All things Twilight belong to the amazing Stephenie Meyer, Happy TGUT Tuesday =)
Edward and Kate Plus One
Oh roses and cigarettes
Pillow case that remembers you
the scent of you still lingers on my fingertips
Till I think I might go insane
When will I see you again
Roses and Cigarettes - Ray LaMontagne
The football game was getting dirty and we all knew it. I could feel Emmett and Jacob's hesitance as Jasper and I kept playing too rough. Even when they switched up we aimed for one another leaving the other wide open, it had gone far beyond the game. It was personal.
I knew Bella was waning as far as our relationship was concerned. Whatever had happened in Dr. Cullen's office had changed something. Nothing good would come out of that. She seemed resigned, too reflective, and I knew our time together was coming to an end.
These past few months with Bella had made me happy; she was intelligent and funny, affectionate and caring. She was a breath of fresh air, something I hadn't expected to find again. Especially not in Forks, and definitely not living with my stuck up, over-opinionated parents.
Alice was worried I was on the rebound, and more than that, she was worried I would end up breaking Bella's heart. Bella was so fragile when I met her. A china doll that could be crumbled if you squeezed her too tightly. We'd been close friends for a while before I had kissed her, and we seemed to just naturally progress to the next step which was attempting a relationship. It hadn't been my intention to start something with her, but I found I couldn't walk away.
Alice still refused to take sides between Jasper and I, and I couldn't blame her. I was her brother, her blood. We'd known one another our entire lives, but Jasper was her best friend, her confidante. She told him things she had never told anyone else before. So I had to understand on some level. Whether I liked to admit it or not he'd been there for her when I had been the asshole with my head shoved up my ass, acting like my parents because I thought they were something to aspire to.
Things were different now though, being in New York, talking to people I had never been exposed to before made me see things I wouldn't have seen before. It was liberating in ways. Being here with my parents again, listening to them talk about people as though they were mere objects made me sick to my stomach. If they knew about Bella's past, I knew they never would've be so welcoming.
Still, in her own way Bella had enchanted them. Much the same way she had enchanted me. She was always polite and able to hold her own in conversations with them, and they found that endearing about her. Not many people stuck by their convictions when talking to the great Edward Masen Sr., they would normally fold and agree with him because they thought it was what he wanted to hear.
Not Bella, if she didn't agree she would tell him, argue her point until he himself started seeing things her way. Her passion was infectious, even if she did apologize for speaking out of turn when she was finished.
I stole a glance at the dark haired beauty sat on the bench between my sister and best friend. I had to let her go even if I was in love with her. I knew she loved me, on some level at least, but her heart was Jasper's, and I selfishly continued to covet her for myself because I found I needed her in my life.
She was the one thing that helped me forget, the one thing that made me believe I could move on and be happy, because I was happy with her.
We ran through another play, Jacob and Emmett trying their best to keep Jasper and I apart as Emmett and I tried to intercept the play. In a move that only Emmett could pull off, he dived across the field catching it before it touched Jacob's hands. He hit the ground hard, but hopped up with a smile, tossing me the ball.
"Our play, Eddie. You ready?"
"Enough with the Eddie crap, Emmett."
Emmett chuckled, but took the ball from my hands and assumed his position on the field opposite Jacob, the ball pushed against the mud clod that used to be grass below him. My eyes scanned the field slowly, surreptitiously going for a glance at Bella, but it wasn't her that my eyes fixated on. In fact, I didn't even get to her.
I did a double take of the familiar face to make sure I wasn't hallucinating. I was even vaguely aware of Emmett calling out the play, but I couldn't get my thoughts together quickly enough to stop the game.
I couldn't even process what I was seeing because it seemed impossible. Reality was taking a back seat as my eyes scanned the body of the woman in front of me. I heard the last hike, and my hands reflexively snapped the ball from the air, but I couldn't move. My eyes widened as the realization hit me like a ton of bricks.
It really was Kate, and she really was pregnant.
A demolition ball came at me like a gust of wind, knocking me from my feet so my back planted into the ground and my head bounced against the sodden grass and mud mix. It was a hard hit, one I knew I had to attribute to Jasper, but that was the last thing on my mind as I heard the voice I knew so well ring out across the field with my name on her lips.
It was just my name, but I could hear the panic coating it, tainting her voice as it rang out in the darkening afternoon. I didn't realize how much I had wanted to hear her voice until it was hanging in the air around us.
My eyes found her, even from my position in the mud. She was walking as quickly as she could manage towards the torn up field of grass and mud, past the girls on the bench, past the cooler. Panic seemed to cover the beauty I had forgotten.
I pushed myself up from the ground in one swift movement, my eyes locked on the woman that was moving as quickly as she could towards me. I hadn't realized just how much I had missed her. I seldom let myself think about her most of the time, so seeing her in the flesh was making it hard to ignore the emotions that surfaced now.
Her blonde hair hung around her shoulders, waving gently in the wind as her blue eyes finally found mine.
She said nothing, but continued to walk towards me with as much speed as she could muster. Our eyes were locked on the others as she drew closer to me. I could feel want take over my entire body the closer she got.
She stopped not three feet in front of me, her delicate hands raising in the air, hesitating a little as she thought over what she was doing.
"Edward," she whispered, the sound lost in the wind. Memories seemed to flood my mind, the time we spent together, laughing and giggling as we tried to ice skate, watching movies with buckets of popcorn with too much butter; it was the only way she would eat it. Sunday mornings and our picnics in the park. Every small insignificant memory about our relationship seemed to seep into my mind and take over my being.
Whatever she saw in my eyes made her hesitance dissipate, her fingers traced along my hairline and down my jaw, meeting at my chin as her eyes drank me in. My hands were still at my side, her protruding stomach causing a gap between us.
"Are you alright?"
"Fine. Kate, you're here."
"I know that silly," she smiled, her eyes narrowing with her adoring gaze.
I had missed that ice cool blue that seemed to sparkle in any light, the small flecks of midnight blue as they closed in around her pupil. The small crease between her eyes when she smiled because she bit her tongue when she grinned like that. Everything about her was so familiar.
My eyes moved from her face down to her stomach and back up again. Her smile fell just a little and I wondered instantly what had caused it. I couldn't stand seeing her upset.
"What's the matter?"
"Edward, I'm so sorry. I should have told you everything, I was just so scared, I didn't know what to do."
I heard someone shift behind me and step out from the circle of frozen people.
"Shit, Bella . . . You're an asshole, Masen!" Jasper said, sprinting towards the girl who disappeared into the forest surrounding the field.
Without a thought my hand moved to my face, my fingers pinching the bridge of my nose as the reality came crashing down around me.
"Edward?" Kate asked, her eyes following Jasper across the field. "What was that?"
"That was Jasper, and I will explain everything, I think we both have some explaining to do."
Before I could even move to get her away from here, Alice and Rosalie joined the small group. Alice's eyes were wary as she assessed the situation. I could see that she was angry, I just couldn't figure out which part was causing it.
"Hi, you must be Kate."
Alice stepped up beside me, leaning into Jacob's body. Her eyes moved over Kate's body before pointedly looking to me. I had forgotten where I was until Jasper's slight at me. Now I realized I was surrounded by my friends in this overwhelming situation. If I'd had a choice, this wouldn't have been how I'd have chosen to find this out. Did Alice really think I knew about this? That I was hiding Kate's Pregnancy?
Kate's eyes shifted to Alice, it was the first time she'd looked away from me since arriving.
"Kate, this is Alice, my younger sister and her boyfriend Jacob, and you know Rosalie and Emmett."
Kate nodded and offered Alice a smile. "I've heard a lot about you, Alice. It's nice to finally meet you."
Alice said nothing in return and I knew instantly that she was being hostile. It was unusual for Alice to be anything but polite. I knew she had every right in the world to be defensive of her best friend, as well as being pissed thinking I had kept this from her, but right now her feelings were the least of my worries. I was the one torn between staying here and talking to Kate or going after Bella myself.
"How did you know we'd be here?" Alice asked politely, her smile not as genuine as I would have liked.
"I went to your house and your mom said you were here. I think I scared her half to death, she didn't look too happy."
"Can you blame her?" Alice mumbled under her breath, her eyes narrowing. I saw Jacob's fingers flex around her waist as he registered her hostility. I however, couldn't believe how rude she was being.
"Alice." My voice had a warning tone to back off. She could rip me apart later, Kate didn't need this from her; she'd done nothing to deserve it.
"I'm sorry. I'm just worried about Bella. I think I should have gone after her."
"I would have preferred that." I answered without really thinking about the ramifications of a statement like that. Alice's mouth fell open and her eyes narrowed at me. In my defense it had almost become reflex, but she was right in her accusations. I should have been the one to talk to Bella, and I certainly had no right to act like the jealous boyfriend.
"I'm sorry, Al. Listen guys, do you mind giving us a minute?"
Without another word, the four of them nodded and walked towards the dirt lot where Alice had parked her car next to Emmett's Jeep. Jasper's car was still there and I couldn't stop my fleeting thoughts from going to Bella. She deserved more than this, she deserved an explanation from me.
"I'm sorry, Eward. I didn't mean to cause problems."
"You didn't, it's my fault she's upset."
Kate slid her hands in mine, her tiny fingers closing around the heel of my hand as her thumbs stroked the palms gently. Her eyes found mine again, and I couldn't help the slamming of my heart against my ribs. I had missed her so much.
I let go of one of her hands, but kept the other as we walked towards her car. We had a lot of talking to do and I could only imagine where we were going to start. The best place was the very obvious elephant in the room.
We got in the car but Kate made no move to start it; it seemed we were going to do this here.
"I think I should start." she sighed, her fingers playing with the necklace that hung close to her stomach. "But can I please start with how much I missed you?"
"Kate, I missed you too, but you can't keep avoiding the very obvious first topic of conversation." Her hand was back in mine, and I found myself rubbing the skin softly with my thumb in an attempt to soothe her.
"He's yours." She breathed, closing her eyes. The dark makeup she was wearing made her look exhausted.
"He? We're having a boy?"
"Edward you don't have to pretend. I didn't come here with any misconceptions, I know you have a five year plan and we're not really a part of that and it's fine, but I needed you to know why."
"Why what? And what the hell are you talking about?" I asked confused. I had no idea what she meant about a five year plan. How she could ever believe I didn't want her was beyond me.
"The night we broke up," she said, once again weighing her words heavily. "I was going to tell you that night, but when we were at dinner you started talking about your five year plan and when you hoped to start a family and your career and how excited you were about finishing school, and I couldn't do it. I couldn't tell you because you knew what you wanted, you said it with such conviction that I knew I had to let you go."
"Conviction? Kate I don't even remember saying that. That night," I said, trying with everything I was to remember the conversation. Small slithers of memory seemed to infiltrate my mind. "That night I was trying to figure a few things out. I had a ring, I was planning to propose at Christmas, I just wanted to make sure it's what you wanted. That was probably my way of trying to figure out what you would say."
"You were going to propose?" She asked, sniffling a little as her eyes welled up with tears. "Oh God, Edward. This is all such a mess. I only came here to let you know, so you could decide what you wanted. I never counted on all this . . . this love I have for you eating away at me again. I just wanted to give you options."
I watched as she dug through her purse, pulling out tissues and wiping her eyes carefully and everything became so clear. I knew what I wanted, I wanted her, I wanted this, I wanted a family.
"Marry me, Kate."
"That's not why I came, Edward."
"I know that, you forget how well I know you. I mean it, I want this, I want you. Marry me."
"This is just a reaction to the news. You always do the right thing and that's not why I came. I can do this alone."
"What will make you believe me, Kate? I love you, I've always loved you, be my wife."
Her silence rang throughout the car. The gentle wind that had been playing in the leaves all afternoon was picking up a little. I wanted this, I needed her to say yes, but I knew I had to lay everything on the line before she answered.
I had to tell her about Bella. It was a touchy subject considering everything that had gone down in the last week. There was no way to explain everything that had happened, there was no way to explain any of it. Even without her showing up it was more complicated than I liked to admit. Having her here, as wonderful as it was, made everything so much more confusing.
Even through the confusion I had clarity, I knew what I wanted. I just hoped I could word it the right way.
"Kate, maybe I should explain a few things before you answer me. I've been dating someone, I have been for the last couple months. She's so sweet and young, she's also one of my best friends. She was going through something similar to what I was when I met her. We became close and bonded over what had happened to us. I don't think either of us intended to get involved, but it happened."
"Do you love her?"
"I do. It's not in the same way that I love you, Kate. Nothing could ever come close to that, but I do love her. I think if you ever met her you would . . ."
Kate raised her eyebrows and I slammed my mouth shut. I was making this sound terrible, and in reality it was. I was asking my ex to marry me while the girl I was dating was with her ex somewhere. I knew Bella though, I knew she would be hurting. It was seven levels of messed up and there was no way of righting it.
"Edward, what am I supposed to . . . I mean, how would you feel if . . . I hurt you, I get that, but how could you fall for someone so easily?"
"It's not that simple, Kate. We bonded because we'd both been hurt by people we truly loved. I'm not placing the blame on you, please don't misunderstand me. It's just something that happened with time. I love you, Kate, and I always will. I just didn't understand why you pushed me away like that."
Kate turned in her seat, her eyes clouded with unshed tears. I knew this revelation hurt her, and for the first time since I'd met Bella I truly understood what she'd been going through. I felt so torn inside, ripped apart. I did love her, I loved Bella, but I knew that Kate was supposed to be the one I was with. I knew it and I was selfish enough to make a decision without even talking to Bella first. Bella would never do that, it wasn't who Bella was, she cared enough about me to do the right thing, and yet I hadn't extended her the same courtesy.
"I want you, Kate. Nothing has changed there." It seemed I couldn't stop myself though.
"But this girl, Edward. What am I supposed to do with information like that?"
"Whatever you feel necessary. I told you because I don't want to start our lives together with a lie hanging over our heads. I love you, I want to marry you, but you have to know how hurt I was when you pushed me away."
"Of course I know, Edward. You don't think it's been plaguing me everyday since? You were it for me, you have always been it for me. I know I kept this huge thing from you, but I could never, would never . . ."
"I didn't know, and you can't hold this against me, Kate. Not if we're going to try and make this work. If you can't get past this, if you don't think you can trust me, I understand. But I thought you didn't want me, you know I fought for you. I called you every day for a month and there was nothing. Your roommate told me to stop calling, so I came over. I fought tooth and nail for you. The only option I had was to move on. I never intended to fall for Bella, it just happened."
Kate's eyes slid closed as I said Bella's name. I could see her body shaking as her free hand ran over her swollen stomach with care and devotion. Our child was in there, our child. Made out of our love for one another.
"The girl that your friend chased into the forest. That was her wasn't it?"
"Yes, and Jasper, who followed her, is the guy that broke her heart. The guy she's still in love with. It was a fucked up situation, and I don't pretend to understand it, but I do know she will be happier with him. Just as I will be happy with you, because you're the one I want."
I watched her eyes flicker open. A small smile came to her lips as a tear slid down her cheek. "I think he likes you, he's been kicking since you started talking."
She took the hand she was holding and placed it on her stomach where something was moving against her. It was the strangest sensation. A nudging under the membrane of her skin, pushing against her stomach and my hand with a small force that resembled a muscle twitching. In that one moment, with my hand wrapped gently around Kate's stomach, I fell in love with my unborn son.
"Marry me, Kate." Every ounce of conviction I had was placed in those three words and I meant every single one of them.
She paused for a second, her eyes skimming over the surface of my face and finally holding mine. She gazed into them for the longest time as I mentally begged her to say yes. I meant every word of it, even though I knew I was doing this backwards, I needed to hear her say yes.
Her hand cupped my cheek as our son kicked against the palm of my hand.
"Yes, Edward, I will marry you."
I leaned over the console, taking her delicate face between my hands before closing the distance between us. My lips, so perfectly fit hers as they molded together in a fiery passion I hadn't felt in months. Yes, I may have loved Bella, but there was never this primal need to be in her skin, to be enveloped with her so completely I couldn't breathe.
A/N: Not sure if I had Edward's voice right, for me he's a tough nut to crack. He's a little more reserved than Jasper and less self-effacing than Bella. I just feel as though I go over and over the same material in this.
Thank you to Bob for Beta'ing last minute for me (Hev99) Cravingtwilight is at work and I forgot to remind her about this so I feel terrible.
Thanks as always to Miztrezboo, and bendingmirrors for prereading and shutting me up when I get all whiny.
A huge thank you to everyone who reviewed the Epilogue. I think it too me all week to get through them because I was crying so much!!! You all rock and I love you all!!!
Much love & Big hugz ~ Weezy ~