An Evening with the Masens and the Swan
My eldest son was a total accident, but I wouldn't change a thing if given the chance.
In November of 2016, my period came and never quite stopped, turning into all month long spotting that drove me crazy. After a few tests, my gynecologist deemed it a hormonal problem and had me switch to a new birth control once I finished the other. This was all well and good, but Edward got a shipment of wine from a new vineyard to sell at Eclipse and we had a little too much fun tasting the product. It just so happened to coincide with our first Christmas together as a couple. In our celebratory drunkenness, we weren't exactly thinking about using condoms that night, something my gynecologist recommended we use for the first month after starting the new pill. We didn't even use our bed. I'm fairly certain our son was either conceived on the kitchen table or on the stairs his father and I couldn't quite walk up that night. We were both freaked out when several weeks later what I assumed was stomach flu from hell turned into us finding out that not only was I pregnant, but I was experiencing hyperemesis.
Jack was born the following September and if he ever asks, I'll probably lie and tell him he was planned just like his younger brother Oliver. With neither of us having siblings growing up, Edward and I decided it wouldn't be so bad to have another. I wish I could say pregnancy was a dream and everything was all natural and spiritual and shit, but oh my god, I hated the process. I had hyperemesis with both pregnancies and preeclampsia with Oliver. With him I retained water really bad and swelled up like a balloon despite my healthy diet. I'm surprised the tattoo on my side wasn't wrecked by stretch marks the way the skin around my belly button is. It's like a sunburst of silvery marks beaming from my navel. Edward likes to kiss them and claims they're the best work of art on my body. That adorable freak.
Eight years in and we're still not married. It seems to drive everyone around us nuts, but it's just who we are. We know neither of us is going anywhere and our living wills are iron clad. Parenthood has been quite the journey these last seven years, but I'm so in love with our kids I don't know what I'd do without them. I know Edward feels the same way I do. Surprisingly, he and I agree on just about everything when it comes to parenting so neither of us have much issue there. I think we got all the major arguing out of our system back when we were teenagers.
"Jack, pack up the paints. You need to take a bath tonight." At seven, Jack is a total ringer for his dad aside from the hazel eyes he got from my mom. My little Ollie also looks like Edward, but with my dark hair and brown eyes.
"I don't want to stop."
"I know, but it's getting late. You have school tomorrow."
Like Edward, Jack loves art and has a natural talent for it. I have no doubt he'll be as good as his father is someday, his work getting better and better the older he gets. I have quite a few of his little paintings in my home office. While I was pregnant with Ollie, I sold my beloved house and Edward and I bought a much bigger place with a large yard on Mercer Island. Ollie turned two a few months ago. My November baby.
"I hate taking a bath," Jack says with a snippy attitude he also inherited from Edward.
"Yeah, but you still need to take one," I say as I put his paint brushes in the sink. It's like he turned seven and decided soap and water are enemies to be avoided for as long as possible.
He growls and does his little jig where he sort of shakes in place and stomps his feet. "I don't want to take a bath!"
His shriek goes right through me and I whip around to face him. "Guess what I don't want?"
He blinks up at me with a scowl on his precious little face. "What?"
"I don't want to be the mother of the stinky kid in town. Now I can't stop being your mom, so as far as I see it, you don't have a choice. Go get in the bath before I take your paints away for a week."
He stomps off, but not before bellowing from the top of the stairs, "You are so mean."
"I love you too, Jack. Don't forget to wash behind your ears," I yell back as I start rinsing out his paint brushes.
"Dropped a deuce like a champ," Edward says as he walks into the kitchen with Ollie on his hip. Our youngest is surprisingly self-sufficient. He's been pretty good about saying "potty" when he has to go, but we aren't pushing him just yet since he's still so young. I'm just glad he isn't taking after Jack who was nearly four before he was potty trained.
"Did you use the potty?" I ask in my silly Mom voice I didn't know I had until I gave birth.
"Yiss," Ollie says and claps his hands just like Edward and I do when he goes. He's a pretty decent talker, but not quite like Jack at his age. Jack was a very early talker, a chatterbox who wanted to converse with everyone he came across. Ollie is definitely a smart little cookie, but he's much shyer than his brother ever thought about being.
"So, Bella, I take it you don't want to be the mother of the stinky kid in town?"
I laugh. "I'm at my wit's end with the bathing issue. I know I probably shouldn't have said that to him. From what I've read, it's a pretty common phase for kids to go through. I'm just over it."
"I'll talk to him about it. I don't like the way he talked to you as it is."
"Aw, that's sweet, having my back and all."
"Always," he says as he leans in for a kiss I gladly give.
"No," Ollie screeches as he pushes our faces apart.
"Hey you, I love to kiss your mommy. Just you wait until you meet someone you like to kiss. I'll remember this," Edward says and nuzzles his cheek into the top of Ollie's head. My heart goes all melty when he's sweet with the boys. I love the way he loves our children.
We're both lucky that we've been able to be home with our boys the majority of the time. I even babysit Rose and Emmett's three kids a couple times a week. Their daughter, my darling Lily Belle, is six months younger than Jack, and their holy terror twins Emma and Elijah just turned three in December. Much like I ended up doing, Rose decided she was done after her second pregnancy. She got a tubal during her scheduled C-section with the twins.
I considered doing the same after I had Ollie, but decided an IUD would be less invasive. Edward, being the caring, considerate man he is, told me I'd gone through enough giving him his sons and instead decided to get a vasectomy before I was cleared to have sex again. I think my health issues during my final pregnancy scared him more than they did me. I went with him to his eight weeks post-operation sperm analysis where he had to masturbate into a cup. He'd been having a lot of self love sessions around that time, not only because I had no sex drive whatsoever, but he was still trying to clear the pipes, so to speak. Once we were assured his sperm count was zero, my hormones were getting back to normal and our dry spell was officially over.
"What are you thinking about?" Edward asks me.
"You and me between the sheets."
"Yeah? Am I going to get lucky tonight?"
"It's been two weeks."
"I know. When did we become those boring, almost middle-aged people?" Forty isn't too far off, but I don't really care. Yeah, my once fast metabolism has turned into a lazy bitch the last few years and I have quite a few strands of silver hidden under the hair dye, but I'm happier than ever. My kids keep me on my toes and I'm madly in love with their father.
"We're definitely not boring. You won't feel that way next month."
"Don't remind me. It's hard enough to wait as it is." For Christmas, Edward planned an early March trip to St. Croix, renting out a private waterfront villa for all four of us. I can't wait to have a break from the overcast winter here in Washington.
"Did Esme get back to you on whether or not she and Carlisle are coming this weekend?"
"Yes. That brings the guest list to fourteen including the boys and us," I say. All of our family and local friends are coming over for the Super Bowl this weekend.
"Sixteen. Alice and Jasper are coming."
"Alice is going to watch football?"
"I don't know. She'll probably just get drunk and be the weird quiet one in the corner," Edward says as he gives Ollie a sippy cup of water. "There's always one."
"You know you secretly adore her."
He shrugs. "There are worse people in the world."
"We should get one of those subs. The big ones for all the meat eaters coming over. I'll make my hummus and pita bread. Maybe we can do individual pizzas. Ugh. It's going to be packed."
"We have four thousand square feet. I think they'll fit."
I roll my eyes. I was all for having a house along the lines of what we already had, just with an extra bedroom and bathroom, but Edward has an eight-figure bank account to my seven and fell in love with this house with its open floor plan and boat dock out back. I did too and it's not like I mind having a private office and a gourmet kitchen, but I feel like I went backwards with the minimalist lifestyle I strived to live for so many years. It's strange to worry about my kids and how they'll approach things like money, but Edward and I both agree that Jack and eventually Ollie will have to earn what they get. Jack helps me with the recycling and has to keep his room clean and his bed made. I'm sure it will turn into more when he gets older, but it's enough for now.
Edward was going to buy his parents old house in Forks several years ago, but a family made an offer on it and he decided to buy some land instead. Always the businessman, he built a two bedroom A-frame cabin on it that he rents out to tourists throughout the year. We stay there a few weeks each summer, much to the delight of my parents. My dad and Jack have a close relationship that I love.
Unfortunately, I never really got to know Edward's dad. He was a quiet guy to begin with, but he all but disappeared once he got sick. After smoking two packs a day for over thirty years, he passed away from throat cancer a few weeks after Jack's first birthday. It hit Edward pretty hard, but having Jack to focus on was a blessing. The same goes for Elizabeth. Ed left her financially set, so she kept their condo downtown. She's been traveling a lot and is actually the reason we're going to St Croix. Edward saw the pictures she took when she went last year and decided he has to see it for himself.
"I'm clean, Mom," Jack says as he comes bounding back into the kitchen wearing his pajamas.
"Poor kid. All those cowlicks from your dad," I say as I try to smooth down his damp hair with my fingers.
"I resent that. I have great hair," Edward says. He has a few grays now too, but they're minimal and he wears them well.
"I know you do. Messy and sexy," I say quietly. I swear, Edward gets sexier to me as the years go by.
"Definitely getting lucky tonight," he says with a fist pump.
"I want to get lucky too," Jack says. I look to Edward whose eyes have widened.
"Forget I said that please," Edward says.
"Why? Grandpa Charlie got lucky on a scratcher. He said it's a good day when you can turn a dollar into ten of them."
Whew. Dodged that bullet. I can see Edward feels the same. "Maybe I'll teach you about the world of finance someday, but for now, I need you to respect your mother like she respects you."
"You yelled at her and told her she was mean just because she wanted you to take a bath. Do you know why she wants you to take a bath?"
"So I don't stink," Jack says. I know for a fact he hates upsetting Edward, but Jack's a little more emotional and temperamental with me.
"There's that, but she also loves you and wants you to be healthy. So do I. Part of being healthy is taking care of yourself like taking a bath and brushing your teeth. Washing your hands after you use the bathroom. People get sick because they don't clean themselves."
"Is your mom really all that mean to you?"
"No," Jack says as he looks down at the floor.
"So what should you do?"
"I'm sorry, Mom," Jack says and he hugs me tight. "I'll take baths when you tell me to. I promise."
"Cool. That's all I want," I say as I hug him back.
I'm drinking a mug of tea and going over the line edits of my new book now that the boys are in bed. I'm already a little late sending things back over to my editor. It's my third book, a vegan cook book, scheduled for a summer release with Evelyn, the imprint over at Cullen. It's been a long time coming, both with writing it as well as choosing the accompanying photos. Elizabeth actually played a role this time, not only helping with the photographs, but in helping me get my small greenhouse going. I branched off my website into two separate entities instead of having just one place that housed my own blog among everything else. Nowadays, it's my personal website that I run, having given over the other site to a team of people I trust. I still sign off on everything, but it's more or less a place for other like-minded people to write articles and to network.
"Are you coming to bed?" Edward asks from where he stands in the doorway.
"Soon. I just want to finish this part."
"How about you come to bed now and I'll take Jack to school in the morning and drop Oliver off at my mom's so we can both get some work done tomorrow?"
I smile as I stare at my computer screen where the words seem to be melting together anyway. "You miss me, don't you?"
"I do. I need me some Compass."
"You're so fucking cute. Stop it."
"No," he says as he pulls my chair out and gets on his knees, resting his head in my lap. I massage his scalp the way he likes and he closes his eyes, humming contentedly. "I'm going to sell Eclipse. The buyer I told you about came through with a great offer. We'll be set for the rest of our lives if I take it."
"I thought we already were set."
He chuckles. "Then we'll be extra set for the rest of our lives."
"Are you sure you're ready for that?" I ask. He's already sold every other place he's owned. "What will you do with all your spare time?"
"I don't know. I've been flirting with the idea of going back to school. Not full time or anything. Take some art classes to get back in touch with that side of me. It's something I can share with Jack. He loves when I sit down and paint with him."
"I know he does. I think that's a great idea."
"It's just a thought for now. I didn't want to commit to anything without talking to you first."
"Maybe you can convert the empty part of the garage into a studio. I told you that thing was too big. Just like the house."
"Quit talking shit about our house. It's not too big."
I laugh. "Okay. It's not too big."
"Are we still going to that charity dinner Friday night?"
"I sent back the RSVP card and our donation. We probably should. I'll have to get a dress for it." Edward and I donate to various charities throughout the year, the one in question being for youth art and music programs.
"I love when you get all dressed up. Makes me want to take all your clothes off."
"What? My oversized Batman t-shirt doesn't do it for you?" I ask tugging at my shirt. I'm already feeling a little throbbing between my legs. It's definitely been too long.
"You always do it for me."
I slide down on the floor so I can pin him down and kiss the shit out of him. These lips are still so good, the best, and he knows just how I like it as he nips lightly at my bottom lip. Before I take my shirt off, I reach over to shut my office door and lock it in case Jack were to wake up and see something he shouldn't. Edward smiles like he just got the best surprise ever as his hands cup my tits and gives them a squeeze.
"Love these," he says as he leans up and latches his mouth on one of my nipples.
"Love this," I say as I pull down his loose pajama pants just enough to take his hard dick out. "Perv. Already good to go."
He scoffs. "Like you aren't."
Edward lets go off my tits long enough for me to shimmy out of my panties before I sit back down on his lap, taking him inside me. I sigh, feeling the familiar stretch and fullness. "That's good," I say, raising up a little only to slide back down, having my way with him on my office floor.
"Best pussy ever."
"You and that filthy mouth," I say as I lean forward to kiss him again.
We get right down to business as Edward holds my ass and thrusts up inside me, knowing just how to make me come as quickly as possible when we get these small moments alone. We take our time when we get the chance to, but for now, it's fast and dirty.
"Right there, baby. Don't stop," I moan as quietly as I can.
"So good," he says as he thrusts a little harder, hitting my clit in the process. It's just enough to make me clench down hard as I come. Edward wraps his arms around my waist and groans into my shoulder as he twitches and spills inside me.
"Fuck," I say, trying to catch my breath.
"That was like less than five minutes. Is that sad?"
I laugh and let myself collapse on top of him. "I'm nowhere near sad. I just had an orgasm because my super hot boyfriend has a magic dick."
"You only want me for my body, don't you?"
"Meh. I like the rest of you too," I say as I get up off the floor.
"Here," Edward says as he hands me my t-shirt and panties.
"Thank you kindly," I say and get dressed. Edward sits down in my computer chair and gives me a look I don't see from him very often. Kind of sad. "Are you okay?"
He just keeps looking at me and I wonder if maybe I read him all wrong and he wanted more than a quickie on my office floor. He seemed to be just as into it as I was. "Dude. What?"
It's my turn to stare. "Marry you?"
"This is random," I say. We've talked about marriage before, but he's never outright asked me.
"It's been on my mind all evening."
"Why is that? Talk to me," I say as I sit on his lap with clothes on this time.
"Did you see Jack's painting he did earlier?"
"He painted like five pictures today. Which one?"
"The one of all four of us. He wrote The Masen Family at the top of it. It just hit me hard that you don't share our last name."
It's hitting me hard too as my eyes sting with tears. "We are a family though."
"I know. Does he even know your last name is Swan?"
"I think so. He's seen my books and he gets the mail sometimes. I don't think we've ever discussed it before. We're just Mom and Dad to him."
"Yeah. I just want to make it official as long as you're on board."
"We're already official as far as I'm concerned," I say as I kiss him. "But okay."
"I don't want a big wedding. I so don't want a big wedding. Rose and Emmett's production about did me in."
He smiles. "Got it. Maybe we can just have a little something out back when it gets warmer. A small ceremony with a nice dinner."
"That sounds perfect."
"I have to get you a ring."
"No diamonds. Diamonds are boring."
"I know how you feel about diamonds."
"And I don't like – "
"Gold. I know. Platinum it is."
"I'm down with silver. And nothing expensive. I don't want to walk around with something worth someone's college tuition on my finger."
"And don't forget the most important part."
He's full out laughing at me now. "What's that?"
"That I love you."
His eyes soften and he kisses his favorite freckle on my cheekbone. "I love you, too, Compass."
AN: That's all, folks. Thank you so much for reading this little story. Hopefully you found it entertaining and it made you smile.