I know what you're thinking - "No way, she actually updated?!" - and I really have no excuse, really. I'm tired of it, almost. *sigh* So, I'm putting this story up for adoption after the ring fight. One condition, though - NO LEMONS.

Muahahahahaha! I have the power – the power to give powers! In this story, Edward cannot read Renesmee's mind - only when Renesmee decides! Muahahahaha!

Chapter 7: Confessions

"Bella, I have some things to explain."

BPOV

My whole stomach convulsed at his words and I was silently thankful that I couldn't throw up. This is what I was dreading, and yet, I knew I needed to hear it. I had to sit here and listen to him tell me he didn't love me so I could finally get it through my thick skull. But I wouldn't move on. I was physically incapable of loving any other man than the one sitting in front of me.

I stared at his eyes, memorizing every line and curve of his marvelous face. His eyes were a light amber from his recent hunt and they were looking at me as if trying to communicate something urgent – something I couldn't quite put my finger on.

"Bella, your eighteenth birthday made me realize something. My whole family – myself included – was putting you in harms way each time one of us touched you, or were even near you. Jasper's lapse in control woke me from the most wonderful dream and made me realize we had to leave." He said, pain leaking from every word, making it impossible for me to doubt his sincerity.

"I decided to do my best to protect you and your human life – I couldn't bear to change you with your entire life ahead of you. So I decided to leave, protect you from my world, force you to live a human existence. Human memories fade, I knew I would too and that is what I feared the most – for myself – for you I wanted so much more. I wanted you to marry a man who could give you everything you deserved – life, children – everything I couldn't give you."

"And yet you gave me all of those." I interrupted him, cocking my head.

"I didn't know I could – and that is another thing I have to apologize for. I left you in the most horrible situation – unwittingly cut you off from anyone who could give you help – and threw you to the dogs, literally. But you must know, Bella – I never would have left you if I knew." I sat there, paralyzed by the obvious truth of his words. He leaned forward and placed both his palms on either side of my face, sending tiny shocks to my frozen heart, and looked intently into my eyes. "The only thing that has kept me sane is the hope that you moved on and had a truly happy life. I have never – for one second – stopped loving you Isabella Marie Swan."

I couldn't say anything. My brain couldn't seem to process it, even though I knew he was telling nothing but the truth. My eyes widened as suddenly I realized his face was inches from my own. I made my decision right then, leaning forward slowly. He leaned towards me as well, and closed the gap.

Our lips met in a soft, sweet kiss. I did my very best to restrain myself, only allowing my right hand to touch the side of his face. He was a little bit less hesitant with his reaction. His right hand came up to twine lightly in my hair and deepened the kiss, moving his lips gently with my own.

I sighed and pulled back lightly, breaking the contact. His fingers slid from my hair and returned to his side and he frowned slightly. I laughed and set the guitar to the side, then kissed him once more, but it was barely more than a peck.

"I think we should start slow. Boyfriend–girlfriend slow." I smiled crookedly at him, hoping he wouldn't take it personally. He frowned at me.

"Aren't we a bit past that?" I laughed lightly.

"Yes, but I still have self-esteem issues and you'll just have to prove you are going to stay – to me and Renesmee." I smiled and pulled back, even though I really wanted to stay right where I was.

"You're right." He sighed, resigned. I walked back to my computer – which was now fully booted – and signed in. "Do I at least get to stay in the same house?" He asked tentatively. I laughed. Edward is funny when he's nervous.

"Yes, you and your family can stay – we have plenty of room." I looked up from the screen and smiled at him. "You might want to go claim your room before Alice – I'll show you the ones that are free." I got up and walked back into the living room and up the stairs, Edward inches behind me.

I pointed to the empty rooms as we passed them, and gave him a tour of the house. We ended up back in the living room. "Which one are you gonna take?" I asked, curious. He smiled and slipped his arm around my waist, hugging me against his body without breaking eye contact.

"I was thinking the white one closest to yours." He said carefully. I smiled and nodded, slipping my arms around his neck.

"I thought so – it has the best view." I said, grinning. He laughed.

"Yes, I suppose it does."

He leaned down carefully and placed a sweet, but small kiss on my jaw, trying not to be overly enthusiastic, I could tell.

"Well, I guess that means we're going to be hanging around." I jumped a bit at the round of Emmett's booming voice and turned to see the whole Cullen family standing there, watching. I laughed, slightly embarrassed.

"Yes, and you can even have your own rooms." I gently pulled out of Edward's embrace. "Edward can show you where they are."

"I want the one next to yours!" Said Alice, bouncing up and down.

"Sorry, Alice. Edward already laid claim to that one." I said, shrugging.

Emmett raised an eyebrow. "Won't you and Eddie be sharing?" He said in mild surprise.

"Nope." I popped the 'p'. "Ren needs to at least get used to him before I let him share a room with me." I explained lightly.

Esmé nodded, pleased. Carlisle looked a bit thoughtful (when is he not thoughtful?) and Emmett and Rosalie looked incredulous. Jasper looked doubtful, probably sensing my mood, and Alice was still disappointed about the room.

"Yeah. Let's see how long that lasts." Muttered Emmett, just loud enough so his wife and Jasper, who was closest besides Rose, could hear. If I hadn't had really, really good hearing – twice as sharp as a normal vampire's – I wouldn't have caught it.

"Yes, Emmett. But that is one rule that will not be broken very easily." I smiled angelically at his shocked expression and turned on my heel, returning to the music/office room.

I heard Edward showing everyone the rooms – Alice complaining the entire time – and then surmised Alice chose the one with the second-best view. Carlisle and Esmé chose the largest one besides my own. Rose and Emmett chose the one closest to Renesmee's.

"Um, Rose." I called, hearing this decision. "You do know that Jacob has the room right beside yours, don't you? After you chose that, you can't complain about the smell – ever." I said. Silence. She switched to the one beside Alice and Jasper's, close to Renesmee, but not too close to Jacob's room. I laughed lightly, shaking my head and refocusing on the essay I was supposed to be correcting.

I had been going to collage many times – I even went to Harvard for a few years – but right now I was an online teacher. I jumped a bit when Edward's velvet voice whispered in my ear.

"What are you doing?" I smiled.

"Correcting an essay from one of my students, why?" He seemed surprised.

"You're a teacher?" He asked. I laughed.

"Online teacher – I pose as the 'teacher's seventeen year old daughter when my students need a face-to-face. I have a lot of emergency doctor visits." I grinned at him. He smiled and shook his head.

"Mom!" Yelled Renesmee, slamming the door closed as she came stomping in. "Can I have permission to break someone's nose?" She never was tactful when angry.

"Which boy tried to hit on you now?" I asked, sighing.

"Jonathan Newton." She growled. I laughed and shook my head.

"Apple doesn't fall far from the tree." I said, grinning at Edward, who was looking at me incredulously.

"I'm missing something." Said Renesmee, narrowing her eyes at me.

"Mike Newton was one of your mother's die-hard admirers." Said Edward, shaking his head. "I take it this is his grandson?" I nodded and returned my attention to my very annoyed daughter.

"You can punch him – " Renesmee started to cheer. "- if he tries to get fresh." She nodded, a calculating look coming into her eyes. "And you are not allowed to misguide him." I added for good measure. She scowled.

"You're no fun, Mom." She muttered, glaring.

"I know." I said, grinning. I got up and held my arms out for a hug, which she grudgingly accepted. "Now you can do whatever you want – you are free from school." I said.

She grinned, her eyes glittering with amusement. "Tonight is going to be fun. I can't wait to see their faces." She snickered, glancing at Edward.

Edward raised a questioning eyebrow. I just laughed.