"Edward, we're leaving now. We'll see you in an hour or so." I yelled into the backyard. Edward's head popped up from his garden that he was tending to. He waved goodbye. He rarely had time off these days and when he did he enjoyed the peaceful labor of tending to the house. I hitched our son up higher on my hip, grabbed the diaper bag and headed out the front door to the car.
"Are you ready to go to the playground?" I asked Owen as I strapped him into his car seat.
He looked back at me with wide, chocolate brown eyes. "Payground? Cole…Lizzie?"
"Yes, and Aunt Alice and Aunt Rose." I replied as I slid in behind the steering wheel.
"You and me mommy. You and me." He said as he gathered his favorite blue blanket in his arms and began to search methodically for the small, silk tag that was his favorite thing in the world. Once he did he rugged it feverishly between his tiny fingers.
Five minutes later we pulled into the playground at the school. It was a perfectly even drive from all of our houses and we tried to meet up at least once a week. Last year, Alice, Jasper and Cole moved into a little ranch just down the street from Rosalie, Emmett and Lizzie.
I parked the car and went around the side to unbuckle Owen. He was already squealing with delight as he saw Lizzie on the swings. The minute I set him down, he took off.
"Wait for mommy, Owen." I called, but he didn't slow down. I saw Alice and Rose sitting on the park bench. Alice nodded letting me know she was watching him for me as I grabbed the diaper bag with all of the necessary equipment – cheerios, sippy cup and hat.
"Hello ladies." I greeted as I plunked down next to them.
"Hey Bells, what's new?" Alice asked then yelled across the playground to Cole to slow down.
"Not much, Edward is home doing house stuff. We've gotten so behind with him so busy interviewing for his new position." I answered as I took a sip of the coffee Alice had picked up for me from our new favorite coffee shop near her house.
Edward was just completing his residency and had quickly become a hot commodity in the pediatric cardiology world. He had several job offers on the table, but at this point, felt confident that he was going to stay with the children's hospital he has been at since school. He said eventually he may go into private practice, but for now, the hospital environment offered the best in new treatments and research. Once I had completed my masters, I took time off to be home with Owen.
"How are you feeling Rose?" I asked as I leaned over to look past Alice to her.
"Fine, growing by the second of course." She replied as she rubbed her well-manicured hand over her baby bump. Even at full-term, she will barely look pregnant since she is so tall. Unlike Alice and I – we looked like we were going to tip over!
"What time is the party on Saturday?" Alice asked. I was throwing Edward a surprise birthday party at our favorite restaurant. He was so adverse to any kind of attention this was the only way that I could get everyone together to celebrate his big three-oh.
"It's at seven o'clock. No gifts please. The man does not need anything. And, he's impossible to buy for." He was notorious for just buying it for himself regardless how close we were to Christmas.
I watched Owen running around with Cole as I spoke. Even though the boys were more than a year apart in age, they were not far apart in size. Owen took after his father's height and Cole took after his mother's lack-there-of. They just now were starting to play more now that Owen was a little older. He adored Cole – followed him all over the place. Lizzie was content on the swing, away from the crazy boys.
"How is it that these men as they age keep looking better…and I keep spending more money and time at the spa?" Rose quipped. Emmett turned thirty last year. Rosalie threw a huge party for him at a restaurant on the lake. There had to have been two hundred people there. Just goes to show the difference between Edward and his sister, that's definitely not our style.
"Who's watching Owen?" Rosalie asked.
"Renee is coming in for the weekend. After the party I am taking Edward to that spa resort he took me to a few years ago. We loved it there, so peaceful. With him so busy with work we have hardly had any time together. " That place would always hold fond memories for us. It was a real turning point in my dark days. We didn't speak of the time often, both of us content to look past it to our current state of bliss, but I knew we would never forget how we almost lost each other.
At the time, I couldn't see clearly how depressed I was, how I needed help. I kept thinking it would just past, but eventually nothing made sense. When Edward hid his illness and left me, at least I was able to continue on somewhat, function at least marginally. When we lost Olivia, the world no longer made sense to me. It was too harsh a place. And, I was blind to the pain I was causing my husband. I knew in the back of my mind that all he wanted to do was help and love me, but I wasn't able to accept it. I felt unworthy of any attention. On top of that, the only physical reminder I had of our daughter was my husband.
So, I ran. Knowing at the time it was the worst thing I could have done, but truly seeing no other alternative. Like when someone commits suicide, they wouldn't ever go through with it if they could see another possible path in the road. See an end in sight to their pain.
I am thankfully every day that Edward didn't give up on me. Even when he tried to walk away from me on Charlie's front lawn, it wasn't because he loved me any less – but because he just wanted me happy even if it wasn't with him. He is a far less selfish person than me. Up until that point, I had had blinders on for too long. The look in his eyes, when he walked away, thinking I didn't need him or love him any longer, it was more painful than anything I had even endured, even losing our baby girl.
I was brought back from my reverie by Owen's cries. I jumped up from the bench and ran over to him, dropping to my knees and pulling him into my arms. "What happened lovebug?" I asked as I cuddled him and kissed his tears. I saw him stumble and fall, it scared more than hurt him.
"Pell down." He replied between sniffles. I knew I shouldn't, but I found it adorable how he isn't able to pronounce f's yet.
"Do you want mommy to kiss it?"
He shook his little head. His wild auburn waves flopping around just like his daddy's.
"Need go home, see daddy." He whimpered into my tear-soaked shirt.
"You're done playing?"
He shook his head again and tightened his hold around my neck. I wrapped a hand under his bottom and hitched him to my hip.
"Okay ladies, I think little man it ready for a nap." I said while grabbing my bag.
"We'll see you Saturday." They both replied and waved.
I loaded Owen into his car seat and headed back to the house where Edward, the love of my life, my angel, my personal Adonis, and father of our child was waiting. That alone brought a big smile to my lips and a flutter to my heart.
A/N: Thank you to EVERYONE for their support and encouragement for both A Heart's Savior and A Life Stolen. It has been SO much fun and I never expected the overwhelming positive response that I had received. In fact - AHS has won FOUR, count them, FOUR awards on "twilightawards (dot) this-paradise (dot) net: first place for "Best Ending"; second place for "Best Kiss", "Best UST" (sexual tension), and "Best POV".
I am nearing the end of my second pregnancy and have completely lost my attention span - hence the slow updates. Therefore, I will we taking some time off from FF to enjoy BD and read every elses' wonderful stories. But, if I am suddenly inspired during a midnight feeding session to write more about B&E and their angsty, wonderful love, I will certainly post it.