I rolled onto the ground from the chair and tried like hell to roll out the kink. ³Oh. When I walked back to the living room Bella was still seated at the table. I heard her chair scoot from the table.´ I informed her and continued to roll around from front to back. ³It doesn¶t have to. ³This is all happening too fast. She didn¶t want to leave me.´ She continued to rub my back. every second mattered. ³Let me help you with that. ³They went to the Water Front Park I think they called it.´ I wanted to take her there.´ I stayed completely still. She stopped immediately. ³Oh yes.´ she blushed and looked away from me.´ I sat down in the chair next to her. damn. My manly instincts kicked in and I couldn¶t stop it. ³Keep going please. ³And I¶m not looking forward to it.´ she laughed.´ I put my hand in a fist and pushed hard against my lower back and walked off toward the bathroom. Her movements were softer until she stopped completely and got up returning to the chair she occupied previously.´ her hands motioned between us. Thankfully. I hopped up off the floor. I want to try this.´ I barely heard her.´ ³Oh yeah. you¶re going back home today so it will probably be a while before we see each other again. ³My back is killing me from sleeping on the floor. I didn¶t really understand why.´ I couldn¶t contain the grief in my words. ³I know. any amount of time was too long. ³They could have waited for us.´ she didn¶t look at me but looked down at the table.´ I replied. my heart thudding loudly as her words reached me. I don¶t want to run away from it when it just started. ³Where¶s Alice and Jazz?´ I asked running my hand through my hair. ³What are you doing. ³Awh. unsure what she was going to do until she lowered herself onto my back and started rubbing firm circles along my back. ³Here. I was lying on my stomach. I let out a groan because it hurt so good. ³Whatever this is.´ I felt a hand on my back and the warm sensation that followed rendered me numb. it hurts so good. besides brushing my teeth and taking a piss. her hips swayed over me every time she moved her fingers.

´ I didn¶t want her to think that I didn¶t understand because I did. Her left hand came to rest on mine over hers. causing my skin to rise up the back of my neck and all the way down my left side. Her life is there and mine is here. bringing herself into my lap.´ I said out loud. I had totally forgotten about her.´ I¶d already planned on sending her a message everyday so she would know that I was thinking about her. closer than I have had her since she returned to me. ³But I have to. ³I know. There was a knock at the door and I wasn¶t expecting anyone so I assumed it was Jasper and Alice. . we could change that.´ ³I don¶t ever want to. ³I don¶t ever want you to leave. every chance I get if it doesn¶t bother you. I will call you every chance I get. Her hand pulled out of mine and she threw her arms around my neck. I made Bella walk with me to the door because the more time with her the better.I grabbed her right hand in mine and rubbed the top of it with my other hand. ³Do you promise?´ She asked and I knew this was going to be one of the tests. ³I will call you everyday if that¶s what you want.´ ³I know you do. I wrapped my arms around her waist gingerly and pulled her closer to me.´ she whispered into my ear.´ she agreed. when our relationship has taken on a higher road. ³Bella. I give you my word. Maybe later.´ I wanted her to look at me but what she did next was even better. ³This feels so right. I was not expecting to see the person that was standing on the other side of the door.

³No. Puerto Rican maybe. feeling too right and going too well for the little amount of time we¶ve been back in each other¶s lives. I smiled widely behind him. but it¶s something I can¶t just turn on. very exotic looking and beautiful. exactly where I was meant to be and I never wanted to leave. I offered to rub his back because he looked like a fool rolling around on the floor.´ He took my hand in his and pulled me to the door. I couldn¶t trust my heart or anyone else. moving fast and trusting your heart. Things were moving too fast.´ Standing at the door in her heels and Gucci bag. I didn¶t think it completely through before I offered though. was a young²looked to be²half Hispanic. He didn¶t want me to either and he gave me his word that he would call me every chance he got. That thought just made the smile grow. I was smiling a genuine happy smile. ³Oh. I wanted to. With my hands touching his skin. ³Is she your new victim?´ She looked over at me. honestly. especially Edwards. you¶re staying with me until you leave. The most significant thing about it though was the letter B that stood in the middle of it. It didn¶t pass my notice that she said she came for her things because Edward never called her. ³What are you doing here?´ ³I came to get my things since you¶re never going to call me. first. There was a knock on the door and he growled in frustration before I got up so he could answer it. god knows I do. Return to Me BPOV When Edward came out of the bathroom half naked I couldn¶t help but notice his chest. and give him a chance. not yet. That is the kind of thing that ruins relationships. . I wanted to touch all of him and not just subject to approved touchable parts. I didn¶t ask about it because. I¶m guessing. trust is earned and that¶s exactly what he would have to do.´ she stepped back to look me over. He couldn¶t do it no matter what he did if I didn¶t try to trust him. I told myself I needed to believe him. woman. I didn¶t want to know. Being in his arms was like finding the place I fit best in the world. his back. there was a tattoo there. I had to give him the benefit of the doubt if I wanted him to gain the trust back. ³Teresa?´ His voice was alarmed and panicked all at the same time. What kind of things could she possibly have here? I released Edward¶s hand as she pushed her way past him and she noticed me for the first time.13. Earn it.

³I have to go Edward.´ She stormed past me and continued into the living room. I honestly forgot about her it¶s been that long. ³Please Bella. ³It was nothing. It¶s been what. that¶s all there was to it. What does that say about his character? This could be some evil plan he has to get back at me for not leaving him a number. I wanted to be away from him so I could think properly.´ Four months ago he slept with that woman²who knows how many times²then didn¶t call her back and totally forgot about her completely. ³I don¶t have any underwear that isn¶t mine Teresa. ³Oh. it was nothing. ³Four months.´ She stormed out of the room and sauntered towards him before she stopped right in front of him.´ I said as he tried to help me.´ ³That¶s the problem. I didn¶t want him to help me. ³Because I was an asshole and didn¶t like what I was doing. ³Where are my panties?´ she shouted from the room. Edward gave me a look before he followed and she didn¶t stop until she got to a back room that I assumed was Edward¶s.´ he counted on his fingers. ³I am so sorry about that Bella. A tear escaped my eyes and I hid it as I walked towards the couch to collect my things. he isn¶t worth it. dropping her arms to her sides. If you left them here I threw them away. I needed more proof. ³Good luck honey.´ he replied and it only further confused me with the conversation. opened it and then slammed it behind her. He came towards me and suddenly I was having second thoughts yet again. and more time.´ She continued to the front door. you have to break my heart in the process? Well FUCK YOU Edward Cullen«you ain¶t shit.´ I said calmly.³Don¶t get your hopes up honey. looking down at them. don¶t let that get to you. ³Bella Wait!´ I could hear the rush of his bare feet padding across the hard wood floor in the hall. you¶re going to need it.´ she spat at his feet and stomped down the hall towards me.´ Four months and you never called me: Why not?´ She pleaded. All of your relationships have been nothing so what makes me believe that I won¶t become nothing at some point?´ . so because you were lost or what-the-fuck-ever.

I might ramble though.´ His voice was saddened and it made my heart ache but I had to be strong.´ His words were rushed. for me.´ he said. I didn¶t want to look at him.´ His hand came up to rest on my shoulder and his voice came out gingerly. ³That works for me. and I¶ll call you. I had my bag back in hand and my hand on the door knob.´ Against my better judgment. ³How good are you at texting?´ ³I¶ve been known to send a few texts here and there.´ He warned me and I could tell he wasn¶t happy. I watched them as they took in my appearance. something not as personal. ³Can I still call you every day? Every chance I get? I don¶t want to start out with not keeping my word.´ I didn¶t want to look at him. but I¶m sure I can get it figured out. ³Send me a text.´ I greeted them. I had to avoid that. Alice and Jasper walked through the front doors shortly after my exit from the elevator. but that wouldn¶t make it any easier for me to think rationally. this isn¶t only about him. but like it¶s always been.´ Alice replied with a confused smile. ³Can I get a hug before you go? Please. He was right there beside me. ³Are you ready to go?´ . his face pushing into the crook in my neck.´ He was right. you got it. I find a lot of joy in writing. With that I loosened my hold on him and quickly exited the apartment without looking back. I was hurting him again. ³I¶ll talk to you soon. ³Hey.´ He was trying to get in front of me so I would have to look at him.³Because you have always been my everything. ³Hey. So I had another idea. ³I will let you. all the time you need. you¶re the only woman I can see being with. ³I¶m going to miss you so much. they were totally engrossed in each other and were startled by my presence. I can prove it to you if you¶ll let me.´ I started toward the door and had to put my bag down so I could slip on my shoes. ³Have it. I released the door knob and he took me into his arms. my perseverance would be shattered. It didn¶t occur to me that I had nowhere to go until the elevator doors opened on the first floor. he was panicking«well so was I. I kept my eyes away from his because I was already teetering on the edge of my resolve. Lucky for me though. but you also have to give me the time I need. that wasn¶t a good way to start.

´ ³So it¶s not completely caput for you two?´ there was hope in her eyes. Jasper came out onto the sidewalk toward us.´ she squealed.´ She was really defending him. ³What did he say?´ ³He told her he didn¶t have any underwear. . He dragged me to the door with him and there stood Teresa looking for her panties. I may possess some of those things but I¶d give them all up if I could know that Edward felt for me even half of what I feel for him.³Yes. ³And there was a knock on the door. 2008 The days are going by so slow. Alice.´ ³Eee. ³I¶m not holding it against him.´ Her expression did a complete 180. to anyone. ³I don¶t want to be nothing.´ She was shocked. Bella you have a lot of great qualities. I¶m ready to go. but that wasn¶t mine. here it comes: ³I don¶t think you would ever be nothing to him. You¶re organized. ³We¶re going to communicate every day. if he keeps his word.´ I stopped in front of the car and she stopped in front of me.´ Alice took my arm and shook me. not to mention you have a degree and a full time career. She said he never called her and he told me it was nothing. she was going to do one of her lectures. you have a sense of humor. I can¶t be nothing. I just need time«and proof. I just walked past them and toward the car. and you love deeply and irrevocably.´ She threw her arms around me and Jasper had a very confused look on his face. Not when it comes to him. you can cook. a woman came to Edward¶s door looking for her things. ³It¶s like a fairy tale story. that is. almost. you can¶t hold that against him.´ She pointed out. more so than I was it looked like and it almost made me feel better. ³So. that it was four months ago and if she did leave them then he threw them away. when I talk to Bella it goes by too fast. what I don¶t like is the way he blew her off. ³Four months ago? Bella. ³We were having a conversation about something.´ I didn¶t speak anymore. ³Not completely.´ no need to go into detail. EPOV Journal Entry 420: August 14. I could see her point. I could hear Alice¶s approach and she appeared next to me before I reached the car. what happened?´ she asked between breaths.

I know it¶s there. I want to hear her. I need to know that I have some smidgen of a chance to win her affection. The dreams are still present every night but they¶ve changed in torturous ways. I need to see that she is still thinking of me. it is my two year marker at the Rose Garden so that means I will be getting a raise and vacation time will be coming around which I plan on asking Bella if I can go up and see her. her body straddling mine as she moves further and further down toward the mother land. The same receptionist that was eye fucking me when I came in for my interview. Sometimes I only get a ³Good night´. We text every day of course.Every day I¶m always waiting. ³Edward. I crave the reassurance that she is as in love with me as I am with her. I thought I would have pulled it all out by now. Jones greeted me. My bad days are the days when I receive one text at night that usually reads something along the lines of ³I was busy tonight´. it¶s now middle of August and I have yet to receive a phone call from Bella. the receptionist for Mr. I need to see her. I need it more than I need air in my lungs. I desperately wanted to know where her heart is. She said for me to wait for her to call. Then I wake up drenched in sweat like it isn¶t all just a dream. I can almost feel the pleasure of it. almost feel her lips kissing down my chest. I don¶t know what she is thinking. can you believe it¶s been two years?´ Chelsea. to decipher the tone in her voice. I¶m getting really sick of waiting. **************************************** Week seven. the sheet and blanket still tucked under the mattress like they were the previous night. The only proof is the empty spot beside me. Today was an important day for me. They¶ve evolved into hot steamy mirages that I can never quite grasp. Or I¶m waiting to see if she calls me. that she looks forward to my messages and that she waits all day like I do. Every day . she isn¶t talking to Alice or Alice isn¶t spilling no matter how much I beg and bribe. I don¶t know how much longer I can wait. Those are my good days. I was surprised every morning when I looked in the mirror to see a full head of hair still in its usual disarray. waiting to text Bella. hoping it isn¶t too early or too often or vise versa. some days she even texts me before I text her. First.

was the same with her, I was surprised she never broke down and asked me to ask her out; she sure put out enough signs that even a blind man wouldn¶t miss. ³I know, time really flies,´ I humored her. ³Mr. Jones is ready to see you; he said to send you in the moment you arrived.´ ³Thanks,´ I tried to suppress my crooked smile but it came out full force because of the overwhelming happiness that was coursing through me at the thought of seeing Bella, very soon. ³Wish me luck.´ ³Good luck you,´ she said in a reserved sultry way. I shut the door behind me, thankful for the short conversation with her; she could talk you away all day if you let her. ³Edward my boy, so glad to see you; I have good plans for your future.´ Mr. Jones shook his head, ³I knew I was taking a well deserved risk with you,´ he added. ³Thank you sir,´ I knew now to let him do all the talking. ³We¶re going to discuss your raise and a few other things if you don¶t mind.´ He rustled a stack of papers and continued, ³We are raising your salary to $72,000 a year and upping you vacation to two weeks which is effective immediately and you will receive yearly Christmas bonuses.´ I was speechless, not about the money or the bonuses; I had vacation time that I could take now. ³Thank you,´ I finally found my voice. ³I won¶t let you down.´ ³If you continue the way you have I don¶t see any way you could son. You¶ve made your father proud, I am sure of that.´ He didn¶t know Carlisle wasn¶t my real father and I never felt the need to correct him. ³He will hear of this.´ He started typing away at his computer, it¶s all done and the changes have been made.´ He cleared his throat, ³There is one catch.´ *********************************** Week nine, I was just about to hit the sack when my phone rang in the living room. I got to it and the caller ID almost sent me into a heart attack. ³Hello,´ I answered out of breath for no reason except that my heart was beating so fast it felt like I¶d just run a marathon. The voice that carried over the phone was just as I¶d imagined only a zillion times more gratifying. ³Edward,´ she sounded just at winded as I was. I started imagining the worst, what would cause her to call me in such a panic? ³Bella, what¶s wrong?´ ³It¶s Rose, she¶s gone into labor. She¶s early and the doctors say she might not have long.´

All I saw was Emmett; I could imagine how much he was probably panicking, ³Is she okay?´ ³She should be fine, they¶re more worried about the baby,´ her voice drifted off to a whisper and I was no longer tired. ³I¶ll be there as soon as I can. Are you okay with that?´ I had to be sure, not that it would stop me from going and being there for my brother, but I needed to know what I was going in to. ³This isn¶t about us; this is about your niece or nephew and his or her parents.´ ³I know, I just wanted to know how you felt about it.´ ³Its fine, just hurry, I don¶t know how much time you have. You might miss it.´ ³I¶ll be there.´ We hung up after that and I dialed Mr. Jones home number, 10:30 at night. ³I hope I don¶t get fired for this,´ I said out loud as the phone rang next to my ear. I grabbed a few things and headed out the door before he answered. ³Hello?´ he didn¶t sound happy. I turned the key in the ignition before I spoke. ³Mr. Jones, It¶s Edward, I¶m sorry to call at such a late hour.´ ³What is it Edward?´ He asked, not worried but curious. I don¶t think anything fazes that man, nothing except family. His office is littered with photos of his kids; he and his wife on vacations and away for holidays. There was a slight chance he would say no to my going. ³My sister in law went into labor and she isn¶t due for another month. I need to be there for support, my entire family is flying in to Seattle. I¶m already on my way. If you say I can¶t go I won¶t, but please consider it.´ I practically held my breath while I waited for his response. ³Edward, this is not a good way to request your vacation, you could have just asked.´ ³This honestly isn¶t about my vacation but I can see how you would think that. I will only take a few days and without pay if that¶s what it takes.´ ³No, no you can have your seven days, but be prepared to show me pictures. I have a soft spot for newborns.´ That was his way of keeping tabs on me, and he really does have a softness when it comes to family; just like I said. ³Thank you sir-³ ³Edward, stop calling me sir that is my father.´ ³Sorry Mr. Jones. Thank you.´ Be safe, have a good time.´ The conversation ended and I sent Bella a text.

I¶m on my way, just passing over the Oregon Boarder. Three hours tops. Can you send me the address to the hospital so I can Google it.-E

I got directions and the welcome to Seattle sign passed in my rearview mirror 2 hours and 45 minutes later. I found the hospital without a hitch and I mazed my way through the halls until I found the waiting room for maternity. It was empty, all except for Bella. She was sitting with her legs propped up against her chest on a long couch and I could see the cord to her headphones running down to her lap where her iPod was resting. I would almost bet my soul that the book in her hands was Wuthering Heights, the same tethered one from the past. I walked further into the room and I watched as her whole body tensed even before she saw me. She turned and looked directly at me, a smile flirting at her lips. I greeted her nervously, unsure of what to expect, ³Hey.´ She pulled her ear bud out and closed her book. ³Hey, how was the drive?´ ³It was long, tiring. How is Rose?´ That was the most important thing. I had to fight with my inner instincts to take her into my arms. ³She¶s doing good, the baby¶s vitals are normal and she¶s starting to dilate. They¶re letting it run its course as long as everything keeps up.´ Her voice was laced with worry and some other emotion I couldn¶t pin point. Her eyes were glowing yet dull, she was conflicted. ³You can go see her. I was just sitting out here waiting for everyone to arrive in case the nurses gave you any trouble.´ She giggled lightly but it seemed to be forced. ³Will you go with me, show me where it is I mean.´ I corrected myself because this day, this moment wasn¶t about us, our past and our problems. It¶s about Rose and the newest Cullen that is fighting as we speak to be brought into the world. ³Yeah, sure,´ she started gathering her things and I stood before her. She passed so close to me I could feel the electric current between our skin.

BPOV Time is a funny thing; at times it will fly by, you don¶t even know where it went. Other times it will seem like it¶s standing still. The moments I don¶t hear from him feels like an eternity of time

passes. When we have our conversations that go on for hours, it feels like time is on fastforward. Days after I returned home I wanted to call him. Multiple times I dialed the number and sent it but hung up before the first ring. I didn¶t want to seem too eager or desperate. So I dealt with the messages and the all too vivid dreams. I won¶t go into detail but wow were they exhausting and far too teasing in my book. Not that I¶m some nympho or anything but I am human, and I want and desire the same things most other grown women do and that is companionship, love and devotion. I was starting to feel that Edward was definitely in the right category for that. I couldn¶t dream up a better man, I¶d much rather dream about him: Which I do every night like I always have. ³Mrs. Swan,´ Jason asked in the middle of recital. ³Yes Jason.´ ³I think something is stuck in my trombone instrument,´ he took the trombone off from around his shoulder and I walked to his side. We both looked at the same time and saw a glutinous ball in the tube. ³Great,´ he mumbled and three boys that were behind him started to snicker. ³Do you think this is funny?´ I asked them. I was in no mood to put up with their shenanigans today. They all straightened up and shook their heads. ³I will not tolerate this kind of behavior in my class. You should be taking notes from Jason, not trying to sabotage him. He is part of your band,´ I pointed out. ³If one of you looks bad the whole band does.´ I started to address everyone, just so they all knew, ³There is no I in team,´ So cliché, I thought to myself, ³This is a team effort. If one of you is off key then the whole thing sounds disheveled. You must work together to achieve the same goal, that goal will not be reached by playing jokes on each other.´ Something inside was ringing, some kind of alert but I couldn¶t figure out what it was from so I pushed it aside. ³Now,´ I raised my baton, ³From the top.´ ******************************** Later that day when I got out of class and done with my duties for the day; I sent Edward a text. I couldn¶t wait to see how his day went.

How was your day?-B

It was torture until now«how was yours?-E

Long, I had to put some kids in my class in their place for trying to sabotage one of their band members. That was interesting.-B

Sounds like your day was eventful. Hey, I have a question for you. What would you say to me coming up for a visit? Of course I¶ll stay at Jasper¶s but we could hang out.-E

I don¶t know, it¶s kind of soon don¶t you think? I don¶t know if I want that right now to be completely honest. My mind is so unmanageable. I¶m not used to that.-B

I miss you so much Bella, I just want to hear your voice, see your face, feel your skin. I¶m sorry if I want to be near you but I won¶t hide the fact that I¶m going absolutely insane without you.-E

I have to go, I¶ll talk to you later. I¶m sorry, now just isn¶t a good time, not yet.-B

It was hard to tell him no but it was even harder to think about what could come of a visit. He would have to leave again and each time is worse than the last. None, of course, were near as bad as the first. ******************************** I was over at Rose and Emmett¶s place and we were having one of our many weekly get togethers. Rose was folding laundry from the washer when she ran out waddling like a duck. Some kind of liquid was all over her legs and she looked to be in shock. ³My water broke, my fucking water broke.´ Emmett rushed her to the hospital while Alice, Jasper and I followed in our own cars. ³Call Renee and Charlie,´ she said out the window before they pulled away, ³And Carlisle and Esme.´ Then they were screaming down the road in Rose¶s Audi. ³I¶ll call mom and dad,´ Alice said when her phone was already to her ear and she got in the car with Jasper. ³I got Carlisle and Esme on the line,´ Jasper informed us, covering the receiver with his hand, then returning to his conversation.

I pulled out my phone and navigated to my messages. I decided this was worth calling for, he deserved that much. So I called the only person that needed to be informed. I called Edward. Hearing his voice was like hearing heaven¶s gate open. I swear I heard a chorus behind his greeting. We talked briefly and then he was on his way. My body started to vibrate in anticipation. He was going to be here, in the flesh, I couldn¶t wait to see him. I wasn¶t ready to admit it, but I was definitely excited. I made my way to the hospital on the east side of town and traffic wasn¶t horrendous like I expected; it being 11 at night. Still hectic though, it was a Saturday. My nerves were all over the place. Rose was in early labor, the family all on their way, Carlisle and Esme were sure to be catching a flight this very moment. Alice informed me when I arrived that Charlie and Renee were already on their way; would be here in three hours. Edward was on his way, he would be here in two hours«two hours. That was on repeat in my head until I got to the room. Rose was on the bed, a sheet over her, monitors wrapped around her oversized belly and she looked drained. ³Hey,´ I said coolly as I went to her side. Emmett was there, sitting on a chair at the head of the bed. ³Oh Bella,´ Rose breathed. ³It hurts like hell,´ she laughed painfully. The monitors beeping rhythm began to increase, the sound echoing in the room. Rose started to wither in the bed, her hands cradling her belly. I¶m not the most experienced with childbirth, none at all to be exact, but I do know some and she was definitely having a contraction. Emmett rubbed her shoulders while she leaned forward and Alice was rubbing her feet. The alarm started to decrease and Rose¶s breathing did with it. She fell back onto the bed, her head like a 50 pound weight on her shoulders. I got closer to her, leaning over Emmett so she could hear me. ³You¶re going to have baby Rosy, a mama.´ She smiled; adoration only a mother could possess. ³I know,´ it looked like she was going to cry, or maybe she already was. ³It¶s all worth it.´ I brushed her hair back with my fingers and gave her a hug. ³You hang in there, I¶m going to go read out in the waiting room and wait for the family. They¶ll come get me if anything changes okay.´ I wanted to comfort her but there wasn¶t much I could do. About the only thing that I could do was give her privacy. ³Thanks Bella.´

it¶s been my savior for many years. is the bigger question. ³Hey.´ I took the one ear bud out and shut my book. ³This book.´ he said mostly to himself. ³I want to start over. I found a comfy spot by the window and curled up there with my ear buds blasting and my Wuthering Heights in hand. . the chance to regain my trust and he couldn¶t do it if I kept pushing him away. or at least start fresh. ³This book has been through so much. ³Edward.´ ³I knew it.´ he breathed as if he were holding it in. This can be our first meeting. ³Yes.´ I smiled and finally looked up into his beautiful green eyes that were looking so intensely into mine. I felt selfish for wanting that on this. If I ever wanted to get over it and move on I would have to give him that chance. tousled hair. How was the drive?´ He asked about Rose and I gave him the rundown of the situation. ³Hey. of all days.´ I said not looking up to meet his eyes. people such as Edward who has done it before. I was still captivated by the story after 10 years. Because I¶m scared of rejection and have a phobia of people abandoning me. I tried not to look at him. I would want to suffer alone. I just didn¶t want to be another pair of eyes watching her while she¶s in pain.The monitor started to beep again and that was my cue to leave. It¶s the same one that I had in my hands when I first saw you in the group home.´ I held Wuthering Heights firmly in my hands and showed it to him. but I¶d been fighting with myself about seeing him and the feeling I have when he¶s close to me is indescribable. the moment at school when I felt like I was missing something. but failed miserably when my head snapped in his direction and there he stood with one hand in his pocket and the other running through his bronze. I needed to follow my own advice. He asked me to show him where the room was and all I wanted to do was touch him. time seems to pass so much quicker when you¶re in another world. Not that I didn¶t feel for her. I felt it when the elevator doors opened. Why do I not want this? Why do I pretend to not want this. the feeling of his presence. Then it clicked. He gave me a nervous look and his voice shook when he spoke. He almost ran into me he was that close.

We got to see him through the nursery window because at first. He pulled me to him and his breath hitched as my chest collided gently against his. I flipped the switch and heard Edward shut the door behind us. I agreed that Edward could stay at my house because I wanted him to. we were just headed there. he was in special care because of the early birth. just as you¶ve always been in my head. ³Bella how¶s Rose. Thankfully I¶m a fairly clean person so I didn¶t have to worry about the conditions of my living quarters before I opened the door.´ I teased and started the walk up the stairs to the entrance.I turned to exit the room and Charlie and Renee were just getting off the elevator.´ ³Yeah. ³I want to do this right Bella. ³And who¶s this?´ She asked with perplexity and to be quite honest I didn¶t want to tell her. I want you to be in my life forever. His voice was like a lullaby as he spoke. When I came out of the parking garage he was standing on the sidewalk waiting for me. ³Oh this is um. Portland in general.´ he spun around in a circle looking all around him.´ Edward was right behind me and Renee was sizing him up. I wanted this to work and we would have to go slow if it¶s going to. He followed right behind me. He followed me to my place and parked on the street a few blocks down. it now being seven in the morning.´ I snapped at her. Six hours later I was an Aunt to a beautiful little boy whose name was still unknown: Eight pounds three ounces and a full head of blond curly hair. Emmett and Jasper¶s brother Edward. really?´ she whispered as I drug her down the corridor towards Rose¶s room.´ she asked before I reached her. ³Hey.´ I tried to change the subject but she wasn¶t going to let it go that easily. ³Not too bad.´ . I didn¶t want Edward to know that everyone knows about us. please save it. so this is it huh. ³Yes. I wanted him to sleep in my bed but that I wouldn¶t admit nor ask him to do. his one bag draped over his shoulder. There was a light thud on the floor and then his hand grasped mine in the darkness. I mean the old us not the new and exciting cant-wait-to-leave-this-hospital us. the electric current reverberating through me. After seeing Rose and the baby Edward and I left. ³She¶s doing well. Seattle¶s bigger though. ³Edward. it actually reminds me a lot of my apartment. we should get going.

´ He dodged around to stand in front of me. I needed space to breathe. conflicted. to think before I said anything. forever Bella. The remote is on the corner table. ³I¶m going back to Portland but I¶m still yours. I was reminded of that when I caught her hand in the dark.I moved out from under his arms and made my way to the front room of my apartment. I don¶t want or need anything or anyone else as long as I have you. I¶m not going anywhere. I waited for her on the sidewalk. tired as fuck and passed out without even thinking of anything. She wants me. more so about going to Bella¶s place than anything. how fucking cool is that. you¶re welcome to watch anything you want. never let her go again. it was eerie how much the scene around me resembled Portland. I wanted to hold her in my arms.´ I avoided eye contact because I couldn¶t confront his pain yet.´ I needed to change the subject. but she¶s afraid of getting hurt.´ is what managed to escape my lips. I let my shoulders drop when I went to the couch. I thought I might get a conversation out of her. that we could sit up for hours and talk about whatever. ³Please don¶t be scared. like the way her hair shimmers red in close lighting or the softness of the skin at her wrist. I was thrilled. There¶s food in the fridge if you¶re hungry. It was a long day. . again. his hands resting on my shoulders. I thought of all the uncle nephew things we were going to do together. ³I¶m scared. all the guys days out we were going to have. I followed her to her apartment and had to park a few blocks away due to lack of parking. I don¶t blame her. Emmett. this was happening all too soon. EPOV A nephew. It was like her entire attitude toward me changed. I felt it when she took her presence away from me and I watched as she retreated. a long drive and a long morning. Jasper and I. I wanted to know everything about Bella. I feel it to. The buildings were similar along with the roads and street signs. everything I missed. I knew he felt it because I felt it too. I wanted her to remind me of things that I¶ve forgotten. That was until she told me that I was sleeping on the couch and she retired to her room. ³You can sleep on the couch and I¶ll prepare breakfast in the morning. I fell onto it. Then I remembered the way her eyes looked when I first saw her.

thinking maybe Bella would take me out and show me the town. I smiled to myself and darted back towards the couch only to continue to the bathroom. I got up and peeked around the corner to the kitchen. ³Morning. without thinking of my feelings first. ³Plus. I woke up to darkness. it¶s Sunday night. my boss said it was okay if I did. ³Whatever you want to do is fine with me. I didn¶t mean to take my vacation it just sort of fell into my lap. ³Boring means relaxing. well in that case you¶re in for a pretty boring night.´ I added. ³Mmm. ³Will you be here the whole week?´ She sat down in the seat next to mine and took a bite of the delicious looking egg omelet she made.´ I trailed off there. ³You took your vacation?´ she asked simply.´ I stretched my limbs and my ankles popped forming the perfect sound effects. I really fucking didn¶t think of how she would feel about me being around for a week.´ I let out a sigh and she pushed my plate towards me and put a fork next to it on the counter. I could hear the sound of clattering cookware and sizzling oil. can you believe it?´ she didn¶t meet my gaze and I wanted to look into her eyes to see what she was feeling. a light glow coming from the kitchen.I was looking forward to tonight. . It sounded like a simple question but really it was much more than the words spoken. I¶m on vacation. ³Oh. ³Yeah. ³I don¶t know. ³Yeah. I noticed the wire from her head that disappeared behind her shoulder. this time making my presence known. That would be ideal. do you feel like doing anything?´ she turned to put the dishes in the sink and took off her apron and hung it up next to the fridge.´ I took a deep breath through my nose and that helped me wake up.´ I purposefully implied that whatever we did would preferably be done together. ³It¶s five and it¶s already dark out.´ ³More like night. Bella¶s back was to me and her hips were swaying back and forth. It was you took your vacation without asking me if it was okay. so what are your plans for the night?´ I took a seat at the bar where she was serving our breakfast/dinner. I still felt tired but I knew what was waiting for me in the kitchen. Bella had plates set up and she was dishing out our food when I returned. ³Sounds good to me.´ she shrugged.´ she chuckled softly. Then I smelled the bacon.

³I¶m going to see Rose and the Baby. ³Do you want to go?´ I was sprawled out on the couch before she came out and when I heard her approach I jetted up to a sitting position. I don¶t mind. I tried to help her clean up but she wasn¶t having it.´ her hair was cascading all around her face and down her shoulders.´ I didn¶t expect her to offer but I was so fucking elated that she did.³Well. She didn¶t seem to be uncomfortable with it. ³You¶ll never be imposing Edward. not technically here. I don¶t want to impose on them. and bit off a piece of it nonchalantly. I don¶t want to impose.´ She turned to leave and that¶s when I noticed I didn¶t pack any soap. ³You can stay here if you want to. the bathrooms free.´ I grabbed a piece of bacon. I¶ll finish up in my room.´ She giggled. crispy just like I like them. If you don¶t mind hanging out by yourself you¶re more than welcome. ³I didn¶t pack any shampoo or soap. But I won¶t be here during the week until around four or so.´ I referred to her apartment with my mouth full.´ The omelet was delicious. if you don¶t mind. will you be staying at Jaspers or a hotel? ³I haven¶t asked them. but I¶ll probably just stay at a hotel. ³Shit«Bella. just as I suspected and it was loaded down with melted cheese and pieces of ham.´ I called and she reemerged from the hall. her hair wrapped up in a turban fashion. I had to find my voice. ³Yeah. ³Yeah. still wet from the shower. Do you mind?´ ³Go for it.´ Bella told me when she got out of the shower.´ We ate the rest of our meal in silence. ³Yeah. do I have time for a quick shower?´ I started rummaging through my things to find fresh boxers and clothes. ³Yeah. ³Oh. ³But in Seattle yeah. I managed to get a hug out of her when I thanked her for the best fucking meal I¶ve had in months. I noticed in my periphery that every time she heard it the edges of her lips curved into a smile.´ she replied without hesitation and returned to her room.´ I cleared my throat. ³Um. The only thing that could be heard was a light moan that her cooking brought out in me. . so I didn¶t refrain from holding onto her for as long as I could get away with.

. ³Hey. ³How¶s my little nephew?´ She cooed and joined in with the rest of the proud observers. she knew the city so she insisted on driving. It didn¶t take long. was out of the incubator and in a bassinet next to Rose¶s bed. the more time I spent with her the better I felt. All the happy grandparents were there huddled around the little bundle of new life. He was sure to be big and stocky like his goofy father. all the things I suspected I would find. Renee was the one to give up her spot as there was no room for Bella to squeeze in. I couldn¶t wait to see little Ethan. I remember her smell from when we were younger. Rose was doing great and so was Emmett. I didn¶t want to interrupt. Charlie backed out and ushered me to take his spot before Renee filled it back up again. it¶s still the same as it has ever been. now named Ethan.Honey and Lilacs soap and Lilac shampoo with Honey conditioner. Alice and Jasper ran out to get everyone some dinner and Emmett was beaming next to Rose in a rocking chair. The baby.´ Bella called when no one took notice to our arrival. I did as I was told. We drove to the hospital together in Bella¶s A5. I heard a lot of ohhs and ahhs coming from all of them and I waited for someone to give up their spot. I didn¶t argue.

Sleepless in Seattle BPOV Edward was staying at my apartment during his vacation. We spent the first weekend going back and forth to the hospital. Of course. just in passing. the side that knows the risk is worth whatever the outcome. none of us could get enough of the new addition to our families. it flowed marvelously into my ears and it percolated into my memory where it stayed hidden until I dreamt«of him. they couldn¶t keep the adoring smiles off their faces. Jared was Rose and Emmett¶s way of giving him a middle name that represented Edward and Jasper. I wanted to smooth his worries. I dodged any attempt. easier. That interference was heavy and was going to take a lot to un-wedge but it was possible. I expected his vacation would be expected and he would have made other arrangements or I would have been ready for it. Edward. The butterflies that seemed to be making their way back into my stomach flapped their wings ravenously anytime he spoke.14. They seemed to stand stronger than ever during my attempts to weaken them. I couldn¶t bring myself to do it. They were both equally thrilled when they were informed. Ethan Jared Cullen. To keep my stress at bay I told myself by the end of the week things should get better. I would warm up to him and he to me. I never intended on that. Ethan. I recoiled. life just interfered. I knew it was possible because by Wednesday we were finishing each others sentences like we did way back then. to see him smile all the time because his smile was like a beautiful original piece of art that god created himself. As much as I wanted to be with Edward. and we were laughing. I started to feel alive again and it was all stemming from one person. I definitely wasn¶t ready for it. I was laughing like I did back when he was always with me. to give in to the side of me that wants to take the risk. . Every night Edward slept on the couch and I tried like hell to keep my hands to myself. I knew because every moment I felt him near me I broke out in a sweat and my nerves went on the fritz. When I caught glimpses of his face he was in torment. Then I told myself that connection never dissipated. Maybe we could fall right back into the connection we had when we were kids and we were close. they decided on and it couldn¶t be more fitting. Every time I had the feeling that Edward was going to touch me. His voice was like a soft melody but strong in contrast. I just couldn¶t let the walls back down for him.

I gave him a look before I headed toward the kitchen. the first time someone came and wanted to adopt Edward. It took me back to a time I don¶t much like to think about.´ I teased.´ he reached around me and grabbed the plate out of the sink sopping wet and handed it to me. He looked unusually interested in what I had to say. He nearly tackled me before I reached the sink and he pried the plate from my straining-to-keep-their-hold-on-it fingers.´ he cut me off. ³Oh. like he was listening intently. I got it. You aren¶t going to win this argument so you might as well give up. it seemed to get worse the more comfortable he became. ³Well in that case.´ he smiled cheekily and dunked the plate into the sink. ³No. Esme taught me manners. not in a menacing way. more playful than anything. ³Well. I cleaned up the kitchen with Edward¶s help. ³Yeah. all I have to do is show you the door. We made dinner together. especially in the presence of a lady. Jacob. bad Edward. ³You win. you have got to let me clean up after myself. taking in every word. you remember me talking about him don¶t you?´ I asked as I took my coat off and hung it on the rack at the head of the living room. this is my house and.´ Of course his language was the same as always. ³I win every argument in my house. ************************************* . It actually made him sexier in a way. ³Bella. I washed and he rinsed. picking up a dirty plate that was sitting on the edge of my coffee table on the way. ³It was good. he was always a good listener. he¶s the one with the tubby fingers who wants to play the flute right? How fucking ironic.´ He had me cornered against the counter top. I couldn¶t complain.´ he reached for it and I snatched my hand out of his reach. hey.´ he turned and walked back into the front room leaving me standing there in shock. ³And I¶m your guest and it isn¶t hospitable and blah blah blah. nothing got passed him. of course.´ he scurried off the couch and I picked up my pace to beat him to the sink. he appeared back in the kitchen once I started the dishes. I¶m a big boy. I can get that.³How was your day?´ Edward asked when I arrived home from work on Thursday. him watching while I cooked and told him about the drama that goes on at work.

Bella and I were busy can¶t you see that. he was furious.´ She was giving them the run down of Edward¶s record and his personality. We were listening to Black Hole Sun by Soundgarden. I was falling back into my pit of despair and the walls were slowly being put up one brick at a time. I held on to the little things that were good. Scared that I would lose him.It had been a little over six months and we were sitting on the couch where we first met. the staff on duty that day. I had to pull my ear bud out to hear what she was saying and the moment I did I wished I hadn¶t.´ he joked and I practically went into shut down mode. Excuse me Mr. What are we going to do when that happens?´ I was scared and frightened. even though I knew it then. totally ridiculous the way that place worked now that I look back on it. the first time I felt the tearing at my heart. you don¶t fucking know me. the little things that revolved around the big bad things. both of us with one ear bud in. I remember it because that¶s how I was back then. Jennifer. it¶s inevitable. That was the first moment I knew that life was only going to get a lot more complicated before it got better. ³This is the kind of kids you keep at this establishment? You should be ashamed of yourself. eventually one of us is going to get adopted. He leapt off the couch and that¶s when it started. ³But could you please come back another time. he¶s been here about seven months.´ ³Who the hell are you to put any kind of assumptions on me. ³This is Edward Masen. wider than fucking space and tougher than . It was like shopping for a puppy. ³I¶m not going to let it happen Bells.´ My tear stained eyes were conflicted. When I looked at Edward with the fear in my eyes. ³We have a connection that¶s stronger than time. Later that night he snuck into the girls portion of the building and we snuck out to the park that we¶d gone to for privacy because it was located right next to the group home. Potato head. ³That was close huh.´ The woman was shell shocked but not as much as her husband. he was infuriated. They looked straight at Edward and Jennifer started talking. came in with a man and a woman.´ Edward¶s anger only intensified from there. look at me. and Mrs.´ they did resemble the famous couple. this boy is troubled and a nuisance. ³Edward. ³What the fuck Jenn. I was frightened because of what I would have to endure when it happened. that he would be taken out of my life never to be seen again.

Now I was inviting Edward to come along. Something about sharing this part of my life with Edward felt huge. this is Edward.´ he chuckled. ³Darrell. ************************************** Thursday night I took Edward with me to the track. begging to be put to use. He wanted to race me.. ³The helmet suits you. ³We¶ll see. My foot slammed to the gas and my . nothing can or ever will change that. it was almost second nature. I thought on a few occasion that he might have some kind of thing for me but thankfully he never proved me right. she¶s running great. ³Hey Bella.´ he bragged on our way there.Green. ready for you to take her out for a spin. how¶s the Cura?´ I asked. but he thinks he can beat me in a race in his 240. Track racing has been my copping mechanism for so many years. I felt a hand touch the top of my helmet and I spun around only to see Edward looking me up and down. What do you think?´ I joked. as he always was and the Acura was sitting pretty right next to the track. I was definitely going to oblige. He threw Edward a helmet and we both got into our cars. The lights started to turn and I could feel the torch under my foot. Edward had to register his car with the track leaders and I had to get prepared. something I¶ve done alone just for me. ³You won¶t beat me. ³It¶s nice knowing you Edward. yellow. I in the Acura and he in his Nissan. I almost told Edward I loved him that night. ³I am the master of disaster. I smiled widely at him because he has no idea what he¶s up against. I wasn¶t sure and still am not sure if he felt the same way as I did. in this time of our lives he sure acts like he does. Yellow. Darrell has been very good to me since I started coming here.´ was all he said. I will serve you your own ass on a platter Swan. I didn¶t have a problem with that but I warned him that he was traveling on dangerous ground.´ He crushed me to him and the sobs started to pour out of me.´ Darrell was already there. ³Hey Darrell. Our relationship was strictly platonic.´ He handed me the helmet and I threw it on without hesitation.´ I just laughed. neither of us ever tried to change that. yellow. This has been my rehab for so long now..

my front end was even with his passenger side door.´ I said. ³Excuse me for working and breathing. you should.´ ³Alice called.´ I added. ³Bring it on Cullen. I hooted and hollered to myself in the car as I slowed to a safe u-turning speed and made my way back to the starting line. copying his early name for me.´ Oh he was in for a rude awakening.other foot lingered on the clutch only for a moment. but you can definitely go and have a good time. just for visual effects. leaning against his car and holding his helmet at his side. . Friday night when I got home. ³Rub it in much. He assisted me in climbing the rest of the way out the window and I smiled proudly up at him when I hopped onto the ground. Edward was already there. I kept in third a little longer than I normally would have. but the situation called for it. I had him. ³And. I got lost in the emerald sea of his eyes momentarily until Darrell broke my trance. He pulled my helmet off and had an adoring look on his features. I released the clutch and I was gone. The tires screamed and smoke bellowed out from under them. ³She wants us to go out with her and Jasper tonight. how long does it take for you to drive from one end of town to the other?´ He smiled widely at his joke and I feigned being offended. ³You are the master.´ Edward said from beside me. the shrill sound from the engine only egging me on«third. The moment I shifted to fourth the car flew passed his and we crossed the finish line. As I got out of the car he sat his helmet down and came over to me.´ he commented smiling back down at me.´ he joked and unbuckled the buckle under my chin. Was it that obvious? ³I¶m down.´ he paused. ³I don¶t go out Edward. Edward was in a chipper mood.´ I acted like I didn¶t know. ³Who won. my god Bella. I shifted into second.´ I pushed because I knew what he was looking for. ³Finally. ³Should we get you two a room or are you ready for another go?´ I looked away before I blushed and shot a few daggers at Darrell. Edward was a few seconds in front of me but I was pretty sure I was going to take him.

³So what are we having first?´ Alice sounded so proper and out of place. I don¶t go out much but I wanted to spend the last couple of nights with Edward in any kind of scene I could. I will literally have to come straight home and scrub the diseases off of me. So that¶s exactly what I did. They were crumbling and all I had to do was be patient. I didn¶t push her to show affection. ³You¶re really asking me in a such a way to go to some hole in the wall scrub factory. her eyes were totally blank. I wouldn¶t necessarily say it was packed when we arrived but there were enough people to make me uncomfortable in my skin. I needed to see him from all sides and an intoxicated Edward was sure to be the worst form of Edward if there were to be such a thing. this was definitely Edward¶s scene.´ I shut the door behind me and took a deep breath. ³Is that a maybe?´ he called after me. but I couldn¶t pass up the prime opportunity. ³Please will you go to a trashy bar with me?´ I laughed. ³It¶s a yes.´ ³I will protect you. We walked to the bar and took up four seats right in a row. Yeah. one minute she would be looking at me and I couldn¶t feel her emotions radiating off of her and then. I¶ll be ready by six. I wasn¶t exactly looking forward to being in a bar surrounded by people.´ he pushed his chest out and did a superman pose. I didn¶t ask for hugs or to try and hold a . It was the walls. ³I will be your antibacterial defender.´ Edward replied.´ he proclaimed. ³Well who could refuse that.´ I joked and headed down the hall. you¶re so scary. ³I¶m leaning towards a shot.´ he reached my side then and I watched his hand as he reached and obtained my own.³I plan on it. I could do that. I¶d done it once before and I could sure as fuck do it again. EPOV Bella¶s attitude toward me was up and down. not the cooped up in my apartment version. It took me a day or two to figure out why. other times. I needed to see who he really was. They were up but I could see their weakness. Alice and Jasper arrived right around six and we walked the seven blocks to the nearest dive bar talking and chatting the whole way. and I plan on enjoying the evening with you.

³Oh yeah? And what can you show them?´ she smiled widely. the walls were falling under my persuasion. ³Yeah. don¶t speak unless spoken to. why even have them in the first place. maybe this was just another day when she goes bipolar on me. I would be nowhere else on the Saturday before Spring break. ³Short tubby fingers´ is what she called them.´ she added. a hysterical laugh that caused my heart to skip a beat. she was going on and on about this student of hers named«Jacob if I remember correctly.´ She was inviting me to a function that wasn¶t anything to do with our families. ³Hey. that could wait. I basically let her run that shit. maybe I can come in and show the kids a thing or two. It was the laugh I used to bring out in her.´ she laughed. technically it would be relapsing. you already said it. she thought she had me.conversation. I actually finished writing that song I started and I¶ve played it every time I had a gig.´ ³That isn¶t fair. ³Did you keep up on the piano like I always told you to?´ I shook my head. It¶s always a hit. ³I didn¶t mean for it to sound like that. How he was trying so hard to play the flute but his fingers were always managing to get in the way. ³Oh no. I thought maybe I mentally spoke too soon. ³I asked because there is a school production coming up and you¶re are more than welcome to come if you¶re around or want to make the drive. Spur of the moment response I guess. ³What makes you think you¶re going to meet him?´ Oops. ³Well.´ I joked and she shot daggers at me with her menacing stare. if not. . That was until Wednesday.´ I replied with fervor. or I guess in this situation.´ Why not show off my talents a little. ³Well I can¶t wait to meet this Jacob and shake his tubby hand. I meant he has short round fingers. Her foot traced little circles in the carpet as she spoke. ³I¶d love to go. Bella came home from work in a good mood. ³For whatever reason.´ I decided not to give her the name of it just yet. She smiled and tried to take it back and rephrase it but I wouldn¶t let her. ³How did it go?´ She started humming it softly but it was off beat. it had everything to do with her and her achievements. I don¶t know. the first sign of progress. I um. no taking it back now.´ she practically whined.´ She looked down reluctantly at her feet and it was probably the sweetest thing I would ever see.

´ I hummed the tune and watched her eyes light up. ³You wish. Bella is right for me. I only ever wanted to show it to her. She took it like a champ and without a chaser.´ So proper. I know what it can do. I do enough of that during the day while she¶s at work. We race fair here at the Peninsula. . just like she said she would and she did it three times in a row. one of my many favorites and apparently Bella¶s. too. I¶d been saving it. ³Okay. My kind of girl. leaving me in her dust just like she anticipated. I wanted to get her out of the house. the guy didn¶t even hear her. feeling she was there. I knew it was you.³You¶re close. In every aspect. She whooped my ass. ³You were there?´ I played stupid. I missed third gear and she smoked me. I¶m surprised you remember it that much. ³Can we get another round please.´ she informed me and I laughed that she thought I would have to cheat to beat her. save for only her eyes to see. ³What? What are you talking about?´ ³Rose¶s dance dinner«thing. I couldn¶t believe she agreed but I think my sense of humor coaxed her into it. ³If I can go with you we can see about that. Thursday night when Bella got home from work she told me about her going to the track. next.´ she accused.´ Bella called for the bartender. It was the exact opposite of that. not sitting at her house alone.´ She said as she got ready to go. Friday came all too soon and I talked Bella into going out with Jasper and Alice.´ she was animated. I¶m not completely oblivious to the people around me.´ I invited myself. I asked if I could go and told her that I could beat her in a race but she thought differently. I bought everyone a round of shots when we first got to the bar. I bought another round and then Jasper insisted on buying us all long Island¶s. I was always under the impression that third time¶s a charm. using her hands to emphasis her emotions.´ that got his attention. Bella looked at me grateful and I smiled my crooked smile. but no dirty stuff. patron. ³I knew you were there. another round. ³Hey. I really wasn¶t sure that I could but I was betting on the inevitable competitive nature that most people possess. I thought. I just wanted to be with her. ³Okay. watch her loosen up and have a good time. I will leave you in the dust. How would I explain my knowing she was there.

I started to look around and that¶s when I saw the root of their tardiness. The mother fucker that had Alice cornered was in for one hell of a headache in the morning and I wasn¶t talking about the hangover he was sure to have. I turned my full attention to him and when I did I was sucker punched right in the cheek bone and most of my right eye. she wasn¶t complaining.I saw the scarlet flush her face before her eyes fell to the bar top and her head followed. Bella and Alice in hand. Jasper didn¶t go to martial arts school for six years for nothing and he was right at my flanks. Alice drug Bella off to the restroom after our fourth round and Jasper and I had another during their absence. ³Whatever I want. taking a swing at Jasper and he totally dodged it.´ I proclaimed. We burst out of the little crowd that was dividing us then and Mike¶s back was to me. this time we made a toast. My fist went back and then forward packing a lot of force. ³To memories. I started to wonder what was taking them so long after 15 minutes passed. One hit and Mike was out cold. Bella¶s ex. The bartender brought us each another shot of patron. Jasper did some weird jujitsu shit and we were out of there. but only added to my fury. I thought menacingly. My nostrils flared and I was off the seat and pushing my way through the crowd in the same moment.´ Bella agreed and I think that might have been the turning point. ³What the fuck are you doing?´ he yelled. still swaying from being intoxicated. I lost track of Jasper when I grabbed a handful of the back of Mike¶s shirt and pulled him off of a shaking and scared Bella. I saw out of my periphery.´ It was taking all of my will not to take that mother fucker out.´ His breath reeked of alcohol and his words came out almost inaudible ³You call her withering in fright and pushing you away not complaining. One was Mike. the man that put his hands on Alice. he had her cornered and was rubbing up on her. I was right up in his face and he was falling back with every step I got closer. It stung. even better. ³What the hell do you think you¶re doing. . The look in her eyes was pure fright and Mike was gaining his balance. ³To memories. putting your fucking hands on her?´ I was not afraid of Mike. His cropped hair and out of order facial structure was asking for a makeover and I was so fucking ready to oblige.

. I am not drunk and no I will not regret it. I didn¶t realize I was walking so fast she was having to run to keep up.´ I didn¶t correct myself because it wasn¶t necessary. The moment we were inside Bella laid straight down on the floor in the hall. and way to protect your woman. Bella and I continued to her apartment in silence.´ she groaned into the carpet and wouldn¶t let me help her up. ³Okay. I¶ll give you call in the morning.´ she cried. ³I¶m fine. ³Bella«are you okay?´ She was walking beside me now.. She didn¶t. ³I¶m good. we¶re going to head home. ³I want to sleep on the couch. that was sick what you did. ³With you. but better now that we¶re almost home. her hand in mine.´ She shook her head energetically... I slowed my steps but didn¶t stop. pissed the fuck off. I slid my arms under her and lifted her to me.´ Jasper¶s car was parked two blocks from Bella¶s and we got to it before the apartment. ³Bella sweetie.´ Bella called from behind me. I could see her face and she looked to be fine.´ He swept her up into his arms and carried her. carrying her towards her room. be safe man. I may have let her do it though. there isn¶t much room and besides.We continued down the sidewalk and I had no intentions of stopping until we got back to Bella¶s. this isn¶t a good idea. ³Bro. Bella¶s place was only four more blocks away. I wanted the safety of her domain. so much progress could very well be lost and all because of that douche Mike.´ I laid her down on her bed and she pulled me down with her.´ ³No you don¶t. the remaining 10 or so steps.´ She had a death grip on me and I wasn¶t getting out of it unless she let me. ³Edward. you can¶t lay on the floor. ³Bella.´ Her arms wrapped around my neck. you¶re drunk or at least feeling it pretty good right now and you¶d probably regret it in the morning. ³No. a little shaken maybe. slow down. If she wanted to then so be it. She couldn¶t manage to get the key into the keyhole so I assisted her. ³No. to their car. are you okay?´ Her words were slurred and cute-because-its-her fashion. anything for my pixie.´ ³Yeah. I should go to the couch.

³I can hear your heart beat. ³This may hurt a little.´ I still got up and headed to her room. so close that I felt her warmth all around me.´ her voice was lame and her hand came up in a frail attempt at smacking me«. I didn¶t move from that position until I was startled out of an almost asleep like state by a hand coming to rest on my shoulder blade. ³You aren¶t in the right state of mind to make those kinds of decisions. That¶s what I¶m trying to say. ³Go. take me to bed. I got out to the couch and plopped down on it. her arm. wrapping her arms around my neck once again.´ she nuzzled closer to me. I moved closer to her.´ ³I don¶t think you¶ll be happy if you wake up next to me in your bed. all to get her to loosen up and fall out. She didn¶t say anything but climbed into my lap.´ .´ she stopped me before I could continue.´ I started rubbing the top of her head.´ I held her close to me because there was nowhere else I wanted to be then here in her embrace. stay with me until I fall asleep. I crawled out from under her and covered her up with her blanket. her sides. She flipped the switch on after three tries. the night running through my head.³No. ³Shh. Right as we were about to pass the bathroom her hand shot out and caught the door frame and stopped me in my tracks.´ she beckoned me with her index finger. Then my face started to hurt. biting her bottom lip in concentration. ³You¶re bleeding. ³Come here. pushing me back so my back was to the headboard. if anything I needed to get her to bed. She turned slightly to rummage through the cupboard and brought out the peroxide.´ she said before she dumped a larger amount of the peroxide than necessary onto a few squares of toilet paper. ³Set me down.´ she ordered and I did as I was told.and then she was out.´ ³Bella. thump thump thump thump.´ she cooed and tapped my chest with the tips of her fingers. She took my chin in her soft hands and tilted my head so she could reach the cut on my cheek bone. ³What are you doing up?´ I asked groggily having to clear my throat to get my voice back entirely. I leaned forward over the coffee table and put my face in my hands.´ she was a bossy drunk. her neck. ³Don¶t shush me Edward. ³Yeah. It was definitely irregular. yeah let¶s go to bed. ³Let¶s go to bed. Her right leg came over and rested right on my middle and her head laid on my chest.

She deserved someone that would treat her right and hold here on the pedestal she deserved to be on. My stomach was fine.´ she smiled and looked at me as if I was going to give her a treat. Bella spent the next few hours lying on the bathroom floor next to the toilet. ³There. My eyes searched the room until I spotted a glass next to the . I¶m sure I wouldn¶t have too. to realize we were in the bathroom. His hand was wrapped protectively around the back of my head and his fingers were intertwined with the strands. her eyes squinting before each application. After she was done with the peroxide she leaned on the tips of her toes and blew lightly on the now clean area. I saw her eyes close too and just before I reached her. I removed her shoes and got a wet wash cloth. his head resting on a towel lying over the side of it. It stung slightly. my head in Edward¶s lap and it took me a moment. I wanted to be the person to do it because I already had the pedestal. BPOV I woke up. I needed water.She gingerly pressed the paper to my skin. like I ate five spiders in my sleep. Edward was propped up against the tub. to put over her face. I just needed her to hop aboard. but I was mesmerized by Bella¶s pureness. I helped her up each time and rubbed her back while holding her hair out of her face. Eventually I ended up with her head in my lap as my back rested against the tub and I ran my fingers through her hair. she was good through and through. I don¶t know if she knew she was doing it but damn Bella knew how to get a guys blood pumping. so I did. as if she were going to feel my pain herself. I brought her a pillow and her blanket. especially if four shots would do this to her. I never got drunk. Her lips would start to quiver and then she would reach for the toilet and pull herself up before releasing the poison that was inside her. My mouth was dry and tasted like the worst kind of morning breath imaginable. She stilled for a while but eventually a time would come when she would start moaning lightly. I¶d do it every day if it meant I could be with her. she doesn¶t seem to drink that often. cold. tilting my head just so to move in at just the right angle. I didn¶t have anything to give her except compassion. My eyes closed as I inched nearer to her. just a buzz so lucky for her I was more than willing to take care of her. until my vision cleared. her body bowed over and she darted for the toilet.

´ he was winded. He was warm. I was ready to say anything to get him in my bed. I laid there for a moment waiting for him to wrap his arm around me or get under the covers. ³You¶re feeling better. my throat felt raw.´ he did as he said. I don¶t want you to be uncomfortable for my sake. . He tucked me in and stood there for a second observing my surroundings. both of which I wanted him to do.´ he responded almost robot like.´ my voice sounded harsh. let me help you.´ He started to move right away.´ ³Yeah. ³Will you take me to bed? I don¶t want to walk but I don¶t want to be on this hard floor anymore. ³Whoa.´ I fake shivered and decided I wouldn¶t do it again because it made me feel nauseous again. probably exhausted from the position he was in while he was sleeping. ³Will you do me a favor?´ I asked.toilet. ³Edward. ³Will you lay with me please. ³Sure.´ He was so in tuned with me it was unreal.´ Always assuming the best of me. I was thinking of my own. Then little pieces of the rest of the night came back to me and I realized Edward had taken care of me. ³Sure yeah. The moment I moved my head in the slightest Edward woke up and was in a panic. let me get up«´ he was talking to himself while he moved« ³And then I¶ll pick you up. I tried to remember how we got that way and the last thing I could really remember was cleaning the cut on his cheek. I didn¶t want to let go but when he laid me down he stayed standing. and of course it did not.´ He smiled groggily at me and leaned his head back down on the tub. He just laid there.´ he noted. even held my hair for me. He didn¶t. whoa. ³Thank you.´ I didn¶t want to sound desperate. it was half full of water. You were starting to scare me there. little did he know I wasn¶t thinking about his benefit. I¶m cold. ³You want some water?´ he reached out for it and gave it to me. I accepted it and drank it down. but in that moment I really was. two gulps. ³You¶re warm and I can¶t sleep when I¶m cold. He stayed by my side. are you okay. He walked around my bed and I felt him crawl onto it and then he laid up against me. He carried me to the hall and to my room with my arms wrapped around him and my head leaning against his chest. I wiggled my fingers like it would make a difference. it¶s hurting my back. ³Only if you want me to. I reached my arm out for it but came up short. ³Thank god.

not even Mike and he was the one to deflower me. I¶d never experienced such a thing. and it was almost over. we joked around. ³Shit. The last week really had been the best time of my life. . I wished I could take it back. slow as to not cause any more upchuck reflexes. I¶d missed cooking. ³What?´ ³Don¶t play stupid with me. worried that my breath smelled as bad as it tasted but too overcome with emotion to care about it. and threw them behind me to include him in them. I pushed myself across the bed up against his chest and marveled in the feel of him.´ he took a deep breath and sat up. Coming home to someone was nice. ³No«´ I reached over with the arm I wasn¶t laying on and tried to grab for his arm but I couldn¶t feel it. His arm stayed draped over me and before he could say anything. I kissed him. I laughed a lot. His arm mechanically started to drop over me and then he pulled it back. Being with you like this. The conversation was refreshing and the cooking was a great change. Nothing could compare to the way I felt when I was in his arms. I love to cook. ³Bella. he laughed with me.´ I thought back over the week that has now pretty much passed.´ he whispered. do anything or even comprehend what I was doing. watched TV and movies together. ³You know this is killing me right?´ I played stupid but I knew exactly what he was talking about. I rolled over to face him. leaning on his forearm. It just fucking sucks thinking I¶m the only one that feels that way. ³This whole week has been the best time I¶ve had in years. Once he said I was going to spoil him and when he went home it was going to be torture on his taste buds.So I started wiggling my way out of the covers. and we were quiet together. I hadn¶t realized how lonely I really was until now. I smiled at the memory of how ecstatic I was that he liked it that much. he inhaled everything I made and never once had a complaint. He was strong and smelled so good. sorry. since Alice moved out I only made small things. Edward seemed to enjoy my cooking.´ he said nervously. you know what I¶m talking about. I felt his breath on the back of my neck and it sent shivers down my back and caused my skin to raise. totally succumbed to his embrace. He must have put it in my line of reach because suddenly it was there and I pulled him over me. No other man has brought this out in me.

sad and excited. We stayed in the bed and I eventually fell asleep in Edward¶s arms. I¶d be lying if I said I never wanted to be more than that. it was soft and sexual. One more day is all we had left. It wasn¶t rushed.´ It was going to kill me just the same. I didn¶t care anymore about the 10 years that just passed. I felt his tongue flirting at my lips and I pushed my lips hard against his as our tongues caressed one another. The kiss went on until it became light pecks and smiles between us. dying to know what he was thinking. He shifted beside me and I could hear his intake of breath. He had come back for me. we had broken each other¶s hearts equally and now it was time to mend them together. Eventually I just lay in his arms.´ he exhaled heavily. When I woke up he was still sleeping. If we weren¶t so blind and so troubled by our pasts maybe we would have paid closer attention and . I¶d never kissed Edward. just as I pictured it would be.Something struck my memory cord as soon as our lips touched. ³You smell so good. I thank god it wasn¶t though. I would have lost my sanity a long time ago. So many times we were put in each other¶s paths. He looked so peaceful and content I couldn¶t look away. A smile started on my lips and I couldn¶t believe all of this was happening. All of my thoughts and emotions. poured into the kiss. I didn¶t care that I couldn¶t see the future and know that he would never leave because he didn¶t leave of his own accord in the first place. ³I don¶t want to think about that«´ I paused.´ He cuddled closer to me and nuzzled his face into my hair. for it to have been like this. happy. ³What are we going to do today?´ ³It wouldn¶t bother me a fucking bit if we stayed right here. it¶s going to almost literally kill me to be away from you. His arm constricted around me crushing me almost too close to him and I knew right then and there that it would never be close enough. ³Am I supposed to understand that question?´ I teased. ³I¶m going to miss you when I leave. I was going to make up for that and show my appreciation for what he did for me. Edward had tried to kiss me last night after I bandaged him up. even during our beginning years which were strictly platonic. just thinking about it made my heart beat fast. Fate definitely had her hand in this. ³So am I supposed to interpret that to be your answer to my unspoken question?´ I laughed. because I don¶t think I would have survived the separation. wanting desperately something else to talk about.

None of that mattered now. . all said and done. never to be relived.could have been happy sooner. it was all in the past. Life was looking up.

I think I did the entire time we laid in bed holding each other and just being there in the moment.´ I smiled back but it was a lazy one. Alice and Bella got into an animated conversation over it and Jasper grabbed my attention. I¶d never felt so complete until that moment.´ I shrugged.´ She made an amazing breakfast and I made her sit in my lap as we ate it. She didn¶t seem to mind and it wasn¶t a difficult task to achieve. It was fucking amazing. and ignored Alice and Jasper¶s calls until they started texting. I¶d never admit it but back when we were kids I wanted to do that every day I was with her.15. are you hungry?´ she asked. She also said olive juice. ³Who needs food. ³Good morning beautiful. ³Morning. I wanted to tell her then that I loved her but I never did because I didn¶t want to jeopardize what we had.´ She attempted to give me a quick kiss but I caught her around her neck and drug it out until she pulled away. ³Starving. I wasn¶t sure what that had to do with anything but I know that¶s what I heard. Bella responded to Alice¶s saying. We stayed in her apartment all day Saturday. She made the first move and she kissed me. I didn¶t think she would be okay with that and I didn¶t want her to push me away. I wasn¶t going to confess my undying love for her just yet but I was going to let her know how much she meant to me. ³Did you tell her?´ he asked low enough they wouldn¶t hear. I was mulling over it until I finally fell out. ³I have to go if you want anything to eat. Like fireworks went off and everyone was cheering when our lips finally touched. Dear (Bella) John EPOV Bella kissed me. . I woke up to Bella¶s beautiful smile and her big doe eyes boring into mine. I didn¶t have the energy to produce a real one yet. I wasn¶t until she mentioned it. So I kept my feelings to myself but I wasn¶t going to do it again. ³We are dead to the world today«wana have lunch tomorrow before Edward leaves?´ ************************** We met them at a local diner and chatted about the coming summer vacation and how Alice and Jasper were planning on finally picking a date soon. the most wonderful fragrance lingered in my dreams. She fell asleep before me and she said my name while she dreamt.

³They want me to transfer to New York. unsure of the right way to put it into words.I was hoping he wouldn¶t bring it up. ³Just«don¶t.´ she demanded.´ She picked up her pace and so did I. ³I don¶t know where this is going Edward. what¶s going on here?´ I asked.´ She still didn¶t look at me. now I don¶t know. ³I got a job offer at my work. ³I¶m not sure yet.´ She finally looked at me. ³No. I wanted to know if I had a chance at a life with her. I wasn¶t going to let her walk away from me. I needed something more than that. ³Don¶t. Her head was down. but there¶s a catch. I wanted more time alone with her and I also had to tell her what I¶ve been putting off since she kissed me. She continued to look out at the water.´ She dodged around me and I watched in disbelief as she walked out of my sight. ³Wait Bella.´ She stopped suddenly and I had to back track a few steps to stand in front of her. her hand pressed against her forehead. not here in the diner. to work at Madison Square Garden. I won¶t go if there is a chance we can make this work. When she looked up at me it made my chest heave. but I think it¶s something worth pursuing.´ I didn¶t want to tell her. My decision had been practically made before I had to take my vacation on such a short notice.´ I jogged after her and she shoed me away. ³Thanks. She was right.´ She wouldn¶t look at me. But not now. not yet.´ Her smile was genuine. I couldn¶t find any words to stop her. ³Please. ³That¶s great.´ Here goes. so I had to. I wasn¶t sure what it meant but her hold around my waist dropped and she started to walk back the way we came without a word.´ Her eyes glossed over and her smile faded. We were walking down a long strip and we came across a look out point that spread out across Lake Washington. I can¶t promise you anything and I won¶t sit here and tell you it will turn into something when I don¶t even know what that something is. they want to give me a raise and bonuses. neither of us knew what was . she was putting up the walls as I tried desperately to get her to listen to me. ³So. I pulled her to the railing and she wrapped her arm around my waist as we leaned against it. congratulations. After we were done eating I asked Bella to take a walk with me. the wind was blowing her hair wildly around her face and she looked like she was deep in thought. I was stunned into submission. ³I just want to know where I stand.

who at one point in time. something like. I started to think about all the woman of my past. I have no clue how a real relationship works. There was only one way to find out if that were still true. I didn¶t even wait for him at the diner. at least they always seem to when I say them.´ The me pre Bella would have said something more personal. all the women in my future. was my world and my everything. Well have a good day. I also can¶t expect him to give up a job offer that I¶m sure he¶s been waiting and hoping for. The ones in the past I couldn¶t see clearly because they were all spur of the moment. A career I have been waiting for since I received my degree.going on between us nor could we see the future. Why did he come back into my life only to repeat history? Were we going to go another 10 years . If I wanted to ride this thing out and see where it takes me then going to New York is the worst idea. not again. Her hair was up and she stopped a few feet away from me to catch her breath. one pair of chocolate eyes smiling back at me. let down the walls and be with Edward in every way possible he drops that on me. BPOV Just when I thought I could be happy. He wants a sure thing and I can¶t give him that. When I got into the confines of my apartment. I know what is expected but will I be able to do it? When I thought of the women in my future I only saw one person. Risk my dream job for my dream girl? Or call it a loss and go with a guarantee? A woman was running by in her spandex shorts and her jogging shirt. I was going to make it happen even if it kills me. So it was down to Bella or my career. ³Nice day for a run.´ she said before she ran off in the direction she was originally headed. I walked home because I didn¶t want to say goodbye. She had little weights in her hands and ear buds in her ears.´ she replied winded. the future I was going to fight for. ************************* Bella returned to the diner and I sat back at the look out trying to decide what I was going to do. I felt like I was experiencing it all over again. That was the future I wanted. ³Everyday. ³Milk does the body good´. or something cheesy like that. I couldn¶t. Girls seem to like that shit. Bella. ³Yeah.

It was Thursday. I don¶t have to give my answer until Monday. I didn¶t look at my clock but it was still dark.-E I didn¶t respond to that because. so much. The track was sure to take my mind off of things. it was up to me to decide on our fate. and I was just about to go to the track when my phone vibrated in my coat pocket.-E I don¶t have any words to say. I miss you Bella. What would have been if Edward would have stayed? What would have happened if he would¶ve come back in time to see me or if I would have left him a number? I woke up sometime in the middle of the night. Say the words and I won¶t take it. truly. . Could life get any worse? Edward didn¶t text me at all and I couldn¶t say if I was grateful or hurt about it. a whole new round of dreams. so close yet so far away. I was happy he texted me but I knew deep down that it was only feeding my addiction. at least not any nice ones. Will you please talk to me?-E How¶s the new job?-B I don¶t know. I had to cut the ties any way that I could if I ever wanted to be sober again. Except good luck and I hope your life is exactly how you imagined it.-B It¶s nothing like I want it to be. So that¶s how it¶s going to be now. I fell asleep thinking about that and the dream was like what would have been. Edward messaged me once more and I tried really hard to not look at it but lost the fight when I parked at the raceway. I had no words.without seeing each other? Or did I push him away because I was afraid of getting in too deep and getting my heart crushed again. It seems like he¶s putting all the weight on my shoulders. Two weeks had gone by and the dreams continued their new course. I was sweating profusely and tears were straining down my cheeks. I¶ve tried so hard not to bother you because believe me I know how bad it hurts.

When I have 4000 I can get the car from him and pay the rest on payments. I know how much you enjoy it and I enjoy your happiness.-B I couldn¶t tell him everything I was feeling because I¶m afraid and I want him to show me something. he remembered and he enjoys my happiness. I was at the track now. every part of me cried for his touch. Trying to convince myself that I didn¶t miss him. To stay in Portland or even Seattle and be with me. To prove to my subconscious that he cares as much as I do and that he would rather walk through a fiery pit of coals than break my heart again. He knew what I was doing. I wish you were here too. I don¶t want to be sober. There was someone standing next to him and a car I¶d never seen before. One minute I feel like he¶s telling me the truth. under the track car. Emotional roller coaster commence. My emotions have been on this roller coaster for so long now. but there was no way to get that so we would both have to take the risk. every time someone in my life has left me. That pain I wouldn¶t wish on my worst enemy.You¶re on your way to the raceway aren¶t you? I wish I could be there with you. . It was eerily familiar but not from here. Then I remember how I felt the first time. I saw Darrell. Eric¶s cousin. it was deep and almost painful. reading his words. But I do need him. He¶d told me about it last week. I want to tell him not to take the job. I couldn¶t freaking wait. but good. for the tingly feeling of electricity to take over. I have been lying to myself since our last encounter.-E A smile formed on my face and tears filled my eyes but didn¶t run over. I needed a guarantee just as he needed one. He wanted 5700 for it and I had 3000 saved. to show me that I can trust him. That I didn¶t need him to make me happy. I saw a figure standing over Darrell and when the wind gusted I saw the bronze glint of his hair. to be intoxicated by his presence every day forever is what I so dearly desire. A new kind of sensation shot through me. that he would never hurt me or leave me again. the one he was planning on selling to me. Like now.

I wasn¶t going to be that lucky. Bella«can I call you«please?-E I was approaching the car now and as I got closer and my vision got better. the answer to that is yes. I was running on all the mixed up feelings I was experiencing.´ I stopped at his feet and the man looked at me sideways. the way he spoke so tenderly and the fact that he remembered where I would be tonight was proof of that. . not if I had anything to do with it.´ He slid out from under the car and dusted himself off before getting up. I can be there in three hours. Through the darkness I noticed the man standing there was not who my imagination was trying to trick me into seeing. I am more afraid of getting my heart broken than I am of dying tomorrow. The way he looked at me so fervently. I broke my personal record. I answered all of the questions previously in my head. But love is pain and I was ready. ³You ready to hit the track?´ His tone was energetic. Normally I don¶t push myself. Life is funny sometimes. Edward didn¶t come back into my life to repeat history. I looked at it hurriedly as my mind and my heart were doing flips. That feeling I had was anticipation and hope but my subconscious knew better. if I looked deeper I could see that. ³Hell yeah. I thought about Edward the entire time. more than anything I wanted to feel him.´ 192 mph. It felt more like a dream by the time I was pulling the ebrake.My phone vibrated in my hand and sent me jumping. don¶t ever hesitate to tell me. especially when the turns come. Tonight was different. We would not be going 10 years apart again. ³Hey Bella. ³Hey Darrell. Edward came back to right the wrong that was done by both of us and it could only be done if we both participated. Did I push him away because I was afraid. Of course I chickened out and sent him a text. truly and utterly ready to take that risk. I really wanted to hear his voice. When I got back to my car I contemplated calling him. they seem to be in working order now. we had some problems with the struts.

. it¶s all I have and I hope and pray that it will do the job.Prove it. you should have it Saturday.-B Good night Bella. I desperately wanted Saturday to come sooner than I knew it would. I thought about that as I fell asleep and they transferred over into my dreams.-B I¶m sending you something. my heart would be re-broken. ************************** Friday came and went and my evening consisted of texts to Edward and mind arguments about calling him. I waited patiently for his response.-B That was it. Saturday finally came and I waited impatiently for the door bell to ring. The package will be my proof. full of emotion and pent up sexual frustration.-E First I want proof. If he didn¶t then I guess I was wrong. Are you saying we have a second chance? Because if that¶s what you¶re saying than I¶m not taking the job.-E I was thrown into a vision of our next reunion. he would either know what that meant or he wouldn¶t. Sending that text was more than two little words. it was my walls crumbling and my heart opening up. nine pm. I can¶t wait to see you again.-B No apology necessary. I forgave you before there was anything to forgive. sitting in my car in the empty parking lot.-E Good night Edward. don¶t make any decisions until then.-E I¶ll be waiting«I want to tell you I¶m sorry for how touchy I¶ve been. I¶m just not good with stress and I can¶t seem to keep my anxiety at bay. preparing to accept his proof wholeheartedly. If he did then I¶m sure he would do what it takes.

When I saw the UPS truck pull up I was ecstatic. I was overjoyed about receiving something that I had no clue what it was. I didn¶t care; it was from Edward to prove his love for me and I couldn¶t be any giddier. The UPS guy came and dropped a medium sized box off and I signed for it on his little electronic device. I made way to the couch, pulling off the tape on the way. I sat cross legged and opened the lid to the cardboard box. There was a lot of ghost poop in the box but I engulfed my hands into it and felt around until I felt something solid. EPOV She wanted me to prove it. At first I thought prove what? But it didn¶t take me long to figure it out. She wanted me to prove that I missed her, prove that I wasn¶t going to abandon her like so many others in her life have. Unintentionally, myself included. I thought about what I could do to prove it, that without a doubt I would be by her side as long as she wanted me to be. Even then, I probably wouldn¶t go far. Then it came to me, the only way to prove it, I didn¶t even give it a second thought. I sent her a message saying I was sending her something, it would be there Saturday. It was like a dark chapter in my life was being closed and the writer hadn¶t yet written the following chapters. I silently hoped it would be a bright chapter that includes Bella on every page just like before. This time being only happy thoughts and happy dreams. Saturday came and I knew today was going to change everything good or bad. Some of the things were mean and hurtful things that I said about her, but underneath there was love and passion. I hope she¶ll be able to read between the lines. If she can then she will see the extent of my devotion. I wrote her a letter, saying everything I was feeling and the hopes I have for our future. I also asked her to call me; hopefully she would. Some things I didn¶t really want her to read but I wanted her to know me through and through, that¶s what she needed and I was more than willing to present it to her. Some things I am ashamed of but I take them in stride and if she is the strong, smart beautiful woman I know she is, then she will see that I have grown and learned from my mishaps. I waited, sitting on my couch with the television on, for her to contact me in any way. When midnight rolled around I was restless, I couldn¶t even remember one thing I watched all day. My mind was constantly on her. I imagined her sitting on her couch, rolled up into a ball like she always did when she read; flipping through the pages.

Was she mad? Hurt? Happy? Did it help or make matters worse? Was it a mistake to send it to her? No, it wasn¶t because sending it to her was my last resort, my last hope at showing her that I am in love with her. I have been since the moment I saw her long ago, broken and shielded. I was broken and shielded too. She helped me deal with my feelings just as much as I helped her. The only difference between us was that I hid it very well. Bella couldn¶t hide it, the damage was done and welded in her so deeply that the pain and suffering spilled out of her. I didn¶t leave the couch and I didn¶t bother eating anything all day. I wasn¶t really there, in my apartment; at least not in spirit. I was with Bella, she held me in her hands as she read the pages of my psyche. I was awoken by the loud rain drops on my window. I wasn¶t even aware that I¶d fallen asleep. I could see and hear the storm fighting and screaming in its attempts to contact the earth. The lightening was bright when it lit up the room and the thunder roared so, that I felt it on the couch. My mind ran right back to Bella, she never contacted me and I was starting to fear the worst. I¶d run her off for good, maybe letting her in so deeply wasn¶t the greatest idea after all. I had to know, and calling wasn¶t good enough, I had to see her. It was three in the morning so I would get there around six. I didn¶t even bother changing or showering or even thinking it through. I jumped off the couch, grabbed my keys, my phone and slipped on my shoes. I didn¶t even think to grab a jacket as I ran through the house and to the door, not bothering to lock it on my way out. I made my way through the lobby and out the front doors where the rain had picked up or so it seemed. I pushed the button for my alarm and b lined it to my car, the rain had nothing on me. I was shocked stone cold, I couldn¶t believe my eyes. I blinked several times and decided that what I was seeing wasn¶t real. My whole life shifted in that moment.

BPOV Journal Entry 1: July 17th 2000 It feels like the world is crashing down all around me. All I can do is sit by and watch it happen. Love²gone and the void filled with lust, hunger and filthy unemotional sex.

Trust²out the window, I don¶t trust anyone except Emmett and Jasper. Not even the good ol¶ doctor and his wife; fuck them. Sure they let me live in their fuck of a nice house and they clothe me well enough. Abercrombie sporting attire; they sprung for the spendy shit and I was all for it. They even got me a top of the line Zero skateboard, it¶s my baby, we do everything together. It¶s what got me through the time post Bella; those times were the fucking worst. I couldn¶t believe he was letting me read this. His inner most thoughts and feeling pouring out onto the pages. There was a small part of me that didn¶t want to read it but the bigger part of me needed it. So I read page after page. Some entries were about things that made him angry or things that made him feel like he could move mountains. There were never any girls mentioned, none except for me. The amount of times I saw my name were endless. One page held nothing but my name written over and over again, different angles and different script. Every page had my name on it or something about me. Not that it was all good, because really most of it was hurtful and made me mad. I saw through it though, to the underlining message. He was miserable without me, he couldn¶t blame himself so he blamed me; just as I blamed him. I couldn¶t hold that against him; that would make me a hypocrite. After our first reunion the entries were different, they were reflections on the past and how much change has happened to bring on the present. On many occasions he mentioned a feeling, a pulling that only took him in one direction; toward me. My breath hitched and I read faster when I saw that. ³He does feel it,´ I said to myself out loud. I¶d wondered about that for so long. He also dreamt about me every night just as I dreamt about him. I wondered if they were the same dreams, like we were meeting there because we were too blind and hurt to take the initiative. I¶d like to think that was true. That our subconscious never gave up and now it was celebrating inside. I stayed on my couch all day, my legs pressed against my chest, reading his journal. I cried at some parts, even laughed, but I also felt his emotions in every entry. I started to think that

maybe, just maybe, even though I never thought it possible, but maybe our separation was harder on him than it was on me. I came across one entry, one that I remember because it started out like this. Journal Entry 367: December 24th, 2007 Again fate has thrown us together. There she sits across from me reading her old withered copy of Wuthering Heights, curled up in the same ball like the first time I laid eyes on her. I can feel the pain radiating off of her, like she wants to pounce on me and make me pay for what happened. Or, is it that she wants to be closer to me? No, that¶s just wishful thinking. I knew he wrote that when we had the layover in Vegas. I knew by the date and descriptions. I read every page, every impressionable experience he had during our separation and beyond. Then I came to the last entry. I wouldn¶t really call it an entry, more like a letter and just the first line caused my heart to swell and my chest to constrict. My Bella, I have been writing in this journal almost every day since I discovered I lost you forever. My heart and soul lie on these pages and I hope and pray that it¶s the kind of proof you¶re looking for. Not a day has gone by that I haven¶t thought of you, not a night that I haven¶t dreamt of you. I¶ll admit, for a long while, I resented you. I blamed you for everything, but it¶s easy to put blame on someone else, especially when you think you¶ll never see that person again. The moment I saw you in Tampa all I felt was anger and hurt. I couldn¶t think properly and all I wanted to do was make sure you were just as bad off as I was. I needed to know that my absence had had the same effect on you that yours had on me. When I followed you outside and saw you crouching there next to the fence I had an overwhelming need to comfort you. I wanted to be the shoulder for you to lay your head on and be the one to make you smile again because all I saw was the girl I met way back when. I want you to know, Bella, that if you give me this chance I will not screw it up. We are adults now and there is no one that can make me leave your side; no element on earth that could convince me to go through that again or to put you through it.

I want to make you smile and hear you laugh. I want to race our cars at the raceway and get my ass handed to me on Wii sports. I want to eat your mouthwatering dishes and hear your beautiful voice everyday of the rest of my life. I am so ready, have been since Christmas, to be everything that you need and want me to be because I know that you are my everything. Please call me or message me or something because I die a little with every day that passes and I don¶t hear from you. Just knowing that you¶re okay and happy, or at least okay, makes my days a lot easier. Irrevocably and eternally yours, Edward Cullen My heart was pounding as I read the last page of his journal, the tears were in my eyes and my hands were trembling. It was like the feeling you get when you¶ve finally achieved your dream or seeing your baby for the first time, I assume. I felt complete and I felt like nothing else mattered or existed outside of me and the man I could no longer bear being without. I did the only thing I could do. I put on my shoes, threw on a hoodie and grabbed my keys. I ran out of my apartment without looking back and left the journal on the coffee table. I didn¶t need it anymore and neither did Edward. It¶s the past and it¶s going to stay that way. I didn¶t notice the late hour until I was already on the freeway. Midnight, I would get to my destination around three and I didn¶t care; this couldn¶t wait and I needed more than a phone call. I raced down I5 exceeding the speed limit by a lot, I didn¶t look to find out because I knew it would be more than I was comfortable with. I could make out dark clouds and strikes of light in the distance in front of me and I ran into a wall of rain halfway into the long drive before me. My acceleration slowed to the speed limit because of the darkness and low clouds I couldn¶t make out much in front of me. The freeway was deserted and only a lone few semi trucks were passed on my journey. I pulled up and parked more than a few blocks from his house because I remembered how treacherous it was to find parking in this city. I ran out of my car²locking it on my way²and threw my hood over my head to shield it from the heavy down pour. I didn¶t take my time, I ran like a wild woman down the sidewalks. The street lights lit my way as the rain tried to blind me. I didn¶t let that slow me down, through blurry vision and deep breaths I pushed forward. I came around the corner that was just before his apartment and was astounded at what met me on the other side.

He stood there motionless, his white shirt sticking to his chest and arms from the rain. His hair was disheveled and hanging in front of his eyes. His mouth formed a small o probably mirroring my own expression. We stood there locked and lost in each other¶s eyes. The humming sensation grew stronger and stronger until I think he couldn¶t handle it anymore. He reached out to me, his eyes never leaving mine, ³Come inside?´ he asked, his hand out stretched in front of him, offering for me to take it. Without leaving the solace of his stare I put my hand in his without a second thought. I know now where I want to be and that is in the arms of the strong, beautiful caring man pulling me to shelter. As soon as we were under the awning of the door I pulled back on his hand and he turned to look at me, confusion and enthrallment clear on his face. He opened his mouth to speak but my lips shushed him. I was sick of thinking about kissing him; I wanted to do it and mean it and do it whenever I wanted to. So I did it now; urgently at first because I couldn¶t and wouldn¶t wait any longer and, after a few minutes, it was languid and seductive. When I pulled away I hugged him, desperate to have him as close to me as possible. I didn¶t want to let go. ³Bella,´ he called for my attention. I looked up at him, no red flushed my face because I was sure of this now, no room for second thoughts. His eyes were amorous and full of lust and it only made the humming ring louder. ³I love you.´ He whispered as he brushed a strand of hair out of my face. ³I have never stopped loving you.´ I smiled and a tear ran down my cheek and he wiped it away. ³I hope that¶s a happy tear?´ I laughed emotionally and sucked up my tears, ³The happiest,´ I assured him. He crushed me to him and pulled me into the door. We waited impatiently for the elevator door to open and once inside we couldn¶t keep our hands to ourselves. When it dinged for floor seven the doors opened and we had to feel our way out the door and down the hall. His door came open with a mere push and shut quietly behind us on its own. We fumbled to the hall and I tripped backwards over the throw rug; thankfully Edward caught me with a chuckle. His arms wrapped around me completely and he lifted me in the air, spun around and charged through his bedroom door. He sat me softly on the floor, standing in front of him I peeled his wet t-shirt off over his head and he crashed his lips to mine once again. My hands trailed along his back, the muscles there causing me to go crazy with lust. I wanted Edward, all of Edward and I wanted it here and now.

Standing on the tips of my toes I reached for his welcoming lips. our lips smacking and teeth clattering against one another.´ his tone shocked me but the lust was still there. He brought his knees onto the bed. all the way to the crease between my legs. His lips left mine and trailed down the crease of my jaw and down my neck and settled on my collar bone. even when I was lying to myself. I reached down to the hem of my shirt and ripped it up over my head. a gift from Alice. It was true and I¶ve wanted to tell him that for so long. my legs still wrapped around his waist. I saw nothing but him and he brought me back to him. the air drawing in through his nose. the one woman that Edward declined because he didn¶t want to seem like he was taking advantage of the situation. His arms that were wound tightly around my waist lifted me and my legs wrapped around him. His head jolted back and his expression was nothing words could explain. ³Don¶t say it unless you mean it. My back arched wanting desperately to feel his skin against my own and he smiled . ³I love you. ³Bella«are you«sure«this is«what you want?´ he asked again when he had the moments breath to do it.´ He sounded pleading. this time with fervor and desperation. the need was apparent in my movements and the sounds that were imminent from within. him resting over me. I could feel him against me and it warmed me. We fell onto the bed. pushing me further up to brace himself before he pulled his left hand out from under me and ran it up my thigh until he had my ass in his hand. my arms wrapped around his shoulders. He carried me to the bed. the light trembled growl that came from his chest sent my mind thrashing. He wanted me as much as I wanted him and I was far past ready to give in. I would give him anything and that included my heart.Like it would be sealing the deal. My hands that were now resting on his shoulders clenched and held onto the skin that erupted under them.´ I quoted him because it was exactly what I wanted to say. reveling the satin blue push up underneath. My breath was heavy and dyer.´ I breathed as his lips hovered over mine. not roughly. His deep intake of breath. I read that in one of his journal entries. ³I have never stopped loving you. He huffed and pushed me away. ³Are you sure you want to do this?´ His tone was rushed and his eyes were heavy. He didn¶t smile but his eyes clenched tightly together before he kissed me. ³Don¶t fuck with me Bella. like I had something he desperately desired.

´ I told him and pulled on his shoulders. ³I¶m yours forever. His breathing was deep and loud. all movement ceased and I had to bite my bottom lip to keep from objecting. ³Yours. .´ I half moaned. I was losing my sanity. He looked at me serious for a moment. every so often causing me to twitch from the tickling sensation it caused. I had the same dreams. I squirmed under him from the sensation of his breath on the tender skin. even in the dark room. I pulled at his arm and he came up quickly. his lips finding mine with ease. I assisted him in removing the pants but the boxers remained. His hips swayed between me and I lost my self control momentarily but caught it²I think²before he noticed. sexy grin spread across his lips and I marveled in the fact that I get to see it every day. When my head dropped he looked smitten. His lips left mine and trailed down the center of my chin and continued down to the small between my breasts. ³God.against me. successfully taking them off he returned to me. He had to help me with the button because I couldn¶t get it. ³Mine. my fingers were trembling from the anticipation. He kissed and licked at my skin and my sides. His hands were gingerly trailing my shoulders and his lips moved slightly under my bra.´ he whispered. He let me do it and I pulled myself up to his lips as hard and as firmly as I could. His crooked.´ he growled before his lips came to mine. ³You¶re so fucking beautiful. do you have any idea what you do to me? How many times I have dreamt of doing this?´ I knew exactly what he was talking about. He sat up and tugged at my sweat pants. My hands mechanically started with his buckle and I fumbled but got it in a last ditch effort.

The kiss that sealed the deal. the tattoo that once was a reminder of my failed accomplishment now stood as a symbol for forever. The rain was heavy around us. I could sense it in her heavy lust filled eyes and the way she bit her lip every time our lips parted. Her hair was wet. both of us at the same time. the urgency. the sting between us was sparking all around like a cloud of dust. Bella knew exactly where to touch me to drive me wild with lust. especially for me and Bella was like the finest wine after an alcoholics recovery. the need and the walls were nonexistent. nothing to shield her form the icy cold and wetness that swirled around us. Fuck she felt so good. My chest that bared her initial. sticking all over her face like she¶d been running through it. After that I took her into the warmth of my building and we couldn¶t get into my apartment fast enough. Seeing her standing there. It was one of those moments when you feel like everything around you slows down but you and that other person continue on. She was running to get to me. three hours away from home in a town where she knows no one. I had to be sure this was what she wanted because I wanted nothing more. . Never Been Kissed EPOV Fate gave us one last shot and we both took it. She was seducing me in the worst and best possible ways. She was desperate for me too. where to run her fingers lightly and where to pull me tight against her. the one that told me everything she didn¶t need to say. Every touch of her skin against mine burned so good. It¶s been a long time.15. it¶s presence lingered on every part of me and I wished she could cover me completely and just swallow me whole. She cried and it worried me at first until she reassured me that they were tears of happiness. I needed to have her here and now and she needed to know the seriousness of the situation. I felt her emotions as they mirrored my own. 11 agonizing years. no other explanation for her to be here. I told her I loved her because I¶d wanted to for so long. my insides were going crazy and I wasn¶t sure how long I could take it. it was almost painful. She pulled my shirt off without a thought and crushed herself against my bare chest. Not until then did I realize she wasn¶t wearing a jacket. together. the rain intensifying the scene. the lightening flashing above and the thunderous echo off in the distance could be heard. I hurried her to the awning that covered the front door to my apartment building and there was where it happened.

I demanded and she obliged. no preparation. if she didn¶t I would tell her.She fucking took her shirt off. I looked into her eyes and gave her one last chance to turn away. not intentionally and pressed myself against her warmth. Bella told me she loved me and I might have been a little over the top about it but she needed to know I was serious when I said it. She was mine and I was hers. by reading my journal she knew everything. it was time for the real thing. no warning. I found none. She convinced me she was too.´ she breathed and I had to hold myself back which was not an easy task and also an embarrassing one. I stared. but the way she moved and the look in her eyes bore no lies.´ I grunted. She told me she was mine. ³You¶re so fucking beautiful. So I wasn¶t nervous or ashamed when I told her I¶d dreamt about how many different ways we could make love. She was stunning and fucking sexy as hell. how fucking . no man alive could resist. This was one of them. I didn¶t want to bother her so I watched her as she slept. just lifted it right off of her succulent body only to reveal my favorite color pushing her breasts into the most mouthwatering position imaginable. When she was under me I looked and waited for any sign that she didn¶t want to be there. I had to assist but we got them off and I eagerly removed hers sweat pants as well. damn right I did. Her hands found my buckle and she started removing it.´ I told her. and now we were making it official. ³God. I didn¶t assume. She looked peaceful and happy. it couldn¶t wait any longer. I didn¶t ask. The sensation from the thin fabric between us was so raw so pure that I blurted the thoughts that came to mind. I¶d dreamt about it enough. I thought back on the previous night. no more insecurities. to change her mind and probably cause me to explode in the process. do you have any idea what you do to me?´ she had to know. as if she was reassuring me that she wanted it as much as I did and I was done waiting. causing my body to spasm from the feel of it. ³Yours. I had to have her in my bed. She gave me further proof when she arched her back to shove her chest into mine. no more second guesses. ³Mine. dreams included. ******************************* I woke up to Bella¶s beautiful sleeping face. desperate to feel me against her. She already knew.

Jones is my boss.´ ³Good morning.´ she asked.´ I said before pulling her hand away from her face. ³So what now?´ she asked. she put the sheet back over her face and I smiled at her. what are we going to do about this. ³Best ever.´ and she didn¶t hesitate to kiss me back. I¶m giddy as I watch her sleep soundlessly. ³Ever huh. he wants my answer tomorrow. did you sleep well?´ I don¶t know how long I sat and watched her sleep but I could have done it all day and been content.´ I re-informed her. ³Hi. ³Well. ³What now about what?´ I teased. She blushed before she pulled the sheets²that I wanted to bundle up and put in a frame on the wall like a trophy²up to cover the bottom half of her face. ³I«want to lay here all fucking day with you. .´ I pulled her into me and she didn¶t object.amazing it was. ³You know what I mean Edward. Jones. I could give a fuck less about morning breath. my hands resting under my head and my gaze on her. and I¶m not proud to say but I have a lot of different comparisons.´ she questioned trying to keep the sheet shielding her. ³What do you want to do about this?´ ³What do you want to do about this?´ she pushed the question back on me. I knew what she was referring to. I knew they would. Her eyes squinted and I could tell she was smiling. could hear it in the tone of her voice when she said. I¶ve never felt the way I feel when I¶m with Bella. ³Best sleep ever. did you get some rest?´ Her hand was cupped over her mouth protectively. Jones. I was lying on my side. Afterward. Hands down best ever.´ she gestured between us.´ ³Who¶s Mr. Jasper and Alice would have to give up their extra bedroom. that has to mean something. but I do have an answer for Mr. Before I made the connection I had to tell her again how fucking fantastic it was sleeping next to her. of course I wouldn¶t move in with her. what is going to happen when I leave to go back home?´ her eyes were boring into mine and I wished I knew the answer she was looking for. ³I did. She finally stirred and her eyes flickered up to mine. like my adrenaline is always pumping. I pulled it down and moved it. ³Mr. I didn¶t want to jump the guns and offer to move to Seattle so we could be close to each other. ³I really don¶t know.

³I love you. more than you know. then I could see him whenever I wanted. Don¶t do it for me.´ ³I don¶t want to. This decision is solid and she needed to know that. I felt a little guilty about that but I also felt relief. It was just«´Fucking amazing´. since he was losing his job because of me. I felt the connection between us being made tangible and I couldn¶t hold in my moans of pleasure during the whole sexcapade²which now I felt a little embarrassed about the ruckus we made. as Edward would put it. We talked about what we were going to do about our situation but we never decided on what was actually going to happen. ³Oh and I love you.´ I hoped she didn¶t want me to go as much as I didn¶t. but I did want to suggest he move in with Alice and Jasper. I don¶t think I would have survived his absence again. that¶s the first thing that came to mind when I woke up in the morning. Hopefully the neighbors weren¶t disturbed. not after last night. I didn¶t want to suggest that he move in with me. BPOV Last night was amazing.´ I said quickly and without hesitation. Everyone was right. That thought had me smiling from ear to ear and I couldn¶t contain my happiness. are one of a kind. they couldn¶t pay me enough. His shower was surrounded by glass and the fog was making it impossible to see him. I wanted to tell him now that I wanted to see him every day. the steam blinding me at first until my eyes adjusted. Except the fact that Edward was turning down the job offer he had. Bella. To have someone share the feelings you have just as deeply is such a rewarding feeling. ³I don¶t want to be the reason you turn down the job of a lifetime. I opened the door to his bathroom. I could make .³You aren¶t going to New York are you?´ her face was worried and I couldn¶t help what came out of me.´ she whispered into my neck before she kissed lightly at the nape. do it because you want to. Jobs are a dime a dozen and you. ³I would live on the streets in a box if it meant I could be with you. All the talk and hype of making love was exactly right.´ She melted into me and I melted right back into her.´ I pulled her tighter to me. Portland is too far from you. He could stay there until he found a job and got his own apartment. ³Hell the fuck no. We had already gotten up and Edward was in the shower.

I don¶t know how I waited as long as I did. and it was driving me crazy.´ he said reaching out for my hand and then pulling me into the hot stream of water. He hit places I¶ve never felt before. It didn¶t take much convincing because it was exactly where I wanted to be.´ he said gesturing with his hands for me to get started. right here and right now. Actually. ³You¶re so cute when you¶re irritated. ³No. His fingers traced over me. I took off what clothes I had on²one of Edward¶s button up shirts and my underwear²and slid the glass door open. he made it happen. ³Isn¶t that always how it happens?´ I showed Edward the uneven number of bread. He caressed my cheek while he lightly pecked at my lips. sex in the shower. It wasn¶t an easy thing to accomplish. We ate lunch at the bar. It was fucking amazing. It was all he had. I would be crazy not to be one with Edward around.out his silhouette though. ³Do your thing. ³Well hello. His arms came to rest around me too and I had to work hard to keep the task at hand in my sight. Oh My God. you need to eat. leaning against the counter. ³I need to make something for lunch. it smelt so good. That¶s the only expression I can find to explain what it¶s like. . I didn¶t do much.´ he let go of me unwillingly and leaned against the counter. But when he had me in his arms. I felt like a nympho and I didn¶t care.´ ³I can do without. and I wanted more. toe curling. Mind blowing is another good one. but we made it happen. I wasn¶t done quite yet. I startled him and when he saw me his eyes trailed down and back up. ³Since we stayed in bed all morning. We managed to make it to the living room without touching one another but by the time we were in the kitchen he had one of his hands wrapped around my wrists behind my back and his other hand was cupping my face.´ he released my hands and I wound them around him. His kiss was soft and seductive. I wanted to have him again. Edward refused to let me eat unless I sat in his lap. just enough mayo left and five pieces of bread. We washed each other with soap. my legs wrapped around him.´ On more than a few occasions I had to put him back in his place. I did what I was told and gathered the items to make tuna sandwiches.´ ³Grr.´ I laughed between kisses. every part of me and I was starting to lose my mind.

what happened? What did I do?´ ³No. this morning. like now. ³Did you really forget what today is?´ I had to think through all the jumbled thoughts I had about Edward. ³I love you. I pulled her down on top of me and kissed her back just the same. I¶ll be there in a few hours. ever! Today was proving to be one of the best days of my life. . ³Twice. ³Bella. what are you doing?´ she demanded again. it looks like Maury maybe or Montel. I¶m about to become unemployed.´ was all I said with a laugh. It was next to impossible but I figured it out.´ ³Are you freaking kidding me? What¶s gotten into you?´ Now she walked right into that without even knowing it.´ I felt like an idiot myself.´ She leaned down toward me. better than fucking fantastic. I forgot about the show tonight.´ My heart kicked back in as she gathered her things. ³I¶m sitting on the couch watching. her hand slinking behind my head. um.´ Bella came in with a panicked look on her gorgeous face. I have to go. ³I am such an idiot. last night. I¶m soon to move to Seattle Washington after I speak with Jasper and Alice. I have to go. What could be better than that? ³Edward.´ EPOV Best shower ever! Best breakfast/lunch because it was two in the afternoon. I have had Bella in my arms all day.Around 2:30 my phone rang and I wasn¶t surprised at all by who it was.´ ³Isabella. ³I fucking love you. but best of all. ³I thought«never mind. Then during her silence of shock I added. ³Why. ³Edward. ³Shit. so I¶ll meet you there. No words have ever rang so true in my voice.´ she said in a sultry tone before she kissed me roughly. Edward. where are you?´ Alice¶s demanding tone could be heard through the phone. ³Oh. it¶s in three hours. her deep brown eyes were wide with worry.´ ³What?´ my expression turned to shock and I sat the magazine I had in my hands hard down beside me on the couch. Do you mind if I join you?´ ³I would really like that but I have to go«now.´ I replied as she scurried up and hurried out the door.

We were in the middle. ³I came to watch the show. fourth row back. the rest was our business and they had .´ I cleared my throat and smiled deceivingly. We drove my car so I dropped her off at the entrance and parked the car. He jumped back and the look on his face was pure terror. ³What are you doing here?´ Emmett looked over his shoulder and smiled widely.´ her voice was strong and had a serious edge to it. I watched as he regained his composure and replied. ³Talked. I came to watch Bella.It didn¶t take me long to leave and I caught up to her on the freeway around La Center. She grabbed an over coat and threw her hair up in a half ponytail. I followed her to her house and she ran in like a wild woman.´ I left it at that. ³Are you going or are you waiting here for me?´ She asked as she hurried through the house gathering her things.´ I settled back into my seat and looked forward at the lit up stage before us. I didn¶t want to assume it was okay that I go but I wanted her to know that I really wanted to. top notch and elegant.´ she exited the apartment and I locked the front door behind me. ³Two and half actually. ³You drove three hours to watch the show?´ he reiterated. ³I¶m going. I tried a few times to get her to race me but she wasn¶t having it. We made it to Beacon with 10 minutes to spare.´ ³Does she know that?´ Jasper continued to badger me with questions until Alice showed up right beside me. ³Yo bro. The most I got out of her was a fast take off at a stop light in Tukwila and the only reason she got me was because I wasn¶t expecting it.´ I put my hands up in a defending manner. and no.´ I practically sang. She had 30 minutes before the show started and she still had to talk to her students and make sure they were all ready. if that¶s alright?´ ³Let¶s go then. I found my brothers and claimed the seat right next to Jasper. ³I didn¶t do anything. ³Do you realize. yes. I smiled secretively. It was exactly what I expected of a specialty school. but she also liked to keep her license. The school was nice. By the time I got into the house and found her room. her hair sticking out like horns on a devil. ³That this is Bella¶s first and only chance to prove herself skilled enough to perform as the conductor of this school? She has been looking forward to this day since she started college«What did you do?´ she asked accusingly. ³We however. She liked to drive cars fast. she was slipping on a long dress.

one right after another. A violin¶s note came to ear and lingered on her finger tips. ³Trade me seats. ³This isn¶t over. mirroring the other and then a low bass could be heard. our irrevocable promise to one another. . this girl could change moods at the drop of a hat. Alice¶s expression had changed from sister¶s wrath to sister¶s love in a matter of seconds.´ I was fighting back a smile because it was more than working out our differences. I squinted my eyes to try and make something out but to no avail.´ her fierce persona was back. her wrist tweaked in a way that made my skin rise. He shrugged and wrapped her up in his arms when she took my seat. I switched with her quickly after giving Jasper an exasperated look. I imagined that¶s how Jasper felt in that moment. trombone and clarinets came in along with all the others on their cue producing a beautiful powerful tune. why they tried so hard to find them back when we were in college. It was more like setting our future in stone. opposing Jaspers. The lights flickered. and even before this moment. ³Really. you better give me more than that. I was sure they could figure it out. I understood then.´ she demanded in a teasing tone. It was dark where she was looking. She sat daintily in the seat beside me. It almost made me dizzy trying to keep up with her. Her hand came up in an elegant fashion.imaginations. and rested her hands on my arm. Thankfully the lights dimmed and everyone hushed around us. I thought about how I felt when I had Bella close to me before we left. what happened? Did you guys work out your differences?´ The fact that she was upset with me vanished like it was never that important in the first place. I would have done the same thing if I would have met Bella then.´ she hissed close to my ear. I seemed to be in a deceiving mood tonight. Maybe it¶s the fact that I am finally getting everything I have wanted and dreamed about. The flutes. Her other hand came up. maybe it¶s because I can finally relate to my brothers on a level I never thought I would. Then there was silence. The sound of the curtains moving caught my attention and my eyes were glued to the back of the woman facing away from the audience. Even better. ³I guess you could say that. ³Edward. in a row across the children sitting and standing in front of Bella as her hands started moving with grace and structure.

I didn¶t stop until I arrived in the choir room behind the stage. Fairview is the school¶s principal.´ She swallowed loudly and put her hand over her stomach. Swan. give our 4th grade orchestra a round of applause. we have an exciting night planned for all of you: The parents especially. All of my students were there. ³We will be going along with the itinerary that you should have been given at the door. She walked forward to the microphone and positioned herself in front of it.´ ³So I guess we¶ll get started. like it was what she lived for. BPOV I jumped out of Edward¶s car the moment I was able and ran into the school. ³Mrs. Mr. I needed to calm my nerves if I was going out in front of an auditorium full of people. like it was natural. We had ten minutes before the show and I took the opportunity to tell my students some encouraging words. It reminded me of the way I used to feel when I played the piano. I thought. I pictured a football coach giving his team their pep talk before the big game. our school colors. Where are we at? Is everyone here?´ I was desperately trying to hold on to my sanity.´ I tried to sound hyped up. her thumbs up in a reassuring gesture. Some were smiling and looked ready to perform in front of an audience. She rushed me over to the desk and pulled out a long robe that I was to wear during the show. ³Thank you all for coming. it¶s been a long time. ³This is what we have been practicing for. I had a family emergency. ³I feel like I¶m going to be sick. Fairview was worried you weren¶t going to make it. Some looked flushed.Bella was fierce. Flawless. It was a deep green and dark blue color.´ Mr. ³Hey guys. ³I am so sorry I¶m late. so if you want to follow along feel free to do so. I turned to face them. . worried and even scared. are you ready?´ I asked in an animated tone. Swan. my TA Melanie taking charge of the situation. preparing. thank god you¶re here.´ Lacy spoke out. It was silent again and Bella turned to face us. ³Mrs. she seemed more excited than anything else.´ She returned to her students and I could see her giving them words of encouragement.´ She didn¶t seem nervous. No one answered. He¶s been pulling his hair out all morning. graceful and majestic as she moved.

´ I used the most reassuring soft tone I had available. Alice and Rose found me. Every movement that I made I felt him shoot through me. ³I have to do my part. and very well I might add. ³Spill. ³It¶s just about time everyone.³You¶re just nervous sweetie.´ Rose broke in.´ I smiled at her and she cracked a small smile back in return. Most of all I could feel Edward and his presence was passionately noticeable to my mind. ³Okay. ³You are not keeping this from us. his sweet nature and his kind soothing voice. We want details Bella Marie. ³Oh hell no.´ I had my back to the curtain and I waited for it to rise.´ Melanie helped me with my robe and I made my way to the stage where all the kids were ready and in their spots. But. ³If you¶re that frightened you can sit out. ³Spill what?´ I asked as if I didn¶t know what she was asking for. remember what we practiced. She has the skill to be something great but she also has the self esteem and confidence that I do. ³I guess. his passion. Even when Lacy fouled up the one time. ³All those people out there know that you¶re going to give your best. Watch your hands and pay attention to the lights for your cue.´ ³Do you think you can?´ I asked energetically. I don¶t think anyone noticed. When it did I felt it as it lifted passed me and I could instantly feel all the eyes on me. ³You know the orchestra is nothing without all of its players.´ she trembled.´ I asked perplexed.´ ³I can¶t let everyone down. Feeling him helped me stay calm as I spoke to the audience and continued to do so during the whole show. What the hell did she mean by that and what was her reasoning. After I congratulated the group and talked lightly with the parents.´ Lacy plays the clarinet.´ I had to add this because it was what teachers do.´ Alice ordered in her joking demeanor. it didn¶t take me off beat and she caught back up quickly. ³I think I can try.´ ³I know you can do it. Always worried about what other people think. Don¶t let that scare you. you are very talented lacy. She¶s been attending Beacon since preschool and she¶s been learning to play ever since.´ she whispered. we deserve them. and you don¶t have to be. .´ ³You deserve them do you. they don¶t expect anything more than that. get into your positions. just for these moments. his love. this is big.

I didn¶t want him to think I was ignoring him but I had to do my job. I felt him standing behind me and my whole body tensed. almost giving me an eerie vibe. Usually I was the one to listen and give feedback. I huffed. ³Okay. I continued to the kitchen which was just as dark as the rest of the house. The door was open a crack and I slung it open freely. not with Edward watching me. I noticed Edward¶s car when I got out and I didn¶t keep it to myself that I was excited to see that he was here. I figured he would want to look at the psychological side of the situation as he does all other things. ³Where the hell is he?´ I whispered. looking directly at the empty bed. It was all around me. they¶d agreed to drive me home.´ Alice said rolling down her window. ³Bella. shutting and locking the door behind me.³Don¶t give me that. Now everything you were fighting to steer clear of has ended up seemingly close. I slipped out of my shoes and the feel of him almost knocked me down. ³Oh whatever. ***************************** Edward left while I was mingling with the parents and staff. ³Be safe. .´ I shot back with a devious smile. He was so close to me now. I walked down the dark hall and into the living room where I searched for him but found nothing but darkness. I was trying not to act like his very presence was effecting me not just mentally but physically all the same. Some places even warmed inside me. tried to help and tried to understand. we have been seeing you miserable for years. I couldn¶t give them much though. at least I know his name.´ Rose barked. There was very little conversation on the way to my place.´ She referred to Edward standing and leaning against a wall talking to his brothers. After too long though I was released of my duties and I left with Alice and Jasper. I could feel his breath on the back of my neck.´ I¶ve never been on this side of the conversation with them before. ³Don¶t do anything I wouldn¶t do. which is the opposite of what I expected to come from Jasper. he¶s gonna think you¶re such a whore. When I saw he wasn¶t there I went to check my room and was hopeful that I would find him there. I couldn¶t get him off my mind as I talked robotically to the people surrounding me. waiting for his touch and anticipating where it would be first. I went to Seattle to talk to him and we ended up doing a lot more than that. begging for his contact to come sooner than it was.´ I entered my apartment blindly.

dropping it to the floor. I started to second guess my previous thought. When his lips pressed firmly right in the center of my back just below my neck my resolve was broken and the moment was ruined by my sudden attack on the man that was driving me crazy. But now. ³I wonder why that is?´ ³I don¶t know. only in my wildest dreams.I felt his hands hovering over my shoulders and I shivered from the sensation it caused all over my skin.´ he said contemplative. he didn¶t seem to mind though. His breath was hot and ragged against my skin. ******************************** Lying in Edward¶s arms in my bed was so surreal. I cringed to myself at the thought of Edward knowing about the dreams I¶ve had in this bed. His fingers wrapped around my coats collar and pulled it down over my shoulders. Thank God he can¶t read minds. His lips touched my shoulder momentarily causing the skin there to rise. I never thought it would happen. ³Every night I saw you in my dreams. I have you in reality so what could be better?´ . his voice heavy with fatigue. ³Did you ever dream about me?´ he asked through the darkness. Then his fingers trailed lightly down my shoulders to the tips of my stretched fingers. I had to fight with myself not to turn around and face him. I don¶t dream at all. when I feel your presence. It¶s like our subconscious wasn¶t going to miss out just because we were too blind to see it. but it doesn¶t bother me.´ ³I don¶t either.

Bella¶s words replayed in my head.17. ³I have to go home. I exited the room after a lengthy goodbye kiss. I smiled for her because nothing was better than her. After getting into my car and shutting the door I let the last night and day replay in my memory. .´ I whispered so I wouldn¶t startle her. I retraced my steps back to the bed but on Bella¶s side this time. As I drove towards the job I had been waiting for. I do know one thing and that is that I have never been happy unless I am with you.´ She pulled me closer and tilted her head so I could kiss her. She groaned in protest and objected that I don¶t leave but I eventually convinced her that I needed to so I could get it over with. The entire drive to Portland consisted of smiles at nothing and Bella¶s eyes always looking back at me. ³Are you sure you want to do this?´ I could see the glint in her eyes when I looked back. I didn¶t need anything but her and all I had to do was get through the day and I could be back where I want to be most and that is with Bella. I have to quit my job in five hours. I didn¶t even bother getting dressed. I had the windows down and the stereo blasting by the time I drove over the I5 Bridge into Oregon. I was almost out the door when I heard her. By the time I arrived at my place it was 5:27 and I had to be to work at six. I knelt down to be level with her and I took her hands in mine. nothing was worth not being around her every chance I got. ³I¶m sure about you and that¶s all that matters. I just wore jeans and a t-shirt. I saw everything I needed in her eyes every time I was graced to look into them.´ She managed to smile for me but she was a terrible actress. or that she wanted me as much as I needed her. Love Happens EPOV I had to leave Bella¶s side and I did so right before she fell asleep. ³I love you«´ ³I have never stopped loving you«´ ³I¶m yours forever«´ ³Yours«´ I didn¶t need the reassurance that Bella loved me. and I didn¶t disappoint. ³I love you Bella and I¶m not sure what the future will bring or if we will always be as happy as we are right now.

Cullen.´ her head turned to the sound and she darted over to her desk. the shock and amazement that Chelsea actually grew the cohunes and actually asked me and two.³Good morning Mr. ³I have a girlfriend. I leaned away from her to show how fucking disinterested I was.´ Chelsea said when I entered the lobby. ³Edward.´ I dodged past her and hurried through the double doors and into his office. I wanted to tell . I heard her fingers tapping away and then suddenly they stopped. I just want one night with you. ³Did I ever tell you about Bella?´ I asked. Jones.´ I was struck with two very different emotions at once.´ ³I¶m okay with it if you¶re okay with it. not really thinking coherently from the lack of sleep in the last 24 hours. I know we¶ve worked together and everything but I would hate to pass up the chance before you move to New York. One. I didn¶t bother sitting properly or even bother with making light conversation with Chelsea. Jones will see you now. ³I¶m not okay with it. ³Yeah. She leaned over her desk in a very inappropriate manner and I shielded my eyes. I just sprawled out on the couch and prepared to wait out the 20 minutes. She got up and followed.´ I replied and hurried off the couch. The look on her face told me my attire was something noticeable. ³Send him in.´ he greeted and his gaze fell on my appearance.´ he informed me.´ she winked and licked her bottom lip. I didn¶t care. is Mr. the wall. I was cornered as her hands rested on my chest and I didn¶t know what to do. ³I¶m not asking for a serious relationship. ³He isn¶t expecting you for another 20 minutes but I¶ll let him know you¶re here. ³So«´ she sat down next to me. I recoiled as she leaned in closer. ³Right away Mr. hiking her skirt and revealing most of her thigh.´ She typed away at her computer and I went and sat down on one of the two couches. the disgust at the thought of taking her out when I have Bella waiting for me in Seattle. ³Mr. came from behind her desk and sauntered toward me. ³I was wondering if you wanted to get together some time. His smile fell and so did his hand.´ I was backing away from her and ran into a barrier. She took off her headset. ³This isn¶t the way to start your new career Edward. Jones ready to see me?´ I asked very disinterested and preoccupied. I think I¶ll pass. I sat down exhausted in his chair and let out a loud sigh.´ She turned toward me and with a heavy voice she said. I knew the walk.

´ He started typing on his computer and I knew that was the signal that the conversation was over.´ .´ I paused to let him speak if he wanted to. Jones. it shouldn¶t be too hard for you to find something. Oh. Not with your persona and passion for the business. I found her again and she hated me just as I thought I hated her. ³I¶ll notify the big wigs of your decision. like my story had moved him in some way. Jones why I was declining his job offer.´ he smiled but didn¶t look up to meet my gaze. a man¶s resources are everything. or hot I couldn¶t really say. Like telling someone else meant that I wasn¶t the only one that was aware of it. ³You¶re welcome. ³I guess I can¶t blame you. ³She was the first girl I fell in love with and the last girl I will ever love. Women hold a kind of power over us men don¶t they?´ I shook my head. Jones¶ eyes. not because they felt like they should because of what happened. ³No. it¶s been a fun experience working with you«I¶ll never forget it.´ I leaned forward. I wanted to show Mr. I wanted someone to tell me congratulations and mean it. he didn¶t. to give it up so willingly. ³I¶m packing up everything and giving up a lot to be with her. to tell him the reason is because I am in love with a woman who has stolen my heart and given me hers in return.´ I was looking into Mr. but what does she have to do with anything?´ ³She has everything to do with everything. I¶ll put in a good word for you around the Seattle area. for him to stop me. and Edward. ³I¶m moving to Seattle to be with her.´ he grabbed a photo off of his desk. or that he probably wouldn¶t give a shit about what I had to say but I needed to say it.someone about her. ³I lost her once and it nearly killed me. Jones. my elbows resting on my knees. ³I can¶t take this job Mr. We were 13 and 14 when I lost her. that¶s only something love can do. I really regret having to say this but you¶re fired son. ³She told me she loves me two days ago. she wants to give us another chance and I want nothing more from life than to be by her side every night.´ I confided in him.´ I didn¶t care that this was my boss. I have been given another chance at happiness and I won¶t pass it up again.´ ³You must really love her. someone who doesn¶t know her or that hasn¶t heard me speak ill of her.´ A smile flirted at my lips and my eyes felt dry. he looked thoughtful. ³Thank you Mr. I won¶t be that stupid twice.´ ³Well.

´ His tone sounded a little too concerned and that worried me. but I was relieved to hear that I had a good recommendation waiting for me when I needed it.I reached out and accepted his hand.´ .´ ³Great minds think alike.´ ³Thank you for understanding sir. ³No«I thought about my girlfriend lying in bed naked waiting for me. I have never in all the years I have known her. I never thought it would be this hard to turn down a woman. that said only three words: The only three words that would calm my worries. I left without looking back and Chelsea cornered me again once the door was shut. I am not interested. ³I¶m not happy to see you go. I didn¶t worry too much about what would happen when I move to Seattle. seen her like this.´ He basically shooed me off after that. I love you.´ I joked. ³How the hell did you do it?´ he asked. half passed five and dialed his cell. can you image the things I am willing to do to get you to agree?´ Her fingers walked up my chest until she poked my chin and tried to rub against my cheek with her palm. I guess that¶s because I never had to do it before and it wasn¶t because I wanted her. it was because of her persistence. She¶s here. ³Did you think about it. you have a lot of potential to go far in this industry. she¶s a whole different person Edward. that was just how he was. ³You sound like that¶s a bad thing. three rings and I heard. ³What did I do?´ ³You got through to her.´ ³Hey bro. what¶s going on?´ ³Just who I wanted to speak to.´ I shoved her hands down and stormed off to my office.-B Now it was time to call Jasper. I cleaned out my things and said bye to the people I¶d grown close to and the people that I have befriended since my employment there. ³Hello. I¶ll admit I was a little worried about how she would feel in the morning. I stood in the middle of my living room. at my house right now giggling like a little girl with Alice in the next room. Bella sent me a text. I know this won¶t be the last time I see you.

my hand trembling and I had a grin on my face.´ I held my breath for his answer because what he decides could very well determine my existence. ³Not a problem. just until I can get on my feet. I looked at the clock. I decided I didn¶t want to wait to talk to him.´ I heard after the second ring. I reached for my phone.´ I hung up without another word and quickly dialed Bella¶s number. thankful today was the beginning of spring break so I didn¶t have work until next week.´ ³How am I supposed to ask her then?´ ³Call her. I really would rather not interrupt that. ³Hey Bella.³No Edward. I knew I could get through to Alice. I know now. If she¶s the great sister I know she is then she will want to keep Bella happy. At first I started to hyperventilate until the memory came back to me. I was excited. She sounded excited too. ³Hand her the phone.´ I told him. ³Hello. ³You have to ask Alice also. But. I¶ll send you her number. and to you. I was completely energetic when I got out of . This is her house too and I won¶t give you a definite answer until she has her say. ³With my help? What do I have to do with anything?´ ³Let me move in with you Jazz. BPOV I woke up and Edward wasn¶t there. Albeit a little sudden and soon but she¶s had a lot of trauma in her life. The only thing that would make it better would be Edward. Everything was falling into place. can I talk to Alice please?´ I didn¶t want to get into a conversation with her until after I spoke with Alice. as long as you need. life¶s little pieces were putting themselves back together. I haven¶t talked to her a lot but I don¶t think there¶s any reason for her not to approve. If Bella is really as happy as Jasper says then she has noticed. that she was right. She¶s happy Edward. so I sent him a message just to let him know that I was thinking about him.´ A smile crossed my face. I think she can finally let it go. I want to be closer to her.´ ³I¶ll just call Bella.´ ³She¶s talking to Bella. She did tell me once that I would get my second chance but I would have to fight for it. it¶s a very good thing. 9:50.´ ³I can continue to make her happy with your help.´ of course there was a but.

´ she demanded.´ I said and he smiled at me. my mug of cocoa safely sat on the floor ³He kissed you? Bella. ³Bella Marie. is there more?´ She knew there was. every dirty little detail. I bit my bottom lip. So I called Alice and she invited me over. but you already know that. ³Oh. ³Where¶s the hot cocoa?´ I asked when she released my hand and took a seat on the floor in front of the fire.´ She reached for me and wrapped her skinny fingers around my wrist and pulled me through the door. I¶ve been waiting to have this conversation for a long time now and I¶m sure she has too. I couldn¶t wait to talk boys with Alice.´ she chuckled. yeah«how so?´ We sat and talked about Edward and my situation for quite some time. this is different.´ I feigned passing out.´ she teased. ³Yum. I smiled at my phone and Alice¶s expression was heartening. or at least I wasn¶t the one talking.´ I said.´ she was totally focused on me. ³Thanks. Give me the skinny. sit. Oh. I followed her into the living room and the fire was already lit. Did I mention he is an amazing kisser. He left quickly after sharing a quick glance with Alice. I went straight there without a second thought.´ I defended my actions. ³Hello. something I¶ve never done. I could tell she was just egging me on. ³Am not. That was until my phone rang and it was Edward. sipping her drink and looking at me through her all seeing eyes. She patted her hand on the carpet next to her.´ She giggled and threw a couch pillow at me. That¶s fine. and he stayed at mine for most of the night last night.´ she ordered with a firm smack of her palm. ³Get your ass in here. ³It¶s a new mix from the store. this is delicious. I walked up to her door and she opened it before I had a chance to knock. you little whore. but stop dodging my question. not really caring that Alice was about to go all reserved and proper on me. ³I kissed him.´ . ³Jazz is bringing it. ³Tell me everything.the shower and I had to find something to do with myself. ³And he is turning down that job offer so we can see where this goes. I did as I was told and seconds later Jasper came in with two mugs with mini marshmallows floating all along the top. ³I stayed the night at his house.

talk to him. She was silent after that for some time. I am totally okay with it«as long as you need. either way I don¶t want to go a day without seeing you. ³Not if you don¶t want to. Here. ³For me. ³Hey Bella.´ ³What is that supposed to mean?´ ³I can come see you or you can come see me. A smile crossed my face and Alice got up and left the room.´ She held the phone down to her chest with her free hand wrapped protectively over the receiver. She took it from my hand and brought it to her ear slowly with a confused look. I hope you¶re okay with that.´ I cradled the phone as if it were the most precious thing. because I¶m moving there sometime next month.´ . ³Edward if you feel you must than you must.´ she replied to a question I didn¶t know the words to. I¶m confused. I didn¶t want to wait that long. Just thinking about it was painful enough. I just have to give my 20 days notice.´ ³To me staying with them for a while until I can get a job and a place.´ ³Yes to what. I¶m so excited. ³Yes. even winked.´ she mouthed.´ I hoped he didn¶t hear the despair in my reply as I held the phone out to Alice.´ I whispered and shrugged my shoulders. ³It¶s Edward. ³Good.´ she chanted and wiggled in her spot. of course I am. talk to him«. I asked Jasper earlier and he said to ask Alice first and they both said yes. her eyes wide looking at me. ³Yeah. She smiled a lot and looked me in the eye a few times.´ she said to Edward. can I talk to Alice please?´ ³Sure. I took the phone. here she is. I had to judge her reaction because her sudden burst of happiness was making me nervous. talk to him.´ ³Okay. even though he was miles away. ³Well. ³Oh my god Bella.´ ³Next month? That¶s too long. shot her a worried glance then put it to my ear. talk to him. ³Good. Do I have to wait until then to see you?´ I curled my legs up to my chest and waited for his answer. ³What was all that about?´ I didn¶t take my eyes from Alice.His voice did unmentionable things to my body.´ I was more than okay with it. I don¶t have a job anymore so all of my time is yours.

³Can¶t wait to see you. she was this bubbly happy girl. ³And I love you«´ his tone went up a notch. ³Goodbye Edward. Alice heard our argument from the other room and she assisted us. I wanted to see him.´ I snatched it back from her and opened it. happy bouncy and giggling. I really am. ³I have been without you for 10 years and that is an overabundant amount of time and I don¶t want to go through another day without you.´ I said in a languid thankful tone. EPOV In the last 48 hours I have spent close to 12 hours driving between Portland and Seattle. Every time we were together alone. how different would she be? I have seen a change in her but only from our first reunion. I¶m already walking out the door.´ I basically dared him. not me. Thank you so much Alice. ³It feels so fucking good to say that to you. this is the last time I¶ll be driving to Seattle from home.´ and snapped the phone shut. ³I¶m already driving towards the freeway so it won¶t be long. I will call Seattle home. ³You¶re really happy aren¶t you?´ ³Yes.´ She sat down next to me and her look was serious. That¶s Alice. only hands free while you¶re driving. hoping he would but knowing that he wouldn¶t be there. there¶s this new law.´ It took us another five minutes to say bye because neither of us wanted to hang up first.´ I giggled through the phone. This has never been me. I know how that game goes. not the old me. he was already walking out the door before I said anything.´ ³Okay«´ stupid laws. The . why did you do that. She snatched the phone out of my hand and put up to her ear. ³Hey. not even close to the girl I¶d seen during the Superbowl.³Come see me now.´ ³You and me both. mine and Bella¶s home. He knew exactly what I wanted. I couldn¶t wait to see her after telling her I¶d be living there.´ ³I will be there in a few hours.´ I pounced on her and she wasn¶t expecting it. Soon. not what I expected. I¶ve said it to myself for so long.´ ³Well hurry up so you can say it to my face.´ ³I love you. I¶ve been there Bella. ³Because you would have gone back and forth all day if I hadn¶t. I have to go though.

what happened?´ When she looked at me it was either relief or she was startled. I was hoping for relief. alright. ³Not a problem.´ ³Did you want to come out to the Arena some time? I can get tickets any time. thanks for the offer though. Bella didn¶t have the same idea. I didn¶t have a tire iron with me and this kind man had one and thank god he stopped. ³Lucas. I think I better get going home. you seem like a great guy but I¶m not interested. I work at the Key Arena so I can get tickets to any concert you want to see. ignoring the man that was heading towards a meeting with my fist. ³Thank you so much for your help. I could almost taste the bile rising in the back off my throat. Serves that fucker right. if you want to thank me maybe we could go out some time. I hoped out of the car and walked over to them. ³I don¶t know my tire just blew out. She wasn¶t supposed to smile at anyone but me.week I spent at her house was wonderful. Something inside of me ignited. I don¶t know what I would have done if you wouldn¶t have stopped. ³Thank you so much. I was the one to bring out that smile in her.´ Bella thanked the man as he stood and wiped the debris from his clothing. all of my attention on Bella.´ He offered and I bite my tongue. ³Hey Bella.´ he said and I ignored him. a taste of what¶s to come. She didn¶t say what kind of car trouble but I was positive I could help in some way. ³My name¶s Lucas. ³Oh.´ she seemed flustered looking between me and the unnamed man. ³Oh. her car was jacked up and there was a man knelt down under it with a 4-way tire iron putting on the spare tire. If you happen to change your mind«´ .´ I walked up then and greeted Bella. neither of them taking notice to my approach. I had to double back before I found her. I texted her when I took the exit and she texted me back saying that she had some car trouble on her way home and that she needed my help. I pulled over quickly and saw Bella smiling as the man was looking up at her. not some random stranger.´ I smiled on the inside. She text me the directions from her house to where she was at and I headed in that direction.´ she said winded.

³Oh. that was uncalled for.I was through listening to this guy try and take my Bella away from me. I can¶t let my arrogance get in the way of things. That gave me hope that it wouldn¶t be too hard to gain her forgiveness. If I had anything to do with it.´ I joked and she laughed as I sat her back down.´ .´ I told her truthfully. Then she held them close to her chest and whispered. I had my hand behind my back holding the roses. ³I¶ve never been given flowers before. I ran up to meet her and once I was at the door it opened and she stood on the other side of it. leaving me there. ³Hi.´ That¶s one thing I find on the up side of my old ways. ³Edward. he was hitting on you right in front of me.´ ³No it wasn¶t. which clearly says ³I¶m sorry´ and a single orange rose²which I wasn¶t expecting to find²that said ³I adore you. a very light pink covering her cheeks.´ Her eyes lit up a little when she saw the rose¶s.´ I reiterated for her. I¶m not Edward fucking Cullen for nothing. She didn¶t hold back that she was pissed when she pealed out as she left the scene. When our lips parted she looked at me. her hands fisted in my hair. We have been through so much and who¶s to say it hasn¶t had an effect on her feelings toward me. It¶s only made my feelings stronger if anything but it could have had a different effect for her. ³She isn¶t interested. He¶s lucky that was all he got.´ she took them from my hands and stuffed her nose against them so she could smell them. exactly how I liked it. I looked at Bella and she didn¶t look happy with my outburst either. I was planning on surprising her with them but she jumped on me as soon as the door was open enough and I had to wrap my arms around her for support. she was anxious to see me. I just couldn¶t imagine some guy taking her away from me. She stormed off and got into her car.´ she smiled. I got these for you. I saw her looking out the window down at the street when I pulled up. I got into my car and decided I needed to make it up to her. ³Maybe I should upset you more often. Lucas wasn¶t happy but he turned around without another word and got into his car. she wasn¶t going anywhere. standing in the middle of the street alone. ³That was a fucktastic hello. I made a pit stop at the local convenient store and purchased a single yellow rose. She kissed me with fervor.

³I agree with you but that was all Mike was about.´ Her gaze fell back to our hands as I wove our fingers back and forth. ³Maybe I should move somewhere further away. you¶re staying right here. like an ignition and my entire body was fully aware of Bella¶s close proximity. It¶s intoxicating just to be around you. ³I know what it feels like to miss you.´ We made it to the couch before all of our clothes were off. you always have this kind of aura around you or some shit. he probably never took the time to notice. ³That¶s because Mike didn¶t know what he would be missing. ³I missed you for 10 years. ³Good ol¶ Mike never gave you any flowers?´ I asked while she put the roses into an old vodka bottle. ³Oh hell no.´ she joked and started shuffling in my lap. ³Mike would have never said anything like that.´ and half carried her through the door.I snatched her up in another embrace and whispered back.´ She bit her bottom lip as I looked into her eyes.´ ³I¶m sorry I intoxicate you. Being with Bella in this way is beyond any form of satisfaction I have ever experienced. I could feel the perspiration on my neck as I imagined what was to come.´ I laced my right hand with her left and we both gazed at our locked fingers.´ ³And you do?´ She challenged. stability isn¶t such a bad thing to plan for. your laugh that was like fucking pure joy in my heart and your presence. She did that whenever she was nervous«but I remember that from our past. My eyes caught with hers and an electric hum ran through me. I want to be fucking wasted by you. he was more about the future and stability. ³Like the way you bite your lip when you¶re nervous?´ I pointed out. ³No. ³I¶m about those things too. Mike wasn¶t really the romantic type.´ I said fervently.´ My arms formed an iron grasp around her. Your smile that always made me smile. ³Or how incredibly natural and sexy you are when you work those hands. I can¶t recall ever . He never paid attention to the little things. I was seated on the bar stool and she came over to me and climbed into my lap. ³Get used to it.´ I have thought about my future with Bella a lot and I assumed she has thought about it herself.´ She shrugged her shoulders and placed the bottle on the bar that divided her living room from her kitchen.

Nothing less would suffice.kissing a woman during sex. I also recall not giving a shit if they got theirs. with Bella I made damn sure she did. . I didn¶t have sex with Bella. I made the sweetest kind of love with Bella. I kissed Bella every chance I got.

He¶s a good cook. My pace quickened and when I stood in front of the kitchen the sight I saw was hilarious. Saturday morning I woke up from a long and tiresome night with Edward that I would do again and again in a heartbeat. If I were more open-minded and talked like Alice and Rose do I would be one of those women saying how extremely satisfying sex can be.18. even in the moment. I didn¶t tell him I knew because he looked so pleased to be doing it for me. when it comes to traditional things. It was coming out in waves. he looked up at me apologetically and I had to smile. I reached over him and grabbed the pot that was producing the smoke and lifted it off the burner. I probably couldn¶t have done one better. He was standing at the stove. Edward was already awake and I could smell something burning from the kitchen. But I¶m not. so I kept all that to myself which was much more gratifying. he didn¶t have a job to tie him to Portland anymore but I had to work. Edward had dinner ready for me when I got home. As Good as it Gets BPOV Edward stayed at my apartment all week. I got up groggily and threw my robe on that was hanging on the bedside post. I couldn¶t take that from him. Edward was still in his boxers and was wearing my apron tied in a neat big bow in the back. The nights with him were mind blowing. After I had enough of that I plunged into the heap of smoke and stood next to him. Twice. I was exhausted. ³I don¶t know what I¶m doing?´ He exclaimed with a light nervous laugh. as if I hadn¶t just slept 9 hours. his persona was so easy to relax with. opened it and held it out to let it cool off. The days with him were amazing. I found out later that Alice had come over and ³assisted´ him with the meals both times. I padded my way down the hallway and into the living room where I could see smoke bellowing out from the kitchen. utterly fan-fucking-tastic. The smoke that was already . hastily trying to save whatever it was that was smoking up my apartment. I ran over to the window. His presence just made me feel like I had a purpose. like everything I have done that¶s led me to this place was all for something.

I looked over my shoulder at him and he looked solemn. you look hot. . ³I don¶t mind doing it and I especially like to cook when there is someone else to cook for other than myself.´ I tried to comfort him but it was still really comical in my mind.´ He leaned away from me²not breaking our connection²and smiled his sexy crooked smile. ³By the way.´ Sunday morning was the same thing. today Edward was going back to Portland to tie up any loose ends. ³You like?´ I laughed again. ³I vow to never touch the stove again unless I¶m told to. ³I have a confession to make.´ he replied gently. today.´ I stood in front of him and looked up into his eyes. grab some things and say goodbye to his friends. ³Not a problem. I decided to keep the fact that I already knew to myself. especially not a night without him.floating around the apartment came out in a rush and you could plainly see it in the air just outside.´ I wrapped my arms around him and was reminded that he didn¶t have any clothes on.´ this time I smiled apologetically. ³I love to cook. ³Edward. ³Yeah. it¶s not a big deal. Let me do the cooking okay?´ I laughed and he laughed with me. Alice had called last night and cancelled our Saturday get together and did a rain check for Sunday. His expression changed. ³I didn¶t make those dinners for you. I smiled back. I didn¶t want to seem rude or callous but I didn¶t want to burn down any apartment buildings either.´ ³Perfect. Emmett and Ethan did.´ The pan wasn¶t smoking anymore so I brought it in and sat it on a burner that hadn¶t been used.´ I said seriously. we headed over there and arrived just as Rose. shaking my head. It was just the beginning of our time together and I already don¶t want to go one minute without him. ³I was trying to make you breakfast.´ He held up his right hand.´ he smiled. well. exhausted and ready to go back to sleep. ³I think we should stick to that being my job. like a child being coaxed into telling the truth. After I made an edible breakfast and Edward and I took a long shower. He wouldn¶t return until next weekend. I didn¶t though. ³It¶s okay Edward. I helped but mostly it was Alice.

Some women have the hardest time getting their figure back. But almost. why wouldn¶t they do it. ³We¶re not quite there yet. ³Until you came and rudely interrupted. He said his parents were so in love until they got married. It really wasn¶t that cold but I didn¶t blame her for being cautious.Rose looked good for just having a baby three weeks ago. ³Six or seven I can¶t remember exactly. they¶ve been together for ages now.´ ³What the hell is the hold up? Does Jasper have something against marriage?´ Rose saw no other explanation. She always asked. That definitely hasn¶t changed about Rose. not Rose though. I think secretly she wanted a baby too. It wasn¶t the nicest of days but we sat out on the balcony of Alice and Jasper¶s home anyway. She was a whole new woman.´ Rose was beaming as she spoke of her son.´ I was in awe.´ Rose informed him.´ Alice asked. ³Jasper is afraid of marriage. That¶s when they handed him over to Carlisle and Esme and went their separate ways. when are you getting hitched?´ She smiled shyly. wonderful actually. but they used to always yell at each other and talk about how marriage ruined their lives and that they wished they never did it. he thinks it will ruin what we have. ³So how¶s mother hood treating you. I don¶t know if we¶ll ever reach that point. Ethan is such a good baby he even sleeps through the night.´ ³I think he¶ll come around Alice. ³How old was he?´ I asked. Of course. She turned to Alice.´ I rested my hand on her shoulder and she leaned against mine. pointing the audience at her. Rose refused to bring him out in the cold longer than a few minutes.´ . Ethan was nestled into a swing just inside the sliding glass door. If they didn¶t agree then something had to be wrong with one of them. Emmett plays football. just like I like him. ³What about you Alice. I don¶t know why they didn¶t try.´ ³What¶s going on over here?´ Edward approached and came around to kiss me on the cheek. The story sounded so familiar. He was sweaty and panting. The boys had gone out to the field that was behind the house and they were throwing around a football. just as long as Rose and Emmett. ³It¶s good. ³I hope so. ³We were having a girls only conversation.

******************* We barbequed hamburgers and hotdogs and chatted the whole day away: The perfect Sunday. I assumed trying to see Ethan in his swing through the door. ³Congratulations. Rose¶s attention left the balcony and rested on the same place that held mine: Alice.´ She looked troubled.´ Rose faux cried from the seat next to me. ³She¶s just a bitch. Edward.³Rose. I imagine you would want to tell your significant other the . ³Yeah.´ I asked.´ I shot her a disapproving look. ³Huh. ³What? What¶s up?´ he looked around at all of us. Cullen?´ Edward put his hands up in a defending manner.´ she snooted. I¶m four days late. ³Alice. ³Emmmm!´ She yelled over her shoulder.´ I whispered. ³Are you excited. It was sweet of them. ³What are you going to do about it?´ She questioned him. ³What¶s this about Ali?´ Rose questioned looking back toward the balcony. ³Ehh. ³I haven¶t told Jasper yet. ³What. I¶m a little worried about how he¶s going to feel about it. she actually is a bitch. has Emmett been giving you lessons?´ he joked. I couldn¶t imagine that she wouldn¶t be. he had a worried look on his face until he saw us all smiling. ³Your dear brother called me a bitch. I¶m kind of avoiding him. he had an exasperated look on his face.´ She smiled and anyone could see that she was definitely glowing. Alice pulled me and Rose to the side while the boys cleaned up the grill and picked up the garbage.´ Of course Rose would call on her teddy bear of a husband to do her dirty work. ³You call my woman a bitch?´ he said walking toward him. He looked at Edward with a wide grin.. ³Hey in my defense..´ He ducked as soon as the cup went flying out of Rose¶s hand and it flew over him. He ran through the yard and up the stairs. ³Which one?´ he held out his hands gesturing toward Edward. I¶m used to it. really?´ Rose squealed.´ ³Emmett.´ she teased. he knows I¶m kidding«don¶t you Edward?´ He shook his head looking down at me.´ she blurted without warming us up first. ³What. ³Good arm. ³I think I¶m pregnant.´ She hugged me and Rose threw her arms around us too. doofus. ³The only one that¶s here.

the bacon has to burn. and only then. so really. it didn¶t look like a hard task. what I would do and what I would assume. I thought I could do it. ³I think he¶s going to be excited To have to hold it in because you¶re afraid of what their reaction is going to be. But I¶m not in his shoes. if it came back positive she would tell Jasper. When he noticed me he stood and came towards me. I don¶t know. but nooo. pulling me hard against him. saying something to Rose. If I were in his shoes I would be thrilled. I had the eggs ready to go and the hash browns graded. ³Of course I am«I just don¶t know when. Usually you¶re the topic of discussion these days. . I wasn¶t happy about it because it meant he was leaving shortly after we would arrive.´ Edward was driving us home. Alice promised she would get a test with us tomorrow and then. We watched her leave and held onto one another. ³So. I¶d be scared to death to tell Edward if I were the one worried about being pregnant. I really didn¶t. would be heart wrenching. you should tell him. We left shortly after that. ³So.´ I informed him. I don¶t even want to know how that would blow over. I probably would have done the same thing if I were in her shoes.´ We started to walk back. Boy was I wrong.´ That¶s the only advice I had to give.´ then she hurried toward the sound. watching the boys on the balcony. not this time. ³What does Olive Juice mean?´ EPOV I really wanted to make something for Bella because the two times she thinks I did. The cool breeze was nice against my face. ³I was having another girl talk. ³Where have you been?´ Alice had continued to where Rose was playing with Ethan just inside the door and Edward snaked his arms around my waist. I have to ask. ³And what does girl talk mean? Did my name come up?´ he smiled a devilish grin. our arms still wound around each other.´ I grinned back. Edward was kneeling down next to Ethan in his swing. Rose¶s head jerked up and she looked to the balcony. ³Surprisingly no. I burnt the fucking bacon. ³Ethan is crying. are you going to tell him?´ I asked uninterested.

´ I smiled. I wasn¶t put out by that though.Bella was in her element when she cleared the apartment of the smoke. weekly get togethers. she didn¶t mind. If you mouth it. I had no problem agreeing to her terms.´ She walked off to the living room and I contemplated the new information I had just received. It really looked like she said it. Charlie and Renee used to say it to us all the time. what did you just say?´ I wanted to be sure I was hearing correctly before I just assumed. she confirmed it. I would do just about anything to make that kid smile. I confronted Bella about it. ³Hey Rose.´ she looked at me and said it. ³Oh. ³It looks like you say I love you. That struck a memory cord and I remembered hearing Bella say that in her sleep. The day Teresa came and almost scared Bella off for good. I told him he was smiling for his uncle. Of course it was in her subconscious but still. I never pictured myself being a family man but I did find solace in seeing my brothers. and now my.´ I was sneaky not to lie or keep anything from her. ³Oh. That had to stand for something. ³Olive juice. ³Yeah.´ She looked out the window and didn¶t say another word about it. That little guy has gotten us all wrapped around his little finger. . I¶ve been worried about that. He smiled. as long as it means she¶s eating with me. I felt better confessing my sins about Alice being the one who made the dinners. Seeing Ethan was a blast. well it really doesn¶t mean anything but if you mouth it. The shower was nice. I haven¶t seen her blush in a while. ³What does olive juice mean?´ ³Where did you hear that?´ she questioned. Rose informed me while she was tending to him that the smile was probably just gas. ³Are you aware that you still talk in your sleep?´ She blushed. ³Then it looks like you¶re saying I love you. I still wanted hear it from Bella.´ Rose cooed as she picked him up out of the swing. it¶s Olive juice.´ she did it. She said she loved me and I didn¶t even know it. We headed over to Jasper and Alice¶s place to meet up for their. even though I knew what it meant now that Rose informed me. She can cook for me anytime. ³Tonight I heard Rose saying it to Ethan. that was the day she said it. She said it after saying my name. as it has been all week and the day was looking to be a good one. Or she really said I love you just to mess with me.

I chuckled.³That first week when I stayed at your apartment after Ethan was born. ³You said my name and then you said olive juice. We¶ve just barely begun our relationship. She¶d given me a key to her apartment. Sunday when I left she begged me to stay with her but in the end we both knew I had to go. ³What did I say?´ She practically demanded. . My agenda for today included speaking with the owner of my apartment and give him my 20 days notice.´ I smiled looking at her and she smiled back. He wished me well in my future and told me to tell Carlisle hello for him. I know it¶s too soon to talk about that. I could stay there with her until I moved in to Jasper¶s. I ran by PUD to shut off my electricity and my water. I packed most of my clothes and hygiene products into my luggage bags and packed them into the car. you said something while you were sleeping. I said I¶d be back by the weekend. I went by the Rose Garden to say my goodbyes to the people that I bonded with while working there. She was silent for a moment but her smile never faltered. Yesterday I crammed as much stuff into the day as I could. I don¶t think I¶ll be able to wait that long. baby steps is what was going to work for us. I steered clear of Chelsea though. They had attended Yale together back in the 70¶s. I ran by the CC to say my farewell to my friends and inform them of my move. ³Well I did. I met with the owner and gave him my notice.´ She gasped. I didn¶t say anything about how much I wish we could share an apartment. it¶s ridiculous to me for us to be apart. I had my TV and other entertainment goods stacked next to the front door for easy access in the morning. I wasn¶t willing to risk it so I had kept my mouth shut. that conversation I could do without.´ ********************* Two days away from Bella has been torture in it¶s worst form. Then I was going to pack my car full of whatever I could fit in it and surprise Bella tomorrow when she got off work. I wasn¶t going to leave them in my car over night just to wake up to a fucking broken window and all of my shit gone. Now that I have her after all those years of depression and self loathing. Laurent was sincerely happy for me but also pissed that I was leaving. Anything faster than that was liable to ruin what we have so far.

there was never any hesitation. I still wasn¶t sure that I was going to at all. I was avoiding anything that would threaten our relationship. To write down the questions I needed to ask. Now.-B Things are«fine?? Is there any importance to that? Why are you wearing my shirt you weirdo?E You¶ll see. Wherever Bella was. Hey love. it was the only way to get any of it out. was home. What magazine are you reading?-E You¶ll just have to wait and see. yes there is and because I miss you. I received a text from Bella saying that she missed me and that she couldn¶t wait for me to come home. I wrote in my journal to help get out my frustrations. Will our relationship last? Will our love for one another stay strong year after year? Will Bella someday be my wife. I ate the last of my Hungry Man microwavable dinners and that concluded my night. I¶m wearing my pj pants and your go to jail monopoly shirt. I didn¶t push on what she had to tell me because I don¶t want her doing anything she isn¶t prepared for. . how are things? What are you doing? What are you wearing? Just kidding but really«what are you wearing?-E Love huh? Things are«fine and I¶m sitting on the couch looking through a magazine. the only questions I have can only be answered with time. I sent her a message while I waited for my dinner to cook. I hadn¶t started a new journal.-B We bickered back and forth for a few minutes until we said goodnight.-B Now you have me worried. the mother of my children? Did I want children? The answer to that has always been no.I emptied out the fridge and threw away anything that would expire by the time I returned. I told myself it could only get better. I fell out on the couch with the fork still in my hand. I miss you too. Seattle was home now.

it¶s nice to meet you.´ she threw her thumb over her shoulder.´ I handed her the keys and she unlocked the door with a quick turn of her wrist. I found myself leaning toward the unknown. yeah thanks. That is the first time I have been okay with that.´ ³No problem. now that one led down a road I have never dared to venture. kicking it shut behind me. but scared to enter the journey. A Chrysler town and country with the flip down DVD player playing Toy Story.´ I wondered if she knew Bella but I didn¶t bring it up. and the fact that I would never dream of hurting Bella or my progeny in anyway. The other path. I would never want to put my own flesh and blood through anything even remotely similar to what happened to me during my childhood. This road held a life with Bella. In the future. around my age was smiling up at me. In reality neither of us really are. Two little smiles smiled back at me. Us together always time to be shared together. one mine and one Bella¶s. put it in a bottle and stuff . ³I live down the hall. We said a quick goodbye and I went through the door. Her apartment smelled like her. Was I strong enough to stay out of my fathers foot steps? Am I capable of keeping my emotions at bay so they don¶t ruin my life? It was hard to keep my emotions under wraps when it came to the intense feelings I have for Bella. One path led to a life with Bella. tossed it around in my head and looked at it from every angle. kids are definitely on the agenda. alone. I told myself a long time ago that I was going to avoid having kids. I am not my father and Bella is not my mother and we have the truest and purest kind of love for one another. would it be worse than that? I mulled over that. I¶m Angela.´ ³Oh. It felt like my heart expanded two sizes. I pulled up to Bella¶s apartment and took in a load of my clothes.I find myself lost. ³Need some help with that?´ I looked over my shoulder and a young woman. We would be happy and our time together would not be divided. That is one of the many differences between us and my parents. it made my heart flutter. two kids. I wanted to capture her scent. maybe three and a dog in a white picket fence. I was on unknown territory. ³Um. A soothing calm voice came from behind me. at a fork in the road. The final verdict: I am not ready for kids. That. The door was hard to unlock because my hands were full. at least they are for me. Romantic getaways and traveling to different countries. ³Thanks.

not in the least. more than fucking anything I wanted to see the magazine she wouldn¶t tell me about«but I didn¶t. you will just have to stick it out until Friday«-B Love«I like it. I left my car out front. I wanted to look.-E I miss you too.-E Just remember when you find out that I love you and I swear on every single thing that I love. I guess you¶re the determining factor. She wanted my trust and I wasn¶t going to jeopardize it. I¶m just about to get into my car and head home. maybe it wouldn¶t be too much of a surprise when she walked in and saw me.-B Oh is she? What are you two up to?-E None of your business love. Everything was in its up my nose so I could be inundated by it always. you have me antsy. I can¶t wait for two more days to go by so I can see you. a magazine was flipped upside down on the coffee table and I assumed it was the one she was reading. Is this thing I¶m waiting for a good thing or bad thing?-E For me. I spent the next few hours bringing in my belongings and putting them in her spare bedroom. Alice is coming over to help me out with something. what the hell is it?-E . She said she had something to tell me and that I would find out. whats the haps? I miss you something fierce. I did not plan it. 3:30 rolled around and I decided to send her a message and find out what she was doing. I hoped it wouldn¶t upset her that I came back without notice but I was banking on the fact that hopefully she missed me as much as I missed her. Hey love.-B Friday is too long to wait.-B So Alice planned it. so much. it¶s not good but it¶s not really bad either.

Something that worried me. waiting to see Bella pull up. like things were changing.Alice had nothing to do with it LOL. ³So you didn¶t even turn it over and look at the cover?´ she seemed to not believe me. I waited on the couch. ³Did you look at the magazine?´ she asked in a panic. she felt so soft and right in my arms. of course not. She sat her keys down on the little table in the hall and entered the front room. . our lips finding each other without order.-B Okay. On her way to the apartment she stopped and looked at my car. weren¶t you supposed to be here Friday?´ She stood where she stopped. I¶m trying to win back your trust Bella. I can¶t wait. ³Hey. I don¶t think she completely thought it was mine because she shook her head at it and continued to the front door. She pulled away from me quickly and looked over my shoulder to the couch then back to me. She smiled lazily. ³I can go back to Portland and wait until Friday if you¶d like. but it also caused this feeling in my chest.´ I said sarcastically. and I laughed at how much it meant to her. When she did. I heard the key in the lock and then the door open. just seeing her brought on the electric surge. looking out at my car. especially when I saw her face as she got out of the car. She jumped when she saw me and a smile spread across her face. ³No. her expression surprised and excited. ³No.-E I didn¶t say I couldn¶t wait to talk to her because what I really couldn¶t wait for was to see her. I¶m almost home so I¶ll call you in a little bit. My heart started to race. She smelled so good.´ I reached her then and pulled her to me. in which direction I couldn¶t say. But there was something else in the way she kissed me. I got up from the couch and walked toward her. this is much better than waiting until Friday. why would I invade your privacy?´ I tried to lean in for another kiss because any kiss would never curb my addiction. you¶ll see. I wasn¶t going anywhere. I want to hear your voice. her presence calling out for me to be closer.

I didn¶t even look at it. ³I wasn¶t going to tell you until I knew for sure. your feelings haven¶t changed have they?´ I was desperate. grabbing the magazine on the way.´ not even the diaper ad on the back gave me any inclination of what it was. ³You would tell me if something was wrong wouldn¶t you?´ When she looked back at me she was biting her bottom lip and pink crossed her features.´ Now I was worried.´ ³Tell me what? Is something wrong?´ I pulled back on my hand causing her to stop right in front of the coffee table. not at all. ³No. which still isn¶t until tomorrow. She wiggled her way out of my grasp and pulled me by the hand to the couch.´ She came closer to me. Bella had to love me.³No. needy and losing control of my emotions. there was no other way it should be. My feelings will never change. ³I wouldn¶t say something is wrong. . ³What do you mean changed. She held it up to me and I read the title. I have no idea what kind of magazine it is.things have changed. I would say«.

³Come on Bella. She was smiling and I probably looked like my cat just died. Thankfully. Today was different than any other day. it felt like I had the worst kind of food poisoning. Rose was suddenly at my window tapping on it with the purple box. Knocked Up BPOV Monday when I woke up for work.19. I hung up the phone without another word and abruptly pulled off the side of the road. that¶s why. and we have always used a condom. because it was all memorable. I couldn¶t say. Rose pulled up and she waved a purple cardboard box at me through the windshield. and sat in my car with the ignition off. Shows how very little I know. Vertigo hit me and I nearly fell onto the sidewalk if it weren¶t for Rose steadying me. She was pretty sure she was pregnant but we all wanted proof. god it was amazing. Then I thought back to the first time. if I had one. We used protection. I thought back on every time. not remembering one turn I made.´ I forced myself to put my hands back on the wheel and get back out into the traffic. How could we have been so stupid? Why didn¶t I have any for just in case? Because I never thought I would have anyone in my bed. ³Whoa. heat of the moment and lovers passion. I made it to Alice. ³I might be pregnant. I told her how I was feeling and she joked that maybe I should get one too.´ . All day I was in a sort of dream like state.´ she called through the glass. I mentally calculated the last time I had a menstrual cycle. µI¶m fine«I just figured out I might be pregnant. until I really thought about it. I mechanically moved my arm to reach for the handle and got out of the car feeling light on my feet.´ I half lied. I thought back to the last time we had sex. We were meeting up with Rose to get Alice a pregnancy test. the way I felt was off. I couldn¶t remember. all of my thoughts revolving around the feeling in the pit of my stomach. I finally made it through the day and called Alice on my headset on my way to her place. I took a deep intake of breath and it hit me. Sure it was funny. I never really kept track of it that way. nothing came up and I made it to work in clean clothing. are you okay?´ ³I¶m fine«just a little light headed. My stomach was in knots and my head was dizzy.

is that the one that comes with two tests?´ I tried to sound nonchalant but I have always been terrible at hiding my true feelings and intentions. I opened the door and Alice rushed passed me and grabbed hers up quicker than I thought possible. Rose held out the box with a devilish grin. I did what needed to be done with shaky hands and sat the life changing stick opposite Alice¶s along the sink. she was really good at showing emotions. hence my previous statement. Alice was there. we just walked in like we always do. We didn¶t knock. I had to know if I was pregnant too. something that always gave me away. ³Rose. Alice snatched the box out of her hands. I want to see the results to mine. ³Hurry up. you might be pregnant?´ she asked looking at me buttoning her pants.´ and started toward the bathroom.´ Her expression and tone turned to worry.´ I tried to defend my reasoning but it was too late.´ she shrieked. ³Oh heck yeah. I¶m trying to pee here. ³No. ³I said I don¶t know. ³What!´ and then the door flew open. ³I don¶t know. A smile spread across her face and she started jumping in place.´ she gushed. ³I¶m pregnant. ³You aren¶t?´ she pushed me for feedback.´ I tried to sound indifferent but it was quite possibly the biggest deal of my life. ³Did I just hear you right. ³You ready?´ Talk about getting down to business.´ she yelled from behind the closed door of the bathroom.´ Rose yelled.´ she informed her. ³I¶m pregnant. ³Bella needs to join you. ³Why?´ ³Because she might be prego too. ³Yeah.´ she looked confused by my question. she¶s always chipper smile planted on her always happy face.´ she ordered through the door. I walked passed her and shut the door behind me. I need the reassurance that life wasn¶t about to get 10 times harder than it already was. ³Alice. ³Why?´ I blushed and looked down at my feet. I just haven¶t been feeling well and I¶m not sure if I¶m late or not. I just want to check if you have a spare one. Oh my freaking god I¶m pregnant. Without objection or any further arguing she gestured with her hand for me to enter the bathroom.´ she laughed and I could have died right there.She gave me a worried look and then I followed her down the path to the front door of Alice¶s home. ³What. ³How am I going to tell Jasper?´ . aside from Edward reappearing.

We did not need this now. either way you are going to have to tell him and either way it¶s going to happen weather you want it to or not. They had to see the panic by now. nothing to go by.´ Alice giggled nervously. ³What is he going to think?´ he doesn¶t seem like the type.´ She was right.´ Alice tried to comfort me. calmly.´ I said simply. I prayed for the stick to be negative. Of course the stick had another opinion. How is this a time to crack jokes? ³That¶s why they say to always wear a rain jacket when you go out into the rain. ³What does it say?´ Alice asked in her still excited tone. so fresh into our reunion. I looked in the mirror. Yeah. ³What the hell am I going to do? What am I going to tell Edward?´ I very nearly shouted. This reality could very well tear us apart for good. what Edward¶s reaction was going to be when I told him. They must have seen the answer in my eyes and the panic that was creeping up my spin. I let it fill me because I had no idea. ³We¶ve only been together a few weeks. ³Over the phone? You have got me fucked up if you think I¶m going to deliver that kind of information over the phone. ³I¶m not ready for this. nothing about me was glowing. When Alice rushed passed me to get her phone I walked in the opposite direction.´ something we¶ve said since we were younger. ³Calm down. Alice was due to arrive any moment to help me . ³Why don¶t you call him and find out?´ Rose offered. ³Are we prego together or what?´ I looked away from the mirror and met Alice and Rose¶s expectant stares. ³Then wait and find out. opposite what the previous one informed us. I wasn¶t planning on seeing Edward until Friday so you can imagine my shock when I found him sitting in my living room Wednesday after work. It was all I could do to not break down right there. I did not look like a pregnant woman. if I could be so lucky. How can we be ready for this?´ ³Maybe you should have thought about that before you did the dirty dead huh?´ Rose poked fun and it inwardly infuriated me.I didn¶t hear anything after that. I had stress lines around my eyes and dark circles that weren¶t the most apparent thing on my face but they weren¶t unnoticeable either. I wished that I could leave here as one person and for this worry to come later in our lives. My shoulders dropped and I let out a sigh of stress and worry. I couldn¶t deny that but I wasn¶t going to call Edward and tell him anything. I didn¶t want to know what the stick said but I needed to know.

I was thrilled that he didn¶t look at the magazine. ³What does that have to do«´ His expression changed with hast. Standing there holding the magazine out to him was the most awkward I have felt in his presence as of now. still nothing to tell me how he felt about it. He bent over and grabbed it.´ My attempt at reading his expression was diminished by his ability to hide his feelings. ³You don¶t know for sure? How do you know at all?´ he pushed. his expression still held nothing that would give me any inclination of how he was taking it. ³Edward. well I mean I know how it happened but I never thought it would. I darted out of his sight without a response and grabbed it from the table on my side of the bed. He looked at it for a while. He looked at me. giving him time to dwell over it or even leave before I got home. I was done waiting to find out how he felt. his green eyes confused and unsure. studying the front cover. all emotions drained and his face unreadable. When I saw his car sitting outside my apartment I wasn¶t entirely sure it was his but I had a sinking suspicion that it was. haven¶t since the middle of last week.´ I kept it because I wanted to have it if it turned out to be accurate. ³Alice got a test for herself and it came with two so I took one. ³Yeah. you still have it?´ he asked puzzled by that fact. I never planned on having kids this early. I wasn¶t feeling well.form a plan for dropping the bomb on Edward. I have the test if you want to see it. I didn¶t want to scare him away or make him feel like I was trying to trap him or something because that isn¶t the case at all. I returned to the front room and held it out to Edward who took it without hast. I needed to know that I wasn¶t going to be a single mother raising our child. He sat down in the rocking chair behind him and studied it intently. I wasn¶t sure if that was ever going to happen. can you please tell me what you¶re thinking? It¶s killing me. He stood from his seated position and dropped the test on the coffee table next to the magazine. When he finally did look up at me. . When I stood at the door I felt the shock of his presence and I knew then that it definitely was his car. It¶s not 100% sure. ³Bella«are you telling me you¶re pregnant?´ ³I don¶t know how it happened.´ I half begged. ³Parent¶s magazine?´ he said out loud.

He backed away from me. I didn¶t want to leave the solace of his arms and leave him worried but I did want to tell Alice to leave and we¶d talk more tomorrow. that¶s Alice. still holding me in his arms. ³Geez Bella. ³So you¶re not mad?´ I asked through my sniffles. There was a knock at the door and I remembered Alice was coming over. ³I am so fucking elated to be with you Bella.´ I pointed toward the front room and whispered ³Edward¶s in there. ³I love you so much and I¶ll love our daughter just the same.´ He smiled. not the smile that drives me crazy.´ He laughed but it was a scared.´ he added in a whisper.´ The tears flowed down my cheeks. ³Edward. I thought about his own father.´ she turned to look at me and she was definitely confused. ³Alice wait. ³The best kind of father.´ I tried to pull away from him but his hold was like vise grips around me. I threw myself at him and he caught me.´ . but a goofy uncontrollable smile that caused my insides to celebrate. I have to get the door. took you long enough to answer. ³I¶m going to be a father.´ He raised his head from my shoulder and his eyes were red. instantly crushing me to him. nervous muffle.´ I smiled widely. I¶ll be right back and we can talk. tell me you love me the same because I¶m freaking out right now. It wasn¶t that easy though. I opened the door and she stormed in. I know Edward will walk in his footsteps. ³What?´ ³I don¶t think now is a good time. I pushed away from him and he didn¶t let up.´ She stormed past me but I stopped her. for anyone. the happiness taking over the dread and worry that was encasing me moments ago. ³Oh. The things he subjected his family to and the way he treated them. Not once did I worry about the kind of father Edward would be. Carlisle and Esme raised him well and Carlisle was the best kind of role model for him. ³I hope she has your eyes. ³I love you so fucking much Bella.´ he said excitedly. something I¶ve been holding back since I found out. A baby is only going to add to the joy that you bring to my life. ³Let me get rid of Alice okay. his real father.He turned the magazine over so I could see it and pointed at the line that said: 25 Things a Father can do with his Daughter.´ he released me and fell back into the rocking chair behind him.

³Please don¶t tell me you don¶t feel the same anymore because I can¶t take it. looking at his hand on my still flat stomach. a genuine smile. I can¶t breathe if you¶re not with me. ³No.´ His eyes came up to mine. not now. as he ducked his head. I had to fix it. ³Good luck. ³Does it matter?´ I think I would hurl if he said that there was another way.´ he refused to lift his head. ³Yeah. ³Just tell me Bella.´ He smiled.´ I laughed lightly and he just crushed me to him. I had bigger things to deal with. ³I don¶t know. Edward¶s face was in his hands and his fingers were fisted in his hair. my hands touching his head softly. I fucking love you so much.´ and then she slipped out the door. that¶s how long pregnancies usually last.´ She pleaded forlornly. not lingering at all and he tried to pull me back in. When I stepped back into the living room the sight I saw was heart wrenching. The one that drove me crazy anytime he used it. ³We have nine months to get used to the idea.´ I whispered. just a little. I stood up and sat in his lap.´ she padded my shoulder. ³O-kay. ³If you want my answer you¶ll look at me. His right hand left his hair and he reached out to mine and I let him take it. I cannot imagine my life without you so yes.´ The tone in my voice sounded like someone was dying. ³I have always loved you Edward. call me. ³How do you feel about it?´ I let out a breath of air.Her mouth formed a small o shape and she realized what I was talking about.´ I waited and waited until finally his hand dropped.´ . ³No. I guess not. I resisted and looked back into his tear swollen eyes. ³Edward.´ His face remained hidden in the palm of his left hand and I could hear that he was serious. He just stared at me smiling so I smiled back. shit. I¶m not saying a word until you do. I kneeled down to be at his level and tried to move his head so I could see into his eyes. I¶m not super excited about it but it¶s happening. but it didn¶t matter. I didn¶t bother telling her that I had already dropped the bomb. ³We have nine months. His hand fell to my stomach and I moved away so I could see what he was doing. my arms lacing around his neck. his anguish took my breath away. I kissed him softly. ³What?´ He blushed. I almost couldn¶t answer. He really thought I was going to push him away again. his smile. his eyes scorching into mine. I don¶t want you to see me like this.´ I laughed at his knowledge of the facts of life. He lifted his face. I walked to stand in front of him. ³Are we ready for this?´ He asked seriously.

but I¶ll take what I can get. ³Take this into the bathroom. I meant we. some big some small.³No. By past I mean the one we shared and the ones we had apart. now.´ the nurse with the flamingo scrubs called from a side door. Life is crazy like that. On the other side was a weight scale. ³125 pounds. But one can only hope for the best. He wasn¶t thrilled about having a baby but neither was I. together. I don¶t care if Edward has slept with 50 woman as long as he only sleeps with one for the rest of his life. his face burying in my hair. He was utterly happy. we only need about this much. Edward swept me up into his arms and I didn¶t object. ³Now forever I can do. I only care. The walls were that hospital white and the scent of antibacterial hand sanitizer wafted past my nose every time someone walked by me.´ he emphasized. and soon we would be parent¶s to an innocent little being that we both helped create out of the love we hold for one another. now we would have to see what the following months would have in store for us. Some made sense and others not so much. as was I. at least he wasn¶t upset about it. I suppose.´ ³I was hoping for forever. I am determined to leave the past behind us and only look to the future. ³First let¶s get you weighed. about the future with him that has been painted for me. That was the least I could ask for.´ and I followed through the door. He looked into my eyes as he carried me into the room and all I could see now was joy in them.´ he hugged me.´ She held her finger a quarter of the way up the cup then handed it to Bella. ³Let¶s go. that isn¶t what I meant. ³Have nine months ahead of us. Bella got out of her chair. We are a new couple with a long past. I don¶t care about anything that happened before I realized I couldn¶t live life to the fullest unless I was with him. ³Isabella Swan. EPOV There were a ton of pictures on the wall. .´ the nurse instructed and I watched as Bella slipped her shoes off and stepped onto the platform.´ she recited and held out a little plastic cup.´ I joked and he laughed. things are bound to come up that are going to test our devotion.

the moment that¶s going to hopefully alter the future I¶d come to terms with pre-Bella.´ we both said in unison looking up to meet each other¶s eyes. I wanted to be tied to her in some way. but I wanted to be sure she was comfortable. ³The doctor will be in to see you soon. It wasn¶t long before there was a knock on the door and the doctor walked through it. Dr. I never thought I would be so taken over by emotions that I would bawl like a little baby in front of Bella but fuck if I didn¶t. I¶m going to say you¶re about three weeks along and your due date is July 25.´ Bella answered for us. ³Positive. This was going to be the moment of truth. Edward Cullen. this was it. Shrute measured Bella¶s waist and her bust. am having a baby and am excited beyond comparison.´ She pulled out a piece of paper and handed it to her. it¶s great to meet the two of you. I. I wasn¶t interested. ³And you must be Edward Cullen. ³Well that¶s good because I have them right here. Some way that would mean she will be in my life forever. even as she dropped her pen she¶d been writing with and bent over in front of me. 2009 I¶m going to be a daddy. I¶m Carmen Shrute.´ She held out her hand in greeting. A home test is nothing like a hospital test. just a little nervous. ³Yes. How could I not? . I leaned far over her shoulder so I could read what it said. She took Bella¶s blood pressure. ³How are you feeling?´ ³We¶re anxious to know the results. I tried to ignore her. Bella came out and her face was flushed pink. Journal Entry 1: October 13. ³Hi Isabella. We made another appointment for next month and left with smiles on our faces. ³How¶s it going? Are you feeling okay?´ I¶d been asking her that a lot since I found out. I took her into my arms and we followed the slutty nurse to our room. The nurse looked me over the moment she was gone.´ After we talked about what to expect in the next nine months and what I can do to help Bella feel more comfortable.´ As was I.´ Her hands rested in her lap and she looked from me to Bella and back. ³I¶m fine. her temperature and checked her heart rate.´ and then she left. there¶s still a chance she isn¶t pregnant.She gave me a shy smile then disappeared behind the bathroom door.

I wish I could help. What better time would there be? Alice.I¶m going to be a daddy.´ She relaxed against me and I stayed still as stone. You¶re making it worse. Those six little words are so foreign to me. she said she expected grandchildren from me. I¶m going to be a daddy« I¶m going to be a daddy« ******************************** We had decided not to say anything to our extended family. ³I think I am going to be sick. Would they think ill of me for impregnating a woman whose heart I¶ve broken? Will they be happy for Bella or worried for her? Would Bella stand up for what we have if they thought it wrong or unjust? Would I? . however. Thankfully she found one and 10 minutes later she emerged. so pure and natural now more than ever with her hand resting on the small bump hidden beneath her shirt. Besides. two predetermined bachelors for life (for different reasons)«having babies. What do you want me to do?´ I asked helplessly. She looked flushed and exhausted as she walked down the aisle. ³I feel so much better. If I could I would take her place. thanksgiving was coming up and everyone would be there. I thought about what Carlisle and Esme¶s reaction was going to be when they found out about us. Her wish was being granted wasn¶t it? Then I thought about Bella¶s nominal parents. People back home in Chicago would never believe it. I hoped Esme would be excited. more so when they find out about the pregnancy. never thought I would say them in that sequence. She sat down next to me and laced her arms around my right one. ³Don¶t move. Once it leveled out and we were cleared to remove our belts Bella wasn¶t the only one rushing to the restroom. Jasper was excited himself.´ She cuddled up to me and I rested my head on hers.´ Bella laid her head down against my chest and I cradled her sympathetically. was bound and determined to make sure everyone knew. I can¶t stop replaying them in my head. they wouldn¶t understand. just«don¶t move. this will be our first official meeting as Bella¶s boyfriend. ³I¶m so sorry love. Now. She was so beautiful. I know a lot of men have probably said the same thing but how many of them truly meant it? The plane taking us to Chicago lifted off with Bella hurling into a bag the stewardess brought to us.

hurriedly. ³Hey Charlie. Bella caught his attention. ³Olive juice. ³So all three of the Cullen boys snagged them each a Swan girl. Bella still snug under my arm. I had Bella tucked under my arm as I pulled and carried our luggage. now he¶s got to be more than that. ³Mmm.´ she whispered. This time I joined her slumber. When Charlie handed him over to Carlisle. First impressions are everything to some people and Charlie is a police officer. He and Carlisle made baby faces at him and all but pinched his chubby cheeks. Charlie this is my boyfriend Edward.´ she ordered. I was slouching down and my back was screaming at me. I reached in the under compartment and found a fresh bag.´ he elbowed Carlisle in the side to gain his attention. We docked the plane and Carlisle and Charlie were waiting anxiously by the security gates. look at that. I had to straightened myself and Bella groaned in protest. ³Oh. . They waved energetically and we all smiled and waved back. She looked away shyly. welcoming the coming dream I would soon be living.´ she snuggled closer to me and I pulled her in. Her hair was down natural and fell partially in front of her face. The descent of the plane woke me and I opened my eyes to a pair of big brown welcoming ones. Edward this Charlie. that¶s what I¶m here for. measuring me up and judging by what he sees. instead he made the following statement. When we reached them we all hugged one another and Charlie went right for Ethan. I studied Charlie¶s expression most. ³Where¶s the bag?´ she asked suddenly. My girl was not going to carry anything. hiding her embarrassment. protected. her eyes shut and lips barely parted.Bella stirred at my side and I looked down at her. He was staring at me. Now that I knew what that meant. Her hands were still clenching at my forearm. it made perfect sense to me. ³I was getting to that. Her eyes fluttered open just long enough to look up at me through her lashes and smile a sweet-lazy smile.´ he looked over our close proximity of each other. ³Hurry. his job description includes making first impression judgments. I handed it to her just in time to catch what was coming out. ³Did you sleep well?´ She asked with a smirk.´ He didn¶t offer his hand. This will be his first impression of me as Bella¶s boyfriend and the first thing we were going to tell them was the news. you remember Jasper and Emmett¶s brother Edward?´ She said nervously. I held her hair for her and rubbed her back because it was all I could do.

apparently. eh chief Swan?´ ³Don¶t get to comfortable boy. it was something they have done for years.´ Bella cooed into my ear before I released her from the bear hug I was giving her. Thankfully we dodged that bullet. I chanced a glance at Renee and she was eyeing Bella skeptically.´ Jasper reassured me without indication. Ever since she became pregnant that¶s about all she can do. Looks like Bella and I both lucked out in that department. Charlie is very easy to win over. Maybe I was more nervous than I initially thought. . she didn¶t bring up our past at all or give any sign that she wanted to. That was until the women came in with cocoa and I got booted out of the circle because.´ Carlisle played along with him. ³I can¶t eat very much.´ she didn¶t look away from her fork full of lasagna. I was grateful that she found them when she did even if it did ruin the next decade. Emmett and I gathered our things while the girls went inside to see their nominal mother.´ She dug back into her own food and conversation began again. Charlie seemed like a fairly laid back guy. Bella and I sat in front of the fireplace just enjoying each other¶s company. ³Yeah bro. I decided to try and break the ice a little. I wasn¶t as nervous as I expected to be. ³Don¶t worry.´ Emmett agreed. We all sat at the table that I was sure hasn¶t been used since the last time we were here and ate dinner. I¶m not sure. I tried not to give anything away but Bella was the one to do it. I¶ll turn on you quick as a honey bee. Renee noticed. Renee was just as easygoing as her husband. I think we would get along great.´ he stole Bella from my grasp to pull her into a hug. He had nothing but love for those girls and I admired him for his devotion to them. No wonder Bella talked so highly of them. He didn¶t have to be there for them and he sure as hell didn¶t have to be a part of their lives once they moved out. ³Well it¶s a good thing we have a man of the law on our side. but I think it might be illegal. not taking his eyes off of Ethan. you might have a bug. We arrived at my childhood home 45 minutes later and Jasper. Conversations were a buzz all around the table and Bella sat at my side nibbling on her food. Give him a Rainer and a football game and he¶s good to go. ³Maybe you should get that checked out. ³I¶ll miss you. ³Bella sweetie why are you picking at your food?´ she asked the moment there was silence to do so. After dinner we all kind of did our own things. but he was.³Yeah. it makes me nauseous.

.³I love you. not anymore.´ I whispered back and left her there to find the guys. I wasn¶t going to be the odd man out. now that I have Bella.

³I don¶t know what I did to deserve you.´ she offered. We¶ve only lived together for a week now and here we are sitting on the floor in front of his parent¶s fireplace.´ I whispered into his ear.´ I replied simply turning my gaze to the four women entering the room. strictly pg. ³Alright you two love birds.´ he whispered back and then he was gone. It started to irritate me and I just told him he might as well move in. I¶m sure you¶ll be more comfortable out there. They all had their cocoa in hand and it made me smile that we still had this tradition. a serious playful look on her face. we were in his parents¶ house. ³Okay. It Could Happen to You BPOV I have never felt as sick as I did on the plane ride to Chicago. The ³date´ was brought up and Alice disregarded it as . ³The boys are in the garage talking car and driver. A smile crossed his face. The kiss was soft. the one that makes his eyes crinkle and his gorgeous teeth show their beauty. He moved in with Alice and Jasper shortly after but that didn¶t last long. I felt alone. which I preferred it that way. He would ask me every night if I wanted him to go even though he knew what the answer would be.´ I said when our lips parted and he held my gaze with his. I got up with him and he took me into his strong arms and held me there for a moment. ³You are so beautiful Bella. time to separate. ³You were born.´ He brushed my face lightly with the palm of his hand and guided my lips to his.´ he chuckled and started to get up. I didn¶t ask. he followed.20. ³I love you. short and sweet. I can tell when I¶m not wanted. Esme stood to the other side of us. We talked about Alice¶s pregnancy and how happy everyone was for her and Jasper. He stayed at my place most of the time. disowned by the void he left behind. The girls around me all took a seat and I followed soon after. ³What does that have to do with anything?´ ³It¶s exactly what I did to deserve you.´ Edward was leaning against the couch and I was lying in his lap. I ordered. his face buried into my hair. It¶s been over a month since I told Edward I was pregnant. ³I¶ll miss you.´ Renee stood above us.

timing. things that I did everyday but it was all empty. listening intently as if I were reading them a story.´ Every pair of eyes were watching me. I was beginning to feel confident that I could keep quiet about my situation. what we cherish and what we won¶t let go ever again. I don¶t want to think about how bad it would have been if I hadn¶t. until Renee turned the subject to me. I never thought he would love another woman. ³So. There were people. especially in front of Renee but more than that they needed to really know the way I feel and the emotions I dealt with everyday.´ I took a deep breath because this was going to be a long and agonizing conversation. I feel safe when I¶m with him and not just physically. ³Being apart didn¶t work so good for either of us. ³We don¶t mean to gang up on you Bella but how are things? I mean. but he just makes me feel so treasured. he is so«I don¶t want to say perfect because nobody is perfect.´ I felt terrible for saying these things out loud. especially when things come up that happened when we were apart. I had nothing at the end of the day.´ I hesitated.´ Renee asked in her motherly tone. We try not to talk about it.´ Well I should hope not. Her eyes were concerned and the way she leaned in when she said it meant she was seriously asking me that question. ³He told me himself he wouldn¶t. I was living a life alone. ³With Edward of course. ³Don¶t cry Renee. ³Really good. my family.´ Renee started. what girlfriend wouldn¶t want her boyfriend¶s parent¶s to like her? It seemed like she didn¶t trust me or that she expected me to break his heart again.´ ³Is he good to you honey. history.´ she looked at Esme then back. ³The best. ³I¶m happy and he seems to be happy as well. in darkness that never seemed to end. ³What about your history together? Edward was traumatized. I wanted them to know that without a doubt Edward is good to me and understand what we have.´ I saw the tears in her eyes. ³I am so happy and thankful to have had you and Charlie in my life.´ I wanted Esme to like me.´ She sniffled a smile and I continued. My work. ³Our history is exactly that. I could tell and she didn¶t hold back once she saw I noticed.´ Esme was holding her tongue. . my friends.

At first I thought they were going to be irate. ³As you know. I wanted her to know that from the bottom of my heart I love her son.´ I replied. ³I¶m pregnant. ³When I got my life back. say something like ³That¶s not good for your mental health´. Please understand it was only because I know what he¶s gone through and I was trying to protect him. Edward completes me. made me strong and I have you and Charlie to thank for helping me along the way.´ she shook her hands for me to continue. ³I wouldn¶t have expected you to do anything less. ³Now.´ Renee¶s jaw dropped. Esme didn¶t look surprised. ³Edward and I have been living together for the last week. There was no point. We could have looked for him.´ ³When did you get so bold.´ She pulled away and Alice and Rose scooted closer to form a smaller circle than the one before. ³I.´ I looked at Esme and she looked like she was going to burst with tears. ³I know. ³That¶s not it though. I knew there was going to be a catch.´ I bit my bottom lip and held my breath for their response. not overdramatically.´ Alice squealed. but I knew now was it. When I go to work I smile. He felt the same way you did. You already know. Alice and Rose included.´ I laughed.³Now that I found Edward it¶s like the light switch was flipped on and now I see everything.´ I said more to Esme than anyone else. ³I never knew it was that bad. ³Alice. ah. a tight I¶m-sorry-please-except-my-apology-for-all-thingswholly kind of hug. that¶s the best paarrrt. the time apart had the same effect on both of you.´ They were all staring at me. At the end of every day I have family and friends. I cannot be me without him. I can¶t live without him. it¶s prepared me for the future. so I asked him to move in with me.´ She leaned up onto her knees and crawled over to me. ³Bella sweetie I am so sorry if I ever came off as rude to you. or ³Don¶t . I am excelling because I am complete. ³Edward moved in with Alice and Jasper and he was always at my house he basically lived there just without the title. don¶t really know how I should say this so I¶m just going to come out and say it. ³I love him and I won¶t ever leave him. but she sobbed silently on my shoulder.´ Renee asked incredulously. I wish you would have told us.´ She hugged me then.´ I wasn¶t sure how to go about telling them.´ ³Things worked out in the end you know.´ Renee threw her arms around me. shut up.´ ³Oh. I have some things to confess.

what better time to settle down and start a family.´ he told her as if she didn¶t already know. For the latter question my answer would be²and this would be ultra embarrassing for me to say in front of my nominal mother² ³If you were in my shoes that would be the furthest thing from your mind´. didn¶t I tell you?´ . I had to convince myself on a few occasions but I always knew.´ She said before Edward caught her in his arms. It made me feel like I was part of the family. My family with Edward. My own family.´ Renee wrapped her loving arms around me and hugged me tight. ³I know. ³I¶m having a baby. a smile contorting his face. Oops. away from the vision I conjured up of the future. ³I knew you would. settling down and starting a family.´ she looked back at me with a moving smile.´ I whispered for forgiveness. ³I just knew he would give me a grandchild. You almost had me convinced.´ ³Really. His eyes were on me and I let mine fall to the cup in my hands. beating and all.´ she cheered. He stood there in the entrance. his other pointed up in a questioning manner. ³Am I interrupting something?´ Esme let out a quiet shriek as she pulled herself up off the floor and ran to him. ³You don¶t know how happy I am for you. Both of you. I didn¶t have to say either of those things.´ There was a noise in the doorway and we all turned to see who it was. ³You told them already?´ ³I couldn¶t help it. you don¶t think we¶re being irresponsible?´ I asked taken aback by her think you could have been more careful?´. you¶re grown. ³I can¶t believe it. you aren¶t angry. ³They practically drug it out of me. ³You sly dog. his hand in his pocket. It was Esme. Bella.´ She hugged me adoringly. shaking his arms with hers. I am so happy for you. He looked back at Esme.´ That¶s what I¶m doing. The answer I would give for the first question would be ³it would be unhealthy for me not to be with him´. oh my god. you¶re happy. ³Bella.´ I answered defeated. ³I¶m so happy for you and for Edward. We planned on telling them together during Thanksgiving dinner. ³Well maybe a little but it doesn¶t matter Bella. something I noticed he did when he was nervous. I felt another pair of hands which brought me back to reality.

´ Carlisle agreed. Washington.´ I said over Emmett¶s massive shoulder. He came toward me. His lips crushed to mine and static danced betwixt us making any thoughts that didn¶t have to do with the moment impossible.´ his voice raised a bit in enthusiasm. I could take this out to the lot right now and give you all a show. ³You brought it back literally in pieces.´ I joked. I entered the garage and everyone was gawking at Carlisle¶s still covered Vanquish. ³That day will never come son. ³Now that the road is paved I take it out a lot more than I used to. ³Nice.´ he added. I felt his emotions. you don¶t worry at all. ³I love you fucking too. This kind of machinery isn¶t harmonized with gravel. Carlisle removed the cover and unearthed his pride and joy.´ he tried to cover up looking at me and my brothers.´ he was talking to Emmett. I could still feel his breath on my face. my hands in my pocket. the only reason I knew was because of the electric hum between us that intensified with every inch he became closer. I invited myself into their circle.´ he guffawed. I didn¶t really want to but I had a feeling they wanted to talk about us. Charlie let out a whistle. ³Yeah.³Yeah you did. When he pulled away he smiled not inches away. ³he said so everyone could hear him. Everyone looked my way momentarily then back to the perfect piece of machinery in front of us. .´ he agreed and left her side.´ Carlisle said not taking his eyes away from the metallic metal paint. He lowered himself to the floor before he reached me and then took me into his arms. ³You know how Esme worries.´ Emmett suppressed a grin. ³I fucking love you. ³Oh right. That was always one of the main events in this house and Charlie had never seen it. they were seeping out of him and into me while my own emotions took their place. ³I still remember when you were 14. especially living is desolate Forks.´ EPOV I left Bella with the women of our families. ³You thought it would be a hoot to take my golf cart out wheelin. The sooner they know the extent of our love for one another the better. probably never seen one in person. Even though there were eyes watching and ears listening I didn¶t care because I love him too. ³Oh please.

³And we¶re adults now. I haven¶t taken it out in a while and I planned on doing it during your stay. I pictured it in my mind. that pissed me off. ³Which reminds me. I won¶t put up with you playing with her son.´ Carlisle called me out. they already knew the whole story. I guess it¶s good to get it all out right away. ³Who asked you Twerpster?´ Emmett shot him a menacing but humorous glare. we¶re fine. ³What things are you referring to?´ ³You know exactly what I¶m referring to Edward. When we were younger I told myself I would see her smile a sincere smile everyday if I could get it out of her. Seeing that little girl as broken as she was. but I couldn¶t very well go off on my Bella¶s nominal father. ³What about you?´ Carlisle questioned. ³You went through a lot as well.´ Charlie stepped toward me.´ If I was being honest with myself. To this day I still tell myself that.³Do I look like Emmett to you?´ I asked condescendingly. ³That girl loves you from the deepest part of her heart and I can¶t imagine what will happen to her if you break it again. ³I do sir.´ I smiled just thinking about it.´ he looked over at me. his gaze never left mine. ³Like that makes a difference. my hands still in my pockets. he was ready to hear this. Instead I chose to tell them the news we came to share.´ the truth will set you free«or get you shot. was heartbreaking. The reason Bella .´ Emmett added in my deliberation. How do you feel about everything that µs happened?´ He and Charlie were both looking at me intently. everyday. ³Bella seems happy.´ Carlisle was good at breaking up our faux arguments. I know we have this crazy fucked up past but we try to only look towards the future. probably been wanting to ask the same question since we arrived.´ Jasper commented walking the other way. ³Do you love Bella. even with Charlie¶s fatherly edge. crystal clear. We¶ve talked about what happened and come to terms that it happened for a reason. Edward?´ This was the truest thing I could ever say and it wasn¶t hard to say now. I¶ve never stopped loving her. don¶t play stupid. His expression softened into a version of him you wouldn¶t expect to see.´ I left Emmett¶s side and leaned against my covered car. ³I¶m fine. ³I¶m happy. I started to sweat when I noticed Charlie. she smiles a lot. ³Okay boys. ³How are you handling things?´ Everyone looked at me then and Jasper smiled a toothy grin. Emmett and Jasper were watching.

young love.´ and looked back at Bella smiling and repeating ³Both of you.´ ³Looks like I¶m not the only one who told.picked at her food during dinner. Esme hugged me and called me a sly dog.´ I said as I held Bella in my arms and everyone watched.´ Emmett said from behind me. we didn¶t mean for it to happen but it did and we are fucking elated.´ I shook my head with enthusiasm. I felt like I left half of me with her. If I would have known she was still in Forks I would have looked for her. . ³I would never do that Charlie. It would have been easy as fucking pie to find her there. hurt and fucking lost when I went back to find her and she was gone. ³Am I interrupting something?´ I asked nervously.´ Rose slapped his shoulder.´ Charlie remained silent and I made my exit to get Bella. ³When I left«no I didn¶t leave«when I was taken away from her. ³Technically they¶ve loved each other for about a decade so it¶s old reacquainted love. ³Bella¶s pregnant Charlie.´ Alice corrected him. I also needed to tell her what I did and hope she would forgive me. nervous about what his reaction to the news was going to be. I heard Esme¶s squeal before I reached the entry way to the front room and when I rounded the corner she was hugging my Bella for unknown reasons to me but it made me smile. ³She¶s going to be so pissed that I told you without her. maybe I should go and get her. I didn¶t want to. I can¶t tell you how much I already love the baby inside her. merely because it¶s part of both of us. I never would have dreamed of doing it. I didn¶t understand the significance until she said ³I¶m so happy for you. ³Bella asked me and I couldn¶t say no.´ Before anyone could say anything I continued. it wasn¶t my intention to do it the first time. ³Ah. I needed her support and her help in keeping me alive. The reason I haven¶t wanted to leave Bella¶s side since I found out even before the doctor¶s visit. ³Bella and I are headed into a journey I know that for certain and it probably isn¶t going to be easy«albeit harder than most but we¶re dealing with it one step at a time. ³Shut up Em. I felt empty.´ My eyes raked over all the ones staring back at me and rested on Charlie¶s. I pulled my hands out of my pockets so I could try and paint a picture for him.´ His mouth dropped and his eyes creased. yeah. We¶re living together. Actually I dreamt the exact opposite but you don¶t need to know that.´ I was rambling.

We could probably get away with getting down right here but I had something better planned. everyone watching our leave.´ Renee. ³That isn¶t fair. .´ She looked over me to where Charlie stood looking back. I¶m sorry love it just happened. who was standing beside him. I had an idea. wrapped her arms around his waist and he rested his on her shoulders. Once on the other side of the door I took her into my arms and pushed my lips hard against hers. do you want to go on a ride with me?´ I asked looking deep into her eyes. I pulled off the cover while still locking lips with the woman of my dreams.³You told Charlie?´ Bella was suddenly frantic. ³Congratulations kid. ³Yeah. I helped her off the floor and we headed toward the garage. I kept her in my clutches as I made way to my car. I¶m happy for you. She knows exactly what that does to me. ³Yes. Her right hand found my hair and she tugged on it lightly. She stayed silent and Charlie cleared his throat. ³Thank you.´ I smiled against her and she pulled me closer to her.´ Bella cooed her response.´ she smiled deceivingly but only I noticed. ³Hey.

´ He let out a breath of air and slapped his hands lightly on the steering wheel. I never really kept track. ³Oh hell no. . ³I don¶t care about who you used to be Edward. I wish you would too. I never had a real relationship. I only care about who you are now and that I¶m wherever you are. I¶m not proud of the way I acted then and I can¶t change it but I can try and forget it. ³Was any of those times in this car?´ I was horror stricken. everything in his view and beyond.´ I said under my breath. I feel like I need to know.´ Relief flooded through me. I¶m having your baby Edward. I don¶t want to go through the details.´ He didn¶t look at me and I can¶t be sure but it almost seemed like he was trying to convince himself of that. There wasn¶t any snow on the ground. We used to call it fuck point. ³I think I might have brought three or four girls up here.21. I loved watching Edward drive. well planned and prepared in advance. I¶m nothing like that anymore. so all you could make out was darkness. ³This used to be a lookout point where all the teenagers would bring their fucks. We should know these things about one another. Sweet November BPOV Edward driving was a very sexy Edward. ³You don¶t really want to know that«do you?´ he looked at me. carbon fiber highlights and Edward in the front seat. Then I had a horrid thought. His moves were solid.´ I moved my hand to his and he held it tightly when I brushed it over his. ³It isn¶t really about me wanting to know. He judged every corner. you drove in their cars?´ ³I really rather we don¶t go into specifics. this is it. I should know. Volvo C30. it was fascinating to me and made my blood boil.´ I had to look away as what he said sunk in. ³I believe you. this time of year doesn¶t call for it. Just imagine.´ ³So what. I would never defile my car like that. His bronze hair glistening in the moon light and the sternness with which he handled the wheel. He pulled onto this platform that over looked a deep valley.´ he chuckled to himself. ³How many girls did you bring up here?´ I asked before I could fully think about it. please let him say no. ³Those girls were all one night stands Bella.

³What about your car?´ I managed as his hands came up my thigh and gripped the hem of my pants. ³Here. just looking at him made my center burn with need. He pulled on them to bring me closer. Getting in the mood was not a problem when it came to Edward. They meant sincerity. am I just another one of those girls. I wanted to know if it was because he didn¶t care for them or if it was the act itself. We didn¶t say anything and continued to lace our fingers together and trace invisible designs in each other¶s hands. . our lips meeting and both of us letting out a breath of satisfaction. There was something else I needed to know. ³Fuck the car. truth and reassurance. He liked that.We looked out at the view.´ he reached to the side of his seat and put it back as far as it would go. like he just did. Nothing made me yearn for him more than his passionate kisses. He pulled my face up to his.´ The moment his attention was back on me I started kissing his neck. I could feel him between my legs and it caused a moan to erupt within me. ³Get you more room. His hands were firm at my rear. I appreciated Edward¶s ability to stay calm for so long. I thought about how he said he would never defile his car by having sex in it.´ That was the sexiest three words to come out of his mouth in that order. A few minutes went by that included me debating with myself until I decided to find out for myself. let me. always shivered under me. if by doing this would he be defiling his car. Not many people can accomplish it like he can. maybe even in this very spot we¶re sitting in. Right away he knew what I was doing and adjusted his seat so there would be room. just under his jaw line.´ he said when I was straddling him in the driver¶s seat. It was nice being in the silence. I released his hand and got onto my knees on the seat. those words meant more to me than I love you. gripping and pulling me down on top of him. for a while. ³Well hello. I tried to lean down to kiss him but my ass hit the horn on the steering wheel and scared us both. Not in context it wouldn¶t make sense but considering how much his car means to him and how little the women before me mattered. After so long though I grew restless and I couldn¶t help but think about the other woman he had here. black nothingness stretched out in front of us. to press me into him. He looked at me reluctantly and I lifted my leg to position it on the other side of him.

³It was after the ballet gig I did in LA.´ His words and his presence took me over and I made love to Edward in the front seat of his car. The moonlight did great things to Bella¶s body. you aren¶t even in the same category. We lay together on my front seat completely naked and I loved the feel of her against me. She deserved to know. ³I love you Bella. and now it stood for something completely different. EPOV My intention was not to take Bella to Fuck Point but to take Bella to a beautiful view.´ He stopped all movement and looked into my eyes attentively. ³Will you tell me about this tattoo?´ she asked as she continued to trace the lines. I felt your presence and it was beginning to drive me crazy. ³Fuck the car. I never loved anyone but you. I also intended on breaking in my car for the first time. I have never broken it in that way because I didn¶t want a constant reminder of the lonely life I was leading. You are a category all your own. When she asked me about the car all I could think was I could care less about the fucking car when it comes to my beautiful Bella straddling me.´ I told her because it was true. There¶s one of many first¶s I get to share with him. ³Hell no. this just happens to be the place we ended up.³So I¶m not just another girl you bring to fuck point. the only position that would be comfortable in the front seat. She was really trying my perseverance. The view is magnificent. I think it meant more to her than me that we shared this moment in my car. I wanted to know where it was coming from but every time I tried I . then I would do it all over my car and many times over. I hadn¶t noticed that¶s where she was tracing and I looked down at it then to her.´ I asked awkwardly. I could only fight it off for so long with her being the driver. shinning down on places that would only make me want her more. Her fingers were tracing invisible lines on my chest and what came out of her mouth next I hadn¶t anticipated. Well. I will do anything to gain her trust and keep her loving me. the one for Rose. The pleasurable noises that escaped her lips were mind-blowing. If it helped her to realize that I really do love her and that she means more to me than all the girls in my past combined. Rubbing against me in all the right place. She was waiting for the answer that I didn¶t really want to give her.

I thought it would help me to remember that I didn¶t need you to be happy. .couldn¶t find anything. Little Ethan was staying with the grandparents and Rose was freaking out about it.´ I pulled her closer against me and she leaned up onto her elbow. ³I don¶t know if this is a good idea. ³The flames hold the most significance. the transformation for the better.´ She reassured her. We were going into town and down to the Navy Pier. Bella leaned down and kissed my chest where the tattoo rested forever. I told her what she already knew«that I hated her then for leaving without a trace back to her. I went to a tattoo parlor and the woman tattooist helped me find something that was significant to me. the wings represent guidance and protection and the fire«´ I paused there because I¶d thought a lot about the representation of the flames. I carry you with me wherever I go. You showed me it was still there smoldering underneath. that the wings represented her flight.´ I said leaning up on both of my elbows.´ *********************************** The next morning was the day before Thanksgiving.´ she shook her head and reached for him but Renee leaned away from her. worry free.´ ³Don¶t be. ³The B is still for you. I decided not to check that time because it was going to be fruitless anyways. I mean he¶s barely three months old. He will be here with all of us and he will be fine. ³What about the flames?´ she pushed when I didn¶t answer her. the transformation she had brought within me. ³So what does it mean now?´ she was looking into my eyes intently waiting for my answer. ³Well. I just needed a fire starter and that¶s where you come in. what more could I ask for. ³I never did though. I told her the B obviously represented her. Shows how good that did.´ Esme appeared over her shoulder. ³It¶s too soon. They represent the light you brought into my life. ³I¶m sorry you put yourself through the pain for me.´ ³What does it stand for though.´ she said watching her fingers trace over the first letter of her name.´ I smiled and kissed her quickly. I let out a deep breath and told her. then let my back rest against the seat once again.´ she pleaded. ³Rosalie. I can¶t figure it out. it¶s my favorite part about myself. It could stand for the passion I have for Bella. ³You go out and have a good time. and that the flames represented me overcoming it and moving on. the fire I thought was put out diminished.

´ I interrupted. Let him be a man. or anyone in the car¶s for that matter. They even continued to argue while we walked down the dock. ³Please let him drive. no cheap stuff right. There were a shit ton of people out here tonight.´ she crossed her arms and looked out the passenger side window in annoyance. I smiled remembering last night and squeezed her hand.´ ³Fine. you better not be talking about my son like that. ³This isn¶t fair. ³You need to. as they always seemed to be so I took Bella aside and had my go at winning her a giant teddy bear.´ Rose nearly cried. She squeezed back and I saw the smile that mirrored my own. not like the track. ³What the hell Swan.´ he pulled her toward the door and she went. ³I got you now. They continued to bicker all the way to the pier. Big and Bad. cheap shot. She smiled deceivingly and raised her hand to hit me with it again. he will be fine. ³This is wrong. I need you to. We all piled into Esme¶s SUV and headed out. in danger.´ She wiggled and wormed in my arms in an ill attempt to escape. Rose didn¶t take her eyes off the house until it was out of sight. ³He needs me.´ I accused.´ I told her. ³Hey. she wasn¶t going to win.´ ³That¶s what you get for taking a cheap shot.´ she cooed half laughed.´ ³Excuse me Mr. Jasper and Alice were lost in each other. obviously due to the holiday. I don¶t want to. holding her in place²her back against me.´ he dodged her smacks and she continued to try and hit him. I grabbed her wrist and spun her around. We stood there just watching the life around us. I didn¶t win the bear but I did win a blown up baseball bat. hey.³Ah. She went limp in my arms and I didn¶t make any motion of letting go. It¶s just like the track.´ Emmett boomed. I held Bella¶s hand as we walked to the car. I was all for witnessing Emmett getting his ass beat by his wife but I didn¶t want to put Bella¶s life. ³I don¶t want a pussy for a son. This.´ ³Rosie. ³There are two pregnant women back here. I handed it to her and she turned right around and wacked me over the head with it.´ she smacked his arm and he cringed away. Emmett took her into his monstrous grasp and she looked up to him with a pout.´ she snorted. . ³You over power me by like«a lot.

. they have been nothing but good to us. ³Hey. Her finger popped at my waist line and she cocked her head. Esme and Carlisle were excited to have us all together and I was thrilled to have everything out in the open. ³You got a minute?´ ³Yeah. I don¶t know if I have ever seen us all happy at the same time. Renee as well and they were fitting into our family perfectly.´ I suppressed a nervous chuckle and ran my hand through my hair. Her finger ran down my lips and traced down my chest.´ I knocked before I entered and he waved his hand behind him for me to enter. ************************** ³What about your car?´ Lauren asked with a seductive smile on her face. give me just a second and you¶ll have my undivided attention. but I suppose I remembered the parts that weren¶t that great. They deserved to know what was going on in our lives. I didn¶t like keeping things from our nominal parents. My throat swelled when that thought crossed my mind. I found Carlisle in his study and I took the moment to do just that. After a minute or so passed he looked up and shut the book with a thump. She would be pregnant by some other ass hole and I would still be sleeping with random woman just to keep myself sane. now braces free. ³What can I do for you Edward?´ While he pulled his glasses off I sat down in the chair opposite his desk.Eventually I took her over to the ledge of the dock and we watched the waves roll in from the open sea. You¶ve been really supportive and I feel like I haven¶t thanked you enough. Thanksgiving passed with laughs and hugs and smiles. They did help us get to this point by being great parents and sending us all to college. ³I wanted to say thanks for«well everything. teeth. It was relaxing and Bella seemed to be enjoying it immensely which only made the moment the best part of the day.´ He had his reading glasses on. Charlie was warming up to me. If it weren¶t for that Emmett and Jasper may have never met Rose and Alice and Bella and I would have never been reunited. showing her perfect white. we knew the responsibility we were taking on when we brought you here those years ago. ³You don¶t have to thank us Edward. I remembered it all too well. They were great years weren¶t they?´ he looked to be remembering the time. resting on the bridge of his nose and he was balls deep in a large book. That would be a miserable life and I had to thank Carlisle and Esme for sending us to San Diego before we left.

Lauren struggled to get her pants back on but before she could the door opened and there was a flash light sweeping through all the windows. Lauren Mallory.³Oh fuck no. ³Lauren. me and Lauren. do you even care?´ I put my nose up and looked out the window. always smiling.´ the same voice ordered. snuggly placed in the groove behind my back intended only for that purpose. Jerry was taking me home. He knew about Bella. The only thing I could think of at the time was to punish me. ³Who¶s the lucky lady this time µround?´ He asked with a smug smile. I couldn¶t make him out because the light was shinning straight in my face. we can give your parents a call first. what a nice fucking guy. Jerry called Lauren¶s parents and then mine.´ I just got my Volvo. he knew how fucked I was after I knew she was gone from my life forever. We¶ll have to take yours or make do with the outside. instead he showed me pictures of him and Esme when they were in high school and then more of them in college. I could see it was Ranger Jerry. gesturing for us to unlock it and open the door. I wasn¶t sure at the time why he told me that. ³When are you going to grow up Cullen? You break those girls¶ hearts. whom I have quite the history with. When he put it to the side and the white blotch in front of my eyes dissipated. Lauren was to drive straight home and make no stops. my hands cuffed behind my back.´ I muttered from behind the bullet proof glass that divided us. coming close to make out who was beyond it.´ he replied with confidence. I wasn¶t about to put stains in the interior so soon. ³You¶re such a punk-wannabe. ³Lauren Mallory. They were happy. This was the time he told me about how they met and how they grew to love each other after only one meeting. Her lips pierced but we both knew we would be taking her car. We pulled up to my house and all the lights were off except the light in Carlisle¶s study. They have been together ever since. ³You¶re such a cock blocker. . blinding me momentarily. Carlisle did not scold me on this occasion. ³Cullen?´ He peeked in the window. ³Show me your hands.´ ³Well.´ Lauren called from behind me. I had just gotten Lauren¶s pants off and was getting the condom out of my wallet when headlights flashed through the back window and the gravel right outside crunched when the car came to a standstill.´ a deep voice carried through the crack in the passenger side window.´ he knocked his light against the glass. ³Chicago PD. I don¶t do that shit in my car.

When we got back to our group of people she dropped it and ran to her friend who was waving her arms asking where she¶d been. ³This. Carlisle never hid anything. Ever since Carlisle and Esme adopted me they both have done nothing but try to steer me in the right direction. or my feet in his lap while he rubbed them. BPOV Being home was so relieving.´ He laid it out on his desk and unraveled it revealing what was inside. no eyes watching our every move. A midwife is someone who helps you stay healthy. even though Edward didn¶t have a job. I know exactly why he told me that story.´ he held the shell up between us. Edward stopped his search and was usually home before me or very shortly after. wrapped it up and placed it back in his desk. never told me I would never amount to anything like so many others did. We got a routine down. I believe in myself. ³Pay attention to the little things. it is one of a million«to me it is the only one of its kind.´ Carlisle reached into a drawer and pulled out something wrapped in cloth. he still got up with me. When I got off work. the things that other people don¶t notice. twirling it around her fingers in a nervous habit. I went to work and Edward looked for work. I wanted a reminder of that day because it was the best day of my life.´ He sat it back on the napkin. me laying in his lap. Edward is definitely a good man and will be such a great father. every morning I made breakfast for us. and we would sit on the couch. yet. because that was all I would allow. ³Let me show you something Edward. is trained in . No more confessions.´ I locked eyes with him for a moment.´ he held it up to the light. They never judged me. ³Is a shell Esme picked up on the beach the night we met. Home is definitely where the heart is. ³What is it?´ I asked scooting the chair closer to the desk so I could get a good look at it. Keep the things that are worth nothing but at the same time are priceless. To someone else. ³I have had this for over 15 years. for the first time in a long time. I was headed toward a lonely life and Carlisle was trying to steer me away from it. They believed in me and now. I never considered it until she explained it thoroughly to us. ³Like this shell. During our 14 week appointment our doctor mentioned midwives. I picked it up and put it in the pocket of my swimming trunks. She held onto it while we walked down the beach and talked. all his honesty was there.**************** Looking back now. Edward would make us sandwiches.

deserves the best start to life. that wasn¶t hard to miss. she. as Edward predetermined. Our baby. A midwife is definitely someone I wanted around because our baby has to be healthy.´ she giggled. . That was the only thing that steered me away from her. She was wonderful. I tell them to say that. She seemed easy to be around and very professional but not uptight. Then we met with the next and she was just our type. ³I don¶t know why they listen to me.´ she joked. Too talkative. A midwife helps you during your pregnancy to lift off some of the stress and pressure. Edward and I laughed and decided we liked her. the hospital says good things about you.´ I told her which I was sure she already knew. A midwife is someone who can help care for baby and mother after the birth and help you cope with postpartum depression. Even the first thing she said to us had me chuckling. and Tanya was definitely it. ³Oh.emergencies and trained to know when a situation is bad enough that you need medical attention. but she was smart and experienced. She didn¶t talk too much and she had a sense of humor. She was beautiful. Kate. ³Hi. I wanted someone I could relate to. happy and talkative. Our doctor recommended a few and we met up with the first one. or at least be comfortable around.

They¶re always teasing each other and I thought it was funny at first. I don¶t feel comfortable in anything I own and I don¶t like the way my body has transformed in the least. She and I have a really great relationship. and it wasn¶t always time she was being paid for. that was the least of my worries. While You Were Sleeping BPOV Being 22 weeks pregnant I feel like a blowfish. Tanya spent every day with me. yum. Peanut butter and red apples. thin woman that¶s always strutting around our apartment. Edward is always here to help me. I just got off work and received a text from Edward asking when I would be home. He will find a job. but of course they stayed the same. One day we stretch. I go to work and Tanya usually leaves at the same time unless she¶s still cleaning up the dishes. I try to tell him not to worry about it because I¶m not worried. I make enough and will still be working for another 15 weeks or so. another we walk. Even being as pregnant as I am and having hormones that are on the fritz. the next we bend and we drink a lot of water. She always arrived at six. Every part of me has filled out. I was expecting my boobs to get bigger²looking forward to it actually. that¶s what Edward had called it once.22. I can¶t even look at anything green or that includes the word beans. which was when I woke up for work and she would make me a pregnancy worthy breakfast. as do her and Edward. I can¶t help but think he says it just to make me feel better or because he feels like he¶s supposed to. until I started to notice the way Tanya looks at Edward. He never seems irritated or overwhelmed even though he¶s looking for a job and failing to find one. Most mornings Edward woke up with me and she would make him something too. or run to the store at two in the morning. My cheeks are fuller. Besides. not immensely but enough for anyone to notice. I answered him saying I was on my way so 15 minutes. I feel like Edward doesn¶t like it either even though he tells me all the time that he does. I still didn¶t expect what came to mind to come. . at least. I¶ve gained a total of 30 pounds since being pregnant and Tanya is a beautiful. 30 weeks. The smell of onions is an instant puking mechanism and peanut butter is my new best friend²don¶t tell Alice. I ate regularly but not an overabundance of food. my arms and my legs more curvy and my butt a freaking punching bag. When I get home she is either there already or pulling up behind me.

everyone that she would be a girl because something just felt right about it. I let out a throaty sigh and checked the bathroom just to be safe and then headed to Rose¶s old room²the study. Even though it was me driving and I knew there would be no danger. the room we plan on turning into the baby¶s nursery. If I¶m being honest with myself. ten toes and nothing between the legs just as I knew there wouldn¶t be. It was empty too. I pulled up to the house and my vision zeroed in on Tanya¶s car. I wasn¶t willing to risk my baby¶s life by going faster than the legal speed limit. EPOV Hearing our baby¶s heart beat and seeing the black and white ultrasound picture are two things I will never forget. I didn¶t bother with taking my coat off or setting my purse down. I finally got the courage to open it and thank you to any higher power that¶s listening. my bedroom. I put my key in the lock but it was already unlocked so I went in and heard nothing but silence. I walked straight through to the dark living room only to find it empty. the room was vacant. I thought about the other drivers on the road and you can never be too sure. but before I could I found out I was pregnant. Alice is only a week further along than Bella and they spend a lot of time together. I was afraid to know why Tanya was here. I used those thoughts to help me out of the car and trudge my way up the stairs. The clock is one without numbers but lines to represent them and Edward has a hard time with it. I hesitated a moment longer then opened the door. I couldn¶t help but wonder how long she¶d been in my apartment with Edward and my heart leapt into my throat at the thought of what they could do with time alone. I told Bella. Ten fingers. He¶s usually looking at the TV or trying to read the clock on the wall. I started to feel the heat behind my eyes and the tightening of my esophagus as my hand hovered over the door handle. I¶m afraid to find out that it¶s why I think she¶s here. My hands were so tight against the steering wheel that my knuckles were white before I loosened my grip.Sometimes I think I see him watching her as she cleans or cooks but it always seems to be my eyes playing tricks on me. I . I mechanically went to our bedroom. I noticed the couple of leaves on the hood and the pile blown up against the tires. It was shut and I could hear nothing coming from the other side. I almost did. I haven¶t driven on the track in months and I never bought that track car. The last room to check was Alice¶s room.

I think I found something else. Tanya and I have been scheming behind Bella¶s back for weeks now. its pastel. I could give a shit less who she listens to as long as she listens.spend most of my days looking for work but to no avail. Tanya takes a lot of the stress away from Bella which thrills me inside and out. I shifted my weight to my left foot²putting another inch or two between us²and put together the question in my head. I cocked my head to the side and nodded my understanding and she removed the«sling? ³Can I ask you something?´ She looked up at me and nodded. What¶s on your mind?´ she was suddenly really interested in what I had to say. I never knew one existed until Tanya informed me. ³It¶s a sling. ³Edwardo. It feels wrong to be hiding something of this magnitude from my Bella but it would cause her unnecessary worry. Her eyes seemed to penetrate through me and I was suddenly uncomfortable with the amount of space between us. ³What are your views on marriage after progeny?´ . So Bella continued to work fulltime even though I thought she should slow down. she hasn¶t suspected a thing. Up until Tanya came into our lives Bella did continue on with her life as if nothing had changed. of course. it¶ll work for both genders.´ she demonstrated.´ Tanya called for me in the Babies-R-Us super center.´ I looked at the random piece of fabric in her hands and racked my brain for what the hell it could be. All the sought after positions that I am qualified for are taken and have been for years. I needed a woman¶s view of the situation and Tanya has gotten to know Bella rather well. ³Look. She wouldn¶t listen to me when I told her she should take it easy but she listened to Tanya. that I love Bella. it makes it easier to do household chores or walk. ³Yeah. It lessens the strain on your back and arms see. The things I know are certain. because I was coming up with nothing.´ she unraveled it and held it up. ³What the hell is it?´ I asked. I only want to be with Bella for the rest of my life and that I want our baby to share my last name. ³It goes around your should like this and the baby lays in here«kind of like a hammock. We always do it while she¶s at work and keep all the evidence at her place. I want us all to have the same last name and I want Bella to belong to me in some tangible way. I¶d been playing around with the idea of marriage for a while now.

you have to say progeny?´ I didn¶t respond but waited for her answer. ³How important do you think it is to Bella?´ That¶s what I really wanted to know. you can¶t just say kids or children. ³Surprise.´ ³Let me rephrase the question. ³Well. ³What do you think?´ . it pained me in a way I didn¶t think possible.´ She walked off then to another section and I headed over to the cribs. I felt a twinge of sadness myself until the moment her eyes lit up and she smiled the most breathtaking smile I have ever seen grace her face.´ she didn¶t give me what I was looking for so I tried again.´ Tanya went to her and hugged her tight. a lot of people don¶t even get married at all. I returned home with the new items and got everything inside and started the crib before Tanya met me there.She looked at me stupidly. Her expression at first worried me. We set up the room according to Tanya¶s instructions and Bella¶s requests. ³I think that doesn¶t care if you¶re married or not. She diverted her eyes back to the rack in front of her and fingered the onsis hanging in a row. I sent Bella a message when she got off work to see how long we have until she would be home. not to make a noise. and that includes her sleeping quarters. I think the only thing that matters is that she has you. We heard the front door open and we stayed perfectly still.´ I contemplated that. ³Progeny? Really Edwardo. We listened as she opened door after door until she came to the right one. After we paid for the items Tanya went to her place to retrieve the other stuff we¶d bought over the last few weeks. Our baby was going to have the best of everything. I think it¶s important but this is a new time. She lingered there and I wasn¶t sure why but soon enough the door handle turned and reveled the newly set up nursery. I didn¶t bring up marriage with Tanya again because she seemed uninterested when I asked her about it. ³Do you think she would rather it be that way though?´ She walked around the rack to another that held sleeping attire and little booties. ³I think you should ask her because I haven¶t the slightest clue. just before she was due to arrive home. I¶ve only known her for a little over 7 months so I guess really maybe the conversation was a little too soon.

´ I glanced over at Tanya and Bella shifted in my arms to follow my gaze. I was happy to do it.´ she sniffled. ³I love it. especially when there was nothing I could do about it. Honey and lilacs. it¶s beautiful. maybe it¶s the pregnancy. you¶re in the early stages of labor. I didn¶t like her being vulnerable. taking to Tanya. Her expression fell in the same moment and her eyes filled with tears. ³Do you feel it in your lower back and your abdomen?´ she asked while Bella was having another ³contraction.´ Bella left my arms only to end up in Tanya¶s and they both laughed as they hugged. ³You helped. .Bella just looked around the room. ³What¶s wrong?´ I asked as I rubbed her head and she sobbed against my chest. ³Just until morning?´ I had her in my arms but I didn¶t blame her for wanting Tanya to stay. I set up a place for her to sleep on the couch while Bella thankfully drifted off to slumber. You only have a month left. disregarding Tanya completely and I pulled her into my arms.´ Bella asked with a sniffle. I stayed up a while. I wanted her to stay too. she¶s easy to talk to and a good listener. How did you do this?´ ³I didn¶t do it alone. We called Tanya and she came over right away. ³I just«I don¶t know. I ended up falling out on the chair and then was woken to Bella climbing into the chair and curling up into my arms. just like I¶d hoped she would be. She came to me.´ Tanya smiled. Not that there were things I needed to vent that I couldn¶t vent to Bella.´ ³Why are you crying then?´ I wasn¶t expecting this. Tanya smiled coolly. Tanya didn¶t take her eyes off of me. She stayed. something quite the opposite actually. ********************* Week 36. ³You don¶t like it?´ ³No. ³its Braxton hicks. This is to be expected. Bella had what she thought to be a contraction in the middle of the night.´ she reassured us both. ³Will you stay?´ Bella cried. Tanya waved. just that I wanted to talk about it with someone else. ³Yeah. I hated seeing her in any kind of distress. awestruck and speechless. it weakened me and made me that much more protective of her. Her eyes fell on me and something was definitely bothering her.

³Don¶t you try and woo your way out of this. He moved . BPOV Edward can be so irrational sometimes.´ I didn¶t respond. ³Then why do you make me be like this.´ He climbed onto the bed over my legs and I pulled the blanket back. I peeked at her through the smallest possible opening for my eyes. ³Please don¶t be mad at me. Don¶t let it worry you. ³Bella. he fucking smiled. I feel asleep after talking to Tanya. ³I can¶t wait to meet her. ³Don¶t you fucking smile at me.´ I told her. I don¶t believe either of them would ever«I just wouldn¶t fall asleep in a room with any other man.´ I felt his hand on the blanket over my ankle and I jerked it away quickly. She stared into my eyes for a moment with a kind of fury I¶ve never seen in them. What part about falling asleep in the living room next to a gorgeous woman and not in your bed with your mediocre-pregnant-girlfriend. ³What are you doing out here?´ Her voice was a whisper. ³I fell asleep talking to Tanya about things. I rolled onto my side so I was facing away from him as he climbed under the covers. I¶m really hurt Edward. ³Please don¶t be like that. Why didn¶t you come to bed when you started to fall asleep? Why Edward. I hate seeing you upset. especially if Edward was waiting for me in our bed. his hand cradling my belly. nervously. I heard the door open and shut lightly and then there were footsteps. my fingers playing with a strand of her hair. Under the covers of our bed. ³Bella. I flinched when the door slam echoed behind her. His lips parted and he smiled.´ I tried to keep the strong edge in my voice but it was close to impossible when he is this close to me.´ I threw the blankets back so he could see me.´ I probably looked like a 5 year old throwing a fit over bed time or something but I don¶t care. to cover my face once again. I didn¶t mean to upset you.´ he whispered in my ear. my hormones going berserk with no hope of controlling them. enlighten me because I would really like to know. His arms came to rest over me.She was quiet a while but I could feel her gaze resting on me so I wasn¶t at all surprised when she spoke. She got up quickly before I could say anything and stomped back to the bedroom. I am irate right now. I fought back tears that threatened to stain his pillow.´ he said calmly. is okay? The look Edward gave me when he said it showed that he really didn¶t think anything was wrong with that. she sounded sad.

not too much not too little. and what did you two love birds talk about?´ That might have been a little over dramatic but I¶m entitled to that. .´ he said under his breath.´ he joked and tried to nuzzle his face to my neck. ³I asked her what to expect when you do actually go into labor. ³I didn¶t have the greatest role model Bella. I don¶t want to screw this up. His smile was warm and all thoughts of being angry or holding a grudge was gone. He propped himself up on his right elbow and kept his eyes on the sheets below. ³Oh yea. body and soul would never allow it.´ ³No. You¶re my only love bird. and I never meant to hurt you. ³What did you talk about?´ I asked him again. my face not hiding behind the blanket anymore. or the tension in my back. I didn¶t mean to Bella. he had a way at getting me to forgive him even when I really didn¶t want to.´ I told him with a serious tone. I also asked her if she thought I would be a good father. I wasn¶t having that.´ It almost felt like I should be offended by him asking about my weight but I could hardly think of anything else except his last question. ³I know. what did you talk about?´ I couldn¶t hide the tone in my voice.´ ³I love you. ³Answer the question Edward. He smiled down at me and it melted my heart. ³Bel-la.´ I reminded him. Carlisle. or even the fact that I didn¶t²for the first time in a long time²want Edward to touch me. I asked about the weight you¶ve gained. ³I asked her if your mood swings were normal and she explained to me why that is.impossibly closer to me. I want to be prepared for anything. I couldn¶t stay mad at him even if I wanted to²my heart. I rolled over and faced him. you had a great role model. I was thinking about what Tanya and I talked about and I just fell out. He huffed and his arms left me. I could feel his movements through the bed and I knew he was hiding something.´ He had my curiosity. more and more each day. ³If I can be anything like Carlisle«well then that will be okay. ³Why do you worry about that?´ I put my right hand up to his face and he leaned into it. if it is normal. don¶t be like that. I want to know what they talked about. I only want to sleep next to you and I hope you know that. His expression changed to mirror my own and he told me he loved me too.

Tanya stayed all day even though I didn¶t have Braxton hicks anymore. because that¶s what I do. It wasn¶t bad. but it wasn¶t good either. The subtle touches. She should be able to keep her feelings to herself. the glances. I watched her more carefully now. I saw what I already knew. Tanya was around a lot more and I was beginning to notice everything. I couldn¶t imagine Edward doing that to me. at least not while in my line of sight. I couldn¶t be sure if Edward saw it or not but I really hoped he didn¶t. then he was flirting with her right in front of me. She said she wanted to be sure before she left. It was beginning to make me sick. but she¶s my midwife. . my baby¶s father. I kept everything to myself. My maternity leave started and I was due in a week. I also saw the way he acted towards her too. That she has a thing for Edward. the way she flipped her hair and ran her fingers through it when he spoke to her. and I moped around the next couple of days. I couldn¶t and wouldn¶t believe that. my Edward. in the way she acted and composed herself around Edward. If he did. what I should have known all along. I couldn¶t really blame her.

-E Be serious Edward. She actually knew of the song and was more than willing to give me the spot. Her loving nature and her sassy side drive me crazy. but I love Bella because of the wonderful creature that she is. She even raised my weekly pay which only further sold me on the position. I¶d forgotten how much .-E I¶ll be home in a few. I was elated to be able to provide for my family again. Of course.-B I sat my phone back down on the coffee table and continued my path down the hall and back. Hey.23. Tanya has her on this daily routine. So I sat on the couch. I doubled up my searching and lowered my standards. Thirty-four weeks in. I wowed the owner with the one and only song I ever wrote. not too low but it helped.-B I am being very serious. at least I¶ll be able to do something that I quite enjoy. So much that I got up and walked around the kitchen a few times. well. I don¶t love her because her curves are mesmerizing or that every part of her body catches my attention. my phone went off on the coffee table. I managed to keep my balance and rushed to the phone. I was fucking relieved. Even though it isn¶t the greatest of jobs I am qualified to do. She says Bella will thank her for it later and so will I. Keeping still was a very hard thing to accomplish. at least completed. I¶m going to grab something to eat. Some Kind of Wonderful EPOV Bella continued to work and I continued to look for work. 7 days a week. I refuse to be unemployed when our daughter is born. I spun around so fast that my foot caught on the throw rug beneath me and slipped on the hardwood floor. I couldn¶t wait to get home and tell Bella. she wasn¶t there. I walked down the hall after I¶d seen enough of the kitchen. adrenaline pumping and heart pounding. It was Bella. I snagged a job at Lulu¶s Piano Bar battling pianos with four other people four hours a night. and waited for her to return home. Do you want something?-B I want you and nothing else. Bella is beautiful and will always be beautiful no matter what happens to her figure. and during my third pass back toward the bedrooms. like a weight was lifted off my shoulders and I could breathe again. Not that those qualities aren¶t great.

A feeling like I was somehow betraying Bella by doing it²It felt too personal² washed over me.´ ³Its okay. We stood there. How can she be so deceitful? ³I¶ve wanted this since I first saw you in the hospital.´ She moved closer to me and I backed away only to hit the wall behind me. ³Edward. It wasn¶t a smile I¶d seen before on her face but I had definitely seen it before. I needed to be«´ I interrupted her there.´ she said solemnly and then the door creaked. which. I¶ve been here many times before but not with the feeling that I have now. I flipped the hall light on and saw Tanya smiling. My head snapped away from Tanya¶s creepy gaze and looked in the direction of the door. ³I¶m sorry. I would never and will never fucking hurt her. her looking at me and me looking anywhere but at her. ³No Tanya. How can you be so conniving?´ I asked her serious as a fucking heart attack. isn¶t there some unspoken law about this kind of thing. in front of each other. I heard the door open 10 minutes later and it didn¶t dawn on me that there was no way she could have made it here that fast no matter where she was getting food. Tanya is Bella¶s midwife. Webber just hours ago. it can be our secret. It was odd being in this situation. I was stunned into a numb like state. ³I won¶t say anything. ³I can¶t help the way I feel. for a moment.´ She didn¶t look away from me and I couldn¶t look at her for long. ³Tanya. the situation was awkward as fuck and I didn¶t want to be a part of it anymore.´ was all that came out. It confused me and I looked down only to see her covertly lick her bottom lip. I realized instantly that the person in my arms was not my Bella and moved away quickly. could have been anyone¶s mistake. When they were just where I needed them to be I lunged out at her through the darkness and took her into my arms. I¶ve spent so much time here because I had to see you. and Mrs. didn¶t surprise me at all. I pushed myself up against the wall and listened to her footsteps as she came closer. honestly.´ Tanya said in a heavy tone. I thought you were Bella. I love Bella and unlike you. I have to try. I couldn¶t wait to share the news with Bella.until I played for Mr. I saw Bella through the crack and her mouth was formed in a small O. I knew that all too well. .

³How could you?´ I wasn¶t sure if she was talking to me but I had to do something. ³Bella. Her head fell into her left hand and she braced herself with the right hand against the wall.´ she said. ³How could you?´ She asked again. ³I didn¶t mean to. ³I trusted you«I trusted you with my child and you¶re trying to fuck her father. are you okay?´ I reached out to her and the moment we connected her knees buckled beneath her. ³Fuck Bella. ³Get the fuck out of my house. She caught it with her hand before it hit her and she was livid. bowed over. Tanya dropped the bags she had in her hands and she walked toward the door that Bella was still holding in front of her. I grabbed at her arm and she slid right between my fingers. ³Are you okay? Bella. She fell to the floor and gasped as she hit. ³Bella. I wasn¶t sure if she was angry with me but I really hoped she wasn¶t. The moment I sat her down she let out a high pitch scream that was not helpful in calming my worries.´ she continued.´ she yelled. I helped her off the floor and carried her to the couch.´ she said once again and Tanya didn¶t argue. ³What is it? Tell me please.I couldn¶t speak. She came on to me and I told her I wasn¶t interested. holding her belly. ³I¶m sorry Edward.´ I got down on her level and she had her arms cradling our baby. Bella pushed the door open. ³Is she okay?´ I asked laced with worry. I¶ve never seen her so pissed like this either.´ she half screamed. She left without looking back and Bella slammed the door the moment she was out of it. Get out. Get out. I never meant for anything like this to happen.´ she looked directly at Tanya. I swear I didn¶t do anything. it hit the door jam and flew back toward her. I¶ve never heard her yell before. ³I¶m not talking to you Edward. even better. BPOV .´ I begged her.´ I defended. you¶re a whore. this is not what it looks like. but I didn¶t have to.´ ³No you¶re fucking not. ³Take me to the hospital now.´ she cried.´ Her eyes were tear stained and she let out a light cry. ³I¶m sorry Bella.

I haven¶t screamed in a long time. almost painful shock ran through me and that¶s when I heard Edward speak. That¶s actually a lie. At first glance I thought I saw Edward about to kiss her. I stayed still and watched attentively. that is exactly what I expected her to do. I even confided in her. Something snapped inside me. Edward was persistent at my ear. ³Fuck Bella. Edward was standing in front of her looking down into her eyes. ³Unlike you. that her sole plan was to steal him away from me.I never would have expected Tanya to do what she did. I trusted her. Bracing myself and trying to keep conscious I felt the light hum of his touch and I was out. How could she do this? I felt so betrayed by someone I thought had become my friend. . but I didn¶t think she would actually do it.´ I was on the floor. When I got home from Tampa. my baby and I trusted that she wouldn¶t try to take the one of two things in my life that hold meaning. My arms wrapped protectively around my belly. I drove out to Tukwila to the dunes and let all of my frustrations and pain out into the air that stretched out before me. I was feeding her ammunition and I wasn¶t even aware I was doing it. How can you be so conniving?´ he growled at her. ³No Tanya. This screaming was a different thing all together. My blood was boiling and the sound created a kind of impenetrable bubble around me. I would never and will never fucking hurt her.´ Instead of rushing through the door and assuming the worst. Her whole reason for doing all that she did for me was only to get closer to Edward. personal things that probably only intensified her feelings. probably since after the first time I saw Edward. rage I don¶t know but I went through the door with determination. When I first saw them. the walls seemed to be spinning and I barely heard Edwards defense. I trusted her with my feelings. I put my hand out and surprisingly found the wall. A weird. things about Edward. I grew to close to her over the months that she was a part of our lives. After I slammed the door behind her I started to feel dizzy. Tanya proceeded to tell Edward that she wouldn¶t say anything to me. fury.

I wanted to know what they meant. and throughout my entire abdomen. I refuse to think anything other than she will be fine. I blacked out. holding up the paper that was spitting out the read. His other hand was at my head. The pain is something that can never be explained. ³So. . It was intense. This scream was pain and fright. I didn¶t mean to get so upset that I would black out and possibly injure our daughter.´ I didn¶t mean to fall. ³Yes. The force of my hand around his didn¶t seem to affect him at all. At the peak of the pain I was taking quick breaths and squeezing Edward¶s hand with all of my might. he just continued to breath with me.´ the doctor came in with a clipboard. and once I started to calm down everything got fuzzy and I passed out. Edward called Rose and Alice.´ the doctor commented. lets check your vitals. it has to be felt first hand. breath. ³Okay. Got so angry about Tanya and risked the life of our baby. Edward¶s hand wrapped around mine and he leaned in to me. ³Here it comes love. I needed to know that she was okay.´ I explained. it was better to keep a positive look on things. nothing more nothing less. screaming actually. they were all on their way. She seems to be relaxed. Edward rushed me to the hospital and the nurses had me in a room in record time.´ he recited. ³I didn¶t mean to. ³So everything looks good.³I¶m sorry.´ was all I could say. just like we¶ve practiced since twelve weeks.´ He hmmd and haaad and checked the monitors that were monitoring the baby. I didn¶t know about the pain until Edward sat me down on the couch. The same beeping rhythm was there and it accelerated alerting me of the coming pain. ³Slow and steady. I didn¶t want them to be here and witness my misery.´ ³Did something trigger it? What brought it on?´ ³I was mad. I didn¶t say anything though. rubbing light circles in my hair. I felt for Rose even more now. I didn¶t want them to come and find out about my fall. a little high but nothing to worry about. the feeling that I might have done something terrible. The same wires and monitors I saw when I was here for Rose were placed around my belly.´ The beeping on the monitor started to come quicker and he walked back to it. the baby¶s heart beat is good. this kind of pain is inhumane. ³Stress.´ he breathed. ³you had a fall?´ he asked.

´ She wrapped her arms around me at the same moment the beeping started. ³Don¶t remind me. ³Daddy loves you gorgeous. Alice and Jasper are here. When I finally decided I wasn¶t going to try anymore.³Okay.´ he said excitedly. ³Wow. ³And I have to wait. agonizing hours later.´ only with the beeping. The telephone next to my bed rang and Edward reached over to grab it. She gave me something to dull the pain. It was exhausting and painful and just overbearing.´ he informed me softly. Another half hour of this and I might not be able to do it. There will be a nurse through in a few to see if there¶s anything you need. I breathed my way through another contraction. I got to hold her almost instantly and she fit so perfect into my arms. I never wanted to let her go. and another and another.´ I breathed. ³But not right now. our baby was born and she was healthy. ³It looks like they¶re about three minutes apart. which it did but not enough to make a difference. It tugged at my heart and my breath hitched when I saw him touch the tip of his nose to hers. Ice chips sounded divine. we might be there. the nurse informed me that I was too far to get it now. but you can have ice chips if you¶d like that. a half hour Bella. Yeah send them in. ³Hello.´ he said and look see he did. .´ he cooed to her before he handed her off to the nurse. My lips were trembling. and Edward smiled widely. ³What¶s wrong? Does it hurt?´ he asked. I need to check how far dilated you are. Nothing to eat.´ The doctor did his thing and said I was dilated to eight. I didn¶t want drugs for this. but I was leaning closer and closer to it after each round of contractions.´ I nodded. ³Another half hour maybe less and I¶ll be back. my palms both sweaty. I asked Edward for drugs once and he asked me to try. you¶re at a ten.´ I whined.´ she teased. He left the room with one last look at my monitor. There was a light knock on the door before it opened and a very pregnant Alice came waddling through it. and I did. ³Of course you get to go early. ³Let¶s take a look see. Edward took her with a new kind of grin etched on his face. Two very long. like the position was only there to accommodate her. but I had to when it came time for cleaning. it¶s going down. Rose and Emmett arrived and the doctor came in shortly after.´ he informed us and that¶s when all the commotion started.´ He informed me as he returned the phone to its receiver and a tear fell down my cheek. ³Fuck yeah. ³Alright.

³What¶s taking them so long?´ I asked. lost in the moment. The nurse that was off in the corner restocking the cabinet replied. Another nurse took Bella into the bathroom to clean her up as well. wild hair was all Edward. But my mind wasn¶t going to stop.´ Edward broke my concentration. and the crooked smile I could make out when she moved in her sleep was a hundred percent her fathers. looking to Edward for the answer. but the bronze. I could see Bella in her chocolate eyes and me in her wild hair.´ he said improbably. I laid down on the couch provided for overnight guests and closed my eyes. ³Bella. and in rolled the heated bassinet. I had to hand our daughter to one of the nurses who took her to give her immunizations and a bath. . sleeping soundly was our daughter. I needed it so I could function. Alice¶s water broke and they¶re on their way here. lost in Edwards stare and the feel of the little hand wrapped around my pinky finger.´ The nurse positioned the bassinet at my bedside and instantly I reached in to lightly trace my finger over her rosy cheeks. Everyone left shortly after she was born²none of the grandparents had made their appearances by this point²with promises to return later in the day. ³She¶s been doing great. The light skin was all me. Her uneven lips were me. I didn¶t hear a word he said because all of my attention was on our baby snoring soundly beside me. I was speechless. at least a quick snooze before Bella and our daughter returned. there¶s a lot to do when you come into the world. it continued to spin and contort everything because of my sleep deprivation. leaving me sitting by myself. We had to poke her a few times and she fell asleep. ³That was Jasper. The phone rang and Edward answered it. ³They¶ll be bringing her back in a few. holding my daughter in my arms is so surreal. I was starting to hyperventilate.´ she said before she left the room. Now. thick. I didn¶t intend to miss any part of our daughters first day in the world.Another nurse helped me clean up and forty-five minutes went by without my daughter in my sight. She moved her little body lethargically every time I or Bella spoke. ³Congratulations. In the center.´ As if on cue there was a knock on the door. two-thirty in the morning. I wanted to sleep. EPOV Had the scare of my life over six hours ago.

³What about her last name? Yours or mine?´ she asked. No one else for the rest of your life?´ she rambled on. ³What about Elizabeth that was my mother¶s name?´ ³Ahh. but maybe it could be a middle name. pay close attention to the dynamics of Bella. . but there it was. ³You do?´ she said with tears in her eyes.´ I told her but held my breath for her response.´ she avoided telling me. My brain wasn¶t working properly. I was playing around with Renee and Esme. I know this because I. ³Do you have anything in mind?´ I answered groggily. I¶d never said any of this out loud. to share my last name. I just wish that you would believe me. This I had thought about. but if you have something else in mind I¶m all ears. It sounds a little funny. of all people. what should we name her?´ she asked after a few minutes of silence went by.´ I never intended to talk about it until I asked her the question. ³I don¶t want anyone else but you Bella. Not so much in a stalker way like it sounds. ³Forever.´ She tested the two together a few times. I will never make the mistake of leaving her side again. the one I will fight to keep and hold onto forever. I was hoping for us to all share the same last name. as in.Bella came out and shuffled her way to the bed with the help of a nurse and I went to her side.´ That sparked my interest. ³How so?´ she pushed. I was so close to unconsciousness that I almost didn¶t answer her. Of course she would make me say it out loud. and I hope you¶ll adopt my name like I did. The last name that I adopted myself and could never be more proud of. ³It¶s beautiful. I wanted Bella to be my wife. I¶m it. Once the nurse was gone I laid next to her on the single bed. Emilee Elizabeth. ³Have you come up with anything?´ ³I don¶t know. ³So. This I was sure I wanted. this is the first. That I was also very sure of. ³I don¶t know. ³You want me forever?´ she questioned. I thought we could try and combine the two. but more of an adoring healthy obsession. Bella is definitely the one for life. ³Well. I notice every subtle change and every move she makes. She smiled a smile I have only seen twice.´ I wasn¶t expecting the expression on her face. ³Someday I hope to make you my wife Bella.´ I pleaded softly.

all the way up to Alice¶s bedside.´ he asked looking at me for the answer. . ³She sure does. ³About four minutes. ³How far are they apart?´ she asked. breath. Rose came in suddenly and appeared at Alice¶s side. We found the room and entered with a knock. Charlie and Renee entered the room just after we did.³I believe you. Charlie looked up at me with only his eyes then back down at Emilee. if Alice has her baby in 16 hours they¶ll have the same birthday. ³I hope she does. ³Has your eyes Bells.´ her hand wound around mine and she let out a ragged breath.´ she told him. ³Ohh. ³Emilee huh. that mop could only come from Edward. ³Oh.´ Alice snapped back. Bella handed her over and Renee rocked and cooed in Emilee¶s face.´ Alice replied lethargically. now is that my granddaughter. ³Hey.´ Renee cooed as she took in her two daughters in hospital gowns. ³Sure is. Em is at the airport with Ethan picking up Carlisle and Esme.´ she said before she looked up at me.´ Bella never looked up from our beautiful baby but who could blame her. she was sleeping.´ I informed him. They shouldn¶t be but 30 minutes tops. She looked just like Bella did just hours prior. breath exhale routine.´ She took a deep breath and started the breath. ³You know.´ He smiled a cheeky smile and forced his pointer finger into Emilee¶s little closed fist. I wanted to look too. hold on just a little longer. ³Wow.´ ³And Edwards hair. shes¶ beautiful. Emilee Elizabeth. Her attention was turned back to Bella and she begged to hold her new-first granddaughter.´ Alice was brought in due to her water breaking and Bella. She hugged a withering Alice and then ran around the bed until she was next to Bella. Charlie talked to Alice in a reassuring tone until he looked up and saw Renee cradling our daughter in her arms.´ she held her arms out toward me and I returned it with a quick tight hug. She didn¶t have to suffer through all the greetings. I wheeled Bella in. Lucky for her.´ he made way around the bed until he was looking at her over Renee¶s shoulder. ³Okay.´ Bella informed me as I pushed her and our daughter down the hall in a wheelchair. Emilee and I went to her room the moment we were notified. ³I believe you. ³Come here.´ she told her. Jasper came in with a large cup filled to the brim with ice chips.´ he commented. ³I can¶t exactly control this. who was still sleeping soundly. ³If I could it would be over by now.

Esme got a kick out of that.´ Then she returned her gaze to Emilee who was sound asleep in her arms. She saw Emilee first thing.´ she looked up at me with a smile. ³Is this her?´ she asked looking at me then down at Bella sitting in the wheelchair. Esme handed Emilee back to me. Jasper and Charlie. same day as his cousin Emilee. His eyes were already that emerald green that mirrored his mothers and he had Jaspers wicked grin. Alice kept her eyes closed and sucked on the ice while she squirmed through another contraction. healthy baby boy. ³We¶ll have time to get to know each other later. Emmett and Ethan right behind her. ³Can I get a look at her?´ he asked. The monitor went on the fritz and everyone looked up at it. Bailey was born 15 minutes to midnight. ³Emilee Elizabeth.´ she cooed to her and rubbed her nose along her cheek causing Emilee to smile in response.´ I held her out to her and she took her in her motherly embrace. It¶s beautiful. then she rushed to Alice¶s side along with Rose.´ he put a wet washcloth on her forehead and put a few ice chips in her mouth.³Here Ali. Carlisle accepted her into his stiff arms and held her with delectation. ³Yeah. ³Your mother¶s name. Carlisle came to my side. ³Of course. Twenty minutes later Esme came thrashing through the door with Carlisle. Renee. she is your granddaughter. this is your granddaughter. . 12 hours later Alice and Jasper were blessed with a beautiful.´ I pointed out the obvious. Emilee Elizabeth.

³Things are happening. Edward was in the nursery with Emilee and I was preparing dinner. I can¶t imagine ever being with someone else so it¶s only logical«´ he trailed off with his fingers rubbing and producing ridges in his forehead. Magnificent Obsession BPOV After we brought Emilee home we talked a lot about marriage. ³Jasper. just the person I wanted to talk to. That was until Jasper came over a few days before I was supposed to meet up with her to fine tune everything. ³I love Alice. ³You¶re really going to do it. ³Yeah.´ I replied sarcastically. His past is always making his decisions for him. hey Jazz. what¶s up?´ I was a little confused that he wanted to see me. ³Oh. We decided on something small and Alice was planning everything. how often it¶s happened to him and came to the conclusion that this was probably the first. which was fine. Just like mine used to make for me.´ He seemed to be more contemplative than talking to me. I mean get married?´ Alice has always been so sure that he would never go through with it. ³We¶ve been engaged long enough haven¶t we?´ ³That¶s a given. idly. Jasper was the ³patient´ and I was the one ´holding the degree´. ³You love her?´ I said the obvious . his expression changed and I think the whole²just come out and say it² plan seemed to be the wrong way to go. that wasn¶t at all why I was awestruck.´ I snapped and he ignored me. I wondered. He spun around and glared at my hands leaving the grader. usually it would be Edward he was after. ³I have a favor to ask you? Alice is planning your wedding and I was wondering if you would be completely opposed to having a double wedding. we have a baby now and it only seems right to take the next step.´ I said louder this time and slammed the cheese grader I had in my hand onto the cutting board in front of me. We all entered and went as we pleased. ³Bella. That¶s how things worked around here. ³Jasper. like he was treating me as a mirror more than anything else.24. ³What made you decide now?´ The universe shifted and suddenly.´ My mouth dropped. Probably something he subconsciously picked up from living with Edward all through his adolescent years. His eyes shot up to mine in surprise.´ Jasper came right in.´ he ran his hand through his hair nervously. Really.

³Is it a go then?´ he asked energetically.´ I replied simply. I smiled thinking of Alice¶s face when he told her. I waited for the phone call from Alice which came just before dinner was done. Meaning. be like Nike and just do it. returning to my previous task of shredding the cheese for our tator tot casserole dinner. I explained to him the doubts he had and how they were linked to his past. I told her I wouldn¶t be happy unless we did it together. ³Yeah. We were leaving her with . She was going to be absolutely thrilled beyond words. our sex life would be taken off hold status. He sat down at the bar and rested his arms on the counter.´ The old saying has never left my memory. go. He threw the blanket over me and took me into his arms. referring to the time left that will mark six weeks after Emilee¶s birth. He nodded. Go.but it came out as more of a question. Edward started work at Lulu¶s a week after we were back home from the hospital and his hours were speratic. ³Yes it¶s a go. Sometimes they would need him earlier in the day for functions and I was left to care for Emilee. ³He¶s going to marry Alice. I loved being home with her but soon I would be going back to work. ³What got into him?´ he asked. She screamed through the phone and thanked me over and over again.´ I shooed him away and he darted out of my sight. He never looked away from her as he spoke. cradling Emilee. Edward appeared around the corner with a confused expression and holding Emilee against his chest. ³I¶m okay with it if you¶re okay with it. Usually around five until early the next morning.´ He nuzzled his face into the crook of my neck and exhaled heavily. I know. ³Then what¶s the hold up. He¶s known about Jasper¶s past their entire lives together.´ I wouldn¶t say that I wish Tanya were here to help because I never want to see her again. ³Hasn¶t that been his plan the entire time?´ It thrilled me to my core to see him so interested in our daughter and not distant like some fathers. ³You¶re okay with it right? I asked Edward after we put Emilee down for the night and got into bed. He would know better than I would. just a month old. I only wished Rose and Emmett hadn¶t already tied the knot. I patted his arm with my hand. Edward saw exactly why when I brought it to his attention. but I do wish I had someone. A smile crossed his face and he turned to exit the kitchen but stopped before he was completely out of my sight. Two more weeks. ³Two more weeks huh?´ he asked muffled.

I chuckled. the kind with the hood for the hair. I didn¶t find Edward in the living room but in the kitchen and Emilee was in the sink. She didn¶t budge. if not with me. referring to the microscopic argument we had that landed me in the bed alone while Bella slept on the couch with Emilee. ³Yeah she has a while. The baby bath Renee got for us was in the sink with Emilee snuggly in it.´ he smiled that goofy smile that started when Emilee was born. covering as much of the over sized bed that I could. ³We made a mess with the milk. I stretched out my limbs.´ he cooed as he poured warm water over our daughters belly. ³We have lived together for over a year and a half now. at least she would be in the bed. . I tried like hell to get her to sleep in bed. wouldn¶t you like to have some little miss Emilee. so. ³we decided to clean up our mess.´ he recited as he wrapped her up in her towel. I walked up behind Edward and laced my arms around him. ³Are you hungry daddy?´ I asked and headed toward the fridge. For the first time since we brought Emilee home she slept through the night. I think this tradition only pertains to people who still have their virtue and no progeny trying to crawl around at their feet.´ I definitely did not need a bachelor party and I especially did not want to go a whole 12 hours without Bella. ³Hey.´ ³Last week. I can¶t even remember the last time I slept in an empty bed.´ and sat the carton of eggs on the counter before I joined my little family in the middle of our kitchen.Alice. I threw on my robe and ventured out into the hallway.´ I growled from where my face was buried into my soon to be wife¶s hair. ³We have a daughter.´ I smiled in response and kissed his back.´ Bella offered. Alice and I have their birthday parties planned all the way through middle school. Emilee and Bailey were close already. and you can sleep with Jasper if you like. She had her little hand wrapped around his thumb and her eyes squinted and her mouth pursed when the water trickled over her skin. who is taking care of her own one month old. good morning. EPOV ³This is really ridiculous. I woke up to the sun shining through our bedroom window and the spot next to me empty. ³Eggs and bacon?´ ³That would be great.

³Go. for Jasper. I rolled my eyes at his stereo typical bachelor attire and his loud music to go with it.´ she laughed a throaty laugh and I glared at her.´ We heard the front door open and Alice¶s voice carried to the nursery. his expression nothing but excitement. it isn¶t as bad as I anticipated. He wants you to go out with him tonight. there¶s no telling him no so I suggest you get your soon to be married tush down there. have fun with Jasper. I wasn¶t looking forward to it then.´ Emmett boomed from beside me as he swatted the back of my neck.´ I cracked a smile because his persona was just comical. we can handle that. You should let them dream while they still can. ³Jasper¶s downstairs. We were on our way to who the fuck knows where and away from the only place I wanted to be. ³No funny shit Jazz. ³Since when do you need a chaser? What the fuck happened to my brother?´ . for me. there is nothing funny about a bachelor party. **************************** Emmett had three rounds of Jose Cuervo shots waiting for us when we arrived at our destination. just go.´ With that I turned the knob on the stereo and Jazz hit the gas. It¶s your last night as a single eligible bachelor. He was all grin when he took notice to our approach.´ The door slammed shut and we made our way to the front room.´ she stuck the sides of the diaper together and picked Emilee up to rest on her arm. I couldn¶t help but notice the four women behind him leaning into each other and looking at his back. ³I¶m kidding. I had Bella tucked safely under my arm while Emilee was safely under Bella¶s free arm. I leaned down and kissed my soon to be wife and also kissed my daughters cheek before I headed down stairs for what was sure to be an interesting night. ³Oh bro. and running her fingers up and down her belly causing her to giggle. I¶m not kidding. ³You pansy. but now being here and no way to get out of it. Reluctantly and against my better judgement. I turned the radio down and looked at him seriously. ³How do you expect me to go one morning without waking up to you and Emilee?´ ³It¶s one night out of forever Edward.³Please do this. No girl can have you after this. cooing to her in baby voices like she always does. I foresaw the future of the night two days prior when Emmett suggested we do this.´ Bella was changing Emilee¶s diaper now. Jasper had his sunroof open and Lil Wayne bumping from the stereo.

warming my entire body. ³That is you my brother. He nearly fell into him.I choked out my answer.´ Emmett said with an unsteady bow that nearly took us all out. At some point during our bantering the four girls that were observing when Jasper and I arrived slinked their way into our conversations.´ Emmett slapped his back with the palm of his fist and caused him to lunge forward off of the curb and into the street.´ he said as he walked with us toward the door. if I could be so lucky. . We continued our night with shots and laughs until two am came around and the bartender kicked us out. We piled into the back seat. ³We aren¶t 21 anymore. after our brains caught up with us. ³It¶s fucking cold. The cab pulled around the corner and I noticed the look of disappointment on Emmett¶s face when the headlights flashed over us.´ was Emmett¶s brilliant response.´ he added in a slur. the sooner I could wake up and marry my Bella. The sooner we got to Jaspers. We walked. The look on Jasper¶s face was priceless. He laughed it off and disappeared into the now closed bar. or more like stumbled down the walk toward the front door chuckling all the way. kept our conversation between us. ³I called you a cab.´ ³Fuck it. Make her truly my Bella. ³I don¶t drink like I used to. When the girls found out we were about to be married their friendly conversation died and soon they were on to the next group of unsuspecting pray. Second. ³Not me.´ The heat was flowing down my throat.´ Jasper muttered and looked out at the empty street before us. ³Where¶s that god forsaken cabby?´ ³Fuck the cabby.´ I added after a deep swallow of the acid like substance that lingered in my mouth. ³Thank you kind sir. ³First of all«Fuck You. we have a car. Emmett was between us with his arms resting on both our shoulders. told the driver where we needed to go and sat back for the ride. should be out there waiting for you by now. Emmett continued to be his loud obnoxious self while Jasper and I. bartender included. Forgive me for growing up. Yeah. the sooner I could get to sleep.´ Jasper pointed at his chest as he stepped back onto the sidewalk. We downed the other two shots and that¶s when things started to get a little hazy. because I don¶t want to get a DUI the night before my wedding.

BPOV I didn¶t text Edward at all while he was out with Emmett and Jasper. I would have been out but Emmett had other plans.´ He proceeded to ruffle my hair as well. ³You both are getting married in eight hours and you¶re still sleeping?´ I felt Alice stir under me and the next thing I knew I was laying on the floor. ³What time is it«. I fell asleep on the couch with my legs opposite Alice¶s and Rose was in the love chair. Once she successfully helped me off the ground.´ he ruffled Jasper¶s hair. The moment I sat on the couch and let my head rest. ³You guys are going to fucking love it. When I woke up my legs were all wrapped up with Alice¶s and Renee was looking over me with her hands on her hips. this is the final call. We aren¶t having the . ³It¶s eight-fifteen. I threw on a pair of jeans and a plain t-shirt and of course Alice gave me the look. he has picked me and why would he himself. Esme and Renee were due to arrive at eight am to help us prepare for the day by watching their grandchildren.´ I rubbed my bottom and Alice had the most frightening look all over her face. hurt someone he chose? Rose and Alice stayed with Ethan and Bailey and we talked until two in the morning. ³No more choices. She hurried up to a standing position on the couch and held her hands over her mouth. no more one night stands. ³Are you serious right now?´ She asked when my eyes opened. I had to blink a few times before I realized I was awake.³This is it you guys. she pulled me back to the bedroom.´ I asked even though I knew why. You were supposed to be ready when we got here. Rose tagged along because she is playing the biggest part in our wedding beside the brides and grooms themselves. I wanted him to feel like he was able to do that sort of male bonding thing without any interruption from me.´ ³We¶ll be ready in five. Alice got ready quicker than I have ever seen and she still looked sleek. whom is our first stop out of four.´ she asked in a rush taking her hands away and then placing them back over her mouth. ³It¶s not like I¶m getting married like this. ³What. I¶m not at all worried because I know Edward love¶s me.´ Alice sighed and gave me the once over once more and then we were finally on our way out to the hairdressers. ³Ouch.exactly.´ she hopped off the couch and grabbed my hand.´ His voice carried through the neighborhood before Jasper shut the door behind us.

would make it right. ³We have no music. all I could come up with was what I felt. She was scanning the scene in front of us. therefore removing the need for the three noncommittal waiters. you have to do it yourself. ³What are we going to walk down the aisle too?´ I wasn¶t sure what she wanted me to say or what. The tables were still folded and the chairs stacked over one another. By us getting married together is saving us the hassle of making the decision of who would be our maid of honor at our individual weddings.´ Alice was calm and collective but the crease between her brows gave her anxiety away. Alice got an updo and I was leaving my hair down. The food was still being prepared and the waiter¶s staff was three people short. he lips pierced and her hands on her hips. but I would hate to hurt Rose in the process.´ She smiled and fluffed her dress out.traditional bridesmaids. Alice had a face full of color. She offered them booze and other apparently enticing things. We were dressed and ready but still had no band. . For that I was elated. we only need a maid of honor. which completely works for her and mine was more natural. Our third stop was the final fitting of our dresses. hands down. ³It doesn¶t matter if we walk down the aisle in silence or if we crunk our happy asses down it. browns and tans. When she got to Charlie she just laughed and told him she hadn¶t imagined him looking any other way. She let out a breath and started towards the entrance. ³God.´ I followed behind her and Rose followed behind me carrying our dresses in her hands. if anything. She eliminated three tables by changing the seating arrangement around. We pulled up to the park two hours before the wedding was scheduled to begin and everything was in shambles. I know who my pick would be. She got some of the boys from Jasper¶s graduating class²who were of course in town for the wedding²to set up the tables and chairs and she gave the cooks incentive to get the food done. I looked to Alice to judge her reaction and she has her poker face on. The band hired still hadn¶t arrived and I could see Charlie looking at a big stain that covered the whole front part of his suit. I watched as Alice worked her magic. The second stop was makeup which is the part I wasn¶t looking forward to the most. I swear if you want something done right. It only took an hour to do mine but another half hour to do Alice¶s. As long as we get to the I do¶s I can care less.

All my worries differ of course.´ his voice was shaky and his eyes looked anywhere but at us. ³We love you dad. ³Did you ever think we would be getting married together?´ ³No. they¶re getting antsy out there. ³Come on then. Charlie is my dad. I didn¶t think I would get married at all so this whole experience is like a hazy dream. prepare yourself because it¶s really happening. We had been talking about adoption a lot because in the 10 years Renee and I had been married. now here I am walking the other two down the same aisle.´ Alice said as we wrapped our free arms around him. This is really happening.´ I said hesitantly because I¶ve never called him that. I would be lying to whoever was listening if I said I wasn¶t worried about any of them.´ She looked at herself in the mirror and not taking her eyes from it she looked at my reflection too.´ Alice answered before I could find my voice. She came to us from out of the blue. Charlie¶s POV I¶ve already walked one daughter down the aisle. When I arrived on the scene I was dumbfounded.´ we said in unison. When it comes to Charlie I feel like I do have a father. who cares. Alice was our first adopted child. ³We¶re ready.´ was all he said before he looked away. His eyes watered up as he smiled down at me and. Charlie is the best father a girl could ever have and I get to share him with my two sisters.´ he held out his arms in the traditional pose and we hurried to his side. Everything else is in shambles so why not add that to the cake. we had failed time and time again at conceiving a child. ³You girls ready. He turned and faced the exit«. I have an arm for the both of you. ³You are the most beautiful brides.´ ³Aww. We laced our arms through his and smiled at each other. all except for your mother. I was working late and received a call about domestic violence. I¶m trying not to over think it until it actually happens. The woman had her daughter held . ³Yeah dad. ³Well. each girl has a different weakness. Charlie walked through the door with a solemn look on his face.´ As if on cue. So he isn¶t my father by blood but in every way that matters to a girl. ³Thank you.³You¶re right.

just that we didn¶t want to spread ourselves too thin. The worst and saddest part about Rose when she arrived is that she was addicted to cocaine. She was always in the same spot. which it seems to me that he can. Not that we didn¶t have room for another because we did. Always reading. I asked the person in charge about her and he informed me that she never spoke unless spoken to and she had no friends. As long as Emmett can keep her intrigued. I found out a few days after first seeing her that she belonged to the orphanage. The man was trying to coax the object away from her but she wasn¶t giving in. so far. I feel like we helped her the best we could and I hope and pray every day that . When the CPS (Child Protection Services) worker came in to take her to a group home I asked her about the adoption process. Jasper seems to be smitten by her and. Renee almost broke down and gave her what she wanted but thankfully Rose came out of the hole her mother buried her in and saved us that heartache. Her mother was a party animal and preferred to be Rosalie¶s friend rather than her mother. I worry that Alice may be too much for any one person and that that person will not see the amazing woman that she is. Two weeks later Renee and I welcomed Alice to our home. Alice was shaking and crying when I took her into the station but by the time we had given her coloring books and crayons she was laughing and had the most magnificent smile. She went through withdrawals for the first month she was with us. Bella was unexpected. which happened to be right next to an orphanage. but she was older when we brought her into our home.tight in front of her and she had something sharp held to her neck. has been loyal and adoring. Two girls seemed to be just the right number. Renee and I decided together that we would adopt another child that needed help and that¶s when we adopted Rosalie. The only worry I have for her is that she will let her addictive personality ruin her life. Bella wasn¶t the worse off of the three. Later. we learned that he wasn¶t the little girl¶s biological father. sitting out at a park I passed everyday on my route. after Rose we said we were done. My worries have recently been disintegrating since they met. well I¶m sure she will be just fine. When I told Renee about her she didn¶t hesitate to agree that we would take her in. Ten years old and she hadn¶t been to school the entire 5th grade. Until I started to see Bella. after the mother was taken into custody and the man taken in for questioning. I had to escort a boy into the building and I saw her sitting on the couch with her head phones in her ears. Three months later she accepted the Swan last name. When we first took Rose in she was a very lost soul. far from it actually.

something about him completes her and she is so much happier now that they have found each other. who have been looking into each other¶s eyes the entire ceremony. but it¶s there and it¶s powerful. his very presence brings a kind of secure feeling over her. By control I mean. Jasper placed the ring on Alice¶s finger and stumbled through the traditional vows. Edward was good for Bella. Hopefully today will prove to my subconscious that we did do just that. The priest asked them each if they took the other as husband and wife and they all said ³I do. Edward and was just enough for her to be happy with the way her life has gone. had chosen to write their own vows. who also happen to be adopted by the same family? So now all my Swan girls²and my three grandchildren²are Cullen¶s. My one and only worry for Bella is that she will let Edward control her life. I watched the boys and their expressions mirrored their future wives¶. She doesn¶t hide it and I can¶t be sure if she even notices it herself. Through eyes filled with tears and a shaky voice.´ he declared and both boys gathered their wives up and kissed them. I want her to be her own person and not rely on another. They both held soft smiles and warm eyes as they read their vows to one another and slipped the rings on their fingers.´ ³You may kiss the brides. Who would have ever believed that all three of my girls would find their soulmates in three boys with similar rough lives. They were definitely going to be happy and that thought only made my heart feel warmer. Bella and Alice both looked completely in love with the eyes they were looking into as the priest read the words that have been read for centuries. tilting them down and up again. As I as I watched all of them I felt peace in my heart as I knew my girls were home. . Alice placed the ring on Jasper¶s finger and returned the same traditional vows.

The reception was nothing out of the ordinary. Except when it came to the father daughter dance. Only. it¶s about being one solid unit. If Bella falls. ³You told me you weren¶t a good dancer. Bella will. There is nothing above us.´ Bella said when I took her hand in mine and wrapped my arm around her waist²pulling her closer against me. ³I can¶t believe you¶re good at everything. when we took our new blushing brides in hand. I leaned down and kissed my wife.´ I spun her around and held her close to me and the wonder and amazement on her face was almost laughable. ³I told you that before I took lessons from Rose. be lying next to me as we sleep. When the song was over Charlie handed them off to Jasper and I and we made our loops around the dance floor. A delicious pink flushed her cheeks as she looked away and at our feet. ³What about?´ I attempted to look back on our time together and I was coming up with nothing. ³I like the sound of that. I get to go home every night to the chocolate brown eyes that will never haunt my dreams again. ³You lied to me. we are as high as two people can get. every night for the rest of our lives. Cullen. ³Hello Mrs.´ she smiled sweetly and it just about took my breath away. We switched off when we passed one another and our friends and family cheered. but now she is much more than that.´ she smiled back up at me. Bella rises and vice versa. if I rise. I fall. Bella is and will always be my Bella. Somewhere in Time EPOV Kissing my wife is much more fulfilling than plainly kissing my Bella. I am tied to her as she is tied to me.´ I smiled widely at the sound of that rolling off my tongue and the immense pleasure it brought along with it. ³Why hello Mr.26.´ ³Remind me to thank her later. ³My wife. It¶s much more than being partners anymore.´ she giggled then added.´ I said when our lips parted. Cullen. I took Alice and Jasper took Bella. Bella and Alice danced around in a circle with Charlie who stumbled over his feet the whole way through.´ . By that I mean marriage is the highest title two people as a couple can achieve.

slowly working my way into recognition.´ ************************************ The honeymoon started just as soon as the reception ended. I continued to work at Lulu¶s. Bella stopped working shortly after Emilee turned two and she seemed to enjoy having the time with her. I¶m terrible at cooking. Their birthdays were shared just as Bella and Alice planned. I fell in love with her all over again that day. Everyday just seemed to bring us closer in every way. ³When will you be home?´ She asked. it was to Bailey. Day¶s were running into one another by the time Emilee reached her second birthday.I sighed and brought her hand to my lips for a light kiss. Today is our four year anniversary and I have been playing off that I forgot. We have stayed happy and in love everyday of our marriage. people were beginning to know the name Edward Cullen. I am going into work for a ³double shift´ and Bella hasn¶t said anything to me about the date. Jasper and Alice got into their limo and Bella and I into ours.´ I offered in my defense. When Emilee spoke her first word it wasn¶t to Bella or I. a cruise along the peninsula. Her voice was perfect for the setting I was trying to portray in the notes that carried from my fingers. ³Oh. ³And you¶re stick figures are the worst I have ever seen.´ she replied with a wrinkle of her nose. but for my ³mind blowing´ compositions. We didn¶t go far. She said ³Mine´ and Bailey replied ³Mine¶. ³Yours are just as terrible. all our free time is spent together and I cherish every moment of it. the dueling pianist«I was Edward Cullen the composer. We could all see the competitive side of their growing relationship. Not only for my dueling accomplishments. you¶re right about that. By Emilee¶s third birthday I wasn¶t just Edward Cullen. . folding some of Emilee¶s clothes on the couch. There are no secrets. and returned the next day to our Emilee. it was beautiful and touching. already they were showing each other up. ³I am only good at everything because you see me that way.´ I spun her around in a fluid movement and dipped her with elegance²all thanks to Rose. The same day Emilee took her first steps. In one of my compositions Bella sang. Bailey and Emilee both were progressing side by side. if not worse. Bailey did shortly after.

³I don¶t know. but do not tell her anything. I have never.´ she placed one of Emilee¶s shirt¶s delicately on top of a pile of other shirts she had folded. The cruise ship was large. ³Really Edward? You think I would just lose the envelope?´ She turned into her apartment and returned before the door shut completely. We boarded the cruise only hours after the ³I do¶s´. Lights were strewn about the railings and along the corridors to the rooms and other quarters. do you have the envelope?´ I asked in a heavy tone.´ she hissed and I blanched. I hated making her feel like this but its all part of the plan. thank you.´ I was out the door and walking down the hall moments later and stopping in front of the door three doors down.´ ³Edward. Comfort her. ³Don¶t forget. I walked over to her and kissed her lightly. ³Okay.´ I kissed her cheek and half sprinted down the corridor and to my car. in elegant font. more satisfying. give me the benefit of the doubt.´ I smiled while I faced the wall and my expression was blank when I turned to look at her. ³Okay. ³I guess I¶ll see you in the morning then.I grabbed my coat off the hanger and threw it over my shoulders. After three knocks the door came open and Angela smiled up at me.´ she said not meeting my gaze. sleep well. in all my life. for everything. ³I love you Bella. Never have I considered myself of the low social class but never of the high . ³You¶re faith in me is insulting. all of them carrying Louis Vuitton luggage and dressed to kill. ³I¶m on my way out now. ³My Bella´. impossibly. The front of the envelope reads. thought of myself in this group of social class. Hearing him say it was. it might be late so I don¶t expect you to wait up for me. It reverberated through me and I never waited so impatiently to recite something in my entire life. Jesus Christ. Angela placed her hand on her hip in a no nonsense fashion. four decks above and three below. The people on this ship were all of great stature. The back of the envelope has only two lines. BPOV Saying I do to Edward was something otherworldly. I looked back from the envelope to Angela. It is a creamy white with flowered bouquets embedded in the corners. she¶ll be really upset.´ I smiled widely at the envelope in her hand.

in our room still wearing his tux. felt his hot breath on the skin of my back just below my neck before his lips pressed hard and sternly against it. I stayed on Edward¶s arm. letting it unclasp slowly and drawn out. ³Let me get that for you.´ and every time the woman of the group looked me up and down and the men of the group did the same. I smiled as I slipped my heels off and reached around in an attempt to unbutton my dress. I suppose. Destiny is not as set in stone as we might think. until the last button was released. Bella. and where I waited . ³This is my wife. but if they were. His fingers trailed down and gripped the second button in line. causing me to shake and perspire with anticipation. Edward cleared his throat. my back facing him.´ and spun me around. I just wanted Edward. Destiny sometimes challenges us to find what is utterly important to us. If destiny has challenged me to find my true future. we headed to our room where our luggage had already been delivered. I waited impatiently for him to move on to the buttons below. After meeting essentially everyone on the ship. Maybe Michael was the man I was destined to marry. We are on our honeymoon. I dropped my arms and let the dress fall to the floor. I felt my entire being warm at his touch and the excitement inside was harder to contain than ever before. He repeated his steps over and over again. but instead. Nor does destiny always keep our best interest at heart. It didn¶t take long for me to be exactly where I wanted to be. White satin was all that covered me and by the look on Edward¶s face I made the right choice in undergarments. somewhere in the middle. He introduced me every time saying. I couldn¶t be sure if they were judging me next to Edward. I didn¶t even care to wave goodbye to the land we were leaving and wave hello to the sea where we were class either. now being married to Edward Cullen. and me in the white under-lace I chose to wear for this night. Thinking about all of this and watching Edward mingle with the people on this boat. Destiny only keeps in mind the things in which are best and easiest for us. I started to think that maybe this life isn¶t the life I am meant to lead. ³Don¶t you want to see us off?´ he asked after I kissed him once the door was closed tightly behind us. well there¶s a big difference between us. him pulling me from person to person. greeting them as if he knew them personally. well it seems I passed that test. I wanted to get the honeymoon officially started. maybe my class has risen to a higher one. He started with the top button. Maybe.

I haven¶t mentioned it because I don¶t want to seem needy when he has so much on his plate already.´ I sat the remaining clothes on the bed and kneeled down in front of her. ³I know. okay?´ I asked for her understanding and she nodded as she dumped the noodles into the boiling water with my assistance. That thought sent a ping through me. Her long bronze curls are now reaching to her lower back and her eyes are deep brown like my own. ³No one sweetie. ³No more macaroni and cheese this week. when in reality I should have been putting it all on him.patiently all night to be. ³How could he forget?´ I asked myself while finally putting away the clothes I¶d folded. ³Why didn¶t I just remind him?´ ³Remind who. is so much like her father. ³What would you like for dinner Em?´ She made a deep-in-thought²finger on her cheek²look and I recited the words as she said them. He¶s never forgotten but his work has been taking its toll on him and I cannot help but think his mind is elsewhere. her brown eyes curious. love-e macaroni and cheese. She is smart and has a way with winning people over.´ I laughed and she giggled. you need other nutrients as well. I carried her into the kitchen and let her help me make macaroni and cheese. When that reality hit me I was a little less than furious. her hair wild a top her head just like her fathers. Mine and Edward¶s four year anniversary is in two days and Edward hasn¶t mentioned it at all. like they have been since she was born. love. ³You cannot eat that every night Em. When he left for work the day of. Of course I threw in some hints here and there but nothing to blunt. I was mortified. A new chapter in our lives together was just starting for us and it only seemed to get better with time. We spent the rest of the night in each other¶s arms and the next day too. now four and in preschool. ********************** Emilee. ³Macaroni and cheese.´ Emilee popped into my room from the hall. . I turned to look at our beautiful daughter. ³Can we have it again next week?´ she asked. don¶t worry about it. I started placing all the blame on myself. which was in Edward¶s loving embrace. but I love.´ I reached out and tickled her on her sides and she collapsed into my arms. He¶d completely forgotten and I let it happen.´ I rolled my eyes.

written in Edward¶s calligraphy. remember«´ ³It¶s hot. I love you for so many reasons. I couldn¶t get the envelope opened fast enough to uncover what was within. I pulled out the envelope that Angela gave to me. ³Edward gave this to me and asked me to give it to you. only from happiness. large and small. I remember our first official date. ³Come see me after you¶ve read it. Her and I²Alice too²have become close friends. um well. ³Hey. the only one in the world for me. further confused then when our conversation started. but I still wasn¶t expecting to see her at the door.´ she finished. don¶t touch the burner. I hurried back into the house and let the door shut its self.´ There was a knock on the door that startled us both. ³Once every week. I wasn¶t expecting to see Angela. our first kiss and our very first ³I love you¶s´. I have lived in this apartment complex for well over four years and not once did I speak to her. I remember how natural it felt to start out together.´ she stumbled over her words which only confused me.´ She turned and walked back down the hall to her apartment and I stood in the doorway watching her retreat. one of a kind. Edward. He had met her while bringing over some of his things and they had ended up becoming friends.´ She held out an envelope between us and I took it. I helped Emilee with the rest of dinner and when she was all set up and eating at the table.´ I grabbed the hand towel hanging from the oven and ran my hands through it as I made way to the front door. is so open and friendly that he introduced us. Four fanfuckingtastic years together. On the front of the envelope was ³Bella´. the water is bubbling. be right back. how comfortable we were despite all the crazy things that were happening in the world around us. I love you for the silent times when your eyes and your arms tell me all I need to know. what¶s up?´ ³Hey. my eyes filled with tears. ³I¶ll be right back. .´ I heard Emilee call from the kitchen.I smiled down at her and nodded. Looking forward to the years that are to come. When I turned it over and read the words he¶d written. ³Okay. ³Mommy. on the other hand. I love you for all the special qualities that make you ³you´. I saw her on a few occasions but never stopped to introduce myself.

always and forever. I don¶t want anything for it because that little girl is such a joy to be around and that¶s payment enough. ³Are you Mrs. I¶m Emilee¶s for the night. ³My name is Gerrald and I¶m with Cecilia¶s Limo¶s. I left the door open and knocked on Angela¶s door. in the deepest part of my heart«there is love« and there is you.´ All I could manage to say was.´ I didn¶t get dressed up. and I want to go on sharing everything on life¶s journey with you. Cullen?´ a well groomed man in a suit and hat asked. ³Thank you. someone who would stay beside me no matter how the road turned or where it took us. jeans and a t-shirt. ³Who¶s asking?´ I kept my finger hovering over the window button just in case I needed to put something between us. I love you because you know how to bring out the best in me. I rolled up my . If you forgive me. as I did all those years ago« I feel anything is possible²I know we can count on each other. Edward Cullen asked me to park here and wait for his wife. She didn¶t greet me but walked out the door and shut it behind her. I waited in my car for Edward to show me where he was and was startled when there was a knock at my window. With tears straining down my face and the largest lump in my throat I think I have ever experienced I managed to tell Emilee I would be right back and sprinted toward the door. Your Edward. When I arrived at Lulu¶s there was nobody around except a limo parked out front. After only two knocks she opened the door with a wide smile on her face and a bag in her hand. in a place where there was nothing before.I knew I had found a companion for the journey ahead. A Mr. for acting like I didn¶t remember or that I didn¶t care at all. Are you her?´ This man was kind and looked the part. my Bella. I love you«just because I do«because now. but I feel the same way now. He smiled genuinely as if to calm my fears and with a shaky hand I rolled the window down. please meet me at Lulu¶s and wear whatever you like. ³Don¶t worry about how late you¶re out. he said wear whatever I like and that¶s what I did. More years than I can believe have slipped by us.

So please open the gift that sits beside this letter and meet me at the only place the gift makes sense. Inside. there was an envelope on the seat along with a box wrapped in paper sitting next to it. I am so fucking proud of us Love. He held the door open for me and shut it snuggly behind me. I have one more surprise for you and yes it is probably exactly what you¶re expecting. . Bella. I opened the envelope and inside was another letter. We¶ve both put a lot of the past behind us and given up things that maybe we shouldn¶t have. There is one part of our past I want to bring back. Something I know brought you a lot of joy at one point in your life and I think there¶s enough room for this something to make a reappearance. There are so many words I want to say to you but none of them convey the feelings I hold for you because they just cannot be expressed in words. We have defied the odds and made it through the toughest years of our lives. I love you.window. pulled the keys out of the ignition and gathered what small amount of things I had and followed the man to the limo.

Not because Bella wouldn¶t appreciate it if it wasn¶t. What Women Want EPOV Everything has to be perfect. you know how long ago that was? Like four and a half years bro. I told him that he is always more than welcome to come by our place for a visit. you had me sweating bullets over here. She always gave us all a run for our money. I want this night to be one for the books. that isn¶t necessarily why I called. Emilee is a handful but she is so wonderful. ******************* ³Hey Edward. I knew I kept it for a reason. I told him when our anniversary was and what I planned to do. But hey. We talked about our families and our lives since the last time we spoke. When I arrived Eric was already there and had the paperwork in hand. ³Man.´ ³Fuck Eric.´ He laughed. ³Yeah it¶s still for sale. That girl was something else when it came to the track. long time no talk. How¶s the family? How¶s Bella? We miss her around here. do you still have that Accord Bella was going to take off your hands?´ I knew how farfetched my request was but it¶s the only thing I wanted to get my wife and it was the only thing that would suffice. ³Dude. He said he didn¶t want us to think he was just trying to be our friend because of our reputation.´ I laughed nervously because he had no idea how much I was willing²and able²to trade for it. ³Bella is great. one she will remember forever. but because Bella deserves nothing less. and we fell right back into our friendly banter just as if it never ceased to exist at all. He had heard about me in the newspapers around Seattle and on a few radio stations.27. but did not want to bother us. She¶s soon to be a kindergartner and she is so excited about being a big girl. . I wouldn¶t keep it for just this reason and not follow through. I remember the conversation we had two weeks ago. She does so much and asks for so little in return.´ He fell silent and my plan²that I so carefully orchestrated²was ruined. Is it still for sale? I need that car. ³When do you want it?´ I could not contain the excitement in my voice as we talked about the purchase of his car. I¶m curious.´ We talked as if it was just yesterday that we¶d seen each other.

³You look good. when Eric cleared his throat and startled me from my agitated state. Ang. How¶s the musician¶s life treating you?´ ³It¶s good. We got down to business after that and I handed over the money he requested. long hours. I told myself I wouldn¶t do it. I¶m just waiting for her to show up knocking at my door after she¶s read it. It was not that I did not like that job. whom I spoke to earlier in the week and set my whole plan in motion. I thanked him and entered the track to meet with the owner. Oregon. My bags already packed. happens to be a big fan of mine and in return for my appearance at their wedding anniversary. bless her heart. if she was on her way this very second. s¶been a long time. ³I take it Bella isn¶t in on this?´ . After having all the documents.´ I thought about my previous employment at the Rose Garden in Portland. So. was going to be the highlight of it all. but at least I¶m doing something I actually enjoy doing. I sent Angela a text. it was a good one and I had a lot of respect from many well-known people.´ he agreed. That would not be a problem because the part of the night when we would be alone. His wife. I had to know if she was coming. I was pacing around the car. he is opening the doors to us and no one else. After a long conversation with him about the rules and regulations we had to follow. ³True that. Do me a favor and send me a heads up when she leaves«please I¶ll see what I can do. impatiently waiting to find out how my behavior has effected Bella¶s. did you give Bella the letter yet? What did she say? She got it. he informed me that Eric would be present to help make sure everything went smoothly. that I would not message Angela and ask her about Bella¶s reaction and if she was in fact coming at all. but something was definitely missing.´ Eric greeted me with a quick shake of his hand.Sometime later the conversation ended and I had an appointment to see him just before Bella would arrive. ************************ ³Hey Cullen.

all that mattered was that Bella was happy. when she¶s driving.´ I turned back to the car I¶d been pacing and started another trip around.´ I stared at him for a moment then shook my head. but for now. and that¶s why she doesn¶t track anymore«because she doesn¶t need it. I tried. I had to move towards her to close the gap between us. ³No. She looked stunned and amazed gazing down at me and the current between us pulled like something tangible. A hint of a smile was palpable on her face as her hand floated to her side in a waving motion.³No. Not for Emilee. ³What is all of this?´ She asked when she was close enough to me to do so without shouting. as I¶m sure you know as well. ³She hasn¶t tracked in over four years. Her eyes were nowhere but on me. I never took my eyes off of her. ³You didn¶t?´ . She came. the entrance that overlooks the track its self. I want to bring that back into her life because I know. Not for anyone. I couldn¶t. Bella has me completely mesmerized by the mere sight of her. Not for me.´ I began another trip around the car. I don¶t ever want you to feel like you have given anything up. I didn¶t care what anyone had to say. how important it was to her. chocolate dripping out of them and draining into my soul. Before answering her. ³She told me once that she was doing it to keep her mind off of something. some reassurance that I¶m doing the right thing would be nice. not caring if he was going to respond or not. The walk from the end of the stairs was painful. ³This is my anniversary gift to you. but I could not pull myself away. it felt awkward to stare at her as I was. a magnetic attraction. once again but something pulled my sight away from the ground I was watching so attentively. she loved it too much. ³I¶m dreadfully anxious as to what her reaction is going to be.´ she breathed as she stepped away from me and towards the car she should have had a long time ago. Although.´ I shook my head and continued pacing. Sometimes. Her hand fell as did her gaze and she began the long descent to the track floor. I can still see the glee in her eyes that I used to see when she was on this track. I wrapped her up in my arms and engrossed myself in her fragrance. Bella stood in the entryway of the track. Honey and Lilacs. You deserve so much more than this.´ I continued around the car. Maybe she¶s happy now. I¶m not entirely sure this is something she wants. Happy Anniversary. I think it is. there was nothing to forgive.´ ³Edward. She forgave me. or someone.

Something about the way she broke down and let me in. I don¶t know exactly how long it has been since they had seen one another but the last time Bella came to the track was before she found out she was pregnant. Since the moment I saw her. my last stitch effort was telling her how it . ***************************************** We were in the same room where we met.´ she greeted him as she stood next to the car. back in the group home. Bella had been letting me sit and talk to her. She released Eric and stood in front of me.´ he said and I grabbed the helmet that she held so tightly in her grasp. told me that she trusted me then as much as I truly wanted her to. ³Looks like I got her after all huh. By far the sexiest pair of hands I have ever come into contact with. She looked into my eyes and I felt the love and trust that mirrored my own. There has never been a single person that I have given all of my trust since Bella.´ he chuckled and they hugged. which was a big leap from the finger and the cold shoulder I was receiving during the previous month. I inhaled the fragrance of honey and lilacs that always lingers. She held herself tight against me as I brought her closer to the car. So. ³Hey Eric. ³Hop in.´ she referred to the Accord that now belongs to her.´ I said and positioned the helmet just over her head. They were close back in those days. She never said anything back and I tried not to push her but after so long of one-way conversations it gets tiresome and un-motivating. ³You absolutely should have. She never lost it and she will forever and only be the one to hold it. I pulled them up to my lips. She smiled excitedly as the helmet went over her head and I caught her hands with mine before they fell at her sides. a smiled smothered with tears on her face. I knew she was going to be a big part of my life.´ and she leapt into my waiting arms and wrapped her limbs around me. When I was but five feet from it she let her feet fall from the death grip around my waist and I lowered her softly and safely to the ground. ³I knew there was a reason I held onto it for half a decade. something I will never get enough of. ³You ready to take her for a spin. ³I did and you better not say I shouldn¶t have because we both know that would be a lie.I followed behind her and laced her hand with mine.´ She stopped abruptly and turned to face me. and he is another thing²or person rather²that should not be left behind with the things of our past that we let go. opening them flat out so I could kiss the pillow soft skin underneath.

I studied the fine sculpture of her face. because by doing that you¶re only going to cause me more pain. a passion I did not expect to see in her shone as she let out her frustrations.´ I tried to grab her hand but she snatched it away so fast I felt the breeze her hand in the air created. I expected to get some kind of reaction out of her. When our eyes locked. brown. Is that what you want to talk about Edward. That when she died they brought me here because my parents. My finger traced under her chin and she let her head go where I wanted it. ³If it makes you feel better. I¶m sick and tired of it. If you want me to go. her long lashes that were saturated from tears and the dimple in her cheek when her lips quivered from those same tears that fell onto my hand. That I keep ending up back in this shit hole because I¶m not good enough for any family. I regretted asking the moment the words came out of my mouth. ³My mother and father left me when I was a baby. until I was 10. who treated me more like a slave than family. than yes. ³Don¶t try and be my friend Edward. Her long. still did not want me. ³Do you want me to leave Bella?´ I asked her directly and I hated thinking she was going to say yes.´ Her eyelids fell and she rested her head in my hands. She sighed in my hand and her eyes fluttered open as if she were adjusting to the light from the window. holding back her tears and trying with utter confidence to stay strong as she spoke her next words. That I was basically secluded to my room when I wasn¶t doing what she asked of me and my only escape was when I went to school. I will.´ Her eyes were tear stained and her voice was thick. She looked directly into my eyes as she spoke.was. and to be honest. I don¶t have any friends because I don¶t know how to have and keep a relationship with anyone. I smiled and took in a ragged breath that her intense expression pulled out of me. is that what you want to hear? That I stayed with my grandmother. I have had enough people leave me. because if it is there you have it. I will be here for you. something other than the nod of her shoulders or her pretty little middle finger in my face.´ I kept her gaze until her face fell into her hands and she sniffled back her emotions still. ³Don¶t.´ she said sternly. . even 10 years later. What I got was far more than I ever anticipated. but if not let me know and I will not ever go anywhere. I only want to help you Bella. unkempt hair that stuck to her face from the precipitation was gorgeous in every way. ³I will be here until you want otherwise. As long as I can help it.

it¶s been a while Bella. the little things that truly bring happiness to our lives and our relationship. I was shocked when I felt her body relax into me and it didn¶t pass my notice that she fit so comfortably against me. What my hands pulled out was a fresh helmet with my initials BMC on the side in graffiti writing. Looking at the initials and thinking about Edward. ³I love you my Bella. I expected something. Her fragrance also did not slip my mind. Don¶t push yourself too hard because I don¶t know what I¶d do if you were to ever get hurt. Edward told me about his life before I met him at the group home.´ ³Don¶t jinx me Edward. I will always be waiting for you at the finish line. He is such a romantic and that¶s just one of the many wonderful things I adore about him. I caught it instantly and have never forgotten.´ She held it out the window and I knocked on it. Honey and lilacs. her eyes squinting from the rays coming in. They were these square shaped lace pieces that had fake flowers in plastic pots sitting in the middle of them. ******************************* ³My mother was a saint in comparison to my father.´ Edward was sitting on one . I thought about back when we first found out we were having a baby. don¶t ever forget that. ******************************* Bella climbed into the car and I put my head in after her. when I opened the gift he had left for me in the limo.´ ³Then I won¶t. ³here. you better knock on some wood. We were telling each other things that we thought couples in our situation ought to know about one another.´ she said in a whisper. track related.³Yes. ³And I will always be racing there to get to you. the best I could. this is better than nothing.´ I moved to sit beside her and rested my arm around her shoulders.´ I retracted my head out of the window and Bella looked out and up at me through the helmet sun visor. ³Now. ³but I don¶t want you to leave. He pays attention to the little things.´ She looked up and out the window. ³is what I should say. I remember her always getting on me about moving the center pieces around on the coffee table.´ BPOV Edward is good at many things and wooing me is one of them.´ She crinkled her nose and looked around the car. She found a napkin between the seat and the center counsel and pulled it out. but I never knew the extent of the situation. I knew it was bad.

³Me and my mom were at home by ourselves late at night. He pushed me once but that was nothing compared to what my mother went through every night. I couldn¶t take it. which is what usually happened. the one that used to be just mine. even in his down stupor. too scared of falling asleep before my dad fell flat on his face. My dad was a lot different from my mother. making my mother cringe and scoot further under the covers.´ He winked. We were used to being alone at night. My mother had me held tight against her and we both watched the light coming from under the door with wide anticipated eyes. and I didn¶t want to see him go through the pain anymore. if my presence kept him from hurting her than I wanted to be nowhere else. It¶s what he did for his mother so it was built into his psyche. I was too little to understand at the time. When I turned five. My father stood at the door for some time. By then she was too scared to smoke. as usual. Though a walk in the park by then wouldn¶t have been an easy task to accomplish either. which ironically is where I get my own addictive personality. I fell asleep with my mother on my bed. Except my addiction is the very best thing for me«not worse. why he wanted to help me and protect me. I never minded that she fell asleep with me in attempts to avoid my father. He was mentally cruel and physically abusive to my mother but never to me. about bringing all of this back to the surface. probably every day. . ³She smoked pot. I was seven. to the point he would black out and everything was a blur to him the next morning. ³He drank a lot. and I was pissed that my mother had to feel so frightened by my father. He was angry and saddened about his mother and father. I woke up to the front door slamming.´ Edward was speaking in such a way I don¶t think I have ever witnessed. I started to notice the things he did to her and I started interfering. which is probably why I had not heard this story until now. I could sense that he did not like reliving his past. After I could not stand the silence any longer. at least my mother did. I was seven when it happened. I always helped my mom do them because her back hurt her a lot and being hunched over doing the dishes was no walk in the park for her. I was mad that he put us through the same fucking thing day in and day out.side of the bench and I was sitting on another. We were in front of our apartment.´ He was quiet for a while and I took in all he said. and spending what little money we did have on booze. but the same as having an addictive personality. now. We forgave him at first. my dad was always at the bar. and we had just gotten done eating dinner and doing the dishes. It made sense. It echoed through my bedroom door. but she took care of me. I asked him what happened when he was seven and this is what he told me.

³My father shot my mother that night. Without getting the chance to tell him I didn¶t need to know what happened. There were pictures on the wall of professionals and the place was a lot nicer than it once was. carrying the helmet and nothing else. My door swung open and I stepped out. as if I called out his name. kicking and screaming. just terrible. Not intolerable. My safe haven. Nothing that terrible is worth reliving. The smell was familiar. I didn¶t want to know what happened anymore. I continued through the closed concession stands and headed down the entrance to the main track. I walked down the recognizable halls that were no longer.just watching him suffer was worse than anything I have ever observed. When our eyes met I couldn¶t get to him fast enough. He held the gun up to his head and then pulled the trigger. he beat me to it. and when I reached the balconies edge. I had to blink a few times until I saw where we were. I wrapped my arms around his neck and he leaned his head on my chest. I tried to fight him but it only made things worse. Once on solid ground. I . how many times just being here lifted my spirits and gave me guidance. Before I could tell him he didn¶t need to explain anything more. but it was definitely there. The lights were all off except the one directly above the starting line. That only meant one thing. I could see Edward and Eric talking beside the car that was once destined to be mine. he continued. he looked up at me from the track floor. pre-Edward. ³When the door finally opened we were both immersed in the blanket. I was left on the bed to watch my father drag her out of the room. He pointed at me and told me that life was going to do the same to me as it had done to him. But before I could put much thought into it.´ *********************************** I was jolted from the memory and thrown back into reality when the limo stopped. I was helpless.´ The tone in his voice trailed off to a sigh and he leaned into me. I thought about the many occasions I came to this place. I watched Edward run his hands through his hair more times than I would have liked to see. It was horrible Bella. a light scent of exhaust and gasoline. She released her hold on me the moment his hand touched her. the blanket suddenly lifted off us and my father grabbed my mother by her wrist and yanked her out of my bed. After we heard his footsteps coming toward us. though I took my time getting down the stairs. he is nervous or panicking. especially if it was going to bring out the pain I saw in Edward¶s eyes. I ran my fingers through his hair and we just stared out at the scene for a while. as I remembered them.

When I opened the box that held the helmet. I chose to stay home so she could attend a normal school. Edward has been so busy making a name for himself. He still goes there and duels every Saturday night when he is able. We tagged along anytime he had to go out of town for more than a few days. Nick and Edward were great friends. I didn¶t think I missed him that much but I guess time only makes the heart grow fonder. was one of them before Edward quit Lulu¶s fulltime. was the start of a downfall.didn¶t hesitate to reach him. but I can¶t and won¶t sit back and say I¶m having a good time. All of my cooped up aggression. and not a scratch on her. My routine when getting behind the wheel of the track car was always this. That was probably one of the better decisions I¶ve made since. When Emilee started school. to Edward. I could see it in his eyes. well. how much he wanted to be near me and that only quickened my pulse. She still looks the same. but it was too good to be true. Not just any car. a little bit of the weight gets lifted off. But today. If it wasn¶t for Nick I don¶t know what I would do. my kind of fairy tale night. So I took Edwards words to heart and raced faster and faster toward the finish line. Nick is one of Edward¶s dueling friends. disappearing in the rearview mirror. fears and sadness I brought to the forefront of my mind. He¶s told me that this time in our lives is only temporary and that things will get better. I let it eat through me one last time because just like the pavement under the tires. he doesn¶t have much time for us anymore. so was my pent up frustrations. ************************** That night. and I guess you can say they still . but other than that he is strictly professional. worries. our fourth anniversary. but the car that I had every intention on buying back when track racing was a big part of my life. The rest of the year was booming for Edward. people wanted him to play all around the United States. Seeing Eric was nice. Emilee and I tagged along. He was even invited to the White House to play for the president. in this time of my life there is nothing to bring. it never entered the realm of my mind that Edward might have bought me a car. Every notch the speedometer inched closer to top speed. Nothing to throw behind me. I know what he¶s doing has to be done for the sake of his profession. nicer than I anticipated it would be. It may have been an amazing.

. He gives his own opinions and helps me to see the logic behind something I couldn¶t see before. I thank God he came into our lives when he did«but all good things must come to an end.are. when Edward is gone and I need someone to make me feel safe. I don¶t think I would have made it through the fifth and sixth anniversaries. He is always here for me. but our friendship has bonded and molded into something greater than theirs ever was or ever could possibly be. The bonds with my sisters are still strong as ever. He sees Edward¶s views along with my own and doesn¶t side with either one. If not for Nick. Nick is there. but Nick is an outsider. someone who sees things from a different perspective.

Not to mention the recreational vehicles we have²a boat. ear piercing. I hurry groggily to Emilee¶s room to wake her up for school and then to the kitchen to make her breakfast. She is now five and in the first grade. I would never dream of ruining that. . If anything. nonexistent. I learned the hard way to leave him alone when he is working. he spends all of his time in his study. I would never tell him that because he is so happy with what he does. Of course. The Way We Were BPOV ³Get your homework out Emilee. Things changed a lot when Emilee came into our lives. thanks to me. four baths. only to wake me to an already-empty bed. Edward and I have been married now five years. and I will lose him forever. I don¶t bother him when he¶s in there. When he is home. that is thanks to her father. and things have not stopped changing since. I am proud of him too. She can read at a second grade level and she can do simple adding and subtracting mathematical problems.´ Everyday seems to be the same around here. Edward¶s profession has been more of a burden for me than it has a good thing. We argue a lot these days and I¶ve started to feel like we¶re falling apart. but I feel like the line between work and home has grown so thin that it¶s now. and she is very outgoing and talkative. We have three vehicles and only two of us drive.28. He has worked so hard to get to where he is and is so proud of himself. three dirt bikes and a motorcycle²that we never put to use. That our connection has grown thin. Her teachers love her and have only good things to say about her. but unintentionally is a whole other thing. which I welcomed with opened arms. Five bedrooms. five very long and ever changing years. I gave up being a music teacher²for now²and I would do it again because it was the best thing I could have done for Emilee. he over-caters if you ask me. The loud. He spends all of his time²free time included²meeting with people and making interviews. Edward has been passionately involved in his career ever sense it began and I think he feels pressured to spend more time at work to cater to our needs. a big enough house you could mistake as a hotel. and at any moment it is going to break. especially bringing back the track. Most of the change has been good. We finally moved out of the city and bought a house in the same area as Rose and Alice. a pool with a hot tub and a basketball court. he isn¶t abusive in any way. a three car garage. alarm breaks through my unconsciousness. he would never hurt me or Emilee intentionally.

So I walked past the door to his study. ³Hey girls. She has been using big words for the last two weeks. trying to broaden her vocabulary. I wasn¶t expecting that. I encourage her to gain as much knowledge as she can at this age so she will retain as much as possible. Desperate times call for desperate measures. letting him know I was trying to catch his attention.******************** Edward was in his study.´ I corrected her. that I had someone while Edward was away. he¶s basically family. I feel the emotions when I think about it. ³Next time. she asks for the definition. I still have no idea what could be making him feel like the way he looked. that night. come straight into the kitchen and we¶ll get it started. ³It¶s preoccupied Em. He typed something on his laptop and then looked up at me with a heartbreaking expression. and that didn¶t bother me in the least. her bed made. He hadn¶t shown me much of either of those things in a while and I was definitely jonesing for my addiction. But I was. I want to see him smile. Nick walked in the door. ************************** I haven¶t been able to get that expression on his face. . He doesn¶t knock when he comes over. not like you would think a little girls room would be. She has her own laptop. and all of her toys have their own designated spot.´ I picked up her bag and carried it to the kitchen table. but that didn¶t have any effect on him either.´ Emilee broke through my reverie. ³Sorry mom. I see it in my dreams. out of my mind. in the sexiest pose I could manage and waited for him to notice. Anytime she hears someone use a word she doesn¶t understand. slowly.´ he greeted when he walked into our view. and Edward just went back to his typing and I went to bed. and I was really looking for some love and affection. She is so meticulous about her things. I could feel the withdrawal with every passing day that he didn¶t touch me. I want to make him happy. She get¶s that from her father. which I haven¶t seen him express either of those emotions in my presence in a long time. as he usually is nowadays. It made me feel comfortable that he could be trusted. I just wish he would tell me. but he didn¶t even give me a glance. so I stood in front of the door. I tried to make some noise. Just as Emilee sat down and started her homework. her room is spotless. and I wasn¶t expecting to be completely turned off in that moment. I got preoccipied.

until I see him. ³Hey. ³We talked about this Emilee. I¶m fine. ³There¶s plenty to go around. carrots and meatloaf. as I always do. When we walked to the table I got hit with vertigo and almost fell into it. which helped me get dinner done on time.´ I joked. too. ³No. I made Edward a plate.´ I told him.´ I joked and turned back to the dinner I was preparing. but only for a moment.´ ³You should always have plans for dinner.´ Emilee sang. ³What¶s on the menu?´ ³Emilee¶s favorite. ³Yuck!´ with a disgusted look on her face. I yelled at myself.´ He .´ ³Sure. ³How was your«´ I was cut off by his loud tone. She never required much help. his expression worried. Every time he comes home from being gone all day. and that reason just pulled up in the driveway.´ he complemented her then looked over at me.´ He dropped his suitcase on the bar stool and grabbed a freshly chopped carrot from the cutting board.³Nicky. ³just a little dizzy. Nick grabbed my shoulder and steadied me. I¶m confident you¶ll give me a run for my money.´ he laughed and joined me at my side. Nick helped Emilee with her homework. ³Mom¶s looking good. aren¶t you looking lovely today. ³Do you want to join us for dinner?´ I asked Nick as he helped Emilee put her homework into her backpack for tomorrow.´ he replied at the same time Emilee said.´ I replied. I get the feeling that I used to get anytime he came into my proximity. ³No. and put it in the microwave for him to heat up whenever he got home. He walked into the house.´ Lie. you have to eat things that are nutritious and good for you. that¶ll be great. Nick stood by my side waiting to help take the plates to the table.´ ³Oh stop it. I was just going to wing it. do you need to sit down?´ he asked in a rush. If I didn¶t know any better I might think you were trying to one up me. ³Hey Em. his Bluetooth attached to his ear and his bronze hair cut short²because the people want it that way. ³Sweet potatoes. that¶s why I don¶t make any plans.´ ³Yum.´ I said in a low tone. ³You¶re always welcome here. only when she thought she had something wrong. I didn¶t have any plans for dinner.´ ³I know. ³Yeah. because it was everything but. There was always a reason for vertigo.´ I said this with my back to her while I dished out three plates. ³Are you okay. you¶ve grown since we played together last.

She¶s a smart girl and nothing gets past her. such as Edward and myself.´ he cooed. even just to talk. is astounding. Emilee and I²discussing the coming events Emilee was excited about. He came in. ³Don¶t let the bed bugs bite. can make such a wonderful. Once their goodnights were over. She is only five. ³Yeah I do thanks.´ he joked and she busted up laughing. bright. ³It¶s was delicious. She did not need to worry about such things. I cleaned up the kitchen. He usually looks tired . He went to her side and kneeled down against her bed. ³You¶re welcome. ³Daddy loves you princess. trying hard to hold back my emotions.´ He put his arm around my shoulders and hugged me to his side. ³Thanks for the grub.´ he poked her sides. that I did not see the Bluetooth in his ear.´ Nick said when he was done and cleaning his plate in the sink. The fact that two people.´ I would not risk Emilee overhearing our conversation. I didn¶t want Emilee to get suspicious and start asking questions about our relationship. I cherish our conversations because she fascinates me. Every night I pass by his study.´ He gave Emilee and hug and wished her good night.´ I tried to sound sincere but all I could think about was Edward¶s disregard of Emilee and me.´ He rubbed his belly. hugged her tight and kissed her forehead. and I linger to try to catch his attention. I want him to notice me. leaning closer to me so Emilee couldn¶t hear. With all that done. We ate dinner²Nick. then he was gone. Edward returned to his study and Emilee curled up to let sleep overcome her. mostly the fieldtrip to the space needle and the school carnival coming up. Emilee refuses to go to sleep until she gets a hug and a kiss from her daddy. the only time beside when he gets into bed. I kissed her goodnight. to show some kind of adoration when I look into his eyes. I smiled at Nick and then Emilee. ³Nighty night. beautiful little girl. as she does every night. and then called for Edward. I cringed away minimally but the feel of another person¶s arms around me was comforting. the dishes and helped Emilee get ready for bed.hurried off to his study without saying a word and I felt the sting in place of the connection that used to be between us. ³Is everything okay?´ he asked in a whisper. ³If you need anything. the door ajar. you know my number. causing her to giggle. ³Everything is as it has been for a while now.

Nick and Emilee hanging out. Since Edward has been so involved with his work. he even attends all of our family get-togethers. we all hung out. James and Riley. He¶s a man. Nick also makes a living being the host of a YouTube show. but we lost touch. He doesn¶t take . There are some moments when I think that maybe he isn¶t spending all of his time at work. I need to let it out to someone and Nick is it. community oriented and well mannered. For a year after that and sometimes to this day. ³This top notch composer knows how to treat a lady. He doesn¶t seem to want to touch me as much as he used to and when we do make love it¶s short and bitter sweet. The only thing that keeps me from going over the edge is Nick. Edward was featured in a magazine a few years ago for top 100 sexiest men in the business. where Nick is vulgar and he works when he wants to. He always turns them away in a flirtatious manner saying he does it not to be rude. then every one of them would be after my husband. but he never really shows it. She and Jasper welcomed the twins. No thank you. they only see the outside cover. The people of this town don¶t know of our issues. the women that salivate at the thought of gossip. Every one of the women that know of us yearn to be where I am. I have been out of contact with Angela. the women who attended the same play dates. late last spring. a man¶s man and strong inside and out. and Alice is very busy being a mother of three. Nick suggested that I ask him to go to marriage counseling with me but I know he would think himself to good for that.and overwhelmed. Rosalie is off with Emmett. I hoped it wouldn¶t come to that. I wasn¶t going to tell my problems to the wives of the city. maybe there is another woman. He¶s very different from Edward. Edward is well rounded and a workaholic. We are a picture perfect family.´ They asked me what they should put and I told them that he¶s a devoted father and a hopeless romantic. I have been confiding in him with my concerns about Edward¶s relationship and mine. am part of the PTA and Edward a well-known musician. In the beginning. Isabella. He promises me he will not repeat anything I say but I¶m still a little iffy about believing him. his ninth season with the Chargers. married or not. women approach him and practically throw themselves at him. Recently. Still. He is also a wonderful father to their 3 years old daughter Emilee. it is usually just me. Of course they would jumble up my words and make them their own. He came in second and his sideline read. µhe¶s a hopeless romantic¶ says his wife of six years. I. Since our move.

³I¶m not going to say anymore. because she definitely is a determining factor. and forgive me if I am. I could not let either of them find out.´ Bree held the pen in her hand. ³Are you sure your worth has been lowered in his eyes? Are you sure you aren¶t giving yourself the credit you deserve?´ I opened my mouth to respond but all that came out was a squeak. now I¶m not sure that I have his anymore. Her name is Bree Tanner. Nick talked me into seeing a counselor and not just once. or maybe I never did. she should be the one pushing my motivation. that¶s why I¶m here. I want to have a few more sessions with you before we get into deeper issues. She has deep brown hair that flows down to the center of her back and a smile that would warm a criminal¶s heart. that we have failed and that would probably be the end of it. I went while Emilee was at school and Edward at work. Some might find that harsh. had it hovering over the page in her notebook. nothing is going to bring it back up in his eyes. The way he doesn¶t notice when I put on something cute to try and rustle his fancy. as I always do. Even though I do my best to cover it up and I know I¶ve gotten good at it over the last year. the motivation I hold onto that pushes me through every day. as I have Emilee. Such as the way Edward makes me feel when he comes home and doesn¶t say a word to me. Edward knows me better than anyone does. He would see through my disguises if he were paying attention and not putting all of his efforts into his work. but Edward holds my heart. he should be able to see through it. ³Now. But. she has a good way with words. I don¶t know that I could handle the end. but I won¶t say that she isn¶t. Seeing a counselor to help us with our problems will only make him feel like he has failed. I want to scream at him to wake the fuck up and look at what he¶s doing to us. ³I feel like my worth is nothing to him. never has. She listens to what I have to say and pushes when I hold back my feelings. and that¶s because I chose him to be that person. I might be going out on a limb here. I waited for her professional response. I kept track of our finances so Edward wouldn¶t know the money was gone. what would my life be like without Edward? I wouldn¶t have a life at all because he is the center of it.´ She ruffled a stack of papers on her desk and proceeded to write something down . He has my love and my undying devotion. her legs crossed and her elbows resting on her notebook. for professional help.´ she leaned forward. that no matter how hard I try. even when we were young. Her voice is whimsical and or handouts. Her tone is always caring and concerned.

Maybe he¶s coming back around and we can go back to the way life used to be before all the fame. but I can¶t help you find the solution unless I hear both sides of the story. I have a feeling he thinks our friendship will go further than just merely friends. there will never be another for me. Edward came to me the day before and told me he had to go to Pennsylvania for a second recording. I nodded my head and did my best to keep face but my attempts were tested when he pulled me close to him with a firm hand and kissed my head. For three months I have been seeing Bree and Edward hasn¶t changed a bit. there are deeper seeded issues here that need to be dealt with before any situation can get better. I love Edward all the way to my core. Butterflies exploded in my stomach at the raw electric hum between us. which I took without hesitation. he would take it the wrong way. when all I am really trying to do is save our marriage. . both of which need to make compromises to make things work. I left silently and made another appointment for only myself. if anything he has gone in the opposite direction. I need Nick more than he knows. He has something planned. Tears swelled in my eyes and I looked up at Bree whose eyes were bold and waiting.´ She stood from her seat and I stood with her. I¶m confident that you are not the problem. I would like to meet your husband.´ I laughed aloud. That would be so out of his character nowadays but his farewell was far from the norm. I guess I don¶t. not that I don¶t want you to meet him. he is wrong.´ which.´ I looked down at the piece of paper she handed me and saw three words: You are significant. I definitely do not want Bree to tell him that I have been seeing her behind his back because he wouldn¶t understand. Edward left the day before our anniversary. ³Now Bella. and she leaned back in her chair. Our sixth anniversary was just around the corner and I was careful not to expect anything out of him.´ I never tell anyone who he is because I don¶t want them to try to use me to get to him. ³No. ³If you don¶t mind. She reached over her desk and handed it to me. We shook hands. I thought with a smile. as betrayal. A marriage includes two people. and neither is your husband. ³Think about it and I hope to hear from you again.on a blank page. in a way. Nick has been staying around a lot more and I can¶t be sure whether it¶s a good thing or not. and if that¶s the case. But I didn¶t voice my thoughts. then he was gone. ³he doesn¶t know«about this.

I looked back at the Television. ³He left to Pennsylvania. I went to sleep with fantasies floating around in my head of what his plans could possibly be. and second. I trudged down the hall to the kitchen where my phone sat. which wasn¶t anything new. I wasn¶t the only person he¶s been putting on the back burner. I turned to face him and he was looking right at me.´ I said in a whisper. I really don¶t have a clue because he doesn¶t talk to me. thou Nick was due to arrive at any moment. I felt like crying and I know that movie would give me reason too. at least some false love would be nice. That made me think that maybe he really does have something planned. He was reclined back against the couch. he hasn¶t spoken to his brothers in who knows how long. I made dinner and she did her homework. We ate dinner. for one. his arms up over his head and his legs out however he wanted them. Emilee got home from school and we started our usual routine. How could he do that? Ignoring me and Emilee is one thing. but forgetting our anniversary. she hadn¶t spoken to him in months. and a single tear fell. Emilee and I together and Nick helped me with the dishes and putting Emilee to sleep afterwards. I sobbed. Everything that I have been going through and putting up with started to pour out of me. I haven¶t dreamt of Edward in a .³Angela. I rushed to Angela¶s number and put it to my ear after pressing talk a few four times.´ my emotions got the best of me and my face feel into my hands. I received a text message from Edward just before we sat down for dinner advising me that he was boarding the plane and he would be out of contact until he landed. Nick. Her unexpected greeting took my hopes down a few notches. and it wasn¶t the soft kind of sobs either. and I ignored Nick most of the time. Nick put his arm around me and comforted me while I sorted through my head. trying to come up with something and coming up completely empty. I just know from what they¶ve all told me themselves. The love in my family has dissipated to almost nonexistent. because I wanted to feel the love of the family on the screen. there was no stopping it. Nick left after my break down.´ I said out loud though no one would hear me. I asked her if she was aware of any surprise Edward had planned and she told me no. I made him watch The Blind Side with me because. He promised it was the one date he would never miss. ³You okay?´ I barely heard Nick ask from my side. ³It¶s Edward. silent on the kitchen counter. I couldn¶t get Edward out of my head. Nick showed up just before dinner was done and he sat with Emilee while I dished it out. he didn¶t want to but I made him.

that he had something planned for the occasion. Eight o¶clock rolled around and I put Em to sleep. which has become something of a tradition for them. That¶s great Edward. that I kept quiet through everything and let it get to this point. For some reason. I woke up in the morning and my pillow was damp from the tears I must have shed during the night. that or I drooled uncontrollably through it. Edward is the one who stopped caring. to keep my hopes from rising only to be dashed later when nothing come of the night. it¶s been busy. my heart is shattered. It was from Edward. which wasn¶t much and called Alice to see if maybe she¶d heard anything. Now. I tried anything and everything to keep my mind off of the date. When I looked in the mirror and saw the puffy red skin around my eyes I was sure the damp pillow was from tears. things are fucking splendid here. I had to remind myself that I let it get this far. It seems to be going good here. reading his message. Jasper was taking her to the space needle. Maybe Jasper and Edward had something planned together. Every Friday she receives one. especially not the nightmares I used to have. No luck there. Did something happen? Is Emilee okay?-E . Once back in the livingroom I saw that my phone had a message. Edward pushed himself away from me.-E A single tear ran down my cheek and I nearly screamed in frustration. hopeful it was Edward giving me some clue to our anniversary. but nothing would do it. The phone vibrated in my hand and I had to fight through the tears to make out the words. away from us. tonight they came back. I hurried to check it. But not all the blame could be placed on me.-B All my anger and resentment piled up on me and I didn¶t care anymore about Edwards feelings or how hard he¶s been working. I wanted to believe wholeheartedly that he didn¶t forget. how are things? Sorry I didn¶t call. I told her if Edward called I would wake her so she could say goodnight. I got Emilee off to school and picked up the house. Emilee arrived home sooner than I expected²I hadn¶t been watching the clock at all²and we sat down and went through her homework folder.long time. but this time Edward and I were in the present day and things were exactly as they are now.

Edward and I have lost our connection. that I¶m just being an over-emotional girl. like I¶m only here because we have history and a daughter. and then continued to his study. He leaned in and I could taste his sweet breath. Edward has promised a lot of things and the one¶s that matter are the one¶s he¶s broken. good with his hands. Nick and I were sitting on the couch and Emilee was reading a short story to us. Nick changed though. his hand left my shoulder and touched my face. well that just not going to happen anymore. I started to feel uncomfortable and it only got worse when Edward entered the room. that unyielding spark of something between us. it used to be mine as well but not anymore«. I was done. One night he came home and Emilee. ³Can I show daddy my new book?´ Emilee asked and I shook my head. I don¶t care. done feeling like I¶m not wanted. he caught me by surprise. some expression on his face that I haven¶t seen. I turned in my seat and tried like hell to hold back the tears that were threatening to stain my cheeks. but if he wants me to be a musicians wife that never gets to see her husband. or my leg. gripping the book in her hands. He kissed me«and I practically let him. Edward didn¶t even notice and never said a thing about it. When I turned to look at him and tell him that everything was fine. He¶s a beautiful man. The nightmares are back.I don¶t know what¶s happened to you but I don¶t even want to see you until my Edward comes back!!!-B I shut the phone and slammed it onto the counter. call me unfair. Music is his passion. or just standing really close to me. and always putting his hands on my arm. but I cannot believe you forgot the importance of today«. feel the warmth of it on my lips. something I never wanted to experience again. He looked us over. His face was only inches away from mine and before I could reject. ******************************************************* Edward came home and nothing had changed. A sigh slipped through my teeth and I felt Nick¶s hand on my shoulder in the same instant.Emilee is fine. It was all I could do not to break down and cry right there. His eyes are hazel which only compliments his dark . Emilee ran up the stairs to Edward¶s study. If he wants to be a musician then he can be one. something Edward promised I would never experience again. He never answered me about my text that I sent and I think he forgot about it altogether. Nick was sitting so close that I could feel the heat radiating off of him. He was touchier. Call me stubborn.

I needed to talk to Edward about our situation or I was going to do something drastic and probably regret it later. Bella you deserve so much better than this. your lips or any other body part to yourself then you need to leave.´ I replied. When she noticed me coming up the stairs her head rose and I saw the pink in her cheeks that only meant one thing.´ ³If I mean anything to you. ³What¶s wrong Em?´ She sniffled. turned his head toward me and his eyes were wet. He started to turn and I shut the door before he could say anymore. you will respect my decisions and wishes. ³I don¶t know either but I think its best that you leave. ³I want my husband. ³I do not want this.fist worthy hair. ³If you can¶t keep your hands. Maybe Edward¶s absence is affecting me more than I thought. He stopped at the door. You mean more than that to me.´ She sniffled again. When I was completely alone I let the tears fall. it turns out Nick has some secret thing for me. I¶m not sorry. ³I don¶t know what I thought. ³I thought«´ he stopped and looked down at the ground.´ I had to keep my voice down because this was not something I wanted to share with Edward and especially Emilee. ³No. On top of the fact that Edward doesn¶t have time for us anymore.´ I nodded to the door again and he walked through it.´ I nodded my head toward the door and he got up sulking.´ I motioned to the door again and watched as he looked up and headed for it. like he was about to cry. I made my way up the stairs and saw Emilee sitting on the first stair looking down at her book. Only one problem«he isn¶t my husband. He isn¶t Edward. brushing his feet on the carpet. I need more than that. His lips were on mine for longer than I would have liked before I pushed him away and looked at him shocked. ³Daddy told me to wait outside and he would come talk to me. ³I¶m sorry.´ he continued. . and Edward isn¶t himself.´ he breathed and shook his head. ³I don¶t think I can just be your friend Bella.´ I got up and opened the front door for him. So much has changed and so much has not been said. and no one else. the one person my body yearns for.

I wasn¶t going to stay somewhere that I wasn¶t wanted any longer. Edward came out of his study and passed by us and continued down the stairs. I¶ll be down in a minute.´ she replied. ³I have to run back to work but I won¶t be long. ³Mommy is there something the matter?´ she asked.´ The fact that I can¶t even tell our daughter for sure that her daddy is busy really says something. watching me closely. I don¶t have any clue what he is doing. ³Daddy¶s probably busy. if he wants me and Emilee or not. but of course.´ Her questioning eyes always broke me down. why burden anyone when I don¶t have to. silently crying through the whole process. to figure out exactly what it is that I want from Edward and to gain the courage to tell him. ³No sweetie. I made dinner mechanically. If anything. ³I¶m rearranging´ I lied. or what he wants anymore. a child¶s innocence is something otherworldly. When I was done packing my own luggage I went and packed some for Emilee. I took a deep breath and climbed the stairs on all fours to the top. ³Sure. ³What are you doing mommy?´ she asked as she took a seat on my bed.´ he didn¶t even wait for a response.´ I told her. I pulled myself together before I had to face Emilee. that he¶s still attracted to me and that our marriage will work. but not without flashing me a confused look first. I should be back in time to say goodnight. and Edward to realize what he wants. . but right now it was necessary. The tears rolled down my cheeks and stained my shirt while I grabbed clothes blindly through my vision. She went. The answer came to me like a wrecking ball on an old abandoned building. the tremble to my words. That one sentence sparked something inside of me and almost brought me to tears again. she saw right through it.³Oh sweetie. I rushed into my room and Emilee followed. I. ³Can you do me a favor?´ I didn¶t like to lie to Emilee. daddy¶s probably really busy. what he is up to. what makes you think that?´ anyone could hear the anguish in my voice. ³Go down to the kitchen table and start on your homework. I don¶t want to give him an ultimatum but I do want him to even out his time at work and at home. I was fighting back my emotions and having a really hard time doing it. We need a break. I just want to know that he still loves me. he just grabbed his coat and keys and shut the door behind him.

He asked. grabbing my car keys on the . When he¶s in there he is basically not in there.Her head tilted in such a way that makes you stop and take a deep breath. ³You look sad. This particular assignment consisted of writing each word three times. finish each other¶s sentences because we were so in tune with one another. doing a radio interview is a lot more demanding than it appears. I traditionally made Edward¶s plate and placed it in the microwave. The microwave was all the noise in the room. After. I cleaned silently and Edward was silent. We used to know each other¶s feelings. and then writing two sentences containing at least five of the spelling words. quicker than I¶d ever seen him down a meal before. he tunes everything out. was already fast asleep. I left it there and rushed to the laundry room. ³Hey. I didn¶t look back to see what he was doing. Of course I started it for him. beyond that. leaving his plate for me to tend. if that makes any sense. it¶s what I am used to doing.´ He loosened his tie and sat down lazily on the barstool. ³Will you start the microwave please?´ he asked. It¶s like he¶s still working. that would be the easy way out. The kitchen timer alarmed and we ate dinner alone. I had our bags in the laundry room sitting on top of the washer and dryer waiting for us. The timer dinged and I sat his plate in front of him. taking care of my family. Edward walked through the door an hour late and Emilee. Instead.´ I quickly changed the subject of conversation. I have been devastated. I planned on leaving him while he was in the study. it was keeping my mind occupied. did someone pick on you?´ she guessed. he hurried up to his study. ³It was crazy. ³How¶s that homework coming along?´ She showed me her spelling words. thou it took some convincing. I didn¶t want to know and I didn¶t want to give myself away either. putting them in alphabetical order.´ I greeted him and he did this kind of nod-his-head thing. ³How was work?´ I continued to clean up the counter next to the sink where the freshly clean dishes had been. away from what was waiting in the other room. nothing like that. It just goes to show how much we have grown apart. he hasn¶t asked me to do anything in a while. ³No. afterwards. He mumbled a thank you and ate his food. She made me laugh and cry all at the same time. mortified and he doesn¶t even notice. I decided I couldn¶t leave Edward while he wasn¶t at home.

His study is down the hall from Emilee¶s room but I knew he wouldn¶t be paying enough attention to hear me or her. but fell back into unconsciousness in my arms. I hurried out of her room. tip toed down the hall then rushed down the stairs.way. I picked her up and she stirred slightly. . I put the bags in the back of my car and returned to the house.

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