A/N: If you have not read my other story, INTIMATE TIES, then this story will make no sense to you. I suggest you read it first while this one is still in progress

It's about time, huh? Just wanted to let you guys know how much I appreciate your support of this story. Your encouragement means a great deal to me.

Also, this story will have a fantastic writer and visionary, my beta and co-author shellsbells, behind it. Make sure to give her credit in your reviews.




Charleston, SC

Six months after Italy



The room was bathed in soft light from the sunlight scattering through the sheer curtains that covered the French doors. Cool satin caressed my wrists, a subtle reminder of the previous evening. Warmth enveloped me, Edward's arm wrapped around my waist. I smiled as I thought about all that had happened in the last six months.

Our stay in Italy was much needed. After everything that happened; James, the shooting, and the humiliation we both experienced, more than anything, we needed the time to heal ourselves, heal each other. We took it as an opportunity to learn more about each other, from the simple things to the more complex. Edward never left my side the entire duration of our stay. In fact, he spoiled me. Fine dining, visits to some of Italy's finest vineyards and the shopping were even better. But the highlight and most memorable moments were our late night walks along the narrow streets of the city, close and intimate, the soothing sounds of violins filling the air. That's when I noticed the taming of the man that lay beside me. Edward's candidness and vulnerability shone through the dominate male that he was confined within, even if it was only for a brief moment.

My stay here at Summerhouse had become permanent upon our return from Italy. Shortly after, we made a trip to New York to pack up my apartment and complete my transition to Summerhouse. While there, we stopped by the office to see Jacob. We needed to discuss my position within the company. The inconvenience of distance was a problem but still, I was hopeful that perhaps I could work from home, do research and the like. However, Jacob confessed his feelings for me, making a dreadful scene in front of the employees. Couple this with previous falling out between him and Edward, I realized it was not possible to stay here. Edward, of course, agreed it best I distance myself from the company and especially Jacob. Not that I minded staying home, but with my independent nature, I found it boring and unfulfilling.

Now free of the prospect of blackmail, Jasper decided it was time to get his political career off the ground. His campaign for Mayor was still in its pre-stages, with financial support coming from local businesses and fundraisers. Our father also made a contribution though it was noticeably small, all things considered. Sympathy for Jasper raged through me. It was so obvious he wanted more than just financial support from his father, he needed emotional sustenance.

Cora had been bed ridden for a while since she fell and broke her hip. I had taken it upon myself to tend to her while she was recovering. Old J did what he could, stubborn as he was; it was hard to get him to let us take care of the more difficult tasks, such as lifting her and helping her to the wheelchair. But with a little scolding from Cora, he receded, but not without putting in his two cents. Cora was now up and about on her own, but she was getting older and I worried about her more and more.

Resting my hand over his, I gently lifted it from my waist, but was stopped short when he placed it back around my waist, pulling me tighter to him.

"Where do you think you're going sugar?" Edward whispered, his voice low, and intimate as he nuzzled my neck.

Needing to feel is warmth, I snuggled closer. "I have to get up. I promised Cora I would help her plant the flowers near the front porch. And I'm having lunch with Jasper this afternoon."

"Do you have to go right now?" His voice was gravelly. I felt his hand skim lightly over my abdomen, then slowly up to cup my breast. "You're already prepared," he glanced down at the red satin ribbon around my wrist. "We can replay last night…" Warm kisses blanketed my skin as he kissed along my neck, then down along my collarbone.

"I'd love to, but I have a busy day today." I let out a disappointed groan.

"Is that a no?" Edward lowered his voice in disappointment.

"Of course not. But you aren't that serious, or you would have had me tied by now." I smiled and he kissed my temple as he loosened his arm. I slid out from the covers and got off the bed. He leaned over and slapped my right cheek before I made it completely off the edge.

"Disobedience deserves punishment." He bit his bottom lip and raised his eyebrows.

Standing in the doorway of the bathroom, I looked over my shoulder and smiled. "I'm counting on it."


"If you're looking for Bo and Luke, they're out on the patio." Cora stood at the kitchen sink rinsing a plate.

Standing behind her looking out the window, Edward and Em were sitting at the table on the patio. Emmett's expression was tight. He looked like a man with something on his mind, no doubt.

"What's wrong with Em?"

Cora chuckled. "More like who is wrong with Em?"

Taking a few steps back, I shook my head and shot her a look of inquiry. "Who?"

"Em's got woman troubles." She shook her head as she turned off the water, then dried her hand on a dish towel.

"Who?" I asked, taking a bite of pancake.

"Don't know, Miss Bella. But there ain't no mistakin' that look." She came and sat at the table across from me. "I've laid out the tulip bulbs and started the seeds for the posies. I just need you to carry the peat moss and dig a seed line. I can do the rest."

"Are you sure you're not doing too much? You look exhausted."

"No hon, I'm fine. Just a little stiff from being in that bed too damn long. And jackass won't let me have a hot toddy before bed, so it makes it hard to sleep."

I chuckled. "You didn't think Old J was going to let you get away with not letting him help you, did you?"

"I suppose not. But he could've taken the remote. That I could have dealt with. At least faked that I was all torn up inside about it." She sighed and smoothed back her hair.

"I'll see what I can do." I winked at her and she gave me an understanding smile. "You go out. I'll be there in a minute."

"Sure thing." Cora said as she pushed up from the table, patting me on the shoulder as she left the kitchen.

I finished my breakfast, washed my plate and went out onto the patio. Edward smiled at me as he patted his knee, inviting me to sit.

"Come here, sugar."

I sat on his lap and he pulled both my knees in with his hand.

"Hey, Em."

"Hey darlin'." He replied, his voice worrisome.

"Cora thinks you're having woman problems. I find that hard to believe." I said.

Edward threw his head back and laughed. "You would if you knew who the woman was."

Furrowing my brow, I shared a look between the two of them. "Who is it?"

"Go ahead, tell her." Edward grinned. Emmett crossed his arms over his chest and clenched his jaw.


I shook my head in disbelief. "What? When did that happen?"

Emmett ran his hand through his hair a few times. "Shortly after I got back from Italy. I don't know, it just happened."

Edward couldn't stop chuckling. "Guess he's trading in the two car garage for a single."

"Fuck you!" Emmett yelled out. A short period of silence passed before the three of us started laughing.

"Well. I really don't know what to say." I turned my head and kissed Edward. Emmett let out a groan.

"Down boy." Edward said. Emmett raised his eyebrow and pursed his lips together.

"I have to go help Cora." I slid off Edward's lap and went and kissed Emmett on the cheek. He reached his hand around my waist and splayed his hand across my ass.

"Goddammit, Em!" Edward shouted.

"OK, you two. Play nice. I'll see you later."

The rest of the morning was spent helping cora plant flowers, my mind stayed focused on how it was possible that Emmett and Rose were together. I narrowed it down to a love-hate relationship as the two could hardly stand each other. At least that's what it seemed like. After showering, I changed and said my goodbyes. Edward and Emmett had a bodyguard interview for a celebrity making an appearance downtown at a charity function, so we wouldn't see each other until the evening.

I chose a bottle of wine from the wine rack and left for my lunch date with Jasper.


A/N: I'l update as soon as I can. Updates for this story WILL NOT be coming as fast as they were. I am using a beta this time to ensure that you are getting a well written and fantastic story. This sequel is important to me, as Intimate Ties was my first fic, so I want to take my time. I will try my best not to leave cliffies, especially since I will not be updating as frequently. I will do my best to update at least once a week, or every three days. ENJOY!