Sorry for the less updated posts. Life is crazy! :)


Chapter Fourteen
reach out, i'll be there

Bella

Where's Edward?

Not hi Max.

Where's Edward?

This bitch has some major fucking issues. My Maximoose doesn't say a word to his mother, but he is staring at her with hopeful green eyes.

"Are you going to just stand there or are you actually going to answer me?" Tanya asks, her slim hand going to her hip all sassy like.

She looks good too, not like she's been stressing out over a divorce or not seeing her kid or anything.

"He's busy," I say through a fake as hell smile.

She rolls her eyes, and she is lucky bubby is on my hip and Max and Harlow are next to me because I have a strong urge to punch her in the throat, maybe gouge her narrowed eyes out.

Finally, finally, her eyes go to Max, and she says in a very uninterested voice, "Hi, Max."

Max doesn't reply, but he sidles closer to me, bringing Harlow closer as well. My throat fucking burns.

"I want to talk to Edward," Tanya says, moving her eyes back to me.

I lift bubby higher on my hips and squeeze Max's hand. "If Edward wants to talk to you then he'll call you, Tanya."

"This idea he has in his head? It isn't happening, Bella."

This idea? She is certifiably fucking crazy, but this is not the time or place to have this discussion, so I ignore her and pull Max as I start to walk past her. "We have to go. It was good seeing you, Tanya," I lie.

"Wait a second. I'll take Max with me." She says reaching toward my Maximoose.

"No," Max yells. "Bella and daddy are taking me to the zoo!"

Her nose turns up in distaste, but she says, "I'll take you, honey."

Honey?

She's not fooling anyone. She's also not taking Max anywhere.

"No, Tanya," I say, leaving out over my dead body.

"He's my son, Bella. I'll take him if I want. You can't stop me."

"Try me."

She reaches for Max again, and I pull him behind me and grab my phone.

The phone rings four times in my ear before Edward answers.

"Babe, I'm at the hotel. I've been waiting for you. Where are you?"

"Uh, Edward. We kind of have a problem." I respond, watching Tanya watching me.

"Edwud!" Leo yells in my ear, trying to grab the phone.

"What's wrong?" Edward says.

"I want Edwud!" Leo cries.

"We ran into Tanya."

Silence.

"Mommy, can we go?" Harlow asks, her hand still holding Max's.

"Edward?"

"Where is she?"

"She's standing right in front of me. She's trying to take Max."

"Where the fuck are you, Bella?" He asks, and he is so fucking pissed.

"Around the corner. Turn right when you get out the door."

He hangs up on me, but I'll allow the rudeness since this is a dire situation.

"Well?" Tanya says. "Is he coming?"

"Bella, I want to stay with you," Max says, pulling on my shirt.

My heart.

I watch as Edward jogs up the street behind Tanya, already changed into zoo clothes. The hat I got him for Christmas sits backward on his head, and despite the predicament we have found ourselves in, I can't help admire how damn good looking he is.

I wish his wife wasn't ruining my view right now.

"Edwud here!" Leo screams, wiggling in my arms.

Max grabs my hand, and I look down at him and give his hand a little squeeze. In his eyes, I see relief now that his daddy is here.

Tanya smiles all vindictive like she thinks Edward is here for her, like she actually believes Edward wants to see her. It's sad how stupid she is. Edward would never love someone that abandoned her son.

Edward walks right past Tanya and Max and Harlow both run to him, grabbing his legs.

"Edward, she's trying to take Max with her but he can't go. We're going to the zoo." Harlow says, looking up at him.

"Daddy, don't make me go," Max says, and Edward grabs Max's hand, his eyes narrowing at Tanya.

"Edward, let's talk." Tanya says, walking to stand next to him, her hand grabbing his arm.

He shrugs her off, ushering the kids to me and Leo. He immediately takes Leo from my arms, whispering "hey bubby," and kissing his little cheek.

I die.

"We're not talking, Tanya," he says, turning his back on me, but pushing up against me, where I can't see anything but the back of his shirt.

"It's freezing out here, Edward," I whisper, gripping the back of his shirt.

Max and Harlow are next to me, holding hands again, their little noses all red.

"Edward, don't be ridiculous. We haven't seen each other in weeks. I have things to say."

I peek to the side of Edward, and Tanya is pissed.

"Not my problem. My lawyer will get a hold of you. We're leaving."

"Lawyer," she laughs, and I want to slap her. "Don't fuck with me, Edward," she sneers, her pretty face turning all red.

"Mommy, she said fuck," Harlow gasps.

"Baby, don't say that word," Edward says for me, but soft and daddy like, and Harlow covers her mouth wide-eyed.

I hide my smile as Edward grabs my arm, gently pushing me down the sidewalk toward the café. "Bella grab their hands," he says, gesturing toward Max and Harlow.

He lets me go, and I look back, saying, "Edward, the hotel's that way."

"I know, babe," he grins real small but I see it, and we keep walking anyway.

I look over my shoulder, and Tanya is watching us, the way Edward is walking too close, the way he takes care of all of us like we're his family, the way she's not.

I don't know why I'm shocked when she flips me off and spins around, marching down the sidewalk in her too tight skirt and stiletto heels. I look up at Edward, but he's not looking at me. He's looking at Max as Max talks about the zoo like nothing just happened. Like his mom is not the biggest bitch on this planet.

"Edwud, no bears!" Leo yells.

Edward

Max, Harlow and Leo are all knocked out in one bed. Bella is in the shower, washing off all the animals, she says. She almost had a heart attack when a monkey threw shit at her through the fencing, hitting her in the arm. I've never seen her use so much hand sanitizer in her life. She was a good sport though, even when me and the kids laughed the entire time.

Even with Tanya trying to fuck up our day, we still had fun. Max said it was the best day.

Bella is fucking nuts, in a good way. She rode the carousel with the kids at least 10 times, even dragging me on it once or twice, snapping about a thousand pictures.

Leo refused to see the bears, so I took him for ice cream while Bella took Max and Harlow.

I love seeing Max so happy, and I love it even more that it's Bella, Harlow, and Bubby making him happy.

I flip through the hotel channels, stopping on ESPN when Bella comes out of the bathroom, her hair wrapped in a fluffy white towel. She has on her little sleep shorts and tank even though it's probably less than 36 degrees outside.

"You can have the shower," she says, standing right in front of the TV.

I shake my head. "It's alright. I'll shower in the morning."

She wrinkles her nose, like she's disgusted.

"Babe, I don't have monkey shit all over me."

She giggles and shoves me in the shoulder as she sits down next to me at the end of the bed.

"So are we going to move bubby over so he can sleep with us again?" She asks, and I side eye her, thinking I don't want to move bubby. That I want to sleep with her and have her all to myself.

"Whatever you want, Bella," I say instead of what I'm really thinking.

"I don't want to wake him," she says. "So what did the lawyer say? We haven't had a chance to talk. Tanya can't try to take Max can she?"

"She can try," I say, "But there's no way she can win."

I turn toward her when she sits sideways on the bed. She pulls her legs up, her shorts riding even higher than they were before.

"Can you believe her? I know she's still your wife, Edward, but the nerve of her to just show up in the street like that. Okay, I know she didn't know we were there, but I was so pissed to see her. I don't know what I would have done if she would have literally tried to take Max. I would have had to kick her ass."

So fucking adorable.

I laugh, and say, "You're a little badass, babe. You could have taken her."

She grins. "I probably would have been arrested though." She widens her eyes. "That would have been embarrassing."

"I would have bailed you out."

"Gee, thanks, dummy."

I stand up and grab my gym shorts from my bag. I walk into the foggy bathroom and pull my clothes off and yank my shorts on. I brush my teeth before going back out to Bella. She's already under the blankets on the side closest to the other bed.

Her dark hair is spread out all over the white pillow, and it's going to be real fucking hard sleeping next to her without Bubby as the barrier between us.

"What are you waiting for, Edward? Turn the light off, would you!"

I flip the switch and crawl over Bella even though I could have walked around. She laughs and shoves me off, rolling to the side to face me

Bella

Edward's in bed with me. Under the covers without Leo. This is inappropriate, but my bubby had a long day, and I know he will wake up when Edward moves him. Yes, there is a floor to sleep on, but it's hard.

Edward isn't divorced yet, but he's my best friends, and best friends can sleep in the same bed together. It's not like we are going to do anything. I mean, our kids are in the same room. Anyway, Edward probably doesn't even think of me that way.

Possibly not.

He does call me babe all the time though, and I secretly love it so hard. Some girls hate to be called babe, but not me.

I'm staring at him staring at me across our pillows, and his eyes are so damn beautiful. His hair flops over his forehead, and I kind of want to run my fingers through it. I won't, but I really want to.

"Thanks for today," I say, snuggling into the blankets.

"Anything for you, Bella."

"Thanks for taking Bubby so I could take Low and Maximoose to the bears. They loved them."

"Anything for Max, Bubby, and Low," he grins in the dark. The light of the TV illuminates his face, and it's a perfect face.

I swoon a little, but smile on the outside. "Are you going to watch TV?"

"If you watch a movie with me," he says, sitting up to grab the remote.

"Only if it's The Notebook."

"No, babe."

"Please, Edward. This is the last time I'll make you watch it with me," I lie.

"You're such a fucking liar," he laughs, but he puts on The Notebook, and gosh, my heart!

We lay next to each other, close enough for our arms to touch, and I laugh and cry over this stupid movie like it's the first time, and Edward laughs at me.

Eventually I fall asleep, but when I wake up in the morning, Bubby is in our bed, his head resting on Edward's bare chest. I grab my phone through sleepy eyes and snap a picture.