This is my second contribution to the Babies at the Border Fiction Compilation, 2019. I was going to hold off on posting it until St Patty's Day, but I think we could all use some happy right now. And a special thank you to all who were able to donate to such a worthy cause.
A huge thank you to jayhawkbb for editing this and to my prereaders, Fyrebyrd, 2brown-eyes, and Gabby1017. All of you ladies are amazing, and I appreciate all the time you put into making my words so much prettier. I heart you all. Xo. And the beautiful banner you can see in my facebook group and on Twitter was made by the beautiful LizziePaige. I heart you, too. Xo
**And please see the ending A/N for a fun announcement!
Title: A Night Out: A Duplicity Outtake
Disclaimer: The author does not own any of the publicly recognizable entities herein. No copyright infringement is intended.
Summary: Charlie is four months old, and Edward and Bella need some grown up time. A night at Cullen's Pub on St. Patrick's Day seems like just the thing. Takes place between the final chapter and epilogue of Duplicity.
A Night Out
"You ready to go, álainn?" Edward asks quietly from the doorway of Charlie's nursery.
I look over my shoulder and shake my head, then turn back toward the sleeping angel in his crib.
I sense him approach before I actually feel him. His hands run gently up my arms, and his touch soothes my nerves.
"You know he'll be okay, right? It's just for the night. Carmen has been with the kids from the beginning. And K is an excellent big sister. He'll be perfectly safe."
I turn in his arms, burying my face in his chest. "I know," I whisper. "It's just the first time we've both left him."
His soft chuckle makes me look up at him with a scowl. "It's not like we're leaving the country. Hell, we'll be in the same city, not even twenty minutes away." He lifts his hand to my chin, his thumb smoothing the irritated look from my face. "He'll be fine. I promise. And if there's a problem, I can guarantee you Princess will make sure we know."
I lay my head on his chest, turning it to face our son, sleeping soundly in his crib. "Okay," I relent. My shoulders fall as I sigh, and I feel defeated. "You're right."
"Of course, I'm right," he whispers into my ear. "Now, go get ready. I needed to be there an hour ago." He releases me and sends me on my way with a swift pat to my ass.
It's been just over four months since our son was born, and either Edward or I have been with him every moment of his life. I know we need some time to ourselves, but it doesn't make it any less difficult to leave my baby. Knowing his big sister and Carmen will be here is the only reason I'm even considering it.
I hurry through dressing, settling on jeans and the T-shirt I bought on a whim last week; a baseball style shirt with green sleeves and a white front with a shamrock and the words Sassy Lassie splayed across the chest. Skipping my usual, sensible sneakers, I opt for a pair of black ankle boots, feeling like dressing it up a bit.
After a final check in the mirror, I grab my ID and coat before heading downstairs. Carmen is already settled in to watch a movie with Kaitlin, a bowl of popcorn between them. My approach doesn't go unnoticed, and my daughter makes a production of saying goodbye.
"Mommy! You look so pretty!" She hops up from the sofa and tackles me with a hug. "Go have fun and don't worry about anything, okay? Charlie and me will be just fine. And I know what to do when he wakes up. Remember, you showed me how to give him a bottle and how to burp him? I've got this." Her sparkling eyes shine up at me as she continues to hug me as I brush her wild, blonde hair from her smiling face.
"I know, K. And I'm counting on you." As she crushes me in another hug, I look up into the eyes of my smirking husband. Something tells me he had something to do with Kaitlin's sudden compliments and reassurances.
I look over to Carmen. "I fed him just before I laid him in his crib. And there should be plenty of milk in the freezer, but if he needs—"
"He'll be fine, Mrs. Cullen. But if there are any problems, you'll be the first to know."
I nod and smile. "Okay. Thank you."
"Are we finally ready to go?" my ever-patient husband asks as he steps toward me, taking my jacket from my hand and holding it open for me.
"Yeah, I guess so," I say with a sigh, and Kaitlin releases me.
"We'll be fine, Mommy," she reiterates as she bounces back to Carmen's side, settling into the sofa.
"Thanks for sitting with them tonight, Carmen," I say to her as I slip my arms into my jacket. "We really appreciate it."
"It's nothing," she says with a dismissive wave of her hand. "I'm happy to do it. You two go enjoy yourselves, and don't worry about anything here."
After another hug for my girl, my husband finally drags me out of the house and into the fading evening light.
"You know," he says as he starts the car, "a guy starts to feel like second fiddle when his woman would rather stay home to watch cartoons and change diapers than spend a night out with him." I know he's teasing, but I hear just a hint of truth behind his words.
"I'm sorry. It's just really hard for me. I—"
He reaches across the center console to gently grasp my chin, his thumb gently silencing my lips. "I know, álainn. You don't need to explain it to me." His brow furrows, a wrinkle forming between them. "Promise me you'll try to relax tonight and remember you're my wife, too, not just K and Charlie's mom?"
"I'll try," I whisper as his thumb brushes over my bottom lip. Bracing a hand on my seat, he leans over until he's practically on top of me and devours my mouth with his. His tongue moves against mine, kissing me like he hasn't for a very long time. His free hand wanders, trailing down my side and gripping my hip before moving under me to squeeze my ass.
He slowly pulls away, sitting back into his seat and swiping his thumb over his lips before adjusting himself. "Good." He puts the car into gear and pulls out onto the road. "Besides, with the way your ass looks in those jeans tonight, I'm going to have a hard time thinking of you as somebody's mother."
The pub is crowded and hopping when we finally arrive. The atmosphere is festive and light, and the green beer is flowing. People are everywhere—crowded around the bar and tables, lined up at the dartboards, and gathered around the televisions to watch one of the last basketball games of the season. We're greeted enthusiastically by some of the regulars as we make our way through the crowd toward our usual booth.
"Eddie! Bella!" Emmett yells when he spots us. Judging by his glassy eyes, he's been here a while.
"Em," Edward says in greeting, giving his brother a hug when we reach the table. "And Rose," he says, leaning over to kiss her cheek. "You look lovely this evening." He sheds his coat, revealing his white, Cullen's Pub t-shirt and dark-wash jeans.
It's a nice change to see him so relaxed. Most days he's all business, and the easy-going, wide smile he's sporting tonight is something I rarely get to see. When his bright eyes meet mine and he sends a wink my way, I get butterflies in my stomach. Maybe this kid-free evening won't be so bad.
After greetings all around, I slip into the booth first and Edward follows, and we start on our first round of drinks. It's a special night, so we go straight for the bottle of Jameson already on the table. It's not unusual for Edward to start with whiskey; he often has a glass in the evenings. It's been a while since I've indulged, though. It burns on the way down, but as I sip a bit more, I begin to appreciate the smoothness. It's during our second round that I realize Rose has been sipping on a soda since we arrived.
"You the DD tonight?" I ask over the raucous noise of the crowd, my brow raised in suspicion.
"Yeah," she says with a nod, leaning closer. "He's been under a lot of stress, so I told him to let loose tonight."
I sit back in my seat and take a drink from my glass, not convinced. I lean in again, prompting her to do the same. "Cut the shit, Rose. We both know you could have one of their guys drive you home tonight." I glance over at my brother-in-law, who's thoroughly engrossed in a conversation with my husband and another man before looking back at Rose, raising an eyebrow. "Does he know yet?"
Her eyes widen in surprise then shift to her husband before narrowing on me. "No," she hisses. "And I'm not telling him yet. Please don't say anything." Her tone is pleading.
I raise my hands, my palms facing her. "I wouldn't. But don't keep it from him too long, okay? He needs to know sooner than later."
She smiles and shakes her head. "No, I'm not planning to keep it from him." At the sound of Emmett's boisterous laugh, she looks toward her husband and then turns back to me. "But tonight is probably not the night to spring it on him. He had quite a head start before you guys got here, so he might not even remember it."
I nod my head. "Yeah, you're probably right." I lift my glass and tilt it toward her. "Here's to a night so good you're the only one who remembers it." With a wink from me and a laugh from her, we toast to the night to come.
I start to feel the effects of the whiskey pretty quickly and let Edward know I'm switching to beer for the rest of the night. He waves a hand, getting the attention of our server. He orders Guinness on tap for all of us and two Irish Car Bombs for his brother and himself.
"Were you going to ask me what I wanted?" I ask, only slightly teasing as the waitress walks away.
"There's no way I'm gonna let my wife drink that cheap, nasty, green piss beer." He looks down at me and grins. "And besides, you said you were done with the whiskey for the night. Do you want me to order you one? I can call her back over here."
I shake my head and smile. "No, I should stick to the beer."
And as if on cue, the waitress returns with our drinks. "Here you go, gentlemen." She places the glasses on the table, and we all reach for ours.
I sip mine, but Edward and Emmett do what they always seem to do, make it a contest to see how fast they can down theirs.
"On three," Emmett yells. "One, two!" Before he counts three, Emmett drops his Irish cream and Jameson shot into his glass of Guinness and tips it back.
"You fucker!" Edward shouts, laughing as he drops his and tips back his own pint. They both chug as fast as they can, but Emmett sputters just enough for Edward to catch up. Watching Edward is mesmerizing; I can't stop staring at his Adam's apple bobbing up and down as he swallows.
He's the first to slam his empty glass on the table. "Ha! In your face, you cheatin' fucker!" he shouts, pointing at his younger brother.
Rose and I shake our heads and laugh at their childish antics.
"Think these two will ever grow up?" Rose asks me, thumbing in their direction.
I shake my head. "I doubt it." I smile, thinking about how seldom they get to kick back and relax, just act like regular guys.
They manage to finish their second Guinness and are ordering their third before I've even finished my first.
"Another round, Wendy," Edward shouts to our waitress. He turns to me, eyeing my glass. "You think you'll be ready for another soon?"
I shrug, watching our waitress practically salivate over my husband. She must be new, because I don't remember seeing her in here before. "Yeah, probably," I finally answer.
"Rose, you sure you're sticking to soda tonight? You don't want something else?" he asks our sister-in-law.
She shakes her head. "No, I'm good."
"Three more, then, Wendy."
"Sure thing, Mr. Cullen."
He dismisses her by turning back to the conversation at the table, but her eyes are still trained on him, and she just … stands there.
She's a cute, little thing, with her blonde hair in braided pigtails and a headband—adorned with shamrocks on the ends of two bouncing springs—on her head. She's wearing what I would expect anyone to wear who's trying to get decent tips while serving drinks to ogling men—cutoff shorts and a short, skin-tight t-shirt that shows off her six-pack abs. It's obvious she hasn't had any kids. She's probably more than a few years younger than me, and the way she's eyeing her boss—my husband—sends my hackles up.
"That'll be all, Wendy," I repeat.
"Of course, Mrs. Cullen." She snaps out of her daze and smiles before waltzing away toward the bar, disappearing into the crowd.
"Could she be any more obvious?" I ask with just enough bite in my tone for Edward to notice.
He turns his head toward me and cocks a grin. "You jealous, álainn?"
Instead of answering him, I reach for the bottle still on the table and pour myself another shot. "No, not at all." I tip back the glass, and the burn isn't nearly as intense as I need it to be. Apparently, what I've already drunk is taking effect.
He leans in close, his face nuzzling into my neck. "You have nothing to be jealous of. You know this. You're the one who has my heart." He reaches for my hand and places it on his chest, right over where my tattoo lays under his shirt. His eyes shine with their tipsy haze, and I can't fight my smile.
I stretch up just enough to kiss him. "Yeah, and you have mine, too."
Wendy returns with our drinks, and Edward doesn't spare her another glance. I grin over the rim of my glass, bringing it to my lips as I watch her wait a beat too long at our table.
"Was there something else, Wendy?" I ask, snapping her out of her Cullen-induced stupor.
"Oh, no, ma'am. Is there anything else I can get you?"
I smile, but it's forced, and I'm sure I look the part of the raging bitch I feel like at the moment. "No, just keep 'em coming."
Her smile mirrors my own. "Sure will."
I watch as she goes back to her job, bouncing her perky, smiley self between tables. I'm so tense, it hardly registers when Edward grabs my thigh and squeezes tightly.
"Knock it off, would ya?"
"What? What am I doing?"
"You're being ridiculous." He turns his head and scans the room before getting close enough to talk directly into my ear. "That girl has nothing on you."
I scoff, picking up my pint glass and taking a healthy sip. Rose cocks an eyebrow at me form across the table, asking in her own way if things are okay. I return the look.
"Is the band set up outside?" I yell over the noise.
Edward and Emmett nod their heads as my husband checks his watch. "They should be getting started soon."
"You wanna go listen?" Rose asks, her smirk firmly in place as her eyes dance between Edward and me.
"Yes, I do." I grab my coat and raise a brow at Edward. "Could you please let me out so Rose and I can go out to the tent?"
Edward smiles and shakes his head before leaning in and talking into my ear. "If you think I'm letting you out of my sight tonight, you're out of your feckin' mind." He grabs his glass and unfurls himself from the booth. He extends a hand for me once he's on his feet, helping me to mine. Even standing in my heels, he towers over me. "Lead the way, beautiful."
Edward's hand never leaves my back as we weave our way through the crowd, ducking the elbows and outstretched hands holding onto that God-awful green beer. Fortunately, we make it out to the rear parking lot unscathed. The oversized tent is set up, and the band is just about to launch into their set.
The crowd is lubed up and cutting loose before a single note has been played; the additional ticket-taking beer stations located out here are making sure of it. But the moment the music starts, the crowd is electrified.
The local band, Erin OG, plays song after song, and the crowd loves it. We sing along to the ones we know, and to most we don't. During the ballads, Edward stands behind me as we sway together to the music. In his haze, he indulges in just enough PDA to get me all wound up.
When the song changes to the band's rendition of Hills of Connemara, the crowd goes crazy, dancing and singing along. The women who aren't quite so inebriated eye my husband, and I try to give them my best bitch-brow. They hardly notice. I turn in Edward's arms and wrap my own around his neck. I stake my claim the only way I know how, by locking lips with him and kissing him like our lives depend on it.
Edward, completely unaware of what's going on outside our little bubble, eats it up. His hands wander to my behind, and he pulls me tightly to him as he practically devours me where I stand. One hand creeps up my spine, finally settling at the base of my neck, his long fingers woven into my hair, holding me in place. His lips break from mine, but don't leave me, only moving to my neck and up my jaw until they reach my ear. His whiskey-warm breath wafts over my skin. "You wanna take this to my office?"
I smile against his neck. "Your office, huh?" I pull away to look up at him, a smirk on my face. "So romantic."
He grins in return, his glassy green eyes dark and hooded. "It's either that or I fuck you over the counter over there." He nods his head in the direction of the booths handing out bottle after bottle of beer. "Besides," he continues, "I don't think I've ever properly introduced you to my desk."
"Your desk?" I grin up at him. My head is swimming from the alcohol, and I'm feeling a little less inhibited than usual, especially in public. I allow my hands to do a little wandering of their own, eventually settling right over the hardness straining against his zipper.
He moves impossibly closer, pulling me tightly to him with the hand still firmly holding on to my ass. "Let's just say I'd love to see how you look spread out over it." His lips nip at the skin behind my ear, and I'm putty in his hands.
He releases me, but reaches out and laces his fingers with mine, tilting his head in the direction of the building. "Come on."
And like the dutiful wife I try to be, I follow him. We duck and dodge dancing and drinking patrons as we fumble our way out of the tent. He drags me to the rear entrance of the building and searches his pockets for his keys, all while trying to kiss me into oblivion.
He must finally get the key into the lock, because one moment we're standing at the door, and the next, we're stumbling through it.
"You okay?" he asks as his hand moves to my head, checking to make sure I didn't hit the wall when we nearly fell.
"I'm good," I reply, breathless.
I squeal as he lifts me into his arms, wrapping my legs around his waist and pressing my chest against his. He stalks through the dark halls of the pub toward his office, his lips never leaving mine. We must pass a storage room or the cooler, because the sound of breaking glass startles us apart.
With our chests heaving, we look for what interrupted us. None other than our waitress extraordinaire, Wendy, stares back at us, her eyes wide. "Mr. Cullen! I didn't expect you to be back here."
"Well, it's my bar after all, isn't it? Is there some reason I shouldn't be back here?"
She shakes her head so fast her pigtails slap her in the face and those cartoonish, spring-suspended shamrocks bounce all over the place. "No, sir. I guess I just wasn't expecting it."
Edward lifts me just a little higher and holds me a little tighter, turning back toward our intended path and yelling over his shoulder. "And you'll be paying for that busted bottle, Wendy. That shit ain't cheap."
I giggle like a loon as he carries me through the dark halls toward his office.
"You think that was funny?" he asks, his own laughter kept just at bay as he slaps my ass.
"Yeah, I do, actually." I look up into his eyes, glazed and so happy right now, not a bit of worry or stress in them. Nothing like the last several months. "Can you blame me? That bitch has been eyeing you all night." My grin widens. "She just dropped a bottle of Johnny Walker Blue, if I'm not mistaken." The more I talk, the more incensed I become, and the louder my voice gets as I shout over his shoulder in the direction of the storage room. "Serves her right to lose a chunk of her tips for ogling my man."
All Edward does is laugh at my crazy, jealous rant. "Ogling your man, huh?" His cocky grin is enough to tell me he's egging me on, and I just so happen to feel like playing with him.
"Yes, ogling you." My grip on him tightens, and I pull him closer, his lips just a breath away from my own. "You're mine to ogle, Mr. Cullen. Only mine."
The jingle of his keys isn't even enough to distract me from his intense look. "All yours," he practically growls just before his lips latch onto mine.
His office door flies open, and just as suddenly, it closes behind us, the click of the lock barely audible over the sound of our heavy breaths as our mouths stay fused. His arm shoots out and blindly slaps against the wall, flipping a switch and illuminating a lamp in the corner. He walks us toward his desk and sets me down almost roughly, his larger frame engulfing me. His hands are everywhere, my hands are everywhere, and we can't seem to get naked fast enough.
Shirts are stripped off. Pants are unbuttoned and unzipped, his pulled to his knees and mine completely gone, with the discarded clothes lost to the dark corners of his office.
He reaches past me to sweep aside the few items on his desk. With the same care he always has, he lays me down carefully, but his firm hold on me never falters. He pulls me by my hips to the edge of the desk, and his heated gaze locks with mine.
"Christ," he murmurs as he pulls away just enough to look down my body. His hungry gaze returns to mine. "You get more beautiful every day." His thumb grazes my bottom lip, and he watches his fingers trail a path down the column of my throat, over the lace between my breasts and past my stomach. Finally, those fingers reach their destination, finding me wet and ready, throbbing for his attention. My eyes close and roll back into my head as he slides his long, dexterous fingers in and out of me, his thumb circling my clit, playing me like the finely tuned instrument I am in his hands. He touches and teases until neither of us can stand it another second. Suddenly, his touch is gone, and my eyes fly open. I look down and watch as he grips his cock, giving it a few long and firm pumps. "You'd better hold on to something."
With no other warning, he pushes forward, sinking into me so swiftly, so powerfully, the desk moves a few inches across the floor, and we both groan. The initial feeling of him being inside me, filling me, always gives us both pause, and we both still. But that moment of quiet bliss is quickly replaced when he pulls back and slams into me.
"Fuck, baby." He reaches over my head and laces his fingers with mine, holding our joined hands against the desk as he continues to thrust. "You like that?" he asks, his breaths heavy.
I can't answer, only whine out an unintelligible response. All of my inhibitions are lost to me as my orgasm begins to build. My ankles lock behind his back and my legs squeeze him more tightly to me.
One of his hands slips from mine and pulls down the lace cup of my bra, pushing the nursing pad out of the way, surprising me. "Edward, that's—"
"Shh. It's just me, beautiful. I just want a taste."
"You kinky bastard."
He chuckles, and I close my eyes as his lips find my nipple. The feeling is oddly erotic, forbidden. As his tongue snakes out to taste, my back arches off the desk. The sensation is enough to send me flying.
"That's it, baby. Who makes you feel this good?" His thrusts never falter as he pushes me higher and higher until I finally scream out, the pleasure of my orgasm making me arch off the desk.
Before I can gather my senses, he pulls out, leaving me cold and empty. His chest heaves in the dim light of the room as he looks around, finally zeroing in on a folded quilt on the arm of the small sofa along the wall.
He reaches out and grabs it, turning back to me. "Turn around." His words are gruff, gravelly, and what I imagine sex to sound like if it had a voice.
On weak and wobbly legs, I do as he commands, but before I can lie down against the desk, he slips the soft quilt between me and the hard edge.
He gathers my hair in one hand, pushing it over one shoulder, and runs his nose up my neck, his lips leaving a hot trail on my skin. "Bend over and give me that sexy ass of yours," he growls in my ear.
He nudges my feet apart with his own, and with my hair held in one hand, he uses the other to guide me to lie down. My breasts meet the surface, now warmed by our bodies, and the heat of him at my back does delicious things to me. His hand runs up my spine and settles at the base of my neck, holding firmly as he pushes his way back inside me. This time, there is no pause, no savoring the moment. No, this time he's relentless, and his pace is punishing as we both chase our release.
With shaky limbs, I do my best to hold myself upright. I rise up onto my tiptoes to meet his thrusts, and my calves burn under the strain. My hands reach for the other side of the desk, my fingers digging into the wood as I hold on for dear life.
He releases my hair and grips onto my hip instead, his other hand still firmly holding the back of my neck as he pounds into me.
"Fuck, fuck, fuck," he chants. His thrusts become erratic, and I know he's getting closer. I turn my head, and my eyes just happen to fall on the full-length mirror on the wall. While usually used to make sure my husband's appearance is acceptable for his many meetings, this time it's giving me a glorious view of our nearly naked bodies spread out over his desk.
Watching us, I see his face screw up in pleasure as he pistons into me from behind, his abdominals contracting with each thrust, and his strong arms holding me in place. It's enough to send me crashing into my second orgasm.
The pleasure is so overwhelming I can't keep my eyes open to watch him fall apart. Spots cloud my vision as I feel him pulse inside me, our voices a combination of a keening moan and a deep groan so loud I worry the patrons will hear us over the music.
Tremors of pleasure run through me, and we lie there, our breaths in time with each other, as we come down from the high.
The warmth of his kisses trails along my shoulder and up the side of my neck. "I love you," he whispers.
I turn my head and smile when his face is right there. "I love you, too."
Our lips meet in an awkwardly angled kiss, and my giggles come back. His cocky smirk returns, and his glassy eyes shine with a relaxed happiness I don't often get to see.
"I'm never gonna be able to sit at my desk and not think of this, álainn." He kisses the side of my head and pulls out of me as he moves to stand.
I close my eyes and hum in contentment, absolutely happy to sleep right here for the night. My head is still a little fuzzy from the several drinks I've had. Every bit of stress left my body with the two intense, fuck-awesome orgasms I just had, and the alcohol pumping through my system is making it impossible to open my eyes.
Water runs somewhere in the distance, the sound soothing. The clomp of his boots as Edward nears rouses me from my dreamlike state. My eyes flutter open, and I watch him as he steps closer with a warm and damp washcloth in hand. When it touches between my legs, I practically purr.
"Mmhmm." I sigh and close my eyes again.
He's quick, but his ministrations are gentle as he cleans me up. He places a kiss to the back of my neck before stepping back toward the washroom. "How much longer do you want to stay?"
"Can't we just sleep here?" I mumble.
He laughs, making me smile.
"Come on, my sexy drunk."
"Drunk on you," I murmur.
He laughs again as he steps behind me, trying to help me back into my panties, but I'm too limp to cooperate.
"Stop," I whine. "I'm absolutely serious about staying here."
Undeterred, he continues helping me into my jeans. "And just where would we sleep?"
My fingertips rise from the desktop, waving in an over there direction. "On that comfy sofa your amazing wife insisted you needed."
"You're amazing, yes, but we're not staying here tonight, Bella."
"Why not?" I huff a breath, still unwilling to move. My eyes open, and I'm ready to argue with him about the advantages of stowing away in here for the night, but when they do, they fall on the framed photograph on his desk.
The four of us, just hours after Charlie was born, are huddled on my hospital bed. Beaming faces shine back at me, and I'm reminded of our precious angels waiting for us at home.
I reach out and grasp the frame, smiling as I bring it closer. My perception may be a little fuzzy, but I don't need perfect vision to see the love captured in this image.
"Oh, Edward," I whisper. "I didn't know you had this on your desk." I rise up on my elbows and then stand, turning to lean against the edge. I look up at my husband. "I didn't think you liked having personal pictures in your office."
He shrugs. "Just wanted a reminder of what a lucky man I am."
With absolutely no forethought, I fling myself toward him, stumbling less than gracefully into his arms, and attack his mouth. His arms wrap around me, and his hands span my still nearly naked back as I press against his bare chest.
We don't leave his office until the band is playing their final set.
"Where did you two sneak off to?" Rose yells over the music.
Edward is standing behind me with his arms wrapped around me, swaying back and forth as the music plays.
"I needed to take care of something. Bella wanted to come along," my husband answers for both of us. He brings his clear plastic cup to his lips, smiling over the rim as he stares straight ahead at the stage.
"Yeah, okay. I really don't want to know, do I?"
I tilt my head back and look up at my smirking husband. When I turn back to her, I shake my head. "No, Rose, you probably don't."
The car pulls to a stop, and I jerk awake. "Oh!"
"We're home, álainn." He kisses the side of my head as I get my bearings. He reaches for the door handle and opens it, stepping outside first before offering me his hand to help me from the backseat.
I take a wobbly step forward and into his arms while he speaks to Rose. "Yeah, I'll call you tomorrow about picking up my car. Maybe I can get one of the guys to bring it back."
"We can figure it all out tomorrow. You two have a good night."
"Bye, Rose," I murmur against Edward's chest. His chuckle rumbles against my ear just before he crouches down to sweep me off my feet. I nuzzle closer as he carries me into our home.
The lights are off, and everything is quiet. We pass the living room and turn toward the staircase, heading for our bedroom. When he reaches our door, I stop him from walking through it.
"I want to see my babies," I whisper.
He sighs, exasperated, but he indulges me anyway. First, he carries me into Kaitlin's room and sets me on my feet.
I lean over her sleeping form and kiss her forehead. Her blonde lashes flutter against her cheeks, and her eyes shift under her lids while she dreams.
"Sweet dreams," I whisper. I pull her blankets up higher and leave her with another kiss.
With his hands on my hips, Edward helps to steady my shaky steps as he walks behind me to Charlie's room.
Sprawled out in his crib, his tiny fists resting on the mattress on either side of his head and his legs akimbo, he sleeps soundly. He's so beautiful it almost hurts.
"Look what we made," I whisper, suddenly feeling emotional.
Edward laughs softly behind me and gathers me in his arms, kissing the side of my head. "We certainly did. Now come on, beautiful. I need to get you to bed."
Afraid to disturb my son's peaceful slumber by giving him a kiss, I settle for kissing my fingers and placing them on his slowly rising and falling chest. "Sweet dreams, baby boy."
"Come on." Edward gently tugs on my hand and pulls me toward the door.
With fumbling fingers and unbalanced feet, we manage to undress each other and tumble into bed.
"Thank you for taking me out tonight," I say into his chest. "I had fun."
A laugh rumbles from his chest, and I smile as he kisses the top of my head. "Me too. We need to do that more often." He tilts my chin up to look into my eyes. "I love our kids, but it's nice to spend time just the two of us." His glassy green eyes search mine. "You mean everything to me."
And even though the heat we shared earlier is still there, simmering under the surface, we're both content to fall asleep in one another's arms.
A/N: I hope you enjoyed this fun peek at these two. I kind of miss them. A sequel for this one is never far from my mind, so be sure to follow me, just in case these two start talking to me again.
So, I had a passing thought yesterday morning, and I'd love to hear what you think of it.
All of us, in one way or another, are being affected by COVID-19. Be it mandated physical, social distancing, school closings, empty shelves at the grocery store, in the case of some nations—on total lockdown, or the actual illness. I think we should be looking for ways to have some fun! So let's make some fun.
Locally, schools and libraries have been closed, and large gatherings have been cancelled until at least early April. Which means the kibosh has been put on my St Patty's day plans. How many of you would like to help me celebrate here at home?
Does a live FB feed here in my group on my Tuesday evening sound like any fun? We could talk fic, what WIPs you're reading, questions or rants about any of my stories. Anything to feel like we're still in touch with each other. I'm also thinking of making a list of secret key words, that if mentioned in a comment or question, would equal me taking a shot. It would be a watered down version of my cancelled plans. LOL. Those of you out there who have my personal contact info could call in and be part of it, too.
This question was posed in my group, and I got a fairly promising response to it. If you'd like to join in on the fun, come join my Facebook group, Sunshine Fics. Barring any problems, I think a 7 pm EST (New York time) live feed would work for me. So, check an online time zone chart to see when that would be for you. I hope to see you there!
And you can also find me on Twitter at CSunshine1220. Thanks so much for reading and stay well, my friends!
Lots of love