I can't believe it's been six years since this thing has been published. I'm so thankful for everything that's happened since then, but mostly for all of the people I've met along the way.
This is a little something from Edward's head: What if he came back? What would life be like?
killerlashes still reads my junk, even after all this time. (Always.)
Thank you a million times for reading.
My hands shook as I walked up the steps to the little house. It wasn't anything new. I'd walked up those steps hundreds of times. To do homework, meet Emmett, pick up Bella…but nothing compared to the reason I was walking up them at that moment.
That exact moment was for me to swallow my pride and wallow. Beg. Plead for forgiveness.
I just hoped Bella opened the door and not her dad or brother.
By some sort of divine intervention she did opened the door. Her smile fell, however, when she saw me. It was replaced by a look of surprise, which I figured was better than hatred or disgust.
"Hi," I said softly.
Bella's eyes widened and, without a word, she turned and ran up the stairs. I heard a door slam and followed her, worried and needing to see her. It had been three months since I'd left but I'd thought about her and my decision every day. I heard the water running in the bathroom and, with a sigh, I leaned against the wall outside of the bathroom and waited.
When Bella finally emerged she propped herself up against the wall across from me and crossed her arms over her chest.
"I'm sorry. I should have called. I just wanted to see you-" I rambled, but she just closed her eyes.
"Just stop," she whispered and ran a hand over her face.
"Bella, no. I mean, I'm such an asshole," I started over, reaching for her, and she shook her head.
"Edward, I'm pregnant."
My hands froze in midair and her eyes finally met mine for the first time since she answered the door.
"I…" my voice trailed off, unsure of what to say.
"I found out after you left. I…I wasn't sure how to tell you."
"That was a pretty good way to do it," I murmured and took a step closer to her. To my relief she didn't try to move away. "I'm sorry, Bella. I'm so sorry."
"Shut up, Edward. Just shut up," Bella managed to say before she broke down and threw her arms around my neck. "I missed you so much."
"I'm sorry," I told her again and pressed a kiss to her hair. "I'm such an idiot."
"The biggest," she said to my shirt.
I laughed quietly and tightened my arms around her.
"How did you know I would be here?" Bella asked after a moment.
I shrugged. "It's spring break and you hate the beach."
She laughed and stepped away from me to wipe her eyes.
"Do you want to talk about it?"
I nodded and held out my hand, and then let her lead me downstairs.
We talked until there was nothing left to say.
"I don't want to do this!" My wife yelled and squeezed my hand. I winced.
"There isn't really a choice here, Bella," I said through my laughter.
"This isn't funny!" She moaned, closing her eyes and throwing her head back.
"I know, it's beautiful. The miracle of life," I teased and she reached out to smack my shoulder.
"I'm trying to be supportive!"
"This is all your fault!" she cried.
"Yeah, yeah. It takes two to tango, baby."
"Speaking of baby…" Bella's midwife entered the room. "How about we have one?"
"Holy shit, we've got a kid," Bella whispered to the little bundle in her arms. She reached out and smoothed his thick auburn hair and grinned lazily up at me.
"I'm happy to see the drugs are working for you," I told her with a smile.
"So working for me."
"He's perfect, Bella."
"Like his daddy," she said softly.
"Yeah, those drugs must be working well," I chuckled and kissed her head.
"No, I just love you. I'm glad we made it here, Edward."
I swallowed the lump in my throat and nodded.
"It's happening! Hurry!" I called to Bella from our living room, but not so loudly that I would startle Masen.
"Oh! Oh my goodness! How do you work this damn thing?" She shoved the video camera into my chest and I shrugged and turned back to our son.
He stood on shaky legs, his chubby fingers clinging to the edge of the couch. As we watched he let go. Bella and I both held our breath as he did. It had been weeks of standing, grabbing, pulling up and falling down, but we were finally at the real thing.
Bella grasped my arm as Masen took a step, then another. He took a total of five steps before falling, and looking up at us with a startled look.
We laughed before Bella scooped him up and kissed his head, then handed off to me.
"You're awesome," I whispered to his cheek and pressed a kiss to his soft skin.
I was so thankful every day that I'd decided to come back from Australia when I did. The internship wasn't working out and I couldn't handle being away from Bella any more than I had already been. At first, I couldn't help but think about what would have happened if I hadn't come back. Whether or not she would have kept the baby…if she would have told me or not. I hated the thought of me not knowing that I had a child or thinking that she never would have told me.
Thankfully, I didn't have to wonder.
Masen grinned at me with his two bottom teeth and reached for my face.
"Da!" he cried and pressed his slobbery mouth to my cheek.
I turned to my son and raised an eyebrow in his direction.
"Are you okay? You zoned out for a minute."
"Oh, I'm fine," I muttered and gazed down at the baby in my arms. She reached up and patted my cheek with a sticky hand, so I blew a raspberry on her cheek and smoothed her auburn curls that were the same color as her father's, and the same color as mine.
"You sure you're okay, old man?" Masen asked as he took his daughter from my arms.
She smiled and buried her face in his shoulder. I felt the corners of my mouth tug up watching them.
"Yeah, son. I was just thinking about something."
"A good something?"
I shrugged. "Something different."