Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
AN: Merry Christmas :)! I hope you like it as much I as loved writing it, it's a Christmas present to my readers, a little fluffy one shot :0).
Special thanks to Juliamine for betaing this for me and cleaning up my mess. Read her story It Was Only His Baby, it's on my favorites list :)! Another shout out to KatKennedy the awesome writer of Lost in Meyer, also on my favs, for reading this mess :), if you haven't read Lost in Meyer you are really missing out, though I will warn you to have cheese nearby you will crave it by the end.
Snow is on the ground along with freezing temperatures and added to that the fact that the sun hasn't been seen in days it makes late fall feel more and more like winter. Not that a cloudy sky is unusual in Forks, but the cold hitting so hard in early December was another story. Of course my children had to decide on today to go pick out our Christmas tree. And I couldn't argue since most of their friends and their cousins already had their trees, I kind of felt like I was depriving my children by not having the tree yet. Not that they want for anything, I am a doctor and a trust fund baby after all. My kids are well taken care of, I had just been working a lot of hours covering for a friend on maternity leave at work and had double the normal patients.
"Daddy we need a huge tree!" Anthony, my oldest at four, pulled me out of my thoughts as he pointed at a tree around fourteen feet tall.
"Son we'd never get the star on that one." I explained and gave an internal laugh when pouted. God he looks so much like me, but he pouts just like my sister Alice.
"Daddyyy." My little Lilly demanded my attention. She was in the middle of the terrible twos and her favorite words right now are no, now and mine.
"Yes my little princess?" I kneeled down to her level and she flashed her sweet smile at me.
"Dat one." She pointed to a tree that was the same height as she is.
"Baby girl that one is a bit too small." I held my laughter again.
"No mine Daddy now!" She stomped her little foot and once again I was reminded of my sister Alice. Maybe I should hire a real nanny instead of leaving the children with her.
"No Lilly, that one is too small." I grabbed her hand as she and her brother pouted. Part of me wished I just picked up a tree myself and brought it home. I knew it wouldn't have been fair to them though if I had. They loved doing things as a family. And honestly I enjoy it too.
"How about this one Daddy?" Anthony pointed to a beautiful eight foot or so pine that was full and screamed Christmas.
"Perfect." He beamed and Lilly kept shooting looks back at her little Charlie Brown tree not even giving this perfect specimen of a tree a chance. I walked them over to the clerk with the tag from the tree. "Tony hold your sister's hand while I pay and stay right here." He was such a good kid.
"Lilly will you hold my hand?" He asked her sweetly and she smiled.
"Otay." She put her small gloved hand in his small gloved hand and smiled like he handed her chocolate. I thanked God everyday their bitch of a mother didn't try to take my babies from me when she did her runner.
"That will be seventy five even." I handed him the money and arranged for the tree to be delivered that evening. The lot was for the local Lutheran church so I tossed in an extra hundred towards the cause. I may be Presbyterian but I love helping out a good cause and that church really needs a new roof. Turning around I saw Tony talking to a friend from pre-school but I didn't see my sweet Lilly.
"Anthony where is your sister?" I demanded in a calm voice. I didn't want to scare him. He looked around stunned.
"Daddy I told her to stay right her with me, but Frank has this cool new Transformer that I was checking out." He showed me the toy before handing it to his friend.
"Let's go find her." I took his hand and we looked around the lot. Though I should have known where she would be. Standing there in front of that little tree my princess with her strawberry curls was telling two women a story about how her Daddy wouldn't let her have a tree. "Lillian Esme Cullen." She turned and pouted.
"Daddy mean." She pouted even more. "Mine." She pointed to the little tree again.
"No, yours is being delivered this afternoon." I retorted and little tears started rolling down her face. To be honest I almost gave in and bought the damned thing but I didn't believe in giving into all her demands. Last thing I wanted to do was raise a little Paris Hilton.
"Hi Dr. Cullen." I noticed then that one of the two women was familiar and a patient. Angela Webber.
"Ms. Webber how are you?" I asked politely. I had to admit I was a bit embarrassed that my child was acting like this in front of a patient, it didn't show me in a great light.
"Fine and yourself?" She smiled kindly, she was such a sweet girl.
"I'll be better once I get these two home." I then noticed Lilly clinging to the other woman. "Lilly sweetheart it's time to go home so we can be there when the tree comes."
"No." She held onto the woman tighter. I swear in all my thirty two years I've never done anything to deserve the terrible twos with my daughter. Tony, you barely noticed them. Lilly, she was a candidate for Super Nanny or some show like that at times and other times she was my angel child.
"Yes." I fired back.
"Sweetie I think you should go with your Daddy." I heard the soft voice that gave me chills down my spine.
I then looked at the woman who was now holding my daughter, and the breath was knocked out of me. Long brown hair a few inches past her shoulders. Big brown eyes that were filled with warmth and kindness. She was small, but her body was a sight to behold. I had an overwhelming urge to hand my children to Angela and take the other woman on the ground and brand her as mine.
"No I want to stay here with you and my tree." Of course her little words weren't perfect but we got the gist of it.
"Sweetie I'm only here until Angie gets her tree. Then I'm going home." The beautiful creature told my child and I wanted to offer her my home. I'd give her anything. She smiled up at me and tried to pass my little girl to me. However Lilly clung to her.
"No, me want you! Mine!" And damned if I didn't want to grab the woman and scream the same thing that my immature child did.
"Lillian!" I said in exasperation.
"She's around two right?" Angela giggled.
"Yea," I confirmed.
"Always a fun age." I smiled and then remember Angela was a kindergarten teacher at the local public elementary school. I had to smile when I noticed the other woman whispering into Lilly's ear things that were making her giggle.
"O'tay," Lilly told her and turned to me. "Me go home be good girl Daddy." She then reached for me.
"Thank you." I said to the woman with the fresh young face she couldn't be more than twenty three or four, way too young for me. She gave a shy smile and a beautiful blush covered her face.
"It was nice to see you Dr. Cullen, unfortunately Bella and I are running late so we have to go." Angela, you beautiful girl, free checkups for you this year. She informed me of my goddesses name. Bella, beautiful Bella.
"Angela it was nice to see you as well, and it was lovely to meet you Bella." I think my voice went husky on her name more than I intended because the beautiful blush came back in force.
"It was nice to meet you as well Dr. Cullen," she said in that same soft sweet voice.
"Edward." I corrected her, hoping that she would repeat my name so I could hear it on her lips.
"It was nice to meet you Edward." The sweet smile came back to her face. "It was nice to meet you too Lilly and you too little man." She gently ruffled Tony's hair and I realized that my son had been quiet for the longest time just gazing at Bella. He apparently had the same taste as his old man. Good boy.
"Anthony, Lilly let's leave the ladies to their tree buying and go home and get some cocoa and decorate our own tree." I looked up to say one last goodbye and both women were gone and both my children looked sad.
"Miss Bewa," Lilly informed me.
"She just left baby girl." I gave a little laugh, because sadly I missed her warm presence as well.
"Can we invite Bella over Dad?" Tony my boy I wish that we could.
"Son we don't really know Bella, how to contact her or anything. So I don't see that happening." I felt bad because they both looked crushed. "I do however see us going to Nana's for dinner tomorrow and her famous homemade chocolate cake." And that brightened their faces some. Though I heard her soft laugh in the distance and felt a little tiny crack open in my heart. One that would always wonder what could have been.
Five hours, one tree set up to be trimmed the next evening and two well fed children later I was bushed. Lilly and Tony had the advantage of a nap when we came home, I however had to set up the tree and feed the little buggers. I love my buggers though. Both of them were currently engrossed in old Christmas cartoons on Boomerang. I will admit I was loving this episode of the Smurfs' Christmas, it brought back wonderful memories of my own childhood.
"Daddy can we get a Smurf?" Tony asked and I laughed because I clearly remember Emmett asking the same damn thing.
"No Tony." I smiled.
"Kitty," Lilly said like it was a done deal.
"I'll think about a kitty Lilly, or a puppy." I was leaning towards dog, since it didn't have a nasty litter box for the maid to clean up.
"Who's at the door?" Tony popped up. I had heard the faint noise but thought nothing of it. I put it down to the wind in the trees outside.
"It's probably no one Tony, just the wind." I explained.
"No Daddy I heard a soft knock," he informed me and walked to the door. Generally I'd fuss at him for going to the door alone, but since I truly didn't believe anyone was there I let him. Plus I had a clear view. "Wow!" He exclaimed jumping up and down. I ran over Lilly hot on my heels.
"Daddy!" Lilly started jumping up and down.
There sitting on my wrap around front porch were two trees the height of Lilly's tree from the lot. Both were beautifully decorated one done up with a boy theme of sports paraphernalia amongst the snowmen and Santas. The other was girl themed with a prima ballerina, butterflies, barbies among the snowmen and Santas. A note sat on box between the two. First I opened the box and found a beautiful copy of The Polar Express. Then I read the note.
Even though they seem insignificant sometimes the smallest trees can be the most beautiful. Sometimes if we open our eyes and look past the outside and search inside we will find what we were searching for. Life handed you a gift today, don't blow it Cullen.
Warmest Christmas Wishes,
Ok, Santa delivered early it's still three weeks till Christmas. And that was awfully cryptic. I figured Alice or Emmett did this. How they knew about the tree I couldn't guess but I had to smile. Lilly was sitting there staring at her tree like it was the best gift ever. I helped them bring their trees up to their bedrooms and plugged them in so they could see them lit up. They were adorable trees. Whoever did this put a lot of work into them.
After a lot of fussing and a lot of yawning I got my little people bathed and into bed. I unplugged their trees and went downstairs to put lights on the big tree. I really didn't want them around when I did that, since the damn branches and I have a love hate relationship that ends in an assload of cussing on my part. And I swear the trees laugh and sit there smugly after I'm finished. Kind of like they are saying "Ha ha Edward. You might have made it through med school with no problems but I'm still smarter than you."
After this year's battle was over I locked up and set the alarm system before going to shower and sleep. The baby monitors were with me the whole time in case the kids called but all I heard was giggling and snoring. Sadly it's my son who giggles in his sleep and my daughter who snores like her Uncle Emmett.
Shaking my head I lathered up my hair and let the warm water rush over my body. Closing my eyes I kept seeing a vision of chocolate brown eyes and rich mahogany hair. Pretty plump lips that I wanted to kiss into oblivion, and my dirty man side wanted to feel and see wrapped around my cock.
God I wished I could lay her down and kiss every part of her body. I wondered how big her chest really was under that coat and if her nipples were tan or a pretty pink. I wondered how tight she was and if she was clean or hairy. Personally I was hoping for a landing strip, I've never been into completely bare, I like to know I'm with a grown woman and there is just something off on baby bare pussy, give me a little bit of hair. I wondered if she could take my size, I have had a complaint that it was too big and it hurt before. Not that I've had many lovers in the past few years. I've been too busy raising my kids. The thought of the beautiful Bella being filled as I pounded into her over and over had my cock so fucking hard.
I was so lost in my own fantasies that I hadn't really noticed that I was rubbing one out until I came, hard. Fuck, if just thinking about her does this, being with her is probably a religious experience. My luck would be she is dating, married or doesn't want the complications of a single father who has no ex to send the kids off to. Nor did he want one. I was happy having complete full custody with no chance of the bitch ever getting her hands on my kids.
Drying off I finished my nightly routine and fell into bed. I set my alarm, not that I needed one with Lilly and Tony around. I fell asleep quickly dreaming of Bella.
Sunday flew by and before I knew it I was standing at my parents' front door for dinner. Lilly and Tony had a blast decorating the tree today and were so wound up it was hard to get them down for their naps. Thankfully they finally both passed out, or they would be little nightmares tonight.
"Nana!" Tony and Lilly screamed in unison barreling into my mother Esme. She laughed and held them close.
"Good evening Mom." I kissed her cheek gently while she smiled.
"Hi baby boy." Why she called me baby when I was her oldest I'd never know but I loved it all the same. "Your Father has lost his mind." She informed me as we walked inside. The kids had run off to find Uncle Emmett.
"Ok, and how did the Chief of Medicine lose his mind?" I laughed.
"Well he is outside barbequing in the snow." I looked at her like she had two heads.
"You're kidding me?"
"No Edward your Father found some new mega jumbo special grill," I laughed Mom knew next to nothing about grills and she could care less, "so now he and Charlie are out back grilling and I believe there is some manly grunting going on." She laughed then.
"Did Jazz give them a psych evaluation?" My brother in law Jasper is a psychologist.
"No in fact he has been helping them. He went to get more meat at the store." She shook her head. "They kicked Emmett away though, he kept trying to make the fire bigger." Sounds like my brother.
"Edward!" Barely five feet of pure energy jumped into my arms.
"Alice, how are you?" She hugged me tightly.
"Better now big brother." I loved my baby sister so much.
"Edward come save me from your children!" Em bellowed from the living room. Followed by the sound of a loud thwack. "Ouch Babe!"
"Em grow up." Rose my sister in law informed her husband. I turned at the sound of the door opening.
"Thanks for helping me with this Jasper." I heard the voice of my angel. Bella.
"No problem Bella, I had to go get more meat anyways." She laughed.
"Yea I'm a little scared Dad is going to insist on buying one of those grills now." She laughed and I turned and walked up to help her with the two large bags in her arms. She noticed me and blushed.
"Edward have you met Bella, Charlie's daughter yet?" My Mom asked a knowing glint in her eyes.
"Briefly at the tree lot yesterday. Bella can I help you with those bags."
"Thank you Dr. Cullen," she said softly as she tried to hand me one, I took both.
"Edward, please." I smiled and she smiled back.
"Thank you Edward." That blush how I wanted to touch her cheek and feel the warmth it brought with it.
"BEWA!" Lilly came running and jumped into Bella's open arms.
"Lilly how are you sweetie?"
"I missed you," Lilly told Bella hugging her close.
"Hi Bella," Tony said coming around the corner, Emmett and Rose following him.
"Hey Anthony how are you?"
"We decorated our tree today," he told her looking proud.
"Wow I bet you did a great job," she told him with a smile.
"Hi I'm Rosalie Cullen." My sister in law introduced herself holding out a hand. Bella shifted Lilly onto her hip and held her with one arm, like she did this all the time and held out her other hand.
"Isabella Swan, but please call me Bella," she said with a smile.
"Please call me Rose. And I see our little Lilly and Tony have taken a shine to you." Rose smiled back.
"They are darling children. You and Edward are lucky to have such great kids." She smiled shyly.
"Oh no, I'm not…" Rose said just as I blurted "No she's not…" And we both fell into laughs.
"Rosie is my wife," Emmett told Bella. And I swear I saw relief in her eyes.
"I'm divorced." I told Bella, I wanted it out there that no woman held that claim on me.
"Bells!" Charlie Swan came in with my Father behind him, "I'm so getting one of those grills." He told her and she rolled her eyes. "Edward good to see you boy." He patted me on my shoulder and I reached to shake his hand while Tony ran to hug his Grandfather. Lilly was refusing to leave Bella.
"Lilly don't you want to come see Grandpa?" Carlisle asked reaching out his arms for her.
"No." She snuggled deeper into Bella and I'll be honest I was jealous that my baby could hug her when I couldn't.
"Lilly don't make Grandpa cry." Carlisle tried that.
"Bewa mine." She informed him and everyone laughed a little.
"God she reminds me of you at that age Edward."
"Thanks a lot Dad," I said sarcastically.
"No it's true, everything was yours. You staked claim to the vacuum one day and wouldn't let the maid or your Mom use it." Everyone laughed at me.
"Lilly I think you should go see your Grandpa while I help your Grandma in the kitchen," Bella told Lilly.
"Nana Bewa mine." She looked at Esme like she was trying to steal Bella away.
"Umm…" Bella looked lost so I ran to the kitchen and dropped the bags off and came back and reached for Lilly who held tighter.
"Lillian come see Daddy." I used my serious voice and my child stuck her tongue out at me.
"Hey Lilly baby." Alice was trying now. "Wanna go play princesses with me?"
"Don't you want to play with me for a bit, I've missed you Lilly." Alice pouted.
"No, Bewa." She informed her Aunt.
"Lillian Esme Cullen come here." Rose used her stern voice and Lilly took one sad look at Bella then got down and went to Rose. "Say you're sorry for being bad and not doing what you were told to do."
"Sowy." She pouted looking longingly at Bella.
"It's fine," Bella told her. "We can play later sweetie." And my baby girl smiled like we just handed her chocolate.
"K." She ran into the living room and all the adults had to laugh. "Aunt Ali come play!" She demanded from the other room and Alice went to go play.
Bella and my Mom went into the kitchen to work on the rest of dinner and I went outside with my Dad and Charlie to see the famous grill. I won't lie I wanted to go into the kitchen with Bella, grab her and claim mine just as my child had, but I wanted to play it cool. Plus I was hoping to get some info about Bella from her Dad.
"Charlie I didn't even know you had kids." I smiled at him acting nonchalant.
"I married young and less than a year later Renee and I had Bella. Unfortunately Renee decided she wanted more than to be a small town cop's wife so she took Bella when she was one and moved around a lot. I looked for her for years, but like I said they moved around a lot." He looked so sad. "Renee remarried a few years ago and finally settled down, it took awhile but I finally got a chance to talk to Bella. She was going to school in Arizona for early childhood education and had no idea about me or where I lived. Renee basically told her I was dead. Needless to say the two of them had a falling out and Bella transferred schools to be near me. She's attending Port Angeles College to finish up her degree. She starts back there in January." Oh God how young was she? And I felt so bad for Charlie.
"Damn Charlie I'm so sorry." He just gave a small smile and waved it off.
"I lost twenty years of her life, I'm just glad I get to see her now." Mentally doing the math twenty one, way too young for me. She'd never want someone as old and settled as I am. She was probably still at the partying stage of life. "She's agreed to live with me and commute back and forth. I couldn't be happier."
"I'm happy for you Chief."
"I'm happy for both of us," Bella said softly coming out of the house. "Carlisle, Esme asked me to let you know your beeper is going off."
"Damn." My Dad took off to get his beeper just as Charlie's phone rang.
"I've got to get this it's the station." He informed us and walked away. Bella walked towards me.
"I wonder what is going on?" she asked gently.
"If they are both getting called it's probably an accident of some sort," I informed her.
"Oh will you get called in?" She looked sad at the idea.
"Unless it's one of my patients it's highly unlikely. Unlike my Father I'm just a general practitioner. I wanted a set schedule while raising my children. I have been working extra hours with one of my partners is out on maternity leave. Other than that I'm home by six every night." She smiled at me.
"Children need stability and it's wonderful that it seems like they are your first priority. I basically raised my Mom, by the time I was nine I was doing all the cooking and most of the cleaning. And as you know from what Charlie just told you I didn't know my Dad. My Mom had new boyfriends in every place we lived, it was a revolving door of men to be honest." She grimaced.
I felt bad for her but I didn't want to make her think I pitied her. "Do you talk to your Mom still?" Ok avoidance but I am extremely curious.
"I haven't talked to my Mom in three months. Honestly she should probably be in jail for kidnapping but Charlie wouldn't do that to her. Well to me. I think he worries I'd resent him if he put my Mom in jail." I watched her shiver and remembered we were outside.
"We should probably go in before we freeze to death," I told her.
"Yea, I've lived mainly in warm places like Phoenix and Jacksonville. This cold is something to get used to." She smiled softly. "But it's worth it for Charlie." You could see the love and devotion for her father in her eyes. "Your parents are really nice," she offered.
"Yea I got lucky there. Carlisle and Esme are two of the best people I've ever met. Too bad only I got their patient gene, Em and Ali well they want everything the moment they decide they want it. Waiting is not an option. Poor Jasper, when Alice saw him she walked up grabbed him by the shirt and told him she had been waiting a long time for him. He apologized looking at the crazy pixie, she then told him not to make her wait again. Next thing we know she has her legs around his waist and her tongue shoved down his throat. We were at a very nice restaurant celebrating our parents' anniversary. Jasper was there celebrating his engagement. Needless to say that engagement ended that night." I laughed and she looked at me, her beautiful brown eyes in shock.
"You're kidding me right?"
"Nope, of course when she kissed him Jasper said he knew she was it for him." I looked at her. "Plus his ex Maria scared the shit out of him. She was a militant feminist that would yell if he opened a door or a jar for her. Don't get me wrong we're all about women having equality here, but poor Jasper couldn't even use the bathroom without her permission."
"Oh my God. That poor guy." She bit her lip then looked up through her lashes at me, then looked down again. She looked like she wanted to ask me something but was too shy to do it.
"You can ask me anything Bella," I told her honestly. Though I'm trying to fight it, she's still a kid in some ways, still being in college and I'm a grown man with two kids and a six figure job, I'm drawn to her. I want to hold her and kiss her and loose myself in her.
"Umm where is Lilly and Tony's mom?" She shuffled her feet a little.
"As I said I'm divorced, have been since a month after Lilly was born." I smiled gently at her to let her know it was fine to ask this question. "Sasha and I married while I was in med school, we had been dating off and on for a couple of years and she got pregnant with Tony. She hated being pregnant and had little to do with Tony when he was a baby. We were going to divorce before Lilly, but one night of memories and too much tequila and I got the gift of my sweet Lilly. Sasha signed away her parental rights and ran off with her new girlfriend Charlotte. She suddenly figured out she was a lesbian. Esme thinks it's because a woman can't get you pregnant." I laughed a little.
"She just walked away from her kids?" Bella sounded offended and shocked. You could tell by the look in her eyes she would never let go of her child.
"I guess some women weren't meant for motherhood the same way some men are not meant to be fathers."
"Renee shouldn't have been a mother, she just wanted to stick it to my Dad and have a little slave." Tears were welling up in her eyes and we were still outside in the cold. My poor little Bella needed to warm up and I wanted to wipe the sad out of her eyes.
"Charlie was clearly meant to be your Dad though." I smiled gently and spontaneously pulled her into a hug. She cuddled closer and I think sniffed me.
"Thank you Edward. Lilly and Tony are lucky to have you as a Dad." Oh hell no, I hope she wasn't seeing me as a Father figure. Think Edward. Shit I have nothing short of grabbing her ass and kissing the hell out of her.
"Well I am lucky that at only thirty two I've got such great kids." See make it sound like thirty two isn't old compared to twenty one. She giggled.
"And not even a grey hair." She leaned back and ran her fingers through my hair and smiled. It felt so fucking good.
"Not yet." I agreed with a slight purr.
"Edward, Bella dinner is done kids." Mom I love you calling me a kid. I let go of Bella and she blushed. God I don't think I could ever get tired of that blush.
We were both startled when Charlie came out then with Dad to get the meat off the grill. They explained it was a two car pileup and that they both were able to delegate and let someone else handle it. For once they were being selfish and enjoying time with their families. I was proud of both of them. Too often they put others before themselves.
I grabbed Bella's hand gently to follow our fathers back into the house. It just felt natural holding her like this. I just hoped I'd be able to let go.
We were seated beside each other at dinner. Lilly of course reclaimed Bella and had to sit in her lap for the duration of the meal. I tried to argue but Bella said to leave her be that she didn't mind. To be honest Bella was a natural with my daughter. She seemed to anticipate Lilly's wants and needs before she even made a noise. Tony was sitting with Emmett. They were grunting and being 'men'. It was both gross and hilarious at the same time. Lilly started falling asleep during dinner and curled into Bella, holding on like she was scared someone would rip them apart.
"Looks like your taking that one home Bells," Charlie joked.
"I really don't think Edward would appreciate that Dad." She joked, but she looked down at my daughter and I swear I saw love and adoration in her eyes. She had stopped eating and was playing with Lilly's hair. Tony starting looking at Bella longingly.
"Bella do you like football?" Tony asked gaining her attention and her pretty smile.
"To be honest Tony I don't know. I've never played nor have I watched it," she told him honestly.
"Really?" he exclaimed.
"Wow, what about baseball?" he persisted.
"Well my step dad plays baseball, but I never watched it. I played softball when I was in school for gym class. Though mainly I just injured the other players due to my clumsy nature." She giggled.
"What is clumsy?"
"It means I trip a lot over nothing and fall a lot and when I play sports my aim stinks. Most of the other kids didn't really like to play with me because I'd end up hurting one of them by accident."
"Oh. When the weathers nice if you want to play baseball with me I won't mind you being clumsy Bella," he told her seriously.
"I'd love to Tony," she told him with a little tear in the corner of her eye.
"Bewa?" Lilly said softly her voice was so tired.
"Yes Lilly?" She answered her angel's voice music to my ears.
"Can I pway too?" She got out.
"Of course baby girl." Lilly's face broke into a huge grin, and she lowered her head again and went back to sleep safe in Bella's arms. Lucky kid.
An hour later Lilly was still asleep in Bella's arms while the rest of us played a game of Trivial Pursuit. Tony was curled up into Bella's side on the sofa watching Shrek The Halls on the television.
"Would you like me to take her?" I asked Bella, who just smiled and shook her head.
"No we're fine." She gently ran her fingers in Tony's hair, in a caring motherly gesture and my heart almost burst. I knew I needed to take my kids home. Hell I have work in the morning but I didn't want to leave her. I wasn't sure I could.
Charlie and Carlisle came back in the room, they had left to check in on the pileup situation. Neither of them looked happy.
"Hey Bells I need to go. The guy that caused the pileup was running a ton of marijuana." He looked sad. "And I need to run out to the Rez to inform his Dad. Shoot I never dreamed in a million years Jacob Black would be a drug dealer." I don't think he meant to say the last part out loud.
"Oh my God Dad isn't that the guy you tried to set me up on a date with?" Bella looked shocked and amused at the same time.
"Sorry kiddo." Charlie looked guilty.
"It's ok, just never try to hook me up again. I can handle my own love life," she told him gently. "Edward could you get Lilly, Charlie was my ride so I need to go too." God that hurt my heart and look at her face she wasn't happy about it either.
"I could run you home," I offered. "The kids and I were leaving after Shrek goes off anyways." Lies all lies.
"Oh I don't want you to have to go out of your way," she said shyly.
"Nonsense I live a few blocks over in that new development near the Chief." It still amused me that two streets over from these nice modest homes lived my little community of jumbo overpriced mansions.
"Ok." She smiled. "Dad is that ok with you?"
"It's great actually, thanks Edward. I would have to go all the way to my house then back to the hospital." He smiled and shook my hand. My Dad on the other hand gave me a knowing look.
Less than fifteen minutes later I had Bella in the passenger seat of my car heading towards the Chief's house. She helped me get the kids in their car seats and we kept smiling at each other. It felt so normal, so right. So fucking right. But I knew it was wrong she was only 21.
We made meaningless chatter on the way there. The main topic being the weather. God all I wanted to do was ask her out. When we pulled into her driveway I turned to Tony who was the only one of my kids still awake.
"I'm going to walk Bella to her door." He gave me a sleepy smile.
"Night Tony." Bella smiled at him and he gave her a big goofy grin.
"Night Lilly," she whispered and the kid smiled in her sleep. I got out and walked around to open her door just as she was trying to open it herself.
"Ugh," I groaned as it hit the lower half of my body.
"Holy crow! Edward are you ok?" She was standing in front of me, her beautiful brown eyes filled with concern.
"Yea I'm good." I took her hand and walked her to the door, she blushed at the contact and my inner demon grinned. Bad boy that I am, I wanted to see how far that blush went.
"Well goodnight I guess." She almost whispered as she stood in the open doorway.
"Goodnight beautiful." Shit that slipped. She blushed even harder and bit her bottom lip. Her plump bottom lip I want to suck in my mouth.
"Edward do you…" She hesitated.
"Do I?" I was truly curious.
"Well umm I was wondering if maybe you wanted to get coffee or something sometime?" She is asking me out. I did an inner happy dance. I decided to take it one step further.
"How about dinner Saturday night? We can go out or I can cook for you at my place?"
"Umm." She looked at the car. "We can have dinner at your place, that way you don't have to get a sitter. Though I want to cook. I'll bring the stuff over, is five ok?" She was talking so quietly and I can tell she was nervous and shy.
"Yes, beautiful, five is fine. Do you have a cell?" I didn't want to presume.
"Yes." She got it out of her purse and I called my phone with it, and then in turn called her back.
"Now we have each others' phone numbers. I'll text you my address later and if you need directions I'll give them to you." She smiled even bigger.
"Ok. Call me if you need anything." She leaned up and kissed my cheek and it felt like she had branded me. "Goodnight Edward." She went into the house and shut the door gently behind her. I turned to go back to the car, unable to wipe the grin off my face.
"Hey guy, Bella is coming over next weekend to cook us dinner! Is that ok with you?" I asked Tony and he started bouncing like Alice.
"Shhh, Tony, don't wake up Lilly." I laughed and he looked sheepish.
"Sorry Daddy. I like Bella a lot," He told me.
"I do too buddy." Oh God do I like that woman.
During the week Bella and I shared many, many text messages and two sweet phone calls. The first, she called to ask if the kids or I had any allergies or major food dislikes. It turned into a longer call when I needed to talk about a patient who I had just discovered had cancer and I was depressed about. I didn't give her any names or break confidentiality, she never pressed for details unlike the few women that I have dated. She just listened to me and honestly made me feel better about the situation.
The second phone call I initiated because Lilly was crying for Bella. I asked if she minded talking to a very cranky and upset two year old and she laughingly agreed. Within twenty minutes Lilly was a giggling little girl handing me the phone and running off to play with her brother. I spent the next hour talking to Bella about how the hell she pulled that off, which she wouldn't share and somehow that transitioned into twenty questions back and forth. I now held a vast amount of knowledge of her likes and dislikes. I could tell you she hated saltine crackers and loved New England style clam chowder amongst other things. Like green being her favorite color and emerald being her favorite gem.
Now it's Saturday and she is in my kitchen cooking with Lilly. Yes my two year old insisted that she was going to help her Bella cook. Tony and I were picking out a movie for us all to watch after we eat.
"Ok guys, food is on." She called and I turned and smiled. She had Lilly on her hip again and an apron on. I felt like the Dad in a 50's tv show with the perfect family.
"What are we eating Bella?"
"Baked chicken tenders, ranch potato wedges, corn on the cob and salad." It was a very kid friendly meal. A lot of finger foods. We ate, and damn it was good. She was beautiful, great with my kids and she cooked like a dream. I needed to make a trip to Tiffany's to get the ring. I laughed to myself at that thought, honestly it didn't scare me at all.
After we ate, which I have to say it was the first time my kids ate a vegetable and salad without complaining, we sat down to watch The Santa Claus while the kids cuddled up with us on the sofa. Bella leaned a bit towards me, Lilly on her lap and Tony curled into my side. I slowly put my arm behind her and she blushed then smiled at me.
Lilly passed out during the movie and I carried her upstairs when it was over. Tony asked Bella to tuck him in and she quickly agreed. I tucked Lilly into her princess toddler bed and Bella came in.
"He's changing and brushing his teeth," she informed me.
"I have him trained well." I joked and she giggled. She leaned down over my daughter and kissed her forehead.
"Night Miss Lilly." She whispered gently running her hand through Lilly's hair one time before going to the door. "I'm going to see if he's ready," She informed me and I smiled.
"Ok." I finished getting Lilly ready and heard giggles from Tony's room. When I went in I found Tony under the blankets cuddled up into Bella's side as she read The Little Engine That Could to him using a funny voice during the 'I think I cans."
"Oh!" she gasped when she noticed me.
"Well if teaching doesn't work out for you, you might try voice over work for kids movies." I joked and she giggled.
"True. Now go away Tony and I are reading." She shooed me and I laughed as I started toward downstairs.
About twenty minutes later she quietly came down the stairs looking fucking adorable with her silly grin and tip toeing. "He's asleep," she whispered.
"It's a big house beautiful, he can't hear you talk down here. That's why I have the baby monitors so I can always hear them." I point to them and she rolls her eyes.
"It is a big house." Somehow I don't think the size of the house impresses her.
"Yep," I joke popping the "p".
"Ugh that's right be a big baby Edward." She laughed and playfully hit me on the chest.
"So next weekend is Christmas huh?" I threw out there.
"Yea, my first with Charlie. My first in a place that feels like home." She looked blissful.
"So what have you asked Santa for?" I joked and for some reason she blushed.
"Umm I think I already got what I asked for," she said quietly.
"Really?" She must have meant her Dad.
"Yes." She reached up and pulled me down towards her. The next thing I know she placed her lips on mine and kissed me. I'm shocked so I didn't respond for a moment. Then I began kissing her with everything I had. I had never felt as turned on and alive as I did in that moment. Her small body pulled close to me. God I never wanted to let go. Unfortunately for me she pulled back.
"What did you ask Santa for Edward?" She grinned.
"You Bella," I answered and pulled her back.
"Merry Christmas Edward," She whispered against my lips.
"Merry Christmas beautiful Bella." I pulled her closer and knew somehow we will make this work. I can't let her go now. Besides my children she is the greatest gift I've ever received. I silently thanked Santa and God for this Christmas surprise blessing.
Oh and besides Twitter *dont_run* I now have a blog where I put teasers and sneak peeks at new stories dontrunffw(dot)blogspot(dot)com