Author's Note: I'm back! I've been MIA for a while and I apologize. The last two years of my life have been hard. I am still having issues typing and trying not to be in pain (I was in a car accident and broke my arm which I didn't think was a big deal however the healing isn't going as I expected and I'm in pain all of the time. my hand and wrist swell if I use them too much. I have shooting pain up to my shoulders. It's unbearable sometimes. I've seen multiple doctors but everything is "normal." Here it is 2018 and the US is int he middle of a huge opioid epidemic and I have told each of the doctors I don't want medicine. They have all looked at me like I have seven heads. I'll take over the counter drugs to dull the pain but I want to know why I'm in pain. I don't want to mask it. I'm off my soap box now! Sorry for the rant!).
This is a re-write of a story I never finished. Don't know if I pulled it from this site or if I never published it. It was on what is now Stars Library but I will be removing it soon.
For those of you who were reading Changes in Life, I still want to edit and rewrite the story. I don't know when or if that will happen soon but it will at some point.
Thank you for reading. Please let me know what you think.
"I Edward Anthony take you Isabella Marie to be my better half. To have and hold for the rest of our lives and beyond. You are my person Bells. You complete me and make me whole. You get me and understood me in ways no one else does. You always have, at least since we were children. I will never let you down and I promise to fall in love with you a little more each day while we navigate through life side by side. In sickness and in health and happiness and times that are trying, I take you to be my wife."
"Bella! Where are my pants? The grey ones that I just had altered? Bells?" Edward shouted from across the hall. His voice jolted Bella. She had just woken up in the nursery from a feeding in the middle of the night. She gently placed Seth back into his crib and pats his back and watched him sleep for a second and then walked out of the room.
Bella walked over to Edward's closet and grabbed his pants from the rack. She walked them to her husband who was standing in the bathroom with a towel around his waist while he shaved. At one time she'd tear off the towel and make love to her husband. At that particular moment she was annoyed with him. "Are these the ones you were looking for? They were the first pair of pants hanging up. Did you even look?"
Edward put his razor down and grabbed the hanger from his wife. "I did look, I swear. I'm just running late. I told Jessica I'd pick her up in twenty-five minutes and I'm only half ready."
Looking at her husband confused, Bella turned to him as he got dressed. "Jessica? Why are you picking her up? She owns a car, right?" Jessica went to high school back in Forks with both Edward and Bella. It was well known to almost everyone in their small class that she had feelings for Edward. Years later she was hired at the law firm to be his assistant. Bella could swear that Jessica was still attracted to Edward. Edward thought Bella was ridiculous with her assumption. He didn't see what some thought was clearly in front of him.
"It's in the shop. She'll pick it up tonight," Edward replied.
"Well Seattle has a great Metro system. She could take that," Bella suggested as she leaned against the wall.
Rolling his eyes, Edward looked at his wife as he buttoned his shirt. "Don't do this Bella. I don't have time to go through this again. Your better than that. I must get going. She lives across the city. It's going to take me forever to pick her up."
Bella nodded as she played with the belt to her robe. She looked up at Edward. "I bought sea bass for dinner. I am going to make that chive butter you like and-"
Edward finished buttoning his shirt and grabbed his jacket from the chair in the bedroom. Bella followed him. "I more than likely won't be home tonight. That case is dragging on. I don't know if Marcus is going to suggest another witness. I don't know what is going to happen. I don't know what strategy he is using and this isn't my only case." Edward had been promoted at Cullen and Brandon Law. His Aunt Jane and Uncle Marcus had started the firm after they graduated from law school. After Edward graduated from law school he was hired at the firm as well as his cousin Alice, the daughter of Jane and Marcus. Cases had come and went and weren't too tiring. The case that Edward was now working on was trying and stressful. A twenty-two-year-old intern had been raped by her supervisor who was a state representative. The representative knew people and had connections of course which was one reason why the case was so difficult. Edward work very hard with his uncle on the case. Even Jane was popping in and out to give her feedback and insight.
"When do you think you'll be home? I can have a late dinner and wait for you to come home?" Bella offered even though she knew what his answer would be.
Putting his jacket on, Edward looked at his wife. "I'm not sure. Maybe 10? I'm hoping it's not too much later. I can't wait for this case to be over." He leaned down and kissed Bella. "I love you and I will see you later. Kiss Seth for me." He said as he left their room, ran down the stairs and outside to his car.
Just like that, Bella was left standing alone in her bedroom wondering if she had a reason to be worried about her marriage.
"No! You remember it wrong!" Bella laughed as she sat at lunch with Alice. Since she wasn't dealing with the caseload that her parents and Edward had she had free time to spend lunch with Bella.
Shaking her head Alice corrected her friend. "Oh I remember everything! That was the year we were in high school. Jasper was caught skipping class and tried to blame me which I of course had nothing to do with. He skipped school to spend the day with Charlotte. Everyone thought they were fooling around which would have been such a Jasper thing to do because he was a player."
"He was such a player! He was a man slut!" Bella laughed as she chuckled about her brother when they were younger. She loved her brother but the truth was in high school and part of college he liked to sleep around and fool around. Jasper enjoyed playing the playboy card however when push came to shove he was always there for Bella. He never let her down.
Alice nodded in agreement. Growing up she and Jasper never got along. They couldn't stand each other. Jasper was on the rebellious side while Alice was a stickler for the rules. As they grew up and went to different colleges, they grew apart. It was while they began to spend time together because of Bella and Edward's wedding they became friendly. Jasper had long changed his ways and Alice found him charming even though she would never admit it to anyone. They both lived in Seattle like Bella and Edward. They occasionally dated and spent a lot of time together. No one in either family new about their new-found friendship and for now they wanted to keep it that way. "He was such a jerk back then."
"I'll give you a player but not a jerk. He really cared about the people in his life," Bella corrected her as she placed her son in the carrier. He had just fallen asleep again.
As Alice sipped her drink she looked up at Bella. "That's enough visiting down memory lane for now. What's going on with you? Anything exciting?"
"Afraid not. I feel like I'm living the life of a single mother. Edward and I only see each other briefly in the morning before he leaves for work. Half of the time we end up arguing. I end up falling asleep on the couch but end up in our bed when I get up to feed Seth. I know he's working hard but Alice, I miss him," Bella explained.
Shaking her head, Alice began to speak. "It must be hard. This case has been a bitch. I'm relieved I'm not working on it. My parents are on the case nonstop as is Edward. We all do gather in the morning to talk about it from different angles. Every time they think they will go one-way, Representative Biers pulls punches with his fake witnesses and alibis. Both mom and dad have said they have never represented a case like this. Victoria is so fragile. I'm afraid what will happen if they lose the case."
"I feel sorry for her, but I'd like to have my husband back," Bella whined.
Reaching across the table, Alice squeezed Bella's hand. "Don't worry. It has to end sometime."
Bella nodded and then continued. "What's up with Jessica? Her car was in the shop?"
"So, she says. She always has these episodes and askes for Edward's help. He is annoyed, but you know him, he can't say no. It's like he likes helping the helpless you know meaning her. I don't even know why dad hired her. I told him not to. He insisted she had good references and we needed the help. She hasn't changed sine high school. She's the same," Alice told her friend.
"I don't like the sounds of that. I wish she would just go away," Bella said biting into her salad.
Alice smiled. "Are you jealous? Do you actually think my cousin would do something with that piece of trash? You are sadly mistaken my friend. He has his eyes set on only one woman and I'm looking across at her."
Taking a deep breath, Bella leaned back into the chair. "I know you are right, but she makes me so insecure. I hate this. I hate never seeing him. I hate that he just can't say no. I think Seth is starting to forget him."
"I promise when this is over I'll make my parents give him a bonus and make him take time off. Seth is only going to be little for so long," Alice observed.
"I know and that's what makes me sad. He is missing out on so much. I am being selfish because I want my husband? Am I too needy?" Bella questioned.
Alice shook her head. "No and he'll be home before you know it. Mark my words."
"When am I going to see my grandson? He must be huge by now! Is he walking yet?" Charlie Swan exaggerated to his daughter over the phone. He had been down to visit Bella's family in Seattle not too long ago, but he liked when she was home. He liked having a full house which was something he had been missing. Being empty nesters now, he and Sue missed their children in and out of the house.
Rolling her eyes, Bella answered her father as she rocked her baby. "Is this where Jasper gets being over dramatic from? From you?" She paused as both she and her father chuckled. "Maybe in a few weeks? Edward has been working on that really big case and I haven't seen him. We haven't spent any time together. I don't see him any more dad."
Charlie understood in a way how Bella felt. Although he wasn't a lawyer, he was the chief of police in the sleepy town of Forks where Bella and Edward grew up. The crime rate was extremely low however he used to work long shifts and too was away from his family. He didn't like it, but it was part of his job. He longed for a real nine to five job sometimes, especially when that meant he missed his children's school activities. He sighed and began to speak to his daughter. "Honey I know it's frustrating, but it'll get better. The case is more than half way over. Edward will be back in your hair in no time. Just be patient. He's doing the best he can."
"I know I just miss him. How did mom put up with you working so much? It has to get easier right?" She asked.
"It's just something you get used to," Charlie told her.
Bella sucked in a breath. "I guess but mom didn't have Jessica Stanley fawning over you like she fawns over Edward. I wish she would go away."
"Now who's being over dramatic?" Charlie asked as he pictured his daughter pouting. "Believe it or not your father was a stud back in the day and there may have been a woman or two who fawned over me."
"And this portion of the conversation is over," Bella said crinkling her nose. She didn't want to think of her father like that. "I will see you in a few weeks. I'll definitely have Seth with me. Edward is just another question."
"Hey, chin up buttercup. Everything will be fine. Have I ever lied to you before?" Charlie asked.
"As matter a fact you did." Bella replied.
Dumbfound, Charlie questioned is daughter. He prided himself on being honest. "When?"
"Well, there was Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny and-"
Laughing he interrupted his daughter. "Wise ass. I'll let you go now Bells. Give that baby a kiss for me and I love you."
"I love you too dad. Good night," she said as she hung up the phone.
She'd drive up to Forks in a few weeks. It wasn't the first time she had done so on her own, but she hated the drive. She was trying to think good thoughts. Maybe Edward would be with her then.
After bathing Seth and feeding him, Bella placed him in his bassinet in the living room. She was determined to stay awake and wait up for her husband. She laid on the couch and watched This Is Us from the previous night. Within ten minutes she was asleep.
The door opened just three minutes after midnight. Edward carried is jacket to the door and unlocked it. Once again Bella was fast asleep on the couch. Her snack of berries went untouched. He smiled and bent to kiss his wife on her forehead. He wondered if she missed him as much as he missed her. He brought her bowl of fruit to the kitchen and found a note on the fridge.
You probably ate all ready, but I made you a plate. I made a burger instead of the seabass. The plate is on the top. The rolls are in the bread box.
Guilt spread throughout his body. Bella always tried to do what was best for everyone. She had a huge heart and was always thinking of everyone but herself. This was the fourth time this week he came home past midnight. He was exhausted and missed his family. He longed for lazy weekend mornings when he laid in bed with his wife. Now with their new baby he liked laying the infant on his stomach as he slept. They both wanted him more than they ever expected. Now that he was there it felt as if he always had been. Edward hated that his nights were spent in the conference room with his uncle working on this case. He especially hated how Jessica insisted on staying. She annoyed him, but he remained professional not matter what.
He shut off the light in the kitchen and walked over to his sleeping son who had just awoken. He picked him up before the baby had the chance to fuss. Edward quickly changed his diaper and heated up his milk and brought him upstairs. The father fed him and spoke to him as he drank his bottle. He told him how much he missed him and loved him. Told him how much he loved his mother and hoped he wasn't too much for her. By the time the bottle was empty, Seth had fallen back to sleep. Edward kissed his son and placed him in his crib, turned the monitor on and left the room.
Edward jogged back downstairs and looked at his sleeping wife. He didn't want to wake her, so he lifted her sleeping body into his arms as he had done so many times before. Gently, he climbed the stairs, placed her into the bed and tucked her in. He kissed her once more and got ready for bed. As he was getting ready himself, he thought about how he needed to do something nice for his wife. He also had to call Emmett, his older brother. Emmett had wanted to start flipping houses with him. Edward didn't know if he wanted to make the investment, so they were trying to set up a time to talk about it. So many things ran through his head by the time he reached his side of the bed.
The next morning began as the others had that week. Bella woke up to Edward calling for her and an item of clothing. She was in the nursery in the chair next to the crib.
"Bella, that white shirt I like a lot isn't here. Haven't you had time to go to the dry cleaners? I need that white shirt."
Bella wiped her eyes, checked to make sure Seth was still asleep and got up. She grabbed one of Edward's many white shirts and brought it to him. She held it in the bathroom while he was brushing his teeth.
"The dry cleaning won't be ready until Saturday. You literally have nineteen white shirts. Just pick one." Bella said hanging the shirt on the back of the door and walking out. She went to her dresser and began to get her clothes that she needed to start her day.
Edward looked at his wife as he buttoned his shirt. "Someone is in a bad mood this morning. I just wanted to know about the dry cleaning. Sorry to piss in your Cheerios."
"I wouldn't be in a bad mood if you could get your own clothes. How old are you? I'm sorry the dry cleaner isn't up to your speed, but it isn't my fault." Bella paused before she asked. "What time did you get in last night?"
"Midnightish. This case is killing me, and I woke up late today. Nothing ever goes right. Also, Jessica's car isn't working right even though she just picked it up and I have to get her again." He explained.
Bella rolled her eyes. "I just wanted to let you know I talked to my dad last night. I am going up to visit him next weekend. I was hoping that the case was done by then and maybe you could join us."
"You can't go. The case won't be over by then. I'll be here all alone. I'll go crazy coming home to an empty house. Tell your dad we'll go up when the case is over. It should be over by next month. He and your mom can always come down here," Edward told his wife as he calmed down.
"I can't go? When did we become that couple? Dad has the weekend off and my mom will be around. Emily might be there too. I'm here all by myself all day with Seth. It'll be nice to see other people. I might be able to actually get some help with him." Bella told him.
Edward looked at the clock. "I can't talk about this now. I am so late. We'll talk about this later."
"Should I make an appointment to discuss this through your assistant? Is that the best way to get in touch with you Mr. Cullen?" Bella asked sarcastically.
Sighing, Edward kissed his wife's cheek. "Don't do that. Just don't do that. We will talk about this, but I have to go." With that, Edward ran down the stairs and out the door.
Bella walked over to her bed and laid down. She wondered when she and Edward became that couple. They didn't see a lot of each other and when they did, they just argued and were angry and uptight. Silently tears began to leave her eyes. She rolled over and pulled the covers over her head when she heard the front door open.
"Bells?" Edward called for her.
"I'm still in the bedroom. What did you forget?" She asked as she sat up wiping her eyes.
Edward walked into their bedroom and sat on the foot of the bed. He saw her red eyes and wet cheeks. He sighed before speaking. "I didn't want to leave you like that."
"Well you did. You better hurry up. You're going to be late. I would hate if you had to keep Jessica waiting too long."
Taking a deep breath, Edward began to talk. "Don't mention her. This isn't about her. I'm sorry I'm stressed out and never home. This is a big case. I feel like I need to prove myself to my aunt and uncle. They will leave the practice to Alice and I one day. I must prove to them that I can handle it. I hate that I am missing time away from you and Seth. I really do. I liked it when I was on my leave and we lounged around all day. Laying in bed. We talked about our hopes and dreams for him. I hate that we don't have that now and when we are here all we do is argue. I hate it, but it will come to an end in time. Please understand why I am doing this. It's for me but it's for us. This is my job security. I have to prove that I can do this. It's so we will have a stable future. I love you Bella. Please try and understand where I am coming from."
Bella paused before she moved closer to her husband. She placed her head on his shoulder. He wrapped his arm around her. "I hate this. I hate that you are gone all the time and I hate that Jessica gets to spend more time with you than I do. I am really really insecure about her."
Edward took Bella's face in his hands. He kissed her lips. "I know you are but come on. Isabella, listen to me. You have nothing to worry about. You are the best human I know. I want to try and be more like you. Your heart and soul are pure and full of love. It is me who is lucky to call you my partner. Jessica is nothing. She's a suck up. I wish I could fire her but I don't have a reason to plus she does a lot to support the office. I've talked to Uncle Marcus about her but he doesn't see it. She's self-centered and honestly, she is so fake. She was telling Alice about these injections she gets in her face. She has had a boob job. Bella, she's literally fake. She's phony. She's everything that isn't you. You are my wife and I love you. She can't hold anything to you. I love you." Ha paused before continuing. "I'm sorry that I said you couldn't visit your family. That was stupid, and I wasn't thinking. Of course, you can go whenever you want to."
Leaning into her husband, she kissed him. "Thank you for talking to me. I feel somewhat better now. I guess I've been a baby and I just miss how things were with us. I miss being with adults during the day and night. I love Seth but he isn't one to hold a conversation."
Edward laughed. "We'll get there again after this case. This case can only make things better for us. You'll see."
"Cullen and Brandon Law this is Jessica how can I help you?" The voice on the other end of the phone said.
Bella cringed. "Hi Jessica, it's Bella. I wanted to set up an appointment tomorrow to surprise Edward. I know he's really busy and working really hard but I'd appreciate it if you could help me with this."
"I can book you from noon to one if that will work for you. Who am I kidding? You're a stay at home mom, of course you have all of the time in the world," Jessica told her in a snarky tone.
Bella bit her tongue hard before replying lightly. "If you only knew what happens during my day!"
"Feeding the baby. Changing the baby. Rocking the baby. Laundry and cleaning. Yep your day sounds exciting Bella. Let's see. Hmmmm. You and Edward have been married a few years right? It's sad that you already must schedule time to be with your husband. I wonder if the next stop will be to Mike Newton down the road?" Jessica told her with a laugh.
Mike Newton was a lawyer who specialized in divorces. Bella huffed and continued. "I'm sure you'd love that Jessica, but I wouldn't jump the gun. Edward and I are in this for the long haul."
"I'm sure that's what the Blisson's said before they saw Mike. I'm just glad I'm here to keep Edward company at night. Someone has to, right? Anyway, I will clear Edward's agenda tomorrow, so you can pay a visit. He'll be surprise when he sees you. You can count on that."
Once again Edward got home after midnight. He'd have to work the following night and at least Saturday. Sunday he and his legal team would go over the strategy before the trail resumed on Monday. He was exhausted and wanted to quit but he knew he couldn't. Times like this he wished he followed his father's footsteps and went into medicine. It was exhausted and tiring but not like this.
As he walked into the house he wasn't surprised to see Bella asleep on the couch. Seth was waking up. Edward took Seth changed and fed him before rocking him. He fell to sleep quickly.
Edward went down the stairs and picked Bella up and carried her gingerly as he had done so many times before. He tucked her into their bed and kissed her before getting ready for bed.
When Bella woke the next morning, she stretched and looked around. She was in her bed. She rolled over and noticed Edward's side was empty and cold. She listened and heard sounds from the baby monitor. She reached up and grabbed it.
"I am so sorry for not spending more time with you and your mom. I miss you buddy so much and mommy too. I'm working to make sure we have lots of things in the future. I don't know if you'll have a baby brother or sister one day but I want to make sure you all including mommy have everything you ever wanted. I love you Seth so much. I promise once daddy's work is done things will change. You'll see. I promise buddy." When Edward was done with his little talk his son was fast asleep. He kissed him and put him back in the crib. He walked out of his room and into his own room. He had a little while longer
Before his alarm went off for the day, he climbed back into bed. Only a few moments later he felt Bella's arms wrap around him. "You my husband are one sweet, sweet man. I heard what you told Seth." She leaned over and kissed him. "I'm sorry I've been so hard on you. I miss you so much Edward."
Edward kissed Bella back. "You have every reason to feel the way you do. I get it all, even the Jessica thing but I love you and wish I could spend the day with you right here. Don't apologize. He are in a weird place right now. It'll get better. I promise," He said again before he kissed her.
Bella rolled on top of Edward. She kissed him hard and passionate. Her hands traveled under his shirt. "You know we haven't made love since before Seth. We could change that now," she suggested as she kissed Edward again.
He didn't answer. Of course he wanted his wife and he missed being intimate with her. Edward's hands caressed her leg under her nightgown. They would have dipped into her panties if Seth hadn't picked that moment to cry and Edward's alarm hadn't gone off. He kissed her neck and sighed. "We will finish this. I will make sure I'm home tonight. No excuses. We'll hang out with Seth. We'll put him to sleep and then it'll be just us." He promised as Bella went to climb off of him. He quickly pulled her back and kissed her. "I love you Mrs. Cullen."
Bella smiled as she walked towards the door. "Back at you Mr. Cullen," she told him as she disappeared across the hall.