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Table of ContentsSummary1. Chapter 12. Chapter 23. Chapter 34. Chapter 45. Chapter 56. Chapter 67. Chapter 78. Chapter 89. Chapter 910. Chapter 1011. Chapter 1112. Chapter 1213. Chapter 1314. Chapter 1415. Chapter 1516. Chapter 1617. Chapter 1718. Chapter 18
SummaryBella and Edward went to school together. She was the good girl, he was the bad boy. Just after they graduate, Edward is arrested and sent to jail for three years, leaving behind a pregnant Bella.
A/N: I'm going to try to update once a week, but I cant make any promise's. Please review, let me know what you think.
SONG: Calls me home by Shannon Labrie
Chapter 1 Calls me home
I tap my pen against my note pad as I listen to the person on the other line drone on about their insurance bill. I make all the appropriate noises, looking at the clock and wishing this day would be over. "Sir, your auto insurance went up because of the accident you were in last month." I say. This was so not how I saw my life going a few years ago. Isabella Marie Swan was a promising student. At least that's what everyone always said. I had excellent grades and never did anything to get in trouble. My father Charlie Swan is the police chief of our small town, Forks Washington. I was expected to be the ultimate good girl, and I was. At least that's what everyone thought. Every kid needs a release, a way to rebel in some form or another. I found my release in Edward Cullen. The bad boy of Forks. He didn't care about school. He cared even less about what people thought about him. He did what he wanted when he wanted with no worry to the consequences. I found that intriguing. I for the most part always felt like I was suffocating under everyone's expectations of me. No one expected anything from Edward and I was jealous of that freedom.
Alice Brandon caught my attention as she leaned over the top of my cubicle. "It's 5:00." She whispered, letting me know it was quitting time. I nodded and tried my best to wrap up the irate customer I had on the phone. I hated my job, but it paid the bills so I couldn't complain too much about it. I glanced down at the picture on my desk. Hayden Anthony Swan is my two-year old son. He's gorgeous, smart and so funny. Though it could be that I'm just biased when it comes to my little man. I can't regret my past, or even my present, because that would be like regretting Hayden. He's my whole world. So what if I didn't get to attend college. So what if I got stuck in this small town. I had a beautiful, healthy son who I adored and loved more than life itself.
"Jeez how long were you on the phone with that guy?" Alice asked me.
"I'm not sure, but it felt like forever." I said laughing. I gathered my things, made sure my computer was powered down and walked with Alice out of the building.
Alice and I went to school together. Hell most everybody in this town that was my age I went to school with. Some left after graduation and never came back, some did. Some, like me never left at all. Alice lives with her boyfriend, Jasper Whitlock, who's originally from Texas. He moved here during sophomore year and quickly became Edward's best friend. I truly like Jasper, even if I now hated his friend. Though I'm not sure they even still speak. I don't ask and no one brings him up to me anymore.
"We need to have a girls night out some time soon." Alice says.
"Yeah that would be cool. I have to check with Charlie. I'll find out when his next Friday off is and let you know." I said.
"Kay. Tell Rose about it. I'll see you tomorrow." She said. I waved and got in my car. Rose is my best friend. We've know each other since we were little and though we couldn't be more different from each other, our friendship has survived all these years. She watches Hayden for me while I work. Rose works from home, rebuilding classic cars in her garage. I don't know what I'd do without her. She doesn't charge me to watch him, which I'm both thankful for and feel guilty about. I can't afford daycare with what I make and still pay my bills and I refuse to live with my dad. It's not that he's a terrible person to live with, but I have a son and I want and need to take care of him on my own. As payment for watching Hayden for me, I cook for Rose once a week. The girl cant even boil a pot of water, so she tends to eat out a lot.
I hear Rose talking to Hayden before I see them. Their in the garage. I stand just inside, watching them. "You see this Hayden? Hayman, look at aunt Rose." Hayden looks up from his blocks. "This is a piston. Can you say that?" She asks my two-year old son.
"Pisson." He says proudly. I bust out laughing alerting them to my presence. It sounded like he said "piss on".
As soon as Hayden see's me, he reaches out his arms for me to pick him up. Sometimes I feel like a terrible mother. I don't get to spend a lot of time with him like some mothers do. I missed his first words, because I was at work and I missed the first time he pulled up all be himself. God must have felt my pain because thankfully, by some miracle I was there when he took his first step. The only thing that made me feel better was that it was Rose, and not some daycare worker who wouldn't have cared, that witnessed my son's firsts when I couldn't.
"Was he good today?" I asked.
"Pshh, little man is always good for his aunt Rose." She said smiling sweetly at him.
"Yeah, okay." I said, smiling. "I got to get home and feed this little guy. Tell aunt Rose bye." I said.
"Bye, wuv you." He said waving his tiny hand at her. She leaned over and kissed him, telling him she loved him and she'd see him tomorrow. I hugged her bye and we left.
Hayden babbled on in the backseat. Lately when he talked, his words were becoming more clear and my heart broke just a little because he was growing up to fast. On the up side, I couldn't be more proud of how smart my baby was. He definitely got that from me. He may look like a replica of his father, but he got all his brains from his momma.
I parked in my allotted parking spot in front of my apartment and saw someone standing next to my door. I grabbed my phone and stepped out the car, leaving Hayden locked in. This was a safe neighborhood but one could never be to careful, especially with my baby in the car with me. I punched 911 into my keypad but didn't hit send yet. I just wanted it to be ready.
"Are you waiting on someone?" I asked the shadow. I wish the person would move, so I could see who it was.
As if they heard my silent plea, the figure moved into the light and I dropped my phone. I gasped loudly and stood like a statue, not knowing what to do or say.
"Hey Bella. I was waiting on you." He said. "Well technically, I was waiting on my son."
I couldn't believe it. Edward fucking Cullen. The last person I wanted to see.
A/N: This chapter might be a little boring, it explains some of Edward and Bella's past. I hope everyone enjoys. Let me know what you think! ;)
Chapter 2 I knew you were trouble
3 years earlier
I sat across the room holding my now warm beer in my hand. Rose had left me to dance on the make shift dance floor, which was really just the middle of the living room. She'd talked me into coming to Jessica Stanley's party. I wasn't allowed to attend these types of things. My father was really strict and because of his job, he usually knew who the trouble makers in our town were. Tonight was the first time I'd lied to him about where I was going. I wanted to have fun, something I usually never got to do. It's my senior year and I'm eighteen years old and had never gotten into any kind of trouble, I figured I was entitled. That doesn't mean I don't feel guilty about lying to him though. He thinks I'm staying the night at Rose's and her mom thinks we are staying at my house.
We've been here for a couple of hours and the party was going great. That was until Edward Cullen and Jasper Whitlock decided to crash it. From what Rose told me, they weren't invited, but showed up anyways. Nobody dared to tell them to leave. Everyone claimed that they were crazy and unpredictable. That's what all the guys said anyways. The girls, however, were flocking to them. I could understand. They are the hottest guys in our school, especially Edward. He's so sexy and it wasn't just the bad boy that I found sexy. No, he could have been the biggest nerd in all of Forks and I would have still been attracted to him. With his messy hair that was the same color as a shiny penny and his eyes were the greenest eyes I'd ever seen. He was tall and muscular, but not overly so.
At the moment Lauren Mallory was sitting beside him. She was practically in his damn lap, but he didn't seem to be paying much attention to her. Edward had a reputation for being a player. I fully believed he earned that reputation fair and square. Throughout our high school years, I've seen him with several girls and he never seemed to be serious about any of them.
Edward's eyes flashed to mine from across the room and I felt like a deer caught in the headlights. I knew I should look away, but I couldnt. Something in his eyes held me there. He smirked at me and looked back to Lauren. Embarrassed at being caught staring, I drank my warm beer in one long gulp and turned to walk back to the kitchen to get a refill. Maybe I would just stay hidden in here for the rest of the night. I filled my red plastic cup up with fresh cold beer from the keg and leaned against the counter. It's not like that's the first time he'd caught me staring at him. It happened in school all the time. Edward and I have never talked before, well except when we were like in first grade. He was a bad boy even then and had teased me about having "cooties". All I'd wanted to do was play in the sandbox with them, but Edward told me to go play with girls. I got angry, told him he was stupid and he called me ugly. That was the end of it. I ran off and we've never talked again.
As I'm looking down into my cup, I feel someone come stand next to me. I glance up to find Edward, leaning against the counter like me. He pulls something out of his pocket. Without lifting his head, but raising his eyes to mine, he smiles crookedly. "What's up Bella?" He says, as if we talk all the time.
"Uhhh...nothing." I say.
"You wanna smoke?" He asks me.
I shake my head no." I don't smoke cigarettes." I say.
He begins to chuckle and though I know it's probably at me, I cant help but find his laugh so damn sexy.
"It's not a cigarette darling. It's weed." He says.
My stomach is rolling from the darling comment. He must have picked that endearment up from Jasper.
"I uhh, umm, don't smoke that either." I say feeling so young and stupid standing next to him.
He nods and puts the joint back in his pocket. He turns to me and really stares me down. I feel nervous under his gaze. Not knowing what else to do as he watches me, I start chugging my drink. Edward runs his finder down my throat and I swear I can feel my skin warm under his touch.
He leans close to my ear. "You need to live a little. Come smoke with me." He whispers. His voice sent exciting chills down my body. I looked into his eyes and for the first time in my life I wanted to be bad. I wanted to be bad with him. What could it hurt for me to smoke with him? I did need to start living a little.
"Ok." I said. Edward grabbed my hand and led my out the back door. We sat on the porch swing and I shivered from the cool night air.
"Cold?" He asks.
I nod my head. I'm starting to get nervous now. I've never smoked before and I have a feeling I'm getting ready to make an ass out of myself. Edward scoots closer to me. We are touching from our shoulder's all the way to our legs and his body warms me. Edward takes the joint out of his pocket again, but this time he lights it. He takes a long pull from it and I can smell the sweet musky scent of the weed as the smoke floats in my direction. He hands it to me and I put it to my lips and take a deep pull like I saw him do. Instantly my throat burns and I feel the urgent need to cough. I quickly hand it back to him and start hacking, tears running down my face from the effort.
Edward is laughing and I feel like I'm dying because I can't stop coughing no matter how hard I try. Why do people do this shit? I just don't get it. I feel Edward rubbing his hand up and down my back in what I'm guessing is supposed to be a soothing gesture, but all I can think about is that he's touching me and I don't want him to stop.
"You ok?" He asks me, still laughing lightly. I manage to nod as I continue to cough, but it's starting to subside a bit.
He hands me the joint again and I look at him like he's crazy. Didnt he just see what happened? He must see the hesitation in my eyes, because he smirks at me and shakes his hand in front my face, telling me silently to take it.
"It's not so bad the more you do it." He says. I highly doubt that, but I take it anyways, wanting to impress this gorgeous boy next to me. Peer pressure is a bitch! I take another pull and even though I still cough, it's not nearly as bad as the first time.
"Hold it in as long as you can before you exhale." He tells me. "It will help with the high." I hold my breath and nod to let him know I heard him.
After we finish the joint, we sit back and quietly rock on the swing. I'm still not sure why people do this shit. It doesn't do anything for you. I don't feel anything, though I'm not sure what I'm supposed to feel. Mostly I just feel sleepy and really thirsty. Jasper walks out on the porch and looks at us.
"You ass! Dude you smoked without me?" Jasper says, throwing his hands up in the air. He reminds me of a child getting ready to throw a temper tantrum. I don't know why, but him pouting like a small child sent me in to hysterics. It was the funniest thing I'd ever seen. Edward was laughing beside me.
"Dude! You got the chief's daughter high? Are you fucking crazy!" Jasper yells. As Edward and I continue to laugh at, really nothing, Jasper huffs and walks back into the house. I'm so relaxed and obviously not thinking clearly, that I lean my head against Edward's shoulder and close my eyes. Edward doesn't seem to mind so I don't move. Ok so I'm either high or drunk because the normal straight laced Bella would never be so bold as to lay all over Edward Cullen.
What felt like hours but was probably only 30 minutes, Rose comes out and looks shocked to see me laying on Edward. She grabs my hand and pulls me up. "Time to go Bella." She says. She glares daggers at Edward. "Cullen, I cant believe you got her high." She says.
"She's a big girl Hale. She can make her own decisions." He smirks at her. "I'll see you around Bella." He says as he stands and runs his finger lightly down my cheek.
After that party, Edward would seek me out at school. We started talking more and more and I loved every moment of it. I never told my dad, because Edward was bad news in this town, but Rose knew that we talked and she also knew that I was majorly crushing on him. She constantly warned me away from him. "He's a player, Bella. You know that. He only wants one thing and as soon as he gets it, you'll be yesterdays news." She would tell me. I didn't care though, because I felt like I saw a different side to him. He was sweet, smart and funny. I always thought I was different, we were different together. I felt like we shared a connection because we had so much in common. He made me feel so alive and free. I felt like I could be myself with him and he didn't expect nothing out or from me, although Rose would always say he DID expect one thing from me.
Edward and I eventually got closer and he was my first everything. He gave me my first kiss and it was amazing. He took my virginity, proving Rose wrong because he didn't leave me or throw me away afterwards. We kept seeing each other for a few months. We never defined our relationship and I was ok with that. I finally had something in my life that was just for me. It was all mine and I didn't want to define it, I wanted to just go with the flow and that's exactly what we did. Three months after we started messing around we graduated high school and my whole world came crashing down on me. Within a week span, I found out I was pregnant and Edward was arrested.
It happened exactly a week after we graduated. He was supposed to meet me at a summer party that Friday night, but had called to say he was going to be late. He never showed. Later, I found out that he was pulled over for swerving and was then searched. Lauren Mallory was with him. Edward had weed and cocaine on him. I never even knew he did the hard stuff. Because of his record for getting into trouble, he was sentenced to 3 years in jail. He was eighteen years old, and the judge didn't go easy on him. I never got to tell him I was pregnant and after that night, I never wanted to talk to him again.
He called me for the first 6 months he was locked up, but I never talked to him. He wrote that entire first year, but I never read any of them. I knew it was my fault. I fell in love with the towns bad boy, who had a reputation for being a 'love'em and leave'em' type. That doesn't mean it hurt any less though.
I stood in the door way of Hayden's room and watched him sleep. He looked so peaceful wrapped up in his spongebob blankets, his little fist tucked under his chin. Edward wanted to meet his son and I didn't know what to do. I only wanted what was right for Hayden, but I'm not sure what that is.
I walked to my small kitchen and sat down at the table, resting my head in my hands. Edward had blown my mind showing up tonight. I didn't know it was time for him to be released. Ok, that was a lie. I knew it was getting close to that time, but never thought in a million years he would seek me out once he had his freedom. It had to be Jasper that told him about Hayden and where I lived. I hated to place blame on Jasper when I wasn't 100 percent sure, but who else could it have been.
Edward had looked so good tonight. He was even more built than he had been in high school. I guess when you're in prison and have nothing better to do with your time, you work out. Well it definitely showed that he had been working out. He'd been adamant that he wanted to see his son and I'd been just as adamant that it wasn't going to happen. He told me that I couldn't keep his child away from him and I'd laughed in his face. What was he going to do, take me to court? What judge would grant him visitation to a small child when he was just released from prison. I could fight that shit and I'd more than likely win, but I really didn't want it to go that far. To get him to leave, I told him I would think about it. He wasn't to happy about it, but he agreed and said he would be back. Uggg...I didn't know what to do.
A/N: Sorry this chapter is short. The next might be a little longer, but after that the chapters will get longer I promise!
Hope everyone enjoys. Oh and sorry for the lack of Edward in this chapter. He will be in the next one. By the way, I need a beta. Does anyone know of someone who is good? Does anyone want to help me with that? Please let me know.
Chapter 3 Hate that I love you
I tap my pen against my desk as I stare off into space thinking about Edward. All day I've been unable to concentrate on my work, my mind on Edward. The ass wasn't even here and I couldn't stop thinking about him. A part of me wants him so bad, the silly girl I once was, wants to forgive him and give him whatever he wants so that he will be mine. The mom in me says he shouldn't be anywhere around my baby boy. I don't know anything about him anymore. What if he's still doing drugs? I couldn't risk having that around Hayden. If I let him into Hayden's life, was he going to stick around? Was he going to be a permanent fixture? I didn't want him to come and go as he pleased. That wouldn't be right to Hayden.
"Ugggg!" I groaned, throwing my pen down. Maybe I can just tell him that Hayden's not his, then he wouldn't want anything to do with him. Even as I thought this I knew I would and could never do that. First of all, my morals wouldn't allow me to lie like that, especially about something so important. Secondly, Hayden was the spitting image of Edward. The child looked nothing like me. I was merely an incubator for him.
No matter how childish I wanted to act about this, I needed to think like an adult. I wouldn't lie to Edward about Hayden, but that didn't mean I thought he was safe to be around my son. Would Edward hurt him? No. I knew he would never hurt Hayden, at least not intentionally. That just wasn't who Edward was. His life style though was something I wasn't sure about. If I was being honest with myself, I didn't know who Edward was anymore. He'd been gone for three years and a lot can change in that time.
I grabbed my purse and walked out the office building. I flopped down in my old car. It wasn't the best car, but it got me from point A to point B and I rarely had problems with it. Jasper was a godsend when it came to auto repairs. He'd taken over his fathers mechanic shop last year and without him helping me, giving me discount prices, I don't know what I would have done. Money was tight for me. My dad helped when he could, but I always felt bad taking money from him. Hayden was my responsibility and I tried my hardest to do it on my own. Still, without Charlie's help and the help of my friends, I don't know where Hayden and I would be right now.
As I drove to Rose's house, my mind drifted back to Edward once again. I wish I could say that seeing him the other night did nothing for me, but that would be lying. After all these years, he still had the ability to create havoc on my body. It was as if my body had a mind of its own. No matter what my brain was saying, my body wanted him. He could still make my heart pound just by looking at him.
I didn't bother knocking and walked into Rose's house. They were sitting on the couch and I heard Spongebob Sqaure Pants on the T.V. "What are you guys doing?" I asked.
Rose didn't move her eyes from the T.V. as she answered me. "Hayden wanted to watch this. Have you ever watched this shit with him? It's ridiculous. And this damn sponge is stupid. Bells I think you need to reconsider what Hay watches. Shouldn't he be watching educational shows?"
I couldn't help but laugh at her. I also hated that show and wished Hayden didn't like it so much. "Rose watch your language around him. He's copying everything we say lately." I said.
"Mommy! Come watch wiff us." Hayden said as he patted the spot next to him with his chubby little hand. He gave me a big lopsided toothy smile and there was no way I could deny him. His smile was a direct copy of his fathers. He always looked like Edward, but sometimes, his smile and the expressions he made looked even more like Edward if that were possible. I sat down next to him and Rose and watched as spongebob annoyed the shit out of squidward. Why my two year old like this show was beyond me, but at the moment he was obsessed with anything spongebob. Hayden curled up next to me as I spoke to Rose over his head.
"So...umm...you'll never guess who was waiting for me at my door last night when I got home?" I whispered, though I don't know why. Hayden was to young to understand what we were talking about and besides, he was so absorbed in his show that he wouldn't pay us any attention anyways. I looked over at Rose to see if she'd heard me and found her just as focused on the show as Hayden was. "Rose!" I said louder.
"Yeah. What?" She said, finally turning her attention to me.
"Who the fuck was at your door?" She asked me when I repeated myself.
I rolled my eyes. "Language Rose. And Edward Cullen."
Her mouth dropped open. "No fu...way! I didn't know he was out of jail?"
"Yeah well he is."
"How did he know where you lived?"
"It's a small town Rose. It probably didn't take much asking around for him to find out, besides I think Jasper might have told him."
"Ohhh! That asshole. Jasper shouldnt have done that. What did Edward want? A booty call?" She asked me.
"NO! He wanted to meet Hayden." I told her, glaring.
"What? The dude has been in jail for like what, three years. You know he's probably horny as hell!"
I couldn't argue with that. He most likely was and just thinking about him being horny was doing funny things to my stomach. God how could he still make me react this way when it had been so long. "Whether or not he's "horny" is not my concern. And I'm starting to wonder why I let you around my child with your sailor's mouth."
Rose laughed at that, but soon became serious again. "Bells, do you really want him around Hay?"
"I don't know. Edward isn't that bad." I said. I was such a hypocrite. All day I'd been dogging Edward in my head and now here I was defending him to my best friend, when really she was just voicing what I'd been thinking.
Rose sighed. "I know you've always claimed to know a side to Edward that the rest of us never saw, but what about the drugs? You can't have that around Hayden. And what about him cheating on you with Lauren? He hurt you Bella. Can you really just forgive him?"
"Rose, I don't know him anymore. I don't know that he still does drugs. Him cheating with Lauren was years ago and has nothing to do with Hayden. My baby boy deserves a father. Yes Edward hurt me, but I'm not going to hold him away from Hayden because of what he did to me. That's just petty." I told her and I meant it. When I'd found out that Edward was with Lauren the night he was arrested, I was heart-broken. I always knew he had a reputation, but I thought I was different. I guess I was wrong, but what happened between us had nothing to do with my baby. Hayden was such a sweet loving child and he deserved a father.
"Just promise me you will think about it more before you make a decision?" Rose pleaded with me. I nodded in agreement.
Hayden and I ended up eating dinner at Rose's, so it was later than usual when we got home. I was half expecting to see Edward at my door again, but there was no one there. My stupid traitorous body was disappointed with this. I got out of my ancient car and unbuckled Hayden who was barely keeping his eyes open.
As I walked up to my door I noticed there was something laying against the door. "Mommy! Pongebob been here mommy." Hayden said. There was a huge spongebob stuffed animal laying against the door along with a pink rose. There was no note indicating who it was from, but I didn't need one. I already knew.
"I see baby. Can mommy see that for a second?" I asked as I took the toy from him. I looked it over before deciding that it was ok for him to have. It's not that I thought Edward had done anything to it, but I didn't trust other people and Edward had left it out in the open for anyone to tamper with. I unlocked my door and ushered, a now, very awake little boy inside.
I contemplated throwing the rose away, but didn't have the heart to do it, so instead I found a vase and put the rose in it, setting it on my small kitchen table. After giving Hayden his bath and reading him a bedtime story, he was out cold, clinging to his new spongebob. Edward had either gotten very lucky with the toy, or Alice and Jasper told him what my son liked. I wasn't sure, but I was leaning towards the latter.
I walked to my room and sat on the edge of the bed. I still didn't know what to do about him, and I knew Edward wasn't going to wait forever before he showed back up demanding to see his son.
A/N: I would like to thank my beta Signed -K. You are wonderful!
I should have another chapter up next week. Thanks to everyone who has read and reviewed this story.
Chapter 4 Second Chance
It's been a week since Edward showed up at my door and I haven't heard anything from him. I'm trying my best to not ask Alice about him; I know she knows where he's at, but I refuse to act like I care. It's childish, I know, but it's how I feel. Surprisingly Alice has been quiet about the whole situation and I have a feeling she wants to say something to me about it, but she doesn't.
I'm pushing the grocery cart down the cookie aisle and I immediately regret my decision. Hayden has learned what this aisle is and he instantly starts pointing out cookies that he wants. I try to rush past them as he starts to point at a package of Chocolate Chip Cookies, "Mommy I's wants them right there." Normally I wouldn't mind buying them for him, but this month has been tight with money and I honestly just can't afford to spare any money on junk food.
"Not today baby," I tell him as we continue down the aisle, I already know what's coming next.
"Why," he asks me, his new favorite question. Everything is "why"; when he was a year old, everything was "what's this" and right now, I'm not sure which drives me crazier. I love my baby boy, but sometimes he can really rack my last nerve.
I choose to not answer his "why"; it's not like I can explain to my two year old that mommy doesn't have the money right now to give him everything that he wants. I start to put more of the items that we need into the cart and when I reach the diaper section, I grab the cheapest pack that I know won't leak. Regardless of how tight money is, you have to be careful with these damn things. Hopefully, though, it won't be much longer before he's potty trained and finally out of diapers.
As we start to check out, Hayden once again starts to point at the candy and cheap toys beside the register; the ones that won't last a minute before they start breaking. I truly hate the way that stores place these things the one place that they can't be avoided.
"Oh my goodness, look at you, Hayden; you're getting so big," Mrs. Cope gushes, the way that she always does when she sees my son. I've known the older woman my entire life and she's the manager of the grocery store, so we usually run into her on a pretty regular basis.
"Yes he's growing up so fast," I respond thoughtfully, looking down at my beautiful baby.
"He's such a cutie, Bella. I talked to your father the other day and he couldn't stop bragging about his perfect grandson." That sounded like something Charlie would say, I continued to smile and nodded my head in response. One of my favorite things about Charlie is the way that he brags, to anyone who will listen, about my son.
Mrs. Cope had finished checking us out and I'm about to walk out the store, when I look out the store window to see Edward leaning against my car. Seeing him there stops me dead in my tracks, I watching him for a moment. I can see him, but I don't think he can see me; either that or he just hasn't spotted me just yet.
"Mrs. Cope," I speak up, drawing her attention to my lingering presence. "Can you watch Hayden for a second please," I ask her, she looks at me strangely and gives me an affirming nod.
"Thank you, I'll be right back," I tell Hayden, giving him a sweet smile so he doesn't worry.
I head to my car with purpose and watch as Edward stands up to his full heights the moment that he notices me, burying his hands in the front pockets of his pants. "Are you stalking me," I ask him coldly and he smirks at me.
"No Bella," he responds. "I just want to see my son."
"Do you really think the parking lot of the grocery store is the best place for that?"
"I'll take what I can get; I tried to see him at your home, but you wouldn't let me."
"Yeah well there's a reason for that Edward," I fold my arms across my chest. "I'm not sure I want you to have anything to do with MY son," I say, making sure to emphasize that he's mine. I see a flash of irritation in his eyes.
There's a flash of irritation in Edward's eyes before he responds. "He's my son, too, and I have the right to know him."
I can't help but scoff at his statement; I just wanted to scream at him that technically he has no claim to Hayden. "Look Edward," I choose not to argue with him right now. "I'm not going to do this here, Hayden is waiting for me in the store and I have to get back to him."
Edward's eyes grow wider and he advances on me, just slightly. "You left my son in the store alone?!"
I roll my eyes at him, wondering if that question even warrants a response. "Don't be stupid; I would never do that, he's only two. Mrs. Cope is watching him for me," I explain as I turn to leave. It's then that I feel Edward's hand on my arm, stopping me from leaving as a tingling sensation runs up my arm to where his hand is touching me.
"Bella, please," Edward's voice is so small; it almost sounds like he's begging me. Gone is the bad boy and in his place is the Edward that I used to know, when we were alone. "I just want to be a part of his life, Bella; he's my child. I thought about you and Hayden, every day while I was gone. I don't even know what he looks like; can you imagine never laying eyes on your own child? Hell Bella, I wouldn't even know him if I saw him on the street. Do you know how bad that hurts me?" By the time Edward was finished talking, he was looking down at the pavement. I wanted to tell him that if he ever saw Hayden, he'd know him instantly; but, instead, I chose to say nothing. "Please Bella; just give me a second chance to show you that I'm not that bad, that I've changed."
"I know you're not a terrible person Edward, but I need time to think about this. It not just me, I have to do the right thing for Hayden. Can you please just give me time to think about it," I asked him.
The look in his eyes told me that he didn't like my answer, but he wasn't going to argue anymore. He simply nodded his head in agreement and agreed. "Of course I will, but I'm not going to wait forever."
I turned to walk away, again, when I heard him softly call my name. Looking over my shoulder at him, I arched my brow in question and waited for him to continue. "Did you...umm...why didn't you ever write me back," he stammered over his question
I watched him; I didn't know how to respond to that. There was a part of me that didn't want to hurt him by telling him the truth, that I'd never read any of his letters. But then I thought about him and Lauren; I thought about how much he'd hurt me that night, how much he'd embarrassed me. I looked him straight in his beautiful green eyes and told him, "I never read them." The hurt that flashed across his face was visible as he nodded and looked down his head, as if he understood why I hadn't read them.
Edward didn't say anything more, so I walked back into the store and found Hayden waiting for me with chocolate all over his face. "I didn't think it would hurt to give the little guy a piece of candy while you were gone," Mrs. Cope said as I eyed my son's dirty face.
"No, it's ok," I lied with an appreciative smile. It's not that I deprive my son of candy, but pure chocolate was bound to have him jumping off the walls. I just couldn't find it in myself to tell Mrs. Cope that, not after she'd been kind enough to watch him for me.
I rolled my cart of groceries out to my car, just ready to finally be home. Tomorrow was supposed to be my Sunday dinner with Charlie and maybe it was time that I pulled out Edward's letters and finally read them. Okay, I wasn't quite sure that I was ready to read them; but I would definitely bring them home from Charlie's house tomorrow after dinner.
A/N: Thanks for all the reviews, they mean so much to me. I hope everyone enjoys this chapter.
A big thank you to Signed -K! Your awesome.
Chapter 5 Worn me down
"Bells, where the hell are you," I hear Jacob Black's booming voice call out in question. Currently, I'm sitting in my old closet at my dad's house, where I'd just found Edward's letters before Jake came looking for me. I stood up; holding the small shoe box where I'd kept Edward's letters all this time close to me.
"I'm here," I called back, stepping out of the closet and meeting Jake in my room. Jake glanced briefly at the box in my hand as he told me that the delivery guy had just dropped off our dinner. "Great, I'm starving," I responded, motioning for Jake to lead the way.
Glancing back at the box in my hands, "what's that," he asks curiously.
"Just something from my past," I responded nonchalantly, shrugging my shoulders in response. Luckily, Jake tends not to pry and accepts my answer without pushing any further.
"Okay, well let's go eat before our dads eat it all," he says chuckling. Jake and Billy, his dad, have been coming to Sunday dinners with me and Charlie for quite a few years now. I consider Jake to be one of my best friends, though I know he has always wanted more from me. While I will admit that he's cute, I'm just not attracted to him in that way; Jake is like a brother to me.
We walk downstairs and into the kitchen together; Charlie already has the Chinese food sitting in the middle of the table and is waiting for us with Billy and Hayden. "Up Grampy," Hayden commands, holding his arms up to my dad. I watch, with a smile on my face, as my dad lifts him off the ground and sets him in the booster seat that's already sitting at the table.
"Bella, you need to sign this boy up for soccer," Billy tells me as he wheels his chair up to the dinner table and I take my seat beside Hayden, whose excitedly tearing apart the egg roll that I'd placed in front of him.
"I don't think he's old enough yet, Billy," I tell him, helping myself to the take out. "Besides, I don't know anything about soccer; I wouldn't be able to help him, at all."
"Oh, he can play next year; they have a three year old league and, I'm sure, Jake here can teach him a thing or two," Billy replies and I see Charlie nod in agreement from across the table. It never fails and they can never give it a rest; these two are forever trying to force Jake and me together. I don't bother telling them that nobody interested me before Edward, and nobody had since. Speaking of which, it was probably a good idea to tell Charlie about Edward before he heard it from someone else.
I cleared my throat and set my fork down, rushing forward with my words before I chicken out. "So dad, umm... I was just wondering—did you know that Edward was released from jail?" The words had barely left my lips when three heads snapped up from their plates and in my direction.
"Uhhh," Charlie hesitated, placing his own fork down and clearing his throat. "I heard something about that, but how did you know?" Of course this information wouldn't be news to my dad, though I find it a little irritating that he didn't mention it to me.
"Well, he came to see me the other day; I guess, technically, he was there to see Hayden." I chewed on my bottom lip anxiously as Charlie's mustache twitched and he leaned forward on his elbows, steepling his fingers in front of himself as he addressed me.
"Bells, I don't really think that's a very good idea. For Hayden, I mean, to be around Edward."
I glared at my dad, angry for the way that he'd formed this decision for me and my child. "I believe I can make decisions for myself and for my son on my own, Charlie. I've done a pretty good job of taking care of him so far," I said, probably a little more bitterly than was necessary, considering I'd already formed the same opinion days ago. Inside of myself, I didn't believe that Edward was a changed man; but, as it had every time before, it angered me when others doubted or spoke badly of him.
"You know that I think you're a wonderful mother, Isabella. I just don't want you to be blinded by this boy, again," he said, looking sincere and apologetic.
"I know dad, but I will always do what's best for Hayden," I said, glancing over at my son. Hayden was oblivious to the conversation, his head thrown back and his bulging cheeks full of food, noodles dangling from his lips. I couldn't stop the grin that spread across my face as I watched him; I thought about Edwards words and it made my heart hurt for him. He didn't know what his child looked like. He'd never held Hayden's soft, warm little body; never given him a hug or a kiss, or smelled Hayden's sweet baby smell. I couldn't imagine not knowing my baby. As the guilt slowly flooded me, I knew that I had to give Edward a chance to know Hayden. They both deserved to know each other, and I didn't want to be the one who stood in the way of that.
After dinner, Jake and I decided to take Hayden to the park while Charlie and Billy watched the baseball game. I watched Jake as he put Hayden in the baby swing, Hayden's little legs sticking out through the holes. Jake pushed the back of the swing gently and Hayden squealed in delight, his little legs kicking the air excitedly. I took my cell phone out and started snapping pictures, capturing the beautiful moment.
True to his nature, the swing didn't hold his attention for long and soon Hayden was ready to move on to the monkey bars. My son loved for someone to hold him up, allowing him to climb from bar to bar as if he were big enough to play on his own. I continued to take pictures, standing back and watching as Jake assisted him.
"Mommy! Looks what me can do," Hayden squealed happily from the bars, causing me to laugh at his enthusiasm.
"I see baby, I see; you're such a big boy," I told him, earning a big crooked grin from him. It was a classic Edward Cullen expression and I sighed, snapping another photo. From the corner of my eye, I caught a glimpse of copper colored hair. I glanced to my right, sucking in my breath in surprise when I saw Edward sitting on the park bench, watching our son play. "Jake," I spoke hesitantly. "Can you please keep an eye on Hayden for a second?" I watched, out of the corner of my eye, as Jake nodded and followed my gaze to where Edward sat.
As I stalked towards him, Edward's eyes finally drifted from Hayden to me, standing up as I drew closer to him. "Edward," I greeted him.
"Bella," he replied. We stood in silence for a moment, staring at each other, neither of us knowing what to say to the other.
"How did you know we were here," I asked.
"I was taking a walk, when I saw you heading this way," he said.
"So..." I started, but stopped when I didn't know what I wanted to say.
"He's beautiful Bella," Edward said, his voice full of awe and wonder. I turned to look at our son and felt the tears as they began to spring to my eyes. I hadn't realized, until this very moment, how much I wanted Edward to look at our son and think he was wonderful.
"Yes, he is," I said, my voice more than a little sad. "He looks just like you, Edward."
I looked back at Edward as he flashed me his famous lopsided grin and responded, "Yes, I see that."
"Look Edward," I spoke frankly, my voice stern. "I don't know who you are anymore, but I'm hoping that you've grown up in the last three years. I need you to understand that I won't put up with drugs around my son. I also don't want a line of women coming in and out of his life. I don't care what you do, as long as it's not around Hayden and doesn't affect him in any way."
Edward's face had been etched with confusion when I first began my rant. His expression transformed slowly to understanding and then into excitement as the meaning behind my words set in. "You mean that you're going to let me come around him," he asked anxiously.
"Yes," I nodded, folding my arms across my chest. "You're his father and I don't want to be the reason that he doesn't know you. I can't do that to him and, to be honest, I can't do that to you. I know that underneath all the bad boy stuff, you're really a good person, Edward."
He stepped closer to me, reaching his hand out to touch my face tenderly and I resisted the urge to lean into his touch. "Thank you, Bella; you don't know how much this means to me." I felt Edward's thumb rub my cheek and I wanted to melt into him, badly.
I took a step back, causing his hand to drop and hurt flashed in his eyes before he quickly downed his head. "This is about you and Hayden; I hope you can understand that." He nodded and I bit my lip, swallowing the sadness that had bubbled up inside my chest. "So then you can come over on Tuesday, around 6pm; is that a good time for you," I asked.
"Yes! That's perfect, I'll be there," he responded quickly, his excitement almost palpable.
"Well, okay then," I responded awkwardly. "I'll umm—I'll see you then," I told him, turning to walk back to Jake and Hayden.
Jake was watching me closely when I returned and started gathering up Hayden's things up. "What did he want," he asked coldly, his dark eyes examining me as I bent to pick up my son.
"To see his son," I answered honestly, more than a little put off with the way that Jake looked at me.
"I hope you told him to ** off," he responded angrily.
"Jacob," I scolded him sternly. "Don't say that word in front of little ears, and I told him to come over Tuesday."
I started back towards my father's house as Jake scoffed, jogging to catch up to me. "You've got to be kidding me, Bella; he's a loser and you know it!"
"I'm not arguing with you about this," I stated matter-of-factly, switch Hayden to my other arm and continued walking. "It's my decision to make and I made it, Jake; without yours or my father's consent."
He grabbed my arm, effectively stopping me and spinning me around to face him. "Let me be Hayden's father," he begged. "You know I love him and would do anything for him, and you, Bella. I can take care of the both of you; I would be a good dad to him, Bells."
I sighed deeply, my irritation with Jacob turning quickly into pity. "Jake, you're a wonderful friend to me. You will make a good father, one day, just not to Hayden; he already has a dad."
"Fine," Jake said flatly as we reached my dad's front porch and I placed Hayden back on the ground, I could tell he was upset. "Look I have to go; I'll see you two later." He leaned down and hugged Hayden good bye, ruffling his hair affectionately. When he stood back up, I expected him to hug me, because this was what we always did, but I was wrong. Jake gave me one last sorrowful look and then he turned to leave.
I wanted to scream, I was so frustrated with the men in my life; there was just no way to make everyone happy. I looked down at Hayden; he was spinning in circles, trying to make himself dizzy. He wore a huge grin on his face, oblivious to all the headaches in the world around him. I laughed at my goofy son and that was when I knew. I knew that I only really cared about making two people happy— my son and, for some unknown reason, Edward Cullen.
That night, I sat down at my tiny kitchen table with the box of letters in front of me. They were taunting me, calling to me to read them. Hayden was already in bed asleep, so I didn't even have him as a distraction from the past. I really wanted to get over all of the hurt that my past with Edward caused, and the only way to do that was to finally face it.
I take a deep breath and blow it out loudly, drumming my fingers against the table and tapping my foot anxiously on the floor. I removed the lid and snatch up the letter that's sitting on top out, ripping it open before I could make myself stall any longer than I already had. I have no clue which letter this is, because none of them are in any particular order. Fleetingly, I wonder if maybe I should have numbered them as I received them, as I pull the letter out of the envelope and unfold it.
Jasper visited me today, as he does most Saturdays. I can't help but to hope that it will be you one day, waiting for me on the other side of the glass, but I know that I messed up and that it will never happen. Please don't be mad at him, but he's been keeping me updated on you and the baby. You don't know how much I wish I was with you right now, watching you grow with our child in side of you; I'd give anything to hold you, again. It seems like we've known each other forever, and, in a way, I guess we have; I can't imagine my life without you in it. I wonder all of the time if you know how truly special you are to me, how much I cherish you as the one who brings so much happiness and joy to my life. I often wonder, too, if you know the intensity of my feelings for you and how very precious you are to me. If, for some reason, you don't know, I take the full blame because I know that I never voiced my thoughts to you.
As I've said in my other letters, the night I was arrested was a big misunderstanding. I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. I know I keep repeating myself, but I can't stop hoping that if I say it enough, you'll start to believe me. I NEVER cheated on you with Lauren, Bella; I was shocked to find out that you would even think that. I thought you knew me better than that, Bells. Hell, you know me better than anyone. I want to tell you all the details of that night, but I want to them to you when we are face to face. Just know that you are the only girl for me, and that I don't do cocaine; it wasn't mine, sweet girl.
Oh Isabella, I miss you so much! We've known each other since we were kids; I've always wanted you, even as a little boy. I know, you think I hated you when we were children, but it's simply not true. Little boys don't know any other way to get a girl's attention, other than being an ** to them; I was always so intimidated by you. I know everyone looked at me as the bad boy with a player reputation, but when it came to you, I was a coward.
In all the months that I've been here, you have never written me back; so this will be my last letter to you, unless you decide you want to talk to me. I'll always be waiting for you, Bella. You are my woman and we are meant to be, that single fact will never ever change.
I put the letter down and wiped away the tears that had begun streaming down my face, the letter was so sweet and heart felt. I knew I should probably be annoyed with Jasper for telling Edward all of those things, but I couldn't find it in myself to be angry with anyone, not even Edward. I carefully placed the letter back in its envelope and placed it back in the box. No matter what my dad or Jake said, I knew I'd made the right decision for my son. Edward was still a good guy and I know he's going to make an amazing father; I just don't know where that leaves the two of us.
A/N: Ok, this chapter was really hard for me to write. I dont know why, I just felt like I couldnt get it right. But my beta is freaking awesome and really helped me. I dont know what I would do without -K!
I want to thank all of you are reading. The reviews have been wonderful and encourage me to write faster. I hope everyone enjoys this chapter.
Chapter 6 Iris
"I know you don't agree with my decision Rose; but to be fair, I didn't ask you," I snap, my irritation bubbling up inside of me. She's been harping on me since I got there to pick up Hayden because I had told her Sunday night that I was going to let Edward come over and spend time with Hayden. Ever since then, she has not stopped telling me how big of a mistake I'm making. Meanwhile, Alice couldn't be happier with my decision. She thinks it's wonderful that I'm giving Edward a chance to be a father to Hayden.
"All I'm saying Bella, is that you don't know him. What if prison didn't change him for the better, what if it made him hard? What if he's worse now than before he went in? You don't know these things," she argues.
I'm struggling to put Hayden's shoes on and listening to Rose nag me is only making me want to scream at her and throw the damn shoes out the door. I blow my hair out of my face angrily and wiggle his little foot into the shoe, careful not to hurt him in my frustrated state. "Look, I appreciate that you're always looking out for me and Hay, but I trust him! Besides, do you really believe that Jasper would have kept in contact with him this whole time if he was really that bad? Do you really think that Jasper would have told him where we live if he didn't trust him?"
She glares at me for a few seconds, obviously without coming up with an appropriate answer, before throwing her hands up in exasperation. "Fine, I'll let it go; for now," she grumbles, walking us to the door and hugging Hayden good bye. "Look Bella, I trust your judgment," she starts, her last ditch effort to change my mind. "I just don't trust him; but if you say it's ok, well then I believe you. You know I got your back," she says as she pulls me into a tight hug.
"Thank you Rose, you don't know how much that means to me," I tell her, hugging her back.
Once we get home, I change out of my work clothes and in to something more comfortable. Hayden's sitting at the dining room table, coloring in his Sponge Bob coloring book as I start dinner. Mac and cheese with hot dogs; yum! I don't really care for it, but Hayden loves it and it's a cheap meal. Just as I'm getting ready to cut up the hotdogs and stir them into the pot, the doorbell chimes. My stomach flips with nerves and I hesitate for a moment, drawing a shaking breath into my lungs as Hayden watches me.
"Stay right here, Mommy will be back in a minute," I tell Hayden, giving him reassuring smile before I leave the room. I take another deep breath in the hallway before I open the front door. Edward is standing there, looking just as nervous as I feel. His hair is damp, fresh out of the shower, and my fingers are itching to run through those beautiful copper strands.
"Hi," he says after a moment of silence on my end.
"Hey," I move to the side, allowing him to come in. I bit my lip nervously for a moment while we stand in the hallway, facing each other, awkwardly. "I'm in the middle of cooking dinner, are you hungry," I ask him.
"Umm...Yeah I could eat," he nods in response.
"Great, follow me. You can help by keeping Hayden entertained for me while I finish up," I tell him, leading him through the house and back to the kitchen. As we walk into the room, Hayden pops his head up and looks at Edward. I watch them stare at one another; Hayden with curiosity and Edward with wonder. "Hayden," I speak, grabbing my son's attention and breaking the silence. "This is mommy's friend, Edward. He's here to eat dinner with us and he's going to play with you while I cook," I tell him, my words assuring him that the stranger is okay.
Edward shoots a glare in my direction and I don't entirely understand why, until he addresses Hayden, "I'm your daddy." Edward words shock me, my nervousness resurfacing as he turns to me and adds, "I don't ever want him to doubt that." His voice is firm, leaving no room for me to doubt that he's completely serious. It's in this moment that I see a little bit of the bad boy Edward used to be; I hate to admit it, even if only to myself, but it's more than a little sexy to see.
"Y-yes Hayden, this is your daddy," I stutter, watching Hayden closely in fear that this is confusing the hell out of my son. Hayden is only two and seems to take most things in stride. Fortunately, this is no different and I'm suddenly not sure just how much he fully understands at this age.
"Ok, Mommy," he looks back up at Edward again. "You want to color wif me," he asks sweetly, holding up his crayon box to Edward in offering. Without a verbal response, Edward sits down at the table and gives Hayden a large grin. I watch them for a moment before turning back to the stove to continue with dinner. "You like Sponge Bob? I love him," I hear Hayden tell Edward happily, the sound of his crayon coloring furiously on the coloring book paper.
I hear Edward chuckle at Hayden's enthusiasm, the sound of his own crayon joining Hayden's. "I've never seen it before, but I have a feeling I would love it too," Edward says, his small admission melting my heart.
"Kay. Ohhh! Maybe you can watch it wif me," he says and I look over my shoulder at Hayden, whose looking at Edward expectantly.
"I would love that little man," Edward responds, Hayden's eyes lighting up at his words.
It doesn't take long before I've finished dinner and fix our plates. I set Hayden and Edward's plates down in front of them before I grab my own and sit down at the table with them. From the corner of my eye, I see Edward looking down at the hotdog and mac and cheese concoction on his plate, a skeptical look on his face. I bite my lip to keep from laughing at the expression and see him look up at me, dropping my gaze back to my own plate when he glares at me.
"This is Hayden's favorite food right now," I explain to him, smiling up at him innocently.
"It's yummy, right mommy?" Hayden asks me, his smiling face looking at Edward expectantly.
"Yes baby, it's yummy; now eat," I tell him; watching as Edward digs in, picking out the slices of hotdogs first before he goes back for the macaroni.
"MMMM.. this is really good. Now I know why it's your favorite Hayden," Edward tells him, smiling widely for Hayden's sake. It touches my heart to see Edward trying so hard with our son. I can't help but smile when Hayden grins at the fact that someone else loves his favorite food and I can see Edward's eyes light up, too.
Once we finished eating, I set up one of our numerous Sponge Bob DVDs in the living room for Hayden and Edward. They were sitting on opposite ends of the couch, I could tell that Edward wasn't sure how Hayden would react to his nearness. I gave him a reassuring nod, knowing that Hayden never lets strangers hold him. He didn't mind playing with or talking to them, but he refused to let them hold him. I left them watching the show and went back to the kitchen to clean up, after I was certain that Hayden was comfortable.
I felt guilt over their relationship, but I didn't know just why. It wasn't as if I had kept Hayden from Edward, he'd been in prison. Still, a part of me felt bad that our son was two years old and they had no bond. I sincerely hoped that Edward was able to work on that with him, for both of their sakes.
I finished the dishes and headed back into the living room to find an exhausted looking baby boy, "Hayden it's time for a bath, sweetie, and then time for bed."
"I not seepy, Mommy," he argued under drooping little eye lids, causing Edward and I to share a laugh.
"Well , it's bed time so we still have to take a bath and go to bed," I told him, a little more sternly than I had before. "Now, can you tell Edward goodnight?"
"Daddy," Edward corrected me, his harsh tone stung a little. He looked at Hayden and corrected me again, "I'm your daddy, Hayden." His tone was much gentler with Hayden than with me, which took the edge off a little.
"I'm sorry, it's just going to take some time to get used to this," I tell him, giving him a timid and apologetic smile. "I'm not doing it on purpose," I don't give him a chance to respond as I walk to the couch and pick Hayden up in my arms. "Tell daddy good night, baby."
"I'll still be here before he goes to bed," Edward tells me and I nod, taking Hayden down the hall and into the bathroom.
I wash him thoroughly and let him play for a few minutes, which is all it takes for him to thoroughly get me and the floor wet. Who would have ever thought that he would be harder to bathe at this age than when he was an infant? I take him out, dry him off and put his favorite Sponge Bob pajamas on. We walk back to the living room to look for Edward and tell him good night. When we enter the room, he's no longer in the spot where we'd left him and my heart stops at first. I look around my small living room and find him walking around, looking at all of the pictures that I have hung up around the room. Some of the pictures are of friends and of my dad; but most of them are of Hayden, capturing him as he's grown to the little man standing beside me.
"Umm...it's his bedtime," I say, pulling Edward's attention to our presence.
He turns around and looks at us, appraising the way we look standing in the doorway. "Ok," he responds, walking over to us and squatting down until he's level with Hayden. "Goodnight buddy, Daddy will see you tomorrow," he tells him and his words shock me. We hadn't talked about how often Edward would be coming over, but this was just another example of the bad boy shining through. Edward is going to get his way, we both know it. It's not as if I can blame him either; I love spending time with my baby, can I really fault him for wanting the same thing? No, I can't.
"Night," Hayden says sleepily, rubbing his eyes with his tiny fists. The torn expression on his face, tells me that Edward wants to hug him but that he doesn't want to push the rocky situation too far, too fast.
Hayden allows me to lead him down the hall so that I can tuck him in bed and kiss him good night. I leave him quietly, his eyes slowly drifting closed as I leave the door cracked and creep back down the hall. Edward had resumed his spot on the couch and I nervously sit down beside him, chewing nervously on my bottom lip as we stare at each other.
"I'm sorry for snapping at you earlier, Bella; I just want him to know that I'm his dad. I only snapped because I thought that maybe you were going to fight with me about it," he admitted, his voice a little strained and, surprisingly, embarrassed.
"No, not at all," I told him, feeling the urge to relieve his stress. "In fact, I think it's better to tell him now, at this age, than to prolong it and risk confusing him more than he already is. I just didn't know how you wanted to handle this; it's new to me too, Edward."
He smiled sweetly at me, before standing up to leave. "Well, I need to get going; I've got to work in the morning. But, I'll be back tomorrow evening," he tells me.
"Yeah umm, about that, we haven't exactly talked about how often you'd be coming by," I say, not entirely sure why I'm suddenly so nervous.
"I want to be here as much as I can," he tells me honestly. "Is that going to be a problem?"
"No, but you could have talked to me about it first before just assuming that you're welcome at my house whenever you want," I say, my tone revealing the annoyance that his ignoring has left growing inside of me.
Edward looks at me sheepishly, as if he just realized how rude he'd been with his hasty assumptions. "Sorry about that, Bells; I obviously wasn't thinking."
"It's ok," I respond, my tone only a little bitter.
He looks at me apologetically before he reaches down and runs his index finger along my cheek. "I'll see you tomorrow, Bella," he says softly, and then he's gone.
As I lay in bed a little later that night, I touch my cheek in the same place where his hand had been just a couple of hours before. If I concentrate, it's like I can still feel him there. Then a thought hits me, I haven't asked Edward anything about his new life; I don't even know where he's living or working. Esme and Carlisle, Edward's parents, moved after his trial, so I knew he wasn't living at home. Most of the rumors I'd heard revolved around the idea that they were too embarrassed with their son's conviction and I would always hate them for that. My inability to understand there decision had only grown once I'd become a parent myself. I could never turn my back on Hayden like they'd done with Edward, regardless of what he'd done. I wondered if Edward had any one in his life or was he all alone, with no one to turn to for help? I didn't know the answers to any of my questions, but it saddened me to think of him as being all alone in the world.
A/N: Thanks for the reviews, they really push me to write. This chapter gave me a hard time, but my beta in WONDERFUL and she helped me so much. -K (my beta) really wanted a strong Bella in this chapter. After reading her suggestions, I had to agree. So thank you -K and I hope you dont mind that I "stole" some of your words. Lol.
I hope everyone enjoys this chapter! Please let me know what you think.
Chapter 7 Satellite
I'm in the kitchen, talking to Rose on the phone while I wash the dishes from dinner and Edward is in the living room with Hayden, I think they're playing Legos. It's been two weeks since Edward first started coming over to spend time with him and Hayden has really started to come around. Now, he lets Edward hold him and it's the sweetest thing in the world to see them cuddled up on the couch as they watch TV, or Edward's long lean body sprawled out across Hayden's bed while he reads him a bedtime story. Hayden still hasn't called Edward 'daddy', but we've gotten into the habit of addressing Edward as such, in the hopes that Hayden will eventually pick it up.
"So Alice and I were talking tonight," Rosalie led the conversation in a new direction while I scrubbed a lasagna pan. "We both think we should go out Friday night, get out of the house for a change."
"Like a girl's night," I ask, my voice more hopeful than I intended. Wow, apparently it's been a while since I've gone out to do something without my son.
"Well, we can make it a girl's night," Rose contemplated for a moment. "But no, we didn't intend for it to be one. We just really want to go out and have some fun."
"Uhhh, I don't know Rose," I hesitated. As much as I needed to go out with my friends and have a good time, I always felt guilty pawning Hayden off on my dad so I could go out drinking. "I would have to see if Charlie has plans, or I guess I could ask Edward," I think aloud, chewing on my lip in thought. Edward has more than proven to me in the last couple of weeks that he can take care of Hayden, maybe I should give him a shot.
"Just ask your dad, I'm sure he would love to spend some time with the little guy," she suggests in forced innocence and I roll my eyes at her, even though I know she can't see me. I'm really starting to get tired of her acting like Edward is a horrible person, she doesn't even know him. She hasn't come out and said anything bad about him since our argument but she hints about it, and that's enough to drive me crazy. "Anyways, just think about it and I'll see you in the morning when you drop Hayden off. Don't forget about our dinner tomorrow."
"Oh damn Rose," I grumble, my thoughts clicking into place. "If we have dinner with you tomorrow night and then I go out Friday night, that's two days in a row that Edward can't see Hay," I tell her solemnly.
"Ugh, fine," she huffs, obviously annoyed with me talking about Edward. "Just make sure you come out with us Friday night," she insists, then she's gone and I'm left standing in the kitchen, annoyed with the turn that our conversation took.
I finish the dishes while I think about how to bring up my plans to Edward. I'm almost certain Charlie will be more than happy to keep Hayden, assuming he doesn't have to work. Walking out into the living room, I see both boys lying on their stomachs while they construct things with their Legos. It's a precious moment to observe and I find myself wish that I had my camera with me.
"Hey guys, its bath time," I give them a sad smile, hating to break up their bonding moment.
"I can give him a bath, while you relax," Edward offers, standing eagerly and giving me a hopeful look.
"Yeah, if you think you can handle it."
"How hard can it be, he's only two," he says, smirking and rolling his eyes. Oh, this should be good! "Come on buddy," he tells Hayden, taking his hand and leading him down the hall to the bathroom.
While he's washing Hayden, I clean up their discarded toys before taking a seat on the couch and flipping through channels. Nothing catches my attention; I've had so little time for television in the last two years that I'm not up on any of the new shows. Tossing the remote on the couch, I creep down the hall and listen at the bathroom door, where I can hear Hayden giggling. The sound of water hitting the floor sets him off on a new fit of laughter while Edward huffs at him. "Buddy, you're getting the floor soaked." I hear another splash, followed by more giggles, and Edward's chuckles, "okay, now you're just getting daddy all wet.
Taking pity on Edward, I walk into the bathroom and Edward turns to face me. His hair is drenched, sticking to his forehead and water is dripping down his face to his already soaked shirt, and the sight of him sends me into a fit of laughter. "We seem to be having complications," he tells me with a pitiful smile.
"I can see that," I smile, trying to hold back my laughter.
"I think he likes splashing me," Edward explains. As soon as the words leave his mouth, Hayden slaps his hands palm down on the surface of the water, causing another wave of water to splash Edward.
"Daddy wet," Hayden giggles excitedly, causing Edward and I to freeze and stare at each other in shock.
"Did...did he just call me daddy," Edward asks me, his eyes wide and hopeful.
"Yes," I say, trying to ignore the tears that have begun forming in the corners of my eyes. The look on Edward's face is priceless, like someone has just handed him the world on a silver platter.
His face lights up with joy as he turns back to Hayden, "you like wetting daddy?" Hayden's answer's slap of water causes him to grin, his face splitting in two as Hayden squeals with delight.
"Daddy wet, Daddy wet," he chants, and I have a feeling that Edward would let Hayden wet him all night long, as long as he continued to call him Daddy.
"Come on bud, it's time to get out," I tell him, effectively putting an end to this madness. "Then daddy can read you a story if you want." Hayden nods excitedly and lifts his arms to me, allowing me to pull him out of the tub and wrap him in a towel. I dry and dress him, laying him down in his bed with Edward, whose waiting to read to him.
Venturing back into the kitchen, I sit down at the table to work on my bills and a headache slowly begins to form behind my eyes. "What are you doing," Edward asks, standing against the door frame and watching me as I scrunch my brow in frustration. Math is not my thing, never has been and never will be.
"Paying bills," I saying, closing my ledger and rubbing my temples; exhaustion washes over me as he gives me a look, like he's searching for something. "Is he asleep?"
"Yeah," he says, his voice a little sad. "I've been such an idiot," he says so low, I'm not sure if he's talking to me or himself.
"Bella, I can help you with money. Matter of fact, I should be helping you; child support or something, right," he asks.
I shake my head and stand up, "Edward, I'm doing fine. I don't need your help."
"It's my responsibility too," he responds dejectedly. "I can help you; I want to help you!"
"Really, it's fine. I may not be rich, but I manage to provide for Hayden just fine. We're fine," I'm not sure what's wrong with me, but my pride is suddenly rearing its ugly head.
For a moment, he looks hurt, but quickly masks his features. "I'm going to help you, Bella. I want to and it's my job just as much as it's yours," he tells me sternly, his tone leaving no room for argument. We stare each other down for a moment, each waiting for the other one to cave. I don't want to fight with him, we've been getting along so well, but I'm not backing down on this one.
"I'm not taking your money, Edward," I tell him, glaring.
"Why are you being so difficult about this," he asks, his voice hard and unapologetic.
"Because, Edward," I spit his name, venom dripping from my words while I narrow my eyes at him. "For the last three years, I've been doing it by myself; my child's father was in PRISON! I've been doing just fine on my own and I'm going to continue to be just fine without your help," I yelled at him, my cheeks burning with the flash of anger that's washed over me.
I was, half regretful, as pain flashes across Edward's face before it disappears behind his carefully composed mask once more. My words were harsh and uncalled for, the rational part of me knew that; but they were also true and nothing was going to change that. "I'm sorry, Edward, but that's just one thing that I'm not going to back down on. I'm not the same girl I was three years ago, you can't push me around anymore."
"Fine," he answers flatly. "If that's the way that you feel about it, so be it."
"It is," I mumble, the air thick with tension and I can't stand it. We stare at each other in silence for a moment, before he shakes his head at me.
"I guess I should go, I'll see you tomorrow," he turns to go and I remember that I was supposed to talk with him about Friday.
"Umm... before you leave, were you planning on coming over on Friday, because I was planning on asking Charlie to watch Hayden that night."
"Is everything ok," he asks me, turning back to me in concern.
"Yeah," I nod, biting my lip anxiously. "I just have plans that night."
His eyes harden and his jaw clenches tightly, "I see. Well, I can keep him for you; there's no reason to both Charlie," his voice sounds rough with underlying anger and I haven't got a clue what's upset him, but I choose to ignore it.
"Yeah I thought about that, but my dad hasn't really gotten to spend much time with him lately and I know Hayden would love to spend some time with his grandpa." He nods his head, looking down at the floor like he's deep in thought.
"Do you mind if I ask what you're doing Friday night," he asks a little hesitantly. I'm not sure I would have answered him, but it didn't matter because he never gave me the chance. "You know what, never mind, it's none of my business. I'm sorry I asked, I'll see you and Hayden tomorrow," he rushed through his words and walked out before I could say anything else. What the hell was that about?
"You ready for another drink," Alice yells over the loud music in the club, pulling me from my drunken reverie. I look down at my empty glass and nod my head. I wasn't trying to get drunk, but it felt so good to just let loose. It's something I haven't done in such a long time, but after Edward barely said two works to me yesterday, I needed to relax.
"I'll go with you Alice, I want to buy a round of shots for us," Rose calls to her, giving me a wink before she follows Alice through the crowd. Waiting for them to return, I tap my food to the beat of the music. I want to dance, but I haven't had quite enough alcohol for that just yet.
I glance up when I feel a hand on my shoulder, getting ready to tell whoever it is that I'm not interested, when I realize who it is. "Jake," I squeal excitedly; okay, so maybe I've got a buzz.
He sits down next to me, throwing his large arm around my shoulders. There's a guy with him, somebody that I don't recognize. Jake follows my gaze and takes the opportunity to introduce us, "Bella, this is Paul; Paul this is Bella." I wave at him in greeting and his gives me a friendly smile. "I was shocked as hell to see you sitting here, Bells. Are you here with friends," he trails off suggestively, glancing around the bar.
"Yeah, Rose and Alice convinced me to come out with them," I nod as they wander back over to us with more drinks, Rose sitting three shot glasses down with an evil grin.
"Hey Jake, if I'd known you were here I would have gotten you a shot," she tells him as she hands me my shot.
"You can catch me on the next round," he shrugs and she nods her promise.
"Alright girls, lets drink up," Rose says, holding up her shot glass. I sniff my glass nervously and raise a questioning eyebrow at her. "It's tequila, now drink. Up and Down," she says, downing her shot before slamming it back on the table like a champ. Alice and I follow suit, coughing as the liquor burns its way down our throats.
"Ukkk, that's so gross," Alice says, scrunching up her face in disgust. I nod my head in agreement, biting the lime slice that Rose handed to me while she rolls her eyes at me.
The conversation flows easily over the next hour and we all end up doing two more shots, Jake and Paul included this time. I'm feeling really good right now, my head swirling in a warm and wonderful way. When Jake takes my hand and leads me to the dance floor, I'm more than ready to dance. The song playing has a fast beat and I turn my back to Jake, swaying my hips as I let the music take over my body. He seems a little stiff on the dance floor, but I don't care because I'm enjoying myself.
"What the hell," I hear Jake behind me before he stills. I turn around, giving him a questioning look and following his gaze off the dance floor. My eyes land on him, standing with some huge guy that I don't recognize. Edward is leaning against the bar casually, his eyes focused on me. I watch as he takes a long pull off the beer in his hand, his eyes never leaving mine as he sets the bottle down and slowly makes his way across the room.
When he reaches me, the song changes to something I recognize, it's 'In my head' by Jason Derulo. Edward leans down, close to my ear as he whispers a seductive, "dance with me." I shiver as his warm breath washes over me and lights my body on fire; leaving me at a loss for words, I nod. He takes my hand, pulling me away from Jake and leading me further onto the dance floors before he spins me around. My back is pulled tight against his body, his right arm wrapped around my waist while his free hand holds firmly on my hip.
Slowly, we begin to sway to the music as he guides my hips in time with his own. I can feel every part of his body, pressed against mine as he bends down and presses his lips to my neck. My eyes roll back in my head at the sensation, the feeling that I've missed for so long bring a part of me to life that I hadn't realized I'd been missing. I let my head fall back on his shoulder, reaching my arms behind me to wrap around his neck. I grind my ass into his groin and hear him groan, his hand that was on my hip beginning to travel slowly down my thigh. I'm so turned on, I can't even think straight.
"Mm, Edward," I moan, gasping when he spins me around to face him. He places one of his legs between mine, his hands back on my hips, holding me tightly against his body. I can see the desire in his eyes and it turns me on, even more if that's even possible. Biting back another moan, I place my hands on his hard chest and let him control our dancing. Edward places his forehead against mine, his lips hovering just inches from my own; his hot breath fanning across my overheated face.
"Let me go home with you," he pleads, his voice barely a whisper. My mind is telling me that this isn't a good idea, but my body and the alcohol running through it, is in control right now. I nod my head, not able to form any coherent words. Edward gives me a wide grin, taking my hand in his as he leads me off the dance floor and towards the exit.
As we pass the table where my friends are gathered, I wave to Alice and Rose. Alice is smiling excitedly as she waves back at me, while Rose looks at me with disapproving eyes and Jake looks down right furious.
We head out into the cool night air and Edward flags down a cab, opening the door for me so that I can slide in first. He climbs in besides me, giving my address to the driver before he leans over to me and whispers in my ear. "Are you sure about this," he asks softly, his hand running softly from my hip to my knee and taking away my ability to think.
"Mm," I mumble in response, wrapping my arms around his neck and running my fingers through his hair. God, I missed his hair, I think as I smash my lips against his, causing him to groan erotically against my mouth. His sexy sounds only fuel the fire building inside of me and I know that we shouldn't be doing this, but right now, I just can't find it in myself to care.
A/N: Sorry this chapter took so long. I had a hard time writing it and then my beta's computer started acting up. I'm still not 100% happy with this chapter, but my beta sure made it better. Thank you -K, your the best! I hope everyone enjoys.
Oh and a big thanks for the reviews. They mean so much to me:). Let me know what you think.
Beta'd by Signed -K.
Chapter 8 Sex on Fire
Edward and I stumble to my front door, our hands roaming each other's bodies as we get reacquainted. Fumbling around in my bag for my keys, I can't concentrate on the search with Edward's skilled lips on my neck. He pushes my back up against the door and I drop my bag, forgetting all about the keys. My hands immediately go for his hair, pulling on it until he moans out in to my mouth. I absorb his need for him as his tongue plunges in my mouth and I can feel his desperation, it does nothing but spur me on. I remove one hand from his hair and let it trail down his hard chest to the front of his pants. Edward grunts and thrust his hips forward, his erection pushing against me.
"W...we need t...to get inside baby." He pants, moving away from me so that I can grab my bag and concentrate on finding my keys. As soon as we step over the threshold, Edward is on me again. He pins me to the wall, resuming the same position, and attacks me with his lips. His tongue pushes past my lips, into my mouth, thrusting in and out while I moan against him. He picks me up by the backs of my thigh, pushing his hardness right where I want it the most and I cry out with need.
I let my arms circle his neck has he begins to grind against my core. "Unggh—bed," I moan.
Edward doesn't hesitate before carries me to my bed and lays me out in front of him. "Take this off," he demands. I sit up, grabbing a handful of my dress and pulling the dress over my head while he strips down in front of me. The dress I'd chosen doesn't allow me to wear a bra, so I'm left in nothing but my panties, stockings and high heels. I reach down to remove my heels when I feel Edward's hand stop me. I glance up, confused by his action.
Edward's smirking down at me. "These stay on, along with your stockings," he says, giving me a seductive grin. "And I'm taking these off." He tells me as he sticks his thumbs in the sides of my panties, all but ripping them off my body. He stands back up, throwing my underwear across the room and looking down at me. He's looking at me like I'm something to eat and, surprisingly, I don't feel self-conscious as I lay spread out for him.
"You're so beautiful Bella." He says, his voice rough with lust and desire.
"So are you." I blush at my choice of words, but I mean it. His body was always gorgeous, but I can tell he worked out quite often while he was in prison. His muscles are so much more defined than they once were, I sit up and run my hands down the ripples of his abs; I can feel them tremor under my touch. I continue down to his perfect cock and stroke it up and down, making Edward groan as he throws his head back in pleasure.
Feeling empowered by his reaction, I lean my head closer and take him in to my mouth as far as I can. His flavor washes over my tongue, salty and something that is uniquely him. "Ohhhh...shiiiiiiit!" He moans from above me as I continue to work him in my mouth, only stopping once I can feel him throbbing against my cheeks.
He pushes me back until I'm lying on the bed and moves to hover over me, smashing his lips to mine. I raise my hips up to meet him, desperately searching for friction against the apex of my thighs. He takes the hint and lines himself up with my center. I can feel my pulse between my legs as I focus on his length, before I have a moment of clarity. Pushing against his chest I shake my head, panting. "Wait! We need a condom."
Edward nods, reaching into his back pocket and pulling out his wallet to remove a condom. He rips the foil packet open and slips the condom on, checking the tip for air. Before I have more time to think, he plunges inside of me with one swift move of his hips.
"Ohhhh God!" I scream out in response, throwing my head back against the pillow. Edward had always been well endowed, but my memory over the years had not done him justice. I'd forgotten just how wonderful it felt to be filled with him.
He sets a fast pace, thrusting into me roughly and I'm loving it. "Damn, baby, you're so tight," He growls next to my ear. The feeling that resonates deep within me is heady and I moan as he thrusts against the spot deep inside of me.
I can feel my orgasm building, my stomach begins to tingle and I become desperate for more. Raising my hips up to meet his every thrust, I can feel him against my spot again and again. "Edward! Oh God Edward!" I know I'm not going to last much longer, I haven't had sex since before he was put away; I've never been with anyone else. I dig my nails into his back and wrap my legs tighter around his waist, unintentionally restricting his movements.
Edward sits up on his knees, my legs still wrapped around him and grabs my hips. He starts back up with his relentless pounding and I can't take it anymore; I shatter around him, screaming his name as I come over and over. He continues his frantic pace as I fall apart beneath him, before he follows with his own orgasm.
After a moment, he rolls off of me, but keeps me close to him, kissing my hair. "That was fucking wonderful." He pants, trying to catch his breath. I can't keep the silly grin off my face at his words. "Yeah it was," I snuggle into his side and before long I'm falling asleep in his arms.
"Owww," I grab my head as I roll over in bed. I've got the hangover from Hell and I instantly swear that I'm never drinking again. I feel movement beside me and shoot up in my bed, my head throbs with the movement. I glance to my right and see Edward sprawled out on his stomach beside me. Oh God. What did I do last night? I run last night's events through my head and gasp when I remember us coming back to my house and having sex. How could you be so stupid, Bella?!
Careful not to wake him, I sneak out of the bed and tip-toe to the bathroom. I shower quickly and put on my robe, taking the time to brush the tangles out of my hair while I berate myself. I sneak back out and find Edward still sleeping so I go to the kitchen, needing coffee and food. I fix the coffee pot and decide to scramble some eggs while I'm waiting for it to brew. My mind wanders to last night and I'm so lost in thought that I don't notice Edward until he comes up behind me, wrapping his arms around my waist.
He leans down, placing a soft kiss on my neck. "Good morning beautiful, something smells good."
"Uhh, yeah… I figured we needed some food to soak up some of the alcohol in our stomachs," I respond nervously.
I hear him chuckle behind me and I feel a little annoyed, though I don't know why. "Well the eggs do smell good, but I was referring to you."
"Oh, well, uhh, thanks," I flush, moving out of his grasp as I fix our plates and pour us both a cup of coffee. "How do you take your coffee?" I ask him.
When he doesn't answer me, I glance over at him. He's still standing in the spot I left him, looking confused. "Two sugars." He finally answers, running a hand through his unruly hair.
I nod, ignoring his mood and take our coffee to the table while he grabs our plates from the counter top. We sit down at the table to eat and it's immediately the most awkward situation I can ever recall having to face. I have no idea what to say to him and I'm guessing by his lack of conversation, he's feeling the same way.
When we finish eating, I take our plates to the sink and wash them off. I'm stalling and I know it, but I still take the time to wipe down the counters and the table before I fix myself another cup of coffee. With nothing left to do, I go to find Edward. He's sitting on the couch and I take a seat beside him, where he remains quiet and avoids my attempts at eye contact. I know that it's time to talk about last night.
I take a deep breath to calm my nerves and look back over at him. "Edward, we need to discuss last night." I say, waiting on him to acknowledge me.
"What's there to talk about? We had a little too much to drink and had sex. Case closed, right?" He says it so harshly, still not meeting my gaze. I'm a little taken back by his attitude and I just want to snap at him. His words hurt, it's like I mean nothing to him.
"Right," I agree shortly, unable to find the words that I desperately want to throw back at him. Honestly, I had been getting ready to give him the same speech; it just hurts when the other person beats you to it.
"I guess I should go," he says stiffly, standing up and heading towards the door.
"Edward, I don't want what happened last night to ruin everything." I say, my words causing him to pause
He looks back at me, perplexed, and lifts an eyebrow at me. "I guess what I'm trying to say is that; I don't want last night to interfere with you and Hayden."
"Nothing, and I mean nothing Bella, will keep me from being a part of my son's life. You don't have to worry about that," he says, his eyes hard and serious. I nod my head in acknowledgement, biting my bottom lip as I divert my gaze from his. "I'll see Hayden on Monday." He tells me as he leaves.
I lay back on my couch after the door shuts and have the sudden urge to cry. I don't know why, but I want to run after him and ask him to stay. Now that I'm alone, I will admit that a huge part of me wants Edward. I want him to be mine, but I can't risk it. I was hurt by him once before and even though I'm starting to believe that it was a misunderstanding, I'm still not sure. Besides, what if we try and it doesn't work out. What would that do to Hayden? Damn, why does everything have to be so complicated?
A/N: Wow, some of you are really upset with me lol. So since my beta works so damn fast I wanted to go ahead and post another chapter. I hope I get better reviews with this one. Thanks for all of you who have been NICE! It means alot and really motivates me to write faster.
A big, huge thanks to -K, my beta. I love you! Your the best! Ok, with that being said, I hope everyone likes this chapter. Let me know.
Beta'd by Signed -K.
Chapter 9 Last Friday night
"Hayden, you have to get dressed. Don't you want to see grandpa," I ask him, my last ditch effort. I've been fighting with my child, trying to get him dressed, for twenty minutes and it's gotten me nowhere. My usually sweet son has been giving me a hard time all morning and it's really wracking my last nerve.
"I not go!" He yells at me stomping his little foot, looking more like Edward than he ever had before. If I wasn't shocked by his behavior then I might have found his temper, which is so much like his father's, comical. Unfortunately, it was just aggravating at this point in time.
"Hayden! We don't yell young man, you are going whether you like it or not!" I'm using my best mom voice, but it doesn't really seem to faze him. Damn, I thought I'd gotten lucky. I've always heard that the terrible two's were pretty bad, but I'd assumed that Hayden had skipped right over that stage. Now I see that I'm not quite that lucky.
After another ten minutes or so, I finally wrestle him into his clothes and make sure we have everything we are going to need for the day. Finally, I can leave for my dad's house. I buckle Hayden into his car seat and hope that he's over his fits or I know that this is going to be a long day. The only upside to this is that Rose will be at my dad's for dinner. She rarely comes over for family stuff, but Charlie manages to talk her into it every now and then and I'm happy to know that today is one of those occasions.
When I pull up to the house, I notice that I'm the last to arrive. I unbuckle Hayden from his seat and set him down on the ground, holding his hand. We're walking up the steps when Rose comes out the front door, practically bouncing on the balls of her feet. Rose, anxious? What a novel sight. "Thank God you're here. What took you so long?" She asks me, ignoring the way that I'm surveying her.
"Hayden was giving me a hard time this morning. What's up with you?" I ask her, shifting Hayden from one hand to the other so that I can open the front door and usher him in.
"Nothing really, I just...ummm, I need to talk to you." She looks down at Hayden pointedly; he's watching her closely, as though he notices the difference in her as well. "Later, in private," she informs me.
"Ok, I was actually going to tell you the same thing," I tell her and she nods, our conversation ending when my dad walks in to the room. Hayden runs to his grandpa Charlie, his bad mood immediately forgotten for the time being.
"Everything ok Bells? You're late." Charlie reminds me and my sour mood remains even after Hayden's has gone into hibernation.
"Yeah dad, Hayden was giving me a hard time. He's been fighting me every step of the way today."
My dad looks at the sweet little boy in his arms. "Not you Hayden. My grandbaby wouldn't do that. Would you?" Charlie asks him. They forget all about me as he walks out of the room, still carrying Hayden, mumbling to him that it must have been entirely his mommy's fault. I chuckle quietly to myself; my dad is so going to spoil Hayden.
"Hey Jake, Billy," I greet, waving at them through the doorway to the living room. Billy smiles warmly at me, but Jake doesn't even acknowledge that I've spoken. Before I can figure out what his problem is, I feel Rose's strong hand wrap about my upper arm and she's pulling me up the stairs. She drags me into my old room and shuts the door quietly behind her, turning the lock as she turns around to face me.
"I've got to tell you something or I'm going to burst." She says, resuming her earlier bouncing.
"I need to tell you something too," I tell her, chewing on my bottom lip as I begin to get nervous. I don't know how she's going to react to me sleeping with Edward, but she's my best friend and I have to tell her.
"I slept with Edward." I blurt out as she simultaneously confesses, "I had sex with Emmett McCarty."
We stand there, starring at one another for a second, each other's words sinking in. "Who the hell is Emmett?" I ask, realizing that I've never heard that name before. Am I supposed to know who that is?
"What!? You slept with Edward?" She whisper yells, grabbing my arm and dragging me over to sit on the bed.
"Yes, I did. Now who's Emmett?" Rose gives me a look that conveys the fact that we are not done with my confession.
"Do you remember the big beefy guy that was standing at the bar with Edward Friday night?" I search my hazy memories of that night, vaguely recalling a guy standing beside him, but I couldn't for the life of me remember what he looked like. My attention that night was focused solely on Edward's presence and my cheeks pink slightly with that realization.
"I kind of remember him," I shrug. "Who is he, his name doesn't sound familiar."
"Yeah, well that's because he isn't from around here, he's from Port Angles. A few years ago he got into some trouble and ended up..." She mumbled the last part so low that I couldn't make out what she said.
"What," I ask her, a little annoyed by her uncharacteristic coyness.
She huffs at me, folding her arms defensively across her chest. "He ended up in the same prison as Edward. They got released around the same time and now he's living here with Edward, they're sharing an apartment. I would have thought that Edward would have told you," she raises her eyebrow in challenge.
"Oh," is all that I can manage. I'm at a loss for words and have no intention of reciprocating her challenge.
"Yeah, he's got like no family and Edward talked him into coming here. Jasper gave them both a job at the mechanic shop." Say what you will about her, but Rose looked relieved to have gotten all this off her chest and I know that she's struggling with his past. Even if she doesn't let on, I know that confiding in me, as her best friend, improves her outlook on the situation tenfold. "So now, what's this about you sleeping with Edward? I mean, it's not like I didn't see it coming; you did leave with him that night."
"I don't know Rose," I sigh, laying back on my bed and chewing on my bottom lip guiltily. "Honestly, it's like we were kids again; two horny teenagers groping in the backseat of his car. He touched me and I just wanted him so badly that I couldn't stop myself. It's been so long since he last touched me and God, it was so good." I tell her in a rush and I'm only slightly ashamed of the adolescent mind frame I seem to be in.
I feel the bed shift and she lays down next to me. "Yeah Emmett sure knew what he was doing, too. Those convicts know how to lay it on us, huh?"
I turn my head to look at her, shocked at what she's just said. She propped up on her elbow, looking back at me for a moment before we both erupt in a fit of giggles. "Yeah I guess they do," I agree through my laughter. I relish the carefree feeling for a moment longer; enjoying the connection that I sometimes feel has dissipated between us. "I told him that it couldn't happen again," I confess quietly, once our laughter had calmed down.
"I know," she responds quietly, her bright eyes holding a hint of sorrow.
"How'd you know?"
She smiles sweetly at me, her sorrow flaring a little bright. "Because I know you Bells; you're scared of getting hurt again. Even though you want him, I know that you're going to continue to push him away because of the things he's done to you."
I scoff, rolling my eyes to show just how much merit I put in her accusation. "That's not why I told him it couldn't happen again, Rose. I told him that because I don't want us to hurt Hayden if it all were to go badly." My tone is much more defensive than I had intended it to be.
Rosalie rolled her eyes at me in disbelief. "Yeah ok, you keep telling yourself that Bella." She shifts her weight and starts to get up, but before I can respond there's a knock on the door. We both freeze in place, holding our breath as if we need to hide.
"Girls, food's here," my dad's confused voice calls from the other side of the door. We listen for a moment until we can hear his footsteps on the stairs before we get off the bed.
Before we walk out the door, Rose stops me and places her hands on my shoulders, forcing me to look at her. "I know that I've given you a hard time about Edward, Bella, and I'm truly sorry. He really does seem like he's changed from the kid that he used to be and he's really trying with Hayden. Edward is all that Hayden talks about during the day. I know you still have feelings for him, even if you won't admit it to yourself, and I'm here for you, always. You're my best friend and I'll always have your back, no matter what you decide. I love you and you know that, but I just have to say one more thing. If you really don't want Hayden to get hurt, then that's okay. But don't use him as shield in all of this; don't use your son as an excuse to avoid the real issue. There, that's all I wanted to say," she finishes her monologue, turning on her heel and heading out of the room.
When Rose and I got to the kitchen, everyone was already sitting at the table filling their plate with Chinese food. I walked over to where Hayden sat in his high chair and put some rice noodles on the tray next to his egg roll. It was usually the only thing he would really eat his share of when we ordered Chinese food. When I was finished, I sat down beside Jake, who still hadn't acknowledged me. After fixing my own plate, I looked up at him and lightly bumped his shoulder with my own. "What's up with you?" I asked him quietly, trying to make my tone playful to hide my aggravation.
"Nothing," he responds curtly, taking another forkful from his plate, his eyes burning with what seems like anger and annoyance.
"You sure, I'm here if you need to talk about anything," I offer, giving him a kind smile in hopes that he'll finally look my way. I watch as his demeanor changes, his face hardens with the anger I'd previously detected as he turns in his seat to face me. Unconsciously, I shrink away from his massive, domineering form.
"Ok then, you want to know what's wrong with me?" Jake's voice is loud; it gains the attention of everyone at the table. I don't know what to say, how to respond, so I say nothing. "I'll tell you what's wrong with me Bella. I watched you go home with a fucking criminal Friday night, how could you be so stupid? How could you do that? How can you let your son around him? I thought I knew you better than that." He's yelling at me now and Hayden looks at me with large, confused eyes.
"Hey! What she does is none of your damn business Jacob. Leave her alone!" Rose comes to my defense immediately, as I sit there stunned at his outburst. I feel my heart slamming in my chest and my nerves churning in my stomach.
"Bella," my father's concerned but stern voice pulls me from my reverie. "Is this true?"
I start to shake my head before I realize that it is. "Dad, it's just Edward. He's been coming over to see Hayden, like I told you that he wanted to." I feel like a chastised child as I tell him the truth, leaving out the fact that I did go home with him Friday night.
I wait for Charlie to lay into me the way Jake has just done, but he surprises me when he says nothing. Instead he looks at me for a moment, clears his throat and glances around the table, his eyes landing on Hayden. I watch my father's face soften as he watches him. "Let's eat," he says, dismissing the topic.
I try to continue eating, I try to give Hayden a reassuring smile, but I just feel too uncomfortable sitting next to Jake. I'm ready to take my son and go home, to go where there is no one to judge me.
When dinner is finally over, Jake wastes no time leaving. He doesn't bother to tell me or Rose bye, but it only bothers me a little. When it's time for Hayden and me to leave, Charlie walks us to the door. "I'm not mad at you Bella; I just want you to be careful. You're a smart woman and I trust your judgment completely," he tells me uncomfortably.
I blink up at him in disbelief, what? "Dad, just a few weeks ago you didn't want me or Hayden anywhere near Edward."
"I know," he sighs, rubbing his mustache thoughtfully. "You're a smart girl and I know you have good judgment. You've never given me a reason to worry before and I decided that I just have to trust you." He kisses my forehead and Hayden's cheek, giving me a kind smile and a loving goodbye.
"Daddy here, mommy," Hayden asks me as we pull up at our own home. He's rubbing his eyes tiredly and I know that he's beyond exhausted from all of the excitement.
"No baby, Daddy will be here tomorrow," I explain, parking the car and readying my things to head back inside.
"Daddy here," he repeats, a little more firmly. I look over my shoulder, confused by his question.
"Daddy here!" He yells from the backseat, startling me with his sudden outburst.
"No Hayden, Daddy will be here tomorrow," I tell him more sternly. Oh Goodness, his mood is back.
He begins crying dramatically, his little cheeks immediately reddening with emotion. "Me wants daddy," he whines and it finally hits me what he's been trying to say. He wasn't asking if Edward was here, he was trying to tell me that he wanted Edward to be here. Oh baby, I sigh.
I get out of the car, going to Hayden's side and unbuckling him from his seat. He's still crying and I hold him to me, not knowing how to fix this for him. We go inside and I give him a bath, hoping that will calm him down. It works, for a time, but as soon as he gets out and he's dressed in his pajamas he starts back up again.
He brings me the book he wants read to him and when I try to lay down on his bed to start the story he becomes agitated. "No. Daddy," he tells me, pushing me away. I'm growing tired of fighting him today and ignore his rant. Sitting on the floor beside his bed, I start reading the story, hoping that it will help, but Hayden isn't having it. "NO!" He yells, pushing the book away out of my hands.
"Hayden, you're not being very nice to mommy right now. I think maybe you shouldn't have a story tonight," I say, raising my voice at him as I fight the aggravated tears that sting the backs of my eyes. I instantly feel guilty, I've never raised my voice to my baby before and I know that it's not his fault.
"Me just want daddy," he cries, not understanding the crazy situation that we live in. I watch him for a minute; at a loss for how to handle this situation, I call Edward. Maybe if Hayden can just talk to his dad, he'll settle down and go to sleep. The phone rings as Hayden continues to cry and I send up a silent prayer for some sort of refuge.
"Hello?" His voice is deep, relaxed and it causes my stomach to knot anxiously.
"Edward is this a bad time," I ask him, my voice a pitch or two higher than normal. What's that about?
"No, is everything ok? Is something wrong with Hayden," his voice is filled with concern and I'm sure he can hear Hayden in the background.
"No, everything is ok," I sigh in defeat. "But Hayden is throwing a fit for you, he's been acting up all day and I thought that maybe if you could talk to him for a few minutes he would settle down and go to sleep."
"Yeah, put him on." I swear I can hear a smile in his voice, cheeky bastard. You try having him 24/7. I purse my lips and hand the phone to Hayden, who stops crying to eye me suspiciously.
"It's daddy," I tell him, folding my arms across my chest.
"Hewwo daddy," he says innocently, the devious child that he is.
They talk, well Edward talks, for a couple of seconds and Hayden listens intently to whatever his father is saying. He nods his head a couple of times and I have to tell him that daddy can't see him so he has to speak up. Hayden waves me away like a fly and continues to nod. "Ok Daddy, I wove you too," he hands me back the phone and climbs back under the covers over his bed.
"Hey, you still there," I ask, placing the receiver against my ear.
"Yeah, is he better now?" I can still hear the smile in his voice and is annoys me when I realize that Hayden's eyes are already closed.
"Yes, much better. Thank you Edward," I respond, my irritation gone as relief washes over me. Sometimes being a mom is the most challenging and exhausting job in the world.
"No problem Bella, I'm glad I could help. I told him I would see him tomorrow and that he can call me anytime he wants to talk to me," he says and I have a slight suspicion he's not just talking about Hayden.
"Yeah, that sounds good," I respond, not quite sure what else there is to say. I know that our conversation is over; but I also know that, for whatever reason, I don't want to get off the phone with him just yet.
The line is silence for a moment before Edward speaks up. "Ok, well I'll see you tomorrow. Goodnight, Bella."
"Goodnight, Edward." I whisper, hanging up the phone and staring at the blank screen.
I lean down and kiss Hayden's forehead, his tiny chest rising and falling. I can't believe that he's already fallen asleep, I didn't even tell him good night. Smiling to myself, I watch him sleep for a moment before the thought hits me. Hayden and I are both excited for tomorrow; we both can't wait to see Edward. Damn it Rosalie Hale, why do you have to be so intuitive?
Chapter 10 Kiss me
I throw my head back into the couch cushion, laughing hysterically at the scene in front of me. Edward and Hayden are 'dancing' in the living room at it's easily the most entertaining thing I've ever witnessed. Hayden is stiff and confused, trying to 'shake' his little butt he looks like he's having a seizure. Edward is mimicking his movements and the sight sends me into another fit of laughter.
Over the past couple of weeks things have been really great between me and Edward. We've been getting along really well and there's even been some mild flirting that I really didn't mind. I've given a lot of thought to what Rose said to me and I know she's right. I am scared of getting hurt and I'm worried about hurting Hayden in the process. I've decided that even though I want to be with Edward, I have to be cautious. It's been three years and we don't know each other anymore, no matter how much I want to believe that we still do. We have to reintroduce ourselves, get to know each other and take things one day at a time.
"You want to come dance with us?" Edward asks me grinning and holding his hand out to me.
"Yeah mommy, come dance wif us." Hayden's grin matches Edward's and it makes me grin back at them. How can I say no to those faces?
"Fine," I grumble, folding my arms across my chest in false annoyance, but I can't wipe the stupid smile off my face.
Edward grabs my hand and pulls me off of the couch, simultaneously spinning me around and making me laugh again. We take Hayden's hands and start dancing in a circle. His tiny body between us, we pick him up by his hands and swing him gently around, causing him to erupt with giggles. I don't know how long we spend like that before we are all completely wiped out and Edward takes Hayden for his bath. It's sort of become a ritual, when Edward is here Hayden insists that his daddy gives him a bath. After cleaning up several water puddles in the bathroom, I'm starting to think it's because there is more playing than washing going on in there.
While they're preoccupied, I go to Hayden's room and get his clothes ready for him, laying out his favorite pair of motorcycle pajamas, his latest obsession. It started after Edward told him that he worked on cars and motorcycles, it's all Hayden can talk about and he loves them. Yeah, he's definitely a daddy's boy through and through and Edward just eats it up.
I'm pulling out his big boy underwear, since his potty training has been going so smoothly, much smoother than I had thought it would when we first started a couple of weeks ago. Hayden walks in with his towel wrapped around him, a very wet Edward in tow, and I shake my head in disapproval. I knew they played more than they washed!
"You want me to dress him?" I ask, putting his underwear and pajamas on the bed for easy access.
"Daddy does it." Hayden tells me matter-of-factly, dropping his towel proudly. Lord help us.
"Daddy can do it." I chastise softly, my correction falling on deaf ears as he starts trying to dry himself off. Hardheaded miniature Edward, that's exactly what he is.
"He's hardheaded just like you," Edward tells me, surprising me and I chuckle at our similar train of thoughts.
"I was just thinking that he gets that from you," I quirk an eyebrow at him, challenging.
Edward taps his chin and grins. "Ok, maybe he gets it from both of us."
"Oh Lord, he got a double dose then." I laugh, though the thought of Hayden as a teenager really is quite frightening.
"I'll dress him and get him to bed." Edward tells me and I nod in acceptance, I need to straighten up the kitchen anyways.
I lean down and kiss Hayden goodnight before leaving them to it. The radio is still playing softly in the background as I start to wipe down the counters and table. 'Kiss me' by Ed Sheeran comes on the radio as I rinse off my rag, I love this song. I start swaying my hips to the music as I continue around the kitchen, cleaning up spills and righting the place mates. When I'm finally done, I throw the rag in the sink and before I can turn around, I feel strong arms wrap around my waist. He's swaying to the music with me, my back pulled firmly against his strong chest.
Edward leans down, resting his chin on my shoulder and whispering in my ear. "Dance with me," he beckons.
Verbally, I don't respond; I turn myself into his embrace, wrapping my arms loosely around his neck. He holds me tight against him as we start dancing, resting his forehead on mine and looking down at my face. His hands rub softly up and down my back, overwhelming me with feelings of being safe and cherished; I'm not used to this. I look up at him, starring deep into his beautiful eyes. Before I can think, my hands run through the scatter of hair at the nape of his neck and my heart is pounding in my chest. I want to kiss him, so I rise up on my toes to do so. He immediately understands my intentions and meets me halfway, gently touching my lips with his. This kiss is different than the one we shared a few weeks ago; it's gentle, caring and sweet. We don't deepen the kiss the way we would have in High School, instead we keep it soft while we continue to dance slowly in middle of the room.
Edward breaks the kiss first, pulling back slightly to look at me longingly. My cheeks heat slightly and I'm sure that my gaze reflects his. He kisses my nose, my eyelids, my forehead and cheeks, before coming back to kiss my lips one last time. "I want another chance with you Bella," he whispers against my lips, his warm breath fanning across my face. He leans back on his heels to stare at me. "I'm not giving up on us."
"I don't want you to," I confess, in a moment of truth I know that I really mean it. His face lights up with happiness at my words and his beautiful smile spreads wide.
"Good," he nods, planting another chaste kiss on my lips.
We keep dancing, enjoying being wrapped up in each other's arms, bodies pressed close together, until the song changes. I don't want him to go, but I know we both have work tomorrow.
"I probably need to go," Edward's words reflect my unspoken thoughts and I sigh. I can tell that he doesn't want to go anymore than I want him to, but I nod my head in understanding and follow him to the door. He opens the door and turns back to face me; I can tell he wants to say something, so I wait. "Do you have any plans for Friday?"
"Uhh, no. Why?" I ask suspiciously, he just grins before leaning down to place a soft peck on my lips.
"Good. I want to come over... if that's ok," he adds carefully and I can tell he's up to something.
I give him the once over, deciding to let it go for now. "Yeah, that's fine."
"Great, well I'll see you later Bella."
I lock the door behind him and turn out all the lights in the apartment, checking on Hayden one more time before I go to my room. I change into my pajamas and climb into bed, touching my lips and thinking about Edward's kisses. I know that it's silly, but I think I already miss him. He and I still have a long way to go, getting to know the people that we've become, and it's going to be a long time before I can start to trust him again, but I can already feel myself falling for him. It's the most thrilling and terrifying experience.
A/N: I'm so sorry I didnt leave an a/n on the last chapter. I forgot to do it and I didnt get to thank my wonderful Beta or my awesome fans.
So many of you have really inspired and encouraged me with this story. To those (and I secretly believe it's just one person) who have assholes about this story...go read something else.
To those of you that leave me love...I love you all! Your all so sweet and I thank you!
-K, I love you too lol. You work so hard on my story and I cant thank you enough :).
Chapter 11 Shake it out
I usually love Fridays, they're generally an easy day because work's usually not so demanding, or so it seems. This Friday, however, was a day from Hell. I couldn't seem to make my customer's happy, no matter what I did or said to them. On top of that, I didn't get much sleep last night because Hayden had an accident in bed, his first since potting training started so I guess I should've been expecting it to happen eventually. I can't even really bitch about it because I'm the one who gave him water before bed time, a big mistake in the world of potty training. My lunch hour didn't go any better; I'd walked across the street to the McDonalds to grab something quick. On the way back, my bag broke open, spilling all of my food on the sidewalk and leaving me with just my Diet Coke.
Thank God this day is almost over, I think to myself as I walk into Rose's house. "Mommy!" Hayden happily yells as he runs across the room for me. I swoop down and pulling him up, hugging him tightly against me. Aww, he misses me. This isn't something I get from him very often, not since he's become such a daddy's boy. Now, everything always seems to be about Edward. He pulls back from our hug to look at me, "we see daddy now, mommy?" Annnnd there it is.
"Yes, baby. We're going home to see daddy," I tell him, not as disheartened by his question as I was the first few times it happened.
"Ok," he smiles brightly, turning to look at Rosalie where she's sitting on the couch. "Aunt Wose be there to."
Rose laughs loudly and shakes her head at him. "No Hayden; I'll see you Monday, remember?" Something's up with her, is she giving him a look?
"What's going on," I ask, eyeing her suspiciously as I shift Hayden to my hip so I can look at her more comfortably.
"What?" She asks, looking everywhere but directly at me. "I don't know what you're talking about. Anyways, you guys better go, don't want to be late or whatever." She rambles as she stands to usher us out of her house.
"Uhhh, ok. I'll call you tomorrow." I say as I wave.
Traffic was a bitch on the way home, but I don't know why I expected anything different after the day I was having. I was so relieved when I pulled up to my apartment, never so happy to be home. I got out and rounded the car to unbuckle Hayden, when I noticed Edward's car parked two spots over from mine. The plan had been for him to come over tonight, I had assumed it wouldn't be quite so early. As I struggle with the straps of Hayden's car seat, Edward gets out of his car and struts over to me; his natural way of walking practically makes my mouth water.
"I wasn't expecting you so early," I tell him, finally getting Hayden's straps undone so that I can pull him out.
"I wanted to catch you before you started dinner," He tells me, a mysterious glint in his eye as he smiles at Hayden.
"Daddy! Up daddy," he commands, holding his arms up for Edward to pick him up before his little feet have even touched the ground.
I put Hayden down and Edward reaches for him, scooping him up into his arms and kissing his cheeks. I leave them behind as I go to unlock the front door, walking in with Edward and Hayden close behind me. "So did you not want to go out tonight," I ask, dropping my keys on the table beside the front door and kicking off my shoes.
"Aunt Wose come now?" Hayden asks Edward before he has a chance to answer my question.
"Sweetie, I already told you, Aunt Rose isn't coming over tonight," I explain calmly, shrugging at Edward. "I guess they had a good time today, he's been asking for her since I picked him up.
"Uhh, well," Edward smiles sheepishly and rubs the back of his neck. "There's a reason for that… I kind of made plans for us tonight and asked Rose to babysit for us. She should be here in about 30 minutes and she's bringing Emmett with her." His expression is slightly worried as he tries to gauge my reaction.
I can't honestly say that I'm not a little annoyed at not having been informed prior, I really hate surprises, but I would like to spend some quality time with Edward without our tiny little chaperon running around.
"Okay, well I guess I should go start getting ready then, I'll have to feed Hayden dinner before we go," I tell him, glancing around the house to make sure that everything looks presentable.
"No you don't, they're bringing over a pizza so dinner is covered; you don't have to worry about a thing." I want to be aggravated with him for making all of these decisions without me, but he's trying to be sweet and it's a little endearing. I just hope he doesn't get into the habit of it.
"I guess I'll just get ready," I start towards the bedroom, mentally running through my wardrobe and wondering what's clean. "Where are we going?"
"Cafe Garden, it's in Port Angeles; is that ok," I can tell he's nervous as he asks and I wonder if my agitation is a little more obvious than I thought it was.
"Yeah, that sounds good," I give him an encouraging smile and head back towards the bathroom. I love Café Garden, it's very laid back so I don't have to worry about getting dressed up. All of the tables have a beautiful view of the gardens and I really love the atmosphere.
I shower quickly, washing off the sweat and grime that I've accumulated throughout the day. Searching through my closet, I was happy to find my favorite light blue sweater was clean. It's a little chilly out so I pair it with some jeans and apply a minute amount of make up before I blow dry my hair. Thirty minutes later I'm ready to go and my reflection is bright eyed with excitement.
When I step out of my room, Rose and Emmett are already in the living room with Hayden. I've never met Emmett before; I only slightly remember him from that night at the bar. Obviously, I don't recollect him well because I'm shocked to find that the dude is huge! He's sitting cross legged on the floor, playing cars with Hayden, and the mother in me is suddenly worried about him being here with my son.
"Hey guys," I smile nervously, catching Rose's and Edward's attention. "Uhh, Edward can I talk to you for a second?"
"Yeah, sure," he gives me a confused look as he gets off of the couch and follows me into the kitchen. "Everything ok," he asks me once we're alone.
"Yeah, but I was just wondering how well you know Emmett? I'm not trying to be a bitch Edward, but he's recently out of prison and I don't know him. I'm just not so sure if I'm comfortable leaving my child with him." I chew on my lip anxiously while I wait for his reaction.
"Bella, I understand where you're coming from but do you really think I would let anything happen to Hayden? I don't know what I have to do to make you start realizing that Hayden is my son, too. Besides, Rose is really the one keeping him; Emmett is just tagging along." His words did little to comfort me and it must have shown because he sighed loudly, running his hand through his hair in an exasperated gesture. "Look Bella, if you don't trust my judgment then you should at least trust Rose's. She wouldn't let anything happen to Hayden; she would murder to protect him."
I let his words settle in for a moment before nodding my consent, "okay." He grins broadly, either happy to have won or happy that I wasn't backing out of our night, I wasn't sure which, before he led me back out into the living room.
"Everything ok," Rose asks innocently, but her eyes are all knowing. I give her an apologetic smile and she relaxes a little bit, giving me a wink to let me know she understands.
"I guess we're going to head out," I tell them, eager to leave before I change my mind. I trust Rose, but this man… I lean down and kiss Hayden good bye, telling him to be a good boy for Aunt Rose and Edward follows suit with the same words. Hayden brushes us off, fixated on his toys and we all share a laugh.
"You guys have fun tonight," Rose gives me an exaggerated wink and I give her a pointed look in response.
"I'm still mad at you," I tell her, only half kidding. "You know I hate surprises and you helped with all this," I say pointing my finger at Edward and he grins at me.
"Why doesn't Edward seem to be in trouble," she folds her arms across her chest defensively.
"Oh he is," I say, smiling to let them know I'm not serious.
Edward shakes his head, placing his hand on the small of my back and guiding me out the front door and towards his car. He opens the passenger door for me, waiting until I'm settled to shut it and walk around to his own door. "You ready," he asks, putting his key in the ignition and starting the car.
"Yep," I say with a smile, getting really excited for our dinner for the first time all day. We never really went out on dates back in high school, so this is a whole new experience for me.
It's an hour drive to Port Angeles and we spend most of the time talking about our adorable baby boy. Edward takes this time to ask me questions about my pregnancy and his birth. I tell him being pregnant was easy and I didn't really have any trouble, which is something I was very thankful for. The birth was a different story; there weren't any complications but it hurt like hell. Rose and Alice were there with me the entire time, even Charlie was in the waiting room for the entire fourteen hours it took for labor and delivery. At 4:14 am on February 13th, Hayden was born at 8lbs 3oz. Edward smiles throughout our conversation, asking for details and encouraging me to continue, but I can see regret and sadness in his eyes.
Before I even realize how much time has passed, we're pulling up at the restaurant. Edward parks the car and opens my door for me, we walk in together and the hostess seats us by a large window; the gardens are beautiful. We both order water, opting out of the offered wine menu because of our long drive home, and we sit in silence as we look over the menu.
Edward and I are both quiet as we look over the menu. When the waiter comes back with our waters, we order; Edward goes for the steak and I decide to order the chicken tetrazzini.
"So I have a question I've wanted to ask you for a while now," Edwards says, once the waiter has walked away. When he doesn't continue I raise my brow questioningly and take a sip from my water while I wait. "Why didn't you ever go to college?"
I can't help the soft chuckle that comes out as I play with my straw awkwardly. "I didn't really have time. I did a year at the tech school and hoped I'd be able to continue once Hayden was born, but it just didn't work out that way. It was a struggle to even finish that first year."
He looks remorseful and I bite my lip, feeling a little bad for my honesty. "I'm so sorry I wasn't there to help you Bella."
"Me too," I reply honestly, my tone sad as I think about everything that Edward missed out on.
"D..do you ever, umm, regret being with me?" He avoids my eyes as he asks the question and I know he's thinking about the night he was arrested. I also know my answer without having to think about it.
"No. Never. I've never regretted being with you Edward. Yes I was hurt and I didn't get to go to college, but I regret nothing." After a beat, his face lights up a little at my answer.
"Still, I'm so sorry you didn't get to go to college. I remember how important that was to you."
"Yeah it was, but I got something that was so much more important; I got Hayden. I'm not sorry about any sacrifices I made for him."
We continue to talk a little, nothing too serious, as we wait for our food to arrive. By the time the waiter brings out plates my stomach grumbles from the smell of my food, reminding me that I haven't taken the time to eat all day. I dive in to the chicken tetrazzini, moaning when the flavors hit my tongue. I look up to see if Edward's enjoying his food as much as I am; only he's not eating, he's starring at me with wonder and desire in his eyes.
"Is it good?" He asks, his voice rough and deep, making my stomach twist nervously as desire pools inside of me.
"Very," it's the only word that I can manage to say.
We manage to stay away from heavy subjects, like his parents, prison or the past, for the rest of the meal. Mostly we concentrate on our jobs and Edward tells me how much he enjoys working in the shop with Emmett and Jasper, at some point throughout the conversation I find myself relaxing. This was exactly what I needed after the day that I've had.
We're full and relaxed, both quiet on the way home; but it's a peaceful quiet. I've had such a good time; I really don't want the night to end. Edward must feel the same way because as we enter Forks he finally asks me, "Do you want to go to my place?"
"Yeah," I answer too quickly and feel a blush creep across my face. "But what time did you tell Rose we'd be back?" I don't want to take advantage of my friend.
"Uhh, well..." He starts and I glance over at him, he's blushing too.
"What," I ask; my curiosity peeked by his sudden embarrassment.
"I kind of asked Rose to spend the night at your place, so that we wouldn't have a time limit if things went well," he confesses sheepishly.
I throw my head back and laugh, watching his eyebrows knit together in confusion. "Kind of presumptuous aren't you?" I'm teasing him and his amusement shows on his face.
"Nope, just hopeful Miss Swan," he says, smirking at me with lust filled eyes.
As we drive through town, I realize, not for the first time, that I don't even know where he lives. I've never asked and the thought makes me feel guilty. I only knew from Rose that he and Emmett are roommates. He's been trying so hard to be a part of mine and Hayden's lives, yet I've made no effort to be a part of his. The thought churns my stomach unpleasantly and I struggle to keep my guilt from consuming the atmosphere of our night.
He pulls up to an apartment complex that doesn't look much different from mine. He again opens the door for me to get out, just like at the restaurant, only this time he takes my hand and leads to his door. I don't know what I expected to walk in to, but I'm shocked to find the place really clean when he leads me inside. You'd never be able to tell two men lived here, the way that you could with most bachelor pads.
He guides me into the living room and towards the couch, looking around nervously as if I might find some flaw in his apartment. "You want anything to drink?"
"No thank you, I'm fine," I give him an encouraging smile as I sit down and he seems to relax a little, sitting beside me and rest his arm across the back of the couch.
"Did you have a good time tonight?"
"I did; I really needed it after the day I had," I tell him, letting himself relax back against the arm he's placed behind me.
"So it being a surprise didn't completely ruin it for you?" He's teasing me and I roll my eyes at him, giving him a playful nudge in the ribs.
"No, but you could have told me; don't you remember that I hate surprises?"
He leans close to my ear and my breath hitches in my throat as I feel the warmth of his proximity radiating against my skin. "I remember everything Bella," he whispers, his hot breath making me shiver. "I know you don't like surprises, so I feel I must warn you. I'm going to kiss you now, Bella." He leans in, pressing his firm, smooth lips against mine softly. Something dark within me takes over and I reach up, tangling my hands in his soft hair and pulling him closer to me. His tongue pushes past my lips, opening my mouth and tasting me, making me moan with need for him.
His arms envelope me, holding me tightly against his body and practically pulling me into his lap; I turn my head to breathe and Edward's lips travel down to my neck. I feel his tongue peek out, swiping across my heated skin and the sensation makes my eyes roll back in my head. My body is on fire lust and I know that I need this man, now. A part of me wonders briefly if we are moving too fast, but I'm so tired of denying myself what I want that I really don't care.
"Ed...Edward," I stutter, my voice breathy and deep.
He pulls away just slightly, just far enough to look at me. "Don't be afraid of what's happening between us sweetheart," he encourages me softly.
I wasn't going to ask him to stop; but even if I was, I wouldn't be able to now, not with his sweet words. I cup his cheek and look up into his beautiful, hypnotic stare. "I'm not afraid, Edward; I was only going to ask if we could move to your room."
In an instant, his whole face lights up and he stands, taking my hand and leading me to his room. He walks me to his bed and gently pushes me down onto the soft mattress, not taking his eyes from mine. He toes off his shoes and sits down beside me; his deft fingers immediately start unbuttoning my sweater. The cool air hits my skin with each button he releases and goose bumps begin to spread across my torso and down my arms. When he finishes, he pushes the shirt off of my shoulders, letting his fingers trail down my skin. My heart feels like it's going to beat out of my chest.
Edward leans down and kisses the valley between my breasts; I let my head fall back as he continues with kisses along the tops of my breasts, only stopping when he reached my bra. Reaching behind me, he unclasps my bra and tosses it aside; my nipples pucker when the cold air hits them. He gives me one long lustful look before he takes one of my rosy buds into his mouth and gently runs his tongue around the rim. My body is so sensitive, I feel the tug deep in my groin and I already feel like I'm going to explode; I'm not even naked yet!
I reach for his shirt, wanting it off of him so that I can marvel his beauty. He knows what I'm trying to do and moves away from me, removing it himself in one quick movement. He takes his pants and boxer briefs off next, standing before me in all of his naked glory; he's simply breathtaking.
I toe off my own shoes, my eyes never leaving his body as I undo the button on my jeans. I start to push them off my hips but he stops me to do it himself. He pulls them, along with my panties, off slowly before he leans over me and kisses my stomach. Slow, steady kisses, heading down to where I want him the most; my breath catches when I feel his hot tongue reach the apex of my thighs.
"Oh God," I cry out, my knees immediately beginning to tremble as he tortures me.
"Does that feel good baby?"
"Y-yes." My hands fist in my own hair as I resist the urge to grab a hold of his.
He focuses tenderly on my clit while he inserts one of his long fingers inside of me. The last time we'd had sex, it was rushed and sloppy in our drunken state. This time is different; this time he's taking his time, relearning my body and what makes me feel good. He's licked and kissed all over me, repeating anything that has made me moan. Simultaneously, he continues to pump his long, skilled finger in and out; a gentle preview of what has yet to come. I was so close and when I felt him suck my tiny bud of nerves into his mouth, I shattered completely.
Edward helps me to ride out my orgasm before he begins kissing his way up my body, reaching my lips with a proud aura. "Was that good," he asks, a smirk playing on his lips.
"Mmm." Edward chuckles at my incoherent response as he reaches over to the night stand, grabbing a condom that I hadn't seen him put there. As he slips it on, he nudges my knees apart before teasingly running his tip across my slit. I moan and he slowly, gently enters me; I'm filled with him and the feeling is exquisite. He pauses for a moment before beginning to move, pulling his length slowly out of me and then pushing back in until our hips meet.
We continue a slow, leisurely pace and I lose myself to the sensation. Before I know what's happening, he hooks his arms under my thighs and rolls us over so that I'm on top of him. I sit up, moving at my own rhythm as his hands travel over my body; he's worshipping me. I lean back and place my hands on his thighs for support, rolling my hips in slow gyrations.
I can feel the familiar quickening, another orgasm is building inside me and I start moving faster. Edward, sensing my need, sits up and I wrap my legs around his hips. He holds me to him, our bodies pressed together as we meet each other thrust for thrust. The room is silent, only the sounds of our bodies as they come together and our mingled moans of pleasure fill the room.
Edward grabs my ass with both hands, pulling me hard against his body and I scream out his name as my second orgasm crashes over me. His movements become erratic, his breathing becomes harsher as my insides grip him and he stiffens, allowing me to milk him into his own climax.
We fall to the bed, our bodies slick with sweat and the sound of my own heartbeat pounding in my ears. "Wow," I breath with a smile and I giggle as Edward pulls me into his side.
"Yeah, wow," he agrees breathlessly. We lay in silence for a while longer, catching out breath and waiting for our heart rates to return to normal. Edward gets up to discard the condom and then returns to my side, gathering me in his arms and holding me close. I lay my head in the center of his chest, my arm thrown over his stomach. I lose myself in the feeling of Edward's fingertips running soothingly up and down my spine and soon darkness takes over me as I fall asleep in his arms.
A/N: Hello people, I'm so sorry I've slowed down. Real life got in the way. My kids just left for summer camp, so I'm going to have a lot more free time on my hands yay! Well I still have my grown kid (my husband) hehe. Anyways, I'm not completely happy with this chapter and it's really short, but I didnt want to make you guys wait any longer. Hope you like it.
To my kick ass beta, -K...I love you and all your awesomeness! I don't know what I'd do without you.
I also want to thank everyone reading and reviewing. You guys ROCK.
Beta'd by Signed -K.
Chapter 12 One thing
In the morning I wake slowly, stretching my body and absorbing the delicious stiffness in my muscles. I can feel Edward's warm body beside me and, as I open my eyes, I look at him. He's already awake and watching me with a luminous smile on his face. "Good morning beautiful," he grins at me, propping himself up on his elbow and looking down at me. I know there can't be anything beautiful about me right now; my hair is certainly a mess and I never got the chance to wipe my makeup off last night so I'm sure that I probably have raccoon eyes.
"Mmm, good morning," I tell him, giving him my own sleepy grin.
He gets off the bed, pulling me up with him and I giggle. "Come on, I think you need a shower to help wake you up," he says as he guides me to the bathroom. He starts the water, adjusting it to the right temperature as I wait patiently and avoid looking in the mirror. Since neither of us is dressed, we get in and I find that Edward is right; the water does help wake me up, or maybe it's his wandering hands. In all the time we dated in high school, we never had shower sex. There wasn't really anywhere we could go with enough privacy for any length of time, but I could now say that I was a huge fan of shower sex with Edward Cullen.
After we spent some time playing in the shower, we dressed and shared a bowl of cereal. It was nice being alone with Edward, but I was missing my baby terribly and I got the feeling that Edward was as well, so we decided to go and relieve Rose.
Edward held my hand as he drove to Rose's, not letting go until we parked and he got out to open my door; I was feeling like a young school girl again. As we walked into Rose's house, I couldn't keep the grin off my face; Hayden was sitting on the couch beside Emmett, watching Saturday morning cartoons. When he spotted us, he leapt off the couch and came flying at us. I picked him up, wrapping him tightly in my arms.
"Ohh I missed my big boy so much," I croon, squeezing him to me. I breathe in the little boy smell that is uniquely Hayden; I could sniff him all day, if it wasn't creepy. He reaches his arms out for Edward when he's decided that he's had enough of me. I hand him over to his father and wave a greeting to Emmett, who throws his beefy hand up at me and nods his head. "So...where's Rose?"
"Uhh, she's in the bedroom," he says, turning back to the cartoons Hayden has forgotten.
I don't bother knocking as I walk into her room, she's putting away laundry and looks up at me as I walk in. "Oh, hey," she smiles. "I didn't know you were here." I hate to admit it, but I'm agitated by her admission. If she didn't know I was here, just how close was she paying attention to my child? I'd always trusted Rose with Hayden, but I'm starting to wonder if her good sense went out the window when she hooked up with Emmett.
"So how was last night?" She continues putting away her laundry, throwing a smirk over her shoulder.
I roll my eyes at her and shake my head, giving her an innocent smirk in response. "A good girl never kisses and tells." I've always told her everything, so she knows this is **, but I like teasing her anyways.
"Ha! Since when are you a good girl?" She snorts and heads over to the closet, pulling out a few empty angers.
"Always," I reply and Rose gives me the look that says 'tell me what happened last night...with details'. "I'll tell you later," I whisper, shooting a glance towards the door. "They're right outside your bedroom and can probably hear everything we're saying."
"Yeah… ok… but I want ALL of the juicy details, Missy."
"I know. Oh by the way, are you coming to dinner tomorrow?"
"I wasn't planning on it, why?" She asks.
"Oh just curious," I respond, fiddling with a snow globe on her dresser. When I glance up at her, she arches her brow, waiting on me to give a real explanation. I huff dramatically and chew on my bottom lip, "I thought about asking Edward if he wanted to come with us and thought if you went it might be easier."
"How the hell would I make it easier? And really, you're going to invited him to your dad's family dinner; with Billy and Jake there?" Her tone is incredulous and I know that she thinks I've completely lost my mind.
Yeah, maybe I am insane, but I really want him to come with me. I'm hoping that if he comes, my dad can see that Edward has changed from the rebellious teenage boy he once was.
"It's a stupid thought, isn't it? I don't know what I'm thinking," I mumble, embarrassed.
Rose sighs apologetically. "No, I get it, I guess; I'll come tomorrow if that will make you feel better."
I nod my head, still second guessing myself. "I don't even know if he will agree to come."
"All you can do is ask, but..." She gives me a long look before she continues, "I have a feeling he'll do just about anything you ask of him, Bells."
I look at her questioningly, waiting for more, but she doesn't elaborate. "Oh, don't forget about the cookout at Alice and Jasper's next Saturday," she reminds me, effectively ending the conversation.
"Yeah, I work with Alice, remember? She wouldn't dare let me forget," I tease.
I thought awhile about how to broach the subject of dinner tomorrow as we sat on the couch watching TV. Hayden fast asleep on the couch between us, I didn't know how to bring it up. My fear of rejection was getting the best of me and I had to wonder if I wasn't severely over thinking this whole thing.
"Hey, you ok?" Edward asks me, placing his hand gently on my thigh to get my attention.
"Yeah, why?" I give him what I hope is a convincing smile but I can tell that it doesn't quite meet my eyes.
He responds with a long and searching look. "I just asked you the same question three times and you acted like you didn't even here me, you zoned out on me; am I that boring?" He asks, teasing me.
I chuckle. "No, of course not; I'm just thinking, sorry."
Edward turns the TV off, setting the remote down and turning towards me, giving me his full attention. "Come on; tell me what's going through that gorgeous head of yours," he reaches over and brushes a strand of hair off my face.
"Well, I...uhh... I was just wondering—do you want to go with us, Hayden and I, tomorrow to my dad's for Sunday dinner?"
I watch Edwards eyebrows shoot up to his hair line; it's obvious that he wasn't expecting that. When he still hasn't said anything after a few minutes, I start to feel embarrassed and attempt to back track. "You don't have to; I'll understand if you don't want to come, I mean I probably wouldn't go around your parents." Though me not going around his parents was probably a lot more understandable, my father was nothing like them; Esme and Carlisle Cullen were asses.
"No No, I'll go. As a matter of fact I think this will be a good thing! Yeah, a good thing," I knew Edward was speaking to himself more than he was me, trying to convince his self this will be a good idea.
"Ok, great." I give him an encouraging smile and only hope that I haven't made a huge mistake.
A/N: I would like to thank all of you that review. I love getting them and they are helpful. Some of you help me to see what I'm leaving out of the story.
I want to send a big shout out to my beta -K, I LOVE YOU! Lol. Your awesome and make my story readable.
There's another A/N at the bottom.
Beta'd by Signed -K
Chapter 13 Stand in the Rain
"Don't be nervous," I tell Edward for the tenth time that evening as we pull into Charlie's drive way and climb out of my car. I go to the back seat and start unbuckling Hayden, Edward walking up behind me waiting.
"I've already told you Bella, I'm not nervous. I just don't like that Jake guy."
When I turn around, he's looking up at the house, assessing, and I can't help but roll my eyes at him. "You don't even know him," I point out for what feels like the hundredth time, this has been his standard response to my concern all day. How a person cannot like someone they don't even know is totally beyond me; boys.
"I've seen enough of him to know that I'm not going to like him." His stubborn tone tells me that I'm not going to change his mind, so I let it drop and hope that he's wrong.
I don't see Rose's car here yet as we head up the driveway, I really hope nothing's come up to prevent her from coming tonight. I have a feeling I'm going to need her to be here with me. As we walk into the house, Hayden is clueless to the tension that I'm feeling. Jake and Billy are already sitting at the kitchen table talking with Charlie when we walk in, neither of them turning to acknowledge us.
"There's my little man." Charlie calls happily, standing up and walking over to us. He squats down to Hayden's level and opens his arms, Hayden jumps on him without a second's hesitation.
"Dad," I speak up, trying my best to keep the nervousness out of my voice. "You remember Edward," it's not a question. Of course he would, he'd never forget the guy that knocked up his teenage daughter before being sent to prison on drug charges.
"Chief Swan, it's good to see you again." Edward says politely, holding out a steady hand to Charlie. The tension thickens as Edward's hand hangs in the air, unacknowledged.
I watch, mortified, as Charlie gives Edward a hard look. "Dad," I warn through gritted teeth.
"Yeah; good to see you again, Edward," Charlie says gruffly, shaking Edward's hand and allowing me to finally draw an easy breath. We haven't been here ten minutes and I already feel that I've made a big mistake. I rub my temples tenderly, feeling the beginning signs of a stress headache coming on. Where the hell is Rose?
"Hope you like fish Edward," Charlie says, not waiting on a response as he walks back to the table and sits Hayden down in his booster seat. "Billy and I caught a mess yesterday and we fried them up."
"I love fish, sir." Edwards responds, sitting down by Billy; leaving me with the only other seat open, beside Jake.
Dad disappears into the kitchen for a moment and the room is filled with silence until he returns, placing the platter of fried fish down in the center of the table next to a dish of potatoes.
"Jake, Billy," I speak up, attempting to break the silence with courteous introductions; "this is Edward; Hayden's father." Billy gives Edward a polite wave, but Jake doesn't even bother a glance in his direction. The awkward silence sets back in as everyone begins to fix their plates, Charlie and Hayden seeming oblivious to the tension around them.
"Dad, do you want me to do that?" I ask, noticing that he's begun mushing up a small piece of fish on separate plate for Hayden, probably making sure there are no bones in it before he gives it to him.
"No, I got this. I used to do this for you when you were little, Bells," he adds whimsically, an uncharacteristically loving smile on his face as he looks at me.
"So, what's been going on with you Bells?" Jake asks me, throwing his arm across my shoulders and giving me a flirtatious grin.
I look up at him, puzzled; he hasn't talked to me in weeks and now it's like nothing ever happened? I shrug his arm off of me, the best that I can, and it falls to across the back of my chair. "Oh, you know, working and taking care of Hay," I tell him, staring down at my plate uncomfortable.
I feel his fingers touch my hair and my whole body goes rigid at his touch; well that's new. "You know Bella, I was thinking, we need to go out one night, just me and you," he says, looking pointedly at Edward as he does. "You can watch Hayden for us, right Eddie boy?"
"My names Edward," he corrects him calmly; eerily calmly. "Of course I'll watch my child, that's never an issue; but Bella going anywhere alone with you is never going to happen."
I can already feel this situation spinning out of control and my headache grows in intensity, so I try to change the subject. I ask Charlie and Billy about their fishing trip, which they are all too happy to talk about. They tell us in excruciating detail about their day; then Charlie and Billy go off on wanting to take Hayden fishing, discussing how old he might have to be before they can take him out to the lake. Normally I'd be bored out of my mind with this conversation, and I am, but right now I'm thankful because it's keeping Edward and Jake from talking. It's not, however, keeping them from glaring at each other across the table
Once we've finished eating, I all but jump up out of my chair, offering to do the dishes so I can have an excuse to escape for a few minutes. Charlie and Billy take Hayden in the living room while I start clearing the table and Edward excuses himself to use the bathroom. I'm standing at the sink rinsing off the dishes to put in the dishwasher when I'm caught off guard, I feel a hand slap my ** and I whirl around in shock to face a smiling Jake.
"What the hell do you think you're doing, Jacob," I yell at him, my cheeks burning with anger. He never gets the chance to answer me though because Edward comes out of nowhere, grabbing Jake by the front of his shirt shoving him into the counter. He's in Jake's face, before I can respond, leaning in with a stern, low and scary voice.
"If I ever see you touch her again, I will fuck you up," Edward spat venomously. I'd never seen his eyes with so much anger in them, even when we used to fight. If I were being honest, it scared the shit out of me to see him like this; to see what his temper has grown to.
"You don't scare me, Eddie boy; she's not yours to control, punk." I could tell by the way that Jake stood that he was trying to appear unaffected by Edward, but his shaky voice betrayed him.
I grabbed Edward's arm, trying to pull him back from Jake and prevent things from escalating further. "Come on Edward; it's not worth this." Jake had no right to touch me; I was just as angry as Edward, but this was not the time or the place.
"You want to take this outside," Edward growled. "I'm warning you now Jacob, don't touch her again." Edward backed away slightly and shoved Jake hard in the chest, the dishes on the counter top rattling with the force.
"Edward stop!" I yelled, no longer caring if I caught the attention of Billy and Charlie. "Our son is in the next room, let's just go!" I didn't wait to see if he was following me as I turned to walk away; perhaps I should have because before I could get out the kitchen, I heard Jake's cold menacing laugh.
"What kind of father has he ever been to Hayden," Jake screamed at me, stopping me in my tracks and causing me to spin around and face him. "He wasn't even there when he was born, Bella; he was in prison because he's a FUCKING NO GOOD CRIMINAL!"
I didn't have time to react to Jake before Edward was hitting him; I'm not even sure Jake knew it was coming, I sure as hell didn't. He looked shocked that Edward had actually punched him, but only for a moment, before he lunged at Edward and they began rolling around on the floor, fighting. At the sounds of my yelling, pleading for them to stop, Charlie and Billy came rushing in with Hayden hot on their heels.
"What the Hell is..." Charlie started before he saw the mess in front of him. Billy and Charlie rushed ahead, each of them grabbing a hold of one of the men and trying to pull Edward and Jake apart."Daddy!" Hayden started wailing, running full speed towards Edward. I scooped him up in my arms before he could reach them and ran outside, my son sobbing in my arms and yelling for his father. I was livid; I'd told Edward to stop, that our son was in the next room, but he hadn't listened. I know Jake provoked him, but sometimes you have to step up and be the bigger person, for the sake of your child. I'd thought Edward had matured, that he would always put Hayden first because that's what I said, even before his own temper and pride.
I walked quickly to my car and put Hayden in, buckling him up despite his screams and protests. I didn't know if Edward was coming with me and right now I cant even say if that I honestly wanted him to. I rubbed Hayden's sweaty head, pushing the hair off his forehead and trying to sooth his suffering. "It's okay baby; shhhh, daddy's okay," I whispered softly.
I was climbing in to the driver's seat of my car when Edward finally came stumbling outside, still looking like he was ready to fight anyone who got in his way. He threw open the passenger door, got in and slammed it shut with enough force to shake the vehicle. I shot him a glare and he ignored me.
"If you cant calm down and be civil, then you need to just get out; Hayden's upset enough."
"I'm fine," he snapped, fastening his seat belt and avoiding my gaze.
I rolled my eyes at his childish behavior and backed out of my dad's driveway; I was not looking forward to my next conversation with Charlie. Hell, I didn't even know who was in the right or wrong right now and I didn't care. As I looked through the rear view mirror and watched Hayden sniffle and hiccup from his crying fit, I felt all my anger surge back up inside of me.
"Daddy, 'kay?" Hayden asked, his voice was low and unsure, the sound breaking my heart.
I waited for Edward to answer him, but he didn't. I glanced over at him to see he had his head down and his eyes closed, his shoulders slumped. When I came to a red light, I put on my best smile and turned to Hayden. "Yes baby, daddy is okay; didn't mommy tell you he would be." He nods his head, still looking unsure about what had happened at Charlie's house.
Nobody said anything else the rest of the ride home. When we pulled up, I jumped out of the car and go around to get Hayden out, not caring what Edward does. I walk swiftly to my door and I can hear Edward's foot steps behind me the entire way, feel his presence as I unlock the door, yet I still don't acknowledge him. I know we need to talk about what happened, but my son has been traumatized enough for one day and I refuse to have it out with Edward in front of him.
I walk through the door and leave Edward in the living room as I take Hayden to the bathroom. He doesn't fight me as I place him on the potty or when I change his clothes for his nap. Laying down in his bed, I held Hayden against my chest until his breathing slowed and he drifted to sleep. I lay a little longer with my sweet baby, trying to gather my thoughts as I avoided the impending storm. Finally, when I cant stall any longer, I carefully get out of Hayden's bed and walk out, shutting the door behind me.
Edward's sitting at the kitchen table, his head laying in his hands when I find him. He looks so pitiful and I know that I should care, but I just can't stop thinking about Hayden's heartbroken expression tonight. "We need to talk," I tell him; I'm trying to stay calm, but my voice has an edge to it.
"I know," he responds flatly, not even bothering to lift his head and look at me. I almost feel sorry for him, he looks like a whipped dog who knows he's done wrong, but I don't feel bad because he's brought this on himself.
"You really screwed up today Edward. I told you our son was in the next room; did that mean nothing to you?!" My temper is rising and so is my voice, causing him to finally look at me. "Did you not care that he could have, and did might I add, walk in on his father physically beating another person? Another person, by the way, that your son loves!"
Edward stood up and started pacing. "Don't you think I know this; don't you think I know that I fucked up? I get it, okay! I lost my temper and now Hayden is probably scared of me. I just got so pissed with the way he was man handling you, he has no right to touch you! Then the things that he said to you, said about me; and why are you acting like this is all my fault? That fucker started it!" He's yelling at me like he never has before and it should make me scared, but it only angers me and makes me brave.
I walk up to Edward and get in his face, waiting for him to meet my gaze before I lay into him. "First of all, you will lower your voice in my house. Second of all, I know it's not just your fault, I never said it was. I understand that he provoked you Edward, I'm not blind or stupid, but YOU'RE Hayden's father, not him. I expect more out of you. I expect you of all people to put him first and do whatever is necessary to protect him; you didn't do that tonight."
"I will always protect him," he spat at me challengingly, the temper I'd seen earlier suddenly directed at me.
"You didn't today, Edward; he walked in and saw his father acting like a child, rolling on the floor beating the crap out of another person. What is that teaching him, that you hit when your angry? That's not what I want my son to learn. That's obviously what you learned and look how that worked out? You acted like a child today and I will not have that around MY son, Edward."
I watch as a wave of anger flashes in Edward's eyes. "I'm not a fucking child, Isabella! And maybe OUR son needs to learn that sometimes you just gotta put people in their place even if you have to use your fists! Getting raised by you for the past two years, he's going to need some help in that department!"
My mouth drops open in shock; I cant believe he just said that to me. "You know what Edward, fuck you! Get the fuck out. Leave! NOW!" I'm yelling and I have to stop myself from saying anything else, I don't want to wake up Hayden.
Edward doesn't respond, he just stomps past me and out the front door. I expected him to slam it, but he hesitates for a moment, thinking better of it I assume, before closing it softly.
I was so angry that I could scream right now. I had a feeling today was going to be a disaster and it was; it's all my fault. I'm the one who invited him to come to Charlie's in the first place and now my son might be scarred and my possible relationship with Edward might be over before it could even begin again.
A/N: *peeks out* Is everyone mad at me right now? I know some of you will be, but I have a feeling others will be happy Bella FINALLY stood up for her and her son. I know it sure felt good writing it. Please leave a review and let me know what you think!
A/N: Wow! Some of you were really not happy with the last chapter. All I can say is, when I'm writing I'm thinking about me kids and how I would react in these situations. Sorry if that upsets some of you. For those you who didnt bless me out in a review...thank you. Some of you really understood where I was coming from. Thanks for all the reviews, they mean alot to me.
A big huge thanks to my beta -K, who not only helps me with this story, but also gives me encouragement.
Please read and review!
Beta'd by Signed -K.
"Damn, I sure missed a show." Rose laughed into the phone after I finished telling her about yesterday's events. I called her this morning to find out where she'd been yesterday only to find out that she had a horrible stomach bug and had been incapacitated for most of the past twenty four hours.
"It's not funny Rose," I pouted, my voice dripping with distress. "It was a complete and utter disaster, and now Edward and I probably aren't talking. We said some really hurtful things to one another last night Rose and I meant everything that I said, I'm not sorry for saying them."
"Honestly Bella, I don't get why you're so mad about, Jake totally had it coming; go Edward!" I roll my eyes at her finally hoorah.
"I'm mad because it wasn't the mature adult way to handle the situation. Our son was in the next room, not to mention we were at my father's house. Yeah, I agree, Jake really did deserve what he got and, as of right now, I don't want anything else to do with him, but I guess I just expected more out of Edward."
There's a small pause from Rose's end of the line and then she asks me the million dollar question, "is he coming over tonight?"
"He usually does, so I guess; I don't think he'd skip out on seeing Hayden, no matter how angry he is with me." Even as the words leave my lips, I know that I'm trying to convince myself that this is true.
Rose and I chat a few more minutes before we hang up so I can finish making spaghetti before Edward gets here. I put the noodles in the boiling water and walk into the living room to peek at Hayden. I haven't heard him in a little while and that's never a good sign, when I look around the room and don't see him, I know that I'm going to be in for a surprise.
"Hayden, where are you buddy," I call out to him, walking down the hallway towards his room. I can hear the sound of him scurrying, his bedroom door is partially closed and when I push the door open, I freeze, my mouth dropping open as I stare at my son in shock. "Hayden, what did you do," I ask him, approaching him slowly and surveying him carefully.
"Me's get hair cut mommy," he says matter-of-factly as I stare at his lopsided chop job in horror.
"Uhhh, I see that buddy; where did you get scissors?" I take a quick glance around his room but don't see anything out of the ordinary, that's when he holds up a pair of children's scissors with a red handle, displaying them proudly for me to see. "Where did you get these," I ask him sternly, walking over and taking them from him.
"Aunt Wosie," he responds, confused by my response to his handy-work.
I kneel down to Hayden's eye level and put on my stern face, placing my hand on his shoulder as I speak to him. "Hayden, you shouldn't have cut your hair, that was very bad. Do you understand what mommy is saying?"
Hayden hangs his head sadly and nods, "yes mommy, I sowwy."
"It's okay buddy, there's nothing we can do about it now. Just don't do again buddy, okay?" He nods and I sigh, hugging him to me in a moment of defeat; I guess we're making a trip to the barber shop tomorrow. I pull back and really look over his hair, one side of his hair is almost cut down to the scalp and the other side looks like it was cut with a knife, all of it completely uneven and shaggy. The top and back of his hair look untouched though and I hope that they can do something to help him not to look so completely ridiculous.
"It's almost time to eat, so let's go to the kitchen." I tell him, standing up and giving him a forgiving smile. I follow Hayden to the kitchen and help him into his booster seat, happy to see that he's no longer pouting as he starts to play with his placemat. Glancing up at the clock on the wall, I see that's it's almost 6:30 and Edward is usually here by now.
It's only after I've fixed Hayden and I each a plate of food and set it down on the table, that I hear my phone beep, indicating that I've received a text message. I grab my phone from the counter to find that I have a missed call and a text from Edward.
Working late. Can't make it 2nite. Tell Hayden daddy loves him. ~E
I place the phone back on the counter and choose not to respond, taking a seat next to Hayden at the table. As I eat, I wonder if he really had to work late or if he was avoiding me. Surely he wouldn't bail on Hayden just to avoid me; I really wanted to believe that he was telling the truth, but I couldn't be sure.
When we finish eating, Hayden doesn't say anything to indicate that he notices Edward's absence and I choose not to point it out. Instead, we head into the living room and watch cartoons until it's time for his bath and then bed.
"Where daddy," he finally asks as I pull the covers up over him and kiss him good night.
"He had to work late sweetie," I tell him softly, smoothing down what little hair he has left. "He said to tell you that he loves you very much and to give you an extra kiss good night."
Hayden's face lights up as I lean down and place a second kiss on the opposite cheek from the one I'd previously adorned. "Ok, will you pwease tell him I wove him too and miss him extra extra lots." I chuckle softly as I place a third kiss on his forehead and shake my head at my delightful baby boy.
"I will baby, go to sleep now, okay? I love you, sweet dreams."
When I pick him up from Rose's and get him home on Tuesday, Hayden won't stop asking for his daddy. I'm not sure how to answer him when he asks me if Edward will be here tonight, because I honestly don't know if he will. I leave Hayden sitting on the living room floor playing with his toys as I go change out of my work clothes and begin cooking an easy meal for dinner, French fries and fish sticks.
Just as I'm getting ready to put the pans in the oven, I hear a knock on the front door and Hayden's eager little feet running for the front door. "I get it mommy," Hayden yells from the living room.
"NO! Hayden I'll get it," I yell, dropping the pans in the oven and running out the kitchen to catch him before he reaches the front door. I know I shouldn't panic, because it's more than likely Edward and Hayden can't reach the locks anyways, but I don't want him to think that it's ok for him to answer the door by himself.
I move to stand in front of Hayden so that I can get to the door and open it up to find Edward standing there, hands in his pocket and eyes fixated on the ground.
"Daddy! You missed me lasternight," Hayden squeals in delight as he throws himself at Edward.
"I missed you very much buddy," Edward grins, squeezing Hayden to him while still avoiding my gaze.
"Dinner's almost ready," I tell them both; as I walk out of the room I can hear Edward talking to Hayden and the front door closing behind him.
"What happened to your hair buddy?" I chuckle at the thought of Hayden's hair. I had planned on taking him to get it fixed today, but the barber shop had been swamped. No matter how I tried to rearrange my day, there were no openings on my lunch break. The best they could do was an appointment, squeezing him in, tomorrow.
Hayden kept the conversation going during dinner, which I was more than thankful for. Edward and I both listened to him talk about his day, though I'd heard all of this already, both of us keeping our eyes on Hayden or our plates. The only time Edward and I directly spoke to each other was when he asked me what had happened to Hayden's hair. I told him the story and that I was getting it fixed the next day, he accepted this with a nod and we both went back to staring at our plates.
Edward gave Hayden his bath and put him to bed while I straightened up the house a little. Dinner had been simple enough that I didn't have enough dishes to busy myself with so I took to picking up toys and straightening couch pillows. By the time he was done, I was sitting in the couch flipping through the channels on the television, not really paying attention to what was on.
He stood in the living room, looking awkward and like he felt uncomfortable now that Hayden was asleep. I didn't blame him, I did too. "Well, I guess I'm going to go now," he finally said and I continued to stare at the television, nodding my head to let him know that I'd heard him. I didn't offer him more than that, though a part of me didn't want him to go. He walked to the door, turning around to face me before he opened it. "Since things seem to be strained between us right now, maybe I should come get Hayden for a few hours a couple of nights a week."
His words catch me off guard and I turn to face him, "no; I don't think that's a good idea, Edward."
He sighs loudly, frustrated, and shoves his hands in his pants pockets. "Bella, he's my son too; when are you going to start trusting me with him?"
"When you show me that you can control you temper around him." The words pop out of my mouth before I can stop myself or even think it through. Edward starts to take a step towards me but he stops himself, taking a deep breath and obviously thinking better of it.
"Look, I admit that I should have walked away on Sunday, but you've got to know by now that I would never hurt Hayden or put him in harm's way."
"Not on purpose you wouldn't," I respond, sounding a little more snarky than I had intended to.
"Can you please talk to me, like an actual conversation instead of just throwing out rude little comments," he asks me, his eyes pleading with me to talk to him.
I look down at my lap, trying to decide if I was ready to have this conversation. I knew there were many things we needed to talk about, not just about this situation, but about the past and what we were doing with each other now. We needed to talk about our future, if we had one. I'd never finished reading Edward's letters; I hadn't wanted to read what he had to say back then if we were going to try to have some sort of a future.
I looked up at him, assessing him, without saying a word I patted the seat next to me and he visibly relaxed. He understood, closing the door and coming over to sit down beside me. "If we're going to talk, we need to talk about everything," I tell him, his face scrunching up in confusion. "I want to get our past out in the open."
The corner of his mouth lifting into a crooked smile, "okay, as long as you will talk to me and give me a chance, we can talk about anything you want."
A/N: First I'd just like to say to those who saw it, that I'm so sorry for posting the wrong chapter last week. My hubby was talking to me and I saw a four and just clicked on it lol. I did fix it as soon as it was brought to my attention though. I hope this chapter makes a lot of you happy, I know how much some of you wanted to peek in on their talk.
Thanks for all the reviews. Most of you are so sweet and I love hearing from you. However there's one person who has constantly given me trouble from the beginning and after her last review, I feel like I'm being personally attacked. So I'm just throwing this out there...IF YOU DON'T LIKE MY STORY, DON'T READ IT!. It's really very simple. There's no reason to attack me. You know who you are.
I love my beta, -K. She worked really hard to clean this chapter up and she did a fantastic job!
Please read and review.
Beta'd by Signed -K.
"What do you want to know," Edward asks me, taking the seat across from me at the kitchen table and handing me a beer. I want to tell him to tell me everything, that I want to know every detail, but I know better than to ask a question that I don't really want an answer to. Edward is the father of my son, my first love and my childhood friend, but I'm scared to hear what he might tell me about that night.
"Just start from the beginning."
Edward sighs and takes a long swig from his beer, toying nervously with the label on his bottle as he starts. "Ok, well it was a pretty normal night for me, back then. I was going to meet you later but I wanted to stop by James' first," I remember James, he was Edward's weed dealer and I had always hated him, both for what he was and because he was an ass hole. "I wasn't there long, I ran in to pick up my stuff and I was leaving when I saw Lauren. She was stumbling out from behind the house and she looked so messed up, I didn't know what to do. I went back inside and asked James if he knew she was out there and he just laughed, he said to let her get hit by a car for all he cared." Of course he did, James never cared about anybody but himself and his money. Hearing Lauren's name though, finally hearing Edward say her name after all of these years, was unnerving. I took another long pull from my beer and told him to continue, his eyes filled with concern for me as he continued. "I couldn't stand her Bella, but I couldn't leave her like that; for years I've wished that I could have, but she was stumbling, slurring and falling all over the place, I couldn't. I helped her into my car, I figured I could just drop her off at home on my way to come see you, but you already know that it didn't work out that way.
"We made it into town just fine, she was so out of it that she mostly just laid back in the passenger seat and stared at the ceiling. When I turned on to Main Street she just freaked; she was screaming at me that I was kidnapping her and started trying to grab the steering wheel. I sped up, I was trying to calm her down but I just really wanted to get her the hell out of my car at that point. I guess I started swerving while I was fighting her off of me and I never saw the cop sitting by the road. When the cop pulled us over he was just going to right us a ticket, but when he saw how messed up Lauren was things got serious really fast." Edward took a deep breath, sitting forward in his seat and rubbing his hands on the thighs of his jeans nervously before continuing.
"The officer searched me and found the weed; I knew I was in trouble and I couldn't imagine it getting any worse at that point, but it did. He made Lauren empty her pockets next but she didn't have anything on her, so he searched the car. He's already found my stash; I was already getting arrested, so I wasn't really worried. Lauren and I stood at the back of the car waiting; the officer came back with a smug look on his face and bag of coke. I told him over and over that it wasn't mine; since Lauren denied it too, the blame came back on me because it was my car. With my prior record, I didn't stand a chance."
When he finished talking, I was stunned in to silence. All this time that I'd spent hating him, thinking that he'd betrayed me and that he'd been doing cocaine behind my back. Now that I knew the truth, I felt like such an idiot. By the time Edward went to trial his parents were already gone and I was too angry to see him, I'd left him all alone and he must have been so scared.
"Say something Bella, please," Edward pleaded, his eyes reflecting his vulnerability and his concern.
The first thing that came to mind slipped out before I could think better of it, "you never cheated on me."
"Bella," he whispered, shocked and appalled by my statement. "I can't believe you thought that; I loved you Bella… I still love you…"
My breath caught in my throat and my heart was pounding so hard in my chest that it felt like it was going to beat right out my chest. He loved me, still; after all this time Edward Cullen still loved me. "I don't know what to say," I whispered, unable to bring myself share the same level of vulnerability that he'd just shown me.
"I'm so sorry I wasn't there for you when you were pregnant Bella; I regret that every single day and I will for the rest of my life. You have to know that I would have been there, every step of the way," he says sincerely.
"I know," it was apparent; every time we talked about the first two years of Hayden's life, Edward's eyes revealed his sorrow and regret. "I'm also sorry Edward, I'm sorry that I wasn't there for you; I should have been there for you."
"Don't waste your time with thoughts like that. You had every right to walk away, to doubt me," he replies. "I know that I also need to apologize for what happened at Charlie's. I did lose my temper, I know that, and I'm sorry that it happened at your father's house with our son there to see it. But Bella I'm not sorry for putting Jake in his place. He had no right to touch you like he did and I'm not sorry for what happened, but I'm sorry for where and when it happened. I'm sorry that I lost control like that in front of you and Hayden."
"I'm sorry too, Edward; I know that I came down really hard on you and you didn't entirely deserve it. I've put you on a pedestal since you came back and that's not fair to you. I just wanted to believe that you'd changed so drastically and that was foolish, childish even. Everyone makes mistakes and I just hope you learned from yours. I wasn't mad about what you did to Jake; I just didn't want Hayden being around it, I don't want him to be raised like that. I really hope you understand and can respect that."
Edward nodded his assent and scooted forward in his seat, leaning in to be closer to me. "So where does this leave us now?"
"I'm not sure," I answered honestly, chewing on my bottom lip as I looked at him nervously.
"Do you want me Bella?"
"Yes," I answered honestly, without hesitation and without a doubt.
"Do you want there to be an us again?"
"Yes," I told him, again without hesitation.
"Well then… if you want to, I would really like to start over Bella," he tells me nervously.
I couldn't help the smile that broke out across my face and I leaned forward to be closer to him, mirroring his posture, "I'd really like that."
"Me too," he grins back at me, closing the remaining distance between us to kiss me.
A/N: Alright guys, there's only like one or two chapters left. I want to thank everyone who has stuck with me through this story and gave me encouragement. It's meant so much to me. I listened to These are the days by Van Morrison while writing this chapter. I love that song!
I big huge thanks to my beta -K. I wish a could hug you!
Chapter 16 These are the days
I'm in the backyard at Alice and Jasper's house, sitting in a lawn chair between Alice and Rosalie, watching Edward running around with Hayden on his shoulders. It's Hayden and Edward against Jasper and Emmett in a game of football; currently, Hayden has the ball and Edward's running him in to the designated in zone while Em and Jazz pretend to try and catch him.
Since our talk, the last few weeks have been wonderful. Edward is always around, pretty much living with Hayden and I, and I don't mind; I love having him around. I still haven't been able to tell Edward that I love it, but that wasn't stopped him from telling me every chance he gets. I know what I've been feeling, I've just been too scared to open up and voice it. But as I watch my boys playing in the yard, matching smiles on their faces, I feel my heart spilling over with how much I love the both of them.
"They are so cute," Alice says, smiling fondly at Hayden and earning an appreciative nod from Rose.
"Yeah, they are; I think Hayden might be the most mature one out of all of them though," Rose said; teasing, I think. Rosalie and Emmett have been going strong the past few weeks and I've been getting to know Emmett; much to my surprise, I really like him. He's was quiet in the beginning, until he got to know me a little better, and now he's the funniest person I've ever met; he's so sweet, too. His large size used to scare me, but I now know that he's really just a big teddy bear.
"I'm going to get another drink; you guys want one?" Rose asks and I shake my head, I've already had three and I don't want to be too tipsy to take care of Hayden. When Alice declines as well, Rose looks at her skeptically. "What's up with you today? You haven't had one drink all night, are you pregnant or something?" I know that it was meant as a joke, but as soon as the question left Rose's lips Alice burst in to tears. "Oh God Alice, you're pregnant!?"
Rose and I stare at Alice, both completely shocked and waiting on her to confirm or deny it. "Y-y-yes," Alice stutters through her tears and I'm left speechless. Usually when someone tells you that they're pregnant, you congratulate them, but that didn't feel like the right thing to do at this moment. I looked to Rose for help, but her expression said she was just as lost as I was.
"Uhh, sweetie, do you not want the baby," Rose asks bluntly, looking uncharacteristically uncomfortable.
"I'm just s-so y-young," Alice sobs out and I don't have a response, other than to just stare at her incredulously. Realizing what she's said, Alice's eyes shoot over to me and she cries harder. "Oh Bella, I'm sorry; I didn't mean anything by that."
"It's okay Al," I give her a comforting smile and shrug it off; I don't regret having Hayden, but I can relate to how she's feeling right now. "What does Jazz have to say about it?"
She wipes her eyes, trying to calm herself and answer my question. "He's so excited; I'm the one who's scared. I just don't know if we're ready for this right now, ya know? We're in debt up to our eyeballs and I know that babies aren't cheap; what if we can't afford it?"
"Alice, you can't think like that," Rose tells her, scooting her chair closer and placing a comforting hand on Alice's shoulder.
I follow Rose's lead and take Alice's hands in mine, squeezing them gently. "Sweetie, if everybody waited for life to be perfect before they had a child, there would be far less people in the world. You and Jazz will be just fine, I know it. I'm not saying it's not going to be a struggle sometimes, but the love you have for this baby will make all the struggles worth it; I promise."
Alice nodded her head, tears still trailing silently down her face, while Rose clapped her hands and grinned. "Well I think this is great news. Just think Al, you'll have a really good reason to have a party and gets lots of presents and it want even be Christmas or your birthday." All three of us giggled at Rose's attempt to cheer Alice up, but I have to say it worked; nothing makes Alice happier than the prospect of gifts.
"I'm going to go give this little guy a bath before he falls asleep," Edward told me as we walked through the door of my apartment after we left Alice and Jasper's.
"That's probably a good idea," I agreed, glancing at a very sleepy Hayden and smiling fondly. He was laying his head on Edward's shoulder; he looked to be just a few minutes from falling asleep with his eyelids drooping and his mouth slack. I reached out and ran my hand over what was left of Hayden's hair; because he'd cut it so close to his scalp on one side, the barber shop had to give him a buzz cut, effectively cutting off all of his beautiful bronze hair.
While Edward was giving Hayden his bath, I checked the messages on my answering machine. I pushed the play button as I sat down at the kitchen table and took my shoes off.
"Bells, this is Charlie. Look, I know you are upset with Jake, and I don't blame you, but can you please come to dinner tomorrow? I miss you and Hayden; love you, hope to see you both tomorrow. Good night."
I felt horrible about missing the last few Sundays with my dad, but I still wasn't ready to face Jake yet. I know it's going to be an argument and I'm probably going to lose my friend, but I just can't let go of what he did, purposefully provoking Edward like he did. I'm so tired that I decide to handle the Charlie and Jake situation in the morning; tonight I just want to relax.
I walk down the hall in search of my boys and find Edward and Hayden lying in Hayden's bed. Edward isn't reading to him tonight, they're just lying cuddled up together. I stand in the door way, my body leaning on the frame with my arms folded across my chest, watching them. They don't know that I'm here and I find it a blessing as I enjoy the peaceful scene in front of me. Their eyes closed, Edward is running his hand softly over Hayden's hair and Hayden is steadily drifting off to sleep.
"Wove you daddy," Hayden says softly and Edward places a light kiss on his forehead.
"I love you too buddy," he whispers. Tears cloud my eyes as I watch the sweet moment they're sharing and I silently walk to my room, sitting on the bed and giving them some privacy.
"He's asleep," Edward says, walking into the room and shutting the door behind him before sitting down on the bed beside me. I lean over, placing my head on his shoulder and wrapping my arms around his waist. "I think someone else might be sleepy too," he teases me.
"Yeah I am, but I need a shower first." I lift my head to look up at Edward and kiss him lightly on the lips. "Do you want to join me," I ask coyly.
"What man could turn down an offer like that," he replies, grinning lazily at me.
We walk in to the bathroom and I start to the shower, making sure the temperature is right before we undress ourselves and step in. The water is warm and relaxing as we wash each other slowly, our hands lingering, touching and feeling. We wait until we go to bed to make love and tonight it's slow, sweet and loving.
Afterwards, we lay naked and tangled in each other's arms. My head on Edward's chest, his hand running up and down the length of my spine, I look up into his beautiful eyes. "Edward?"
"Mmmhmm?" He mumbles, kissing the top of my head softly and I feel him inhale sleepily.
"I love you," I finally tell him; finally saying the words that are long overdue. His hand stills, but only for a second, and through his chest I hear his heart skip a beat.
"I love you too Bella. I always have and I always will."
A/N: Hi everyone. Sorry it's been a while, but both my beta and I were so busy with school starting back. So there's only one chapter left. I would like to thank all of you that has supported me and my story. You've all been so wonderful to me with your reviews.
I would also like to thank my beta -K, who is a very busy person but somehow still finds the time to work on my chapters. She freaking AWESOME! I love you -K!
Ok, go read and then let me know what you think :).
Beta'd by Signed -K.
"I shouldn't be gone longer than an hour or two," I tell Edward, giving him a chaste kiss and picking up my purse. It's Sunday and I'm finally going to see Charlie, if I'm being honest, to have if out with Jake. Edward's going to keep Hayden with him this time because I don't know how this day will turn out; I've got a few things to get off my chest with both my dad and with Jake.
"Take your time baby, we'll be here," he says, smiling at me with a mischievous glint in his eyes. Edward had been acting strange for the past two weeks, I hadn't yet succeeded in finding out why. Every time he started acting weird and I asked him about it, he would give me a cheesy grin and tell me that he wasn't up to anything. I didn't believe him for a second, but at the moment it was just easier to let it go.
"We get dressed pwetty now daddy," Hayden asks; why would they be getting dressed up if they were just hanging out around the house. I looked at Edward, confused; he shrugs and laughs it off, shoving his hands in his jean pockets and shakes his head at Hayden.
"Sweetie, you and daddy aren't getting dressed up. You're not going anywhere," I explain softly
Hayden looked at me like I was the silly one and Edward swooped him up, "alright little man, tell mommy bye and we'll see her later." I looked at him suspiciously but Edward wasn't giving anything away, so I chose to worry about it later. Leaning towards my boys, I kissed them both, letting my lips linger on Edward's for a moment. I didn't really want to go outside of the little bubble we'd created, I'd been enjoying it so much, but I needed to do this.
When I got to Charlie's, Jake's car was already parked in the driveway. I tried to breathe, prepare myself as I walked from the car, I'd been preparing for this for days. Charlie was the first to notice me, looking around for Hayden when I walked through the front door. "Hey honey, where's my grandbaby," he asked, wrapping me up in a hug.
"I left him home with Edward," I tell him, surprised by his calm reaction; he doesn't even bother to make a nasty comment, he just nods his head in understanding. I followed him into the kitchen, taking a seat across from Jake and not meeting his eyes. There's so much tension in the air as we eat; nobody talks, there's only the sound of everyone's silverware clinking against their dishes, and I decide to wait until after dinner to talk.
After everyone's finished eating, I offer to put the dishes in the dishwasher and the boys migrate into the living room to watch tv. Once I close the door and set the timer, I take my usual spot on the couch and look between Jake and my dad, "I need to talk to the both of you." Again to my surprise, Charlie doesn't seem shocked by this, as if he's been expecting this. Jake, however, rolls his eyes and I don't think that I was meant to see it. "Look, I know that you both have problem with Edward and that neither of you trust him…"
"Bella he's a convict; an you really blame us for not trusting him?" Jake cuts me off snidely.
"It's not your business, Jake; this is my life and I don't need anyone's permission to live it the way that I want."
"Yeah, well, have you even thought about Hayden and his safety?" Jake's angry and his anger makes my blood boil, I feel the heat in my cheeks and I know that I've lost control of the anger that I was determined to keep in check.
"Not that it's any of your business Jacob," I spit his name, my voice steadily rising as I continued, "but I always put my baby first. Edward is a good father and you know nothing about him, how dare you think that you have any say over me or my son!"
"Jake! You know Bella has always been a wonderful mother to Hayden! Do not bring my grandchild into this," Charlie intervenes, glaring at Jake.
"I'm sorry Charlie, but I fail to see how Edward is a good influence on Hayden when the last time he was here we all witnessed his violent temper." Jake crossed his arms stubbornly and I felt murderous.
"You provoked him and you know it! You can sit here and try to act innocent, like you were the victim, if you want to Jacob but we both know you started that situation with Edward! You deserved what you got and so much more!" I was screaming now and I could hear my own heartbeat pounding in my ears.
"Okay you two, let's just calm down," Charlie says and I close my eyes, running my hands over my face and trying to calm all of the anger that was flowing through my veins. I needed to act like an adult, but all I really wanted to do was slap the shit out of Jake right now.
Once I felt calm enough to talk again, I dropped my hands from my face and looked at my dad. "Dad, I love you and I'd never keep you away from Hayden, I hope you know that. You're so important to me, you've always supported me and I want you to be a part of our lives, but I'm going to be with Edward and I want you to continue to support me now. I'm not asking for your permission, but I'd love to have your understanding."
Charlie sighs and stands up, walking over to me before he kneels down in front of me. Placing his hands on my knees, my father is exposing his concern and love for me in a way that's completely uncharacteristic, that completely catches me off guard. "I might not trust him Bells, but I do trust you. I'm always going to support you and, in time, I will learn to trust Edward again. There's nothing that you could ever do that would make me turn my back on you and Hayden."
I feel the tears running down my face as I absorb what he's telling me. I would have walked out of this house today without my dad's support, but God did it feel good to know that have it. I loved my dad and really wanted him in my life, really wanted him in Hayden's life.
Jake leapt from the couch where he'd been sitting, catching both of us by surprise. "Charlie, you have got to be kidding me! Are you really just going to let her make the biggest mistake of her life? You're going to let her, potentially, ruin Hayden's life," Jake was furious, swinging his arms around as he yelled.
He'd gotten Charlie's attention; he rose to his feet and looked Jake straight in the face. "Jake, I think you need to leave now," Charlie stated calmly, his demeanor leaving no room for negotiating.
"Whatever, I can't listen to this nonsense anymore anyways," Jake spat, looking directly at me as I did.
"Fuck you Jake! I'm so tired of you thinking you know what's best for me and MY child, you can go to hell!" Jake stomped to the door as I yelled at him, forcefully slamming it shut behind him. I knew then that I'd just lost a friend. He was never going to be okay with Edward, but I felt like he'd push me to choose and I would always choose Edward.
I was emotionally drained by the time that I reached my own front door, today had been such a long day and I just wanted to take a bath and snuggle up with my boys. I wasn't paying attention at first, as I stepped through the door and closed it behind me. When I looked up, the sight in front of me shocked me, causing my mouth to drop open and I dropped my keys on the floor.
All of the lights were turned off, the room only lit by the dozens of candles that had been scattered around the room. Edward and Hayden were dressed in black, matching suits; I didn't know where Hayden's suit had come from, or when Edward had had time to get it, but they both looked so handsome. I stepped forward, still unable to speak, as Edward dropped down on one knee and Hayden smiled proudly, standing beside his father.
"Uhh, Ed-Edward what's g-going on," I stuttered; my heart pounding fast and hard in my chest, my eyes quickly filling with tears.
"Isabella Marie Swan," he paused, pulling a small velvet box out of his pocket. "I love you, I've always loved you and I always will; since the first day I saw you, that has never changed. You're the mother of my child and the most beautiful woman that I have ever seen; will you do me the honor of marrying me?" I watched in shock as he opened the box, revealing a beautiful diamond ring that sparkled in the candle light.
I flung myself at him, wrapping my arms around his neck as the tears spilled freely down my cheeks. "YES! Yes, I would love to marry you Edward. Yes, yes, a million times yes!"
"Thank God," he breathed, wrapping his arms around me and burying his face in my neck. "I love you so much Bella!"
"I love you too Edward."
A/N: Alright, this is the last chapter. I can't begin to express how much all the reviews and encouraging words have helped me with this story. I've loved everything you guys have said. Thank you. All of you have been so patient and wonderful to me. I hope everyone likes the last chapter.
My beta deserves a lot of love from everyone as well. She puts so much work into every chapter and has helped me so much, and she's so sweet.
I love you K!
Okay, go read and let me know what you think. Enjoy.
Beta'd by Signed -K.
Chapter 18 Epilogue
Four years later...
I sat on the bleachers with Rose, Emmett and Alice beside me, watching Edward and Jasper across the soccer field. They're giving the team of six year olds a "pep" talk before they start their game. Once Hayden was old enough, we signed him up for soccer and he loved it, two years later he was still playing his little heart out and having a blast practicing with his dad. This year was even more exciting for him, now that Edward and Jasper were coaching his team. I loved watching the kids play, most of them didn't have a clue what they were doing, generally they all ended up clumped together in a big group chasing the ball, and it was a great source of entertainment. Every practice, Jasper and Edward tried to teach the kids the significance in spreading out on the field, but it never stuck once they actually threw the ball on the field.
As I watched Edward talk excitedly to the kids, pointlessly trying to get them pumped up, I absently rubbed my hand over my bulging belly and thought about how far we'd come in the past few years. Three years ago, Edward and I got married in a small ceremony in Alice and Jasper's backyard. We only included my dad and our small group of friends, very quiet and romantic; it was so perfect for us. Edward stayed at the mechanic shop, still working with Jasper and Emmett, making an honest living and loving what he did.
Not long after Edward proposed to me, he moved into the apartment with me and Hayden, taking over the majority of the bills so that I could quit working and go back to school. I received my teaching degree and got a job right out of school, that's when we started looking to buy a house for Hayden to grow up in. It took us a long time, trying to find something near Alice and Jasper that we could afford, but we finally found it. Three bedrooms, a beautiful backyard for Hayden to play in and it was only a few blocks from our friends.
I was pregnant again, eight months along with our second baby boy, and we couldn't be happier. Edward said that we'd keep trying until we got a little girl, but at eight months pregnant I wasn't so sure that I wanted anymore… well, maybe just one more.
I glanced across the field at Hayden, who looked more and more like his father every day, where he was hanging on Edward's every word. This was their last game of the season and our team, the Yellow Jackets, had actually done really well. I watched as the kids put their hands together and yelled out "Yellow Jackets!" Edward clapped his hands and the kids took the field; little league soccer was much different than normal soccer, or so I'd been told.
"LET'S GO YELLOW JACKETS!" Rose screamed beside me, causing me to jump at her outburst and grip my belly protectively. I looked around us, offering timid smiles to the other parents, all of them eyeing Rose incredulously. Alice and I had both tried to explain that this was about the kids having fun, but she really got into the games; she regularly insisted that the coaches couldn't be trusted and that the league really needed a referee.
The whistle blew and the other team kicked off with the ball, heading into our territory. Hayden was immediately on it; he stole the ball and turned it around, only struggling a little bit at first. He kicked the ball down the small field towards the other team's goal. He'd never been this close before, and even though he loved the game and always put in a lot of effort, he'd never made a goal. Edward had been practicing with him at home and it was showing. My heart was pounding, as if it was me running on that field and I felt Rose shoot up beside me.
"Go! Go Hayden!" She screamed, cupping her hands around her mouth to help be heard, though she really didn't need any help.
I didn't bother to shush her, my body was too tense and I couldn't look away from my little boy. He was dodging the other team and getting closer to the goal, putting everything he had into concentrating on the game. I looked up at Edward; he was running down the field on the side lines with his hands balled into fists, holding them over his head with a huge grin on face as he shouted encouraging words. "That's it Hayden, focus son! You've got this buddy! Just keep running!"
While Edwards focus was on Hayden, Jasper was yelling at the rest of the team to "spread out".
Hayden was really close to the goal and Edward yelled for him to kick it in; Rose was yelling the same thing. I stood up in my seat, putting my hands over my mouth as my nerves got to me and I struggled to breathe. It didn't matter to me whether he got it in or not, but I knew Hayden would be so hurt if he didn't make it and I really, really wanted him to make it.
I watched as Hayden glanced up to the goalie in front of him and then he shot the ball. I felt like time was standing still for those two seconds, the ball flying past the goalie and hitting the net directly behind him.
"YESSSSS!" Edward screamed out, rushing the field and swopping a grinning, sweaty Hayden up into his arms and placing him on his shoulders victoriously.
Rose was bouncing up and down beside me with Alice. I clapped and then did something I hadnt ever done. I screamed out, "whoo Hayden! That's my baby!"
"We won! This calls for a celebration!" Emmett said excitedly. "We have to take the little man out for ice cream!"
"I can't believe our team won and our little Hayden made the winning shot," Alice exclaimed, helping me down and giving me a hug. With the way we all carried on, you would have thought it was a major league team, but the momma in me was too proud to care how ridiculous we probably looked.
We settled back down as the teams lined up to shake hands and then all of the kids ran to their respective benches for their juice and snacks. Rose, Emmett, Alice and I gathered our things, walking across the field to where the kids were.
Edward was leaning down, talking quietly to Hayden. As I got closer I heard him say, "you did so good buddy; I'm so proud of you. Even if you hadn't made the goal, I'd still be proud of you. Do you know why?" Hayden looked at Edward confused and shook his head, sipping from his juice box while his dad talked. Edward smiled, placing his hand on Hayden's shoulder. "I will always be proud of you, as long as you try your hardest, and that's what you did today."
Hayden's little face lit up with happiness from his father's words and I grinned at the excitement in his eyes.. "How're my boys?" I asked, gaining their attention as I reached them.
Two identical faces looked up at me with matching grins. "Mom, did you see me? Did you see what I did?" Hayden asked me excitedly.
"Of course baby, you were so awesome." I leaned down the best I could with my huge belly and gave him a hug. "I think I heard uncle Emmett say he wanted to celebrate; I might have even heard him say something about ice cream," I teased. Hayden jumped up and down eagerly before running off to find Emmett.
Edward wrapped his arms around me, placing a light kiss on my lips. "How're my babies?"
"Babies? You know something I don't?" I joked.
Edward smirked. "Smartass; fine, how's my baby and my beautiful wife?"
"We're fine; tired and hungry, but fine. I can't wait to have this little boy out of me and in my arms, he can't possibly be comfortable in there." I said gesturing to my stomach. "The little guy doesn't have any more room in there; he can't!"
Edward chuckled. "He'll come when he's ready, but I am hoping he'll come soon. I can't wait to meet him, watch him grow." I saw sadness and regret pass across his face briefly, but he tried to mask it. I knew Edward still struggled sometimes with the fact that he missed so much of Hayden's first two years and I hoped that the new baby would help with some of that regret.
"Ha! You'll be taking that back when you get peed or pooped on, or when he wakes up at 2am and doesn't want to go back to sleep."
He smiled down at me thoughtfully and then excitement blossomed in his eyes. "It's going to be great!"
"Come on silly, let's go take our son, the super soccer player, and get some ice cream." I laughed, grabbing his hand. Edward walked beside me, letting go of my hand to throw his arm around my shoulders as we walked. He leaned down and kissed the side of my head. "I love you Isabella Cullen."
"I love you too."
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