A sassy single mother, the little boy that rules her world, and a tattooed bartender that gets blindsided by them both. Bella/Edward

Disclaimer: All the characters of Twilight belong to Stephenie Meyer. I'm just playing in her sandbox for a bit. No copyright infringement is intended.


Things like this didn't happen to women like me. Normal women with stretch marks from giving birth to babies and extra belly left over from said babies. Women in their thirties whose boobs had lost some of their perk and whose asses weren't as small as they once were. Women with crows feet who'd just found their first gray hair. No, women like me read books about shit like this. About sexy men who loved the heroine just the way she was. Shit, I totally just went all Bridget Jones right there, didn't I? But the point is that it's fiction. Big, strong, manly men that came in and swept the woman off of her feet, giving her mind blowing orgasms all while fitting into her life seamlessly?

Yeah, that shit just didn't happen in real life. No, in real life, stuff like that was reserved for Victoria's Secret models that ended up being wooed by men like Adam Levine. But not us real gals. Nope. We got husbands who traded us in for newer models and made us feel like shit about ourselves.

Well, that's what I got anyway. Until him.

Chapter One

"C.J.! Boy you better put down the neighbor's cat and get in this house! Your daddy is going to be here soon and you're covered in mud!"

My heathen child looked at me with a smile so reminiscent of his father that it made my head ache. That same smile used to make me giggle like a schoolgirl, but over the last two years it only made me want to throw things. But on my little boy, it was the sweetest thing I'd ever seen. Even when that smile meant that he was up to no good.

The cat he was holding hissed and scratched him one final time before he put her down.

"I'ma comin', Mommy!"

Charlie James Hunter was my little miracle. Born ten weeks early and weighing in at a whopping 2 pounds 8 ounces, he had a rough start. There were breathing complications followed by pneumonia and jaundice. But my little man was a hellion from the beginning and fought tooth and nail to surpass every expectation.

Unfortunately all my time spent at the hospital with my son made my husband "lonely". It made him realize that he needed more. And for the first two years after my son's birth he carried on an affair with his secretary, turning himself into a cliché. When his mistress caught him cheating with someone else, she decided it was time I knew just what he'd been up to. When I confronted him he didn't beg or plead, nor did he deny a single thing. He simply shrugged and told me that not only had I seemingly forgotten him with the birth of our child, but my body hadn't bounced back from pregnancy the way he'd hoped.

As pissed off and hurt as I was, what suffered the most was my self-image. I don't give a shit what anyone says, your ego is going to take a hit when someone says shit like that to you. I found myself avoiding the mirror after my shower and spent all of my time focused on my little boy. After two years of being home with him, the idea of going back to work was hard, but Demetri wasn't going to give me any more money than he had to, and truth be told I didn't want anything more from him than what he owed C.J. and not a dime more. I wanted him to be a good father to our son, and to be able to forget the last ten years I'd been married to him since it turned out I never knew him at all.

But I couldn't regret marrying him because it brought me my little boy, and he was worth it all. Even when he was covered in mud and annoying the neighbor's animals. At four he was full of piss and vinegar, as my dad liked to say.

I was both sad and nervous because it was the first weekend that Demetri hadn't backed out in over 6 months, and as resilient as C.J. was, he really wasn't fond of going to visit his dad when he actually showed up. As a matter of fact, I was sure he gave Demetri hell every single time because when he dropped him off you would think he'd been in a fight for his life by the way he looked.

And C.J. was always very proud of himself when he walked back through our front door, never sparing his father a backwards glance.

It always made me sad because at the tender age of four, my kiddo already knew how little his father actually wanted to do with him. The worst part was that C.J. didn't seem to care. Thankfully he had my dad and brother as reliable male figures. Well, James was sort of an idiot, but as his little sister it was my duty to love him anyway. And he really adored his nephew, so I couldn't think him too big of a moron. Even if he was pushing forty and still lived at home with Dad.

But I digress.

"Mommy!" C.J. brought me back to reality. "Do I hafta go with him?"

"Him is your Daddy, and yes, you have to go, baby."

"But why? He just leaves me with that girl so he can go out with stupid Kitty."

"Kate, honey. Her name is Kate. And I know you don't want to go, but maybe this weekend will be different. And how about I make a deal with you? If you're having that bad of a time, you can call me, and I'll come get you. Deal?"

He looked up, eyeing me carefully. "Okay. But when I get home can I get a puppy?"

"Definitely not. You remember the deal. When you're old enough to walk a dog alone, then we'll talk about it. Until then, no sir."

What I didn't say was that I was worried he'd annoy a poor dog to death until it ran away. I loved the child, but he was a handful.

"What are you gonna' do when I'm gone? Won't you be sad by yourself?"

"I always miss you when you're gone, but Uncle Jamie and Aunt Vicky are going to take me out, so I won't be lonely. Okay?"

"Yeah, okay. But if you get sad you call me and I'll come home! Promise?"

"I promise. I love you, kid."

"Love you too, Mommy."

The knock on the door made C.J. let out a cute little growl and we both went to answer the door.

"What the hell? Is he covered in mud? That shit is going to get all over my leather seats!" Demetri yelled, and just to piss him off, C.J. hugged him, getting mud all over his fancy suit.

"First of all, watch your mouth. Second of all, he's a little boy. It's what they do. And how about you actually spend some time with him this weekend, all right?"

Demetri rolled his eyes, and I bent down for more hugs and kisses from my kiddo.

"Love you the most, Mommy," he whispered.

Once he was gone, I let myself have a good cry. It was my routine when he was gone. It was the worst part about being divorced. I had to let my son go, even if it wasn't that often, it hurt every single time.

Of course, my brother and almost-sister-in-law, knowing this showed up right in time to keep me from wallowing.

"Little sister," James said with a sigh and pulled me into his arms. "It's going to be all right. I know it sucks some major ass, but just think of all the hell that little man is going to give that asshole and his little girlfriend. Brings a smile to my face every time I think of it."

My son was a lot like his uncle. Full of mischief. My brother was pushing forty, but acted like he was five half of the time. I had no idea how Victoria put up with him all these years, but she'd loved him since high school.

"And you know my offer always stands, honey," Victoria added. "I don't give two shits about going to jail. I'll kick his ass anytime."

You know what they say about redheads? Well, that embodied Victoria perfectly. Her attitude matched her hair color. She was raised a little rich girl whose Daddy bailed her out of anything. One would have thought she'd be a bitch. And she was, just not in the way you'd think. She was fiercely loyal, and once she cared about you, she'd kill for you. Some days I loved her even more than I loved my big brother, and that was saying something.

"Have I told you lately that you're my favorite, Vic?"

"Hmm, not today, so feel free," she said with a wink. "You can tell me how fabulous I am while we get you ready."

"And that's where you lost me. I'll just be right here, playing Xbox and waiting on you two to be ready to go." James sat on the couch, propping his Doc Marten clad feet on my coffee table.

I let Victoria primp and pamper me, all the while telling me about the bar they were dragging me to. She went on and on about the bartender and how if she wasn't head over heels in love with my brother all the dirty things she would do to him.

"I heard that!" James called from his place on the couch.

"It's been forever since you got laid, Bells. I mean, come on. And this guy looks like he knows his way around a vagina, just saying. You need to knock the dust off of that thing before it closes back up."

"My ears are bleeding!" James called.

"Then stop listening, jackass!" Victoria yelled back before going to slam the bedroom door.

"Vic, you know the only men I want in my life are C.J., your doofus of a fiancé, and my dad. After Demetri, I am perfectly content to let it 'close back up', as you say. No man is worth the trouble that comes with them."

And it was the damn truth. Other than my father and brother, I hadn't met a single man that was worth it. There were no fairy tale romances or men that swept you off your feet. Nope. Just assholes that cheated and made you feel like shit about yourself. No thank you.

"I'm not saying you have to marry the man. Hell, I just meant for you to get some. It doesn't always have to be about love, you know."

"Says the woman who has been with the same man for twenty-two years, and no one else." I said with an eye-roll.

"Yeah, well, I watched Sex and the City. You can get laid without it being about romance. And it doesn't have to go anywhere."

"How about you stop trying to talk my sister into some dude's pants and we get a move on?!" James pleaded from the other side of the door.

"Yeah, what he said," I agreed.

Victoria huffed, but complied.

The bar wasn't one I'd been to before. I definitely would have remembered the bartender, because damn if Victoria wasn't right. He was six-foot-three, at least. He wore dark jeans that hung low on his hips, and a tight black t-shirt that showed every muscle in his body as well as his tattoo-covered arms. Hair the color of an old penny stood up in all different directions. Sex hair was my guess. He really was spectacular. And by the amount of women lined up at the bar, he knew it too.

I looked at them, all young and perky, then I looked down at myself. I didn't look bad. I was quite pretty, actually, but I could feel the pooch on my belly, and just looking at that man made me feel insecure. Men like that never looked at women like me.

Cool it with the pity party, Bella. Just get the damn beer and go back to your table. You may not look 22 anymore, but hell, you don't look like you belong on the People of Walmart page either. I internally scolded myself and made my way over to the bar.

"What can I get for you?" Sexy bartender asked and I swallowed down the word vomit that usually came up when I was nervous.

"Can I get three Blue Moon's, please?"

"Sure, sweetheart," he said with a wink and a crooked grin.

A blonde with giant boobs yelled to get his attention and he held up a finger to tell her to wait. He handed me the beers and I gave him the money. His hand touched mine, sending a jolt of electricity up my arm.

"Damn static electricity," I murmured under my breath making him chuckle.

That's when I noticed that he was still touching my hand, a sexy smirk on his face. I was terrified that if I didn't get away from those piercing green eyes that I'd do something really embarrassing like get naked from the waist down and ask him to bend me over the bar.

"Um, I think Tits Magee over there is trying to get your attention." I nodded in the direction of the big-boobed blonde.

"Tits Magee? Oh, that's awesome! She'll love that one!" He turned to yell at TM and I took the opportunity to slink back to my table.

Victoria, of course, teased the shit out of me. She called it flirting. I called my encounter with the hot bartender awkward as ass. I wouldn't know flirting if it bit me in the ass, it had been so long. Needless to say I made James go to the bar for the rest of the night.

After about four beers I was able to relax and ignore the very sexy bartender who, according to Victoria, kept staring at me.

"Hello," I heard from behind me and turned to see the big tittied blonde. "I'm Rosalie, but you may know me as Tits Magee." She said with a wink.

I groaned and dropped my head to the table. She didn't look mad, only amused, but still.

"The bartender, my brother, wanted me to send these over. On the house."

That had my head shooting up in her direction. She placed three more beers on the table along with a scrap of paper.

Come talk to me. I'm lonely.


I looked at Rosalie who had already begun to walk away, then over to the bar where Edward was surrounded by a bevy of beauties.

"Lonely my ass," I snorted and passed the note to Victoria.

"Well, hot damn, Bella. You need to go over there. Get it, girl! Let me live vicariously!"

James grumbled about never coming back to that bar as Victoria urged me on. But there was no way I was going over there. Not only was I worried that I'd humiliate myself in the midst of all the beautiful young women, but he definitely didn't look like the type to get involved with jaded, single mothers.

Nope, I so wasn't going there.

So I spent the rest of the night talking and laughing with my brother and Victoria, pointedly ignoring anything and anyone that was even in the vicinity of the bar. By midnight I was feeling right as rain, and was very thankful that James was the DD because Victoria was as plastered as I was.

"All right, my two favorite girls," James interrupted our latest fit of giggles, "I think it's time to get you two home."

Victoria stuck out her lip in a pout. "But I haven't gotten Bella laid yet. I've been a horrible wingman… wingwoman whatever."

"I don't need to get laid. That's why God invented vibrators, Vic."

"Eww! Stop! TMI, Bella! Shit!" James covered both ears for a moment and then grabbed both of our purses. "Let's go before I puke."

Victoria and I walked arm in arm, singing along with the AC/DC song playing on the jukebox. But before we could get out the door I felt a heavy hand on my shoulder.

"You didn't come see me."

"Uh-oh, Bella. Looks like you're in trouble with the sexy bartender." Victoria giggled.

"I'm hurt, you know. I waited for you to come back all night and nothing. Maybe I'm losing my touch." He smirked and for some reason it just pissed me off.

Demetri was cocky too, and I hated it. At one time I thought it was sexy, but now it just reminded me that the cocky assholes all thought they were entitled to whatever they wanted from however many different women they wanted.

"Maybe so. Or maybe I'm just not a good little bitch who comes when she's called." I snarked back, the alcohol making me bold.

A loud laugh sounded from behind Edward and I saw Rosalie peering around his shoulder.

"Oh, girl I like you! My brother is so used to the women falling at his feet that he's forgotten what rejection feels like. Looks like she's not interested, big brother."

"Listen to your sister. I'm not interested."

Victoria elbowed me and Rosalie laughed even harder. My brother couldn't help himself and laughed right along with her.

"Not interested?" He looked genuinely confused.

"Uh-huh. Should I speak slower? Or perhaps you just need to get your ego in check. This shit might work on those barely legal girls over there, but I'm a grown ass woman who's seen your type before. So no, I'm not interested."

"This is the most fun I've had in ages," Rosalie snorted. "You and me? We're going to be great friends. Here, give me your phone."

When I didn't immediately hand it over, too distracted by glaring at her brother, she snatched it from my hand.

"I'm putting my number in here and texting myself so that I have yours. Let's do lunch." I just nodded at her words.

But then Edward decided that he wasn't going to let it go, snatching my phone from his sister. He was annoying me more by the minute. As soon as I got my phone back, I deleted his contact information, but he just smirked, holding up his phone showing a text from my number.

"This is the strangest night of my life," I mumbled before dragging Victoria out of the door.

"Hey! What's your name?" Edward called.

I didn't answer, but Victoria and her big mouth did.

"Bella! Her name is Bella."

"Bella indeed," he murmured with a smirk.

Victoria chattered the whole way home about the way he looked at me. Or how my feistiness must have turned him on. I really tried to tune her out because while having a man like that show interest in me was a definite ego boost, I knew that nothing good could come of it.

But around three that morning I received a text.

Hope you made it home safely, Beautiful Bella ~E

Alone in my bed I was able to let go of how I really felt. Like a high school girl with a crush. I may or may not have squealed a little, but I'd never admit it out loud. And I damn sure wouldn't respond to him in any way. That was just asking for trouble and heartbreak because he had both of those words written all over him. It was in his sinful good looks, the way he moved, his sexy grin, and the ink that covered his arms. Hell, he probably even drove a motorcycle and played the guitar.

I'd never been into bad boys. Demetri was an accountant for crying out loud. Good looking, yes, but bad boy? No. Even the not-so-bad boys cheated on me, so there was absolutely no way in hell I would go there with the hot bartender.

But I could damn sure fantasize about it.

The next day I got a call from Rosalie who wanted to meet for Sunday brunch, but I was picking up C.J. Sunday morning. I wouldn't have guessed that she had two little ones of her own. Her body sure didn't look like it. But regardless, she invited us both.

C.J. was smitten with her oldest little girl from the second he laid eyes on her. Emma had just turned five, and my heathen child took one look at her and turned into a little angel. He was polite and actually sat still in the restaurant. There was no complaining about the food, or trying to climb under the table. The little girl had bewitched my boy.

"He's so adorable, Bella," Rosalie gushed as she fed her youngest, Lacey.

"So are yours. It's nice to be out with another mom for once. My brother and his fiancé don't have any kids, nor do they want any. And being a single mom, I don't really have much time to make new friends. So thank you for inviting us."

"No problem. I meant what I said last night. You and I are going to get along just fine. Anyone who can put my brother in his place is all right in my books."

I hadn't planned to bring him up. In fact, I planned to avoid him as a topic of conversation at all costs. But Rosalie wasn't going to let it go.

"I love my brother, I do. But he's thirty-six and has never even had a serious girlfriend. His looks make it so that he never lacks for company, but I get really sick of seeing women fall at his feet. Heck, I can't even have female friends because he gets s-e-x and never calls again. That usually results in them never calling me again. Or there are the women who become friends with me hoping to get their claws into my brother."

"Well, you don't have to worry about that with me. I have no interest in your brother, or any other man for that matter. Life is hard enough without the trouble a man brings."

Rose leaned forward at my words. "I smell a story there. Spill it, sister."

"My daddy is a butthead," C.J. answered for me. "I don't like him. And I don't like his girlfriends. Kate getted mad cause she said he was crewing the sitter. What's crewing, Mommy?"

My eyes widened. I knew he meant screwing, and holy crap had Demetri lost his mind? The babysitter was eighteen and had just graduated high school! I was mortified in front of my new friend.

"Wow. Um… it means that he wasn't being very nice to her." It was the best answer I could come up with. But I knew that I would be calling Demetri later and giving him a piece of my mind. Until he could keep it in his pants with my kid around, C.J. wouldn't be going back over there.

"No wonder you don't want anything to do with men. I'm assuming crewing was why you guys split up?" Rose asked carefully.

"Most definitely. Among other things. All I know is that my Aunt got divorced when she was in her twenties and swore off men for good. She never even so much as dated that I know of, and she's perfectly happy. If she can do it, so can I."

Aunt Charlotte was a spitfire, completely set in her ways. She said that her first marriage sucked so badly, why would she want another one, and I tend to agree with her.

"But what about the crewing? I would die without that," Rosalie admitted.

"Yeah, well, the crewing was never that great to begin with, so I don't think I'm missing that much."

"You poor, poor woman. Maybe my brother could help you out after all. As much as I've tried not to, I've heard he's really good at that. He should be, he's had enough practice."

"Eww," was all I could come up with to say. The man may have looked hot, but I wasn't in the market for an STD. That's just nasty.

"Yeah, well, it has its advantages, having a man that knows what they're doing. Just sayin'. My hubby wasn't a saint before we got together and I've reaped the benefits."

"Thanks, but I don't share well, even if it would just be casual. And I don't think your brother looks like the one-woman type. It just wouldn't be for me."

"Yeah, I get that. But I have to warn you, he's pretty darn persistent when he wants something, and he's not going to give up until he gets what he wants. You can blame my parents for that. They spoiled us rotten, so we don't accept defeat very easily." I knew her warning was an honest one. My phone had gone off three times with texts from Edward just since I'd been with her.

"Yes, well, I hope he enjoys disappointment."

"Have I told you today how much I like you, Bella? Because really, I think I may be in love with you… just a little."

We both laughed and went on to talk about our lives. She was married to Emmett McCarty, her high school sweetheart. Her parents, Carlisle and Esme, were still madly in love. Apparently they acted like horny teenagers and you couldn't show up at the house uninvited or you might get a show. She helped Edward out at the bar on occasion, but for her real job she ran a garage with her husband that specialized in restoring vintage cars and repairing rare and expensive vehicles. They were very successful and people came from all around for their work.

Looking at Rosalie it was hard to picture her as a mechanic, but it just proved that you couldn't judge a book by its cover.

Their family came from "old money" but their parents had taught them the value of working and earning their own living even though they never needed to, and were given just about anything they wanted. Sounded like a contradiction to me, but I liked Rosalie so who gave a shit. Regardless of the wealth they were down to earth and laid back. She said Esme was practically a hippie and Carlisle was a surgeon, though he'd taken to volunteering, and even drove from Port Angeles to Seattle to make house calls to some of the poorer neighborhoods there. They sounded like the freaking Cleavers. And I could guarantee that if I met the parents they would be just as beautiful as their children.

I told her about my little family. About Charlie, and how even though he was coming up on sixty, he refused to even think about retiring or cutting back on his hours. Except for his weekend fishing trips of course. I talked about my brother and Vicky and their brand of crazy. And of course I talked about my little C.J., who was currently offering some of his dessert to Emma who was batting her eyelashes like an expert.

I told her how long I'd been with Demetri. That we'd met in college and had been study partners. That we'd sort of just fallen into a relationship without ever discussing it, and how our marriage practically happened the same way. I'd loved Demetri, sure, but it had never been all consuming. Even when I found out he was cheating I was more angry and humiliated than hurt.

I didn't go into the details with the kids sitting there. I'd made a vow to never slam Demetri in front of C.J., even when he deserved it. But Rose was able to read between the lines and get the gist of it.

"That's really sad, Bella. That you've gone this long without ever feeling the kind of love that makes your knees weak. I've been with Emmett since I was sixteen and he still gives me butterflies every time he kisses me."

"That's gross, Mommy," Emma whined and C.J. laughed.

"It's not gross. It's beautiful. You'll get it one day, little girl. Preferably when you're thirty."

"Okay, Mommy," she agreed easily.

We ended up taking the kids to the park and watching as C.J. scowled at any little boy that came too close to Emma while Lacey was content to be held. All in all, it was one of the best days I'd had in a long time, and I was glad to have a new friend.

Over the course of the next few days, C.J. and I fell back into our usual rhythm. Of course, Rosalie became a new addition to our routine. We'd been to her house for dinner, and I had the pleasure of meeting her boisterous husband. C.J. took to him immediately, happy for another male figure, and it was an added bonus that C.J. thought Emmett was secretly the Hulk. He and Emma had made a game of trying to make him angry so that he'd turn green and rip his pants.

And then of course there was Edward. I refused to answer his texts or calls. Even if Rose hadn't warned me about him there was no way I'd let a man like that into my life. Apparently Rose told him I was a single mother who didn't have time for his games, but it didn't deter him. In fact, the less I wanted to do with him, the harder he pursued me. It was a game, I knew. Rose had as much as confirmed it. But having a man that looked like that chasing me around did wonders for my self-esteem.

"So, my mom wants to meet you," Rosalie interjected as I took a sip of coffee.

"Come again? Why would she want to do that?" I was admittedly terrified. Rose I was comfortable with, but Esme and Carlisle almost seemed too perfect, and I just knew I would embarrass the shit out of myself.

"Well, because my dear brother asked my mother for help with wooing a woman. I think she almost peed herself, she was so excited at the prospect of him having a real interest in a woman. I told them both it would never happen, but my mom has always believed her little boy just hadn't found the right woman yet. She sees this as a sign that he's ready to settle down and have babies. So she wants to meet her future daughter-in-law." I couldn't say anything, just sat there and slow-blinked at her.

"Yeah, she tends to get a little carried away when she gets an idea in her head. Now you know where Edward gets it from. But I figured I should warn you."

Rose laughed as I face palmed on the table.

"And I may or may not have let it slip that I was meeting you here today. I'm so sorry, Bella."

I didn't even have time to ask what she meant because the chair next to me was quickly occupied by none other than the handsome devil himself. I was suddenly very grateful that C.J. was having guy time with my dad. A woman with the same odd-colored hair as Edward sat down next to Rose and smiled at me sweetly. I swear she squealed a little when Edward slung his arm over the back of my chair.

"Sorry to show up unannounced, but this is what happens when you don't answer my texts and calls, sweetheart."

"I didn't answer your calls or texts because I'm not interested. It's not my fault that you can't take a hint."

Rose snorted and the woman I assumed was Esme giggled.

"Oh, Edward, she's so perfect. I adore her!" She looked at the two of us with a dreamy look in her eyes.

I was pretty sure that she was bat-shit crazy. It was a trait she obviously shared with her son.

"I'm Bella, and you must be Esme." I reached out my hand for her to shake, which she gladly did.

"I'm so happy to meet you, dear. Both of my children have spoken a lot about you."

"Well, Edward here only met me once, so I'm not quite sure what he could possibly have to say. But Rose has become a very good friend, so I trust that she has talked me up sufficiently."

Rose shot me a wink and I grinned back at her.

"And I hear you have a little boy. Where would he be today?" Esme's eyes lit up like a Christmas tree.

"He's with my dad doing boy stuff, whatever that means. He thinks it's his job to properly educate my son on all things male-related. Which usually means fishing, or digging up worms for going fishing, or watching sports. Or pulling people over in his squad car and letting my son write pretend tickets. Being chief of police in a very small town has its perks."

"Oh, that sounds lovely! I love my little granddaughters, but boys are so much fun too! You'll have to bring him to our house one day. We have a pool, and a game room! He'd love it! And I hear he and Emma have hit it off, so they could play together. I could babysit for you when you go out with Edward!"

Not gonna lie, I choked on my drink a little. I could definitely see where Edward got his tenacious personality from.

"Well, we could definitely do a play date, but I won't be going out with Edward," I said, feeling awkward as hell.

"Yes, well, my son hasn't made a very good impression, has he? He's a good boy, really. He just needs a good woman to put him in his place, and I think you'd be perfect for the job."

That time it was Edward's turn to cough. When I looked at him, the tips of his ears and his cheeks were pink. Was the hottie bartender blushing? Oh, that was priceless.

"I'm sorry, but really, it's never going to happen."

"And just why not? What's so wrong with me anyhow?" Edward asked.

"For one, I've been informed that you've never been in a serious relationship, yet you're never lonely, if you get my drift. And the only reason you want to go out with me so badly is because I keep refusing. It's an ego thing and has absolutely nothing to do with liking me. My life is complicated enough without playing games like that."

I hadn't meant to say all of that, especially in front of his mother, but he didn't really leave me much of a choice in the matter. I felt my face, neck, and chest flush red with a blush, but met his eyes to let him know I was serious.

"And who says I'm playing a game. I like you and want to take you out, it's as simple as that."

I couldn't help it. I rolled my eyes because he was so full of shit.

"And I'm telling you it's not going to happen. It would be so much better for everyone involved if you'd just let this go."

"Perhaps, but I'm telling you… me letting this go? That's not going to happen."

"This is so much more interesting than my soaps," Esme stage whispered to Rose and I couldn't help but laugh.

Though for the rest of the day Edward's intense gaze was on my mind.