AN: Written as a gift for my buddy and sexy h00r Quietruby. Thanks for your help, love. Enjoy.

Visiting Ms. Swan

~ Edward

"Edward, please. I'm only asking because I hate to impose on the substitute, and I can't get away," my mother, Esme, said while I drove down Mercer Street.

"I'll go pick him up, but I have to bring him by the office and drop him off. I have to head to the hospital for a double-shift in an hour."

"That's fine dear. Just drop him off at the office. Heidi will watch him until my meeting ends. Love you."

I smiled as I stopped at a red light. "Love you, too."

I slid my phone shut and turned onto James St. toward my son's school. The traffic was brutal as I made my way closer. I was already ten minutes late.

My mother and I had orchestrated a deal with Emmett's Kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Cheney, for her to watch Emmett for an extra half hour until she could pick him up. Since my shifts at the hospital rotated weekly, it made it difficult for me to pick him up regularly. It turned out that her husband was a fellow resident at the same hospital as me. The arrangement had been working out very well, but then Angela's father had fallen ill so they had to leave to care for him.

My mother had not been able to establish contact with the new teacher to see if they could make a similar arrangement for Emmett.

Emmett Patrick Cullen was born a little over five years ago. I had been only twenty-four years old when Irina dropped him off, saying that I was his father, and that motherhood was not for her. Though at the time I hadn't been ready for fatherhood, I was so happy for his presence in my life.

I wouldn't have it any other way.

I pulled into the parking lot beside a rusted blue Ford and walked under the darkening sky to the elementary building.

I saw that Emmett's classroom door was propped open with a small chair. I was relieved to see that the teacher had waited for me and hadn't left my son outside.

I walked into the classroom, searching for the new teacher. My eyes scanned the room for Emmett, spotting him in the corner where he was playing with a much taller little girl with golden blond hair.

"Dad!" Emmett called out as he ran over to me and wrapped his arms around my shins.

"Hey, big guy," I said, chuckling lightly. I rumpled his dark curls with my hand, earning a little giggle and a wide dimpled smile.

"Hello," a soft, melodic voice said behind me.

I turned, and good God I was ready to fall on my knees in gratitude. Emmett's teacher was the naughty librarian of my dreams. With each of her steps toward me, I felt myself get harder.

Fuck me.

Her hair was a gorgeous multicolored set of browns as it shone in the filtering sunlight coming from the windows. Her hair was long and layered, giving her hair full body as it swung lightly, brushing the middle of her back. Fuck, she'd look glorious after she tumbled out of my bed with sex hair.

Just been fucked by Edward Cullen Sex Hair Mousse – patent pending.

Her heart-shaped face had the strawberries and cream complexion. Her skin was smooth and pale, reminding me of porcelain. The apples of her cheeks were tinged pink, but naturally.

Then her body – oh fuck – her body.

She was in a fitted gray a-line skirt with small pleats along the bottom, which laid about two inches past her knees. The skirt hugged her bottom and hips perfectly, all leading an incredible set of legs that were long, sinuous and looked smooth as silk. Her short black heels matched the fitted cashmere sweater she was wearing.

I have no idea how long I was staring, but apparently, it must have been for a while. She cleared her throat, as she stood right in front of me.

I blushed. I fucking blushed. I don't blush. I also don't get a damn hard on just from gawking at a woman. But here I was in motherfucking scrubs; my desire for her had to be obvious. I tried to look discreetly at my crotch, and yeah, that's gotta be noticeable. The woman cleared her throat again before speaking.

"Mr. Cullen?" she asked, her head cocked to one side looking concerned.

I shook my head and nodded. "Yes, Dr. Cullen." Now my voice was husky. It's official, my damn dick had officially taken over all my bodily functions.

She smiled, a very nice one, too. "Hello, I'm Emmett's substitute teacher for the next few weeks. I'm Ms. Swan." She extended her hand, and I internally groaned for the invitation to touch her. I took it quickly, probably too quick.

The moment our hands touched, I felt warmth spread through my whole body, hardening me further.


She smirked, silently telling me she felt it, too. Should I be intimidated? No, but I was.

I was a man that had played the field, and I played it well. However, I have to admit I usually didn't have to initiate anything. When a woman had expressed an interest in me, and I liked what I saw, they were in my bed later that same night without much effort on my part.

That was until Emmett came into my life. With my residency, raising a child and maintaining a home, it had become harder for me to find time to date, or fuck for that matter.

The only time I had was the one-on-one with my hand in the shower, and the occasional trysts while having drinks after work. God, it had been months for me.

I never resented being a father, because Emmett was my life. I loved him dearly, and he really helped me get my priorities straight. If he hadn't come into my life, I was sure that I would've given up on becoming a doctor.

Partying and morning shifts don't mix.

"Your son is a lovely child. He's so animated," she said sweetly, giving me one of those Crest toothpaste smiles again.

"Thank you," I said, and then I realized her hand was still in mine. I blushed again, this time she joined me before releasing my hold. The pink hue in her cheeks just enhanced her features further.

Her laugh was laced with humor, and perhaps a little bit of taunt. "Dr. Cullen is it? In that case, since I'm new, I have to see your identification and you need to sign him out before you leave."

"Edward. Please call me Edward."

Ms. Swan bit her lip and nodded. "Please call me Bella."

I smiled and motioned for her to continue with my hand. She walked over to her desk and leaned over it slightly to grab a folder. When she reached over, her skirt rode up a bit and I noticed a tiny red heart at the back of her knee.

Holy fucking shit, she has a tattoo. I groaned because that shit was hot, and I wanted to lick it.

Remember Edward, there are kids in the room. Namely, your son. Plus, mom would kill you if you defiled the teacher.

Bella's back quickly straightened with my audible groan. Shit, she heard me. She tugged at the back of her skirt before turning back and handing me the sign out sheet on a clipboard. Her face gave nothing away. I had no idea if I should be thankful or disappointed – I was a little of both.

"Here you go," she said sweetly. I handed her my Driver's License, which she looked over for a few seconds before handing it back to me. I signed my name and handed everything back to her. She pulled out her cell phone and programmed my phone number. She noticed my curious glance, and she explained that she liked having contact with all parents should something arise. She called my cell phone number, which I had listed as an emergency contact, and now I had her number. I smiled and quickly took a picture of her before she could protest.

She shook her head and did the same with her phone before something drew her attention.

"Rosalie!" Bella called out, looking over my shoulder. I turned to see what the commotion was. The tall little girl I'd seen earlier, had Emmett in a headlock and walked around as if it was an everyday thing.

I busted up laughing. "Emmett, what's going on?"

Rosalie smiled up at me, one of her front teeth missing. "He said I could do this if I'm his girlfriend."

Emmett looked a little dazed, and I wondered if Rosalie was cutting off his oxygen. His lips tugged up at the corners, which revealed his dimpled grin. "Girlfriend," he said as if he was stunned.

Bella giggled beside me and tried to hide it behind her hand. I cocked an eyebrow, causing her to laugh loudly.

"I'm sorry," she said behind her laughter. She asked Rosalie to release Emmett and asked if she could help her with cleanup.

I noticed the time, wondering if I should attempt to ask Bella out. This wasn't something I wanted to do in front of children though. Emmett suddenly became my mini wingman.

"Dad," he said sweetly. "May I help Rosie clean up?"

I looked at my watch again; I was going to be cutting it close. "Just five more minutes, buddy."

He nodded and ran over to help Bella and Rosalie. I watched Bella interact with the children; she was pleasant and warm, looking them in the eye when she spoke to them. I took the time to admire her from afar, my eyes noticing she had no ring on her finger.

Not married, but that didn't mean she was available.

I looked around the room and tried to look at the pictures on her desk without being obvious. There were a few of her and an older man, their affectionate hold on one other said father and daughter. There was one of her and Emmett's teacher Angela, smiling brightly. It was obvious they were friends and that made me smile.

Bella must know Ben, Angela's husband, who had become a good friend of mine. I had remembered then that Angela had tried to convince me months ago to go on a blind date with a friend that had moved back to the area. At the time, I hadn't wanted to date a friend of Angela's just in case it hadn't worked out. It would make our occasional dinners awkward if we'd both be in attendance. I wondered if Bella was the same person Angela had spoken so highly about.

"Edward," Bella said right behind me, startling me. She laughed and apologized. "If I remember Angela's reminders, you usually have to be gone by now."

I looked at my watched and cursed under my breath. "I do," I said. "Um, Bella I –"

She held her hand up to stop my rambling. "We can't, Edward. Not while I'm his teacher."

"Am I that obvious?" I asked. She bit her lip and nodded. I groaned and ran my hand through my hair and averted my eyes.

"But –" she started, "if you try asking me in three weeks I'll say yes."

"You will?"

She nodded again, and I left with a huge smile on my face a few minutes later. Emmett asked why I was happy, but I just ruffled his hair.

I have to admit it was a little pathetic that while at work all I could do was think of Bella. She was Emmett's teacher for three long weeks. It was going to be an interesting month.


If I'd known that visiting Bella would be tortuous, I probably would've avoided her until we were allowed to see each other. I didn't have the brains to do that because I had returned almost every day to volunteer or pick up or drop off Emmett. This was something I had done regularly in the past when I could, but now it was different.

Now, with Bella as his teacher, someone who I was extremely attracted to, it was torture. Our interaction was mostly simple greetings and secretive glances from across the room for the first few days. I hated it. I wanted to talk to her freely, and touch her as if it didn't matter that Emmett was his teacher.

The next day after meeting Bella, I went to drop off Emmett despite the fact I had just gotten off a graveyard shift. I had to have looked ragged while she was radiant. Yet, she greeted me with a timid smile and a deep blush. She allowed me to take her hand again, but was hesitant for any more contact than that. Just before I left that morning, she touched my shoulder, and it sent a ripple of desire through me. She must've felt something too, because she pulled her hand away like if it burned. She quickly handed me a flyer for the school carnival in a few weeks, and walked away.

The next time we saw each other, we avoided all contact to see if that would help. It didn't. In fact, the tension between us had grown. I've never felt this level attraction to anyone before; the pull was undeniable.

A few days after that, Bella had made the first move.

I need the help of strong able-minded man. Know any? ;) – B

Oh, so now she was going to tease me. I quickly answered her back.

Haha. What does a damsel in distress need from me? – E

She answered shortly while I scrubbed my hands clean before heading to start my rounds.

I'm no D.I.D, but I need someone willing to give me hand. – B

I laughed at her antics, and I would like to believe she was flirting.

Hand, leg, foot, anything for you. – E

Damn, that sounded cheesy, but it was too late since I'd already sent it.

Hmm, I settle for a hand. For now ;) – B

Yeah, she was flirting with me.

When? Where? – E

Tomorrow, my class, and bring your glue gun. – B

She called me after work and explained she needed me to help with an art project. I explained to her why I hadn't been able to pick or drop off Emmett for the last few days, but she understood.

I arrived the following day a few minutes before we scheduled for me to come. Today I was going to have to talk to her more. Bella had decided to have the class work on the project right before school let out, so that we'd have time to clean up before leaving.

I checked my hair in my rearview mirror and tried desperately to flatten it – a futile effort. I removed the thin hooded jacket that I was wearing since the weather had progressed to a pleasant sixty-nine degrees.

I looked over the playground, where my son's class was out for recess. I easily spotted Emmett on the very stop of the jungle gym. My first instinct was to be at the bottom ready to catch him, but I knew I had to step back and let him be. I saw his hand slip, catching his elbow on the metal. He winced and rubbed at it furiously. I watched for a moment, debating with myself to go over and get him off. He wiped a few tears from his face, and the decision was made as I walked toward him.

Before I made it to the gate, a hand on my arm stopped me from proceeding. The touch heated me throughout my arm and chest, and I knew then who it was. I looked at the small, pale hand, along the delicate curve of her elbow, shoulder and neck before I met her eyes.

"Give him a moment," Bella said quietly. I should've been angry that she was telling me what to do, but I knew she was right. My father had told me before that getting hurt was a part of growing up, and learning.

Without responding, I turned back to see that Emmett was hanging upside with a wide grin. Rosalie was poking at his exposed tummy, giggling.

I sighed, watching my son grow just a bit older before my eyes. I had no idea how I felt about this. I had raised him since he was two months old. Last month, if he had hurt himself, he'd come crying and it took a great deal of time to console him. Now, he didn't really need me to comfort him.

As if Bella could read my mind, she put me at ease with her voice, touch and words. "He'll always need you, Edward."

"I think I've been replaced by a three foot blonde girl with a toothless grin."

Bella laughed. "Well, she's good for him, and he's good for her."

"What do you mean?"

"Well, Angela had said that Emmett had always been shy before Rosalie moved here a few months ago."

"He wasn't very sociable," I said thoughtfully.

"From what I've heard, on Rosalie's first day, someone was picking on Emmett, verbally mind you, and Rosalie took Emmett's hand, leading him to a swing so she could push him."

I smiled and turned to face her. "Really?"

"Yes," she said with a smile. "Rosalie knows a thing or two about verbal –" she cut herself off and shook her head "never mind."

I wondered what she had left unsaid, but whatever it was, it upset her. I took her hand, squeezing it. "Thank you," I whispered.

She nodded. "Come on," she said, cocking her head toward the classroom. "We need to get everything set up."

"So what's the art project?"

"The kids will be cutting things out from magazines and photos, creating collages of some of their favorite things," she said.

"That sounds time consuming," I teased.

"It should take about an hour."

"Darn, I was hoping this would be an all day thing."

Bella laughed as she handed me a box of magazines. "I'm sure you have better things to do, Edward."

"Bella," I said quickly putting the box down. I looked around the empty classroom, noticing that the door closed. My fingertips brushed over her hand, and she looked where we touched and her eyes widened.

She looked toward the door and then the classroom clock, biting her lip nervously. Slowly, careful to gauge her reaction, I ran my fingers over her wrist, the crook of her elbow until I felt the pulse along her neck. Her gasp was barely audible but her mouth fell open, her chest rising and falling rapidly. I pulled her close, my arms around her small waist as I rested my chin on top of her head.

She shivered and her body was tense, but she didn't pull away. Her hair smelled so good like candied apples, sweet. "There's no place I'd rather be. My two favorite people are in this classroom."

She smiled up at me, her bottom lip caught between her teeth. She was still hesitant, her eyes darting to the door before resting on mine. "Liar," she said in a teasing tone.

I smirked, tracing her lips with my thumb. Her mouth fell open again. "Why are you calling me a liar?"

"You're momma said that you gave her a mug that said 'You're # 1.'"

I laughed and put my hands up defensively, pulling away a bit. I didn't want to make her uncomfortable. "You caught me."

She giggled and chastely pressed her lips against my cheek. I wanted to pull her closer to kiss her properly, but a shrill bell told us that now wasn't the time. With a look of longing, Bella pulled away completely.

"You're not making this any easier," she said just as her door opened, children pouring in.

"You, my dear," I whispered, taking magazines out and placing them on the assigned art table covered in craft paper. "Made it far from easy the minute you gave me peek of the little heart on the back of your knee." I heard Bella gasp, and I looked to see her jaw on the floor.

"You knew I did it on purpose."

I shrugged and chuckled. "I do now." She huffed and hit me with a rolled up magazine.

I laughed and continued laying out magazines and helped distribute the supplies. There were glue sticks, white glue, foamies, paper frames, stickers, and glitter of all shapes and sizes. I knew the school had cut funding toward art supplies, so all these items had been donated or paid for by Bella.

"These are all from my overflowing collection of scrapbooking supplies," Bella said, handing me a box of children safe scissors. "I had to purge and thought the kids could use them."

I smiled and told her my mother scrapbooked too. Bella made a comment that scrapbooking was more than just a hobby for her, but we had to stop talking so we could start.

Bella was an excellent teacher and explained to the children what they are supposed to be working on. "I want you to cut things out from the books in front of you," she held up a magazine, "of things you like. You can glue those pictures to your plate, and then use all these things to decorate around your cut out pictures."

The kids spoke appreciatively as they looked at all the shiny and colorful items on the table. The moment Bella said to begin the murmurs ceased, tiny hands grabbed scissors and magazines. I watched Emmett pick out pictures of horses and of baseball and football players. Some of the other kids were cutting out images of dogs and other animals.

While Bella was helping a little boy with sandy blonde hair, I noticed that Rosalie had yet to do anything. She sat on the little blue chair quietly with a blank look on her face. I caught Bella's attention and cocked my head toward Rosalie. Her brow furrowed and she walked over. Bella knelt down and they spoke in whispers. I couldn't pick up on everything, but there were a few words that I heard, like "not allowed" and "in trouble."

Bella sighed and informed me that she and Rosalie were going to have a talk outside. I knew from the terrified look on Rosalie's face that something was very wrong. I nodded timidly and noticed my son stare at Bella and his friend as they left the classroom.

"Will she be okay, Dad?"

I looked at him confused, not because of his question but the fact that he looked very upset. I nodded and told him that I thought everything would be fine. I had to teach a few of the children how to use the glue sticks, since they were getting glue all over their fingers. After a while, a little brunette named Jessica spilled an entire canister of silver glitter, I sighed and ran my hands through my hair. I huffed a bit in annoyance that I actually managed to pull some strands out, courtesy of my own sticky fingers.

Bella and Rosalie returned after ten minutes, and the little girl much more relaxed. Rosalie took a seat beside Emmett who proudly showed him his art project. She giggled as she pointed to a picture of her on his plate. She kissed his cheek sweetly, and Emmett's face flamed a brilliant red.

I tried to contain my laughter, but failed miserably. I ruffled Emmett's hair and gave Rosalie a few magazines, while my son offered to help her.

Bella and I struggled to get the children cleaned up before the final bell rung. Around two-twenty-five Emmett, Rosalie, Bella and I were the last ones left in the classroom. Emmett and Rosalie were assigned to toy pick up duty, while I helped Bella tidy up after the tornado the kids caused with the art supplies.

Bella smiled at me, trying to hide her laughter. I grinned at her and made sure Rosalie and Emmett were busy, before pulling her closer.

"What's so funny?" I asked. Bella laughed and shook her head, not ready to tell her secrets. "Do I have something in my teeth?" I gave her an over-exaggerated grin, and she laughed harder.

"You're sparkling!" she said in between giggles. She pointed at my hair and ran her fingers through it. I groaned softly, my eyes rolling closed as her nails scraped along my scalp. Just this simple touch and I was ready to take her.

"I do not sparkle," I said in a deep voice, thumping my chest with my fist. "I glitter."

Bella laughed as she ruffled my hair again, trying to get the glitter off. Little prisms of light caught on the flecks of glitter as they fell on the apples of her cheeks.

I smiled, wishing I could kiss and brush them away. "You're glowing," I teased as I made to cup her face. Then Emmett cleared his throat. Bella took a few steps back, giving me a half-smile. I looked over to my son who had a big grin on his face, and I swear he wiggled his eyebrows.

Oh God, my dad is the worst influence.

We continued cleaning up, and the kids occupied themselves in the corner filled with a pretend kitchen. I made sure to keep my voice down, not wanting little ears to listen to my conversation with Bella. "Is everything okay with Rosalie, Bella?"

Bella sighed, handing me the trash can. I dumped all the clipping left from the project into it. "I'm not sure, Edward," she whispered. "I really shouldn't be talking to another parent about Rosalie. But I need to know something."

"I wouldn't tell a soul, Bella," I assured her.

"I know you won't, but this might be something you may not like to know." I nodded, waiting for her to elaborate. "I have suspicions, a gut feeling. I need you to ask Emmett about Rosalie. Get him talking without forcing him to give you the information I'm requesting."

"You think someone at home is hurting her?" I stated this as a question. My gaze fell on the little girl, noticing for the first time that every time I had seen her, she had long sleeves and pants. Not a hair was out of place on her little head, and she was always so careful about not getting any dirt on her.

I turned to Bella, her lip in between her teeth, biting it nervously as if she was worried. "That's why she was scrubbing her hands so hard earlier."

Bella nodded, refusing to speak any longer. "I'll do what I can." Bella shook her head, smiled at me, and mouthed a "thank you" before we returned to cleaning up.

As Emmett and I got ready to leave, he tugged on my pant leg and looked up at me. "I'm hungry," he said with a grin.

"You're always hungry."

"I want pizza," he grumbled, pursing his lips.

"Pizza it is then, buddy," I quipped and asked him to grab his bag. I turned to Bella and found her whispering to Rosalie. I sighed and silently prayed that the conversation with my son wouldn't confirm Bella's suspicions.

"Miss Swan," a deep voice said from the classroom door. I immediately stiffened, recognizing the voice, James Smith.

Please, don't tell me that asshole is Rosalie's father.

James Smith was the bane of my existence my entire school life. I wasn't exactly thin and athletic in junior high, and he and his friends made my life a living hell. Then one summer everything changed. I shot up almost a foot, lost weight and my braces. I began lifting weight, and soon gained the attention of plenty of girls in high school. That had made me James's number one rival in everything.

I was pretty damn sure he used to beat his girlfriend Victoria. I hadn't been able to prove it, but I put the idea in her father's head. The next thing I knew, she went to live with her grandmother across the country. James had been nothing short of cruel after that.

He had done everything he could to destroy my life, but luckily he hadn't even come close.

"Rose," he barked, grabbing her stuff from her cubby.

Rosalie's previously relaxed state disappeared the moment he walked into the room.

"Mr. Smith," Bella said calmly. "Hello."

He merely grunted and thrust Rosalie's belongings into his daughter's awaiting hands. "Let's go."

"Yes, Father," Rosalie said with her eyes on the floor. James stepped away from her quickly and strode toward the door, his daughter exactly two steps behind him.

"I'll see you tomorrow, Rosalie," Bella said with a gentle smile.

"Bye, Rosie," Emmett said. His tone was quiet and reserved, and my heart sank as I saw that he looked scared.

"Her name is Rosalie," James spat and slammed the door closed.

I cursed under my breath, running my hands through my hair. This was getting complicated. I felt Bella's hand on my shoulder. "You should get going," she said, motioning with her head toward Emmett. His bottom lip trembled, but once I called him, he composed himself quickly and went to his desk to get something.

"He's not going to be forthcoming," Bella said quietly. "He's fiercely loyal to her. For him to divulge a secret would be like…" she trailed off, unable to say more. She didn't need to, but we had to try something.

We had to.


A few days had passed and Emmett had remained loyal to whatever secrets Rosalie had bestowed on him. If she had said anything, it was taking a toll on him. Lately, he seemed much more willing to follow rules and do his chores. It was almost as if he was afraid of the consequences of not doing so.

I had been working the morning rotation and hadn't been able to see Bella for almost a five days, but we kept in constant contact through phone calls and texts. The texts were getting more and more flirtatious by the day. The weekend passed with dinner with my parents and a movie for Emmett and me while I hadn't been asleep or working.

I missed seeing Bella's smile, and I desperately wanted to kiss her. Well, I wanted do much more than kiss her, but I knew we were only two weeks away until Angela's return.

Fuck, I couldn't wait.

It was Monday morning, and I was finally able to see Bella. Emmett and I made our way through the school parking lot and walked toward the classroom.

"Rosalie!" Emmett said loudly, running to meet her. Rosalie's eyes widened in panic as my son practically tackled her.

I jogged toward them, and I saw James's face was flushed with anger. He roughly grabbed Emmett by the arm, and I quickly made my way to him.

Through clenched teeth, I stood behind my son, finally able to look at James in the eye. "Get your hands off my son."

He sneered and pushed Emmett against my body. I wrapped Emmett in my arms, lifting him to make sure he was fine. "You okay, buddy?" I asked in a whisper. His lip trembled, but he nodded firmly. I sighed and turned my attention back to James.

"Don't you ever touch him again," I spat, barely able to control my anger. I had to though, because we were already drawing attention to ourselves.

"Next time keep that lump of a boy away from my daughter," he hissed, his jaw tense as he took hold of Rosalie's arm.

"He missed her, and they're just kids," I said, trying to be reasonable. Kids were enthusiastic about many things, and showing it for friendship was hardly the reason to be angry.

Did he just call my son "a lump?"

I felt Bella stand beside me. "Class is about to start, Mr. Smith," she said sweetly. Her glare on the other hand was anything but. Her eyes went from his to where his grip had tightened around Rosalie's arm. He loosened his hold on her, but the fire behind his eyes was menacing.

I noticed a few other parents, another teacher and the principle watching. "Have a good day, sweetheart," James said, kneeling and kissing Rosalie on the cheek.

"Thank you, father," she said, her eyes looking though him instead of at him. I shuddered, and felt that Bella may be right about Rosalie's situation. James snarled a pitiful "good day" at both Bella and me before stalking back to his truck.

I let out a breath that I hadn't realized I was holding, and put Emmett down. I made sure he was all right, and then looked for Bella. Bella and the principal were busy in a discussion as I led Emmett and Rosalie into the classroom. I waited for Bella to see if she needed help today since I wasn't working until this evening.

She returned shortly before the bell rang, looking worried. She quickly masked the frightened look once she greeted her classroom and asked them to grab their flash cards.

Bella had the class start to practice with their study buddy before she pulled me away from the children. "Word for word, tell me what happened outside." After giving the play by play, she had me read a book to the class while she was pulled out of the classroom by the principle and a representative from Child Protective Services. I assisted a teacher's aide until Bella returned.

After a full morning of kids and about a thousand questions, I learned that I really respected Bella and any teacher. The time and dedication needed to teach children that wanted to do nothing but play and talk was not easy.

When Bella returned, the teacher's aide returned to another classroom while I stayed behind to help.

Bella and I shared more of those sly glances and tentative touches throughout the day. It was pure torture, but I loved it. I also found out that Angela was cutting her stay with her father short since her brother was taking over to care for him.

"When?" I asked, smiling but averting my eyes from hers. She knew what I wanted, what we both wanted.

"She'll be here by Friday," she said softly. She looked at the clock on the wall. "You're going to be late for your lunch with your mother."

I looked at her confused. "You've talked to my mother."

Bella smiled wickedly. "Of course. I needed to know what you're favorite meal is."


"Would you like to have dinner Friday night?"

I matched her smile and added a little wink. "Your place or mine?"

She giggled and handed me some worksheets for the kids to hand out.

Friday couldn't be here fast enough.


By Wednesday, I had finally given into seeking release, using fantasies of Bella. I needed to have her soon or I'd might combust into a ball of glitter.

I hadn't seen her for a couple of days due to my schedule, but I did learn from my mother that CPS didn't find anything they could pin on James. I had seen that Emmett had been acting up, getting aggravated more often. I was left wondering if maybe he was just frustrated with the whole situation. It was blatantly obvious that he cared very much for Rosalie.

Sometimes I hated how the system worked. Why did something bad have to happen before action could be taken?

I wasn't going to be able to see Bella again that day but I had sent Emmett with a small potted ivy plant shaped like a heart. It was cheesy, but I thought Bella would get a kick out of it.

I stepped into the ER prepared for another day of simple inflictions and ailments. The middle of the week in the morning was usually the slowest. I walked in to check the boards to see what we had. There was an elderly woman in room six with a possible broken arm. I picked up her chart after giving Rebecca a smirk. She was our own Nurse Ratchet; she was a mean ass bitch, but she kept everyone in line. She returned my smirk with a glare and a scowl that would melt the paint off the walls. I thought she secretly liked the attention, because I always got less lectures from her.

I walked into room six and instantly knew it was going to be a long day. The elderly woman sitting on the exam table was Rosalie's grandmother. I had seen her pick up Rosalie on a few occasions, but had never met her until now.


After filing a report with the police upon completion of my examination of Rosalie's grandmother, Deidra, I knew I had to see Bella.

I had no idea what the consequences would be once James was questioned about his mother's broken arm and bruises that she had hidden underneath her clothing. From what the social worker had gathered, she was taking the brunt of James's abuse. What would happen to Rosalie now?

I knew Emmett was already out of school, but after informing my mom that I had to take care of something, I went to meet Bella just outside of school grounds.

"Edward," she said, concerned as I approached her. It was late in the evening, and I knew something must've happened with her eyes darkening with anger. "What did you do?"

I shook my head, because I really couldn't tell her anything specific about my patient. "Rosalie's grandmother was in my ER today."

Comprehension donned on her face, teeth biting her soft bottom lip. Tears prickled at the corners of her eyes. I shook my head and took her sweet face in my hands. "No," I said calmly.

"They wouldn't tell me why James pulled Rosalie from class."

"Wait, what?" That made no sense, how and when would James have been able to pick up Rosalie?

"She was pulled from class. It must've been because of Deidra."

"Deidra will be fine," I said slowly, refusing to elaborate further.

"But if she's not…" Bella whispered. "Oh God." She pulled her keys from her purse and pulled her door open quickly.

"Where are you going?" I asked in a rush. I stopped her from closing the door behind her.

"I just need to check," she said as tears fell from her eyes. Her warmth, the way she cared and her ferocity were evident in her beautiful eyes. It made me fall for her more.

"Scoot," I said, gently tapping her shoulder. "I'll drive." Bella hopped over her center console and started giving me directions.

During the drive over, Bella explained why she was worried. James had picked up Rosalie shortly after Deidra visited my ER. Bella was afraid that James had taken Rosalie and ran.

Ten minutes later, we were pulling onto Rosalie's street when we saw the flashing lights. Bella gasped, not waiting until I came to a full stop to exit the car. Two police cars and an ambulance stood in front of that sweet little girl's house.

Oh God. We're too late.


Somehow, James was informed that his mother had decided to seek medical advice. This was something that he hadn't wanted her to do, since he had known that if it looked like abuse the doctor had to report it.

He held Rosalie hostage in their home for twelve hours. He was crazed and was threatening to hurt her and himself. Miraculously, Victoria White, his ex-girlfriend, was the negotiator for the area and had been able to talk him into releasing Rosalie. Once Rosalie had been cleared from the building, she ran into Bella's awaiting arms. They cried, and held so tight that it was as if they didn't want to let go. They were both taken to the hospital after Rosalie refused to leave Bella.

I watched with rapt attention as a team of armed men entered the house; two shots were fired from within. I clenched my fists, angry that his punishment would end so fucking swiftly.

I've always been taught to value all life, but I really believed James was an exception to that philosophy.

Later, Bella called me, her broken voice cutting through me. She needed me at the hospital. I had arrived and found her in the waiting room with Rosalie's grandmother.

Bella's arm was wrapped around the frail looking woman, whispering to her. "I'd tried my best to keep him away from her. Thank God," she sobbed.

Bella looked up at me, mouthing a thank you. "Doctors said that he hadn't hit her. She has some bruising from holding her," she explained to me.

"Did he before?" I asked.

Bella nodded. "X-rays showed old injuries. Injuries that were left untreated, but fortunately there's no sign of sexual abuse."

I shuddered at the thought. Fucking asshole.

"Dr. Cullen," Deidra said, looking up at me. "I'm sorry that I gave you a hard time. I was just too scared. He's my only boy."

"I know," I said.

"He's dead, isn't he?" she asked. I nodded. "I knew it. Even though he was terrible to us, I'd known the moment he was gone."

"I'm going to check on Rosalie," I said softly. I wasn't about to say that I was sorry, because I wasn't.

Shortly after ten in the evening, a friend of Deidra's came to pick them up. She was willing to open her home to them. "Mr. Cullen," Rosalie said. I knelt down to talk to her. "Tell Emmett that I'll come see him when I can." I looked at her confused and then up at Deidra.

"My friend, Megan, lives about an hour away," she said, saddened by the look on Rosalie's face.

My son was losing his only friend.

"I'll tell him that, Rosalie."

"Can you give this to him?" she asked, taking my hand and placing a small bracelet in my hand.

"What's this?"

"It's mine, but I want him to have something to remember me."

I nodded and put it in my pocket. Tears swam in my eyes, wishing that this world wasn't so damn unfair. "Here," I said. I pulled the thin silver chain I wore around my neck. The pendant was a tiny circle with Emmett's name engraved on the front, swinging around I could see his birth date.

I placed it into Rosalie's open palm and wrapped her tiny fingers over the necklace. "He'd want you to have this. We'll see you soon."

"You, Emmett and Ms. Swan?" she asked. I smiled and nodded, she kissed me on my cheek. After Rosalie said goodbye to Bella, I watched her and Deidra leave. Bella wrapped her arms around my waist from behind. She laid her head on my back, her breathing ragged and tears continued to flow.

"I called in for a sub for the rest of the week," she whispered. "But I'll go in for a while tomorrow to talk to the kids."

I nodded, and held onto her hands. I pulled her to face me and pressed my forehead against hers. "Emmett's with my parents tonight, but I can't be alone right now."

Bella nodded and held out her hand.

We spent the night in my bed just holding each other close. Neither of us sought anything more than comfort. The day could've ended so much worse. We could've lost that poor sweet girl. When Bella and I moved our relationship further, we needed our minds free from such thoughts as today.

When, not if, that day came, it had to be about us. I also wanted her to believe me when I told her that I loved her.


The next morning, Bella offered to help tell Emmett that Rosalie had to move away, but this was something I had to do alone.

I rubbed my face in exhaustion as I parked in my parent's driveway. I had called the previous night, because my parents both had been worried. My father answered the front door, and I couldn't help but to wrap my arms around him.

"Well hello," Carlisle said softly.

"Just in case I don't say it enough, you're a fucking great dad."

He chuckled and ruffled my hair, a gesture he used to do when I was a kid. He'd always known just what I needed when I needed it.

"Does that mean I get a mug , too?"

I laughed and shook my head. "We'll see. My birthday is coming up and there's a lot more competition this year."

He laughed. "Come on, it's only been your mom and me," he teased, a knowing look in his eyes. He was trying to get me to spill my secrets.

"Emmett's saving his allowance money for my gift and now there's Bella."

My dad smiled warmly. "Good for you, son."

I sighed and looked at him. "Is he awake yet?"

"Your mother and Emmett are in the kitchen," he said softly.

"I wish things were different."

"I know, son," he said clasping my shoulder. He led me toward the kitchen as I tried to compose myself. I sat beside my son and pulled him onto my lap. "Hey, champ." I kissed his soft curls and helped myself to a bit of his bacon.

"Good morning, pop," he said brightly.

"It is now," I whispered.

My mother's gaze held mine, saddened by the events of the previous evening. She'd been from a broken and abuse ridden home, so I knew this was hitting her just as hard as had hit me.

"Emmett," I said. "There is something I have to tell you."


I didn't send Emmett to school that morning, opting to spend the day together instead. Around noon, Bella had texted me to invite me to lunch. Once I told her that I had Emmett with me, I had thought she'd want to meet some other time. Instead, she said she knew Emmett hadn't attended school and wanted to meet us for lunch.

I fell a little more for her right then.

After lunch, we spent the day at the local zoo, enjoying the warmth of the sun. Emmett had taken the news of Rosalie's departure well, so far. He said that it was for the best, and that as long as she was safe, it was okay. While Emmett teased the mountain lions in the exhibit, Bella explained what happened at school and a call she'd received.

"Deidra called and said Rosalie's mother came looking for her; that she had seen the newscast and recognized James. She's afraid that she'll take Rosalie away, because according to James, she was a crack whore."

I shook my head. "She can't still believe everything he told her."

"No, I don't think she does anymore. James took Rosalie from her mother, when she threatened to leave him after he had hit her. She'd been looking for them for years, but his name is very common."

I nodded. "Still, Deidra should be cautious."

"She will be. She said they're going into counseling."

"Good. I think that's what they need. We have no idea the amount of the damage he had inflicted on them. Bruises are not always skin deep."

"No, they're not," Bella whispered. "How's Emmett doing?" She motioned toward him, as he crouched low to the ground and growled, teasing as if he was the predator. Bella's sweet laughter fell from her lips, and I couldn't help but to join her.

"As you can see, he seems fine."

"For now," she said.

"I know," I said, taking Bella's hand in mine. I'll be there for him."

"I can, too," Bella said softly, looking at me timidly. "If you want –" I placed a chaste kiss over her sweet lips.

"I want," I said simply.

The following few days were a blur. Between dodging reporters, the funeral and work it was a tough week. Emmett had woken up from nightmares every day since Rosalie's departure. The day of the funeral both Deidra and Rosalie attended, but I hadn't taken Emmett with me.

Shortly after the services, Deidra introduced me to Rosalie's birth mother, Tanya. She thanked me profusely for speaking up for Deidra and her daughter. She introduced me to her husband, Mitch, a police detective.

Tanya and Mitch expressed that they'd be moving to the area, and that after they were settled, Rosalie would be back to school with Emmett. They were also willing to take Deidra in, and I couldn't ask for a better ending for that little girl.

They promised a few play dates and phone calls since Rosalie was insisting that she and Emmett never lose touch since she was going to marry him.

I smiled at her. "Still have the necklace?" I asked Rosalie. She touched a spot on her chest, indicating where it laid, over her heart.

"Emmett wears you're bracelet every day," I said.

Rosalie giggled and smiled. "Good thing it doesn't have any pink in it."

I laughed. "Very good thing."

After exchanging numbers with her parents and Deidra, Bella and I went to school to pick up Emmett. We all then went to my parent's house for dinner. I hoped that this occasion was the first of many.

Taking Bella's hand in mine as we walked up the stairs to my parent's home, I brought it to my lips and kissed it.

"What are you thinking, beautiful?"

"Just how much I love being with you and Emmett," she said softly, shyly.

I smiled. "We love it, too," Emmett said, beating me to the punch.

"What he said," I teased before I pulled Bella for a hug. "I just hope you're willing to stick around."

Bella smiled up at me, looking thoroughly confused. I kissed her lips softly and kept it chaste since Emmett was with us. "My dad might scare you away."

"Really? Is he some kind of creature of the night," she said with a snort. Emmett laughed aloud.

"Grandpa is a werewolf, no wait. He's a vampire," Emmett said in a deep tone, drawing up his claws and laughing wickedly.

"Em was a vampire last year for Halloween," I said as Bella laughed. "So was my dad."

"Okay," Bella said, taking Emmett's hand. "So what makes your grandpa so dangerous?" Emmett looked at her and wiggled his eyebrows.

"He's a flirt," I blurted out. "Big time."

"Yup," Emmett said. "Thank goodness Rosalie isn't here. She's with me." Bella giggled and had Emmett in sweet hysterics as she threatened to attack him with her tickle fingers. I called out to my parents as I led the giggling pair into my parents' home.

"Wow," Bella gasped. "This house is beautiful."

I smiled. "Make sure to tell that to my mom." Emmett took off toward the kitchen, probably hoping to find some before dinner cookies.

"Now who's this beautiful woman standing by my son," my Dad said from the kitchen. "Honey, are we having some kind of photo shoot tonight?"

My mother was a photographer for some the most famous stars of our time. I knew Bella understood what my father was saying, considering how bright her cheeks were.

I groaned and shook my head. "Bella this is my father, Carlisle," I said glaring at him. "Dad this is Bella."

"My pleasure," he said with a smirk, taking Bella's hand to his lips.

"Nice to meet you, Carlisle," Bella said. "Edward and Emmett have told me all about you." This comment earned an arched eyebrow from my father.

"Lies," he teased. "Everything they said was lies."

I heard my mother laughing from the kitchen. "Bella heard about you from me, too."

"Well then, whatever my beautiful wife said, you have to take to heart. She's, of course, very honest."

"Let's just say," Bella said in a sultry voice that had me hard in seconds. Fuck. "I'm hoping Edward takes after his father."

My mother came in from the kitchen laughing, my son in tow. My father joined my mother. "Oh son, I like this one."

I smiled at my parents and pulled Bella closer to me. "So do I."

Soon after the first dinner with my parents, Bella had joined Emmett and me for dinner whenever I didn't work in the evenings. There were many times after putting Emmett to bed that Bella stayed long enough to give her a proper goodnight kiss. There were moments where we'd lose ourselves in that kiss, touching and wanting more. However, we never progressed farther than heavy groping – still nice though.

For one, Emmett was in the house. Though he seemed to have no problem with having Bella around, it didn't mean he was ready to find her there first thing in the morning. Second, Bella and I decided to be tested. When we do decide to take that step, we'd be free to do so without cumbersome condoms.

Bella had been subbing for the past few weeks following the incident with James and Rosalie. She had been worried that she wouldn't find a full-time teaching position. If she hadn't before the end of the school year, she'd have to move away.

This was something I really hoped it wouldn't come to.


Bella was coming for dinner and my parents were keeping Emmett for the weekend. This was the night, the night I told her how I felt. Somewhere between seeing that little tattoo behind her knee and the first kiss, I tripped. After seeing how caring she could be, I had fallen crazy in love with her.

Falling had never been so sweet.

Tonight I'd tell her I loved her. My phone buzzed as I lit up some candles. It was my turn to cook, and I wanted to make sure everything was perfect.

I'm bringing champagne. It's time to celebrate. – B

Why? – E

I just got a job teaching. – B

I'm happy for you. I can't wait to see you. – E

Hmm, I hope you like my new dress. Xx – B

I'm sure I will. Once it's on my floor. ;) – E

Tease. – B

Not teasing. House to ourselves. – E

Be there in ten. – B

I laughed and went to stir the sauce for the fettuccine. Bella was at my door in nine minutes; she had excellent timing. I answered the door and all the air left my lungs in a whoosh.

"Fuck," I hissed. My eyes roamed from the tendrils of hair that framed her face to the heels on her feet. Her body was snug and delicious in a dark plum dress that displayed all of her curves. My fingers itched to touch and devour all of her.

Her smirk alerted me to just how long I was ogling. "Hello," I said.

"Hello." She waved a bottle and raised an eyebrow. I shook my head, realizing that I hadn't invited her in yet. I moved to allow her inside, and her body had pressed against mine for a moment – fucking tease. I groaned, as I smelled her hair, vanilla and raspberries. Good God, there was no way I'd make it to dinner without having my dessert first.

If Bella's plan was to seduce me with that dress, she was fucking right. Her back was exposed and all that skin was framed by her dress. Her long legs were gorgeous in the dim candlelight.

"Mmm," Bella hummed. "Something smells good." I heard her walk toward the kitchen while I was left at the front door stunned.

Fuck yes, you do, I thought to myself.

Dinner was nothing more than foreplay. Watching her eat was sexy as hell. The sweep of her tongue over her wine-reddened lips to the way she laughed. Then in the middle of dinner, her foot ran up my leg. She teased me relentlessly, but I wasn't about to call her on her game. I wanted to savor, and I was in no rush. Keep telling yourself that, Cullen.

We cleared the table together and started on some chocolate mousse and champagne. "The teaching position, is it nearby?" I asked, teasing her by refusing to give her another spoonful of mousse. She giggled and grabbed my thigh to lift herself up enough to grab it. I smirked, looking at her hand. She shrugged her shoulders and moved it higher.

"Yes, thankfully. I was worried that I might've had to move," she said softly, dropping her gaze from mine. "I didn't want that." I put aside our dessert and took her hands.

"I wouldn't want that either," I said. I pulled up her chin and laid a soft kiss on her lips, lingering to deepen it. Our breaths soon became labored as hands roamed and teeth nipped. "If you don't like where this is going, we should stop now."

"I like," she whispered against my lips, her hands tugged on my hair. I moaned and lifted her off her feet, pulling her legs around me.

I wanted to take things slow to savor all she had to offer, but from the way she nipped on my neck, pacing myself might've been out of the picture. I kicked my bedroom door open and placed her on her feet. I pulled away from her long enough to remove my shoes and socks.

"Hmm, now that I've seen how beautiful this dress is on you, I think it's time to see it off of you." I turned Bella around, her back to my chest. There were no buttons or zippers so I surmised that it was one of those peel off dresses. My hands ran down the middle of her back, touching and discovering.

My fingertips slipped under the sides of her dress and continued upward until I slipped them forward. Bella moaned as my hands cups her naked breasts, arching her body to get closer to my touch, as I slowly removed each strap of her dress. I hummed and lavished her shoulder with my tongue and lips, her skin warming further. Her nipples hardened under my palms, and my fingertips teased them further.

"Do you have any idea how long I've waited to see your skin flush under my fingers?" I asked, teasing her flesh as her pulse thrummed under my lips.

Bella moaned and pushed her backside against me. "About as long as I've thought about your hands on me."

I groaned and turned her face enough to capture her lips. Her tongue ran over my teeth and tongue, exploring. I ground my hips against her backside, positive that she could feel the effect she had on me. My thoughts whirled and blurred together, lost in a haze. I continued removing Bella's dress slowly as I wrapped my arm around her waist. The dress pooled at her feet and a sweet gasp left her lips. My hands held her in place, pulling away so I could see her fully.

My fantasies could not compare to the real thing. Fuck, she had a sublime bottom. With a light touch, I explored everything within reach. Her back, her hips, ass and the little heart tattoo behind her knee all got equal attention as I dropped to my knees.

"Tell me," I said lowly, pressing a kiss on the tattoo. "Why is this here?"

"Erogenous zone," she gasped, my tongue swirling around the red heart. "Oh God." Her gasps were rough as her thighs rubbed together in search of relief. My hands roamed over her feet, her calves, thighs and backside.

"Turn around," I groaned. Jesus. The view from where I knelt was fucking glorious. I looked up and met Bella's eyes, a blush colored her cheeks. "You're beautiful."

She bit her lip blushing further. "You make me feel that way, because of how you look at me." I smiled crookedly at her and ran my hands over her legs slowly. With my eyes still on hers, I leaned forward to kiss along the trimmed triangle of dark curls. She smelled incredible, sweet mixed with the musky scent of her arousal. I groaned and wanted to taste her then and there, but Bella seemed to have other plans.

"Damn it, Edward," she said, her tone filled with frustration. "You have too much clothes on."

I laughed and nodded in agreement. "What are you going to do about it?" I teased. Her answer – she fucking tackled me!

She giggled as she straddled my thighs. "This doesn't seem right, Bella." I bucked my hips, her fingers making quick work of my shirt. "How are you supposed to get my pants off when you're sitting on me?" My hands sought to move her over my erection but she kept chastising me.

"Good things come to those who wait," she said sweetly as her tongue swept along my Adam's apple.

"I don't think I can wait anymore," I whined. My arms wrapped around her quickly, and I rolled us over. "Now, where was I?" I grinned as she looked at me in horror.

"I think you were a little lower," she said huskily.

I cocked an eyebrow to which she grinned. "How low?" I whispered, kissing along her jawline. "Here?" She shook her head. "Here?" I kissed and teased a nipple. She moaned but shook her head again. I hummed as I took a gentle bite of her breast. She arched her body as if she was almost there.

"Edward," she gasped. "Please." I looked at her and grinned.

"That's all I needed to hear," I said with a wicked smile. I pulled us to our feet and swept her up into my arms. I threw her on the bed and pounced.

Her laughter was infectious, and the movement was doing incredible things with her body. I was momentarily distracted by her breasts and began to lavish them with attention.

"Oh sweet, Jesus," she said. "I think you have ADD." I grinned and shook my head.

"No. I have BBDD. Bella's Breast Distraction Disorder." She giggled, but that was soon put to a stop when she grabbed my cock.


"Did that distract you from my breasts?"

"Yes," I groaned, bucking against her hand. I sat up on my knees and fumbled with my pants.

"Honey, you need to stand up to remove them," she said sweetly. I nodded and said she was right. I stood up and quickly removed the rest of my clothing. I tried not to be self-conscious as she stared at me since it had been a while for me.

Once I had removed everything, I looked up and gazed at Bella. She looked so fucking good spread out on my bed. She smiled and crooked her finger at me. I looked down in awe of her breasts; and here I thought I was an ass man.

"Edward," she whispered in my ear. "Look at me." I did and I saw something that I hadn't seen before. "I just want you know that I really hope this doesn't change anything. That we'll still be us."

I smiled at her, kissing her thoroughly. "Everything will change. Everything did change the day I met you, Bella." She looked nervous. "I want you for as long as you'll have me."

Her arms wrapped my neck, her lips seeking mine for a moment. "I'll always want you."

Then I understood what I was seeing in her eyes. The same look that must be reflected in my own – Love.

I pressed my body closer to hers, so close that I was able to feel her heart beating. I caressed one of her cheeks, watching her eyes close for a moment. Once they fluttered open, I kissed her again.

"I love you, Bella."

Fuck. I'd never said it to anyone besides family before.

Her bottom lip trembled as tears started to form. I love you, Edward."

"You do?" I asked. She nodded and her smile widened. "That's fucking awesome."

She giggled, but it turned serious quickly. "Show me."

I knew exactly what she was asking for. I pressed my lips against hers, the emotions running through us made this kiss perfect. As her hands found purchase in my hair, mine roamed over her hips. I swept them under her backside and slipped inside her slowly.

We groaned in unison, deepening the angle as her thighs widened further. Lips, hands and teeth continued to seek out flesh. She felt so fucking good, with her tight, wet heat wrapped around me. I moaned as her legs wrapped around my calves.

"Edward," she gasped, arching her back. With her neck exposed, my tongue moved languidly over her pulse.

"You feel so good," I whispered. "I've dreamt of this."

"Do… I live up to your dream?" she gasped in between thrusts.

"You're so much," I said, lifting up onto my elbows. I thrust harder, deeper. "Fucking better."

She moaned, her body tensing as her skin warmed under my lips. She was close. With that knowledge, I pushed inside her harder, this time earning a whispered "Edward."

"Fuck," I groaned, my head falling back as I sought to bring her over the edge. I kissed her harshly, all teeth and tongue. She moaned into my mouth, her nails stinging as they dug into my skin. She trembled and completely fell apart beneath me. "Bella," I groaned as she rode out her orgasm.

I tensed and shook as I thrust into her twice more before giving in. I groaned as I spilled inside her. I completely collapsed on top of her, barely aware that I may be too heavy.

As we tried to catch our breath, Bella's fingers played with my hair, a gesture she did often while watching TV.

"What are you thinking, Bella?" I asked as I looked up at her.

"That so much has happened in such a short time." I nodded, waiting for her to continue. "I moved here just a few weeks before I started subbing for Angela. There was that whole thing with Rosalie. Then there was you and Emmett." I was happy that when she spoke about me, she also thought of Emmett. My son and I were a package deal.

"Are you afraid?" I asked warily.

"No," she answered quickly. "I love you and Emmett, Edward. I just don't know how serious you're willing to become."

"I need to show you something," I said. I got up from the bed reluctantly; Bella's inviting body was quite a distraction.

"What is it?"

From my nightstand I pulled out a small jewelry box. Bella's eyes widened, but she didn't look scared.

"This is how serious I am. This is how much I love you." She opened the box tentatively, and gasped at the ring inside. "Why waste time?"

She smiled at me. "Edward, are you asking me to marry you while we're naked?"

At least she was giggling and not running for the hills – yet. She had no idea how insatiable I was.

Who knew that visiting Ms. Swan would lead to meeting the future Mrs. Cullen.


~Twelve Years Later

"Edward," Bella called for me from downstairs. "The limo is here!"

I smiled and laid a quick kiss on Carissa's cheek. "Bedtime for you, little one."

"Dad," she whined. "I want to see Rosalie in her prom dress."

"It's late," I said. My seven-year-old daughter greatly admired Rosalie since she was practically family.

Her big brown eyes widened and her bottom lip trembled. Damn it, the patented Bella pout always got me, and my little girl knew it.

"Stay upstairs and watch from the landing. Or else your mom will have my butt," I said seriously.

Her copper-colored curls bounced as she launched herself in my arms. "Thank you, Daddy." She smiled brightly and laid a big sloppy kiss on my lips. "Have I told you I love you lately?"

"Not since dinner," I mused as I walked us into the hallway. There we found our son David kneeling at the stairs railing, looking toward the front door. I could hear voices as the front door closed.

"David," Carissa said in a teasing tone. "Is your girlfriend here?"

My nine-year-old son turned his reddish-brown haired head and leveled a glare at Carissa. He stuck his tongue out and scowled. "She's not my girlfriend."

I kept my comments to myself. Poor David had his first crush on his big brother's girlfriend.

I shushed them both and set Carissa down beside her brother. "Be quiet you two." They smiled and nodded.

I headed downstairs slowly and a little mournful. Another milestone, another year and soon my oldest and firstborn son was moving across country to attend college.

How had he grown so fast?

Bella and I were married less than two months after I'd asked her in bed that first night we had spent together. We spent our honeymoon in Barbados, thanks to my parents while they watched Emmett.

The three of us worked hard to become a family. Emmett and I had been accustomed to living a certain way, and having Bella join our family was a tough transition.

In other words, we were pigs, and Bella refused to allow us to continue to live like that. Despite that, Emmett and I wouldn't have it any other way. Three years into our marriage, when my shifts at the hospital were more suitable to a parent, we added to our family.

"Hey, Dad," Emmett said, bringing me from my thoughts. I smiled at him and he returned it. His grin still held that child-like wonder, not to mention those damn dimples.

He had grown into a strong, smart young man that Bella and I were very proud to call our son. I wrapped an arm around Bella's waist as her digital camera clicked away. I knew that I would have to rein her in.

"You look beautiful, Rosalie," I said. She blushed and thanked me. Rosalie's family returned to the area shortly after Bella and I married. She had been our flower girl, and was radiant in a powder blue dress.

Today she stood before Bella and me as my son's girlfriend for as long as I'd been involved with Bella. Rosalie was going to be the class valedictorian and was interested in pursuing a career in law. She had helped Emmett in his weakest area in his studies while he had helped her with her math.

Emmett had such a way with numbers that he earned himself a scholarship to MIT.

"I knew that was the perfect dress for you, Rose," Bella said brightly, the camera in her hand clicked again.

"Yes it was. Thank you so much for taking me and my mom shopping." I loved that Bella and Rosalie had such a healthy relationship.

"No problem. I got a few nice things that day, too." Bella smiled and gave me a wink. I knew exactly what she was talking about, because I had torn it off of her just days before.

"Oh God," Emmett groaned. "That's disgusting."

Bella laughed and took Emmett's face in her hands. His eyes opened and the mild revulsion was replaced with adoration and love. "Thanks for bringing her back before you went to the prom."

"Only for you, Mom," Emmett said softly. Bella kissed both his cheeks and fussed with his tie. Tears started to form in her eyes, and I was about to step in but Emmett beat me.

He wrapped his arms around her and lifted her up. "Love you, Mom."

"Love you, too."

Soon the young couple left for the prom and Bella melted into my arms. "So fast," she murmured against my chest.

I wrapped my arms around her tightly. "I know." I lifted her chin and kissed her softly.

"Ew," David said from upstairs. "Gross." Carissa giggled and repeated what her brother said.

"You're supposed to be in bed," Bella said loudly. We heard retreating footsteps and more laughter before the house was silent again. "Now I wonder who let them stay up?"

I grinned. "I have no idea Ms. Swan." I swatted her behind and ran upstairs.

"Oh, you're going to get it now," she said, running right behind me.

I was going to get it, and I was looking forward to it.

AN: Thanks to Stratan for beta'ing at a moment's notice. Thanks to quietruby again, for your help, your words and your big mouth. I love it. Thanks to dawn for prereading. This story grew as I started writing it. I know a few teachers who have been in situations like this one, where they know something is going on, but gut feelings are ignored. Sometimes all it takes is someone willing to listen. This happens much more than it should, child abuse both physical and emotional is a difficult subject and I'm sorry if I offended anyone. But this had to be told, I've seen first hand what child abuse can do to a child. There are many charities that help those that are victims that can be found online and locally. Thank you for reading.