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.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Chapter 9


"Rose, I am so fucked!" I shout into the phone before she even gets a chance to finish answering.

"Damn, Bell, what the hell?" she replies right back.

I take a deep breath before I start, "Have you talked to your brother…or Seth today?" I ask, wanting to know if I need to get her up to speed or not.

I assume Jasper has already talked to her, they share everything, and when it involves me, yeah it gets shared fast as warp speed. Oh, and let's not forget Seth, the gossiping idiot.

"Well hell, Bell, I'm not sure I have any idea what you are implying. I talk to my brother and Seth every day. Is there something specific you were wondering about?" she asks in her most smart ass voice.

Sighing, I tell her, "Good, I don't want to have to start at the beginning. Since you sure as hell know what I called about, HELP!" I exclaim.

Laughing, she says, "Bella, breathe. Damn girl! Now, what has your panties in a twist this fine night?" she asks.

So, I launch in head first, repeating all of what I told Jasper, plus some. Rose is a woman, therefore certain details got omitted from my talk with J, there is such a thing as over sharing in my book. And… if I am honest, some that I don't want to share with him quite yet.

I tell her all about the twins, in detail. How their laughs sound, and how my heart feels full just thinking about them. How when Edward says my name, it makes me ache between my legs. How his muscles looked underneath his tight t-shirt and how warm his hands were when he held mine. What it felt like when I kissed him, how my heart starts beating fast and I start breathing hard just thinking about it. I even tell her about giving myself an orgasm while thinking about him in the tub earlier tonight.

She listens, patiently, for me to finish. Then she says, "Babe, I fail to see what the problem is. What is it that has you screeching into my phone like a damn banshee?"

Deeply sighing I say, "Lele, I have never felt this way before, not ever. I don't know what the hell is wrong with me. You should have seen me last night when I got a text from him. I almost tripped and fell I was jumping around so much. I looked like a fucking goof ball I'm sure."

She snorts, loudly, "It's a good thing you didn't break your damn leg, Bell. Jumping around like that is a bit dangerous for you isn't it?" she teases me.

"Shut it, bitch. You know perfectly well that the yoga Mike makes me do has helped with my balance…issues," I grumble to her.

"You're right Bell. At least now you can jump and make yourself look like an idiot and NOT fall over…goody for you!" she giggles. "Now really, what's the matter? Edward sounds fantastic; I don't understand what's got you so freaked out."

"Rose, I like him, I really like him," I squeak out, making me sound somewhat like Sally Field in that Academy Award speech they show all the time.

Kill me now, I sound like a cheerleader finding out the captain of the football team likes her. I'm 24 damn it, what the hell is the matter with me?

She laughs at me. The bitch laughs at me! "Rose, why in God's name are you laughing at me, this is completely serious. I mean, what the hell do I do? I haven't been out on a date in months. And I certainly haven't been on a date with someone I wanted to go out with as much as I do Edward. You have to help me, I mean come on. I am totally freaking the fuck out here and you are all across the damn country, when I need you here!" I rant.

Ok, the across the country comment, totally unfair and completely uncalled for. I know Jasper and Rosalie both want to be here in New York City with Seth and I. They are still in California because of me, for me.

When I started this damn modeling thing, I was more than a bit unwilling. The only way I agreed to sign the contract was if Jasper could be my manager. I adamantly refused to sign unless Volturi's agreed. Aro, of course, wanted Jane to be my agent, but there was no way I would allow that. I don't trust her, not one damn bit. When we started this, Jasper knew nothing about being an agent, hell he was at school studying history and running track. But the circumstances forced all of us, Seth and Rose included on a path none of us could foresee.

So, since he is my agent, he needs to live in California to be close to Twilight's headquarters and I need to be here in NYC to be close to Volturi's. I may model for Twilight, they may design the sportswear they make around me, but Volturi's is responsible for the marketing of that through magazine covers and runway shows, so I don't have a choice but the be close by.

Jasper needed Rose to help him, and I wouldn't trust anyone else, so she stayed in California with him. Now she has her business there. I am hoping that eventually, when my contract is up, they both move here. Rose can customize cars here, too , and Jasper can be the history professor he has always dreamed of.

"Dammit, Lele, I didn't mean that," I contritely tell her. "I'm sorry, that was totally uncalled for," I finish quietly.

"It's OK, Bell. I know you are counting down the seconds until your contract is up. Besides, you'll be here soon, I'll just kick your ass when I see you!" she evilly sneers at me.

"Love you," I murmur to her.

I do, totally. I don't think there are two people closer than Rose and I. It makes no difference that we aren't sisters by blood. We are sisters by choice, and that means so much more.

"Love you, too, you big dork," she tells me. "Now, calmly, please, explain what brought on that rant. I get that you like Edward; I can feel it through the phone. That does not, however, explain your freaking out over a date that hasn't even happened yet. And, in case you've forgotten, it's only Monday, the date isn't for 5 more days. If you're like this now, I'm fucking ecstatic I won't be there when Saturday night gets here!" she chuckles at me.

Resigning myself, I tell her,"Lele, I'm so scared. I'm scared of fucking this up before it even goes anywhere. You should have heard me tonight. He mentioned his best friend Tanya, and I immediately thought the worst. And, I know J told you I haven't told him who I am yet. What if that sends him running away? Or worse yet, what if he tells me it's ok, when it's not, and then something happens. What do I do then?"

I continue, "Plus, like Jasper and Seth have both told me, he has kids Rose. I don't know what all this will mean when it comes to that. I could wind up with some crazy ass stalker once that stupid fucking magazine cover comes out and put the kids in danger. I can't do that…I won't do that. I could never, ever live with myself if they were put in harms way because of me!" I sadly tell her.

She takes a deep breath and says, "Now, we're getting somewhere. Let's take this one thing at a time, shall we? First, it's understandable you're scared of making a mistake with him. You just met the guy, Bell, and you want to get to know him better, yes?" she asks.

"Yes," I answer quickly.

"Well, getting to know one another means asking questions and finding out things. I mean, how are you supposed to know that his best friend is a chick? Did he explain her to you?" she asks me.

Feeling foolish for getting worked up over Tanya I answer her, "Yes, he did. She is Masen's godmother and their families have been close since before she and Edward were born. I felt like an ass for assuming the worst."

"See, all it takes is asking questions, Bella. Next, I know you are planning on telling him who you are, hopefully very soon. I know both Jasper and Seth have told you the sooner the better; I echo that. It needs to be done, Bell, soon. You're almost finished with this. Six months then you are free to be and do whatever you want," she wisely tells me.

Yeah, I know. I know. It just sounds different when someone else says it. It's not like I haven't told myself a hundred times since yesterday that I only have 6 months left on my contract.

I hear Rose clear her throat as she continues, "About the kids. You love them already, Bella. I know you and I can tell by the way your voice sounds when you even so much as mention their names. Of course their well being is important to you. You'd be a fucking idiot if it wasn't. But, you can't let the fear of something happening rule your life or make your decisions for you. Once you tell Edward, you and he will have to talk about all of that. It is important, I'm not gonna blow sunshine up your ass and tell you it's not, but you can work it out," she forcefully tells me.

Again, I know this. I am such an idiot!

"You're right, again, Rose. I'm still scared shitless about the stalker thing, though. You know it could happen, hell, we've already had to deal with stuff like this and with the cover, it's going to get worse," I stubbornly tell her.

"Bella, babe, of course it could happen. But, that is what you have Seth and Jake for, as well as me and Jasper. We won't let anything happen to you Bella. I promise. What happened 5 years ago will NOT happen again, I swear with my life. Your happiness means everything, Bell. And if Edward makes you happy, we will all do whatever it takes to make sure you stay that way. I promise!" she tells me, sniffling on the other end of the phone.

Shit. Rosalie Whitlock never cries, but I know what this is about. Five years ago… James.

"Lele, I told this to J earlier today and I'll tell you now. You have to move on and stop with this shit. James is history; let's leave him there, ok?" I beg her, much like I begged J not 8 hours ago.

Hearing a big sigh, she says, "I know Bell, but it's hard. But, you need to take your own fucking advice. Talk to Edward, tell him, and then make whatever plans you need to make. Be happy Bella, for once, think of yourself first, not anyone else. "

I know she is thinking about Renee when she says this, and why I am even in this predicament to begin with.

"I promise Lele. Besides, I don't think I could give up Edward now, even if I wanted to."

She laughs, "Now, that's what I'm talking about! Go get him girl. Ok, I need to run. Call me Wednesday and let me know how the meeting in the park goes. And, make sure you send me pictures of the puppy," she gripes at me.

"Seth never bought me a damn puppy, and he knows how much I love dogs. Asshole. He better make that shit up to me on my birthday!" she tells me.

"Ok, babe, I will…to all of it. Phone call and picture, I can do that. Thanks sister, I knew I could count on you. I love you like mad and can't wait to see you. Kisses to you and J!" I say as we end the call.

"Love you too, Bell. Be safe, kisses to the asshole. I love him, too, you know!" she tells me gently.

"I know, sweetie, I'll tell him. Talk to you soon, good night" I say as I press the button to disconnect.

I crawl under the covers and lay down on my pillow. I know I need to talk to Edward, I just hope and pray he reacts the way everyone tells me he will.


Waking in the morning, I repeat the same routine as yesterday, taking Rufus outside for his morning bathroom break. I can't believe how easily he has adapted to being here. I really can't thank Seth enough for giving him to me.

Renee never let me have a dog when I was growing up, and I'd always wanted one. Of course, Seth knows this. A puppy was all I asked for, every Christmas from the time I was 5 until I was ten. And every year, yep, no puppy. Bitch.

I make myself some fruit and yogurt with granola and have some juice for breakfast. I look over some paperwork Angela had messengered over yesterday while I eat. I groan as I look over my schedule for the next few months. I pencil in the time I need to go to Lake George in May for Memorial Day.

I wonder if Edward and the kids will like it up there, I think to myself. Hmm…better not get too ahead of myself with that thought. Although, I would love to take them up there. There is so much to do; I know the kids would love it. Swimming and playing in the water, taking them out on the boat. I even have four-wheelers up there for us to ride on. Nice thoughts…

I finish eating and clean up the kitchen. I look through the fridge to think about what to make for dinner. I decide on grilled salmon with some vegetables and rice. After a quick run through of the ingredients I will need, I make note of the things I will need to pick up from the market while I am out getting the fresh fish to cook. I also decide on making some pecan shortbread cookies for dessert and some muffins for breakfast for the rest of the week…cranberry orange muffins I decide on.

Once that is done, I play with Rufus a bit on the floor. God, he is the cutest dog I have ever seen. I make a mental note to stop by the pet store while I am out and buy him a few toys as well as get him a name tag. Seth took care of getting his license and made sure he had his shots before he gave him to me. I need to take him for more shots pretty soon, but not for a month or two.

I change the sheets on my bed, do a few loads of laundry and dust the loft. I miss being able to do this, being able to have the day be my own, where I set the pace. It's been so nice. Most would not consider this a vacation, but it is perfect for me and just what I needed.

I notice the time and grab my list from the kitchen. Knowing Seth will kill me when I get back later; I send him a quick text to let him know where I am going. Yeah, he's going to be pissed at me. I guess it is a little difficult to protect me if I go gallivanting around New York City by myself but it's still my vacation damn it and I want to take a walk, and I'm not waiting on his ass to go.

I get Rufus and attach him to the leash and carry him downstairs. It is a beautiful day again, bright and sunny, not too cool. Perfect day for a walk. I have my sunglasses and cap on again, and thankfully for the second time, no one pays attention to me as I make my way to the pet store.

Rufus is a hit at the store. Come on, who could resist his adorable face? I pick out some cute toys for him, and get his dog tag. Next, we make our way to the market to get the fish and the other ingredients I need.

I hear my phone chirp with a message, and immediately cringe, thinking it will be from Seth. But it's not, it's from Edward. I do an internal happy dance as I open the message.

Hey beautiful, just wanted to let you know I was thinking about you. Hope you're having a good day, I can't wait to talk to you tonight. Later, angel. E

Edward. God the man turns my insides to mush I'm telling you. He's just so fucking…hot. There's really no other word I can use, but just hot. Everything about him calls to me. His eyes, his smirk, his voice, and god help me, that fucking hair. I just want to run my fingers through it, like for forever.

I can't wait until tonight to talk to him, either. And I start hyperventilating thinking about seeing him at the park tomorrow. What if he doesn't show? Oh shit…I'd die. Or hunt him down, or something.

I text him back, remembering its Masen's day to pick the activity and thinking about Edward and the twins at the pizza place. Suddenly I have a craving for pizza….with some Edward on the side.

Hi Edward. Day is fine so far, thinking about you, too. Say hi to the kids, tell them not to eat too much pizza later and have fun playing games, make sure you whack a mole! Talk to you later, can't wait. B XOXO

The man…I swear. Stay calm, Bella. Just breathe.

We stop at the clearing across the street from the loft and have a bathroom break. This time I have to clean up a mess, but do so with a smile on my face as I remember Edward at the park doing the same thing. The man so did not want to pick up dog shit, I promise you that, but he did it with a smile on his face. Yep, there go the tingles as I think about him.

Rufus heads straight for his food and water bowls as we enter the apartment and I go into the kitchen to put up the groceries. As I am setting out the ingredients for the cookies I hear Seth in the service elevator as the doors open, yep his pissed all right. I can hear him stomping down the hall.


"Isabella Marie Swan," he bellows as he throws open the door, his cell phone in one hand, the other still on the door knob.

I cringe. I knew this was coming, but it doesn't make it any easier. I hate it when Seth gets mad at me, I really do. I know I don't make things easy on him all the time either. This causes a little pain in my heart - fuck.

I look up at him and give him my saddest face and say, "I'm sorry babycakes. I just wanted to go out for a little while and you weren't here. I wasn't gone that long, only an hour or so, and I made it back just fine. I'm even making some pecan shortbread cookies, just for you," I tell him sweetly.

"Pecan shortbread cookies?" he says with his eyebrow raised.

I'm not totally forgiven, I know this, but he's not mad anymore at least.

"Shortcake, you can't do this shit to me anymore, got it? I about lost my fucking mind waiting for you to get back!" he chastises me.

"I got it Seth, and I am sorry. I promise not to do it again, ok? Now, get your ass over here and tell me about your hot date with the bimbo of the week," I say to him as I grab us each a bottle of beer out of the fridge.

He rolls his eyes, "Bell, I swear, I will never find anyone worth a damn in this fucking city," he grumbles to me. "She was as dumb as a stump and her head must be full of marshmallow fluff from some of the shit that came out of her mouth."

I laugh at him and say, "Seth, babe, maybe if you ever thought with the big head instead of the small one, you would know better than to pick up a girl buying four packs of wine coolers at the liquor store," I say as I point my beer at him.

"You're right Bella Boo, you're right. Now, make me dinner woman, I'm starving!" he orders me as he makes his way to the living room to play with Rufus.

I put the cookies in the oven and get the fish prepared. I start the rice to boil and chop the vegetables. I let my mind wander, thinking about Edward and his cousin with the kids at the pizza place. I hope they are having a good time. He really is a spectacular father. Almost as good as my own…almost. And that's saying something because Charlie Swan rocked!

Speaking of Edward, I hear my phone alert me to a new message,

About to rock at whack a mole, hope you're having a good night. Talk to you soon beautiful…E

I laugh at that image. A 32 year old man holding the rubber mallet over the little things that pop up. Too fucking cute! And I could really get so used to the "angel" and "beautiful" terms of endearment. I am not complaining about those in the least!

I tell him,

Oohh win me prize Edward! Don't let the kids embarrass your fine ass too much. Talk to you later, counting down the minutes…B

Fine ass, that's for damn sure. Man looks all kinds of hot in a pair of jeans. I'm just sayin'.

I have no idea why I told him to win me a prize, but I have to admit the idea makes my inner little girl want to jump and down and squeal.

Yeah, I am so screwed when it comes to Edward Cullen.

Seth and I eat dinner and he stuffs himself on cookies. I don't know where in the hell he puts all the food, he still looks like he did when he played football in college. We sit down to watch a movie together, some action thing he's been dying to watch, when I hear the most horrible sounds coming from Rufus.

I rush over to him and see that the poor little guy has thrown up all over the floor. His little body is shaking and he is breathing heavy.

"Shit, Seth, come here!" I holler for Seth, who incidentally is right behind me already.

"Bell, what the fuck is wrong with him," Seth dumbly asks me.

I roll my eyes, "Gee, Seth, they didn't teach me puppy health while I was getting my English degree, you dumb ass," I snarkily answer him.

"Shortcake, I think we should take the little guy to the emergency animal clinic. He doesn't look so good," he sadly says.

Seth loves the puppy almost as much as I do.

I rush through the loft and grab a towel to wrap Rufus up in and grab my keys, phone and purse and we quickly go downstairs to catch a cab and go to the clinic that Seth's friend Vince has recommended. With traffic, we make it there in about 30 minutes and it's already 10:00 at night.

Shit. I'll never make it home to talk to Edward tonight so I send him a text message:

Won't be able to talk tonight, sorry. I'll be at the park tomorrow morning around 10:00. See you then. B XOXO

After a 45 minute wait, who knew there would be so many sick dogs and cats and….pot belly pigs (what the fuck!) on a Tuesday night?

The vet gives Rufus a quick exam and runs some tests. We wait in the lobby for another hour for the lab results from his blood work. Yeah, I almost lost it there; I hate needles, terrified of the damn things. Blood isn't much better and when you combine blood and needles together, watch the hell out. Luckily Seth is aware of this fact and kept me from face planting on the floor and made sure I turned my head before I saw anything I wasn't supposed to.

It didn't stop me from hearing the pitiful whimpers from my baby, though. Don't judge, I think I'm turning into one of those people I swore I wouldn't, sue me!

My poor baby, he is definitely getting a treat after all this mess, once I find out what is wrong with him that is.

When the vet calls us back to the exam room, Rufus is laying on the table, whimpering softly. I rush over to him to pet him. I look anxiously at the vet and he tells me that Rufus has had an allergic reaction to something in his dog food. I explain what kind he has been eating, as well as the snacks we have bought for him. The vet explains that Bulldogs are very susceptible to allergies so to be prepared. He also lets me know which foods and snacks to try that should be the least likely to cause another reaction.

He gives him a shot and gives me some medicine to give him. The doses need to be spread out every two hours for the next day. He also tells me Rufus is more than likely going to be pretty lethargic for the next day or so and to limit his activity.

The kids are going to be devastated he can't play tomorrow. I hope they will still want to see me. I'll have to ask Edward first thing in the morning. Gah, like that won't be awkward or anything!

We finally make it back home after 1:00 and Seth helps me get Rufus settled in my room. He moves his bed in there for me as well as his water bowl. We also put the food the vet gave us in a new bowl. Seth helps give Rufus his medicine and then kisses me on the head as he says good night. He's going to sleep on the sofa just in case anything else happens.

I am so exhausted, I just strip out of my pants and fall into bed in my panties and t-shirt.

I am nervous about having to talk to Edward in the morning, I hope he isn't too disappointed I couldn't talk tonight, but he must be since I didn't get any more messages from him.

Damn, why can't anything ever be easy?


I drag myself out of bed at 8:00 before giving Rufus his next shot. Seth is in the kitchen making breakfast, I can hear him and smell the coffee…God bless Seth!

Jumping in the shower, I think about Edward and hope he's not upset with me. I dread having to make that phone call; I don't want to make myself come across as a complete loser. I finish washing and putting conditioner in my hair and wrap a towel around me as I walk into my room.

I figure I might as well get this over with and pick up my phone, scrolling through my list of contact to find his name.

Totally chickening out, I send a text message instead asking simply:

Are we still on for the park 10? B

I wait nervously for his response, which comes quicker than I expected:

As long as you're going to be there angel, we'll be there, too. E

Sighing in happiness, my response is immediate:

I'll be there Edward, can't wait. I'll explain about last night. See you soon…B XOXO

Soon it is Beautiful…E

10:00 can't come soon enough for me.

An hour later and after much arguing, Seth agrees to stay at the loft and give Rufus his dose of medicine at 10:00 and again at noon if I'm not back yet. He is not too happy about me going out by myself, but I promise him I'll be careful and I'll keep my phone close by and text him frequently. He very grudgingly agrees after telling me good luck as he kisses the top of my head.

Wearing my usual sunglasses and baseball cap, I make my way to the park. We didn't specify a place to meet but I go by the playground where we were on Sunday, remembering Maddie telling me that it was her favorite playground in the park.

As I approach, the sight before me makes me gasp, and brings tears instantaneously to my eyes. Standing there, looking so perfect it breaks my heart and fills it at the same time are Edward, Maddie and Masen, each of the kids holding flowers and Edward holding what looks like a stuffed rhino?

I stop a few steps from them all, looking into their beautiful faces, knowing that without equivocation, I am hopelessly in love with all three Cullens.

God help me, what do I do now?

1 comment:

  1. That had to be the cutest picture , EVER of the three Cullens waiting for her...
    Poor Rufus... hope he feels better soon.
    Was Bella totally freaking out on Rose or what? Too Cute, Seems her and Edward are more alike than they know... LOL