The Path We Choose

Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Chapter 11


Walking home from McDonald's I think over the last few hours I have spent with Edward and his kids.

Mind-blowing…that's the first word that comes to mind.

I had a fantastic day in the park with them, so much fun. I was worried about how Maddie and Masen would react to the news about Rufus, but they handled it just fine. I knew they would be a little sad, and a lot worried, but after I ensured them both that he would be ok, they were too.

I enjoyed my walk and talk with my little peanut butter cup. Maddie is too precious for words, I swear. So loving and gentle, the sweetest little girl I have ever met. The nickname had been throwing me for a loop but all it took was to talk to Maddie on our walk to the carousel and it just kind of slipped out. We were talking about our favorite things and I was complimenting her on her new purple converse…I am so going to get a pair that color, now…and I told her my favorite candy was peanut butter cups. She smiled at me and said hers was, too and the next time she asked me a question I responded back with, "What's up peanut butter cup?" and she giggled, clearly pleased. So…that was that.

Recommending letting the kids ride on the Merry-Go-Round was a spur of the moment idea, but it was a hit with all three of them…even the old guy. Edward was too funny, riding on the horse. But, is it wrong to say that I find it extremely sexy to watch a man enjoying spending time with his kids? Of course, if I am being totally honest, the way he looks in jeans and a t-shirt does not hurt the sexiness at all.

The man is all kinds of hot, I'm telling you. I caught more than one Yuppie mom ogling my Edward; I didn't really like that too much. Not at all!

Lunch at McDonald's was hilarious. The argument with Edward about which candy is the best, truly one of the weirdest conversations I have ever had. The man is deadly serious about his Kit Kat's though…just saying.

I love to tease Edward, and he makes it so easy sometimes. And let me just say, him giving me a stuffed animal, a rhino no less, definitely one of the sweetest gestures anyone has ever done for me. Totally melted my heart, that's for damn sure. I'll be sleeping with that little guy in bed tonight.

Ok…the kisses. 3 fucking glorious, spine tingling kisses! Oh my God! That doesn't count the 3 I gave him either. Heart stopping - that is what they were! My body just responds when it is close to his.

When I first got to the park and saw him standing there with his kids I admit it almost made me stop in my tracks and drop to my knees and cry like a baby. They all looked so incredibly sweet standing there, waiting for me. But, when Edward reached out and pulled me to him, pressing me close, and then I felt his lips on my cheek, I thought I died and went to heaven. I literally lost all rational thought feeling him so close to me.

I felt that electric pulse shit standing with him, if I didn't miss it when he was gone, it might scare the crap out of me. I want to ask Rose or Seth if they have ever felt anything like that, but I am afraid of what their answer might be. I don't honestly know which answer I want. A yes means that whatever this is, this electricity thing I feel when he is close by, is something others can feel, too. A no means that only Edward and I have it, and I don't know how to take that. I'm thinking I'm going to keep it to myself. Maybe as Edward and I get more comfortable with one another, I can bring it up to him and see what he thinks.

The kiss by the carousel, I almost lost my mind as he told me how happy he was that I was spending the day with him and the kids. When I stepped closer to him, yeah, I felt that electric pulse all over that time. It was everywhere and my body was exploding with feeling just being that close to him. I was nothing but honest when I told him there was no where I would rather be. In that moment, I couldn't have moved if you offered me money…or peanut butter cups.

I was so glad he understood about not being able to talk on the phone the night before. I was really worried he would be upset. I know if the situation would have been reversed, I might not have acted the same way. Yes, I am just a tad bit insecure…maybe. Who am I kidding? When it comes to Edward, I am freaking out all the time on the inside as I try to muddle my way through the beginning of…whatever this is going to become.

My past two relationships really haven't given me much of a guideline on how to proceed with Edward. Will, well that was high school kids stuff. He was a great guy and a wonderful boyfriend, for someone who was 17 that is. Nothing at all like my Edward or the feelings he is bringing out in me.


I have never wanted anyone so much and it is more than a little terrifying.

And James, well that was nothing even remotely the same as this so there is no use in even trying to compare the two. It's like trying to compare an ant to a skyscraper, two totally unrelated things.

Suffice it to say, neither one gives me any clue whatsoever on how to proceed. Seth has never had a serious girlfriend, or one that didn't last more than a month or two. Jasper is way too intimidating to the opposite sex to find anyone that he doesn't completely scare off with his drop dead good looks and charming personality. Really. Besides Edward and Seth, there is no one on earth that can compare to Jasper Whitlock in the gorgeous man department. And Rosalie, she scares men off so fast that half the time I don't even have time to ask the name of her current man, they are gone before it even matters.

She is not a slut or anything like that, farthest thing from the truth. She is searching, though, for the man who will sweep her off her feet. After losing her parents at such a young age, especially her dad whom she idolized - and still does - looking for the one person she can share herself with and totally trust has led to nothing but dead ends.

I have to give myself a huge pat on the back for the kiss on laid on him at McDonald's, totally came out of nowhere. Well, except for the fact that just being around Edward drives me fucking insane with want! But I am extremely proud of myself for trying that move on him. I had been thinking about doing it, ever since he held my hand at the park and then teased me about buying me lunch. Sitting that close to him, everything else just seemed to fade away, even the kids, for the few moments we were wrapped up in each other.

The way he tasted and smelled as I licked his jaw and ear lobe? Mouthwatering! I'm guessing he liked it too, judging from the way his body responded and the sound of his heavy breathing in my ear.

I want more of that, no doubt about it.

Saturday. I absolutely can't wait for our date. I am nervous as shit about it, because I know I am going to have to tell him who I am, but I also can't wait for the kiss he has promised me. I want it, that first mind blowing true kiss. I want it more than anything I have wanted in a long time.

I didn't want to leave and have to say good bye, but I felt bad about leaving Seth to watch Rufus all day so I forced myself to say good bye to the three of them.

Maddie and Masen were disappointed, but I promised them that as soon as he was better I would ask Edward when we could meet again so they could play with Rufus. I even told them that this time we would go for a walk and then get ice cream. That got me rewarded with huge hugs. Little things sure are strong when they want to be! I gave them each a hug back and a kiss and told them I would see them soon. I hope.

Depending on how Edward takes my news on Saturday.

Saying good bye to him was just as hard today as it was on Sunday and then again Monday night when it was time to get off the phone. Harder, actually. Since I got to spend more time with him today, and then the kisses and the holding hands and the touching, yeah, not easy at all.

But, I told myself, getting through today means it is one day closer to our date on Saturday, and that is definitely not a bad thing, not a bad thing at all.


I make it home just fine, texting Seth to let him know I'm on my way like I promised I would. I discreetly sent him a message when I was walking with Maddie at the park and again at McDonald's while Edward was getting our lunch. I smile when I think about teasing him while we were ordering.

Cheeseburger at a cheeseburger place…ass.

I let myself in the apartment, leaving the door open since I know Seth will be up in a minute with Rufus. I hope he got him to take his medicine all right. He's almost done with it, and the little guy looks almost as good as new. My poor baby!

I hear Rufus barking as he is comes down the hallway and bend down to pick him up as he runs into the loft, Seth chuckling behind him.

"Damn, Bell, I may have to take him back from you. Little guy is the cutest damn thing ever and is so much fun to play with," he laughs as he kisses my head as walks inside and pushes the door closed.

"Not a fucking chance, Clearwater," I sternly tell him. "Ask your friend Vince if he can get you one, too, then they could play together, Rufus is all mine," I tell him as I give Rufus another kiss and then set him down on the ground so he can slip and slide on the wooden floors on his way to the food bowl.

He just grins at me, "Shortcake, for someone that threatened to kick my ass when you found out I got him for you, you sure changed your tune pretty damn quick!" he jokingly tells me as he flops on the sofa and turns on ESPN.

I have never understood the appeal of watching Sports Center continuously all day long, but I'm not a guy so what do I know? I cringe when I hear the announcer talk about the Opening Day baseball game between the Yankees and the Boston Red Sox. Not because I hate baseball, because I don't. I especially don't hate it since I found out Edward played in high school and Masen is in T-Ball right now. I am anxiously awaiting my first invite to watch him play, not gonna lie about that!

I cringe because I am supposed to make an appearance at that game. There is even talk about me throwing out the first pitch or something totally embarrassing like that. My first thought when Angela told me about it yesterday was that it would be great if I could invite Edward, but that makes me think of what I need to tell him.

Seth hears me as I sigh. "What's that sound for Bell? Didn't you have a good day with Edward and the munchkins?" he asks me.

Smiling, I look at him, "No Seth. I had a fabulous day, it was amazing. The kids were great, sad to hear about Rufus, but we had fun anyway. And Edward…he was great, too," I say with a grin.

"Shortcake, judging by that shit eating grin, you'd better tell me what else happened or I'm calling Rose and telling on you!" he kids me…I think he is kidding anyway.

I go to sit next to him on the couch, leaning my head back on the sofa.

Shaking my head as I realize he probably is not kidding about Rose and telling on me I start, "Well, he did kiss me a time or two…and I may have done the same to him," I squeal like a little girl as I place my hands over my face.

I want Seth to be happy for me; I need his approval in this. So much.

He reaches over and pulls my hands from my face, "Bella, babe. Look at me. If he makes you happy, you know that is all I care about. All this other shit, it'll be fine. You'll see. You just have to talk to him, you know this," he gently tells me as he squeezes my hand.

I scoot closer to him, resting my head on his shoulder and say, "I know Seth. I won't let it go past Saturday for when I tell him. That's not fair to him and I certainly don't want it to seem like I am lying to him or hiding something. I just need to put my big girl panties on and suck it up instead of acting like a little girl and avoiding," I huff at him.

Completely frustrated, but only because I know he's right about this. Well, at least about telling him, I want to believe him about Edward's acceptance of what my life is like.

I know Seth and Rose have talked since my melt down on Monday night. Those two have their own little thing going on with each other. You would think that with 4 people as close as we all are, that someone would get their feelings hurt because they are not as close as the others are, but that is not the case with us. Seth and I are like brother and sister, but he is my closest friend. My relationship with Jasper is just as deep and strong as the one I share with Seth, but it's not the same. Rose and I are as close as sisters, but her friendship with Seth is different from the one she has with me and the one she has with Jasper. And the relationship between Seth and Jasper, takes my breath away, literally. I have never seen two men closer to one another than the two of them. It is truly one of a kind.

Getting up off the sofa, I fix Seth and I lunch as he focuses on the TV again. I take out the Panini grill and make sandwiches for us and grab a bag of chips out of the cabinet to fix our plates. I plate the food and grab two Cokes out of the fridge and get myself a glass of ice. I hate to drink Coke when it's not over ice, just one of my things, it drives Seth nuts!

We eat, joking around with each other and after he's finished, Seth tells me he's going to head out and run some errands for the rest of the day and not to go anywhere without letting him know, first. At least he didn't say I couldn't leave, just that I had to let him know. Progress, I think.

I spend the rest of the day, lazily in my loft. I pull out my electronic drum pad and hook up my headphones to my iHome and start playing the songs on my 'drum' playlist. I had Jasper make me a special playlist with the instrumental versions of my favorite songs so that I can play along with the music but not the words. I play for a few hours, my arms aching by the time I am finished but pleased with my efforts. I haven't played in so long and it is something I truly enjoy, but one that is very private. J, Lele and Seth are the only ones who know…and I plan on keeping that way!

I take Rufus for a walk when I am finished. A quick walk around the block for some exercise and a stop in the clearing for a bathroom break and then we go upstairs. I make myself a salad for dinner, still full from lunch and grab my book and sit and read while I eat.

The quiet of the loft doesn't bother me in the least. I miss Seth when he's not around, but I honestly don't mind being by myself. I was never alone too much when I was growing up since the other three were always around, but when I was at home, I was alone all the time. I went to my room every night after dinner and didn't come out until the next morning. Charlie worked a lot and was gone fishing so much on the weekends and since I had no desire to see or talk to Renee nor she me, it was better to just go to my room and be by myself.

I'm not going to lie, it was lonely and hard growing up in a house where your mom pretended you didn't exist when you were alone with her. She always acted at least civilly around Charlie or any of the other parents, she was by no means warm and loving, but she could fake content pretty good. I learned to do the same; it was just easier that way. I hated upsetting my dad, so I always tried to make it seem like things were ok between mom and me and never let him see how completely miserable the woman made me. Seth, Jasper and Rose really didn't know the extent of it all until we had left for college…when the stuff with Charlie happened and then James and my contract with Volturi. To say they were shocked, and more than little devastated would be an understatement. It was hard to tell them everything, but with their love and support the four of us made it through.

After I shower and get dressed for bed, I curl up in bed with my book, my cell phone right beside me since Edward has told me he would call tonight. The phone rings and I answer almost as soon as I hear it. I'm trying not to look so damn anxious, but can't help. I am excited about talking to him!

We play our twenty question game again, trying to find out more about one another. I can't believe I tell him my favorite color is green, I am such a fucking idiot! Like he can't see straight the hell through that one. He laughs at me when I tell him my favorite Disney movie…his is Cars. I am thinking I have Masen to thank for that. His favorite princess, Ariel from the Little Mermaid. He tries to play that one off on Maddie; I'm just thinking the perv likes to look at a half dressed mermaid!

His favorite takeout food is a Quarter Pounder from McDonald's, what a surprise after the fit he threw at lunch! He was so funny; I seriously think he was offended ordering chicken at a burger place. His favorite dessert is cheesecake - that I will definitely be remembering for future use. His favorite holiday is also Christmas, but that is obvious since he has kids. He tells me his birthday is in June, I smile hoping we are still talking when it gets here.

Shit, that thought hurt like a mother! What if we're not? Calm Bella, I tell myself. Just be calm.

We talk for a long time again, about everything and nothing. I carefully avoid the subject of my job and my parents. I need to get my revelation out of the way first before I walk that particular fucking mine field of shit. I know I will put that conversation off as long as humanly possible!

I let him know that I will be dreaming about him, and not so innocently let the implication go that they might not be the sweetest of dreams either. I know I will be remembering his hot fucking kisses from earlier, and knowing my crazy ass mind, be taking those kisses a little farther in my dream world with my dream Edward.

With assurances of talking tomorrow, I tell him good night and burrow in the covers of my bed holding my stuffed rhino close to my chest, content in the fact that I will be seeing Edward as soon as I close my eyes!


I groan as I wake up in the morning, Rufus begging to be let out of his kennel so he can use the bathroom. I slip on a pair of pajama pants and my flip flops and put my hair up in a messy ponytail as I walk into the living room and let Rufus out and we walk to the front door to go do his morning business. He's a lot of work, but I wouldn't trade him now for anything.

I don't let him dilly dally too long because I have a meeting at the modeling agency at 9:30. I am getting a preview of the magazine cover for tomorrow's launch. I have seen the picture, but the cover isn't the same thing. I shower quickly when Rufus and I make it back upstairs and dress in some black dress pants and white top. I wear my favorite black flats, Angela tries to get me to wear heels but it's a losing battle. She won't give up yet, but I'm wearing her down, I know it! I can be pretty fucking stubborn when I want to be.

Seth collects me a few minutes after 9:00, having already eaten breakfast in his own place for a change. We go down to the car, and I get in the back. It is so stupid I can't sit up front with my best friend, but I've promised to be good, so I grudgingly sit back here, looking like a fucking idiot. I giggle to myself though as I watch people looking at Seth, seemingly looking like he is talking to himself to the cars that pass us since they can't see me in the back seat. Something about the glass and the tinting on the windows. I didn't pay attention to Rose when she was explaining, as long as Seth knows, we're all good.

The meeting at Volturi takes a few hours. Aro and Jane try to engage me in conversation, but I try to put them off as best I can. I don't like them and I don't trust them. I wish Jasper was here, I always handle this shit so much better when he is around. They try to make a big deal about the cover, even going so far as having Jasper on speaker phone from California and representatives from Twilight there with him.

I try to see what the big deal is. I suppose if I was someone else, I might be basking in all this attention, but me - I just want the next 6 months to fly by so I can be done. I'm over all this shit, I just want out.

I admit it, the cover looks damn good. If I didn't know it was me I was looking at, I might even think the woman on the front was beautiful. I'm not trying to downplay myself here, it is damn good picture but I don't see myself like the person on the front so it's hard for me to be objective at all.

The people in the room ooh and ahh about the cover, congratulating Aro and Jane. What the fuck? Um, I think that's my picture on the front isn't it? But, I smile and play the game like Jasper has begged me to. I don't want to make the last six months any harder on him than I need to, so I am polite and charming to everyone…even Aro and Jane.

We meet and go over some scheduling issues for the rest of the month and discuss my upcoming trip to California. Angela is coming with me and is so excited to be going. She is a little sad though, apparently she has been seeing a new man named Ben something or other and she really likes him so being gone for two weeks isn't great for her. But, she's never been to California either, so she's looking forward to that.

Angela and I leave to have lunch together. I want to walk but since we are leaving the agency, the chances of someone noticing me are pretty good, so I agree to let Seth drive us. She picks a little Italian restaurant a few blocks away and we are shown to a table. I think the host recognizes me by the way his eyes move over my body and he studies my face, but I can't tell for sure. I sigh as I sit down; knowing that after tomorrow, it is only going to get worse.

She starts telling me about her Ben and how they met at a party of a mutual acquaintance of theirs. They hit it off right away and have seen one another a few times. She lets me know he is in the security business even though he went to med school. He found out being a doctor was not for him and found something he liked. Apparently he works with a friend of his family and his partner is his best friend's brother.

I tell her a bit about Edward, not mentioning his name though. I am going to keep things as private as I can for as long as I possibly can. She is excited and happy for me, telling me he sounds fantastic and that she hopes my date goes well on Saturday.

We spend about an hour and a half there, leisurely eating and chatting away the afternoon. I don't have anything else to do and since she works for me, neither does she.

Edward sends a few texts while I am eating. I smile to myself as I imagine him at the museum with Maddie and Masen. I can't imagine it is Masen's favorite place to spend the afternoon. He's way too much of a little boy for that. I let him know I am counting down the time until Saturday night and mention a thing or two from my dreams from last night.

I like flirting with him; it's much too easy, though. The man has my insides in a fucking hot mess…not that I need to let him know all about that - yet. He flirts back, he seems just as excited as I am and that gives me hope that the talk I have to have with him turns out better than I imagine. I sure hope so, I couldn't bear it if something happened and he walked the hell out of my life.

It's only been a few days since I've known him and the twins, I know, but I feel like my entire world has turned upside down since Masen stumbled upon me. It is a scary feeling to admit to myself how much fuller my life feels when I look to the future and picture Edward, Maddie and Masen in it. Scary…but right.

Angela and I finish our lunch and visit, and Seth drops her off back at the office before we go home. He grabs Rufus to take him outside while I change into my workout clothes. I send Edward one more text and head down to the first floor to the exercise room and wait for Seth. We run on the treadmill and lift weights together as I fill Seth in on Angela's new man. I thought for a brief moment when Angela started working for me that she and Seth might develop their friendship into something more, but the spark was definitely not there between the two of them. Talk about a freaking dud! They get along great…as friends.

Our workout only lasts about an hour and a half but I feel better. I would never admit this to Mike, but I enjoy the exercise, I just hate being told what to do all the damn time. See… I am too fucking stubborn for my own good sometimes.

It's about 6:00 by the time I get upstairs to my loft and jump into the shower and get ready to grub on some pizza. March Madness started today and Duke plays tonight so Seth went to go pick up some pizza and beer for us to eat and drink while we watch my team kick ass. I love the team, totally, though I have no idea why. I don't know anyone who has ever gone there, but I love college basketball, the big tournament especially and the Duke Blue Devils most definitely. Seth hates Duke, just because I love them - such a dickhead - so watching the game is fun. We eat the whole pizza, well, he eats three fourths of it, but we finish the six pack of beer.

I love hanging out with Seth, I will miss being able to act silly like this with him over the next month or so as things get busy for me…and for him by default. I again wish he would find someone to share his life with but a small part grudgingly realizes I will hate more than anything to be replaced is his life. We will always be close, forever be best friends and brother and sister, but when he finds his special someone our relationship will change, it must.

The game ends, Duke winning of course, and I kick Seth out after he makes one too many fucking comments about my team winning. Crybaby…he's always been such a sore loser. Even when we were little and I was running circles around his ass at soccer, he was always such a bad sport. Fucker.

I am a little buzzed, but I only had two beers, and that was with the pizza a few hours ago. I don't drink much, thanks Renee, but I enjoy a good margarita and Seth and I always have pizza and beer.

Edward calls a little later, totally buzzed out of his mind. He's not falling down, incoherently drunk. Just enough to be fucking hilarious. I will definitely be using some of what he said as blackmail material later on if I need to, I can damn well promise you that. I was laughing so hard at some of what he said, I had tears rolling down my face and I swear I almost peed my pants. I did however, after he sweetly told me how excited he was to see me Saturday night and that he hoped we got to spend some time alone, ask him if he would like it if I cooked dinner here and we stayed in here at the loft for the night instead of going out among a lot of people.

Yes, I am a god damn chickenshit…I know this. Staying in keeps me out of the public for the night and allows me to tell him before anyone else can. All I have to hope for is that no one he knows gets that magazine and shows him before Saturday night. He'll be busy all day tomorrow at the amusement park and his brother and sister will be here Saturday so I hope that alleviates that problem.

But, it is a perfect solution, I tell myself over and over again, and he readily agrees. I know I will have to remind him again tomorrow since he is not in the best shape, but I am pretty sure he is sober enough to remember me asking and him agreeing.

We say good night, he is so fucking cute when he's been drinking! I tell myself that if we get the chance, we are so doing this again, but hopefully together and when I can be with him.


I wake up and send Edward a text message, teasing him about the state he will more than likely find himself in once he wakes up after consuming as much beer as he did last night. I hope he's ok to take the kids to the amusement park; he'll have to suck it up and fake it if he's not. I know he would never disappoint them by not taking them so I hope a shower and a cup of strong coffee will take care of waking his ass up. It's what he deserves, but I don't want him to be miserable.

He tells me I'm a smartass for teasing him so early in the morning, but he lets me know he's ok and he, his cousin Demetri and the kids are headed out to the park. He also lets me know he remembers about dinner tomorrow night and is looking forward to it.

Whoo, I feel better now. I was trying really hard to figure out how to bring it up if he forgot. My stomach gets into knots thinking about our date. I can't wait to see him, dressed up and in my home. Here. For me.

I can't fucking wait for that kiss he has promised me. My girly parts tingle just thinking about it.

Friday is spent taking Rufus to the vet and I have a doctor's appointment. Hell on earth going to the gynecologist. Mine is a wonderful woman, but I detest going. I get my yearly check up and everything is fine as well as getting a new birth control shot. That makes me blush a bit as I think about having to have "that" talk with Edward.

My experience with men is so embarrassingly minimal, but I have a feeling Edward might not view it that way. From what I can tell, I think he will be rather pleased by my two sexual partners.

Thankfully since I saw the preview of the magazine cover yesterday, I am not required to be there again today. Next week will start all the promotional bullshit that comes with it, and that is soon enough to be thrust into the public for me.

Seth teases me as I get in the car about the doctor visit, making his own comments about Edward and the birth control pill. He may joke, but I know he is just looking out for me. He wouldn't be my best friend if he didn't. I love the jackass, but I'd like to kill him just the same.

I spend the rest of the day furiously cleaning my loft from top to bottom, dusting, vacuuming, changing the sheets on the bed and scrubbing the floors and the kitchen getting ready for Edward to visit tomorrow. I am a little compulsive about cleaning, I admit it. I admit I'm also still so fucking nervous about tomorrow. I tend to clean when I'm nervous; I have ever since I was little.

Seth is on another date tonight so I just make myself a sandwich for dinner and hang out and play with Rufus. Yeah, Seth and Jasper were so right; I do enjoy having him here to keep me company. I'll probably never admit that to them, unless it's completely necessary, but it is the truth.

Edward and I share a quick phone call before we go to bed; he's exhausted from his day with the kids. I let him know that I think he is such a great father for spending so much of his free time with them, making sure they know he is always there for him. He is a lot like Charlie in that respect and I hope one day I can tell him about my own father.

I miss Charlie, so much, at times like this. I would love to be able to call him and tell him about Edward and he would have loved hearing about Maddie and Masen. Oh well, I know I can't change anything now.

I go to bed, tossing and turning all night. I know it is because I am dreading talking to Edward tomorrow. I tell myself I haven't lied to him, which I haven't - at least not technically. But my conscience lets me know that purposely not answering his questions when Edward asked about my job is close enough to lying in my mind.

I don't really think he'll have a problem, per se, about my job, but I am not 100% confident about that either. It is kind of a big deal when you think about it. Imagine the woman you are seeing, or like or are involved with - however you want to categorize it - is on the cover of a magazine in a barely there bikini, her nipples plainly visible and a tiny scrap of fabric covering her pussy. Not only that, but millions upon millions of men and boys are able to see your woman (I hate referring to myself that way, but hell, that is what I hope to be someday, right?) and she'll receive love letters and gifts and have men trying to touch her wherever she goes. Not only that, there are some creepy people out there, let's be honest. Men get fixated on women in the public eye all the time. There is every chance she could find herself the object of some deranged man's fantasy life, putting everyone around her in danger.

It's all possible, as much as Seth or Jasper try to tell me not to worry about it, I know it could happen. And when I talk to Edward, he needs to know all of that, what getting involved with someone so known by the public, or at least a segment of the population, entails.

That is what I am afraid of, that this…my crazy ass life…will be too much for him to deal with. That he doesn't want to expose the twins to any of it. That he is embarrassed. I think that is what I fear the most. I'm not dumb. No man wants his significant other to be ogled by other men. And certainly not one like Edward Cullen, who comes from a respectable family, and is a pediatrician for fuck's sake!

I don't know, maybe I am over thinking all this way too damn much, but I can't help it.

Saturday arrives and the butterflies are flying fast and furious, but now I just want to see him, to be close to him. I decide at some point during the night to just tell him as soon as I can tonight, get it over with, and enjoy the rest of the night. Alone. With just he and I.

I can't think of anything I want more. Well, I can think of a few things Edward can give me, but we should probably wait until we know each other a little bit better first.

I think over the menu for the night while I am in the shower, and mentally make a list for the market. I decide to make Chicken Parmesan for dinner, along with some garlic bread and a Caesar salad. Edward mentioned during his ramblings on Thursday night that it is one of his favorites. I bet he doesn't even remember. He'll think I'm the shit. I laugh thinking about when I tell him how I know.

I take Rufus to the market with me and get what I need, and even give in and get what I need for cheesecake. I was going to save making it for another time, but it would go perfect with dinner so I say what the hell.

Next thing I know and it's three o' clock and I hear my phone chirp with a message from Edward:

3 more hours angel, until I see your beautiful face. Counting down the minutes…can't come soon enough! E XOXO

I respond back immediately, not caring in the least what it makes me look like, hopefully just that I am as excited about seeing him as he is me:

I know Edward, I feel the same way. In case you were wondering, the minute count is exactly 173…and 27 seconds. Can't wait….B XOXO

I looked at the clock as I was typing; I was exact about the time. I am such fucking loser I think as I hit myself in the head.

I finish getting a few things prepared for dinner, check the living room to make sure it is clean, and have Seth come get Rufus. I love the little guy, but I don't need or want any interruptions tonight and that includes my adorable little puppy!

I spend a lot of time in the bathroom, then I nervously look through my closet. A frantic phone call to Rosalie later and I have picked out my favorite pair of jeans and a deep blue silk v-neck shirt. It's a great color on me, and I happen to remember a certain someone mentioning he likes the color blue. Rose also tells me to straighten my hair and to make sure I leave it down. Oh, no shoes either. I just have to remember to paint my toe nails. She says the no shoes let him now I am comfortable with him.

Whatever. Bitch is the beauty and dating expert so I take her word for it.

I send Edward the directions to the loft, I am nervous about what he will think when he sees it. I'll have to tell him at some point in time that I own the building. I imagine he'll be a little concerned when he sees the outside, until he finds out all the security in the building…and the fact that Seth lives on the floor below.

Yeah, I think I forgot to mention that little tidbit of information, too.

Tonight will surely be a night for revelations I fear.

I finish up in the bathroom, getting my hair pin straight and I have to say it looks phenomenal. And shiny, God it is so shiny. I am feeling a little better about things. When your hair looks good, it usually means the night will go well…at least that is what I try telling myself.

It's about 5:45 and I am finally done getting ready, or as ready as I'm going to get. I start some of the food, preparing the chicken and getting the water ready for the pasta. I make the marinara sauce and leave it on the stove to simmer. I make up the salad, chopping the lettuce and getting the salad dressing made.

I walk around the living room and light some candles. My dining room table is raised up two steps and is in an open area in front of the windows. It's a beautiful setting if I do say so myself. You can see the lights of the city at night and the area I live in is pretty quiet so it's actually quite peaceful.

At around 6:15 I make Seth go downstairs and wait for Edward to bring him up in the elevator. I am so anxious but I turn on some music and listen to Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters. Not exactly calming music by any stretch of the imagination, but I like to listen to louder music when I cook. Besides, I don't want everything to seem totally cliché. I already have the candles and the low lighting, as well as the wine Edward will be bringing.

I am nervous about what Seth will say to Edward and what Edward will be thinking when he sees Seth. I couldn't get him to leave tonight, but he did promise to be on his best behavior and be in and out in a flash. He knows what will happen if he's not, so he'd better not cross me.

I hear the elevator as it makes it way up, taking a few deep, calming breaths as I hear Seth and Edward talking as they get closer to the front door.

Seth knocks and then comes in without waiting for me to answer. I walk out from behind the island and stand to the side, watching Edward as he enters behind Seth. His eyes moving quickly over the space, a look of approval flashing in his eyes as he takes in the fire place and the TV in the living room. He glances at the pictures on the walls; I'll have to explain the meanings of those to him sometime. I see him look at the wall of windows, taking in the table and the place settings that are there.

I look at him as he steps out from behind Seth, giving him what I am sure is a huge ass smile. I am so happy he is here, so incredibly happy!

I hear Seth snicker as he slaps Edward on the back and says, "See ya later, Bell. I'll keep Rufus down with me, ok?" He winks at me; Edward can't see the goofy look he gives me as he wiggles his eyebrows. He turns towards Edward and says, "Edward, man it was great to meet you. Hope to see you again soon."

Then he pulls Edward close to him and whispers something in his ear then steps backwards and they look each other in the eye for a moment. Edward leans forward and says something back, and then they look at one another again for a moment.

Seth loudly says good bye and walks out the door, leaving just Edward and I.

We stand perfectly still, staring at one another, just drinking each other in. I look him up and down, taking in his black jeans, which fit him like a glove. The mint green dress shirt with the sleeves rolled up revealing his muscular forearms. I look in his eyes, the green of his shirt bringing out the green of eyes to perfection.

He is so unbelievably beautiful. I have no idea how a man can be that, but my fucking god if Edward Cullen is not the most beautiful man on the entire planet. He takes me breath away.

He is looking at me as hungrily as I know I am looking at him as we continue to stand and stare at one another.

Finally, that electric pulse I feel when he is near draws me closer to him and I take a step forward and softly say, "Edward."

I vaguely hear him drop the wine bottle that he has been holding onto as well as the flowers I barely recollect seeing onto the end of the kitchen counter.

He grabs me, pulling me forward, squeezing my body against his. I feel his hand in my hair, wrapping it around his fingers. Edward's other hand is on the small of my back, moving me even closer to him.

And then, he kisses me. The kiss he has been promising me, the one that I have been dreaming about for 6 motherfucking days. He finally kisses me. Our bodies molding to one another as we lose ourselves in the kiss we have been promising each other from the day we met, no holding back whatsoever.

His mouth forcefully on my lips, his tongue lapping against mine. Each of us showing the other how much we want the other one, just through the kiss.

The man can fucking kiss!

We finally have to break apart just to be able to breathe. He pulls back just enough and then I feel his lips moving towards my ear and through the fog in my brain I hear him say, "Bella. I have been waiting to do that for 6 days my angel. Please tell me that was ok?"

Ok? He wants to know if that was ok? Was the man not right here the same time I was? I could have sworn that was Edward that was kissing me and that I was kissing back? How could he even ask me that question? Ok? It was the best kiss of my whole damn life!

I don't tell him this, I don't want the man to think I'm nuts!

I chuckle softly, leaning against closer against him and say, "Edward that was more than ok. I have been dreaming about that first kiss since Sunday night," I say as I gently shake my head.

Edward quietly sniffs at my hair. He does that a lot, I've noticed. I need to remember NOT to change my shampoo…like ever again.

He stands up and smirks at me and says, "Well, I certainly hope I lived up to the hype then Bella. I would hate to disappoint you Beautiful," he teases me.

"Ah, for an old guy, I guess it was ok," I sass Edward right back.

He kisses me quickly on the lips and then sweeps his mouth across my forehead. He walks up to the counter and picks up the wine bottle and the flowers.

He tells me something smells good and I tell him I hope he likes Chicken Parmesan, knowing perfectly well he does, but he probably doesn't remember telling me.

"Mmmm, one of my favorites angel," Edward tells me as he hands me the flowers.

I giggle at him a bit and then let him know that he may have mentioned some of his favorite foods during our rather spirited conversation on Thursday night. He has a panic stricken look on his face and I decide to let him off the hook by letting him know he was funny, but didn't say anything too bad. I did remind him of possible black mail material to be used later if I choose to, though!

I ask him to open the bottle of wine since dinner is almost ready and I hand him the opener. I reach up in the cabinet to get the wine glasses down and I feel cool air against my the skin that gets exposed as I reach up to get them. I glance at Edward and his eyes are hooded with lust. I catch him looking at me, knowing exactly what he's thinking. My inner goddess is doing a happy dance at the thought of turning him on.

Way to go Bella! I tell myself proudly.

I hand him a glass, feeling his fingers gently griping mine. I sigh softly as I feel the welcoming electric pulses as they swirl around us.

Looking at Edward, I realize now is the time to talk to him. Now, so we can get this out of the way then sit down to eat a quiet dinner, spending the rest of the night talking and then hopefully move to the couch where there will be a good bit of kissing and touching as well.

I clear my throat as I look at Edward and begin, "Edward, um, ah…well, um," I manage to stutter out.

"Angel, just spit it out already, come on," he teases me as he pours us each a glass of wine.

I clear my throat again and try to start over and say, "Edward, I need to tell you something and I'm not sure how to tell you, and I don't want you to be mad but I just need to get this out of the way," I nervously stammer to Edward.

Edward gets a pained look on his face as he sets his glass of wine down on the counter and says, "Bella, just tell me already, ok. It can't be as bad as you are thinking."

Edward does not sound wholly convinced when he says that, though.

"Shit!" I exclaim, "I didn't think this would be this fucking hard to say, Edward. Look, I need to tell you something about me that might change the way you feel about me and I don't want that to happen but you need to know before whatever this is between us goes any further. I should have told you already, I just didn't know how and honestly, I was…am afraid of what you will think once I do," I pleadingly tell him.

I watch as he pinches the bridge of his nose with his thumb and index finger as he takes a deep breath and says, "Bella, if you don't want to see me anymore, just tell me, ok?" with more than a little bit of a harsh tone to his voice.

I know I need to get this out. Edward is probably driving himself insane trying to figure out what is coming and he is already thinking the worst, I can tell just by the way he is speaking to me and the pained look in his eyes is not helping with my guilt either. I need to end this and get it out there so we can talk about it if we need to and then move the fuck on.

I shake my head at him while he talking to me, before he is even finished speaking, and say, "Edward that is not it at all. You should know by now how I feel about you; I haven't exactly hid it. I'm sorry; I know I should have talked to you about this already, Seth has told me a hundred times so far," I mumble the last part so softly I'll be surprised if Edward can hear me.

"Bella, just tell me already, I can't take this anymore," he pleadingly tells me.

I decide to just show him the magazine cover and then explain afterward. I turn and walk into the living room, picking up the manila envelope that contains the magazine and bring it back with me as I stand in front of Edward once again.

Looking at him, into his gorgeous green eyes I say, "Edward, I hope you will still want to see me after you look at this. I'm really sorry I didn't tell you sooner, I just didn't know how. I hope you will understand," I finish as I hand him the magazine.

I can tell he is confused, probably asking himself what the fuck am I doing handing him a magazine. I know he can recognize the terrified look on my face and he tightly closes his eyes for a moment before he takes a deep breath and looks down into his hands.

He stares at the picture for what seemingly feels like fucking forever. I try to calm myself down, but I know from his posture and the way his breathing has picked up he is not liking what he is seeing. Not one damn bit.

Oh, he likes the picture, I can tell that. But I can also see the thoughts as they play out on his face and none of what I am seeing is good.

He takes a sharp breath and snaps his head up to look at me and the look on his face is enough to bring me to my knees and beg for forgiveness. It's not the picture, it's the fact that I haven't told him. I knew this. Instinctually I knew this is what he would be upset about because it is the way I would feel about it.

It's also about what the stereotypes are. I know he is going to feel inadequate in some way, and I hate that more than anything. There is not a woman alive that wouldn't want Edward Cullen, I don't care whether she was a queen, an actress, or the waitress from the restaurant down the street. Edward is so perfect and I have known that the age difference between us has bothered him, even though he says it hasn't.

I can tell. Don't ask me how, I just can.

I'm losing him, I can feel it.

"Edward," I plead with him, "Please, look at me. I am so sorry I didn't tell you, I didn't know how. This doesn't change anything between us, please just talk to me," I cry out to him.

He raises his head and sharply says, "God damn it Bella. Not change anything? How can you fucking say that? This changes everything! I admit to not knowing everything about you, but this, this makes me feel like I know nothing about you. Fucking nothing!" He yells at me.

I begin to cry softly. I knew this would happen, I just knew it. I tried to convince myself that it wouldn't matter, but I was just fooling myself. This is all so much for him. Too much. Too much for him to deal with and understand.

I hear him sigh, but I am to afraid to look at him, knowing all I will see is the pain and anger I have caused him to feel. He says, "Bella, I need to go, I can't stay here. Just…just let me think, ok?"

I want to throw myself in front of him and beg him not to leave. I want to promise him that I'll tell him everything from now on and not hide anything. I want him to stay and tell me it is ok and that it doesn't matter.

But I don't.

I look up as I hear him walk towards the door and I softly say his name one last time as he walks through the door and closes it behind him.

I sink down to my knees as I hear the elevator come to take him downstairs and away from me…forever.

I have no idea how long I stay that way, but when I begin to smell the food burning in the oven and on the stove, I slowly get up and turn everything off.

I look towards the counter where the beautiful flowers Edward brought me are still laying. Purple freesias and lilacs. My favorite color, but of course they are, I told Edward on Monday night that purple was my favorite color.

I pick them up and hold them to my nose, inhaling deeply, the fragrance filling my nose. I grab a vase from the cabinet and fill it with water, then I carefully place the flowers in it. They are absolutely perfect and beautiful.

I walk towards the dining area and place the vase on the table. Everything looks spectacular. The sun has gone down and the lights of the city are twinkling in the background. Two place settings in the intimate arrangement, one at the end of the table, the other to the right, looking out the windows. The vase full of flowers to the side, their fragrance filling the entire space. Everything fucking perfect…except there is no Edward.


God, how could I have been so stupid? Seth and Jasper both told me to tell him, Rose did too. I should have talked to him on Wednesday. Or Wednesday night at least. Instead we talked about favorite fucking candy bars and favorite Disney princesses.

What the hell is wrong with me? I know deep down in my heart that Edward is the one for me. It might only have been six damn days since I met him, but my heart knows it's other half and we both found it in Edward. This wouldn't hurt so fucking bad if that wasn't the truth.

Scary as hell to realize after only six days... hell yeah it is. But then again it's not. I don't have to look anymore for the one person to make my life complete, I found it already in Edward.

I want him, completely and totally. I want him to be in my life. I want him to know me, to know all of me. I want to tell him about Charlie and Renee. About James. About Victoria. About what happened five long years ago that changed my life so drastically. I want him to know Jasper and Rose and Seth and love them as much as I do. I want to love Maddie and Masen and spend every Sunday at the park with them. I want to bake him cheesecake and celebrate Christmas together, I want to buy him bags and bags of Kit Kats just because.

I want Edward.

I am scared out of my fucking my mind to admit this; I haven't needed anyone like I need Edward, ever. I am so independent; I've had no choice but to be. But I want Edward to be there for me, to be there to comfort me when I'm scared or sad and to celebrate when I'm happy.

I walk to my room and take off my jeans and shirt and slip on one of Jasper's t-shirts and some Capri pajama pants. I turn on my iHome, listening to some Dave Matthews and Jack Johnson - my comfort music. The iHome is attached to the speakers in the living room so I walk back out there and go to the kitchen. Glancing at the clock, I realize Edward has been gone almost two hours now and he hasn't called. I pick up my glass of wine and softly walk to stand by the windows. I lean my head against them, just staring outside.

Images keep flashing in my mind; over and over again I see the hurt and confused look on his face as he looked at me after seeing the cover of the magazine. It hurts my heart as I think about what could have been running through his mind as he put it all together.

I finish the glass of wine, spinning the glass in my hand as I am oblivious to everything around me.

I hear the front door open, knowing it's Seth. I figured this was coming, I just didn't know it would be so soon.

I sigh, speaking but not moving my head from its position of looking out the window, "Seth, not tonight, ok? Jesus, just not fucking tonight. I can't deal with you telling me I told you so right now, I just can't," I choke out in a sob.

"It's not Seth," says someone that sounds like Edward.

I turn my head to look and there is Edward, standing there beside the counter, looking at me with the most agonized expression on his face.

"Wh…what are you doing here?" I ask him, barely in a whisper.

I can't believe he's here.

His head is down but he picks it up as he takes a small step forward and stares at me again.

He clears his throat and starts to speak, "Bella,"

"Stop, just stop," I tell him. "Edward I am so incredibly sorry for keeping that from you. I swear I didn't mean to wait so long."

"Wait, Bella, just stop, ok?" he pleads to me. "I'm sorry, I was such an asshole for leaving the way I did. I never should have done that. Never angel. Can you forgive me, please?"

"Oh Edward, of course I do, can you forgive me for not telling you sooner?" I beg him.

He stands there, not saying anything as he looks at me. I push myself away from the window and stand straight up, looking back at him.

"Bella, come here baby," he softly tells me.

He doesn't need to tell me twice and before I know it I am throwing myself at him as he grabs me and pulls me to him, my legs wrapping around his waist as his arms fold around me.

I start to cry as the emotions pour out of me. I am so happy he is here and that he's going to forgive me. I can't believe I am in his arms, feeling him hold me close.

"Shh, beautiful. Baby, it's ok, shhh, stop crying now," he murmurs to me and he rubs his hand on my back, the other softly in my hair. "Bella, angel, stop now, shhh," he continues to tell me as he walks over to the sofa.

I can't even make myself move away from him as he rearranges us on the sofa so I am straddling his lap, my head buried in his shoulder.

"Angel," he quietly says, "can you pick your head up so I can see your beautiful face, please?" he sweetly asks me.

I slowly raise my head and look into his eyes, which are swimming in tears. He reaches up and with the pads of his thumbs, gently wipes my face, brushing the tears away.

"Baby, it's ok now, I promise. I'm ok and we're going to be ok, do you believe me sweetheart?" he gently tells me as he leans forward and kisses each eyelid, then my nose, and my mouth before sweeping his lips across my forehead to my temple.

"Are you ok, Edward? Really? I know we need to talk, but I need to know that you are ok, please," I beg him as more tears begin to fall.

He pulls me close again, wrapping his arms tightly around me, "Bella, my Bella, I am fine, I promise. I had a minor," I snort at that, "Ok, angel, a major freak out, but after getting my ass handed to me, I realized I overreacted and came straight back here," he finishes with a small chuckle.

I wonder who he talked to?

I snuggle in tighter to his chest, hearing his heartbeat and drawing comfort from his arms being wrapped around me.

"Ok," I whisper.

We sit this way for I don't know how long as he continues to stroke my hair and kiss my temple and run his hand softly up and down my back and along my arms. He keeps whispering to me, telling me how sorry he is and how bad he feels for getting so upset and for making me cry. I tell him it's my fault and I am sorry for him being blindsided the way he was and for keeping it from him.

I try not to look at the clock, but imagine he has to go home.

I don't want him to, not at all. I need to feel him close to me.

I want him to stay.

"Edward," I begin quietly.

"Yes my angel," he responds back, just as quietly.

I sit up to look at him, and reaching up to hold his face in my hands, I rest my forehead against his and ask, "Do you think you could stay with me tonight? I want to be close to you, please? I don't want you to leave me," I say with a catch in my breath.

I didn't mean that they way it sounded, at least it wasn't my intention to say it that way. But subconsciously, I don't want him to ever leave me. I know this now.

He sharply inhales, "Are you sure sweetheart? I don't want to pressure you," he tells me.

"Yes, Edward, I'm sure. I want to feel you beside me, I want you to hold me, please say you can stay," I trail off quietly as I put my head back on his shoulder.

Edward grips each of my arms and says, "Bella, look at me please." I pick my head up and look into his warm, green eyes. They are shining with so much emotion; I lose my breath for a moment. He feels what I do; I know it with my whole heart and soul, in that moment I know. "Baby, if you want me to stay, I will be more than happy to do so."

"Thank you Edward, so much. I know we need to talk, but I couldn't bear having to say good bye to you tonight," I honestly tell him.

"I couldn't either beautiful. Let me call Alice and let her know, ok?" he tells me as I begin to disentangle myself from him.

I start to stand up when he grabs me and pulls me to him, "Thank you for giving me another chance Bella. I am truly sorry about my reaction earlier, I'll make it up to you, I swear I will," he tells me before he leans his head down to kiss me.

This kiss is nothing like the one earlier tonight. This kiss is about want. I know he feels what I do and I know we are both frightened by it but exhilarated at the same time.

His mouth possessively takes control of mine, his lips firm yet gentle against mine. I feel his whole body respond to the kiss as he presses himself tightly against me. His arms firmly around me, his hips pushing forward into me. He wants me as badly as I want him.

But, not tonight.

Tonight is about reconnecting, and moving past the hurt from earlier.

Edward must realize this at the same moment as I do because he breaks off the kiss quickly and steps back. His eyes burning with want and desire, but there is also something else there below the surface. It is much too soon to say the word love, but it is there. I can see it, and I know he can see it, too.

He goes to call Alice and I go in the kitchen and put the food away in the fridge and turn out the lights.

Edward looks at me as he finishes up his phone call with a soft, "thanks Ali, love you."

I hold my hand out to him as he steps forward to take it, squeezing it softly. I lead him to my room. I tell him I'll be right back as I go into the spare bedroom and get one of Jasper's t-shirts and a pair of sweats for Edward.

I hand them to him and answer his silent question, "They're Jasper's, don't worry. He leaves clothes here every time he visits."

"Thanks baby," he tells me sheepishly as he walks into the bathroom to change.

When the door opens and Edward walks out, I step into the bathroom and find him a new toothbrush in the drawer and give it to him. We each brush our teeth, looking at one another in the mirror.

This all feels so right. I did not expect this night to go this way, but everything happens for a reason I tell myself.

I let Edward have some privacy to finish up and walk to the bed and pull the covers down and slide into the bed. Edward turns off the light in the bathroom as he walks into the room, his eyes never leaving mine. I wish I knew what he was thinking right at this moment.

He climbs into bed, pulling me close to him and wrapping his arm around my waist. He kisses me behind my ear, then my temple.

"Good night my beautiful Bella. Sweet dreams angel," he quietly tells me.

I squeeze his arm and press myself back into him, relishing the warmth I feel. "Night Edward, thank you for staying with me," I tell him.

"Baby, there is no place I'd rather be," he says.

Please don't ever leave…I think I say to myself.

1 comment:

  1. WOW ~ JUST ~ WOW~
    Enthralled is the word I would use... captivated is another... heartwrenching~ Whoa~ excruciatingly, heartbreaking emotions, girl you can write some angst!Whew, I was gripped and back hurts from being tense.
    ..waiting... ...wondering... what is he doing and she's falling apart, you make my heart hurt for heart~! Girl~ you got some skills~! Just Sayin'