This author's note might turn out to be slightly sugary and shit...so if you feel uncomfortable with that don't read ;) I want to thank all of you who on the last chapter showed so much support...I just...argh! You really are the best readers inthe whole world. All those things you said, they made me want to cry. I am just so happy it's unbelievable. I just want you to know how good you've made me feel, how much I felt those reviews, I wish there was a word to describe what I amfeeling right now, or maybe there is but I don't know it :P Whatever, I love you guys and now that my hopes are up again,I will try to upate more often and hopefully I can finish this story as I planned to do at the beggining.

LETS GET READING! :D

Glory of Love

I woke up at six next morning. Jacob was fast asleep next to me. I didn't even remember hearing him come home. Normally I'd have tried to get back to sleep. But today I knew it wasn't worth it. I slipped out of bed and into the bathroom. Jacob's wet clothes were hanging over the radiator. I felt a twinge of guilt. Maybe I'd been a bit harsh on him. But maybe it was the only way. I took a shower but as I crept back into the darkness of the bedroom to dress, I noticed Jacob's eyes were open.

"You're up early," he said, croaking slightly.

"Yeah, got a lot on at work," I mumbled, trying to avoid eye contact by rummaging on some drawers for my underwear.

"Look, about last night," he started.

"I'm sorry you got wet," I said, hoping to head off a row. Jacob leant up in bed, switched the bedside lamp on and rubbed his eyes awake. Clearly the subject was far from finished.

"I'm sorry I upset you," he said, his face suitably apologetic, "I guess I was a bit distracted with the stuff at work. And wanting you to enjoy it made me a bit anxious and when I get anxious I tend to babble and, well, you know what happened." He threw his hands out wide as he said it. His way of begging for forgiveness.

"It's okay," I said with my back to him as I fastened my bra, "I understand. It's just that occasionally I need a night off from making the world a better place. A nice quiet meal without any hassle."

I pulled a top over my head, hopinf I'd managed to end the conversation. But the look on Jacob's face as my head poked though suggested otherwise.

"What you said about me sounding like Mum. Did you mean that?"

I paused for a second, going back to the wardrobe to find some trousers to give myself more time.

"All I meant was that sometimes it's like you're trying to impress her when she's not even there."

"I wasn't. It's how I am," The hands were out again, his voice indignant.

"No, Jacob, it's how she brought you up. You're a big boy now, you don't have to follow her teachings to the letter. Or impose them on everyone else."

He scratched his head as he tried to digest what I'd said. His face was as crumpled as last night's clothes.

"So what are you saying? That I'm an irritating bastard who rubs everyone uo the wrong way?"

I sat down on the corner of the bed and touched his leg though the duvet.

"Of course not. What I'm asking you to do is to stop and think before you say things. And once in a while, if it's not the right time or the right place, bite your lip and let it go."

He sighed heavily and nodded. "Okay, I'll give it a try. Anything's better than having to walk home in the rain." He smiled an uncertain smile. It was the best I was going to get.

"Anyway," I said, slipping on my shoes. "I'd better get to work. See you later" I leant over and kissed him.

"Love you," he said.

And I knew he meant it.

*****

It was still only six forty five. Too early for Starbucks and though the gym opened at seven it would be filled with thrusting early morning types, the sort who would have a power breakfast afterwards. I didn't fancy it. I drove straight to work.

I liked being at the Gazette at this hour. Only a handful of people in, the office still slumbering before the chaos of the day ahead. Even Eric was comparatively quiet this early, as if his loud, obnoxious self hadn't woken up yet. I wandered over to the coffee machine, got a number four and a number seven and took them into Emmet's office, the strong sweet smell prompting him to lift his head from his copy of The Times.

"Oh, thanks Bella," he said as I put the number seven in front of him. Emmet would never think to ask why I was in so early. He found it odd that the other people weren't as keen to get to work as he was. The bags under his eyes looked larger than usual, as if carrying two weeks' shopping instead of one. I noticed how gaunt his face was as well. Clearly the situation at home hadn't improved.

"How's things?" I said.

"Oh, you know," he shrugged and raised his eyebrows.

"I don't know, Emmet, that's why I'm asking."

"Phil's taking voluntary redundancy," he said.

"Good. No great loss. Anyone else?"

"A couple have been in to discuss terms, nothing definite."

Emmet went back to staring at the paper, though I could tell his eyes weren't focusing.

"And what about at home'" I asked, determined to drag it out of him.

Emmet let go of a long sigh and shrugged again. His face was empty, expressionless. As if he'd given up all hope.

"I take it that means Rosalie's still there" I said, taking a sip of my coffee.

"And that Derek. Makes things awkward. It's not that I don't like him. He seems a decent enough sort of chap."

"Emmet, he's shagging your wife under your roof." I said, throwing my hands up in the air.

"I know. I can hear them some nights,"

"Fucking hell," I got up form the chair and started pacing about. "Why didn't you throw her out like I said?"

"I tried to, but she just laughed and said I'd have to throw all her things out and change the locks."

"And what's wrong with that?"

Emmet pulled a face. "People don't do things like that, not in Solihull."

"I don't suppose many people shack up with somebody else's wife in Solihull either."

Emmet shrugged again. I wanted to rip his arms from his shoulders and use the to prop his pride up.

"I'm not going to drag her out kicking and screaming. I couldn't do that to the boys."

"How are they."

"Hard to say. Their Playstation games seem to be getting more violent, but maybe's that's a stage they're going through."

I shook my head. He was brilliant newspaper editor, but he seemed to find the domestic front mind-boggingly difficult.

"So how long are you going to go on living like this?" I said, sitting down again to finish my coffee.

"I don't know. She might get bored of him by Christmas. Depends on what he gets her for a present. I never seem to get the right thing. Women can be very odd about presents, you know."

I smiled weakly, wondering if Emmet could find a use for a wind-up torch.

"Drink your coffee," I said, as I headed for the door, "Before it gets cold."

Alice announced her arrival at ten past eight by kicking over a waste paper bin and knocking the business editor's coffee off his desk. I'd briefed her before on the art of slipping in quietly if you were late but somehow she never managed it. She collapsed on to her chair looking as if she'd scaled Everest and swum the Channel on her way in.

"I've got some good news for you." I said.

Alice took a brush from her bag and scraped her hair back into a small pony tail. "Don't tell me, Kurt Cobain is back from the dead and wants my phone number." She said.

"No, but Phil's taken voluntary redundancy. Only one more to go and you're safe."

"Great," she said, fishing in her bag again and producing a purple scrunchy which she tied around her hair.

"I thought you'd be pleased." I said, frowning at her.

"I'm ecstatic. I'm just tired. Didn't get much sleep last night."

I remembered she'd told me she was going to some club in Digbeth with Jazz.

"Was it an all-nighter then?" I said.

"We didn't go in the end. Had a change of plans" she said, switching on her computer and pulling her notebook from under a pile of papers.

"Oh, why was that?"

"Jazz had to go somewhere with Davina."

"Who's she?" I said. It wasn't like Alice to be so reticent.

"The new singer in his band. They had to go and see some guy about a gig."

I noticed the red rims round Alice's eyes as she glanced up. And the quivering tone in her voice.

"Ladies' loos. Now." I said.

I stood up and waited for Alice to stumble to her feet before marshalling her out of the office and along the corridor. The loos smelt of Elnett hairspray (the one in the gold can that they in hairdressers which haven't been refitted since the seventies.) Emmet's secretary Doreen used it on her hair approximately every fifteen minutes, presumably concerned that the fanning of a few sheets of A4 could spoil her immaculate coiffeur. The haze coupled with our breathing difficulties indicated that we had not long missed her.
"I don't know why you're making such a fuss of this. I'm fine." Said Alice.

"You said you didn't get much sleep."

"I'm a bit stressed, that's all."

"What does she look like, this Davina."

Alice walked up to the sinks and stared in the mirror at a spot on he chin.

"A younger version of Courtney Love." She said.

"How young?"

She was squeezing the spot now. I had to look away.

"Straight out of sixth form young." She said.

"And is it her you don't trust or Jasper?"

"it's not a matter of trust." Said Alice, rinsing her hands under the tap. "Me and Jazz have an open relationship.

I raised my eyebrows. I didn't buy this at all.

"And does it swing both ways, the door on your open relationship?"

"If I want it to," said Alice, drying her hands on a paper towel.

"Except you don't, do you? You'd rather the door was firmly closed."

"I'm fine wit things how they are, thank you," she said, stuffing the towel into the overflowing bin. "We're not like you and Jacob."

My back stiffened as she turned to me.

"And what's that supposed to mean?" I said.

"You know, all cosy and coupley, quiet nights in and home-cooked lentil pie."

"Are you taking the piss?"

"No," she said. "Simply stating the facts."

I felt the indignation rising. My skin beginning to prickle.

"Jacob took me out last night, actually. For a surprise birthday meal."

"Okay, chill out." She said. "I believe you."

"You make us sound like some boring old farts."

Alice sighed and shook her had. "I wasn't saying that at all. Have I stepped on a raw nerve or something?"

"Jacob and I are fine the way we are, thank you."

"I didn't say you weren't. Honestly Bella, that's got into you this morning?"

Before I had a chance to reply, Doreen entered, brandishing her can of hairspray.

"Hello ladies," she tweeted before giving Alice's tangles a disapproving stare. Alice hurried out before Doreen could offer her grooming advice. I followed a few seconds later, troubled by my reaction. I was supposed to be listening to Alice's problems and yet somehow mine had got in the way. I should have told her about my row with Jacob. But I hadn't wanted to reveal the chink in my armour. Or her to guess who had chipped it away.

****************

I popped out for a sandwich at lunchtime, stopping off to see my favourite Big Issue seller on the way back. He was standing in his usual spot, stamping his feet to keep them warm, the pink tips of his finbers poking out from his fingerless gloves. The bruises had almost gone from his face; in fact he was looking decidedly chipper.

"Great, thanks," he said, greeting me with a huge smile. "I'm really enjoying iy. I was just telling Edward."

I looked at him quizzically.

"He popped by to see me on his way back to the Council House," said Colin.

"Oh, right," replied.

"He told me it was your birthday yesterday," said Colin. "You should have said."

"Don't be daft. It's no big deal."

"Well, happy thirty-first birthday, anyway."

"Thanks," Is aid, aware that Edward must have told him how old I was.

"I suppose it's a bit of a comedown after last year. Did you have a big party for your thirtieth?" asked Colin.

" Er,no. I didn't actually."

"I remember Edward's thirtieth birthday party" continued Colin, completely disregarding my answer. "You and him dancing together, all in black you were, like that pair from Grease."

I smiled politely, wondering if they'd talked about anything else apart from me. "That was a long time ago, Colin."

"I know. Edward remembered it, though. Even told me what song you were dancing to. 'Brown Eyed Girl' by Van Morrison he said it was."

"Um, probably, I can't remember."

"Too many parties since then, eh?"

"Yeah, something like that. Anyway," I said, trying not to sound flustered, "I'd better be getting back."

"Of course," said Colin, "See you soon"

I made my way back to the office, singing the song in my head. A lightness in my step. Remembering Edward's touch. Realising I was losing control again.

*********

"where are you going?" asked Jacob. It was early Saturday evening, we hadn't made any plans but he still looked disappointed as I put my shoes on.

"Out," I said, feeling at once like a truculent teenager. Things had been rather strained since Thursday evening but I knew I should at least aim to be grown up about this. I tried again.

"I'm going round to see Alice. She's having problems with Jasper, could do with a shoulder to cry on and a video and a pizza to cheer her up. I might stay over, I'll text you to let you know."

Jacob looked at me hard. Obviously not wanting me to go but deciding not to say so.

"No problem. I've got loads of marking to do." He said. "Yu have a good time."

It felt like he was reading from the script of How to make up after a row. What he didn't realise was how difficult he was making things by being so reasonable. I opened the door.

"Bella," he called after me. I turned around. "You look really nice." He said. I smiled weakly, for once wishing he hadn't paid the compliment.

I stepped outside, my black linen trousers flapping in the breeze, and made it to the car before I started hyperventilating. I looked at the reflection in the rear view mirror. I wasn't sure whom I saw any more. Or who was in control.

The car started second time. I set off, switching in my head to automatic pilot, feeling less culpable that way. The Hagley Road was busy, people heading out for the night. I waited in the filter lane for the traffic lights to turn green, giving me permission to carry on. To cross to the other side. I remembered exactly where to go. I pulled up outside. I didn't have to go any further. I could turn round now and go home, make some excuse to Jacob, no one need ever know. I wasn't going to do that though. Not now when I was within touching distance.

I stepped out of the car, feeling as unsteady on my feet a if I was wearing a pair of stilettos. I wasn't. I'd dug a pair out of the depths of the wardrobe but had to put them back because they looked far too obvious. FF shoes, Alice called them. Follow me, Fuck me. Not that Alice was the fount of all wisdom. But on some things she was spot on.

I made my way up the short path and rang the bell to what seemed like a lifetime before the door opened and a scruffy Pooh bear glove puppet appeared round the edge accompanied by a squeaky voice asking, "Did you forget someone?"

For a second it occurred to me that I might have got the wrong place. But I knew I hadn't because despite the Disney tones I recognised the voice.

"Er, no, I don't think so."

Pooh disappeared and Edward's head poked round the door from a, surprise etched in his face and his voice.

"Bella. I thought you were…"

"Eeyore or Piglet?" I enquired.

Edward grinned. "My daughter's not long left. She forgot Pooh."

I nodded, trying to conceal th hurt clawing at my insides. We stood s moment longer, neither of us saying anything.

"So, is the offer still open?" I asked eventually.

"What offer?"

I froze for a second, worried it had been a joke.

"You wanted to help me celebrate my birthday."

"Yes, of course. You said you were busy though. I thought I'd been snubbed. That's why the flat's a mess and I haven't got any food in. I was going to order a takeaway but if you fancy going out…"

"It's okay," I said. "A takeaway will be fine."

Edward smiled and held the door open. I stepped inside, straight into the main room, which was furnished as I'd imagined. Two small leather sofas, a round glass topped table and four high-backed chairs at the far end. Laminated wood floor, a couply of rugs, blinds at the windows. It could have almost been one of the show rooms at Ikea, purchased as a job lot and reassembled at rooms at home. Almost but no quite. Because spread all over the floor were an assortment od plastic toys in bright primary colours, left where they'd been dropped in favour of something more exciting. A trail of havoc and happiness. They didn't do that at Ikea. It didn't come flat-pack.

My eyes took it all in, registering it and having to readjust the mental image I had of Edward on my minds. And my gaze finally rested on the photograph on the coffee table. A smooth, flawless pixie-face beaming out of a mess of soft bronze curls, eyes sparkling, lips smeared with what looked like chocolate ice cream. She was unmistakably Edward's daughter. I swallowed hard.

"Is that Jess?" I asked. Stupid question, said to buy me more time to compose myself.

"Yeah. I've got a proper studio one somewhere but I prefer that, it's more her."

I nodded, as if I was well versed in the posed versus natural child portrait issue.

"She's gorgeous."

"Thank you. She's very bright for her age too. Takes after her dad."

He was smiling as he said it. The word 'dad' rankled. As did the pride in Edward's voice.

"I never had you down as the family type." I said.

Edward looked as awkward as I felt.

"It was Tanya's idea, having a baby. I went along with it, stupidly thinking it would bring us closer together. It didn't work, of course. But at least we've got Jess. Wouldn't be without her for the world. I love her to bits. We both do."

His eyes were glistening. Mine too. Trying to put the images of him with his newborn daughter to the back of my mind.

"So you said you see her most weekends?"

"Yeah. I pick her up on Saturday morning and Tanya doesn't collect her until six. Sometimes she lets her stay over, if she wants a night out. She's seeing someone else, some hotshot corporate lawyer. Robert his name is. Jess calls him Rob."

Edward said through gritted teeth. It was obviously a sore point.

"Anyway," he said, seemingly keen to change the subject, "sit down and let me get you a coffee,"

I perched on the edge of the sofa as he disappeared into the kitchen, shutting the door behind him. Perhaps he needed a moment. I certainly did. This wasn't how it used to be at all. We were awkwardly tiptoeing around each other's feelings, trying not to trip over Tweenies tea sets in the process. Maybe I'd got it all horribly wrong. Made a complete fool of myself by turning up here. Maybe I should go. I stood up as the kitchen door swung open and Edward came back in carrying two mugs of coffee. Plain white mugs, no complications. I wondered if he usually used a 'Best Dad in the World' mug but though better of it.

"Look, if you want me to go I won't be offended," I said, "I should have rung first. I probably shouldn't have come at all.

Edward put the mugs on the table, turned to me placed his hands on my shoulders and pushed me down on to the sofa.

"Sit down, shut up for a second and listen. I'm glad you came. I wasn't expecting it, that's all. I was thrown for a minute, maybe even a little nervous. But the one thing I'm sure of is that I don't want you to go."

I nodded, reached for my coffee and went to take a sup, only I couldn't because it was still too hot. I pretended anyway before putting it down.

"Right," said Edward, "Now we've got that sorted out, let's order some food. I don't know about you but I'm starving. What do you fancy, pizza, curry or Chinese?"

"Chinese, please," I said. It was the only thing that Jacob didn't cook and I felt the need to be different.

"Sure. Hang on a sec, I'll get the menu."

He rang order over while I drank my coffee, trying to stop my eyes from wandering back to Jess' photo.

"It'll be here in fifteen minutes," he said as he put the phone down. I nodded, hoping my stomach would have stopped turning somersaults by then.

"It was good to see Colin again," said Edward. "I was with him in the pub until closing time, you know, after you left on Monday evening."

"Really? What did you talk about?"

"A lot of council chit-chat; he misses all that stuff. And how much we've all changed. Especially you. About how much older you seem, how serious you've become."
"Yeah, well. That's what life does to you."

"Or what you do to punish yourself," said Edward quietly.

I looked at Edward, floored by the accusation an the tone of his voice.

"What do you mean?" I said.

"You, going all worthy. Stopping doing all the things you used to enjoy."

"No I haven't," I said, putting my empty mug down with a clatter on the coffee table.

"Yu as good as admitted it, the other night in the gym."

"Three things I said I didn't do any more. That was all."

"On top of the two I'd already found out about." Said Edward, his voice now firm and measured compared to my squeaks. I shifted on the sofa, feeling under an unwarranted attack.

"There's plenty of things I still do."
"Good. How's the salsa dancing going?" said Edward.

"Er, I don't go anymore." I said, my cheeks reddening. "I don't really have the time."

"Too busy helping Jacob save the planet."

"It's not like that."
"It sure looks it to me."

I got up from the sofa and walked over to the patio doors, staring out into the darkness. I didn't want to hear this. I'd put a lot of effort into creating the new Bella. To make sure she was beyond criticism.

"SO what do you want me to do?" I snapped at him, turning back, "Start going to raves, take up rollerblading, join a circus?"

Edward looked at me reproachfully and shook his head. "I'd simply like to see you enjoying yourself again. Having fun."

I snorted a laugh.

"Remember what happened when I had fun?" I said, "You were sitting next to him in the pub on Monday night,"

Edward got up form the sofa and walked over to me. He put one hand lightly on my shoulder.

"You can't hold yourself responsible for Colin's downfall, Bella."

"Why not? I'm the one who didn't vote for him. Because I was with you."

He turned me round to face him, holding both of my shoulders now.

"Why don't you tell him? Come clean. It might ease that conscience of yours. I'm sure he wouldn't have a problem with it."

"I will do," I said, looking down. "I'm just waiting for the right time."

"I bet you've voted at every election since." Said Edward.

"Yep. Learnt my lesson. Not to listen to people who say that no one ever loses by one vote."

Edward managed a dry smile.

"I dind't mean to have a go, Bella. I just want you to be happy. To stop beating yourself up about what happened in the past. Believe me, it doesn't do any good."

"I know," I said, looking at him in the eye, feeling the warmth of his touch. We stood there for a moment, both of us unsure about what to do next.

"I'd better get the table ready. The food will be here soon." Said Edward, letting go and disappearing into the kitchen.

He emrged a few minutes later with a bottle of red wine for himself, some sparkling water for me and a couple of candles in black metal holders.

"If we're going to do this, we may as well do it properly." He said, placing the candles centrally on the table and lighting them.

I wasn't sure exactly what he was referring to. Or why I was here, having dinner in his flat. All I knew was that by the time the food arrived I had that familiar churning feeling in my stomach again

"Cheers," Edward said, raising his glass as we sat down at the table. "Happy birthday," My hand was shaking as our glasses clinked together. I wondered if he noticed. Edward had only taken one bite of his spring roll when the doorbell rang.

"Sorry," he said, jumping to his feet, "Better see who it is."

I knew what he was thinking. That it could be Jess returning for Pooh. And if it was, Tanya would see me and want to know what I ws doing here and it would all get horribly messy and uncomfortable.

I peered round the corner as Edward opened the front door. It wasn't Jess and Tanya but a young woman, barely out of her teens, small and sinewy as she stood there in a black leather jacket, miniskirt and stilettos, holding a bottle of wine in her looked straight past Edwatd to me, her face dropping and her cheeks flushing.

"OH, you've got company. I'm really sorry, I had no idea."

"Hello, Chairmane," said Edward, "I'm not used to seeing you without your gardening overalls. What can I do for you?"

The young woman looked floored. Presumably she'd thought she had his exclusive attention. Had decided that tonight was the night she would make her move.

"Erm, the lawn," she stuttered eventually. "I'm here to mow the lawn."
It was a Saturday evening and pitch black outside. People don't mow lawns in the dark in November, even I knew that. I suspected Edward knew it too, but he obviously decided to spare her blushes.

"Right," he said, looking down at her stilettos. "Are you sure you're going to be okay in those shoes?"

"Yeah, no problem. It won't take long, I promise. Sorry to have disturbed you."
She disappeared from view and Edward came back into the room with a grin on his face.

"Before you say anything, I should point out that she's the gardener. And that the landlord hired her, not me."

"And you had no idea?" I asked, as he sat back down at the table.

"What, that she's got a crush on me? It's no big deal."

"It obviously is to her. The poor girl was mortified. Imagine it, she's probably spent weeks working up the courage to do this. Her big seduction scene. And I go and screw it up by being here with you."

"I'd have blown her out anyway," said Edward with a twinkle in his eye.

"I hope so. She only looks like twenty one."

"you weren't much older when I met you."

"That was different," I said, "And a long time ago."

We were interrupted by the whirr of an electric lawnmower. A few seconds later the outside security light flicked on to reveal Chairmane sinking into the ground in her stilettos, as she defiantly pushed the Flymo across Edward's grass.

We both burst out laughing. "Maybe she thinks the heels will aerate the lawn." Edward said. "Like those big spiky shoes they used to advertise in the Innovations catalogue"

He raised his wine glass to Chairmaine though the window before I pulled his arm down.

"Don't be a bastard," I said. "This will probably screw her up for life. It'll be her cross to bear for falling for you."

"Honestly, I haven't done anything to encourage her." Said Edward as Chairmaine disappeared into the darkness at the far end of the garden.

"You don't have to, do you? It's your magnetic charm. Women are suckers for it."
Edward smiled and looked down at his plate.

"Is that what it was for you?" he said,

"Something like that."

"And what about now?"

I pushed my bean sprouts around the plate. The truth was I dind't know why I was there. I knew I shouldn't. That it was wrong. And I didn't do bad things. Not any more. But I could hear the old Bella calling, screaming to be let out. Hammering on the door of her tower as her prince prepared to ride off into the sunset. Alone.

"Nostalgia maybe," I said. "Or curiosity about what could have been."

"Or still could be?" asked Edward, as the light flicked on again for Chairmaine's return leg.

I wiped a trace of sweet and sour sauce from my lips and looked down at my plate, unable to answer.

"We were good together, Bella. You know that."

"Yeah, so good you married someone else."

Edward looked away, hurt pouring form his face. He took a few moments to gather himself.

"And why do you think it didn't work out?" he said.

"You drifted apart, you said so."

"Because every time we made love I used to shut my eyes and see you."

I dropped my fork on the plate and put my trembling hand under the table where he couldn't see it. He didn't mean that. He was saying it to make mefeel better. To get me to lower my defences. To ease his way back into my life. I couldn't allow that to happen. However much I wanted it to.

"I'm with Jacob now," I said.

"No you're not," Edward said, reaching out across the table to take my hand. "You're here with me."
I watched as his fingers closed around time. Fitting perfectly together, like we were made for each other. I felt the connection restored between us. The buzz pulsing through my body, awakening something deep inside. I tried to pull away but it didn't move. I didn't have the strength to resist any longer.

We waited until after the meal. Until after Chairmaine had trudged away, her feet coated with mud. It seemed only decent. I dind't want to rub her face on it. I knew how that felt. We even waited until after our coffee. It wasn't self control that made us wait. Certainly not on my part. It was guilt. The guilt of knowing that Jacob was sitting at home marking English essays, thinking I was doing my Good Samaritan bit with Alice. I'd lied. I was a cheat. But for the first time in years I'd found something that outweighed my guilt. My love for the man who was sitting next to me on the sofa. About lo lean over and kiss me. And I knew he was going to. I remembered the taste of those kisses. The way you remember the taste of your first alcoholic drink.

"I've missed you," he whispered, "The real you."

He kissed me on the lips. I started unbuttoning his shirt. That was the thing with the taste of your first drink. It inevitably left you wanting more.

*******

It was gone midnight when Edward finally drifted off to sleep with me in his arms. I slithered out of bed, being careful not to wake him, and tiptoed into the living room, fumbling in the dark for my handbag. I turned my mobile on and started to text Jacob that I was staying over. Before I had the chance to finish, the phone beeped with a message. I called it up.

"Figure you're needed there. See you in the morning. Love you x"

I turned it off and crept into bed with Edward. Hating myself as I did so.

LIKE? HATE? DISGUST? Whatever it is, please REVIEW! I love to know what you think! I think this is one of my favourite chapters until now...I know all of you hate Edward with a passion but I don't think he is that bad NOW. Before,yes, he was an asshole. But I think now he has realised how much he has hurt Bella and just wants to see her happy, even if it not with him. Whatever ;D

REVIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEW! (L)

-Angel on Air