Stephenie Meyer owns all characters...
Okay, so this is very long. There's a lot of dialogue and it is also very busy. I hope you all enjoy!
Epilogue..One (16 years later)
Parents just don't understand.
Like the thousands of times before, I happily skipped up the porch steps. Always so anxious to see my family after a long day at the office. Especially today, it's an important night and my presence is demanded here, at home.
I sighed, while I unlocked the door and let myself in.
I left the office at my usual time, after Bella called to tell me to come straight home. Her phone call didn't make any sense to me.
We've been married for almost 18 years and I always come straight home. Where else was I going to go?
Corduroy greeted me when I walked in. Like always, by pouncing on me, and soiling my shirt with his dirty paws. He's no Butch. In fact, he is Butch's replacement. The boys were devastated when he passed eight years ago. I didn't want another dog, but Bella insisted. She was right because the kids quickly forgot about Butch. They focused all their attention on the small chocolate lab puppy, who helped dry their tears.
Me? Well, I personally hate this fucking dog. He's no Butch that's for sure. I think he might be a little retarded too.
"Get! Get down, ya flea bag." I shouted, pointing into the living room. Of course he didn't listen. "Come on Cord move!"
"How can you be so mean? He's just a dog." I heard the familiar female giggle in the distance. When I walked through the foyer and my eyes landed on her, they widened.
"What—why—what in the world are you wearing?" I spluttered out.
"It's a dress." She twirled around for me. "Don't you like it?"
I shook my head no. "Where's the rest of it?" I asked. My brown haired beauty was wearing a strapless dress that barely reached her knees. Oh, it was pink too.
"Oh stop—it's beautiful." She twirled again. "I really feel like a princess."
I shook my head no again. "Go change—" I pointed to the stairs.
"No!" She shouted, crossing her arms over her chest.
"Go put on something that's close to your age." I shouted again.
"No!" She stomped her foot.
I continued pointing to the stairs as I walked closer to her. "I'm not kidding. Go change your clothes!" I thought what she was wearing is highly inappropriate.
"But mom picked this out." She pouted. "She and Aunt Ali say I look beautiful."
I pinched the bridge of my nose, frustrated. My wife has gone insane and since when did my thirteen year old daughter grow breasts?
"I don't care what she said. You are going to march up those stairs and put on another dress. How about that black one you have? That one was nice." I gave her a tight lipped smile.
I think she wore it to Charlie's funeral last year. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer seven years ago and luckily went into remission, until last year when it came back with a vengeance. It spread throughout his body quickly and he passed within a few months time. There was nothing the doctors could do. I think he had symptoms before he went to the doctor, but Charlie didn't want to fight anymore. He confided in me that he just wanted to enjoy the time he had left. He didn't want to fight another battle.
"Daddy! It's black. I can't wear that and it's too long." She whined.
"Exactly! Go put that one on." I gave her a little nudge towards the stairs.
She didn't care or look like she was going anywhere. She not only looks exactly like her mother, but she's just as stubborn too, and loves to bust my balls. Perhaps if I was a little more strict she'd actually respect me. Maybe wouldn't walk all over me, I don't know. She has her daddy wrapped around her little finger, but I wasn't going to budge on my decision.
No way in hell.
Fuck. She's wearing heels too!
She's my little girl for Christ's sake.
It all started when she got her period for the first time last month. I could barely look at her. She was turning into a woman whether I liked it or not. All I could do was pat her arm and say a mumbled congratulations. Bella, Alice, my sister, and my nieces squealed happily, and they threw a God damn pajama party. I personally didn't think it was a reason to celebrate. More of a reason to go out and buy a chastity belt or carry around a fucking gun.
"Bella—I mean Cord—I mean EJ-" I started to shout, forgetting who I was angry with. "Alexandra Marie Cullen! I am going to say this one last time. Go change!"
"No!" She shouted.
I groaned, palming my face with both hands. "You're my daughter and while you are living under this roof you will do as I say. NOW GO CHANGE!" I screamed.
"MOM!" She screamed back in that trilling high pitched voice. I actually jumped, cringing away from her.
"Alex, what in God's name is the matter?" Bella asked as she ran down the stairs, making her breasts jiggle in the process. Lovely. Not the time Cullen.
Alex turned to frown at her mother. "Dad wants me to change. He's says I look hideous." She pouted.
"That's not—" I started. She looked beautiful. She looked like a woman. She didn't look like my thirteen year old daughter.
She could never look hideous.
"Edward, how dare you. She looks gorgeous." Bella smiled, smoothing back Alex's hair. "Why don't you go on up and grab my diamond necklace? It will look perfect with this dress."
"The heart one?" Alex squealed. Bella nodded, giving Alex a hug, and guiding her towards the stairs.
My daughter ran up the stairs. Once she was out of sight, Bella turned to raise an eyebrow at me. I couldn't help it. When she did that, my face broke out into a huge smile. It always does.
"You saw the dress-" she stepped closer to me. "-and we both agreed that she could wear it." Bella laughed.
"It looked longer on the hanger." I wrapped my arms around her waist. "Let me guess, your sister is upstairs with a pair of scissors, isn't she?" I asked.
"Maybe." Bella shrugged, stepping on her toes. I bent my head down to smack my lips against hers, excited to finally kiss her after such a long day. Kissing Bella always feels the same. We still have that spark. I still get that primal urge to run her up the stairs and ravish her. I grunted into her mouth, deepening the kiss, and placing both my hands on her ass. Love that fucking thing!
"You guys are gross, get a room." CC scoffed, making us break apart. We turned to watch him run up the stairs. I smiled and looked back to Bella.
"Have you spoken to him yet?" I asked.
Bella's eyes widened. "Me?" She asked incredulous. "I thought you were going to talk to him."
I smirked. "I did say that I would, didn't I?"
"Yes, you did." Bella poked my side, stepping away from me. "You are his father. It should come from you." What the hell was I going to say to him? Maybe I should call my dad and ask for some advice?
"Can't we get EJ to talk to him?" I hoped. My seventeen year old, my first born, is my best friend, partner in crime, and my worst enemy. We fight over the same woman constantly. His mother.
No. Then I guess he shouldn't talk to CC or maybe he should?
I think EJ knows more about sex than his dear old dad. Maybe not, but he's so much more active at his young age than I was. He's the all-American king of Port Jervis high school. He's quarter back of the football team, captain of the baseball team, and he doesn't have the lanky frame that I had as a teenager. He's built and looks like a full grown man.
It all started two years ago. When he started to sneak girls into his bedroom.
After I properly taught him how to don a condom, I bid him good luck in all of his affairs. It was a short talk because EJ already knew the repercussions of unprotected sex. He assured me that he was deathly afraid of having unprotected sex. He should be. Becoming pregnancy is like a genetic disorder in this family.
That and he's scared shit to get an STD, sure that his dick will fall off.
"You know what EJ is going to say." Bella laughed. "Bro, it was just sex—get over yourself." Bella did a poor imitation of EJ that made me laugh.
"You're right." I reached up to loosen my tie. "So how was your day?" I asked.
Bella huffed out a breath while she leaned into me. "Utterly exhausting. You really need to have a chat with Garrett. I think it's time he retired. He had three cases today and it took him hours to finish up. He's getting old and cutting into the other surgeon's block time."
I sighed. "I can't do that, as long as he's competent and no one's dying—"
"You're the chief. Of course you can talk to him. Take him fishing—I don't know. It's hard enough to manage the employees, and keeping a watchful eye on him too—"
"How did your meeting go today?" I interrupted, trying to change the subject.
"Well, we didn't have to down size. Angela resigned and Maggie is going to work at Orange regional." She smiled.
"You told them before didn't you?" I smirked. I still can't believe she became nursing director of the operating room. She's too nice, as always, but everyone respects her. They threw a party when Jane retired. Victoria took her place and Bella took Victoria's place as supervisor.
It was hard for us during the time she attended school. It seemed like she was never home. She worked so hard and I was so proud of her. She never neglected us, we just missed her.
Within three years, she graduated with her bachelors in nursing.
Right after graduation, she found out she was pregnant with Alex. She was still on the pill and was taking antibiotics for a sinus infection. You'd think we'd know better?
She worked her way up to supervisor to take over for Victoria. She took management courses and then earned a master of science, in nursing. Last year when Victoria retired, she became the queen of the Bon Secours' operating room and I am her king, her chief.
"I couldn't just lay off people." She whispered. "I confided in them about the down size. Angela offered and Maggie felt it was time to move on anyway. They were my best employees." She looked down.
"Cheer up love." I palmed her cheek. "There are plenty of good people that still work there." I placed a kiss on her forehead.
"I know, but go talk to CC." She mumbled.
"What?" I asked.
"I said go talk to CC. Now—" she gave me a little push.
I rolled my eyes and ran upstairs without any argument.
As I walked down the hall, I heard loud music. It was blasting and coming from EJ's room. I knocked loudly, hopping that he'd hear me.
"What?" He snapped opening the door.
"Turn that shit down. It's making my ears bleed." I shouted over the music. He turned, grabbing his stereo remote, and shutting that horrible shit off.
Once it was quiet, I took a curious glance around myself. "Did you do what I asked?" I whispered to him.
"Relax dad," he patted my shoulder. "It's taken care of. I actually just got home. She should be getting the call any minute."
I nodded, reaching back for my wallet.
"Do you think uncle Al will be mad at me?" He asked.
I shrugged, pulling a twenty out of my wallet. I slapped it into EJ's out stretched hand.
"Let me worry about that." I said.
"Twenty? I thought you said fifty?" He held up the bill. I pushed him into his bedroom and closed the door behind me, nearly tripping over something in the process.
"Jesus Christ! Clean this room—" I looked down to the sports equipment, sneakers, and clothes that covered the floor. "You can't even see the floor." I kicked some debris away. "Are those the towels your mother has been looking for?" EJ shrugged.
"So...do you think uncle Al will be mad? I did threaten his son—" He ended with a chuckle.
My eyes widened in shock. "Threaten? I told you not to threaten him, just scare him."
EJ widened his arms. "How else can I scare him? Every male in the high school and junior high school already know not to go near Alex. He's a brave little fucker." EJ laughed, plopping down onto his bed.
I nodded, thinking about what he said. Alistair Jr is a brave little fucker, just like his father when he tried to woo Bella away from me all those years ago. Only AJ has his sights set on my daughter.
"They're in the eighth grade—" I grumbled. "Why do they need a prom anyway?" I asked myself.
EJ smirked at me. "I got my first hand job at that dance. They're going to high school next year. I don't know—" He trailed off.
I went back into my wallet and gave him another ten. "Thank you." I said.
"I thought you said fifty?" He held up the thirty dollars.
I let out a bitter chuckle. "You live in my house. You eat the food that your mother and I buy. I put gas in your car—clothes on your back..." I named off my fingers. "Until you get a job, be grateful for what you have." I crossed my arms over my chest.
He scoffed. "Of course you pay for the gas. I chauffeur your damn kids around—"
"Your siblings." I corrected him.
He shrugged. "Same difference. Oh, and if you think I'm sharing the car with CC, when and if he gets his license this summer you are sadly mistaken." He grumbled. "I'm going to be a senior in the fall. How's it going to look if Edward Cullen has to share a ride with his circus freak of a brother."
"Don't be such a bitch—" I punched his shoulder. "Be grateful for what you have and CC is not weird." I lied. The kid looks just like I did as a teenager. But he's nothing like I was. He's smart, is very musical, plays the piano, just like I did. That's about it.
"Aunt Rose said that I can bus tables at the restaurant." He said. "That way—"
I sighed, holding out my hand to stop him. "We've been through this a million times. You're a student. That is your job. Did you sign up for those AP classes for next year?" I asked him.
"Yes, but if I got a job—I mean, I promise not to fall from the honor roll." He begged.
I shook my head no. "Between your studies and sports, there's just not enough time for a job. Your mother and I make sure that you kids want for nothing. What are you missing out on?" I asked.
"Nothing. I just want my own money." He shrugged.
"Your allowance is more than enough." I said; he nodded, and we both became quiet for a minute.
"Uh—Did CC say anything about-" I prompted.
"About him walking in on you. When you were dogging out mom on the kitchen table? Yeah, he's mortified." EJ grimaced. "He's already scared of 'the pussy' and you two probably scarred him for life, and what did I tell you about that?" He shook his finger at me.
I leaned back, just looking at him.
"She's my mother—" EJ gulped. "I don't like it. You treat her like she's your personal whore."
"Hey! Watch your mouth." I scolded him.
"Sorry." He grumbled.
"For your information son," I smiled sweetly down to him. "She's my wife. She was before she became your mother. She is also my personal whore, personal chef, and the woman of my dreams." I sighed and pinched the bridge of my nose again.
A part of me finds his concerns amusing, and the other part just finds it frustrating and very weird. "E, this Oedipus complex you have with her is starting to scare me." I whispered.
"What?" He shouted and stood up. "I don't want to fuck my mother. That's disgusting! I can't believe you said that. I don't want to do that. I just don't want anyone else to do that." He ranted.
"She's my wife—" I said exasperated, trying to level with him.
"Do you know how hard it is at school? I hate it when she comes. CC is always forgetting his saxophone or money for lunch. I have to hear from everyone how my mother is a MILF. Do you know how embarrassing that is? And when they come here they have to stare at her." He palmed his face, slumping his shoulders.
"EJ," I patted his shoulder. "Your mother is a beautiful woman—"
"Yeah well last week Steven Adler asked her to the senior prom. He didn't recognize her since she got those blonde high-light thingys. He thought she was the new Russian exchange student." He whispered the last part.
Steven Adler is EJ's arch nemesis. EJ wanted to be football captain and I had to have a lengthy chat with him about how he can't have it all. That and Steven is a senior. They chose him over EJ because he's a junior. EJ is co-captain for the varsity team. I bet he will be captain this fall though.
"Then when he found out she was my mother, I had to hear through the rose bush how he was going to rent a hotel room."
"Grape vine." I corrected him.
"What?" He looked at me.
"You said rose bush. The saying is 'Heard it through the grape vine'."
"Whatever. Tell mom to stop dressing like a teenager, and can't you two tone it down just a little? It's embarrassing. I don't blame CC for being shocked." He grumbled again.
"She's a grown woman and may wear what she likes. She's also my wife and this is our house. I will have her where ever I feel like it." I shrugged and went to walk out of his bedroom.
"By the way..." I turned to smirk at him from the door, remembering something my father once told me. "Your mom gives great hummers." I chuckled and closed the door, before the sneaker that was mid-flight could hit me.
I turned and saw Alex stomping down the hall. Uh-oh. She walked right past me and kicked open EJ's door.
"You!" She seethed, rounding on him. "I can't believe you threatened to beat up Alistair!" She started to smack her brother repeatedly. I put my arm around her waist to pull her away from him.
"Let me go daddy. I'm going to kick his butt!" She flailed and kicked at him from my arms. I had to bite my lip to keep from screaming when her heel scraped against my knee.
"What did you say to him?" Bella shouted to EJ from the doorway.
Hell hath no fury, like my Cullen women scorned.
"Nothing, I swear." EJ smacked his sister's hand away. "I just told him politely that if he laid his hands on my baby sister that I would chop them off. The little pervert obviously had other intentions, considering. He canceled the date so that should be obvious." He rambled nervously to his mother.
Bella pursed her lips, nodding, then looked to me.
"How much?" She asked.
My eyes widened and I let go of Alex. She absentmindedly stomped on my toe and I winced, then she tackled her brother. I turned away from them.
"How much what?" I asked.
"How much did you pay EJ to do that?" She started to tap her foot. Fuck. I'm in trouble.
"Love," I grabbed her hand. "I had nothing to do with this—"
"He's lying!" Alice sang as she passed EJ's room.
"I know!" Bella shouted back to her. Maddy stopped in to take in the scene with curious eyes.
"Daddy, how could you!" Alex shouted from on top of her brother. She got off of him and stood in front of me. My heart broke looking down into her sad eyes. My daughter's eyes which held tears that threatened to spill over.
God, she looks so much like Bella it's scary.
"I can't go to prom without a date. You ruined my life!" The tears spilled down her cheeks.
I reached out to wipe them away and she backed away from me, into Maddy's arms. I had to fix this. Alex never cries, ever.
"You can take CC, wouldn't that be cool, show up with a high school student?" I tried to save the day.
"Edward!" Bella shouted, drawing out my name in that tone.
"He's my brother! I hate you." Alex sniffled and fled EJ's bedroom.
"You're worse than daddy!" Maddy scolded me, before she followed Alex down the hall.
I winced when I heard her door slam.
Those fucking doors are always the closing to every argument. I should take all of them off the hinges.
What Maddy said really got to me though. I doubt I am as bad as Jasper. His biggest fears were confirmed two years ago. When a seventeen year old Ellie came home with her long term boyfriend to tell her parents that she was pregnant.
No one agreed with Alice, Jasper, or Ellie's decision. Their decision was for Ellie to have an abortion. The wife and I are both pro-choice, but Bella was heart broken for Ellie, and begged them not to. Stating that she could have the baby and we help raise it. I agreed. It was a no go.
The twins are now away at college. Ellie is upstate at SUNY Albany and Jason isn't that far either. He attends Binghampton university. They are both happy and starting their adult lives.
Fifteen year old Maddy isn't even allowed to date, neither is Alex really. We're just more open minded and hope for the best. It started out as just a dance, but I had no intentions of her going anyway. Obviously. She's thirteen and where the fuck did that body come from?
"A word Edward." Bella said before she left. That's an understatement. I'm sure I'll hear a whole lot more than a word.
"Good luck." EJ laughed.
I turned to roll my eyes at him. He could have denied it, make it sound more convincing that it was all his idea.
"For fifty bucks I'll lie to mom. Say you had nothing to do with it." He smirked, looking so much like my father.
I smirked back at the little fucker. "Give me my money back," I put out my hand.
"What?" He asked.
"You heard me. You didn't hold up your end of the deal. You were supposed to be discreet." I wiggled my fingers, waiting for my money.
EJ blew out a breath and slapped the thirty dollars in my hand.
"No one comes over tonight and you're not allowed out. You're punished for threatening AJ." I turned to walk away from him.
"But that's not fair. There's this chick—"
"Life isn't fair and clean this pig stye!" I kicked more shit out of my path.
Then I thought that I should give Bella some time to cool off?
To stall and buy myself some more time, I started to pick up some of the dirty towels off of EJ's floor.
"What are you doing?" EJ asked.
"What does it look like I'm doing?" I draped the dirty towels over my shoulder and grabbed a drinking glass. Ugh! There was mold in it. I bet this used to be milk.
"Leave it. I'll do it. I don't want you touching my stuff." EJ said.
I huffed out a breath, put the glass back down, and placed the towels in EJ's empty hamper. Of course it's empty. All of his shit is on the floor.
"How can you stand it?" I looked around. "-and you have friends over, girls at that."
"They don't care." He shrugged.
"Well I care. Clean your room and I'm not asking you, I'm telling you." I turned and left his room.
Bella spoiled him growing up and always cleaned his room. Last year, I put a stop to it. He's old enough to clean his own space and do his own laundry.
I shook my head as I walked toward my bedroom.
Apparently, I wasn't walking fast enough. Bella must have been waiting for me or hiding in the shadows like she often does. She's small, quiet, and likes to sneak up on me.
"Ow—" I shouted.
Bella grabbed my ear and pulled me to our bedroom. She's so tiny. It's odd looking at my two very large sons, knowing that they both came out of her. Not to mention how freakishly strong she is.
"What the hell is wrong with you?" She let go, pushing me into our bedroom, and started to pace around me. "Haven't we spoken numerous times about double standards? You buy the boys condoms for fuck's sake." She poked my chest.
"It's the right thing to do. If they're going to have sex then they should be protected." I shrugged. From my knowledge, EJ is the only one with cause to use condoms.
"Still, you allow it. You encourage them—I don't say anything. I never say anything. Even though I don't like it...A part of me knows that you're right. But you're such a hypocrite."
"I am not—" I started. I doubt Bella can hear me anyway. Once she gets going on one of her rants there's nothing stopping her.
"My baby girl was hoping to have her first kiss tonight. They are going to a junior high school prom, not some motel. Then I had to listen to Siobhan bitch and moan. She called my son a neanderthal, a gorilla, and a whole bunch of other names. I have half a mind to go over there and kick her ass." Bella ranted.
In the distance I heard the doorbell ringing, I ignored it.
"You better make this right. I'm not ready to go through her first heartache just yet. Plus, you act as though she's never seen a penis or something. She has three brothers." Bella frowned.
I shook my head. "I'm not that naïve. I just don't want her touching one."
"What do you want us to do Edward? Sew her legs together, like a thanksgiving turkey?" Bella asked, no humor evident in her voice. It was an intriguing idea though.
"Can we do that? You know legally?" Bella just ignored that. I would too. It's impossible and silly of me to ask.
"Al is on his way over here with AJ and they are going to that dance. She really likes AJ and he's the only boy that's not afraid of EJ."
Not anymore. I wanted to say, but it was wise of me not to.
"AJ is a good boy and we know his parents. What are you so afraid of?"
"You know what I'm afraid of-" I gulped.
"It was a MISTAKE!" She shouted. "Ellie made a mistake. We all make them. Yet you and Jasper want to lock their asses away until they're thirty. Well I have news for you pal!" She shouted again. "If we get too strict she's going to start doing things behind our back—"
A knock sounded on the door. I trailed my finger along Bella's cheek to calm her and turned to open it.
"Yes?" I looked down.
"Daddy, uncle Al is here."
Damn this small town.
I bent down to Michael, our youngest. He briefly hugged me and I pushed him towards Bella. At least one of my children still likes me.
"Go give mommy a hug." He laughed and ran to Bella.
If anyone can calm her down it's him. He's our weapon of mass destruction around here. He easily softens Bella with his youth and cuteness. He's seven and absolutely adorable. Especially now that he's missing his top two front teeth. He's also our only child who is an exact 50/50 split of mine and Bella's characteristics. He has his mother's brown hair, nose, and he has my green eyes, mouth and facial structure.
When I walked downstairs Jasper, Alice, and Al were deep in conversation.
"To what do I owe the pleasure?" I smirked at him. I just saw him over an hour ago.
"You did the right thing." Jasper nudged my shoulder, as he walked away with Alice.
"The pleasure?" Al laughed out. "Your demon spawn threatened my son!" He narrowed his eyes at me.
"He did not." Of course I denied it.
"He did too! Do you know how long AJ waited to ask Alex to the prom? I had to coach him for months just so he'd have the courage and you ruin it!"
"I'm just trying to protect—" I started.
"No, you're being your overbearing, control freak self."
"I'm trying to protect my daughters virtue okay?" I grumbled. "Can you at least respect that?"
"Virtue?" Al laughed. "My son is so shy, I'll be proud if he holds her hand, you moron! They're thirteen! The dance is two hours and I'm taking them for pizza first. I'll be with them almost the whole time."
I nodded, feeling like a piece of shit.
"AJ is in the car and he really wants to take her and apologize. Bella said that Alex still wants to go. If you can find it in your heart, if you even have one, can you send Alex down, so I can take them to the dance?"
"AL-LEX!" I shouted, using the intercom system, my loud mouth.
Before I even finished she was smiling widely and running down the stairs. Al smiled watching her.
"Alexandra, you look absolutely gorgeous. Go easy on him tonight." He patted her shoulder.
"Thank you." Alex giggled, walking around him, and not saying a word to me.
Okay, I guess I deserve that.
"Wait!" Bella shouted. "I need to take pictures."
"Mom!" Alex whined.
"Just a few." She said to Alex. "AJ! Get in here!" She shouted into the distance.
AJ was visibly shaking as he walked up to my house. When his eyes landed on Alex, he wiped the sweat away from his forehead and gulped.
I wanted to choke the pre-pubescent boy for even looking at my baby girl like that. He had that look in his eyes too. I didn't like it.
"AJ, don't you look handsome." Bella said. "You look just like your daddy." She pinched his cheek.
"What's going on?" EJ asked. He was flanked by Michael, CC, and his cousin Emmett Jr.
"When did you get here?" I asked Emmett. I didn't even notice that he was here.
"Mom dropped me off before she went to the restaurant. I've been in CC's room. Dad said to stay out of the crossfire." He said.
I nodded. I had called Emmett for advice earlier. He raised two girls. So I figured he was the best candidate. I guess I was wrong. Maybe not, neither Samantha or Emily got pregnant as teens. He must have done something right.
Emily still lives in town and she's a nurse at the hospital. She works side by side with Alice in the emergency room. Samantha is in her last year of college at Columbia, before she starts Mount Sinai school of medicine in the fall. She's actually following in my footsteps, something I hope EJ does, but just like Bella said all those years ago, I think my son is going to study law. He's persuasive and lies like a rug. Scary, but good qualities one must possess to be a lawyer.
"Oh they look so cute!" Alice gushed.
My men and I, Jasper included, stood back on the side lines as we watched Bella snap multiple photos of AJ and Alex.
"Wish I had a boyfriend." Maddy complained.
Boyfriend? Who said they were involved? Alex isn't allowed to have a boyfriend.
"When you're sixteen—" Jasper started.
"Why do I have to pay for El's mistakes?" Maddy asked.
Alice leaned in and placed her arm on Maddy's shoulder. "You'll be sixteen in two months."
"But—" Maddy started.
"Who would date you anyway?" Emmett Jr. laughed. "You're as flat as a board."
"Take it back. I have boobs!" Maddy shouted, cupping her chest.
"Shh..." Alice soothed her and they walked towards the young, happy looking couple.
"How much do I owe you?" I heard Jasper whisper behind me.
I turned to look at them.
"The usual." Emmett shrugged.
I raised an eyebrow at Jasper.
"I pay him to keep the douche bags away. I figured you already had your hands full with Alex." Jasper explained.
I nodded. So that's where my brother in-law came up with the idea? His son is extorting money out of Jasper.
CC snorted. "Everyone knows to stay away from Maddy and Alex. You should save your money-" CC rolled his eyes. "-and Emmett's right. She has the body of an eight year old boy."
I looked to CC shocked that he actually noticed something about the opposite sex. Mortified that it was his cousin, and fearful because it was in reference to an eight year old boy.
I blew out a breath. "Meet me in your room in ten minutes. We have to talk."
CC nodded and walked up the stairs.
I turned back to watch Bella snap pictures.
"AJ put your arm around Alex." I seethed as he did so. "So cute!" Bella squealed snapping a few more.
I turned to look at EJ. "Fifty bucks if you go to the dance."
He furrowed his brows at me. "It's a junior high school dance." He whispered. "I can't be seen there."
"I'll do it." Emmett pipped up.
I ignored him, keeping my eyes on EJ. "He's not going to try anything at the dance with all the teachers around. What if they go outside?" I whispered back. "Just hang out in the car and keep a look out. But make sure Al doesn't see you."
"I'm not doing that. You're going too far and mom will kill us." EJ said, looking over my shoulder to his mother.
I looked over to my baby girl who was being held from behind, with the biggest smile on her face.
I turned back to EJ. "Eighty-" I blurted. "-and take your cousin with you."
"Fine, I'll leave after they do. But if mom finds out I'll sing like a parrot." He whispered.
"Canary." I shook my head.
"What?" EJ asked.
"The saying is 'I'll sing like a canary' not parrot, you goon." I punched his shoulder. "- and you will not. If anyone asks you what you are doing there, you turn around and walk into the Dairy Queen."
"That's where the stoners hang out. Edward Cullen is no stoner and he is not going to dairy queen with his cousin on a Friday night." He crossed his arms over his chest. "That's worse than hanging out outside of the junior high. Why can't CC do it?"
"Because I asked you to do it and why do you always refer to yourself in the third person?" I asked.
"Third person?" He asked.
I pinched the bridge of my nose again. How can my son (Edward 'I'm too cool for this shit' Cullen) be so brilliant, yet so fucking dense at the same time?
"All that Edward Cullen crap. You don't say me or I. You say Edward Cullen and he. That's a third party reference." Emmett said.
I nodded agreeing with him.
"Edward Cullen is a legacy and I actually had a date tonight before you grounded me."
I rolled my eyes at him.
"With who?" Emmett asked.
"Gina—" EJ started.
Emmett stared at EJ wide eyed. "You asked her out?" Emmett shouted. "She's a sophomore and you know I like her."
"Well she said yes to me. Why wouldn't she-"
"I'm Edward Cullen!" I finished for him in a teasing tone.
"That's right." EJ smirked at me. "Besides-" he turned back to his cousin. "I'm doing you a favor. She's not your type anyway." He turned back to Jasper and I.
"Buy the girl dinner and the legs spread like butter." Jasper and I laughed, while I felt bad. I do have double standards and isn't it germs, not butter? Whatever.
"That's not true. Don't talk like that about her!" Emmett shouted, gaining the attention of everyone else.
Al raised his eyebrows and ushered Alex and AJ out to his car. I gave my daughter a wave and she glared at me in disdain.
"Look Em, I'm just telling you what I heard. I'm sure she's a very nice girl-" EJ snorted. "-and a great lay."
Emmett cut his cousin off with his fist. I quickly grabbed Emmett, while Jasper grabbed EJ.
"What the fuck was that for?" EJ shouted, wiping at his bloody nose. Em did a good job. I was impressed.
"Language!" Bella chastised.
"He called my girlfriend a whore!" Emmett pointed to EJ.
"She's not your girlfriend." EJ shouted back. "-and after tonight, if I get to see her, maybe she'll be mine." He laughed.
"But you don't keep girlfriends." Emmett grumbled. I knew where this was going. EJ and Emmett are cousins, but they were raised like brothers. Emmett should have never expressed his feelings. Now EJ will probably keep this one around to spite him.
Same thing happened last year when CC had a crush on a girl. EJ dated her and then Emmett dated her. Since then CC doesn't even acknowledge the opposite sex. Huh? I wonder if that's the cause? Probably. I hope so. Unless...no, I don't want to even think it. Could CC possibly be gay? I won't think about that now.
Eight year old boy. Eight year old boy. Eight year old boy.
I shook my head of the thought. We'll cross that bridge if we come to it. As long as he's happy I don't care who he fucks. Wow. How open minded of me? I should tell Bella. I bet she'll be proud of my new found epiphany.
"Change can be a good thing." EJ shrugged. "I'm not delusional. I could never turn a whore into a lady, but she'll do." Now he was just being mean and testing my temper. Apparently Emmett's too since I had to tighten my hold.
"Who are you?" Bella asked EJ. "That's your cousin. If he has genuine feelings for this girl you will stay away from her. I won't tolerate you two fighting."
EJ looked to be having a war inside himself. My son is a whore, uses girls for his personal use, but there's one woman who can break him down, turn him into the little boy who cries while watching Disney movies. Bella, his mother. The woman says jump and EJ will ask 'How high?'. It was always so odd to me. How he could have so much respect for Bella, his aunts, cousins, sister, and grandmother's, and still do the shit he does.
"Where's my sweet little boy?" Bella cupped his cheek.
"Mom, stop-" EJ grinned.
Bella gently slapped his cheek. "Stay away from that girl and don't talk like that about her!"
"Fine. I won't date her." EJ smiled down at his mother.
The sad thing is that EJ can play Bella, just as she does him. EJ just lied to Bella. Well, he didn't actually lie. He said that he wouldn't date her. He never said anything about sleeping with her.
However, knowing Bella she probably knows that he lied. I bet she doesn't want blood on her carpet. Smart woman.
"Good. Now that that's settled...It's getting late and I'm starving. Are we having pizza or Chinese?" Bella asked the crowd.
"I vote Mexican." Maddy raised her hand.
"Too spicy-" Alice dismissed her.
"Pizza!" Both EJ and Emmett shouted.
"Don't you two have plans?" I asked them.
EJ smiled at me. "I have to eat first. After all, I am a growing boy." He rubbed his stomach.
"Get a hot dog at DQ!" I suggested. "You know what—" I shook my head. "Just forget about it."
I think I should try to have a little faith in my daughter, even if it kills me.
"Don't forget, you're not going anywhere tonight." I reminded him.
"I want Chinese." Alice said.
"Yeah, me too." Bella agreed.
"I'm with the boys—" I jerked my thumb to them.
"Me too." Jasper nodded.
"I guess majority rules. Pizza it is." Bella smiled.
I know what that smile means. It means 'I hope you enjoy your pork fried rice, fucker.'
"Get a few pies. Dad and mom should be here soon." Emmett said.
As soon as Bella, Alice, and Maddy walked into the kitchen, EJ yanked Emmett up by the collar of his shirt. I quickly got in between them.
"If you ever put your hands on me again, I will kick your ass. I don't care if we're blood. Do you understand?" EJ shouted behind me; I pushed him back.
"Like you could—" Emmett chuckled.
He's a little more than a year younger than EJ and a few inches shorter, but he's got a husky build just like his father. It's possible.
"Try me!" EJ tried to get around me; I pushed him back again.
"Em, go up to CC's room." I said.
Emmett nodded and ran upstairs.
I quickly whipped around to EJ. "What the hell has gotten into you? That's your cousin."
"Brothers, cousins, friends...It doesn't matter when a girl is involved." Jasper supplied.
We both turned to look at him. "Just saying-" He put his hands up. "I'm going to make sure they order from Port Jervis pizza and not Dominoes." Jasper walked away.
Keep the hope alive brother. Cause we're eating Chinese tonight.
"Who is this Gina?" I asked.
"Just some girl from school. I don't know why Em is being so sensitive about it and I don't care who he is. If he puts his hands on me again, I will kick his ass."
"What makes you think you could?" I asked.
As his father I try to take him down a notch every chance I get. He's just so cocky and arrogant. He may be the king of high school, but he's only there for another year, and there's a big world out there, where it doesn't matter who you were in high school. The real world will chew him up and spit him out.
"Oh please—I'm benching two hundred. All he benches are hot pockets." EJ scoffed and wiped at his nose again.
"I'm Edward Cullen." He laughed.
I wanted to smack his name right out of him. Bella was right, who the fuck is this kid?
"Yeah well, Edward Cullen just nearly got knocked the fuck out. Think about that." I chuckled. He put on a straight face and cleared his throat. "Now go up stairs and clean your room."
"No but dad nothing. Go clean your room." I pointed.
He huffed and stormed up the stairs. It took only a minute before I heard the signature door slam. Three. Two. One. And now the music is blasting.
"Daddy—" I felt mistake number four tugging on my pinky.
Oh God, I am so going to hell.
"Why is everyone fighting?" Michael asked.
"No one is fighting little man." I bent down to pick him up.
"Well, EJ is being mean to Em, Alex is being mean to EJ, and so are you." He pouted.
"EJ and Em aren't fighting. They had an argument-" I sighed. "-and your brother is being a pain in my neck."
"Mommy says he's a pain in her butt." He giggled.
"Yeah he's that too." I tickled his side.
"Daddy stop-" He gasped out. I laughed and tickled him some more, then I placed a few loud kisses on his cheek.
"Dadddddddy!" He squealed, making me laugh louder. He's so adorable and the only kid at this point in time that doesn't hate me.
What am I thinking? Michael was never a mistake. Seven years ago, Bella wanted to have another baby. Before her ovaries shriveled up and died which was stupid. Considering that her ovaries are alive and well, probably will be for the next fifteen years.
He was actually the only planned pregnancy we had. He doesn't talk back. He has been the most behaved out of our rowdy clan. He has a good heart too, just like his mother. He'll be the one to take care of us and not shove our old asses in a retirement home. I have faith in him.
"Put me down." He squealed.
I let out a whimper. He kicked his foot and it landed right in daddy's nads. Needless to say, I quickly put him down. My balls are no use to me anyway, considering we revisited the vasectomy idea after he was born and went for it, but they still ache just the same.
"Will you come play chopsticks with me?" He smiled up at me.
"I have to talk to CC first. Why don't you practice with Maddy?" I asked. I taught Maddy how to play the piano. She abandoned it as soon as she turned twelve, but she still knows how to play. Now I'm teaching Michael. It's not like he really needs it. The kid is a natural just like me.
"Okay-" He shrugged and ran from me. If only the rest of my children were as easily appeased.
Anxiously, I trailed my hand through my hair and let out an elongated sigh, before I trudged up the stairs. How am I supposed to talk to CC about what he saw? My two oldest sons are as different as night and day. EJ and I connect on a similar level. He's a girl crazy jock. Simple. I can level with that.
CC on the other hand, is musical, plays the piano better than I can ever dream to, plus multiple other instruments. The kid writes poetry and is the lead in most plays at the high school, not to mention he's the smartest kid in his sophomore class. He hangs around those weird drama kids, wears black all the time. and sadly, we barely speak. He keeps to himself.
EJ says he's scared of 'the pussy'. Despite their differences and the social status barrier of Port Jervis high school, they're best friends. They'd die for each other, kill for each other, and murder one another. They have a connection a lot like Rose and I. EJ would know if his brother is scared of girls.
Oh God, my son is gay. It's okay, Cullen, focus. As long as he's happy and when he finds his domestic partner, they can adopt, he can still have everything he wants. I want for him. Maybe we should move out of this small town? Closer to the city? So that CC can get some ass? Oh God what am I thinking? I just hope CC isn't a bottom. Fuck. He totally is.
I knocked twice.
"Yeah!" CC shouted through the door. I walked in and what I saw made my eyes bug out of my head.
"What the hell are you two doing?" Emmett was painting CC's fingernails.
This isn't happening.
"I can't paint my right one with my left hand." CC shrugged.
"Why are you painting them in the first place?" I asked.
"It's black, it's cool, and it's only my thumb." CC shrugged again. I looked to Emmett, who looked a little too comfortable and happy painting his cousins nails.
"You're pretty good at that." I noticed that he stayed completely on the nail bed, not getting any on the skin.
"I paint mom's toes for her." He shrugged. Weird. Does Emmett know his son paints my sister's toes?
I grimaced and composed my expression with a smile.
"Em, can you give us a minute? Why don't you help EJ clean his room." I suggested.
"I'm not going in there. That place should be condemned." He said as he walked past me.
I closed the door behind him and took a deep breath.
"What is this?" I turned to CC. "You're painting your nails and take that shit off your neck—it's not Halloween." I pointed to his dog collar.
"You just don't get it." He shook his head and took off the spiked necklace.
"Try me? What don't I get?" I asked. He stood up off his bed and shut off the stereo. "Leave it on, I like that." He smirked at me. Besides the piano, classical music has to be the only thing we have in common. I can agree that it's much better than that garbage EJ listens to.
"Look, if you came up here to talk about what I saw, it's okay. It was gross and I don't want to talk about it."
I nodded in understanding. "But EJ said you were mortified."
CC started to laugh. "More like he was mortified after I told him. I'm not stupid. You guys are married. I know that you two have sex. We sure as hell can hear ya's."
I raised an eyebrow at him.
"I—I mean there are four of us, so it's obvious, and your bedroom is right on the other side of this wall." He knocked against it. "Next time, just don't do it in the kitchen. What if Mikey saw you guys?" He looked to me head on.
"In fact, I think this is a conversation you should be having with EJ. He's the one with the problem."
I nodded again.
He stared at me for a few minutes as an uncomfortable silence took over.
"Was there anything else you wanted to talk to me about?" CC asked.
"No—I mean yes—no." I took a deep breath. "Son, have a seat."
Here goes nothing.
He sat down on his bed and looked up to me. I took the chair from his desk and sat across from him.
"CC..." I paused, searching my brain for the right way to say this. "I get you. Okay. I get you. I understand what you are going through—"
"What am I going through?" He scoffed.
"Let me finish." I stopped him. "It's okay if you—um—uh...shit."
This is going to be harder than I thought.
"Dad please, just spit it out. I have band rehearsal in an hour." He sighed.
"I thought the school band dismembered for the summer already?" I asked.
"It's more like a jam session with Carl, Mark, and Rick."
Oh God, is that code for like a foursome?
"We're starting a band this summer. I'm gonna be on keyboard and vocals. It's gonna be hot." He laughed.
I breathed a sigh of relief.
"Dad, I can still go right? I'm not in trouble." His eyes widened as he leaned towards me.
"Of course you can and no you are not in trouble." I shook my head.
"Then what's up? You're freaking me out." He chuckled.
I'm freaking him out? Just spit it out Cullen!
"CC, you know your mother and I love you right?" He nodded. "-and all we want is your happiness."
"Dad, if this is about my clothes again—"
"It's not about your clothes." I looked at his T-shirt, which had a bloody skull on it. His jeans which were black and very wide legged. It's definitely not something I would wear. Was my son a Goth or whatever you call them? One of those trench coat mafia motherfuckers.
"I do wish that you would incorporate more colors into your wardrobe..." I trailed off. "Bottom line son, is that I get it, I get you, and it's okay—" I paused and stood up. "Now give me hug,"
"Get what? Have you been drinking? Dad you are making no sense to me right now." He stared at me.
"I just want to let you know that it's okay that you are uh—um different." I shrugged.
CC stood up, staring me down. "Well that's a relief! That you and mom love me anyway, even though I'm different. I'm sorry if I don't fit into your perfect mold, play football, or chase cheerleaders. I'm not EJ dad and stop trying to turn me into him." He nearly shouted.
"Whoa!" I put my hands up. "No one wants you to be EJ and I was just letting you know that it's okay if you choose to chase a line backer rather than a cheerleader."
"What?" He shouted.
"It's okay if you're gay, just be honest about it. There are no closets in this house son." I widened my arms for a hug again, sure that this will be a hallmark moment.
"Wow!" He leaned back to look at me. "That's very generous of you, being so open minded and all, but I'm not gay."
"You're not?" My face fell and I let my arms lay loosely at my sides.
"No, I'm not." He laughed.
So you're just fucking weird? I was slightly relieved when I came to the gay conclusion. It would explain so much.
"So then—uh—what's this I hear about you being scared of pussy?" I whispered the last word.
"You're a doctor and that's the best word you can use?" He laughed at me again.
"Whatever. Now we're onto something here. Tell me why you are scared of girls and I can help you." I sat back down.
"I'm not scared of girls." He shrugged.
"Then how come you don't date?" I asked. "Or get caught sneaking one into your room."
"I have a hell of a lot more tact than EJ does...Just because I don't parade my endeavors around the whole town doesn't mean I am lacking in that department." I looked to CC stunned. He's sixteen. When did he get so mature?
"Speaking of departments, you have no idea how many girls in the drama club are willing to take off their clothes and don't even get me started on my fellow marching band 'geeks' as EJ calls us. You should see what Sheila can do with her flute."
"Little Sheila from down the block?" I whispered. "Little Sheila that used to chase you and EJ around, giving you kisses on the cheek. The little girl that swam naked in the kiddie pool." Now, she's a shy little thing with plastic framed glasses.
"Not much has changed. She's still naked most of the time and chases both EJ and I. And that Gina, EJ and Em were going on about, total slut. She blew me at EJ's end of the season game, under the bleachers. Don't tell Em that, I didn't know he liked her like that until twenty minutes ago."
"That's where you disappeared to the night of the game?" He nodded. I thought his Emo ass went to sulk in a corner somewhere.
"Why are you telling me this?" I asked. I think this is the most he's spoken to me in a year. Not to mention that I knew 'of' the sexual activities EJ participates in, I just didn't know as many details.
"You said you wanted to talk, I'm talking. Just because I don't do it freely doesn't mean I don't. You just never ask me anything."
I am a horrible father.
"You're absolutely right and I am sorry. But you're sixteen. I'll tell you the same thing I tell EJ—"
"No glove no love." He said in a dull monotone.
"Exactly! I am too young to become and grandfather. I've also asked him to slow down a little, you both are so young. I didn't know that you, ya know." I smiled. "-and just so you know, STD's can be transmitted orally." I pointed my eyes down to his dick or where is should be. The crotch of his pants are by his fucking knees.
"I know that." He rolled his eyes.
While I am here I can probably get some information out of him about his sister. They're pretty close and Alex isn't scared of CC like she is EJ. I hear them both giggling up a storm after Bella and I go to bed.
"So what's the deal with Alex and AJ?" I asked.
"Nothing." He shrugged.
"Oh come on. They went to the dance together. They are dating right?"
Come on CC. Please give me some insight so I know what I am dealing with here.
"I thought Alex wasn't allowed to date yet?" He looked to me confused. "And I must say it's totally unfair. You may not have known what I was doing at thirteen because I'm secretive, but you knew what EJ was doing, and you didn't have a problem with that. Alex is a good girl and you have to trust her."
Did CC just morph into Bella?
"If you keep her sheltered and if you keep making EJ scare the boys away, once one of them show her attention and cross that protective barrier you've built, she's going to lash out and be out of control. Do you want her to be secretive? Afraid to talk to you and mom? Change her clothes once she gets to school like those freaks with the crazy religious parents. Those broads are freaks too by the way."
I was floored. CC made complete sense. He'd be a great father or a therapist. I still couldn't believe how mature he's gotten.
"While you're in here and we're being all open and shit—" He sat up straight.
"What is it son?" I asked, eager to bestow some wisdom upon him as he's shown me.
"Do you think you can give me a ride tomorrow?"
"Where?" I asked.
"Well I need the ride and parental consent." He started to fidget with the chain attached to his wallet. What's he afraid he's going to lose it?
"For an R rated movie?" I asked.
"No, well I'm not sure yet. I think I might want to get my nipple pierced or maybe a tattoo. What do you think?" He looked back to me. He's out of his God damn mind. Nail polish, piercings, and tattoos. What the fuck? He's sixteen...going on thirty. Fuck me.
"I think—" I placed my finger on my chin, looking pensively to the ceiling. "I might want you and your brother to mow the lawn or maybe clean out the gutters tomorrow. What do you think?" I stood from the chair, knocking over the sweater he had on the back of it.
"Okay, I get it. So that's a no." He grumbled.
"That's a hell no!" I bent over to pick up his sweater before he throws a bitch fit. CC's bedroom is such a contrast to EJ's. Everything had a place and God forbid you move anything. It's a little too neat actually.
Huh? I stared down at the contents that fell out of the pocket.
"What the fuck is this?" I threw the pack of cigarettes at him.
"Cigarettes." He placed them on his desk. He didn't look scared at all. He should be, considering I'm about to throw him out the fucking window.
"Are you fucking stupid? You really had me fooled. I thought you were smarter than this. These can kill you. Not to mention that it is a disgusting and very expensive habit."
That I used to love. Would he notice if I put them in my pocket? I am such a hypocrite.
"If you're going to scream at me like that, I am not going to talk to you." He turned away from me.
"Fuck that and you will talk. Now tell me, how long have you been smoking?" I asked.
"What's going on in here?" Bella barged in; CC gulped. I smirked at him and turned to Bella.
"Your son is smoking—" I tossed the smokes at her. They hit her arm and fell to the floor.
"What?" She looked to CC. "You're smoking?"
"For how long?" She asked.
CC shrugged, going into silent mode.
"Answer me!" Bella seethed.
CC looked out the window.
"You're not going to speak to me?" She asked.
Once again she was given a silent response.
"Maybe I should beat it out of you—" Bella kicked his foot. He chuckled and still wouldn't talk.
Wrong move. My son is fucking stupid.
CC stood up, grabbed his sweat jacket, and put on his shoes.
"Where do you think you're going?" I asked.
"That's none of your business."
"Oh it speaks!" I shouted excitedly and turned to look at Bella. "It speaks." I turned back to CC, smile fully composed.
"Sit down and answer your mother." I pushed him down, only for him to stand back up.
"I have a jam session. You said I can go." He looked to the door.
"Jam session! A jam session!" Bella shouted. "I'm about to have my own jam session, about to jam your head into the wall!" I looked to her wide eyed. I haven't seen her this angry in...forever.
"You know C, you are trying my patience. I let you walk around looking like Marilyn Manson-"
"Who's that?" CC asked.
"It was before your time." I shook my head.
"You wear what you want. You basically do what you want. You're a good boy and you get good grades. So I stay off your back. I even let you segregate yourself from the family. We give you your space too. Have I been wrong?" She poked his chest.
"Should we keep a closer eye on you?" She poked his chest again. "How can you be so stupid!" She reached up and smacked the side of his head.
"Stop hitting me or I'll call child services." CC laughed.
Bella let out a frustrated scream and lunged for him. She smacked him repeatedly, while that dumb fuck laughed. I doubt she was hurting him, but still. If he knew what was good for him he'd stop laughing. I shook my head and pulled Bella off of CC.
"Let me go!" She shouted. CC stood up from his bed and smoothed out his shirt.
"Call child services. I brought you into this world and I can take you out!" Bella shouted.
"Mom," CC reached for her hand. "I was only kidding about the child services thing."
"We love you CC, why do you hate us?" and the tears started.
"Mom," CC grabbed her other hand. "It's just cigarettes. I just got them and I've only tried a few. I swear. It's not that big of a deal." I doubt Bella could hear CC right now. "I'll never smoke another cigarette again." CC was telling the truth.
"We give you everything. Tell me, how can we protect you from you?" Bella asked.
"Why is mom crying?" EJ barged in now.
"I didn't mean to—" CC frowned, turning to his brother.
"You fucking asshole. I can't believe you made mommy cry." I wanted to laugh at EJ for how crestfallen he looked, watching his mommy cry, but I felt the same way. I never like to see Bella cry.
"I didn't mean to." CC put his head down and slumped his shoulders.
"EJ out!" I pointed to the door. I knew what was coming next and wanted to prevent it.
"No!" EJ shook his head, standing his ground.
"Get out EJ. Dinner just arrived. Go make yourself a plate—" Bella sobbed.
"The hell I will—" He grabbed on to CC and punched him square in the jaw.
And then they tackled each other to the ground. Teenagers.
"EJ stop!" Bella screamed. I pushed Bella towards the door. "They'll kill each other!"
One could only hope. Just kidding.
"Edward do something." She whined, as I closed the bedroom door behind us.
"I am, I'm making sure you don't get hit. JASPER, EMMETT!" I screamed for them. I knew there was no way I could separate the two without the extra hands. Jasper and Emmett Sr, ran up the stairs as Alice and Rose followed close behind.
"Sup bro?" Emmett asked.
"Give me a hand," I jerked my head to the door. "You ready?" I asked. He and Jasper nodded and I opened the door.
"You sensitive, Kerouac reading, Mozart listening, scary mother fucker!" I heard EJ shout as he slammed CC onto the desk.
"Fuck you, you all-American reject, fucking jock strap-" CC insulted him back before he got EJ in the nose. That's the second time today. Shit. I hope it isn't broken. "Watch my fucking lap top, ya douche!" CC shouted.
"Shut up before I strangle you with your guitar strings, fruit loop." EJ panted out, getting CC in a head lock.
"Fruit loop! You dumb ape. When I come across your sloppy seconds, they say I'm better than you." CC shoved EJ off.
"That's a lie. I'm Edward Cullen!" EJ pushed CC. "They always come back for more-"
"Until they meet me. Sheila said you couldn't even make her come-" CC laughed.
"No one can make her cum. She's got a pussy made of steel!" EJ shouted.
"BOYS! THAT'S ENOUGH!" Bella screamed from the hallway. "Stop this right now—"
They both turned to look at her and back to each other.
"Well I made her scream my name 'Oh Carlisle'-" EJ cut off his brother by ramming him in the stomach with his shoulder.
"Are they talking about Sheila Thompson?" Emmett Sr asked; I nodded. "She was just at my house last night studying with Emmett. She's a nice girl."
"A little too nice from what I hear. You guys ready to do this or what?" I asked.
"This is highly entertaining. Are you sure you want to break it up?" Jasper asked.
"Positive. I'm going in." I stepped into the bedroom.
"Right behind you." Emmett patted my shoulder.
Jasper yanked EJ back by his hair, as Emmett pulled CC back by his T-shirt. I stood in the middle widening my arms in between them.
"Stop!" I shouted. I felt both their chests heaving up and down from under my hands. As my first born and oldest, I turned to EJ.
"Next time I tell you to leave, you leave. Now get in your fucking room!" I pointed to the door. "I'll deal with you later." I turned to look at CC.
"You're not going anywhere tonight. Or anywhere else until I feel I can trust you again—"
"It was only cigarettes. I don't understand why mom got so upset—"
"Don't interrupt me when I am speaking. That was a terrible lapse in judgment and I trust that you will not do it again. When you move out, you can do what you want." I turned to look at Jasper.
"Close that door." I asked.
Bella stared at me wide eyed, but I didn't want her to hear what I was about to say.
"That woman out there," I pointed to the closed door. "Loves you more than you can ever imagine. Do you ever tell her that you love her? No. Do you ever say thank you when she's bringing you lunch money or lugging around whatever instrument you decide to play that day, which you forget? No you don't. Do you ever thank her for making dinner after she works all day? No you don't do that either." I chuckled at him.
"You know what? I take it back. I do wish you were a little more like your brother. He appreciates everything she does for him and he dotes on her, does things to make her happy. He's involved in this family. Not like you-" I stepped closer to him.
All this time I thought I was horrible father because I couldn't connect with him, but it's him. He's like a hermit recluse or something.
"Did you know that your mother almost died—"
"Edward stop!" Jasper pushed me back. "He doesn't need to know that-" he whispered. "-and you shouldn't say shit you can't take back."
I took a deep breath and glared at my son as he glared back.
"Are you hurt?" I asked. Besides the ripped T-shirt, he barely had a scratch on him, but I wanted to make sure.
"No." He whispered.
"Good." I walked over to his desk and snatched up his laptop. "Cell phone too." I put out my hand. He dug into his pocket and gave me his cell phone.
"Two weeks and you are not to leave this house unless you are going to school. This is the prime opportunity for you to study for finals." I turned to walk away and then turned back.
"Apologize to your mother. You kiss her tears away and tell her that you love her. I also want to remind you that privacy in this house is a luxury, which can and will be taken away from you. Fuck up again and the door comes off the hinges."
Emmett and Jasper walked out of the room first; I followed.
"What happened?" Bella asked.
"Can't right now, on a roll." I thrust the cell phone and laptop into her arms, storming into EJ's room. He was on his bed, talking on his cell.
"I can't right now baby. The rentals are being difficult, but you can come by later, and show me what I missed." He chuckled into the phone. I snatched it away from his ear.
"Hello Gina?" I said into the phone.
"Oh my God dad, that's Stephanie." EJ whispered, cradling his head.
"No, not Gina. Is this Carlisle? When I come by later, I hope I get to see you." This Stephanie giggled seductively in my ear.
"No, it's Dr. Cullen—" I was greeted with silence. "No one is coming to this house tonight. Both Carlisle and Edward are grounded and if I catch you here, I will call your parents. Is that understood, Stephanie?" I asked.
"Yes Sir." She deadpanned.
"Have a good night-" I paused. "-and have more respect for yourself." I ended the call.
"What the hell was that?" EJ shouted.
"This is mine for two weeks." I held up the phone and looked around for something else of value, I could take away.
"But that's my life line!" He shouted.
"Too bad. Go buy some post cards."
EJ doesn't have a laptop. He uses the desk top in the living room. I kicked a few things out of my way, still looking. I smiled widely, as my eyes descended upon the car keys. I snatched them up too.
"You can't take away the car. There's still a week of school left." EJ argued.
"You can take the bus." I laughed waiting for 'Edward Cullen doesn't take the bus'.
"Edward Cullen does not take the bus and what about the rest of them. How will they get to school?"
I shifted on my feet re-thinking my decision. Nope. It's done. Can't take it back.
"You let your mother and I worry about that. And if you won't take the bus, leave earlier and walk." I shrugged.
"Wait a minute...you haven't even told me what I've done."
"Your brother is punished for smoking." His eyes widened. "Did you know about that?" I asked.
"No...but what does that have to do with me?"
"Nothing." I shook my head.
"Then why am I punished?" he asked. Cause you annoy the shit out of me and because I can! No, I can't say that.
"For fighting. You have a nasty temper and the next time you throw a punch under my roof, the car, the money, your freedom. Gone!"
"But Emmett threw the first punch and CC made mommy cry." He pouted. My sons are both drama queens, meanwhile their sister is as tough as nails. Where did I go wrong?
"What are you five? Oh boo-hoo. CC made my mommy cry." I whined. "Get over it. Edward Cullen is punished." I turned and stormed out of his bedroom.
"What's the verdict?" Bella asked. I walked past her, right into our bedroom; she followed me.
"You know—" I started to pace. "I'd rather be surrounded by newborns than teenagers. When does this shit end? It's condoms with the boys. Next Alex will want birth control. Not to mention trying to keep them away from drugs and alcohol. Then just when we get the three of them out of the house, we get to do it all over again with Michael." I raved.
"They're ingrates, each and every one of them. They don't appreciate a thing we do. They take and take and take, till when? I mean what's left? They've stolen my sanity. They've turned my hair gray—" I pointed to my head and plopped onto the bed.
"Yeah, you're do for another dye." Bella trailed her fingers through my hair.
"I don't care." I shrugged. "Let it turn gray."
"No way. The clairol is a perfect match. You can't even tell."
I shook my head no."I'm 47. I'm an old man."
"You are not. You don't look a day over 35." Bella nestled into my side. I smiled down at her. She's so cute when she lies. "Do you feel any better?" She asked.
"Yeah." I admitted.
"Good, now lets go down to eat." She patted my thigh. "Your parent's just got here."
I nodded. "Is your mom coming?" I asked.
"Actually she went to Atlantic City for the weekend." Bella giggled.
"Well at least she's not moping anymore." I said.
Bella nodded against me. "Yeah," she sighed.
"Do you realize there's only a week of school left?" I asked.
"It's fucked up how it just sneaks up on us year after year isn't it?" She laughed.
I nodded against her head. I knew the summer was approaching, but it only finally dawned on me when EJ just said it.
I leaned back to look at her. "What are we going to do with CC and EJ?"
This place will turn into hedonism or some shit, with half the girls in the neighborhood, walking scantily clad around my pool. Why weren't there more girls like that when I was their age?
"They refuse to go to camp. Remember how much they used to love it?"
"Yeah, I remember." I laughed.
We started sending both EJ and CC to summer day camp when they were four and five. The first week they would cry and carry on while Bella or I dropped them off. After they made friends, they couldn't wait to go the days to follow. Same thing happened with Alex and then with Michael, who still love it. They accept children as old as EJ and CC. The camp is huge and they have different groups for different ages, but this year EJ refuses to go, and then CC refused to go.
I bet they think we're going to leave them alone, which is never going to fucking happen. Not with my father who is retired and my mother who never worked. That's a lovely idea. I'm sure my parents will love to have them during the day.
You would think that we can trust them, considering their sixteen and seventeen, to be alone during the day. We can't. We simply can't. Regardless of the cigarettes, I know I can trust CC, but EJ is just too God damn wild. Like I said, hedonism in my back yard.
"I already set a few things up actually." Bella smiled.
"What's that?" I asked.
"Well, EJ will be with both the Emmett's and is going to help around with the restaurant—"
"But that's exactly what he wants." I whined.
I am a horrible father, denying my son happiness, even if all he wants to do is clean dirty tables.
"You didn't let me finish. They won't be paying him. I said help-" She giggled and I smiled. "-and our dear CC will volunteer at the hospital. I have it all set up. He's going to hang out during the day in same day surgery. He'll make coffee and butter rolls for the post-op patients. The best part of all is that he'll be surrounded by us, his wonderful parents. Isn't that great!"
I laughed. "Love, you are so evil." I hugged her tighter to me.
"Yes, after all these years I am finally playing my role." She laughed.
"Which role is that love?" I tickled her side.
"Satan's bride." She leaned up and planted her lips against mine. Satan's bride indeed. I groaned into her mouth, as I deepened the kiss.
There was a knock at the door. "Damn," I muttered through clenched teeth, as we broke apart.
"Come in." Bella shouted.
CC opened the door and stood there, all creepy like.
"Can I help you?" I asked.
"I wanted to talk to mom." He looked to the floor.
"Come sit—" Bella patted the bed next to her. CC slowly walked to the bed and slowly sat down.
"I'm sorry." He whispered. "I'm sorry for everything. For being born, almost killing you, and for being weird. I'm sorry." He hugged onto Bella and I noticed that he was crying, black tears. Fuck. Is that mascara?
Think about that later.
"Charles Carlisle," Bella wiped his tears. "What is this about? And what are you talking about?"
"EJ told me—a long time ago—he said that you almost died while I was being born and I think dad was going to say it earlier."
Fuck. Now Edward Cullen Sr. will be punished.
"I did-" Bella agreed, which made CC sob harder. "-and you know what?" Bella put her head down to look him in the eyes.
"I'd do it all over again because the end result was you." She poked his nose.
"I love you so much CC, more than I can put into words." She pushed his chin up to look at her. "So imagine my frustration when someone I love is hurting themselves. I'm sorry I hit you, but I won't tolerate you smoking." CC nodded. "-and as for you being weird," Bella shrugged. "We're all a bunch a weirdos." She laughed and I joined her.
"You are you and we love you just the way you are. You're deep, passionate, poetic, and a true artist. Even down to your self loathing lifestyle. I may not like it, but I understand it."
"I love you mommy," He buried his face in her neck.
"Oh baby, I love you too." She shook him in her embrace which made him chuckle. "Now let's all go down and eat before it's all gone." CC nodded and stood up.
"You might want to wash your face first. Before you go down stairs—" I pointed to his raccoon eyes.
"Why?" He asked, wiping his eyes with his shirt.. Most of it was gone, but you could still see that my son was wearing make-up.
"Your grandparents are downstairs." I blurted.
"Edward, leave him alone, he's in a band." Bella shrugged, like that makes it okay.
"Let's just go eat, so everyone can leave." I grumbled and walked ahead of them.
"Can I eat in my room?" CC asked.
"Nope, you will eat amongst the weirdos." I heard Bella laugh.
During dinner, we broke the news to the boys about their summer activities. They were actually cool with it for the most part. Their only concern was that their weekends still be free. We assured them that they will be. Then we all spoke enthusiastically about the shore, where we still go every summer. Bella and I actually purchased the house next door to my parent's place, which is just large enough to house our family, plus Jasper and Alice's. Rose and Emmett bought one down the street, opposite Randall's house.
Randall shocked us all ten years ago and actually married Heidi. They have a daughter Anne, who is nine. Jared and Irina have the house next to his and they have a set of twelve year old twins, Corey and Brandon. In vitro worked for them and the twins were enough for them not to want anymore children. As the years roll by that street on Long Beach Island has become a little Cullen community. We all miraculously get along now and try to get down there on the same weekends.
We still also take our yearly Labor day weekend camping trip up to Lake George. The group has gotten larger, just us Port Jervis folks and our kids. My parents and Bella's parents haven't gone for the past five years. But James, Tanya, and their 15 year old Damion come, taking their place. Along with Al, Siobhan, Al Jr, and Siobhan's older daughter Melanie, who is 18. Katie hasn't come with us for the past two years. James says she's too busy for her family. His guess is that her friends are more important.
I was surprised that CC was so excited about the shore, considering that within the past year he's turned into a vampire. EJ had the same thought and expressed his opinion out loud. Something I would never do.
"Won't you turn into ash?" He asked CC, who looked to him confused. "I mean, don't your kind burst into flames under direct sunlight?"
"Go fuck something," was CC's reply.
"Hey! Watch your mouth at the dinner table." I shouted.
"Sorry." CC grumbled, while EJ smiled smugly at him.
"EJ, apologize to your brother!" I pointed my fork at him.
"No." He said indignant.
"Apologize!" Bella smacked the back of his head.
The boys and I helped clean the Chinese food cartons, dinner and dessert plates off the table. I was just placing a few dishes in the dishwasher, when I heard Bella scream. The three of us ran into the living room, alarmed.
Bella, Rose, Alice, Maddy, and my mother were all peeking behind the curtain, looking out the window. They were being anything but discreet.
"What's going on?" EJ and I asked in unison.
"Alexandra and her date are on the porch." My father said while dejectedly flipping through channels on the television. I was surprised that he heard us.
"Do you think he's going to go for it?" Bella asked.
"Oh I hope so." Rose clapped, jumping up and down.
"I wish I had a boyfriend." Maddy grumbled.
"It all starts with the first date." I heard Jasper say to Emmett Sr.
"Ten bucks says the kid goes for it." Emmett Sr, replied. They shook on it.
"GO FOR WHAT?" I shouted.
"Jesus dad, you could wake the dead." CC rolled his eyes at me.
"Oh I'm sorry, did I disturb you?" I blurted. Shit. I need to work on my verbal filter.
"I'll be in my room." CC told EJ. "If he makes Alex cry again," CC glared at me. "-just tell her where I am okay?" EJ nodded to CC.
"I'm not going to make her cry-" I whispered.
"Dad-" EJ turned me to face him. "No offense, and don't take this the wrong way because I love you, but you've been a major asshole, like all day. You made Alex cry, CC cry, and Mikey stormed upstairs a little while ago teary eyed, and mumbling something about Heart & Soul." EJ whispered.
I cradled my face in my hands, ashamed at myself. EJ was right.
I left Michael at the piano bench, promising him I'd skip dessert and join him. I don't understand my son, who walks around like a corpse, so I insult him? I've never done that before. I just leave him alone, let him be, which led me to believe that he was gay.
Alex, all I'm doing is trying to protect her and all she wants to do is kiss my colleague's son.
And in the long run, I will inadvertently push her away. This isn't what I want.
"It all started when I was worried about Alex." I admitted. "When you have a daughter, you'll understand."
"Never going to happen. I'm pretty sure Edward Cullen doesn't make girls-"
I laughed, for the first time all day, I laughed a real hearty laugh. I laughed so hard, my knees went weak, and I had to hang onto EJ.
"You fucking fool-" I gasped out and put him in a head lock, continuing to give him a noogie.
"What is so funny?" Bella asked.
"E-" I continued to laugh. "Whew-" I took a deep breath. "EJ, please tell your mother what you just told me." I laughed some more.
"All I said was that Edward Cullen doesn't make girls." He shrugged.
Now Bella laughed at him.
"Yeah, tell that to the apple of daddy's eye who's getting felt up on the porch." My sister laughed at me.
EJ and I turned to each other, smiles and laughter fully composed, then we turned to the door. We both ran for it, while Bella and Alice blocked us.
"What are you doing?" Bella asked.
"EJ is going to kick AJ's ass and I'll grab Al for condoning that shit under his watchful eye." I told Bella, while EJ nodded along next to me.
"Oh dear lord, you are ridiculous. I was just kidding. Come take a look." Rose said, still peeking around the curtains.
I walked and stood next to her. They were both smiling at each other, sitting on the porch swing. They did look the epitome of adorable. Even I could admit to that.
"Dad, shut off the T.V," I said.
"What?" he shouted and turned his head. "Talk into my good ear-"
"Geez, gramps, get a hearing aid already." Emmett Jr. shook his head.
"What?" My father asked.
"Nothing!" Emmett Jr shouted in his good ear. "Uncle Eddie just asked if you could shut off the T.V-"
"Why didn't he say so?" My father shut off the television. I do wish he'd get a hearing aid already. He's still young at heart and in great shape despite his age. He has as big of a complex with getting older as Bella does. She dyes my hair, I could care less.
She insists that this year, she'll be turning 39 again. Meanwhile, it will be her fortieth birthday. A few months ago, my sister had a botox party, where a plastic surgeon brings his supplies and helps older woman battle their laugh lines and crows feet. Bella went over board and looked so much younger than she already does. But she also couldn't smile for a few weeks. Sad. Bella lies and says I don't look a day over thirty five, but my dear wife and her sister have great genes. They both don't look a day over thirty.
I am one lucky sonofabitch!
She still gets asked to prom. That's cute.
"Can you hear what they're saying?" I asked Rose.
"No, we're spying. That's enough."
"AJ I think it's time Alex went inside!" We actually heard Al shout from the car.
They both stood up alarmed and looked to each other, then started laughing.
"Awww." Rose repeatedly punched my shoulder.
"What the fuck?" I mumbled.
"What?" Rose asked.
"He's leaning—" I pointed out the window.
"So let the boy lean. How is he supposed to kiss her if he doesn't?" She shrugged. I looked to Bella and she was so excited she seemed to be having some sort of fit. The woman was practically convulsing while standing.
"Oh my God. My heart is beating so fast...like I'm about to be kissed." Bella squealed and hugged onto Alice, as they looked out the opposite window.
"I wish I had a boyfriend." Maddy grumbled, for like the hundredth time.
"No you don't." EJ shook his head. "We only care about one thing and something tells me, you ain't ready to give that up yet."
"That's not true!" Maddy shouted.
"Yes it is." My father said. I'm starting to believe he has selective hearing.
"Quiet!" I hissed.
"I say one darn thing and everyone tells me to shut-up. Why don't you all put me in a home already, if I'm such a hindrance!"
"Carlisle!" My mother shouted.
"What?" He asked.
"Shut up!" She shouted and turned to look out the window. My eyes stayed glued on my father. That's me in thirty years, I just know it.
"He's going to do it!" Rose squeezed my arm. I watched, nostrils flaring, teeth gritted together as that boy closed the distance. He pecked her lips and then quickly ran from my porch.
"Huh?" I snorted.
I was expecting something so much worse. Something that involved hands and tongue. It was nothing.
"Guys spread out. She's coming in!" Bella scrambled and turned to bump into Alice. Rose stupidly hid behind the curtain. Maddy and EJ just waited for her, while Jasper and I dodged for the couch, and both of the Emmett's stayed on the opposite side of the room.
And my mother was still looking out the window. Jesus, I hope she's not becoming senile.
We were all a little too quiet when she came into the house. I grabbed the remote and quickly turned the T.V back on.
"You guys are sooooo embarrassing. We saw you guys the whole time." Alex giggled.
"How was it? Did you see fireworks? Did you lift your foot, like they do in the movies? I couldn't see your feet." Maddy rounded on her.
"It was too fast for anything like that." Alex sighed.
"My baby," Bella widened her arms and hugged Alex. Was she crying again?
"Mom, he kissed me. ME. Alistair kissed me. Can you believe that?" Alex started to jump up and down.
"I know—I saw." Bella started to jump with her.
"You guys are just too cute." Rose gushed, coming from behind the curtain.
"Did he like your dress?" Alice asked.
"He said I looked pretty?" Alex shrugged.
"That's a lie." EJ shook his head. "You look gorgeous sis." He bent down and kissed her forehead.
"Thanks. Hey, did CC watch too?" She looked around the living room.
"No-" EJ shook his head. "-he said he's in his room if you want to talk." Alex's face fell.
I quietly left the little gathering and went upstairs. First I checked on Michael, who was fast asleep, holding his book of sheet music. I placed the blanket on him. We are so going to practice tomorrow. He'll let me make it up to him, I'm sure.
Then I walked down the hall to CC's room. It's just been eating me up inside. How anti-social he is. All joking aside, his behavior is scaring me. The door to his room was slightly ajar, so I Just pushed it open.
His face was clean and he was wearing flannel pajama pants and a white T-shirt, all while strumming his acoustic. For a second, he actually looked like the CC I knew. I walked in and sat next to him on the bed.
"Talk to me CC. Help me understand you." I shrugged at a loss. "On the surface, I don't recognize you at all, but when we talk I can still see glimpses of you. The real you. I'm not convinced that this is who you are at all." I turned to face him.
"This is who I am-" he said.
"Bullshit." I called him on it. "The clothes I get. You like the color black. I prefer green and your mother likes blue. Who cares?... Are you depressed or something? Because you are barely home and when you are, you are stuck in this bedroom. We miss you—"
"I have friends, we hang out, ya know? EJ is always here with his friends, hanging out in the basement. We hang out with different crowds-" He shrugged. "-they don't exactly get along."
"I can understand that." I nodded. "We'll all talk about alternating days or something, so it's fair for you too. Now tell me why you don't want to be around us."
"It's not that I don't want to be around you guys, it's just that I can concentrate in here. I can focus on my writing and my music. It's like an obsession dad. I can't stop. I always feel the need to create. I'm not doing anything bad. I just—I just wish you understood that, mom does."
I nodded, again this is something that I can relate to.
"Well, do you think you can try? Try to give us some of your time too? Like I said, we miss you and we love you."
"I can try, but if EJ starts his shit...I'm out."
"I'll talk to him, I promise. What's with the animosity between you guys suddenly? You're both so close, even with your differences."
CC laughed. "There's this girl Stephanie. She likes me and EJ likes her. She's been trying to hang out with me for months. She's just not my type."
"What is your type?" I asked.
"I don't have a type really. No. Girl...That's my type." He sheepishly smiled at me. "Don't get me wrong, Stephanie is hot. She's just annoying as fuck. EJ is like obsessed with her." He shook his head. "But I think it's because she likes me and not him. He's just so damn competitive."
"Why do you go by your middle name at school?" I asked.
"It's different. There's like four Charlie's in my sophomore class."
I nodded again. "What's with the mascara?"
"I like it. It makes my eyes look darker." okay, that's not so odd. "I mean my eyelashes are like...red." He chuckled.
"So are mine. You look just like me. Does that bother you?" I poked his stomach.
"Are we playing 20 questions?" He asked.
I chuckled. "I'm just trying to get to know you a little better."
"Dad, I'm still me. I'm just a little quieter these days and I promise to try and open up, hang out with you guys more."
I stood up and widened my arms."Can I have my hug now?"
He smiled and wrapped his arms around me. I relished the feel of having a CC hug. As a kid he was always so cuddly, that hasn't changed.
"-and despite all the music and writing, I think I might want to go into medicine. I think it's fascinating." He said.
I think I squealed, as I tightened my hold on him.
"Can't breathe—" He gasped out.
I let him go and backed away from him. "You're too skinny, go eat a cupcake," I told him.
"Who cares? I have a fat cock." He mumbled as he picked up his guitar again.
"Because you are a Cullen!" I laughed as I let myself out of his room.
As I was leaving, I saw Alex enter her bedroom, still smiling widely. I walked up to her door and knocked. She must not have gone very far, because she quickly tore open the door.
"Oh, it's you-" She leaned against the frame.
"Did you have a good time tonight?" I asked. She bit her lip and looked down, trying to suppress her smile.
"I did." She said.
"Congratulations." I smiled down at her.
"It really wasn't that big of a deal." She shook her head.
"Yes, it was..my peanut." I reached up to push some hair behind her ear. "You're just growing up so fast-"
"Da-ad, it was just a kiss."
"It was your first kiss and that's how it all starts. This is going to come out of left field, but I'm just going to say it. I want you to know that you can come to your mother and I for anything. If you have a problem, we can all come to a conclusion together."
"Daddy, I know that. Now you're just being silly. I tell mom everything."
"You do?" I asked shocked.
"Yes, I do and I tell CC everything too."
I nodded. "But I thought you told Maddy everything-"
She shook her head no. "Maddy has a big mouth-" She whispered. "-and mom is just really cool. CC mostly just listens, he's great that way."
"Okay." I bent down and kissed her hair. "Goodnight,"
"Night daddy and you better get down there. Mom was kind of mad that you disappeared and weren't around to say goodbye to everyone."
"Thanks." I sighed walking away.
After running back downstairs and helping Bella clean up, I ran back upstairs to change into my pajamas. I feel all I did this evening was run up and down stairs, punish my children, talk to my children, and came to terms with the things I cannot change about my children. Alex is going to get kissed whether I like it or not. CC, geez he still scares me, I just hope he doesn't become a serial killer.
Michael and EJ, well they really didn't do much out of the ordinary today. EJ's a jackass and I broke a promise to Michael.
I missed Bella.
So I ran back downstairs, popped the cork on a bottle of wine, shut off the lights in the living room, and put the T.V on. We usually sip our wine and pretend to watch T.V.
We actually talk and sometimes have sex down here. After the kids are asleep, it's the only time we really have for us. I wasn't lying earlier when I said privacy is a luxury in this house. The door to our bedroom means nothing, even while locked. I take it where I can get it. Plus, the kids will most likely barge into our bedroom before they come down to look for us. At least we can hear them coming from down here.
"What'cha got there?" Bella wrapped her arms around me from behind the couch.
"Quiet, romantic evening for two." I smiled and grabbed her hands, while she placed a kiss on my neck. "Come sit-" I patted the cushion next to me. She walked around the couch and sat on my lap. Even better. I let out a satisfied moan, as she sat.
"I missed you today." Bella sighed.
"I missed you too." I kissed her temple. "But what are we going to do about CC? We spoke before and I'm kind of getting what's going on-" I blew out a breath. "I'm still so confused and he says he wants to go into medicine?" I shrugged.
"He's into his music and his writing. What can we do besides let him write and play? As for the way he dresses, I think it's just a phase. When was the last time you drove by the high school? Or walked around campus?"
"CC's last concert—"
"That doesn't count or help with what I am trying to say." Bella shook her head.
"Then what are you trying to say?" I asked.
"When EJ buys a new pair of sneakers, so do the rest of the boys. When EJ gets a hair cut, the next day a few boys will be wearing the same style. When you gave him that old ratty leather jacket of yours that he thought was so cool. His fellow class mates showed up with leather jackets. EJ is popular. CC isn't as popular, but I must say that he's usually surrounded by more girls than EJ—"
"What? You're telling me this now? I accused him of being gay earlier."
Bella laughed at me. "He's not gay and he's not some weirdo. He's just trying to stick out. Get out from EJ's shadow. Do you remember how high school was?"
I nodded and fought a shiver. I hated high school. "I wish you went to high school with me..." I kissed her neck. "I could have walked you to class..." I pulled the neck of her shirt down and kissed her collar bone. "We could have been lab partners in Biology...held hands under the desk..." I trailed my hand up her thigh. "We could have gone to a dance..." I turned her chin to face me. "Would you have let me kiss you?" I whispered against her lips.
"Yes." She said breathlessly, crashing her lips against mine. She groaned into my mouth as I tangled my hands into her hair, eagerly flipping us over. I lifted her shirt placing kisses on her stomach, then I went lower, always lower, pulling down her yoga pants.
"What are you doing?" She asked, trying to pull her shirt down. "Haven't we learned our lesson about public displays of affection?" She giggled.
"I want to taste you love. It's been a long day." I placed a few more open mouth kisses on her.
"Not here." She moaned, while I sucked on the sensitive skin near her hip.
"Please turkey leg, I need you." I grunted out, as she wove her fingers into my hair, which means 'Yes'.
"What are you guys watching?" EJ that fucker!
I lifted my head and looked at him over the couch, as he casually walked down the stairs. Bella started to squirm and pulled up her pants that weren't even off yet. I placed my hand on her stomach, steadying her. Maybe if she doesn't sit up, he won't see her.
"It's late. Go to bed." I told him.
"It's ten o'clock on a Friday night. I'm not allowed out or have people over. Am I supposed to be locked in my room all night too?" He asked from the bottom landing.
This boy is trying my patience. All day he annoyed the crap out of me. He has never changed either. He's been my perpetual cock blocker since the day he was born. He does this shit all the time.
"Go to your room, before I lock you in there till you're forty!" I shouted.
"Edward!" Bella slapped my chest.
"Mom, what are you doing down there?" He looked down to Bella and back to me. Bella rolled her eyes and sat up.
"I'm not doing anything. We were just trying to figure out what movie to watch," Bella stood up. "Anyone want popcorn?" She asked.
I shook my head no.
"I do." EJ smiled.
We both watched as Bella entered the kitchen. As soon as she was out of sight EJ narrowed his eyes at me.
"What is your problem?" I asked.
"Nothing." He shrugged and sat next to me. Right next to me, so that our thighs were touching.
"Go sit over there, so your mother can sit with me." I pointed to the loveseat.
"Nope." He said popping the P.
"You're usually not this bad. You usually come down, screw up our groove, and then go back upstairs. What's so special about tonight?" I asked.
"Like I said, I'm not allowed out or able to have friends over—you screwed up my groove. If I'm not getting any, then neither are you pops." He smiled widely at me.
"Wanna make a bet?" I smirked at him.
"She'd never choose you over me. I'm Edward Cullen, her baby boy." He laughed. Silly. Silly. Silly baby boy.
"I'm Edward Cullen, her husband, the love of her life, her personal Adonis, take your pick. The fact of the matter is my dear son is that I can walk into that kitchen right now, take her into my arms, and run her upstairs, and—"
"Dad, stop talking, please. Can't I just watch a movie with my parents?" He reached for the remote.
I slumped back into the couch, crossing my arms over my chest. Every time I turned to look at EJ the monster inside me roared loudly.
"Here's your popcorn." Bella put the bowl in his lap.
"Thank you mommy. You're the best." He smiled up at her, it was genuine too.
"You're welcome." She smiled down at him and ruffled his hair. "Edward-"
"Yes?" We both turned to look at her.
"That was really creepy." She giggled. "Um—dad Edward, I guess." She laughed, pointing at me. I knew what was coming next by the look on her face, so I gave her the crooked smile she loves.
"I had a long day. I'm not really in the mood for a movie." She shook her head.
"Well, what are you in the mood for?" I gave her the biggest smile, which was also genuine.
"Bed." She deadpanned.
"I'll be right behind you," I promised.
"Goodnight." She kissed EJ's forehead. "Don't stay up too late." She ruffled his hair again and walked away.
I stood up and stretched, watching Bella walk upstairs.
"Goodnight." I wiggled my eyebrows. "I'm surely going to have one."
"Ugh! Just go to bed old man." EJ threw some popcorn at me.
"Edward Cullen is about to get some!" I waved my arms in the air victoriously. "Enjoy your popcorn, baby boy." I said before I ran upstairs.
I hope you all enjoyed this little tale. If you enjoyed this than you will LOVE the sequel. Please check out "Instructions Not Included,"