I do NOT own Twilight or anything else Twilight related.

There will be LEMONS and adult themes in this story. The story is rated M for a reason, however, I feel it would be more appropriate to be rated MA. SO IF YOU ARE NOT OLD ENOUGH TO READ MA/NC-17 STORIES, PLEASE DO NOT CONTINUE. I'd rather not get in trouble because someone else can't follow the rules.

I'm having to post this little note in all my fics: One of my stories was plagiarized. I may not own Bella, Edward, or any of Twilight's other characters, but this fic is mine--all words and concepts included. Please be respectful enough to realize that plagiarism is stealing...

Chapter 1


"Eli Jacob Black! Get your butt in here now!" I blew out a breath in exasperation before continuing. "Your dad will be here any minute! You don't want to be late to the lake the first day out on his new boat, do you?" I was shouting at the stairs.

I rolled my eyes and walked away. He'd get down here when he was good and ready. The doorbell rang, and I turned to get it.

"I got it!" Eli cried, bounding down the steps.

I laughed at my five-year-old's abundance of energy. His jet black hair was bouncing, and his black eyes were gleaming with their typical mischief.

"Okay, okay." I went back into the kitchen and let him answer the door.

"Daddy!" Eli yelled, jumping into Jacob's arms.

"Hey, buddy. Where's Mom?"

"In the kitchen," he responded excitedly. "Daddy? Where's your boat?"

"It's behind the truck. See?" I could see him pointing to his black Chevy outside.

"Cool!" Eli yelled.

"Bells?" Jacob called from the front door.

"In here!" I quickly stuffed the cooler full of the things I would need to make sandwiches for lunch and drinks--lots of drinks.

Jacob walked into the kitchen, watching me as he leaned casually against the doorway. His black hair was tied back into its usual ponytail, his black eyes followed my every move. His tall body was extremely muscular, making any girl swoon--any girl but me, that is.

"What?" I couldn't stand for him to watch me any longer.

"Just wondering if you're trying to feed an army, Bells." He was chuckling under his breath.

I rolled my eyes. They were going to get stuck looking at the back of my head before the day was over.

"No. But you and Eli eat like pigs. You'll be starving by two if I don't pack what seems like way too much. And we've already discussed staying out on the lake until dinner."

It was the beginning of summer in Chicago--our first summer in Chicago. Jacob had gotten a job as a jet mechanic at O'Hare and couldn't pass it up. Eli and I followed him from Forks. I couldn't bear for my son to grow up two thousand miles away from his father. Jacob had recently bought a boat and we were going to go on it with him today. I wasn't exactly sure this was something I would enjoy; I'd never been on a boat before.

"Is um, what's-her-name coming?"

I laughed. "Jessica. Yes, she's coming."

Thankfully for my sanity, I'd become friends with a girl at the restaurant I worked with. I had found a job as a line cook at one of Chicago's top five star restaurants. My training in Seattle as a chef was finally useful.

"Mom? Momma? Let's go!" Eli grabbed a hold of my sundress and started tugging.

"All right, already," I laughed.

I put the bag in the truck and made sure Eli was in his booster seat, buckled up tight, while Jacob loaded the cooler into the bed of the truck.

As we made our way to the boat launch, I turned to look back at my little boy. He was watching wide-eyed out the window as he watched the strange sights in this new city fly by. Now that he was here, I couldn't imagine my life without him. But that wasn't always the case.

I remembered Jake's twenty-first birthday clearly--most of it anyway. He had been dying to go out with my friends and I since I had turned twenty-one six months before. He and I had gotten a group of our friends to drive to Port Angeles and hit our favorite spots. My high school best friend, Angela Weber, drove since she opted not to drink that night. I used to wish for months that I had done the same.

We drank until the bars closed before making our way home back to Forks. After dropping Jake's friends Quil and Embry off, the night began to get a little blurry. I remember making it back to Jake's house, but I can't remember anything after that. That is, until the next morning.

I woke up in Jake's bed, tangled up in his long limbs. I took one look at our naked bodies and had a panic attack. I had lost my virginity and couldn't remember a thing--but then again, so had Jacob.

I smiled to myself as I thought of our reactions. We were in such denial, thinking that there was no way we would ever have actually had sex with each other. We stupidly believed that we had just drunkenly stripped out of our clothes and passed out. Three weeks later, we were proved wrong.

"I can't look Jake. You do it."

We were sitting in the bathroom at my house, waiting for that little stick to tell us what our fate was.

He blew out a breath. "I don't want to either."

"Please?" I pleaded.

"Fine." He picked up the test and looked at it for a moment before his eyes bugged out of his head. "Oh, shit! Oh, fuck! Bella, we are so screwed!"

I felt my heart drop into my stomach. "I'm pregnant?" I squeaked out.

"Yeah," he whispered, still looking at the test.

I felt my eyes well up with tears, and I collapsed on the floor against the bathtub. "What am I going to do? I still have another year left of school!" I buried my face in my hands and began sobbing uncontrollably.

After a while, I felt Jacob crouch down beside me and pull me into his strong arms. "We'll make it work," he said, quietly.

"How?" I sniffled.

"I don't know." He looked into my eyes seriously. "But we'll find a way. I promise."

I nodded my head. "Yeah, okay." I was having a baby.

"Bells?" He was smiling.

What could he be smiling about? I was trying to picture myself as a parent, but couldn't. I always imagined getting married and having children with my husband--not my best friend.

"What are you smiling at? Am I missing something? Because this is not funny." I scowled.

"No, it's not. That's why I'm smiling." I looked at him with a puzzled expression on my face. "You know that phrase, 'Fuck My Life'?"

I gave him a small smile. "Yeah."

"I think it applies in this situation."

"Bella? Earth to Bella!" Jacob waved his hand in front of my face. "We're here."

I looked over at him and frowned. "Sorry."

"What were you thinking about?"

He was grinning widely at me. It didn't matter how old we got, I would always be a source of entertainment for him.

I blushed. "The day we found out we were having Eli."

He barked out a laugh. "Why?"

I shrugged. "I don't know." I hadn't thought about it in a long time.

I looked at my best friend and smiled. We had tried to be together after finding out I was pregnant with Eli, but I just couldn't make it work. We were never meant to be in each other's lives like that. Kissing Jacob felt like kissing a younger brother. It took one date for me to figure that out.

"Momma! Daddy! Let's go!" Eli had unbuckled himself and was bouncing around in the back seat of the truck.

"We're going, we're going!" Jacob replied.

We got the boat inspected and paid our docking fee before we uncovered the boat and loaded everything in it. I stepped back and looked at the speedboat, frowning a little again.

"You remember what I told you?" I nodded. I was not looking forward to the next part. "You'll be fine. I swear."

I sighed. "That's what you say now." I looked at him and grinned. "If I run it into the dock picking you back up, you can't be mad. You're the one who picked the clumsiest person in Chicago to drive your boat."

He snorted. "Who else am I going to pick, Bells? I don't know anyone else."

I laughed. "This is true."

"Bella! I'm so sorry I'm late!" I turned to see Jessica running up to us in a white terrycloth cover up over a black string bikini. Her light brown hair was pulled into a ponytail.

"It's okay. I was going to call you and let you know we were going to wait for you in the water. We were just about to drop in." I smiled at her, grateful to have found a friend in after only living here for a month.

We climbed into the boat. I put sunscreen on myself and Eli before I fastened his lifejacket. "You remember what I told you, baby?"

"Yes, Mom," he groaned. "Don't hang over the edge. Don't get up unless we're stopped, and tell Daddy when I have to pee."

I kissed his forehead. "Okay. You're ready." He flashed a bright smile at me before sitting next to Jessica.

Amazingly enough, I managed to get the boat into the water and picked Jacob back up at the dock without crashing in to anything. Jacob took the wheel, and we sped around the lake for a couple of hours before deciding to head over to one of the beaches.

I got out of the boat and helped Eli get down. I looked around and saw that the back of the beach was covered with trees and bushes. I watched the waves crash against the golden sand while Jacob helped Jessica out. It was barely noon and the beach was already lined up with other tethered boats. I felt the sun beat on my back and smiled. It had been so long since I'd felt the heat of the sun, warming my soul.

We ate our lunch before making our way down the beach. Eli jumped in the waves as we slowly walked through the crowd of people.

"Jessica!" We turned our heads to see a short, tiny woman with spiky black hair running over to us.

"Alice!" Jessica gave her a big hug before continuing. "I haven't seen you in so long!" She looked around. "I didn't know you and Jasper had a boat."

"We don't. My dad and my brother do."

I glanced back and Eli to make sure he was safe. He had stopped playing in the water and was making a sandcastle with Jacob.

"I'm sorry. Alice, this is a friend from work, Bella Swan." I smiled shyly at Alice as Jessica pointed over to Jacob and Eli. "Over there is her son, Eli, and his dad, Jacob." Jacob heard his name and grinned at us.

"I'm Alice Hale. It's really nice to meet you!" she said, enthusiastically before throwing her arms around me and hugging me.

"Uh, you too." The surprise of this stranger hugging me was evident in my voice.

"You guys should come and hang out with us! The guys are playing horseshoes, and Rose and I are so bored!" She was practically squealing.

"Uh, okay. It's fine with me, if you want to go over there, Jess."

Jessica looked at me and beamed. "Yes. Her brothers are gorgeous!"

I turned and called back to Jacob. "We're going up the beach a little if you two want to come."

Jacob looked at Eli. "What do you say, bub? Want to follow your mom?"

"I want to finish this first." Eli never looked up from his project.

"We'll meet you over there, Bells."

We followed Alice until we got to where her family was. "It's about fucking time!" I looked over to see a tall, muscular man with black hair grinning. My eyes widened behind my sunglasses at his massive size.

Standing next to him was a woman who was extraordinarily beautiful. She had long, blond hair and wore a tiny white string bikini. Her body was amazing; I immediately wrapped my arms around myself in self-consciousness.

Standing next to the large man--holding a horseshoe in his hand-- was a taller, blond haired man wearing yellow swim trunks. I looked to the other side to see an older blond haired man, who I guessed was maybe Alice's father. Standing next to him was a small, caramel haired woman. He wrapped his arms around her and kissed her softly on the cheek. I felt myself smile and looked over to the man standing next to them.

I instantly felt my body freeze in place as soon as my brain registered the gorgeous stranger. My heart leaped in my chest, and I felt it speed up, pounding furiously against my ribs. I was unable to tear my eyes away from him; I just stared.

I couldn't tell much about his beautiful face other than his smile was the most amazing thing I had ever laid eyes on. My tongue involuntarily snaked out to wet my lips. I knew I was ogling him, but I couldn't seem to stop myself.

He had sunglasses on, blocking his eyes, and he was wearing a hat backwards, covering up what I assumed was shaggy, dark red hair. Or was it brown? I concentrated on the color and realized it was brown that had this coppery hue in the sun. I let my eyes trail down his glorious body and felt the heat flash through my core--I'd never felt anything so strong before.

He was tall and chiseled with lean muscle. His skin was smooth and pale. I looked at his stomach and found myself focused on his incredible six pack and the indent of his hip bones before noticing a tattoo on his ribcage on the left side. It looked like some sort of family crest. My gaze swept across his body again, and I saw that he had another tattoo of something written in Latin, going up his forearm from his wrist to his bicep. My eyes went back up to his face, and I noticed him watching me. I blushed and quickly turned back to Alice.

"Oh, shut up, Emmett." She turned back to me grinning. "I ran into Jessica and her friend Bella and asked them to join us." She pointed to the big man. "This is my big brother Emmett and his fiancée Rosalie Hale." She then pointed to the blond man next to them. "That's my husband, Jasper. He's Rosalie's brother." She turned towards the stake at the other side. "That's my dad, Carlisle, and my mom, Esme. And that's my other big brother. Everyone calls him Cullen."

I waved shyly at them. "Hi. Nice to meet you." Cullen? What a strange name.

I stood at the side with Alice and watched as they finished their game and set up another one.

"Any of you girls want to get in on this? Someone's got to beat Cullen over there. Damn sand rat kicks our asses every time." Emmett's laugh boomed in the air.

I listened to the beautiful bronze haired man speak for the first time. "You're just jealous, Em." He took a pull from his beer and laughed, causing chills to run down my spine. His deep, velvety voice seemed to pierce right through me.

"Seriously, I'm done. Any of you girls want to take my place?" Emmett held out the horseshoes to Jessica and me.

"No. You don't want me to play, trust me." I waved my hands in front of me.

He laughed. "It's easy. All you have to do is throw it at the stake."

"No. That's okay. It's probably much safer for me to sit this one out."

He shrugged. "Suit yourself. Jessica?"

"Sure, I'll play." She took the horseshoes from Emmett and went to stand by the beautiful man. I just couldn't seem to get myself to call him Cullen.

Alice gently elbowed me and smiled knowingly. "My brother's hot, huh?"

"What? Which one?" I asked, laughing.

"The one you can't seem to keep your eyes off of."

I blushed. Shit. "Yeah. He's all right, I guess. I can't really tell with the hat and sunglasses." I was lying through my teeth.

"Oh, trust me. You'll like it."


"Where did Alice go?" I threw one of my horseshoes and ringed it.

"Fuck, Cullen! Stop doing that shit!" Emmett yelled at me, causing me to laugh.

"Emmett, language!" Esme scolded.

"I can't help it if there was nothing else for us to do in the desert."

I had enlisted in the Navy just out of high school, going through my commission at Annapolis before going through med school at USUHS. After I finished med school, I volunteered to be a USMC Devil Doc in Iraq. I spent the last three years taking care of those guys. In some ways, I wished that I would have joined the Marines instead of the Navy. I loved my training in the Navy, but I somehow felt like being with that group of men in Iraq was where I belonged. I had to remind myself constantly that if I hadn't joined the Navy, I wouldn't have been able to come back and work with my father as a general surgeon.

"Yeah, yeah. Blame it on the war." Jasper laughed.

I smiled broadly at him. I was getting ready to say something sarcastic back when I heard Alice's high soprano voice chattering away.

"It's about fucking time!" Emmett boomed at Alice.

I looked over to see her talking to her friend, Jessica Stanley, from college. I hadn't ever really talked to her, but I knew who she was. I looked over at the slender girl next to her and my heart thudded brokenly in my chest.

She had a royal blue bikini on that set off the creamy color of her skin perfectly. Her long, mahogany hair shimmered with red in the sunlight and was pulled up into a messy knot on top of her head. I paid closer attention to her body and saw that it was perfect--soft and feminine with just a little bit of muscle tone. My eyes ran up her gorgeous body and rested on her plump, pink lips. I felt my face break into a smile as I thought of all the ways that mouth could be used. I memorized her face and found myself wishing I could see behind her sunglasses into her eyes.

I wonder what color they are?

I couldn't seem to keep the smile off my face as I watched her. She was facing this way, but with those dark sunglasses on, I couldn't tell if she was looking at me or not. Suddenly, she tensed up and I knew she was looking directly at me. She whipped her head back over to where Emmett and Jasper were standing, but not fast enough for me to miss the blush that spread across her cheeks. One look at that beautiful pink tint and all the blood in my body moved south.

Get it together, Edward.

I hadn't been this attracted to someone in... Well, ever, actually.

"Oh, shut up, Emmett." She looked back at the girl and smiled widely. "I ran into Jessica and her friend Bella and asked them to join us."

Bella. You are insanely beautiful, Bella. My brain was screaming at my mouth to let out those few little words.

"This is my big brother Emmett and his fiancée Rosalie Hale." Alice then pointed everyone else out. "That's my husband, Jasper. He's Rosalie's brother." She turned towards me, and I still couldn't keep my eyes off of Bella. "That's my dad, Carlisle, and my mom, Esme. And that's my other brother. Everyone calls him Cullen."

Damn, why did she have to use my military name?

"Hi. Nice to meet you," Bella said, waving slightly. Her voice was the most amazing sound I had ever heard.

"Come on, let's finish the game," I heard Emmett say, but had yet to take my eyes off Bella. I suddenly was no longer interested in playing horseshoes.

We finished playing, and I turned to grab a beer.

"Any of you girls want to get in on this? Someone's got to beat Cullen over there. Damn sand rat kicks our asses every time." Emmett asked, laughing. I hated it when he called me that.

"You're just jealous, Em." I laughed to hide my annoyance before taking a long drink of my beer.

"Seriously, I'm done. Any of you girls want to take my place?" Emmett waved the horseshoes in front of them.

Bella answered him. "No. You don't want me to play, trust me."

Yes, I do.

He laughed. "It's easy. All you have to do is throw it at the stake."

"No. That's okay. It's probably much safer for me to sit this one out." I gave her a funny look.

What did that mean?

Emmett just shrugged. "Suit yourself. Jessica?"

"Sure, I'll play." Jessica grabbed the horseshoes and came over to stand by me.

"Hi, I'm Jessica. I don't think we've actually ever met before." She giggled.

"Hi. Cullen. Nice to meet you." I didn't want to be rude, but she was not who I wanted to be talking to at that very moment.

We played a few rounds, Jasper and I winning of course, before I heard a little boy start yelling in our direction.

"Momma! Momma! You should have seen the sandcastle Daddy and I built! It was awesome!"

I looked over to see a little Native American boy running over towards Bella. Bella's face lit up at the sight of the boy. She crouched down and wrapped her arms around him. I felt my stomach drop, and my chest somehow felt like it had been torn in two.

Shit. She's taken.

I shook the feeling off. I couldn't be heartbroken over someone I had just met, could I?

A man who was clearly the boy's father walked over to Bella and draped his arm around her shoulder. She smiled before she stepped out of his embrace. She and the little boy walked over to the cooler and pulled out a bottle of water. I watched her play with her son in the shade and felt my face break out into another smile. Seeing her interact with him just made her even more attractive to me. I'd never given much thought to having a family, but suddenly, I wanted it. More specifically, I wanted it with her.

Whoa, slow the fuck down.

We finished the game and everyone walked over to where our lawn chairs and coolers were sitting. I picked up the horseshoes and pulled one of the stakes out of the ground.

"Hey, fat ass! Get over here!" Jasper yelled at me.

"Haha. Very funny. I'm coming." They were never going to let me live it down.

Bella had a confused expression on her face when I walked over.

"Don't call him fat ass!" Alice chided. I looked around to make sure Bella's little boy wasn't in ear shot--he was playing with some other kids at the rope swing.

Alice looked at me like she remembered something. "Oh, you're the only one I haven't introduced to Jacob." I didn't want to know his name. "Jacob, this is my brother, Cullen."

"Hey, man. Nice to meet you." I just nodded in response.

"Why did you call him fat ass?" Bella asked Jasper timidly.

"Oh." He laughed. "Before Alice saw you guys, this little girl came up to Cullen and asked him why he has so many tattoos."

She looked confused. "Two is a lot?"

"He has more than two."

I reluctantly turned around to show her my back side. I hated this part. People either loved it or hated it. I was praying Bella didn't hate it.

She looked at the Irish cross in between my shoulder blades, the scorpion on my left calf, and the USMC Devil Doc logo on my right calf. Luckily, she couldn't see my favorite eight bars tattooed low on the right side of my stomach of Beethoven's Fur Elise.

"I'm a sailor, what can I say?" She gave me a small smile that I couldn't decipher.

"So Cullen starts laughing at the little girl and asks her 'Why not?' She looked at him for a minute before she said 'I know why you have so many tattoos. It's because you're fat!' And then she smacked him!" He was laughing loudly now. "It was the funniest thing I'd ever seen!"

Jessica turned and looked at me. "You are so not fat."

"Thanks," I muttered.

Everyone started loading everything up and taking it back to the boats. I saw Bella's son walk over to me from the corner of my eye. I looked down to see him studying my tattoos.

"Hey, little man. What's your name?"

"Eli. Eli Black." He looked up at me with those big, black eyes. I instantly loved him.

"I'm Edward. You see something you like?" I grinned at him.

"What's that say?" He pointed to the writing that went up my arm.

I could feel Bella watching us. It was like my body instinctively knew she was behind me. "It's what we say in the Navy. It says 'Non sibi sed patriae'. It means 'Not self, but country'."

His eyes lit up. "You're in the Navy?! Have you been on a submarine?!"

Smart kid.

I laughed. "Yes. A few times. But I don't do that anymore. I'm a surgeon."

"Really?" He thought for a moment, frowning. "Were you in Iraq?"

I felt my eyes go wide. "You know about Iraq?"

"I saw it on TV at Grandpa Charlie's." He shrugged. "So were you?"

"Yes. For three years."

"Cool! Did you shoot anyone?"

I fidgeted nervously. Were all kids this curious?

"Eli!" I heard Bella's beautiful voice call from behind me. "Go find your dad and start going back to the boat. We need to get you home so that you can get a bath before bed."

He looked down at the ground. "Oh, all right." He looked so disappointed.

I quickly put my hand on his shoulder and crouched down beside him. "We can talk about this some other time, Eli," I whispered, smiling at him.

"Awesome! Thanks, Edward!" He took off running toward his father.

"I'm really sorry about that, um...Cullen, is it?" She bit her lip nervously. It was ridiculously hot.

"No. Edward, please. Everyone just calls me 'Cullen' because it's what I was called while I was on active duty. Edward's not really the toughest name for a guy in the military. It just kind of stuck with me." I cleared my throat. It was suddenly dry.

"I like Edward." She smiled at me.

"Thanks." I looked over towards where Eli ran off. "He's a really cute kid."

She beamed. "I think so. So, you're in the Navy?"


"And you went to Iraq?" She looked puzzled.

"Yeah. I volunteered to be a Devil Doc for the Marines."

She smiled. "Oh, okay. I couldn't understand how a sailor would be stationed in a landlocked country."

No wonder Eli's so smart.

I changed to subject to get away from my time overseas. "So...um...we're celebrating my birthday next weekend by going to Kendall's to watch the UFC fight, if you want to come."

Did I seriously just ask a married girl out? I looked down at her hand but saw no ring. But it didn't mean anything--she could have just taken it off because she was going on the lake.

"You should come, Bella!" Alice chimed in. "Jazz reserved a table and then we were going to go out afterwards."

"I'd really like to, but what about Eli?"

"Didn't you say that he was going to Jacob's next weekend?" Alice asked in confusion.

She's not married? Yes!

"Yeah. I guess you're right." Alice grinned at her.

Eli came bouncing over towards Bella just then.

"I thought I told you to go to the boat with your dad!" She had her hands on her hips and was giving him a playful smile. I desperately wanted to be on the receiving end of that smile.

"I did! I asked Daddy if I could spend the night tomorrow night, and Daddy told me to come over here and ask you!"

She laughed. "I guess you can."

"Yay!" Eli ran back over to his father.

"Hey, why don't you come out with Rose and me tomorrow?" Alice asked Bella. I felt like I needed to leave, but I couldn't get my feet to move.

"Really? I haven't been out in so long. I don't think I'd be much fun." I watched that beautiful blush spread across her cheeks again and nearly lost it.

Alice laughed. "Please? It'll be fun!"

She looked at Alice for a moment while she considered. "Yeah, okay. Why not?"

They exchanged numbers while I continued to watch like a fool.

"Okay, I'll call you tomorrow, Bella!" Alice bounced off back towards Jasper. "Bye!"

"So..." I trailed off. I was so nervous around this girl I could barely think straight. "Are you going next weekend to Kendall's?"

"Sure," she smirked. Her brows knit before she spoke again. "I guess I should talk to Alice about it? I've only lived here for a month. I don't have any idea what Kendall's is or how to get there." She looked back and saw that Carlisle, Esme, Alice, and Jasper were already in the water on the way back to the marina. "Well, I guess I'd better go. I'll see you around, Edward."

The sound of my name on her lips sent sparks shooting throughout my body. I couldn't let her leave without making certain she'd be there next weekend.

"Hey, hang on a sec. Just give me your number and I'll call you about it. After all, I did invite you." My heart was pounding in my chest with the thought of her telling me no.

"Um, okay."

She recited her number to me as I programmed it into my phone. "What's your last name, Bella?"

"Swan." Definitely not married. Point for Edward.

I grinned crookedly at her. "I'll call you next week, and we can make all the necessary arrangements." I looked at her beautiful face for a moment before I continued. "It was really nice meeting you."

"You too, Edward."