AN: Okay, I come to my humble readers with my white flag raised and on my knees in humble apology for this delay. I know, I know, there is no excuse good enough for not updating but I now come to you with a chapter.

So…I think there are probably about 4 chapters left, epilogue included. This chapter here is the bridge to set up the next one. Hopefully some of your questions are answered here as I start wrapping up some loose ends.

Another thing…my other story Bitter Sweet Symphony got nominated for the Eddie and Bellie awards for the Best Making Out Category. I'm super excited for this and while I know many of you read it as well as this one…some of you don't. So please check it out and if you likey then VOTE!! The link is in my profile. There are some really good stories that were nominated such as Pastiche Pen's The Nymph and the Waterfall (her humor is fantastic), Ninapolitan's The Bella Swan Diaries (God, that bitch has such a dirty mind…which is why I love her), and Wide Awake by AngstGoddess 003 (This is really good for those of you who love angsty fics). Anyway, those are just a few that I read…there's plenty more though, believe me.

Alright so here is your update for STIL and the update for BSS is in a bout 2-3 days (since I know many of you will ask). It's going to be good…I think it's time for Bella to try again?...

Previously on STIL (Man, this sounds like a bad soap opera):

"Hi, Dad."

"Bella, we've really got to talk."

"Umm…okay. Let me just get my friends out."

He turned and finally looked at all the people occupying the room. James…Edward…Emmett…Rosalie…Alice and finally Jasper. But at the sight of Jasper, his face turned really red…

"YOU!!" He yelled at pointed at him. Jasper jumped and looked like a deer caught in headlights.

Well, it looks like I found out which video of mine he saw. Please don't kill Jasper!!

Will the drama never, ever end?

Charlie started stomping his way over toward Jasper, and poor Jasper was cowering behind Alice. I think he was betting on the fact that the police chief of Forks, Washington wouldn't hurt a female. I didn't want to risk it though.

"Dad! What the hell are you doing?!" I jumped in front of him and planted myself in front of Alice and Jasper.

"Bella," he fumed, "this…this…thing was doing all sorts of awful things to you on that DVD. He shouldn't be allowed to continue to breathe for all I care."

I took a deep breath and stared down the other man that I loved. I would definitely need all of my wits for this.

"Dad, how many times have I told you that it was consensual? I agreed to do it because it's my job…it's what I do for a living! This is what I've chosen for myself!"

He rubbed his forehead with his hand, clearly frustrated in dealing with me. "Sweetheart, be reasonable. What would his girlfriend think of all this?"

"I'm actually okay with it, "Alice piped up. Charlie's eyes grew as wide as saucers when he realized that the pint sized creature in front of him was, in fact, his girlfriend.

"You're…you're his…girlfriend?"

She nodded up and down and smiled at him. "I sure am. And to answer your question, I'm totally fine with what he does. I've actually seen that video that he did with your daughter and I have to say, it's quite good. We all actually thought it was good, didn't we guys?"

I think she was trying her best to help me, but really, I think she was making it worse. Nobody really wanted to pipe up…well, except for Emmett. But then again, I don't think he really had a filter for that head of his.

"She's right, Chief Swan, sir. The one she did with Jasper was really good, but I think the one she did with her boyfriend was even better. It would've been me, but as luck would have it, I fell in love with her roommate and couldn't find it in my heart to perform with her best friend. So her boyfriend took over my spot."

If Charlie heard anymore from anyone, he'd surely have a heart attack.

"Thank you, Emmett." I made sure to give Rosalie my best 'control your man' stare I could give her. She took the hint and tugged on Emmett's arm…hard.

"You're boyfriend? You mean you actually have a boyfriend on top of it all?" He turned his attention to my left, at James.

"You are actually okay with what your girlfriend - my daughter, does for a living?"

It took a moment for James to realize that my dad was talking to him…even though Charlie was looking directly at him.

"Oh…me? No, I'm not her boyfriend."


Edward cleared his throat and I saw him give me a look. Apparently, this was not the way he wanted to meet my dad for the first time. What a way to make an impression.

"Chief Swan, sir, I'm Edward, Bella's boyfriend."

Charlie whirled around in his spot and looked between him and James. Finally, his eyes landed on me.

"Do you mind explaining to me why you were hugging on this guy over here when you're boyfriend is this guy?" His thumb jerked between James and Edward, trying to make his point.

I sighed deeply and tried to talk calmly to him. "James is my ex-boyfriend but I broke up with him and he's now my friend. Edward is my boyfriend. We just got together today, actually."

I cringe to think of what would happen if he found out that Edward just broke up with his fiancé and I had actually been hanging around him, hoping to take her place. I don't think he'd take too kindly to Edward for that…

Charlie rubbed his hands back and forth over his face, trying to clear it. I felt a bit bad for him, walking in on my abnormal life. He finally looked back up, right into the face of Rosalie. He quickly sucked his breath in as he stared at her.

"Oh…my…God…you're Rosalie Hale!"

Needless to say, I was shocked beyond all reason to see that my father recognized one of my friends. I wasn't the only one though…the whole room had gone deadly quiet as we waited for someone to say something. Of course, Rosalie is never at a loss for words so she spoke up.

"Hello Chief Swan, it's nice to meet you." Rose stuck her hand out to shake his and for a moment, I think Charlie forgot that he was at his daughter's apartment. He quickly threw his hand out and shook hers with too much fervor. I think I was going to get sick.

He turned his head to the side and scrutinized Alice's face. Suddenly, his eyes lit up in recognition. "Alice? Alice Brandon?"

Alice smiled widely, clearly elated that she was just as well known as Rosalie…by my father of all people. Woo pee freakin' doo.

"Yes, I'm Alice Brandon. It's a pleasure to meet you, Chief Swan."

Again, his hand shot out and shook her hand as well, all too eagerly and it wasn't until I cleared my throat that my dad finally noticed where he was at.

"Are you done star gazing, dad? Because believe it or not, this is really awkward. I don't even want to know how you know my two friends."

"Actually, Bella, I recognize everyone in this room. It just took me a while to recognize Alice because when I saw her, her hair was longer and in a nice auburn color…"

Alice perked up again. "Oh yeah, I remember that! I actually enjoyed that hair color but Jasper here loves my black hair…"

Ugh. This was not happening. I looked around the room and I noticed that the guys didn't look to comfortable about this either. Well, except for James. He was actually interested in what Alice was saying about her hair color. I rolled my eyes at him, warning him not to contribute to the conversation.

"Okay!" I yelled, trying to get their attention. You would think the girls would be a little more loyal to me, but whatever…

"Listen, can we please not do this? I mean, you've got to see how awkward this is!"

Charlie pegged me with a hard stare. "I'd have to say that was you're fault, young lady. Maybe you wouldn't be ashamed of what you do for a living had you chosen a more respectable career."

"I'm not ashamed of my career choice, Charlie! I just don't want to hear about your sex life and how you watch porn videos to get your kicks!"

Got him. Now he squirmed uneasily in his spot, clearly not liking where this conversation was headed.

"Bella, please, I just came here to talk with you. I want to know why you're doing this, and what you're planning on doing for the rest of your life. I mean, surely you understand you can't do this forever?"

"Look, I know I can't do this forever and I don't plan to. But at the same time, it's what I've chosen to do for the meantime and you've got to just let me do this, dad. I'm an adult and I've been doing pretty good in my life, haven't I? You raised a really smart girl…you taught me right and I know how to be responsible. I admit, lying to you wasn't the brightest plan, but I'd never in a million years think that you of all people, watch pornography. But that's no excuse…I should've told you, and for that, I'm sorry."

I could tell he still wasn't happy but he could hardly deny that I have taken care of myself, despite his arguments over my chosen career.

He nodded and wrapped me up in a big hug. "I guess we'll drop it for now. I'm only here until tomorrow evening, and then I head out."

I nodded and answered, "Well, since you're here, I'd like for you to spend some time with me and my friends. It would mean a lot to me. How about we do some dinner? I can show you where you can stay and shower…then we'll all have dinner together, is that fine? We'll do something fun tomorrow if you'd like."

"That sounds great Bells. Just show me the way to get to the room and I'll put my bag down."

I nodded and smiled at him, feeling 100 times better than I did before. It felt good not to have my father so upset with me.

After showing him where to shower, I walked back into the living room noticing everyone was there talking. Edward jumped up and met me, giving me a big hug.

"Bella, I'm so sorry about your father and how he found out I was your boyfriend. I had really wanted that to go so much better than it did."

I shook my head. "Yeah, like maybe when he wasn't so mad he could've killed you right on the spot? I agree."

We both laughed and sat down on the sofa.

"You know, you guys look really good together. I don't know how I didn't notice it before…"

Alice stared at Jasper. "Of course you never noticed it before…you were too busy noticing me and that nasty ass bitch Tanya."

"Ugh. I don't even want to talk about her right now," Rosalie said, sneering as she spoke. "Seriously Edward, you are a fucking dumb ass, you know that right?"

"Rosalie!" I hissed. I totally agreed with her, but there was no need to say the words out loud.

"No, Bella, she's right. I was a total dumb ass for turning my back on my friends. It still kind of shocks me how bad and awful she was to me. Thank God I have you, Bella."

I put my arms around him and hugged him fiercely, wanting him to see that I would treat him right because that's what people did when they were in love. I'd always put his needs before mine and he'd do the same for me. But I did have one question…

"Edward, why was Tanya with you when you came back to my apartment? I thought you said you'd be 'fiancé free'?"

"I'm sorry, love. She followed me here. It would be putting it mildly to say that she didn't take the break up very well. I couldn't wait to see you any longer and she just wouldn't quit. If I'd been alone with her any longer, she would've just tried to attack me."

I nodded knowing quite well how awful that woman could be. I was just glad he'd decided to come here instead of being alone with her more than he had to.

"I never got a chance to tell you why I was here, Bella."

Oh yeah. In all of the commotion, I never did get a chance to ask why James had been looking for me. "I'm sorry, I totally forgot. Why were you looking for me in the first place?"

He laughed. "Oddly enough, it was to warn you that Tanya was coming home early from her 'trip'. I didn't want you to be caught in the crossfire when she showed up at Edward's door."


"How did you know that? I mean, how did you know Tanya was coming back?"

"Actually, that was by chance. You see, it turns out that my friend Laurent was going to see somebody this weekend. You know, get away for a while? Turns out, he changed his mind, finding some guy he wanted to hang with instead. I asked who the female was and he said it was some girl named Tanya. She was pissed to say the least but that she had said it didn't matter, that she was going to go back and spend time with her boyfriend, Edward. Well of course Laurent didn't know the meaning of what he'd just revealed to me, but I did. That's why I was looking for you. I had no idea if you'd be with Edward or not, but I still didn't want it to turn into one huge mess for you."

To say that I was touched would've been one big understatement of the century. I mean, he was really looking out for me. I'd taken the one man he'd been insanely attracted to, then I used him for sex, and if that wasn't bad enough, he'd lied for me and taken the blame when Tanya had tried to figure out where I had been the night before. I don't know what I did to deserve a friend like him, but I was grateful.

I got up from my place beside Edward and walked over to James and threw my arms around him, hugging him with all that I had. I kissed his cheek and whispered, "thank you."

"No, don't thank me Bella. You would've done the same thing for me, I know you would've. Besides, you know my deep dark secret…I have to keep you around." I laughed as I pulled back and he winked at me.

"Ahem. I do believe you are hogging up my girlfriend there, James. And why I know I'm not supposed to be jealous or anything, you two did date there for a while and had some private time with one another so…I'd like to have Bella back now."

This time, James and I both laughed. "Edward, you know James is just a friend now. Besides, his lustful thoughts reside elsewhere…with the other gender…"

James face lit up. "They sure do, Edward." While no one understood what we were getting at, I knew that this was not the time for James to try his little experiment on Edward. Not in front of the other guys where he could become embarrassed. I glanced over at James and he seemed to understand that as well.

"So, are you a full out gay or just bisexual?" Rose sent Emmett a death glare, but really, I'm sure they were all just as curious.

James smiled at him. "I consider myself bi but if given the choice, I prefer males. But I can get myself up and aroused with females as well…I just think the male specimen is much more beautiful and perfect…" His eyes drifted over Edward's body, quickly looking at his crotch area.

God, was it bad at how aroused that made me? I shivered.

He continued. "Why, Emmett? Were you offering yourself up to me?"

I almost laughed when I saw Emmett's face. His eyes rounded out and his mouth dropped. You could tell he was trying to say something…anything, but nothing came out.

"You know, I have a soft spot for tall, dark haired, handsome men…and you definitely fit the bill. What do you say, Rosalie? Care to share your man with me?"

Emmett glanced over at Rose, thinking she'd save him. But come on, this was Rose we were talking about. "Of course! I'd love to share him with you. I've always wondered how Emmett would be with another guy. In fact, he could be bottom…I'm sure he wouldn't mind."

"Rosie!! Baby, you don't mean that, do you? There ain't no way in hell I'd bottom for anybody. I mean, no offense to you, James, but I just don't swing that way…"

By the time we knew it, we were all laughing our heads off. My sides were hurting and tears had begun to fall down my face. It felt good to just let go…no drama, no problems, nothing. Just me and my friends having a great time.

Finally, James said, "Aww, shut down again. That's alright though Emmett. No offense was taken."

I glanced over at Edward and I noticed him staring at James, almost in concentration. I couldn't discern his face…he had put on a mask and it was unreadable. I wonder what he was thinking…

I couldn't dwell on it any more because my father appeared in the living room. "Well, I feel a lot better now, Bella. What do you want to do now?"

"Well, we're going to make dinner and I'd like for you to sit here with the guys, you know, to get to know them better. I think I'm going to make spaghetti, since it's your favorite. Sound good?"

Everyone nodded and the girls followed me into the kitchen.

About an hour later, we were all seated around the living room with our plates in our laps. It would've been more ideal to have eaten in our dining room, but our table didn't fit eight people, so the living room it was.

The whole evening was going better than I could've ever hoped. Charlie was getting along well with everyone else and for that, I was grateful. He didn't like the fact that everyone worked in the same field as I did, but it's who I loved and who loved me back. I think he saw how committed we were to each other. My friends were everything to me and they took care of me…Edward especially.

I sighed as I glanced over at him. He was currently talking to Charlie about fishing. Edward wasn't a huge fan but he'd be willing to go, just to spend time with my father. That in itself says something to me; after all, my father had the law on his side…and a gun. And still, Edward was willing to go…alone.

I smiled at them realizing that for the first time in my life…I felt complete…at peace…whole. I felt someone squeeze my hand and looked into the face of Alice.

"He's a great catch, Bella. I knew you guys would get along just fine."

"And how did you know that? Can you see into my future?"

She just smiled. "No…but I knew things would turn out just fine for you, Bella. You deserve a happy ending."

I squeezed her hand back and laid my head on her small shoulder. Yes…I had a feeling that things would finally go my way…at last.

AN: So there you have it. Like I said, about 4 more chapters before I call this story closed. Don't worry though…we've got some sexy times planned ahead! You see, I've got ya'll covered!

Oh yeah…and go VOTE!! Don't forget, link is in my profile lovelies! Oh and please revie too, it would be good to read what you guys have to say! Until next time!