Well hello, lovers :-)
This was my entry for the BDE (Biggest Dick Ever) contest and I thought, "What a GREAT opportunity to write a dickhead!" Ha! I've been waiting for a reason to write this Edward. I'm glad it paid off enough to award me 2nd place Judge's pick. Shout out to the hosts and judges, the other authors who entered, and to everyone who read the entries.
Speaking of contest - The Age of Edward Contest is currently happening (that is if you're reading this during the month of August 2017) - if you're thinking about entering, check it out. There's info floating around the interwebs!
Anyway, Happy Reading!
"Wait for me!" I panicked, hoping my impatient roommates didn't leave me.
I rushed into the living room while yanking on my shorts, only to stop when I saw Rosalie, one of my best friends and most impatient roommate of us all, chilling on the couch with her legs propped up on the coffee table.
"Relax, Bella," she drawled. "No one's leaving you."
"I heard the door opening and closing."
"It was just Tanya and Brady."
"They're coming to the barbeque?" I both perked up and internally deflated. I hadn't seen Tanya—Rosalie's twin sister—in a few weeks since she moved in with her new boyfriend. While I missed her like crazy, her four-year-old son coming along meant this would be a PG friendly night. This didn't sound at all enticing.
Rosalie shook her head, not looking up from her phone. "She didn't tell baby daddy where she moved yet. So he's picking Brady up from here."
Not touching that one. "Where's Alice?" I asked of our other roommate.
Rosalie huffed. "Hopefully changing into human skin."
Ah. That meant she was on bitch mode. Super.
"Let's get this the fuck over with." Alice came out of her room a few minutes later with puffy, red eyes as if she'd been crying, or smoking, or both. Rosalie and I looked at each other, pursed our lips, and then looked away.
Where Rose was the most impatient, none of us could out crazy Alice, and we knew better than to fuck with her when she was in a mood. "Where's the vodka?" Alice asked, and Rose and I nearly tripped over ourselves, and each other, to help her find the bottle. It would have been comical if we weren't legitimately a little frightened of her. "Want some?" Alice offered after she'd taken several swigs herself. I reached passed Rosalie for the bottle only for her to freak out and snatch it out of my hands.
"Eww, mono!" She hugged the large bottle of Cîroc to her chest.
"Stop calling it that. I had strep."
"Allegedly," she mumbled, taking a step back.
"And I finished my antibiotics, like, three days ago."
"That doesn't mean you're not contagious."
"That's exactly what it means, actually."
"I don't have time for this." Alice grabbed the bottle from Rosalie. "This is mine now, you guys can drink when we get there."
Properly chastised, Rosalie and I followed behind Alice silently, purposely bumping into each other on the way out.
We were on our way to yet another party at Alice's boyfriend, Jasper, house. He was ten years older than us and a complete piece of shit on paper. As were we. But, he treated her like gold and us like little sisters. The guys he rolled with always respected us. That's all that mattered.
Jasper didn't live that far away from us, but it was still a decent drive away because of how the roads connected, so for a good twenty minutes, nothing but silence accompanied us in the car as Alice drove and Rose and I texted back and forth about who should ask her what's wrong.
Neither one of us won the battle.
When we got to the party, Alice immediately pulled Jasper to another room, where for the first five minutes we listened to her screaming about his ex who contacted her on Facebook. The arguing didn't bother me, but the when the moaning started we all decided to stop loitering inside.
Rosalie jumped in the pool first. As more people trickled in, I wandered toward the shallow end and dunked my feet. Mostly, though, I kept a lookout toward the door to see everyone coming in and out.
"Where's your cousin?" I asked Jasper trying my best to play it cool. Alistair had been the cause of my strep throat crisis from last week, but he was so damn hot I couldn't hold a grudge. I had, after all, willingly stuck my tongue down his throat knowing he was sick.
"He should be on his way." Jasper took a sip of his drink. "But be warned, he asked me if he could bring someone. So, if he does, don't start shit."
"You should know me better than that."
Nearly an hour passed before Alistair showed up, and sure enough, he wasn't alone.
"Who's big tits?" Rosalie openly pointed in their direction.
I shrugged, taking my own slow slip of punch, and giggled at the irony of Rosalie calling out anyone for the size of their tits. "His date I guess."
"I wonder if she knows he was just finger blasting you two weeks ago. Wanna go ask her?"
"Rose stop," I laughed. Now, I would never start drama over something so petty, but Rosalie was a bona fide troublemaker. Her slick mouth has gotten us all into random fights over the years.
"What, I'm just curious—whoa! Screw big tits who are they?"
I turned and saw that the 'they' she referred to were two new faces of two hot guys. Both tall, both with broad shoulders, and both looking very out of place in riding jackets while the rest of us were in bathing suits or a generic form of one.
We watched as Jasper approached them and slapped hands with the one with black hair. Even from here his dimples were apparent. The red head next to him merely nodded his head at Jasper, and I frowned a little because I could see the tense set of his jaw.
That did not take anything away from how hot either one of them were though.
"No seriously," Rosalie said. "Who are they?"
I shook my head. "I don't know." But I was sure about to find out.
For the next hour or so, they mostly kept to themselves. I know because I watched them like the horny savage I was. Meanwhile, so did everyone else. I tried to be discreet, but several of the other girls—and guys—openly lurked and gawked in their direction.
Sighing at my lameness and uncharacteristic hesitation, I was just about to step toward them and introduce myself when Alistair stepped into my path. "Hey, Bella." He smiled.
Funny, two weeks ago I melted at those big blue eyes, long blonde hair, and that smile. Two hours ago I'd been waiting around for that smile. Now, all I wanted was to tell him and that smile to go fuck itself.
"What do you want, Alistair?"
"I'm sorry. Did that hurt your one feeling?"
He took a sip of his drink and ran his index finger down the length of my arm. "Brrr… What's with all the ice?"
"What's with big tits?" I bit back, channeling pent up and unnecessary jealousy and anger.
"Who, Senna? She's just a friend."
I nodded, not buying it and immediately no longer giving a fuck either. "Cool."
"So, what are you doing after this?" he asked, voice hushed and almost seductive. Almost.
"Going home with him." I pointed over my shoulder, nearly squeaking when I noticed Big Red—as I'd dubbed him in my head—looking this way. Alistair turned to look and as he did, they both locked eyes. From here, I could see Big Red's eyebrow cocked almost as if to say 'what the fuck do you guys want?'
I grabbed Alistair's face and forced him to look away from that general direction. I didn't need to be starting shit at Jasper's party. I would leave that to Rosalie.
"You sure move on fast don't you?" Alistair sneered at me.
I shrugged, unaffected. "Ditto."
"Everything okay?" Rosalie stepped in between us.
"Alistair was just leaving me alone," I answered her and grabbed the drink from her hand. This time she didn't even open her mouth to make a wisecrack about me being sick.
As soon as he walked away, Big Red stood and started making his way over to Alistair. My heart dropped. "Oh no."
"What? What?" Rosalie whipped her head around.
Unable to answer, I watched on with wide eyes and a heavy beating heart. Jasper's friends were, to put it nicely: rowdy. I've seen something as simple as a dirty look start an all-out brawl and lord Jesus I hoped this wasn't going to be the case right now.
Thankfully, Alistair veered in the other direction and straight in the path of his new "friend" Senna, avoiding the path to an ass whooping.
As the sun started setting, the barbeque eventually took on a different—more cozy and intimate—vibe, but it didn't give me the push I needed to make my way over to my target for the night.
"How long are you going to stare at him?" Alice, who I hadn't seen much of at all, bumped me with her hips.
She barely nudged me, but I still yelled and threw myself a few feet away because we're all dramatic as shit.
"Is it that obvious?" I grabbed her drink from her hand.
"Baby, come here," she called over to Jasper who immediately appeared at her side and towered over the both of us.
Kissing the side of her head, he slung his arm over each one of our shoulders. "What's up, ladies?"
"Introduce Bella to McCarty and his friend."
"Both of them?" Jasper asked.
That's another thing I loved about Jasper: he never judged us.
I shook my head as both he and Alice waited for an answer. "The redhead mostly."
Turns out, Big Red's real name is Edward though he prefers just "Ed." And the little bit I was able to make of him while gawking from a distance was nothing compared to when I got to stare up at him up close.
His hair looked less red as the sun began to set and more of a light brown with red undertones. His eyes were kind of green but also a little gray. Basically, at twilight—when the day and the night take a moment to converge—Ed could look like two different people depending on the angle at which you stared at him.
"You smoke?" he asked, pulling a blunt from his pocket, and me out of my thoughts. We'd been talking for a little bit, but about a whole lot of nothing. And pathetically, this was the first outright question he'd asked me. Standoffish didn't begin to cover him.
I shrugged, answering his question. "Not really."
Ed sparked his lighter and I sat back and watched as his lips wrapped around the rolled up paper as he took in a pull. A few seconds later, he exhaled a small could of smoke both from his lips and his nose. "What does 'not really' mean?" His voice sounded hoarse.
"It means … not really," I said slowly, confused.
"That's not a real answer. Either you smoke or you don't."
"I smoke but only once in a blue moon."
Smirking, he looked up at the sky. "And tonight?"
He nodded, taking another pull before nodding to something behind me. I turned noticing McCarty looking away. Rosalie was hovering near him, and for a second our eyes connected and she winked.
"Is your friend single?" I asked.
Ed pursed his lips and cocked an eyebrow. "Why, you interested?" As harsh as the words sounded from his lips, I could hear the undertone as well. I wasn't going to play the type of game to fuck with his emotions.
"Not me but my friend is."
"We know." He nodded. "It'll be handled."
I smiled, pulling the joint from his hand and taking my own slow pull after all. "Good."
Laughter, music, smoke, and the smell of booze filled the air. It didn't matter how many times we all gathered here, in the same backyard, around the same pool, it always made for good times.
And tonight I was up for some really good times.
"You want to come back to my place?" I asked Ed.
"Not sure that's a good idea beautiful." He smiled lazily, eyes red and droopy.
I shrugged as if the rejection didn't nearly knock the wind out of me. From anyone else, I would have had enough confidence to shrug it off and move on to the next, but for some reason I really, really wanted Ed to want me. Maybe it was the challenge of him seeming uninterested. Maybe it was because he was fresh meat and untainted by any of the other girls here. Maybe it's because a part of me was sky high on the looks I was getting from those same girls as he spent most of the night ignoring them and giving me all of his attention.
Then it dawned on me. He'd spent most of the night chatting me up. I could see it in his eyes, hear it in his voice, and feel it in every move he made that he wasn't looking at me for anything deep and meaningful. So what was the point? I tilted my head to the side as if to ask him just that. I knew all about playing hard to get, but I wouldn't have pegged him as the type.
I leaned over toward him, resting one of my hands on his thigh. Under my palm, I felt his muscles flex and even though he sat up slightly, he didn't move my hand away.
"You're probably right." I purposely glanced at his crotch. "It's a horrible idea. But I have a feeling you don't shy away from bad decisions …"
"I don't, but I have a feeling you do."
Grabbing my hand, he yanked me to lean closer to him and pushed my palm against his erection.
"Are you for real or are you cock tease?"
Licking my lips, I curved my hand around him. "Both."
By the time we got back to my house, most of my bravado and all of my buzz had worn off.
"So this is it," I said unnecessarily as we pulled into my driveway. We'd left Ed's bike back at Jasper's with the promise I would drive him to get it in the morning. The entire way to my house, we were both so quiet I almost thought he might back out.
"Nice house," he mused, not getting out of the car. "Who do you live with?"
"Alice and Rose." At his cocked eyebrow and pursed lips, I added, "Jasper's girlfriend and the blonde that likes your friend McCarty."
He nodded, climbing out and silently following me inside.
"You okay?" Ed sat on the arm of the couch. He looked too big for it, too big for the space in general.
I watched him in a nearby mirror finally peeling off his jacket. "Yeah, I'm okay, why?"
"You're quiet now."
I snorted with a shrug. "I guess I don't have much to say right now."
He pulled me to stand in between his legs, cupping my ass, and running his lips against the side of my neck. "What are you thinking about right now?"
"How much I want you," I whimpered out. Only partially lying. There was a lot more shit running through my head than should have been in this moment.
"Show me." He leaned back, pulling me with him as he fell against the length of the couch. Our legs tangled together as I gripped the back to anchor myself.
For all my talk, I'd never been that good at this part, so I said, "Take me." Happy to relinquish c control.
In my room, some of my bravado came back as I pushed him to sit at the edge of the bed and straddled his lap. I could feel him getting harder and harder against his pants—that were neither leather or jeans—and the strange material of them felt like pure erotic heaven rubbing against me.
"You're going to fuck me just like this." He commanded in a low hissed whisper, sliding my shorts to the side and attacking my clit with his fingers. "Just like this."
"I saw you as soon as I walked into the party. You saw me, too, didn't you?"
I nodded, loving how deeper his voice became with each question. How stronger his movements got; how intentional.
I'd done most of the talking all night. I was more than happy to hand that over to him now.
"Keep talking," I begged. Just as turned on by that as I was his fingering me. But he did something worse: he pulled his hands a way.
The fuck? I snapped my head up.
"Take them off."
Oh. I stood quickly, damn near ripping off my clothes. I did so while, for some reason, facing away from him. I watched in the mirror as he took off his shirt, his pants, then his boxers.
My gaze trailed over every inch of him. Every piece of colorful art that covered pale, creamy muscle.
I turned, but I didn't go to him. His dick was in his hands, and I stilled.
What the actual fuck was that?
A smirk played at his lips as he stroked himself. I gulped.
"You can take it." He reached his hand out, but I stood still, unsure. I think the fuck not.
His was the kind of dick you see and say no thanks. Because there is no snapping back from that.
I'd seen big ducks before. Both in person and in porn.
While he didn't look as ridiculous as some I've seen on screen, he far surpassed anything I'd ever thought I would see in person. I was more intimidated than impressed.
"It won't hurt if you're on top," he whispered, confidently.
He was wrong.
"Fuck," he grunted.
"Shut up." It was a small whisper, almost playful, but I also meant it. At least for that second. I felt every single painful inch of that motherfucker stretching me as I slid down over him.
He snickered under his breath, squeezing the shit out of my hips, trying to pull me down.
"Fuck this, get on top," I said, getting off of him before he could protest.
My skin prickled under the heat of his every exhale. His body working me over in a way I simply couldn't manage.
I nodded, breathing him in, relishing every push and pull of our connected skin. Every point of pleasure and pain.
"Need to hear you say it."
"Good," I whimpered opening my legs wider to him. "So good."
That was as intimate as our fucking got. And I drive the point home that Ed fucked me. In all the best and worst ways. His movements were deep and hard, nearly bruising. He never kissed me. Never looked into my eyes. He took from me and I took everything he had. All night long.
With him I felt uninhibited. Pulling and pushing, commanding everything I wanted and needed from him. He did the same. I sucked him off the way he asked, and he licked every inch of me the way he told me to.
"I'm dying," I breathed out, a few orgasms later, as we slowly rocked into each other.
He chuckled low against my shoulder, clearly spent, too. But we were both stubborn. No one was going to cry mercy first.
Eventually, he asked me to get on top again, but I couldn't. And I begged him to come, but he also couldn't.
"That was …" I closed my eyes and shook my head slowly, lying sideways and facing him.
Walking tomorrow was going to be a son of a bitch, but it was oh so worth it.
"So umm…" The awkward part of the night had come. Did he want me to take him to get his bike now? Would the ride over be weird? "Ready?"
Adjusting the pillow nearby, he shoved it under his head. "Only thing I'm ready for is to get some sleep."
I smiled and rolled over too.
Morning came fast and furious, the sun peeking through the curtains with a determination that the world must rise with it.
I could hear Ed shuffling behind me and burrowed myself deeper into the bed. I was sore as shit, morning sex would have to wait.
"Come lock the door."
I snapped my eyes open and turned to take a look at him. Where I found him standing at the foot of the bed, fully clothed.
"You're leaving?" I tried to hide my pout but knew I was unsuccessful.
"Yeah, I gotta jet. Come lock the door."
"What about your bike?"
"McCarty's here. He's leaving, too."
Nodding, I slid out of bed and wrapped the sheets around me. I shuffled behind him awkwardly having no clue what to say or how to feel. I was a cock tease, heavy on the tease, so no this wasn't the first guy I'd brought home, but this was the first guy that didn't call me on my bluff. Because no matter how I acted, it didn't matter, no one had ever rushed out on me the next morning. I wasn't prepared for the sadness I felt as Edward barely spared me a kiss on the cheek as he left.
One of my favorite scenes from one of my favorite TV shows happened when Charlotte York—from Sex in the City—told her three best friends that they were her soulmates and guys should be considered extras.
Over the past ten years, I'd been blessed enough to know that exact feeling with Alice, Rosalie, and Tanya. So, as I stood with two of my three soulmates, crowded in my bathroom and staring at five positive pregnancy tests I knew deep down, and in the long run, I would be okay. That didn't stop the current dose of panic that coursed through my veins though.
This was not how things were supposed to be. I was on the pill. Edward had used a condom. Several condoms actually. We barely knew each other. This wasn't meant to happen with or for us.
"What are you going to do?" Alice whispered.
Her question had so much weight to it, I was almost knocked breathless. This wasn't just a 'what are you going to do about the baby' It was what are you going to do about school and about work. What are you going to tell your parents, and how are you going to handle things with Ed?
So, I shrugged and said, "I don't know," because that was the truest thing I could say to her in the moment.
Rosalie's phone dinged from where she sat on the sink. "Tanya's on her way."
I nodded, not at all surprised. "Does she still have her key?"
Leaning against the sink for support, I took in a deep breath and stared at myself in the mirror, willing it to give me answers for questions I hadn't even come up with yet. I thought about Ed and the way we left things. How we haven't seen or heard anything about him since the first night at the party almost two month ago now.
Even Rose, who'd started messing around with Emmett McCarty from time to time said she hadn't seen him and that apparently he and Ed weren't even that close. They only met when Ed fixed Emmett's car a few weeks before the party and he invited Ed to meet some new people because he was new to town.
I shook my head. He was new to town, and in a place like Forks, you were either born here, stopping here on your way to somewhere else, or you were hiding from something. Whatever his plans were they I've just complicated them.
"Want me to ask Emmett for the address of the shop?" Rose offered later in the night.
We'd moved onto the 'when are you going to tell Ed' portion of the night. My first answer: I don't even know how to find him.
"I can go with you," Tanya said, squeezing my hand.
I shook my head. I'd gotten pregnant by him on my own. I should go and tell him on my own.
A big burly guy with tattoo's adorning every inch of each arm, pointed to the back as soon as I walked into Cullen's Body Shop. "He's that way."
"How'd you know who I was looking for?"
He grunted and faced the other way, not offering up an answer.
I made my way to the back, smirking despite myself as the thumping bass of a Tupac song, faded out and a Rock song too old for me to name, but mainstream enough for me to recognize, took over.
The playlist definitely reminded me of what little I knew about Edward: random and all out of fucks to give to the world.
I hovered at the edge of the entryway, scared to go deeper into the garage. I tried to convince myself that it was because I didn't want to trip over any of the haphazard shit thrown around the floor but that wasn't it at all. I still had absolutely no idea what to say to him.
"I heard you're knocked up," Edward shouted over the music, half of his body still hidden under a car's hood.
I nodded then remembering he couldn't see me, said, "News travels fast around here, huh?"
He stood and stomped over to the radio. He shut it off and leaned against the cabinet, letting the silence settle between us before speaking again. "Is it mine?"
I tried not to bristle. In theory, he had the right to ask, but it didn't lessen the sting of the question. Not to mention, it was also fucking stupid. Why would I be here if it wasn't his?
"You keeping it?"
"What the fuck?"
Shrugging, he stared at me as if waiting for me to say more.
And I was doing the same thing: staring and waiting.
He knew. There's nothing else for me to say or do, but I couldn't move. I was pregnant, this baby was his. He owed me more than clipped conversation and hateful eyes when he knew all along and let me spend night after restless night agonizing on how to approach him.
"Is that all you have to say?" I asked.
"What were you expecting? Tears of joy?"
"Well, no. But I didn't expect you to be a dick about it either."
He snorted, scratching at his chin. "Yes, you did. I was a dick when you met me. And you knew I'd be a dick now. Why else would you wait two weeks after I already found out to come here?"
I got it now... at least a little bit. Whatever initial reaction he may have had, good or bad, must have thawed out.
"So now what?" I whispered, wishing my voice had more force to it.
"Now I get back to working on this car. And you call me if you need anything." He flipped the radio back on and went back to working on his car without saying another word to me.
There was so much I wanted to say, yet nothing at all. I'd given myself a pep talk the whole way here, and had a slew of things prepared to tell him in this moment. Disclaimers of just wanting him to know and not wanting to be a burden to him. Shit like that, that made me want to vomit the more I thought about it. This was his kid, too. Why the fuck is it so easy for guys like him to take an out when given to them?
"Don't worry, Ed," I shouted loud enough for him to hear me. "I won't call you. We don't need anything from you."
That night I sat on the couch with both Alice and Rosalie flanking my sides. Neither one of us said anything. What could we say? Ed hadn't technically rejected the baby or me but he didn't give me any indication that he wanted anything to do with us either.
It was the worst kind of rejection. As they say, the opposite of love isn't hate. It's indifference.
"You know we got you," Rosalie whispered.
I nodded, staying silent for fear that if I tried to speak I would actually start crying. My little family had been through this before, though back then we were scared sixteen-year-olds, who'd locked ourselves in my room wondering what was going to happen when our parents found out that Tanya was pregnant. This wasn't at all the same situation, but I could just as easily have been a scared sixteen-year-old girl for the way I was feeling right now.
"He'll come around," Alice said.
Both Rosalie and I whipped our head in her direction. Alice was rarely one for optimism and pep talks.
I almost didn't know what to say in response. "Are you high?" I asked.
A few beats of silence passed before the three of is started cracking up. As our laughter eventually died down, I dropped my head on Rosalie's shoulder. Alice leaned over on me, and I put my arm around her to bring her closer.
Neither one of my girls said anything but they didn't need to. I would be okay. We would be okay, I thought resting my hands on my small bump.
With or without Ed.
Being pregnant sucked.
Over the past six months, I'd read all the stories of how great pregnancy is and of the mothers that have that 'glow.' I wasn't so lucky. The experience had been terrible, and the glow I had was from sweating while I ate. With one month away from giving birth I was more than ready for this "experience" to be over. Everyone loved saying how I was 'all belly' but I couldn't fit into a thing I'd owned before. Not even by biggest t-shirts. And as far as having the energy to do anything … forget it.
The doorbell rang, bringing me out of my pity party. I groaned. I'd somehow managed to get flat on my back on my bed, and just hopping up like I used to do wasn't happening.
"I'm coming!" I shouted, hoping whoever it was would hear me. I knew it had to be another delivery. Even though I'd opted out of a baby shower—or maybe because I had— the girls, and my mother, constantly went overboard ordering crap online. I loved them. My tribe was coming through for me like they'd promised, and I only hoped things wouldn't change when a crying baby invaded their personal space.
I waddled to the door as fast as I could and frowned when I swung the door open and no one was on the other side. "Umm okay?" Something on the ground caught my attention, and my frown deepened when instead of a brown packaged box there were two large gift bags sitting next to the welcome mat.
Waddling further past the door and to the driveway, I stopped when I saw a tall figure with red hair leaning against a car I didn't recognize and staring up at the sky.
If possible my heart stopped and sped up at the same time.
He snapped his head open and widened his eyes when he saw me. "Bella?"
We were both idiots. Obviously, it was him and vice versa.
Instead of answering, though, I stared at him and noticed him staring wide-eyed at my belly. Instinctively, I threw my arms over my middle, pushing against a wayward kick, and took a step back. "What are you doing here?"
I had, after all, not seen or heard from him since the day in the garage. I didn't think he remembered where I lived. He certainly didn't act like anyone who had my telephone number.
"I—I wanted to talk to you," he stuttered out, eyes still on my stomach.
Pissed and vulnerable, I took a step back. I wish there was a way I could block him from staring.
"What about?" I asked.
"Can I come in?"
He didn't get to show up here after six months of radio silence and act like everything was okay.
"Please," he added in a whisper.
"I'm sure whatever you have to say will have the same effect out here."
"It'll only take a few minutes," he pleaded and as I was about to say no again, the look of complete desperation in his eyes stopped me.
The baby was going absolutely nuts, probably because my heart raced like crazy. But a part of me also wondered if Ed's nearness had something to do with it. Like if there was some sixth sense babies felt with their dad nearby
"Please, I know I owe you an apology."
We could go back and forth all day, I realized, but I had no energy for it.
Pursing my lips, I nodded. I didn't want anything to do with him right now. But it wasn't solely about me. I told myself that the entire way back inside my house and as we both walked in and stayed silent for nearly five minutes I kept repeating it in my head.
When I realized he wasn't making the move to say anything first, I made myself comfortable on the couch and turned the TV on. I also grabbed the nearest pillow and blocked my belly from his view. I'd already had enough of him staring at me like a freak.
I got through an entire episode of Judge Judy before he sighed, and out of the corner of my eyes, I noticed him taking his jacket off. "Can we talk?" he asked.
I muted the TV and turned to him, waiting. No way was I going to make this easy on him. If he had something to say, I literally had all day. The first move was his to make.
"I'm sorry about before."
'Before' could mean a lot of things. Showing up unannounced. Acting like a dick when I wanted to talk to him about the baby. It didn't matter. His apology was not accepted, nor was it even necessary at this point.
"It is what it is," I answered.
His eyes found the general direction of my stomach again even though he didn't have as good of a view of the protrusion behind the pillow. Almost on instinct, my eyes roamed over his body as well. He looked the same yet different. Different in the way anyone you haven't seen in months looks. And the same in that I had remembered him almost perfectly. Dreamt of him vividly in the past few months. Sometimes, in the dreams, I was fucking him. A few times I was strangling him. Now, it was hard being in the same room with him. This was only the third real time I'd breathed the same air as Ed and the first since I'd told him I was pregnant. Looking at him now, I realized he wasn't just rough around the edges—as they say—no, he was all rough edges inside and out.
"How are you feeling?"
I cocked an eyebrow at him, unimpressed. "Fine."
"Good. Good." He scratched at his left arm.
I furrowed my brows when the action moved some of his t-shirt sleeve up and I noticed two unmistakable patches. Then I took a better look at him and noticed that he had—this whole time—been chewing on a toothpick.
Recognizing those signs, curiosity edged away some of my hostility. "Trying to quit smoking?" I wondered.
"What? Oh … yeah." He patted his arm, over his shirt sleeve. "It kind of sucks."
"I've heard." I knew plenty of people who quit smoking. I didn't know anyone who had quit smoking and claimed it to be easy. "Have you tried vaping?" I cringed at how conversational I'd gotten so quickly and turned back toward the silent TV.
"I heard the smoke from that isn't good for babies either, so …"
I snapped my head toward him so quick that it took another second for my eyes to fully focus. "What?"
"I just—well, I figured you know." He ran a hand through his hair and averted looking in my direction. "I guess I figured if you let me see the baby that I shouldn't be smoking around it or anything. Or smoking at all really because … yeah."
Because yeah what? I wanted to ask, but I could only focus on the first part of his explanation. "If I let you see the baby?"
"You know what I mean."
"No, I don't know what you mean." My ire slowly rising, I sat up. "I'm not the one who went silent for the past six months. We haven't even spoken and if you had taken the time to get to actually speak to me you would know that I would have never said you couldn't see her!"
I expected an explosion—and indignant reply full of excuses on why he'd disappeared, why he was here now, what he wanted from me. None of it came.
"Her," he whispered. "It's a girl?"
He hadn't asked, and I hadn't wanted to volunteer what I considered privileged information. So far the only people who knew the sex of the babe were my girls and my parents. The one's who had actually been there for me.
"Do you—did you pick a name?"
"No." This was only a partial lie. I hadn't chosen a name yet, but I had a list of possibilities. A list, I decided, he wasn't privy to yet. Him being here today didn't mean shit if he only planned on flaking again.
"Will you tell me? When you do pick one?"
"No pressure. Just … you know."
No, I didn't know and clearly, words weren't either of our strong suits right now.
"What's in the bag?" I asked, needing a better distraction.
I dumped it out on the table before he had the chance to answer, and when I saw its contents, I smiled despite myself. There were a pack of red and black onesies, sized nine months. A pair of way too big bottles. Some formula. Blue pacifiers. A bunch of random baby shit. And a pair of white sneakers that looked large enough to fit a toddler. I realized—though I should have known—that Ed was clueless.
"You could use some of this stuff, right?" There was a hope in his eyes that a petty part of me really wanted to crush but I couldn't bring myself to.
"Definitely." I nodded. The baby kicked in what I assumed was her sending her own message. So I added, "Thank you."
Ed stared down at my stomach again, specifically to where I was touching. The hope in his eyes only magnified. "Do you think I can—would it be okay if I …" He reached his hand out.
I knew what he was asking, but I didn't want him touching me. "Maybe next time."
"Do you?" I pushed. "I mean, is there even going to be a next time? You haven't even offered me any explanation or a reason why you're here, or why you acted like a complete ass before."
He sighed, taking the toothpick out of his mouth only to put it between his lips again. "There's a lot more to why I stayed away than I can explain in the next hour; in the next day even."
"And why you're here now?"
"I can't explain that either."
Funny thing about asking that is I didn't need a reason why he stayed or why he was here. It would be nice but at that moment not as important as what I wanted to ask. He couldn't stop staring at my stomach so I grabbed a nearby throw pillow and brought it back to my middle.
"Are you planning on bailing again?"
"No!" he nearly shouted. "I am who I am, Bella. But I mean, that's my kid, right? I—I want a chance to be around."
"Okay? That's it?"
I rolled my eyes. "What else would there be? It doesn't matter how I feel. She's yours. I have no intention of keeping her from you."
He breathed a sigh of relief.
Not so fast.
"But, I will say this." I put a hand up to make sure I had his attention. "It's been over six months. You don't owe me anything, I get that. But it sucks that you could just … not be here either." Taking a deep breath, I shook my head. I wouldn't let myself get emotional about it. At least not in front of him. "If that's your M-O … if you think you're going to get by with seeing her every few months, that's not going to work. My kid isn't going to settle for any of that halfway shit. So you're either going to be all the way in or all out. If you want to be in her life, that's my only rule. Otherwise, you can just take me to court and fight me that way."
"No courts," he snapped, then took in a deep breath. "I don't want that. I want to be here. Period. I freaked the fuck out, I get that. But you have to understand, finding out you're having a kid you can't really take care of with a chick you barely know is … hard." He scratched at his shoulder again. "But, I swear, I want to be here. I want to try. I want the chance."
"Okay." I nodded, also trying to compose myself.
Labor sucked. It was so excruciating that I was convinced with absolute certainty I was either going to explode from the inside out or was giving birth to a vampire baby.
But now … now … made the past half day worth it.
"Edward, do you want to hold her," my mother offered when I didn't make an attempt to, all while throwing some side eye my way.
Maggie Marie Cullen was his. If he wanted to hold her, all he had to do was ask. Why did I have to coddle him into holding his own child?
"If that's okay," he whispered.
When I handed Ed our baby, he had one hand held under her head and the other under her bum but her body as a whole was inches away from his.
"No, like this," My mother instructed, bending his elbow and fixing Maggie's head in the crook of his arm. He adjusted her then looked at my mother, clearly for guidance, and she gave him an encouraging smile. "There." She nodded. "A natural."
I had to look away before either one of them could catch me rolling my eyes. He'd just met my mother and looked at her with all the respect he'd barely spared me.
As Ed held Maggie, I marveled at how tiny she looked in his massive, tattooed arms. But it was the look in his eyes that struck me most. Stung me to my core. He had a small smile at the corner of his lips but there was something in his eyes, something I hadn't seen since the day at the garage where I told him I was pregnant.
I hated him.
"Ed, just take the test."
It was easily the third time I'd asked him in just as many weeks to take a paternity test. Maggie was now a month old and no matter how many times he came over and spent time with her he still had that same doubtful look in his eyes. It took everything in me not to squirt milk in his eyes or simply gauge them out some days.
"Why not?" I pressed him. "Why are you so against it?"
"Why are you so for it?"
For the past five months, the majority of my days were spent on bed rest, staring at the TV and watching man after man deny their children on trashy talk shows. In some cases, the "kids" would actually be twenty-something to forty something-year-old adults crying over the sting of being denied their whole lives.
Ed was involved now, but fast forward twenty years I didn't want Maggie feeling like her father denied her for her entire life. Worse, what if he changed his mind about her when a new girlfriend came into the picture?
A simple test could assure that everyone knew the truth.
I did my best to explain that to him adding, "I see it in your eyes whenever you look at her. The doubt." I shook my head. "I don't want her to ever have to see it in your eyes, and I don't want you to ever think I would come up with a lie this big. She's yours. I just want you to be sure."
"But I am sure. She looks just like me."
"You say that now, but I know—"
"No, you don't know." He cut me off, nearly getting in my face. "You don't know me, okay? I've been a selfish motherfucker my whole life, Bella. I've never had to care about anyone but myself. And now ... I have a daughter." He jabbed his finger in the direction of her basinet. "I have a whole other human being depending on me not to be a fuck up. Not to do the exact thing I do best: ruin people's lives. You think you're seeing doubt. You don't know shit then because you're not seeing doubt. What you're seeing is fear. Fear of ruining her life. Fear of you realizing that I'm a complete piece of shit and fear of you taking her away from me for good. You. Don't. Know. Shit. So stop acting like you do."
He stomped out of my room when I didn't say anything in response, and I didn't go after him. It was one of the longest conversations we'd ever had. Too bad the vein in his neck looked like it was ready to burst throughout the entirety of it.
It was nearly an hour later when I left my room and only because I went looking for my breast pump. I stopped when I noticed his shadow outside. For the few times that he's been here, he always found his way out there.
I could see him leaning against the balcony and the small embers of the cigarette at the corner of his lips. I'd never thought much of him smoking or not smoking, but I was disappointed for him that he'd caved. I know, from what I can tell, that he'd really wanted to quit.
"You're still here," I whispered, pulling open the sliding glass door.
He jumped and threw his cigarette down … stomping at it wildly with his foot.
"Ed, relax. I'm not gonna bust you for smoking."
I walked to where he stood and leaned against the railing a few inches away from him. There was a small breeze wafting the smell of smoke my way. He'd definitely had more than one.
I kept thinking about what he'd said earlier. Then to his reaction when I came out here. I'd made it a point not to make it easy on him but it never dawned on me that I was making it hard.
I got why he was scared. I was too. I've been scared since the day I realized my period was late. But 'All parents are scared and all the time,' my mother had said to me. But did Ed have anyone in his life to tell him that? To talk him off the ledge when newborn blue eyes stared back at him like any movement or decision he made from here on out could change a life? The truth is, just as he'd pointed out, we didn't know shit about each other.
"Where's your mom?" I asked, straight and to the point. We'd never had this talk and I saw no point in trying to ease my way into it.
"She died when I was fifteen."
"And your dad?"
"I met him when I was fifteen." Looking at me he smirked and added, "You met him the day you came to the garage."
"Big, scary tattoo guy is your dad?"
"Carlisle Cullen in the flesh."
I guess that explains a little bit of why he knew I was looking for Ed the minute I walked in. Though only a little bit. "What did he say to you about all of this?"
Ed snorted. "He said, 'Son, if you're going to fuck up her life then don't bother getting into it.' At the time, he was only talking about you."
I didn't want to touch that subject. There was no he and I. We were barely friends. Barely even co-parenting at this point. "And about Maggie? What did he say?"
"First he told me congratulations. Then when he said, 'get all the fucking up out of your system before that baby gets here. Once it does everything you do matters.'"
I could only imagine what that advice entailed, and cringed a little thinking about all the things he felt he had to 'get out of his system' during his hiatus.
His father was right, in a way, everything he does matters, but only the things that can affect our kid. Even then … I shook my head, thinking back to his words from before. "About what you said earlier …"
Ed turned to face me, leaning his hip against the railing. "About me being a fuck up?"
"About me taking her away from you. That's not the first time you've implied that I would keep you away. Have I done anything to make you think that I would?"
He shook his head and pulled out a pack of smokes. I frowned at his hand.
"Sorry," he mumbled, sticking one behind his ear.
"It's okay. I just know how hard you're trying that's all."
"I'm a little stressed." He put the pack away.
"Because you think I'm going to run off?"
"It's what my mom did with me." He shrugged and turned away from me. I stared at his profile, waiting. Thankfully, he was too infuriating for me to focus on how gorgeous he was all the time. "My pops didn't even know I existed until my mom's funeral."
It's a story I really hoped he'd feel comfortable to confide in me one day but also one I really hoped he wouldn't get into now. I was exhausted and there was no way I would be able to give him the listening ear he deserved.
"I was pissed at her for a long time."
"I get it," I said, even though I really didn't. My parents fought for me to be here with everything they had and have been married for nearly forty years. Ed and my upbringing couldn't be more different, but there were some things we had in common.
"Everyone I know, including me, could be considered a piece of shit on paper," I said. "Look at me, I got pregnant by a guy hours after I met him. Not very admirable. And my parents?" I snorted. "How old do you think my mom is?"
Ed rolled his eyes. "I would never try and guess."
We both smiled a genuine smile at each other. "Fair enough," I sighed. "She was almost fifty when she had me." Well, when her surrogate had me, but the details are another story for another day. "According to her, everyone told her she was selfish for having a baby that late. My dad is older than her, not that healthy, and had a heart attack barely a year before they found their surrogate. To everyone around them, there was no way I would have a good quality of life with aging parents."
Ed frowned. "Sorry to hear that."
"Don't be. My childhood was amazing. I didn't know the difference, and neither will Maggie."
Bringing it back to our little girl made Ed look over his shoulder into the house. It almost made me smile how he always sought her out in some way.
"She's not going to care about what you look like on paper," I explained. "She won't even understand what a criminal record is until she's old enough to have one herself." He hadn't called that out, but it was easy to pick up on. One day we'd have to have this talk, but not right now. Not until it mattered. "What she's going to care about," I continued, "Is having a dad who plays tea party with her or teaches her how to catch. She'll be far more embarrassed at you grilling her first boyfriend, than—"
"She's never dating."
I snorted, rolling my eyes. "Anyway. My point is, be an amazing dad. Try your hardest. That fear you have? I have it, too, though in a different way, but it's the reason I know for a fact that you're going to be a good dad. Simply because you're afraid not to be."
After our talk, Ed still refused to take a paternity test, and even though some of the fear remained in his eyes, he seemed more at ease.
As the days passed and as Maggie started sitting up by herself, then crawling, to pulling herself up, and almost walking Ed was there for all of it. Never missing a moment, never missing the days he had with her.
Unfortunately, though, time didn't bring us any closer to being friends than we had been in the garage over a year and a half ago now. He didn't look at me like he hated me anymore, but when we talked; we kept it exclusively through texting. If we were in the same room, he would use Maggie as the buffer.
Like tonight, he was supposed to take her to his house for the weekend, but because it had been raining and cold and she was just coming off of flu, when he showed up at the door I begged him to spend time with her here instead. When I asked him, for the fifth time, if that was okay, he said, "Will you tell your mom to stop worrying?" While bouncing Maggie on his hip and never addressing me directly.
I wanted to scream.
Still, I appreciated that he'd agreed with no issue, so I pretended to be content to hide in my room and not get in the way of them spending solo time together.
Until Maggie started screaming.
I let it go for almost a ten seconds before I tore into the living room. Temporarily forgetting all the trust I had put in him.
"What the hell happened?"
"It's okay. It's okay." Ed bounced her, ignoring me. But Maggie caught sight of me and would not sit still, squirming and screaming out for me.
"What happened?" I asked again, taking her in my arms as Ed passed her to me.
"She fell." He blew out a breath and ran a hand over his face. "She was on the couch and rolled over or something. I don't know. I'm so sorry. I literally only got up to get something from the kitchen. I'm sorry."
"It's okay," I said to calm them both down. The color was completely gone from Ed's face and his whole body tensed. I couldn't pin point just one emotion in his eyes, but the panic stuck out the most.
After about two minutes, Maggie had calmed down and went back to trying to climb the couch. Ed wouldn't go near her.
"Kids fall, Edward. It's not that big of a deal." I rarely full named him but he needed to calm down.
"Yeah, no I know."
I tilted my head, realizing that no, he didn't know. "You mean to tell me she hasn't fallen at all while being at your house?"
"How is that even possible?"
"You mean she's falling here?"
"All the time." Though mostly more now in the past few weeks. Alice and Rose had both moved out, giving us more space, and Maggie more room to toddle around and walk into walls and shit.
"Oh." He immediately relaxed. "I mean, I know they say babies fall all the time, but seeing it in person is different."
"Yeah, the first time she took a nose dive off my bed I thought my heart stopped."
He pushed his hand to his chest, laughing. "I know the feeling."
Maggie babbled in our general direction, not one to be left out.
"Can we help you?" Ed sang.
She babbled some more throwing her hands in the air.
Seeing them together like this was worth everything. Being able to be part of it was priceless.
"So, umm … what are you getting ready to do?" Ed asked slowly.
I shrugged and pointed behind me to my room.
"Well, we were about to watch a movie. Stay out here and watch it with us."
It wasn't really a question or suggestion. Just a polite demand. He was still a dick, I don't know if that would ever change. But I guess this was his proverbial peace offering or the closest thing to one I'd ever get. Regardless, it was a good way to start over.
I rolled my eyes but quickly obliged, laughing softly to myself. I could feel it in the air, we were going to be okay.
"I'd love that."
There you have it! (For now). I'm definitely man enough to admit that in the interest of time I did cut this shorter than I'd originally planned. With that being said, while I'm hesitant to put it out there, I AM hoping to get an outtake or two out for this so much a full continuation, but a snippet or two to give better insight into everyone. Do I know when? Nope. Is it already written? Nope, but I've started writing one. So, just, ya know ... put it on alert and stuff!
Thank you so much for reading.
Until Next Time
Come check me out on Wattpad where I share other stories I'm working on. Username is Lolosofocused2