Chapter 18.


When I kicked Edward and the girls out for the day it wasn't really because I didn't want them there, or even that I didn't want them stuck here with nothing to do. I really just wanted some time alone, to think about what had occurred in the past few days.

Every since Edward had asked me out on a date, I could tell he was happier, hell I was happier.

And everyone knew it.

I just, I just couldn't help but wonder if maybe we were doing this all wrong.

What if we were moving to fast?

What if we didn't work out this time? How would that impact the girls?

What if he got another job, across the country, and left? What if we screwed up everything worse then before?

I didn't think I would be able to handle him leaving again. I wouldn't be right, my heart would be broken to a point were no one, not even Edward, could ever fix it.

And it would hurt. Not just me but my daughters, who had both become quite attached to him, despite everything that happened before now.

I still had a couple more days in bed, which meant that we wouldn't be able to go out for a couple of days, and if I know Edward it's not going to be on a school night.

I sighed, only to hear the door open. Looking at the clock I realized that they had been gone for and hour or so.

"Bella?" I heard Edward call. I couldn't hear the girls with him.

"Yeah?" I called back, turning my neck just in time to see him open my bedroom door.

"You okay? Need anything?" he asked coming to sit down on the bed, careful to not touch anywhere near my stomach. Well actually he basically didn't touch me.

"Nope." I said shaking my head "Where are the girls?"

He smiled "I took them to Eric's. Cody was already there."

I laughed "Never thought I would see the day Edward Cullen would let his daughters go to their boyfriends houses, and actually take them there himself!"

Smiling I looked back down at my hands, that were in my lap. He stayed silent as he moved so that he was lying down next to me. I scooted over to him and snuggled into his side. I placed my head on his chest as he wrapped his arm around me.

"Maybe I just wanted to spend some time with their mother." He whispered in my ear, successfully causing me to shiver.

I felt his stomach move as he laughed.

I playfully slapped him stomach letting my hand linger and gently squeezing, accidently feeling up his torso.

This only caused him to laugh harder.

I rolled my eyes and snuggled farther into his side. My eyes fell closed as I felt the familiar tingle of electricity flow through me and gently ease me to sleep.

"Your daughters gave me permission to take you on a date, today." He said as I was about to fall asleep.

"Oh, really?" I mumbled half awake..

"Yeah, though Gabrielle threatened me in a way I would rather not repeat if I ever hurt you again." His voice was pained, but sure at the same time.

I sat up slightly, putting my hand on his chest as I looked at him.

"And how did the girl threaten you?" I said knowing how vicious Gabrielle's words could be when she wanted them to be harsh and scary.

"No reason to tell you, as I would rather die then because you pain again. So it's a unneeded argument between the two of you." He said rubbing my arm.

I sighed and fell back onto his chest, snuggling back into the warmth.

"So, what did they say? Besides what Gabi said to threaten you." I added as I felt him about to reply.

"They mentioned how hurt you were the first time. How you were before we crossed paths again..." he said trailing off. He gently traced pointless patterns on my arm as he thought it over. It was as if he was debating whether to tell me or not. "How you used to cry at night, when you thought they were asleep and couldn't hear you."

He said it so softly I almost didn't hear it.

But, I did hear him, and I stiffened immediately. I never wanted him to find out how depressed I was at those times. How the only thing getting me through the day was trying to give the girls a better life. Hell, I gave up my father for them.

He was never supposed to know how much I just wanted to give up, and fall into the dark abyss that followed me.

"Bella?" he asked when I stayed silent.

I felt the tears in my eyes as he gently prodded me to look at him.

"Don't cry, love." He said wiping the tears.

"You have no idea what it was like..." I tailed off shaking my head. "My father kicked me out, I had no money, I had twin daughters and I was dumped by the only person I loved. I think I had a reason to be upset." I said trying to defend myself.

"I never said you didn't." he said back, trying to sooth me. "You had a lot to be upset over, if I were in your position I never would have lasted as long as you did."

He wiped away another tear that fell.

"The only thing I was going to say was that I was sorry. I was in pain the moment I told you that I didn't want you, but nothing compares to what I feel now that I know the pain I put you through. Everything I did to you. Everything bad that has happened to you is my fault." I started shaking my head. "Yes, it is. I got you pregnant and your dad kicked you out. I left you and you got even more hurt added to your plate. I get you pregnant again and well…"

"Edward-" I said shutting my eyes to stop more tears from overflowing.

He cut me off saying "I don't even know why you would want to still be around me, all I do is make you hurt, and most of the time cry."

"Because I love you!" I said anger in my eyes. He had to understand that I needed him, I couldn't breath without him. "Yeah, you may have caused some bad things to happen to me, but I have never been as happy as I am with you, ever."


I cut him off by placing my lips against his.

I pulled away whispering "Just shut up."

I felt him smile against my lips as he pulled my mouth back to his, both our lips meeting in a heated passion.

"Bella?" Edward said knocking on my door.

I went to call out to him but Alice warned me saying "you answer him and you are not leaving this chair for another 15 minutes."

I obeyed her. Edward must have heard her because I heard him humph in irritation.

I smiled and watched Alice in the mirror. She was pinning my hair up in a very delicate fashion. The last few days that I had stuck in bed had been awful. I desperately wanted to be able to move around. I actually wanted to clean!

"Can you at least tell me where he is taking me?" I asked pleadingly.

"I'm sworn to secrecy." Alice said

"And what happened to the old Alice that was pissed off at her brother and would have done anything to irritate or hurt him?" I said crossing my arms in irritation. They both knew how much I hated surprises.

"She realized that if she irritates he brother he won't help her get that new car she wanted." She said in a matter-of-fact tone.

I grumbled in irritation, much like Edward standing outside the door.

"You're done." She said moving away form me and admiring her work.

"You look beautiful Bella." She said pulling me into a hug. I hugged her back. I had to admit I didn't look that bad. Alice had dressed me in a slinky black dress, the accentuated every last curve I had and 2 inch black heels.

It was either the 2 inch heels or the 4 and half inch ones. I stuck with the 2 inches.

My make up was done lightly and all my hair was pulled back into little curls, pinned away from my face..

I kind of looked like I was going to a high school dance. I scoffed at the idea; Edward knew better then to take me to a dance. Even in high school they had to force me to go.

I rolled my eyes as I remembered Alice forcing me into a dress as I refused to put it on willingly.

"You can come in now Edward!" Alice called and immediately the door opened, and in walked Edward.

Alice smiled knowingly and left us alone.

I rolled my eyes in her direction and turned my gaze to Edward, who was staring at me like he had never seen me before. Automatically I blushed and looked down at my feet.

"Don't, love." Edward murmured putting a finger under my chin and forcing me to look at him.

Looking into his eyes I almost lost it. I almost broke down and threw him on my bed and ravished him right there.

"You look stunning, love." He said staring right back into my eyes.

"Thanks" I whispered and added "You don't look so bad, yourself."

Pulling away from me slightly he said "I always look good."

I laughed and pushed his chest. It sort of felt like we were in high school again, with all the joking.

"As if your ego isn't big enough." I murmured as his mouth met mine. I felt him smile into our kiss. He pulled away just as I was about to deepen.

"Come on, let's go. We have a big night ahead of us. " He said walking towards the door and pulling me with him.

"Can you at least tell me where we are going?" I said trying not to stumble in the heels.

He stopped in the middle of the hallway making me crash into him. He wrapped his arms around me and pulled me close saying "You really want to know where we are going?"

I nodded.

"The zoo." He whispered in my ear, making me shiver.

I slapped his chest again and pulled away.

"Real funny, Cullen." I said walking down the hallway and into the living room where the girls and Alice were. Edward was behind me.

"Mom, you look amazing." Danielle said looking me over and sending Alice an approving glance.

Alice just smiled.

"You mom, you look great." Gabi responded. I blushed.

"Oh and Dad?" Gabrielle said turning to Edward, he must have nodded or something cause she continued "Don't, ah, forget about our conversation."

Edward still wouldn't tell me what Gabrielle had said, therefore I was left to wonder as Edward nodded and said "Noted."

"You two have fun." Alice said

"You sure you are okay watching them Alice?" I said as we were about to leave.

"Bella, you worry too much." Was her response.

I rolled my eyes and allowed Edward to pull me out the door as we said out goodbyes.

"Please?" I was on the verge of begging.

"Bella, I want it to be a surprise." He said turning to look at me. We were driving, well he was driving, to wherever we would be spending the next few ours of our lives.

"You know I hate surprises!" I whined.

"I know, but I think you will like this one." He responded.

I crossed my arms in frustration.

"Love, please, just trust me." he said reaching over the console and rubbing my arm gently.

"Fine" I grumbled.

He laughed in response.

We drove for another 45 minutes into the middle of no where.

"Where are we?" I asked as I looked out the window and only saw trees.

"We're almost there." He said.

Not even 5 minutes later Edward turned into a parking lot, of a park?

I looked out the front window and saw the swing set and the jungle gym, and when I looked back at Edward he was smiling. I looked at him in confusion, silently asking him to explain why we were here. He shook his head slightly and moved to open his door. I undid my seatbelt and moved to open the door, only to find Edward there with it already open.

"Always the gentlemen" I mumbled to myself as I allowed him to pull me out of the car. He smiled in response.

"Edward..?" I questioned as we walked towards the park. I was definitely not expecting a park. Not when it was our first second date and it was after dark. Well actually I never expected him to take me to a park.

"Just wait." He said grabbing my hand. He started walking towards a concrete path that looked like it led into the forest.

I let him lead my through the trees, as I tried not to stumble.

As we followed the path around the bend I was met with a beautiful sight. Before me was a gazebo complete covered in white Christmas lights, lighting up everything around it. There was a bench along the sides of the gazebo and a blanket right in the middle. In the middle of the blanket was a picnic basket.

"Edward, it's beautiful." I stuttered.

"Glad to know you like it." He said pulling me to him. I could hear the smile in his voice.

"Come, eat." He said leading me towards the gazebo.

I sat down on the blanket, and Edward sat down next to me, moving the basket. I stretched and crossed my legs in front of me, and leaned back to rest my upper body on my arms. Edward sat crossed legged and started pulling out things from the basket.

First he pulled out a bottle of red wine and two glasses followed by a bottle of water.

At my confused look he said "In case you don't like the wine." I smiled at him.

He pulled out a basket with what smelled like chicken, and my mouth started to water. I always had a sweet spot for fried chicken.

Then he pulled out a bag of potato chips, plain, my favorite. Then he topped it all off with chocolate cake. Another one of my favorites.

"Chicken, Edward?" I asked peering into the small basket to see if I was correct.

"If I remember correctly you love fried chicken." He said catching my eye and smiling at me.

"I love all of it. Thank you." I said sincerely. I moved to sit up, crossing my legs under me. My heels were digging into my ass, so I pulled them off gently and sat them with the empty basket.

"Dig in." he said handing me a fork but no plate.

I looked at him confused and then realized that I really didn't need a plate.

I laughed at I saw him try and bite a piece of the chicken only to have it fall unceremoniously into his lap.

I couldn't help the laugh that escaped as I saw his pout. I picked it up off his leg and reached so the he could bite it.

Slowly he wrapped his lips around it and bit down.

I pushed back the moan that wanted to escape.

I sat back and bit off the same piece. "So what have you been doing for the past few years, Eddie?" I asked with a smile.

He frowned slightly at his nickname, which he hated. "Work" he stated simply.

I nodded, I had figured as much.

"Did you, uh, see anyone?" I asked, biting off another piece of chicken slightly dreading the answer.

"No, you?"

I shook my head. "I didn't have much spare time."

He nodded. Thankfully, as the night went on things got less awkward. We talked about work, and college, and stayed away from slightly touchy subjects, like high school. As I laughed at some story he was telling about his roommate at college I realized I never wanted this night to end.

I was content, I was happy here in this gazebo, under the stars, with a smile on my face and watching Edward.

I smiled as I listened to him talk about nothing. I pushed away my worries from before, and thought that just maybe everything would work out. That together as a family we could make it through anything. If we had survived this far, we could make it through whatever obstacles we forced upon us.

I was brought out of my reverie by Edward stroking my cheek.

I smiled wider, and laughed at what he was saying even if I didn't hear it.

I felt like I belonged here. Hell, I did belong here.

This is home.

Authors note. Okay, so I know its been a while since I updated, and frankly I don't really have excuse. I have had time to update, and everything, and besides this chapter has been written since before I went to Disney and that was like 2 and a half weeks ago. So you can yell at me all you want. (:

This is definitely one of my favorite chapters, I put a lot of thought into it, and spent the last hour reviewing it and fixing the problems.

Please update. Put a smile on my face.

Oh, who else got snow last night? I really hope school is cancelled tomorrow.

Next update Saturday or Sunday.