AN: Thank you for your continued support and patience. Words can't describe how thankful I am.
Listening to: Taylor Swift – Speak Now
30 Seconds to Mars – Hurricane (feat. Kanye West)
Disclaimer: No copyright infringement is intended. xVampiree does not, in any way, own Twilight. All characters, besides those not mentioned in the Twilight Series, belong to Stephenie Meyer. Any other recognizable publications and/or characters do not belong to xVampiree. They belong to their respective owners. The plot line belongs to xVampiree. None of this work may be reproduced in any form without permission from xVampiree. Copyright 2010.
Chapter 28 – Returning
Charlie and Renee returned to Phoenix the day after we found Kate and Masen. It was nice to finally meet Bella's parents, even though Charlie looked at me as if he was just waiting for the tiniest opportunity to punch me again.
It was bittersweet having Bella with us; I loved seeing the kids so happy with her but a nagging voice in the back of my head kept reminding me that this wasn't permanent- she would be returning back to Forks soon, back to her new life. I was stupid to think that I would be okay to watch her move on with her life without me. If I could go back in time I would have been honest with her from the beginning. I wondered what life would be like if I just told her I was in love with her and that I wanted her to be a permanent presence in our lives.
I thought back to the dream I had a couple months back- the dream that caused me to reevaluate my life and begin my pursuit of happiness.
I dreamed of my kids and we were just hanging out on a Saturday morning. Tanya wasn't in the dream but there was another presence. I never saw her face but my body seemed hyper-aware that she was there. A glimpse of blushing pale skin was the last thing I saw before I woke up…
No matter how much I wanted this dream to become true, I knew it was impossible. I had resigned myself to the fact that I had lost her and I would just have to settle with being friends , if she even wanted that. I wouldn't blame her if she didn't.
Bella left a few days after her parents because she had to get back to work as soon as possible. Apparently Garrett was trying his best to handle all the kids by himself but he couldn't do it anymore.
It was heartbreaking to see my kids say goodbye to her for the second time. They promised to call her whenever they got a chance and she promised to do the same.
I watched as Bella wiped away her tears with the sleeve of her baggy sweater and sighed as I wondered if she would ever tell me that she was pregnant with Garrett's baby. Not that she had to of course. All the clothes she wore in my presence were baggy and swallowed her petite figure.
She turned to me and said, "I may not have forgiven you for what you did to me, but I love your kids. I want them in my life and I know that the only way that can happen is if we are somewhat civil to each other while they're around."
I nodded and said that I would respect her wishes.
It was hard to watch her leave. I wanted to run after her and tell her how much I loved her and that I was sorry for everything that I had done but I knew I couldn't.
I thought back to the previous night where I snuck into her room for one last look at her.
The light from the hallway illuminated her room through the crack of the open door. She was asleep on her side, facing away from me so I couldn't see her face from where I was standing. I sat down on the edge of the bed next to her and leaned over so that I could see her. Her lips were parted slightly and her hair was covering most of her face. Her tangled mess of curls was just as bad as my hair; almost completely untamable.
I reached out and brushed her hair away from her face. I sighed as I studied her features, she truly was beautiful. Before I met her I had no idea that such beauty even existed.
I froze when she began to shift closer to me. Did she know I was here? She rested her head on my thigh and muttered something about leaving.
"I miss you," I heard her mumble. I was unsure whether she was talking about me or the kids.
I stroked her hair while I tried to make out what else she was saying.
"You can't take them away from me," she whined as a small crease appeared between her eyebrows.
My vision blurred with tears. I did this to her… to us. My God how much I missed her. She, along with the kids, was the best part of my life. I never hated myself more than I did now. Why did I allow myself to act so impulsively? How could I let the happiness leave our life? "I'm sorry, Bella," I choked, my voice barely above a whisper. "I love you."
My entire body relaxed as I said those three words. I was finally able to admit it out loud. If only I hadn't been such an asshole and told her earlier then we wouldn't be in this mess.
I placed a kiss to her temple and escaped her bedroom as quietly as I could. "I'll always love you."
I waited a week for the kids to settle back into their routine before I organized an appointment with a counselor named Caroline. The kids didn't seem to be that traumatized but I just wanted to make sure that they wouldn't have problems when they were older.
They were reluctant to go at first but once they met Caroline they didn't mind. She was a nice woman with flaming red hair and freckles covering every exposed area of skin. It also helped that there was a guidance counselor at their school so they could go and see her anytime they wished.
Caroline called me in to her office after Masen's first solo session without his sister or me. She told me that she asked Masen to draw a picture of the people who were close to him. She presented the picture to me and I wasn't surprised at what I saw.
Standing next to the stick figure I assumed was Masen was Bella and me, a stick figure with yellow hair was on his other side, I assumed that it was Kate. At the very back of the picture was a woman drawn so small it was almost hard to see. Caroline told me that it was Tanya and the fact he had drawn her in the distance and very small showed that she was at the very back of his mind – almost as an afterthought. The fact that he hadn't bothered to draw clothes on her showed that he didn't really care about her. My eye traveled to the top right corner of the page where I saw a sun hidden in the corner. Instantly, I remembered Bella's words…
They say that if a child draws a sun that isn't fully there, like it's only a quarter of it in the corner – it means they're unhappy about something.
For weeks, I couldn't get the image of that sun out of my head. I tried to pretend that maybe he just ran out of space and that was the only place he could draw the sun but I knew that wasn't true.
Kate seemed to be less reluctant to go to school in the morning, according to Masen this was due to a boy in her class that had taken an interest in her. Kate denied everything but the way her blush gave her away. I didn't even want to think about it. Maybe I could fly Charlie down here to interrogate this boy before he took my baby out on any dates. I'm sure he'd scare the life out of him enough for him to be a gentleman.
Life went on smoothly for four months until I received a call at work one day from Paige.
"Edward, I'm sorry to call you at work but I've taken Masen to the hospital..."
"You took him to the hospital? Why?" I asked, panicking already. I grabbed my car keys and ran as fast as I could to get to my car, panting as if I'd been running for hours. Damn, I needed to go to the gym sometime.
"He fell down some stairs and I think he broke his wrist, it's all swollen and he's in a lot of pain."
"Have they taken x-rays yet?"
"No they're doing that now. I'm doing what I can but he really wants you here."
Masen was very proud of his cast and requested that we all signed it for him. He wasn't impressed when Kate drew a flower on it though. I was pleased that it was only a hairline fracture and that he only had to have it on for two weeks. Luckily he hadn't broken the bone completely, I could still remember the time I broke my arm and it wasn't the most pleasant experience of my life.
Saturday morning my lawyer, Caius, made an appointment with me to discuss some of the things regarding my case against Tanya and Paul.
"It's good to see you again, Edward," Caius said as he sat down on one of the sofas in the living room.
"You too, Caius, how have you been?" I asked.
"Life's been good, I can't complain. How are the kids adjusting to Chicago?"
"I think they like it, they miss home but they're getting used to it. How are things back home?"
"Well, Forks is just as rainy as ever," he said and paused for a few seconds. "Um, I saw Bella the other day."
"You did?" I sighed.
"Yes," he said. "She looked happy."
An image of Bella, Garrett and their baby flashed into my head and I immediately tried to black out the disturbing picture.
Caius seemed to sense that I was uncomfortable and changed the subject. "Well, let's get down to business, shall we?"
I nodded, grateful for the change of topic.
Caius opened up his briefcase and I saw a brief glimpse of a photograph before he closed it again.
Was that? No… it couldn't be.
"Wait! Open your briefcase again," I said urgently.
He complied and my eyes landed on a picture of Garrett. I was pretty sure my jaw was hanging on the floor. I blinked a few times to see if my eyes were deceiving me. What the hell was Caius doing with a picture of Garrett?
Caius followed my eyes and smiled. "Oh, I see you've noticed the picture."
I was probably looking at him like he had grown another head, but for the life of me I just couldn't understand.
"That's my partner," he informed me slowly.
I swallowed. "Like a business partner?"
He let out a laugh. "No, Edward. Surely you've realized that I'm gay, right?"
"So you and Garrett…?"
"Which means that Bella and Garrett aren't…?"
He shook his head.
"Oh fuck!" I gasped. What had I done?
I felt the need to sit down even though I was already sitting. A million thoughts were running through my head. If Caius and Garrett were partners then that meant that Garrett and Bella weren't together so that meant that all this time I've been jumping to conclusions and assuming that they were a couple.
That meant that Bella hadn't moved on to another man… That meant she was still available.
That meant I needed to get my ass on a plane to Forks right away.
"Paige!" I hollered at the top of my lungs, causing Caius to jump.
"Yes, Edward?" she called from the kitchen.
"Pack a bag for the kids. We're going to Forks!"
We arrived at the airport in a matter of minutes. I rushed us through the aisles and found the counter for American Airways. I needed to get there as fast as possible. I needed to get my Bella.
"Sir, I'm telling you that there aren't any seats left," the woman said.
"Listen, we need to get to Seattle today. I can't wait until tomorrow. It's a matter of life and death!" I said exasperatedly.
"Yeah," Masen piped in.
"Mase, hush," Kate snapped at him. "Do you even know what is dad talking about?"
"Kids," I warned and turned my attention back to the woman. "Look, I'm sorry for being rude but I really need to be there tonight. Every second I'm being held back counts, so please," I begged.
"The only thing I can do is to put on a waiting list," she said.
Thankfully we managed to get on the flight minutes before the plane departed. The kids didn't stop talking throughout the entire seven hours we spent on the plane from Chicago to Seattle. It was easy to tell that they were excited about going back to Forks and seeing all their family. Masen wanted to know if Esme had baked chocolate chip cookies for him and I had to constantly remind them that none of the family knew we were coming.
"If no one knows that we're coming then what's the point?" Kate asked as she helped her brother color in a picture of an airplane.
"I wanted to surprise everyone," I answered her, even though it wasn't the truth. I couldn't tell her that I probably made the biggest mistake of my life and the only way I could try and fix it was to go back to Forks. Kate raised her head and looked at me. She arched her eye brow and smirked.
"Uh huh!" she said and giggled. "Sure Dad," she continued, "everyone," she finished emphasizing the one.
It took another hour to get from Seattle to Port Angeles and an extra hour drive from Port Angeles to Forks. Since we left at ten in the morning we made it to my parent's place at about seven in the evening. I would've gone straight to Bella's house but I wanted to drop the kids off with my family, otherwise we wouldn't be able to talk.
What I didn't expect was to see all the cars parked outside, including Bella's.
"Okay kids, listen. You are not going to rush into the house. We'll go in together, okay?" Kate and Masen nodded and we got out of the car.
I stepped in to the foyer of my parent's house and was met by streamers and various platters of half-eaten food. There was wrapping paper and balloons everywhere, all in various shades of pastel.
My family was gathered in the living room which was also decorated in light colors and littered with presents and wrapping paper strewn across the floor like confetti. I briefly took in everyone's faces, they were all here: Rose, Emmett, Alice, Jasper, Carlisle, Esme and Bella.
I could only stare at Bella. It was as if everyone else had left the room and it was just the two of us. She looked so different from the last time I saw her. Her face was slightly rounder and her cheeks looked fuller. Her hair was pulled back in a pony tail and she was wearing a white dress with a floral pattern on. She looked… happy.
As I stared at her, I finally came to terms with everything. I had waited too long to tell her I loved her and then thought I lost her to another man, but now I knew that she wasn't with him, which meant I could tell her how I felt. I doubted she would feel the same but at least I would know I tried. Fuck that! I would grovel in front of her my whole fucking life if I had to in order to get her back!
I had no idea how long I'd been standing there but Bella's eyes were wide and staring straight at me. I gave her a tentative smile and watched as she rose from her seat. It was then that I noticed her stomach was a lot bigger than the last time I saw her. The room was silent. Even the kids were perfectly still, looking back and forth between Bella and me. I averted my eyes from her and looked at my mom. She was beaming with tears in her eyes. She blew me a kiss and nodded. She knew why I was here.
"What are you doing here?" Bella asked, her voice was almost as soft as a whisper.
"I made a mistake, Bella," I said and took a step towards her only to stop when Bella gasped and looked down.
"Oh my God," she said, almost to herself.
"Bella, you should sit down," Esme suggested as she moved towards her.
Bella looked up at her with a horrified expression. "I think my water just broke."
AN: So it's a bit short, but it's something right?
Edward realized that he was being a total douche-lord and finally discovered that Garrett was gay. Honestly, the man needs to get his 'gaydar' fixed.
So, this story is nearly finished… Yay!
I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. I spent the day fixing a broken pipe. Fun, right?
I hope everybody has a fantastic New Year. Take a shot for me ;)
Pen, what the hell would I do without you? You are awesome.
You can follow me on Twitter: xVampiree.
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