(A/N): Not mine! First line is a recap from last week. We're still in Edward's POV.
"What's in Secaucus, Edward?" I winked at her, and she huffed. I'll be damned, if I would spoil the surprise, when she'd see it for herself in less than twenty minutes.
We pulled onto Floral Terrace Road a half hour later, and two blocks later, the cab turned onto a brick paved driveway. Cream colored brick held the house together, and large windows flanked the white double doors. Each door was accented by a large, frosted half moon window. There was a three car garage attached to the right side of the house. I, personally, was excited about that. The second floor housed three of the four bedrooms, and one office.
Briefly, I glanced at Bella's face to gauge her reaction. It hadn't hit her yet, what this was.
She smacked me on the back of the head, and winced. I checked her hand, and quirked a smile as her face contorted into a scowl. "You bought a house, didn't you?" Her supreme irritation drifted from her in waves.
I burst out laughing. I walked around to the other side of the car to unstrap Aaron, and take the car seat out of the car. Bella continued to glare from me, to the house, and back to me. I tossed her the keys, and they hit her in the shoulder when she moved to catch them. "You bought this house, didn't you, Edward?" The keys dangled precariously from her fingertips as she stared at the spacious lawn. My only response was a sheepish smile.
"Did you expect anything less of me, Bella?"
"A small house in the suburbs, perhaps."
"The child needs space to grow, Bella." She stood before me, folded her arms defiantly, and jutted her chin out. My precious Isabella—her stubbornness knows no bounds.
"No. He'll need a map and a canteen to make it from one end of the house to the other. That's what he'll need!" She huffed and tripped over her own two feet. A low curse slipped through her lovely pink lips, and I covered Aaron's ears. She scoffed at me.
"You like it. Admit it." I could see the smile beginning to form on her lips, and I knew that I'd won.
"It is a lovely house, but what about Charlie? He'll be crushed." He will not be the only one upset that I am moving Bella away from Forks. The dog will be a force to be reckoned with, when he finds out.
"You knew that we couldn't stay there for long, Bella. I haven't aged in a century; he's bound to notice eventually." She nodded her head and continued up the driveway, tossing the keys lightly in her palm. "Besides, Bella, I thought you might want to be closer to the City. Your former father-in-law would love to have you back. I picked that thought out of his head several times."
"How would we get around, Edward?" She glanced to the garage. I hadn't quite figured that out myself. My beloved Vanquish was parked inside, but it was only a two-seater. I could trade it in for their "Rapide" model, perhaps. More of a family car—four doors, four seat capacity. Still very fast.
"There's an Aston Martin dealer in Edison, Bella. I'm bringing the Vanquish in tomorrow, and I'll trade it in."
"You can't trade that car in!" I thought she would faint. The keys, which had been about to touch the lock on the door, tinkled to the ground. I put Aaron, and his seat, on the ground as I swiped the keys off the cement.
"It is of no use to me now, Bella. My family has grown." I placed each of my hands on their heads, and kissed her cheek. Her blush flared, and the loathing creature that I was, my throat burned. Her smile grew impossibly sweet, as I pushed the door open, just a crack. I pushed Aaron inside, and carried her over the threshold. Her feet kicked gently as she wrapped her arms around my neck.
As sweet as all this was, I could feel this tiff between us was not done...
"But that's your car!" Oh, I thought not...
"It's only a car, Bella. In a hundred years, trite things such as these will mean little. Worry not, wee one." She scowled at me. "I'll trade it in for the Rapide."
"You spend more money than Alice." Every other word brought her pointer finger to my chest, as she reprimanded me. "Honestly, sometimes I wonder about you." She wrestled lightly, to get out of my arms, and I resisted momentarily. Kissing her squarely on her mouth, I set her down firmly on the marble floors of the formal living room. "This is really something, Edward." Looking around, she whistled appreciatively. "Nicer than my place in the city. Must've set you back a pretty penny."
I flicked my wrist dismissively. "Not even nine hundred thousand, Bella. It was a steal, and it was lovely. The school district is excellent." We could send him to any private school in the world, but I wanted her to know that I thought of everything when selecting our first home. Together. We would live together. My dead heart soared at the idea. "Now follow me."
I lead her back into the foyer and up the grand staircase, her eyes floating over the rooms as we ascended. "I've left most of the rooms unfurnished, as I plan on sending you out purchase whatever it is your heart desires." That precious scowl returned. The kitten who thinks she's a tiger. "I did outfit the nursery, however." I stopped at the first bedroom, closest to the staircase. Each end of the stairs had a built in, solid cherry wood, gate with a lock. Form and function united when I hired a carpenter to construct sturdy, childproof gates to match the staircase. She would not have to worry about her child in this home; it was reworked with his very needs in the forefront of my mind.
Tentatively, she opened up the door to the nursery. It was the teal blue of the walls that called to her first. She rubbed her fingers along the white wainscotting as she took in the ocean theme. Aaron loved the ocean. Esme had painted a large fish mural opposite the crib, and that was the first place he toddled off too.
'Mine?' He signed, tracing a sea turtle with his index finger.
'Yours.' I smiled, and he ran over to hug me.
'Family. Home. I love you.'
"The fish look alive, Edward. It's almost as if they're swimming." Wistfully, she moved the curtains aside and peeked outside his bedroom window. He had a lovely view of the gardens, and the inground pool out back.
"Do you like it?" She slowly turned to face me as I placed him on his bed with sheets from 'Finding Nemo'. "Esme painted that, you know?" She traced her fingers along each fish, smiling softly.
"I still think it's way too much, Edward. Though I'm old enough now to accept your generosity without a fight."
"When did you wish to look at furniture?" I asked her, knowing that Alice was not far behind. The doorbell rang. "Ah yes, there she is."
Bella's eyes snapped up to meet mine, "Did you honestly think Alice would miss out on an opportunity like this, Bella?"
I brought the Mercedes, Edward. Come strap in the car seat.
"Oh, good. We can all go." The door was unlocked, and she let herself in.
"Bella?" She raced up the staircase so quickly that she was a tiny blur.
I turned around and suddenly she was there. The whole day had been overwhelming. We arrived in NYC this morning, schlepped over to my former in-laws, where he purchased over 25,000 dollars in diamonds, and then he drives me here, to this 900,000 dollar mansion. Our 900,000 dollar mansion. One that he called a 'starter home', somewhere in our conversation. On top of that, he's trading in his Vanquish for a car that he mentioned sells for over 260,000 dollars. Somewhere, on this big green planet, my Chevy truck rolled over in its grave.
He'd never flaunted his wealth like this, and though I knew he wasn't doing it purposefully, I was suddenly overwhelmed. My breaths came in shallow gasps; I was having a panic attack. "Bella, calm down." Alice stated, as she grabbed my arm. "Edward, go get water." I felt the darkness creeping up on me, and I warred to keep it down; warred to keep the monster at bay. Before I could blink, Edward was at my side, a glass in his hand. I sat myself down on the toddler bed, and took deep breaths; he knelt in front of me instantly.
"What's the matter, love?" He brought his fingers to the back of my skull, and knitted them through my hair, bringing my cheek to rest upon his shoulder. His cool hands on my body helped calm me, and eventually, my breathing slowed.
I struggled to keep my breathing even. I could hear him coaching me through it—he was my rock, my anchor. "So much money, Edward." He chuckled darkly.
"Yes, well, you'd be amazed how quickly it amasses when you have an eternity, my darling." He cradled me to his chest, rocking me side to side, as I listened to Alice playing with Aaron. "It's nice to make changes now and again, Bella. Sweetheart, don't you see? This makes me happy." He sighed into my neck, and I gripped his shirt tightly, the demons being pushed back into their cages. "I've barely spent a dime since that day in the forest Bella. I drive the same cars, and this is the first property that I've purchased, so spending money now and again is a good thing."
I pulled myself back so that I could see into his eyes, "When do we move in?"
"Whenever you want to, my angel." He rose from his crouch, and extended his hand for me to take. "Come, let me show you our room." He gave me a smile to light the world as he took me down the hall.
The switch flicked quietly, encasing the room in a near perfect imitation of sunlight. The walls were a beautiful shade of ecru with white trim and mouldings. There was a full bath complete with a shower stall, a jacuzzi tub, toilet and double sinks. To the left was a separate dressing room with a double vanity and a gigantic walk in closet, larger than both of Charlie's bedrooms combined.
"Finally a closet Alice will be satisfied with." He winked at me and pinched my cheeks.
"I could slap you, you know." I folded my arms and tried to pout. He laughed and rumpled my hair. "Did the owner's leave stuff here?" The closet was already filled with garment bags and shoes. Size 7.5. Trepidation grew. Unzipping a garment bag, I unearthed a size 4. My size.
"No, Bella. Those are yours." He trotted to the other side of the room and mock hid in the shower stall.
"You...." I was ready to charge at him, even if I broke my neck in the process. I hated fancy clothes and he knew it.
"No!" He pleaded. "Not me, I swear!" I began to dart towards him. He held his arms out to catch me, in case I fell—my irritation grew. "Slow down, now, Bella. You'll only hurt yourself, you know, and I haven't had a chance to add an impromptu ER in here, should you get hurt."
"Pig!" I shrieked. He laughed at me, and I threw a toilet paper roll in his direction. It bounced uselessly on the, now closed, sliding glass door.
I stumbled out of the last furniture store exhausted. The movers were loading what Edward and I had picked out onto the truck that very evening. He had, of course, offered to pay extra to have everything delivered tomorrow morning. The only thing arriving tonight was a plush queen size bed. He had insisted on the king size, but I said it was too big. We'd truly had to compromise on that one. I wanted a double bed because it was more than enough for the two of us. He was hell-bent on the king size because, well, it was the biggest. I didn't want to have the option of being so far away from him, so we settled on the queen. He kissed the top of my head, and said that he loved me. Words caught in my throat, and I had nothing to say. I loved him too much to tarnish it with any trite words, and somehow, he knew. He believed that I was worthy of his love, despite how broken I was inside.
"We're staying till Wednesday, then, Edward?" he was sitting on the floor, at his laptop, picking through flight options.
"Well, the best option that I see leaves Thursday morning. That would give you an extra day to spend with his grandparents, should you choose.." He smiled at me benevolently. Ever the gentleman.
"Fine with me."
We got Aaron off to bed, and curled up on the big queen size bed. Edward threw a quilt over me, and his arms wrapped themselves around me. Suddenly, I felt my determination grow. "Make love to me, Edward?" His eyes froze over and panic gripped his features. Can't teach an old vamp new tricks...
"Not till you're more....durable, Bella. It's too dangerous." He kissed my cheek, and settled in next to me. "I could bite you, Bella. You're aware of how you smell to me."
"If I am bitten, then I'm bitten, Edward. Nothing will change." He sighed behind me, and I wondered where his mind had taken him.
"Can you wait till we're bound as man and wife, Bella?"
Sitting up in bed, I smiled at him. "Sure." I made my voice sickly sweet. This waiting game would cost him—heavily. Relief washed over his features. "If that's the case, then I won't go back to the store till Monday. We leave for Vegas tomorrow."
Let him stew on that!
I kissed his cheeks, rolled over, and fell asleep. My stunned lover lay quietly, deathly still, beside me.
Mostly fluff here, but I'm setting up for some pretty huge plot twists, which will appear within the next couple chapters. The happy couple will not remain in peace forever...
I'm going to go back to Edward and Bella from "Here's to You!". Last I checked, Emmett was kicking the shit out of Mike, and Bella was doing body shots w/ Edward.
Check out "Divine Providence" three chapters are up, and if I ever get my act together; I'll post another this week.