Disclaimer – Original characters belong to Stephenie Meyer, Plot lines and characterizations all belong to Aurora, copyright June 2015.

Your perseverance and faith in this story, dear readers, never fails to astound me. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Chapter 31 – Resolution

Sitting at the Cullen family dinner table, less than a day after propositioning my boyfriend/partner/boss/protégé for sex and after the intense week of fuckery I'd had, to say that I was feeling on edge didn't really cut it.

We'd decided to tell Edward's parents about us tonight, and I honestly had no idea how they were going to react. Actually, that's a lie, I'm pretty sure Esme will be over the moon. One, her baby boy is guaranteed to be settling down and staying in one place for longer than five minutes and two, my showing some interest in the opposite sex (even if it had been a woman, I don't think she would have cared) was grounds for some kind of celebration in her eyes.

But what about Carlisle? How would the man to whom I owed my career and renewed sense of self-belief react when I told him I was not only dating but living with his son? While it was true that we'd both been busy, this was really something we should have given more thought to, but hindsight was a great thing. As of right now, I felt clueless.

Given that dinner is not for another hour and Edward has yet to arrive, I make the questionable decision to go for a run to calm my nerves instead of indulging in another glass of delicious Portuguese red wine.

Being outside, I immediately feel more at ease. While no-one mentioned my strange behaviour, I don't have to be able to see to know that I certainly aroused some suspicion. I break into a slow jog and relish the feel of my tight muscles beginning to stretch out and lengthen my stride after five minutes of warm up. Already my mind feels clearer and I regret not having the conversation with Edward about telling his parents earlier. It wasn't that I was ashamed in any way of our relationship, although I'm sure some people would see it that way - not that I cared about them anyway. In fact, the way Edward made me feel made me want to shout from the rooftops and tell everyone I encountered just how lucky I felt to have this man in my life.

Surely they would be happy for us, maybe they would be disappointed that we hadn't confided in them earlier, and perhaps Carlisle would take issue with the ethics of us working so closely together and, well, living together, but ultimately they had to be happy for us. When my watch chimed signalling that twenty minutes was up and that I should be heading back along the familiar path encasing the Cullen estate I felt a renewed sense of energy and positivity. The thought that Edward might have arrived by now only served to spur me on further, causing me to increase my pace and further lengthen my stride.

Unfortunately my temporary lapse in concentration also resulted in a lapse of awareness. Rather than recovering after tripping delicately over the loose paving stone I fell, tumbling head over heels, missing the soft bushes to the side which surely would have cushioned my fall and instead heading straight for the concrete head first. Seconds before my impact I spun to the side to take the impact away from my head, I flinched as my body hit the ground, grateful that I hadn't landed on my head – until I felt a sharp pain to my temple and everything went black.

Upon awaking the first sensation I feel is fuzziness, while not terribly specific this serves to describe the sense of loss and confusion I feel as I register the noise around me.

"I don't CARE if visiting hours are ending soon. The woman I love is recovering from a head injury, she still isn't awake and if you try one more time to make me go I swear I will just buy this goddamn place!"

"Edward please, not so loud sweetheart. Just calm down." I could hear Esme in the background and she sounded somewhat exasperated.

"Calm down?! Calm. Down? Mom I think it's pretty clear that I'm justified in my reaction. Where's the fucking doctor anyway, shouldn't we know her results yet?"

"Son, that's your mother you're speaking to, watch your tone." Great, looks like everyone is here.

I run my tongue over my dry lips and squeak out some kind of announcement to let my Cullen-shaped entourage know that I can hear them.

"C-could I have some water please?" Suddenly I'm glad I can't see because the flurry of activity that takes place as soon as I start speaking is enough to make me want to shut my eyes again and hide away from the world.

I'm not surprised to feel Edward next to me first. One hand is on my forehead, because apparently people with head injuries get a fever, and the other is running through my hair while he alternates between kissing my face and whispering words of endearment to me. Take away the fact that I'm in hospital recovering, the degree to which is yet to be determined and his parents are here, well then I'd just about be in heaven.

To give them their credit, the Cullen's manage to stay relatively calm while all the necessary checks are carried out to make sure everything is as it should be. Apart from some nasty bruises and scrapes, the damage isn't too bad. It turns out that while I did sustain some injury to my head, I managed to sleep through several hours of healing meaning that apart from the painkillers making me feel slightly dopey, I'm not doing too badly at all considering how much worse the damage could have been.

"You sure you're ok sweetheart?"

I smile in his direction and he presses a chaste kiss to my lips, something I would have loved to continue if his parents weren't still in the same bloody room.

"So, Bella. Just how long have you and Edward been doing, well, whatever the hell it is you two are up to?"

Well the calm was nice, now for the storm.

Shit.

What do y'all think then? Looks like they'll have to do some explaining a bit earlier than they thought. I'd love to hear what you guys think about how this story will go on, I'm thinking of wrapping it up in under 40 chapters now because this one has been going on for a long, long time. Thank you so much to readers new and old who have stuck with this. Every one of you is so special to me.

Also, if you're a fan of 'Substance' (my other main fic) then I also just updated that one so check it out if you're a reader, if not – give it a shot anyway ;)

Happy Wednesday!

-Aurora