Hey guys! Sorry it took me SO long to update. I had some interested in a book proposal for a different project altogether, so that pulled me away for a bit. Please forgive me!
But here is the next chap... you may find it useful to re-read the last, just so its all fresh in your minds. :)
Thanks to my beta Rachelcullen77! xoxo
As soon as Emmett had slammed the door to his office, Edward picked the coffee he had given him, and in all his rage he threw it across the room. The ceramic mug shattered and brown liquid splattered everywhere, staining the white wall as it dripped down. He was furious. His hand was still shaking from the adrenaline racing through his body. He had fucked up.
With an uneasy hand, he picked up his phone and speed dialed Bella once more. Pacing across the room, he raked his hand through his hair as the phone rang several times before going to voicemail.
"Bella, it's Edward. Call me, I need to talk to you…please." His voice wavered slightly as he spoke.
"Argh!" He hung up his phone and chucked it across the room, causing it to break into pieces.
"Shit. Why the fuck did I do that?" Edward groaned. He collapsed in his desk chair and let his head fall against the hardwood surface. He slowly began to beat his head against the surface of the desk, as if trying to drum out a solution to his problem.
"What. The. Fuck." He chanted over and over again to himself.
There was a light knock at the door.
"Who. The. Fuck. Is. It?" he asked, still hitting his head against his desk.
"It's Charlotte…I heard noises, I just wanted to make sure everything was okay," she asked timidly from the other side of the door.
"Fuck. Off." He heard her mumble something and then shuffle away. Edward groaned, his head was beginning to hurt, and he collapsed against the desk.
"Shit…" he muttered. Without looking, Edward reached over to his office phone and dialed an extension.
"Carlisle," the voice spoke up.
"Uhhhh…" Edward moaned.
"Edward? What's wrong?" he asked.
"Everything," he said dramatically.
"Do you want to talk?" Carlisle sighed over the phone. Edward shrugged his shoulders.
"I'll take your silence as a yes," he replied.
"You did call me you know." Edward groaned again loudly at his comment.
"I know…it's Bella," he muttered, against his desk. There was a long pause and then the click of the phone. Confused, Edward turned his head to see that he had been hung up on.
"Well, fuck me…"
A moment later, his office door swung open and Carlisle barged in. Edward's eyes widened at the unexpected intrusion.
"What's going on Ed—WHAT THE FUCK DID YOU DO?" Carlisle shouted, pointing to the splatter of coffee stains and shattered pieces of ceramic and cell phone parts all over the floor.
Edward's head hit the desk again, and he groaned.
"I was fucking pissed," he said, his tongue emphasizing the curse.
"Pissed?" Carlisle shook his head and sighed, placing his hands on his hips. "What's going on with you, Edward?"
"Bella knows about Tanya, Emmett told her and she won't answer my calls. It's over."
"So you decided to throw your coffee against the wall?" he asked.
Edward shrugged again and looked down, avoiding his father's eyes.
"Emmett had no right to tell her!" he shouted at Carlisle. Stunned, he took a short step back and narrowed his eyes at his son's outburst.
"That's enough!" He raised his hand, silencing Edward immediately."You need to stop acting like an immature two year old and calm down."
"Emmett nothing. If you want to be with Bella, then you need to go tell her how you feel and if she still won't have you, then you need to understand that it's no one's fault but your own and grow up and move on. "
Edward felt his faced flush. "I can't."
"She's out of town at her friend's wedding…" he mumbled and sat down in his chair to sulk.
"So? They don't have planes that go there?
"I'm not invited," he seethed.
Carlisle squinted his eyes at him and crossed his arms over his chest. "You love her, don't you?"
"Yes…I do!" Edward cried, pulling the ends of his hair out by the roots.
"Then…what's the problem?" Carlisle asked, his arms collapsing at his side.
Edward paused for a moment and thought things over. He turned to face his father, and nodded.
Once Elissa finally arrived at the house, the girls went and had facials and massages as planned by Alice. Bella enjoyed the fact there was minimal talking allowed during the entire process. After her confession to Rose, she had felt slightly relieved, yet overwhelmed. It's as though having to say the words out loud had actually made them real, and the fact that someone now knew about it made it even more so.
By the time they had made it back to the house, Bella was exhausted. The constant mental struggle to pretend like everything was okay was tiring. Rose had been casting looks in her direction and frowning slightly, as though she was a pitiful mess. Not wanting to arouse suspicion from the others, Bella just did her best to avoid eye contact with Rose.
When they got back to the house, there was a taxi cab in the driveway.
"Emmett!" Rose shouted, and sprang from the car as it slowed to a stop.
"Wow, she's got it bad." Alice laughed. Bella rolled her eyes and nodded.
Rose ran across the gravel driveway towards Emmett's tall brooding form. As soon as he heard her, he turned and outstretched his arms to scoop her up, her legs immediately wrapping around his waist.
"Rose! I missed you," he said joyfully. He carefully spun her around in a circle and placed a passionate kiss on her lips.
"Me too," she muttered.
"Come on you two, let's get Emmett into the house," Alice giggled and walked around them into the house. Grabbing his luggage with one hand and holding Rose up with the other, Emmett followed them into the house.
"This place is great!"
"Thanks." Alice smiled up at him.
"Now Emmett, we have you up on the third floor, second room to the left…"Alice slowed her words as she turned and watched the pair making out in the entry wall, clearly ignoring her.
"They've only been apart a few hours," Bella whispered to Elissa, who was staring at them with her mouth hung open.
"….but maybe you'd be more comfortable with Rose?" she asked.
Emmett broke away from Rose, and smirked. "I…wouldn't mind, if you don't."
Rose responded by kissing him passionately back.
"Oh great," Bella muttered to herself. "I hope I remembered my earplugs."
"Well then, I guess we have an extra room," Alice noted, glancing at her watch and then back at her planner.
"Okay people, we are running a little behind. It's four-thirty and we need to be at the clubhouse in two hours!" she commanded.
The group nodded simultaneously and exited to their rooms. Bella was relieved to have few moments of quiet. She filled up the bathtub once more and hoped in to wash off the massage oil grim. She scrubbed her entire body over and washed her hair. Feeling well rested, Bella sat in the tub quietly for a few moments.
Nervously she ran her hand down from the underside of her breast, stopping right above her navel. Hesitating for just a moment, she continued to slowly run her hand light over her skin. The movement of water rippled between her fingers. She gasped as she steadied her hand over the lower part of her abdomen and splayed her hand across her skin.
"Hello there," Bella croaked out, her breathing unsteady.
With her other hand, Bella laced her fingers together over her belly and relaxed slightly.
She let out a long sigh, realizing she needed to stop running. She knew what she had to do. She had to talk to Edward.
A little while later, there was a light knock at her door.
"Bella, are you ready to head out?" Alice asked from the other side. Quickly grabbing her things, Bella gave herself once last look in the mirror and straightened out her dress.
"Coming!" Bella pulled open the door.
"Oh! Bella, you look so beautiful," Alice gushed.
"Thanks," Bella blushed. She was wearing the midnight blue dress that Alice had bought her.
"You ready to go? Everyone's downstairs." Alice reached out and grasped her hand.
With their arms linked, they made their way down the steps where everyone else was gathered in the entry way, waiting to head over to the clubhouse for the dress rehearsal.
Jasper turned slowly around to see his lovely wife-to-be slowly descending the stairs. Bella giggled slightly and blushed, as he eyed Alice up and down, his mouth hung open. She was wearing a simple white strapless dress, with a blue satin tie around her waist. Her hair was neatly styled and pulled back with a headband with a sapphire jeweled broach on the side.
"Wow," Jasper mouthed, unable to make a sound. Alice snickered and smiled back as she walked towards him.
"You look amazing," he managed to croak. Bella unlinked her arm from Alice, and let her take a step towards her future husband. Reaching out, he took both of Alice's hands in his and lightly kissed the back of her hand.
"Shall we?" he asked everyone, but still keeping his eyes on Alice.
"Let's do it!" Emmett whooped.
The guys escorted the girls out to their cars, and drove over to the clubhouse where everyone else would be meeting them.
Alice went over to greet the pastor with Jasper and their parents while the wedding party made their way through the clubhouse with the rest of the guests. The ceremony would be taking place outside on the lawn behind the clubhouse, with the reception following inside the banquet hall. There were already a few rows of chairs set up for the rehearsal.
Everyone found a seat while the pastor made his way to the front to address the group. He ran through the order of events so that everyone would be clear on what was happening. Then he had the wedding party practice walking in. Bella was paired up with Jasper's best man and Rose, of course, was paired with Emmett. They were followed by Alice and her father, who kept tearing up as he walked his daughter down the aisle.
They went through the whole ceremony one more time so that everyone was comfortable with what they had to do. Once they were finished, everyone headed over to a private room for cocktails and dinner.
"You not going to drink that are you?" Rose asked Bella, nodding toward the glass of white wine she was holding.
Startled, because she had been in her own world of people watching, Bella jumped when she heard Rose's voice.
"What?" She grasped at her chest. "No. I'm not…Alice gave it to me. I didn't want to refuse her, so I'm just holding onto it."
Rose smiled and took the glass from her and drew a quick sip.
"There. Now it looks like you're actually drinking it." She smiled at her. Bella chuckled, and glanced down to see a lipstick stain on the rim of her glass.
"So…" Rose lowered her voice, and took a small step back, away from the crowd of people. "I've been meaning to ask you more about this...whole…Edward situation."
Bella sighed and drew the glass to her lips to take a sip, stopping herself just as she realized what she was doing and set the glass down on the tray of a passing waiter.
"What do you want to know?" Bella asked in a soft voice, her eyes still watching the crowd.
"How long? When did this start?"
"Ahh… a few weeks maybe. I'm not sure. It just happened. I think there was something there from the moment we collided on my first day. It's been a huge hot mess ever since," Bella muttered, as she recalled all the sneaking around, deceit, and literal messes they made. She felt her face flush, particularly from the memory of the maple syrup incident.
"So, when are you going to tell Alice? Have you talked to Edward about this at all?" Rose asked.
"I was thinking about waiting until after her honeymoon. She's got enough going on at the moment. And no, I haven't talked to Edward…I…" Bella felt her throat go dry.
"What is it?" Rose asked quickly. Everyone was beginning to find their seats for dinner.
"I think we are over. I…I think Edward is cheating on me. If you can even call it that, since we were never really officially dating," Bella managed to blurt out.
"What? That fucker! If you are sleeping with someone, that pretty much means you are together," Rose shouted a little louder than Bella would've liked, as several heads turned their direction.
"Rose!" she hissed at her.
"I'm sorry. Let's go to the ladies room," she suggested and grasped Bella by the hand to walk out into the hallway.
"How do you know this?" Rose asked when they finally had some privacy.
"I…"Bella sighed, trying to hold back a few tears she had been fighting. "I…overheard some of the employees talking about him and some other employee, Victoria."
"But you don't know if that's true or not, you just need to talk to Edward," Rose tried to console her.
"Victoria is on that same project as me!" Bella cried "And they knew about me and Edward too!"
"How?" Rose asked, slightly taken aback. "I didn't even know and it was under my own roof! I mean…I had some weird feeling, but I would've never have guessed this," she said, waving a hand in front of Bella's belly.
"Gee thanks. I don't know… it's that Jessica girl who manages to know everything in the office," Bella said.
"Hmmm…well I can try and snoop around with Emmett—"
"No!" Bella shouted. "No…please don't say anything to Emmett yet. Please. Not until I talk to Edward when we get back."
Rose nodded silently, and then cupped her friends face gently with both hands.
"It's going to be okay. You have me and Alice to take care of you, no matter what happens," she told Bella firmly, staring at her straight in the eye.
"Now, let's go out there and get some dinner. Everyone is probably wondering where we are."
Edward heard a familiar ding and unfastened his seat belt. He reached down to his bag and pulled out a piece of paper and pen and set it down on his tray table. He had no clue how his life had become such a big mess, but he needed desperately to articulate a few things with Bella. He knew he wouldn't have a clue how or what to say when he would see her, so he wrote. He wrote down everything he was thinking and feeling, in hopes that when he saw her, he would be able to do the same.
He rubbed his eyes to wake up, as he had been up most of the night drinking in his problems. When he finally managed to pass out, he had to wake up a few short hours later to make his flight. It had cost him an arm and a leg, but he had managed to get on a flight that next afternoon.
In a few short hours, he would land in Atlanta.