I'm so sorry for the EPIC FAIL everyone! I hope you don't flay me alive…

XOXOXOXO

Chapter 16: Um… Yeah, About That…

XOXOXOXO

After I'd invited Alice in, the rest of the night flew by. The three of us sat around my living room and talked about what had happened with Tanya at the hospital earlier. Then, since making-out seriously makes your insides and brainwaves go fuzzy, it was time for Edward to get back to his dorm so that he could work on some homework and get to sleep for an early class the next morning. Yeah, my sense of time was way off.

Four hours only seemed like ten minutes. Well, time flies when you're having fun, right?

Edward left with a peck to my cheek and a verification of meeting up the next day. Eventually, after facing the Spanish Inquisition from Alice, she went home too.

My constant refrain was, "Alice, I don't know."

I hated not knowing.

I had told her about the conversation Edward and I had at the hospital earlier in Carlisle's office. She gave me that hopeful, but worried, expression that usually meant; "I'm happy things are working out for you, but I know that something's going to happen".

It didn't make my dreams that night bright and sunshiny, that's for damn sure.

I dreamt, yet again, that I was being chased through a maze. Only this time, Edward was there in my mind, giving me false directions. Every time I turned the way he said to go, it lead to a dead end. I'd have to twirl around, my heart racing inside my chest and try to start back from the beginning.

I'd never been happier to wake up before in my life.

I was fidgety all day. It was like I was cranked up on a sugar high and everything was just screaming at me to give them my entire attention span.

Focus on me!

No, here, you need to pay attention to me!

But it'll be better if I'm the thing you're looking at!

I needed air. The walls were closing in on me and I needed to get out of my apartment.

Grabbing a clean shirt, a pair of shorts and my mp3 player, I headed to the apartment complex's gym. Burning some excess energy could make my head less Ohh, squirrel! worthy.

The thing I loved most about this gym was the fact that not a lot of people used it during the week as everyone was at their 9 to 5 job or at school. Working out in front of others made me extremely self conscious. I was relieved to see that no one was in the gym when I walked in.

Closing the door and setting my things down, I jammed the ear-buds of my music player in my ears and set one of the stationary bikes on a program that didn't scream Faster, you lazy, over-weight couch potato! and got to work.

Every rotation of my feet was propelling me farther and farther into the maze in my head, the music in my ears doing nothing to drown out the pounding of my heart inside my chest. My breathing was coming in as sharp gasps and leaving me in breathless pants. Sweat started beading on my forehead.

I needed to get away; far, far away.

The machine beeped, the force going slack as the momentum in my legs kept the pedals turning over and over.

I couldn't stop, I had to keep moving.

The next step, I had to take the next step.

Faster.

Harder.

I reset the machine to the next level.

I was on fire. My lungs burned, my mind was blank, my eyes clenched tightly shut so that I didn't get sweat in them, my legs screaming at me to just stop and let them rest for one fucking minute.

But I didn't have a minute.

I didn't even have a second.

Because I felt like there was someone watching me, chasing me, trying to get me.

And I couldn't let that happen.

I willed myself to go faster, to get farther away from whoever was after me.

My heart beat was the only sound in my ears. The full battery of my music player had died and I was only left with my pulse pounding in my ears and my breaths entering and exiting my mouth. How long have I been here already?

A tingling sensation rippled down my back, and shivering, I opened my eyes just as the door to the gym slammed shut.

Startled, I nearly jumped out of the seat of the bike. I knew, I just knew, that I'd closed it when I had walked in.

Had I been so 'in the zone' that I didn't notice someone else walk in, exercise along with me and leave?

Yeah, that must've been it.

My whole body was tingling; the blood rushing through my veins so fast my head was spinning. I pulled the buds out of my ears and the room was eerily quiet, a high pitched note resonating in my ears as my hearing readjusted itself. My breathing was starting to slow down, and I desperately wished that I'd brought along a water bottle.

Shakily I got up out of the seat and suddenly fell to my knees on the carpet.

I blinked slowly, not comprehending why I was on the floor at first.

I didn't even stretch.

Aces, Bella.

I shook my head at my own stupidity. By not stretching, I could've done some serious damage to my ankle, or worse, to any of my other important muscles.

Because another injury is just what my dad's insurance needed.

My breathing was starting to return to normal, so I figured it was probably safe for me to try and get to my feet again.

I'd just have to walk back to my apartment really slow.

Gingerly, I got back to my feet. Though my muscles felt like jelly, they could still support my weight. Slowly, I made my way from the gym back to my place, shuffling one foot in front of the other.

The stairs were almost as fun as having both of my legs amputated without having any sort of anesthetic.

Oh joy.

I had splinters in my hands from gripping the railing, and once inside I did a weird run/shuffle/limp to the fridge for a bottle of water. I gulped it down so fast; I had a difficult time trying to keep myself from throwing up.

Next time you go on an exercising binge, make sure you prepare yourself first, dimwit.

Slouching against the kitchen counter, I lazily took a glance at the microwave clock.

Quarter after three.

SHIT! I couldn't have been in the gym that long! Edward's going to be here in half an hour and I still have to shower! Fuckity fuck, fuck, fuck!

Ignoring the pain in my thighs, I sprinted into my bathroom and flung myself into the shower.

Okay, so I didn't really fling myself into the shower, but I did step into the tub carefully and scrubbed like there was no tomorrow.

I was out of the shower, brushing my teeth with a towel wrapped around my body when Edward knocked on the door. I rushed out of the bathroom, opened the door for him and promptly scurried back into the bathroom to spit.

"I'm so sorry, Edward! I lost track of time and, well, you can see I'm trying to hurry," I yelled towards my bedroom, hoping he'd hear me.

I quickly wiped my mouth and barreled through my room to pick out an outfit.

"Its okay, Bella, I'm early anyways," Edward said from my doorway. I spun around with a gasp and held back a chuckle as I took in his posture. He stood leaning casually against the doorframe with one arm across his chest while the other was held in front of his eyes. I decided that he needed a reward for being a gentleman, so after I quickly dressed in a loose pair of jeans and a three-quarter sleeved navy blue baseball tee, I leaned on my tip-toes and kissed him lightly.

I felt him smirk against my lips as I whispered, "You can open your eyes now."

God, I loved his eyes. They were always the most perfect color of evergreen trees; they reminded me of Christmas.

"Hi," he whispered against my lips, my favorite lopsided grin of his appearing against my flesh.

I pecked him lightly once again and grabbed my purse. We were out the door not more than five minutes later and heading towards the mall. Edward needed to pick up something and it had been too long since I'd seen Jen. Edward said he'd meet me in Fuego and went off to get his errand done. Killing two birds with one stone was always a good thing in my book.

I had walked into the store only to be met by Galen and our regional manager, Ryan. He was a slightly balding man who wore suits and thought that the world should revolve around organization and proper procedures. He was new to the regional manager job, and was trying to be cut-throat about what his stores should, or should not, be doing.

"What a pleasure it is to see you again, Bella! I take it your not working today?" Ryan asked as he took in my casual clothes.

"Hey Ryan, it's good to see you, too. No, I'm not working today. I was in the area and just decided to stop by. What are you doing here?"

"Galen called and told me that I had to come in and see the new design of the back counter products he did the other day. I must say that it does make the store look a lot more professional and clean. He may have a bonus coming his way for this."

Say what?

"I must've heard you wrong, Ryan. You're telling me that Galen is the one who did all the hard work of reorganizing the walls, wiping down all the shelves, and resetting all of the displays? Galen did this the other day?"

Funny, because I'm pretty sure that I spent my entire eight hour shift doing the exact same thing the other day, too.

"Oh yes, doesn't it look fantastic?" Ryan beamed.

"I agree, it looks great, but I'm pretty sure Galen didn't do this," I said seriously.

"Oh? Why would you say that, Bella?" Ryan turned to me with a questioning look in his eyes.

"Sir, Bella doesn't approve of my strategies. In fact, she's been opposing every move I've made to try and make this store look better ever since I started working here," Galen sputtered as he pushed through the small gap between Ryan and me.

I snorted. What strategies was he talking about? The fine art of sitting on your ass? The delicate nuance of tip-toeing around the customer's complaints?

Yeah, I totally don't approve of those strategies at all.

"Is this true, Bella?" Ryan asked.

"What Galen does is his own business. Not once have I ever defied a request from him or been disrespectful in any way." Yeah, I can sound proper… don't you even try to make me out to be a punk, you jackass.

Before Galen could get another rebuttal in, I spoke up and told Ryan what really happened. "I did this the other day, Ryan. Check the security tapes and you'll see."

Ryan turned to Galen, "What is going on here?"

Galen's face had turned white as a ghost as he sputtered, "Sir, I- I did it. She- she doesn't know what she's talking about."

Ryan stared at him for a moment.

"This is ridiculous. Who are you going to believe, me, a manager, or her, a part-timer who's always been lazy and irresponsible?"

I turned to Galen, surprised and angry. I wasn't perfect, but my family had taught me better than to be lazy, irresponsible or ungrateful for anything I did. And damnit, I worked hard.

"Ryan, I'm not going to sit here and argue with either of you. If you check the tape, you'll see that it was me who did this wonderful job you're so thrilled about," I said matter-of-factly to my regional manager.

Then, turning to the other man, I told him what I should've told him ever since he started working at our store. "Galen, do you realize that in the three years I've worked here, I've been late only a handful of times, called in sick less than that, have filled shifts I wasn't supposed to have worked at least fifty times and haven't seen any benefit from it? I'm sick and tired of working my tail off and not getting any recognition or praise for it. I've had enough of being mistreated and taken advantage of, and the fact that you're calling me lazy and irresponsible is slander. Take a look in the mirror and you'll see the real definition of what you're trying to call me."

The look on both of their faces was priceless. Pride on one, and surprise on the other.

"Consider this my two weeks notice, Galen. I'll have it in writing to you tomorrow. Goodbye."

I turned around and walked out of the store with my head held high.

Yeah, it was a little theatrical, but I had to stand up for myself. No one else could.

I sat outside of Old Navy, which was right next to my store, waiting for Edward to return. On the one hand I was furious. How dare Galen use me as a stepping stone for Ryan? What made him think that he could do this to me? And on the other, I was berating myself. How long had he been getting away with these things? What else had I done that he'd been taking credit for?

I was still mentally chiding myself when Edward joined me. "I thought you were going to be inside your store?" he asked as he sat down on the bench.

"Oh, well… it's not really my store anymore," I said hesitantly. Then, off of his raised eyebrows, I told him what had happened.

"That skeeving jerk! I should kick his ass for taking credit for your work!" Edward said angrily as he stood up sharply.

I grabbed a hold of his arm, "Sweetheart, its okay, just calm down. I'm not going to be working there much longer anyways, and I sort of told him off. That's all I really needed to do before I left."

His nostrils twitched as he processed my sincerity.

Okay, that was kind of hot. And, yes, it might be hot to see Edward stand up for my honor, but I didn't really expect him to go kicking anyone's ass for me. The fact that he was angry for me was enough.

"If karma has any decency at all, it'll come after him. Let's just get out of here, I don't think I can stand to look at that place any longer," I told him honestly.

"Besides, I'm out of a job and I need to get a hold of Emmett before he takes back his offer," I added.

"Like Emmett would do that, especially to you."

"Especially to me? What do you mean by that?" I asked as I turned to face him.

"He loves you; you're like a little sister to him. Plus, I think if he didn't have Rosalie, he might've asked you out."

I laughed out loud at that. "Right, I haven't had a boyfriend in years, what would make Emmett want to ask me out?"

"Bella, you're beautiful and funny. I'm lucky to be with you right now. I keep looking over my shoulder to see if someone else is going to try and knock me out of the way to get at you."

Goo. My panties have just turned into goo.

I snuggled up to him as we continued walking through the parking lot.

"No one would get the upper hand on you, Edward. Just so you know."

The devilish smirk that appeared on his face definitely destroyed my panties.

DUWAE (pronounced like dew-ett, with the t silent) - Dead Upon Wearing Around Edward.

As we arrived and got out of the car, Emmett barreled past Edward and ran straight at me, squeezing me in his massive embrace and picking me up off of the ground before setting me back down roughly.

"What'd I tell you? At least I didn't have to look over my shoulder for him," Edward said with a chuckle as I rubbed my probably bruised ribs.

"What are you talking about?" Emmett said as he wrapped one of his beefy arms around my shoulders.

I almost sagged into the gravel with the weight of it.

"I was just telling Bella how all of these guys are into her," Edward said as we started walking towards the auto shop.

I smacked Edward across the chest. "You don't know any of that!"

"Sure I do, they're all thinking the same thing I am. Right, Emmett?"

"Yeah, Rosie's my babe, but if she wasn't, I'd totally try and get into your pants."

"That wasn't quite what I was getting at, Emmett."

"But you are, Eddie, you are," Emmett said with a sly wink to Edward.

I laughed into my hand as Edward's face flushed fifteen different shades of red.

"Come on, Rosie's in Bay 1 and she's got your truck waiting for you," Emmett said as he steered us to one of the garages.

"Thanks, Em. I really appreciate you and Rose doing this for me," I said sincerely.

"No problemo, Bellsy. Couldn't have you driving a car that pulls in the wrong direction. We're supposed to have a bad winter this year and you know how hilly Seattle is."

"That's a pretty intelligent thought, Em."

"Thanks, I got it from Edward."

I almost snorted snot out of my nose. Yeah, that would've been attractive.

Rosalie was just lowering my truck down from the lift as we walked inside.

"Hey, Bella! I'd hug you, but I'm a little greasy," she explained while waving her black hands at me.

"It's totally fine, Rose. Sweet of you to offer anyways," I said with a smile.

"Bella quit her job today," Edward stated abruptly. I glared at him sideways. I thought I would've started off the conversation by easing into it, 'Gee, Emmett, the office looks really nice since yesterday. Is your offer of working here still on the table?' Something of that sort. Not just, 'Hey, I quit. Can I still work here?'

"You did, Bella? That's great! You didn't need to be working for that jerk. He was a pompous asshat," Rose exclaimed.

"Well, technically I'm giving my two weeks notice tomorrow…" I trailed off.

"And she's going to be taking your offer, Emmett," Edward chimed in. Again, I glared at him. I was a big girl; I knew how to use my words.

Me want job you offer.

And what was that last word? Oh, yeah.

Please.

"Well, if you're still offering it, that is," I amended.

"Of course! I'd rather be working in the shop with Rosie anyways; this staying clean shit is hard. Let's let Rose finish here and we'll start your paperwork in the office."

I made Edward wait outside while I filled out paperwork. The truth was that I was a little miffed with him. It was like I was speaking a different language and needed him to interpret and take care of everything for me.

I watched him shuffle back to the car, kicking at the gravel like a little kid with his hands shoved into his pockets.

It made me feel like a bad parent.

It only took me fifteen minutes to fill out all of the paperwork Emmett needed, and he completely understood that I needed to finish out my two weeks at Fuego before I could start with him. He understood like that.

Rosalie was standing outside with Edward when I came out of the office.

"Just think about it, okay Edward?" she was saying as I got closer to them.

He nodded, looking glumly at his crossed arms.

"Edward, what happened in there?" I asked as I came to a stop in front of him.

"I'm just going to, uh… leave," Rose said hesitantly, like she didn't want to be caught in the crossfire.

I turned to her, "Thanks for everything, Rosalie. I really appreciate it."

She smiled at me before walking towards the office.

I stared at Edward for a minute before asking him what had happened again.

"Edward? What's up?"

"I… I don't know what happened, Bella. I mean, it just rushed out of me," he said softly, finally looking up at me as he leaned back against the hood of his Volvo.

"It seemed to me like you didn't think I would really take the job offer. That or you are more excited about my leaving Fuego than I am," I suggested.

"You don't deserve to be there! They treated you like trash and you just needed to get away from that kind of harassment."

"I understand, Edward. That's why I decided to leave in the first place. But why didn't you let me do the talking with Emmett? Even if he is a friend, he's still an employer and that wasn't very professional, letting someone else do the talking for me." I was trying my best not to get upset with him. He was trying to help me, that was his motive, and I didn't want to be mad at someone for helping me out. But I had things under control.

I always had things under control.

"Bella, I'm sorry. I didn't think you would-"

"Did you think that I would mess it all up?" I thought suddenly, my mental filter going WEEOOH WEEOOH WEEOOH as my lips said the words.

Suddenly I felt betrayed, and now I was definitely getting angry.

"What? No! Nothing like that, Bella, I swear!" Edward pleaded with me, his green eyes widening as he pushed off against his car and came towards me with his arms outstretched.

He doesn't think you're capable of doing anything right. He's unsure about your ability to get things done.

He doesn't trust you. He thinks you'll fail.

You always fail.

Failure.

I wasn't having any of his excuses, though. I had enough self doubt in my life without him adding to my already overflowing heap of it.

"Thank you, Edward, for giving me a ride here. I'm pretty sure I can make my own way home, though. I'll talk to you later," I said automatically as I went back towards the garage.

I needed to get my truck and I needed to get out of there, ASAP.

"Bella, no! Wait, please!" his tortured voice filled my ears as my legs pushed me further away from him. I heard his feet crunching on the gravel as he sprinted after me.

"I need to do some thinking, Edward. Please, let me think."

"I will, but you need to understand that I just want the best for you. I want you to be happy."

Why, so he can feel good about himself? I wasn't like one of the sick kids at the hospital that he played video games with and cheered up.

"I'm not a charity case," I spat out cruelly, my mind racing ahead of my logical thoughts. The crunching of gravel stopped behind me and I kept moving away.

Tanya wasn't a charity case.

She had everything. Looks, money, connections.

Who was I?

I was a no one. I was meager little Isabella Swan, out of the way, live in a hole, hermit.

I didn't go out, I didn't date. I didn't do social gatherings because I wasn't very good at them.

He didn't need me. He wanted to see me happy because it would be another notch in his karma belt.

Do something for someone insanely less fortunate than yourself and feel good about it.

Ulterior motives, Bella. Always consider that. It's not because you're worth something, it's because they need it for themselves. Don't trust anyone.

Never trust anyone.

Rose was backing my truck out of the garage. As soon as I reached the cab, she had it in park and was waiting for me.

"Thanks Rose. Something came up and I have to jet. I'll talk to you later," I forced out the lie with a fake smile and gave her a quick hug.

"It's alright, Bella. I'll talk to you later, then," she said quietly.

I jumped into the truck and left without as much as a backward glance at Edward.

Emotional tears streamed down my face as I drove the highway back to my apartment. I was on auto-pilot, driving without thinking about where I was going. Before I knew it, two hours had passed and I was at Charlie's house. I knew he would still be at the station, but I had to go somewhere I felt safe.

My home no longer held that for me, with Edward's cousin living next door. I could just imagine her banging on my front door as soon as she got home from class, demanding that I talk to her about what happened. I could even hear her voice as she yelled out my name.

No, my solitude was better serviced by the chipped, peeling white paint of my childhood home.

Even back then I had been by myself; Charlie didn't hover and poke at me like a sleeping monkey in a cage at the zoo.

Parking in the driveway, I sat and stared at the house in front of me. No memories came flooding back to me, like I thought might happen. A sense of calm filled me, though, as I stared at my bedroom window.

How many late nights had I stared out that window, wondering what the future held for me? Thinking and imagining and coming up with a complete blank?

I don't know how long I sat in the truck, but when the sudden urge to pee brought me out of my reverie, it was almost completely black outside.

Slamming the truck door closed, I slowly trudged my way up the small path of stairs that led to the front door.

"Gotta pee. Don't pee. Gotta pee. Don't pee," I muttered, my legs clenching together as I walked like a penguin.

"Now, if I didn't know you were my own daughter, I would have to stop you and ask what your hooligan behind was up to."

"Dad!" I squeaked and little bit of pee was released from my bladder as his sneak attack scared me.

Way to go, Bella, time to buy some incontinence diapers…

"Well, this is a surprise. I didn't know you were coming out here," he said as he gave me a hug and kiss on the forehead.

His mustache tickled my hairline and as we backed away from each other I found myself subconsciously rubbing my scalp.

"It was sort of surprise to me too. I haven't seen you in a long time and I… I missed you," I finished with a hitch in my breath.

"I missed you too, Bells. But tell me, why are you waddling? Is that some kind of new trend?" My father smirked as he gestured to my legs.

I snorted. Oops, there goes some more pee. Great. At this rate, I'll have to wear a pair of his old academy sweats home.

"No, I just really have to use the bathroom," I whined and grimaced at the same time as I bounced lightly on the spot.

Yes, I was 21 years old and I still did the potty dance.

Some things you never grow out of.

He ushered me in and I waddled unceremoniously to the bathroom.

It was the longest and happiest pee I'd taken in a long time. I breathed out a sigh of relief as soon as my butt made contact with the toilet.

As I came out and made my way into the living room, Charlie called me from the kitchen.

He'd taken off his gun holster and was sitting with the top few buttons of his uniform shirt unbuttoned at the table. He nursed a beer while there was a soda waiting for me at the other placemat. I sat down and popped the top, taking a chug from the cold beverage before really looking at my father.

It'd been a few months since I'd last seen him, and there was definitely more grey hair gracing his dark features. Some of the wiry hairs of his salt and pepper mustache were throwing mutiny and sticking out at odd angles on his lined face.

His hazel eyes looked plainly at me, waiting patiently for me to start the conversation.

"I'm… it's good to see you, Dad," I said with a lump in my throat. I never realized how much I needed my dad right at that moment. I felt like a little girl that needed to sit on her father's lap when she was upset about something.

"It's good to see you too, but I know you're not here just because you missed me. What's going on?" He said while eyeing me over the top of his Rainier beer.

Damn him and his straight to the point police training.

"I'm a good person, right?" I asked suddenly.

"Why would you be thinking that? Did something happen?" his brow furrowed with concern.

"Dad," I looked at him straight in the eyes; I needed an answer.

"Yes. You're a good person," he said sincerely with a nod of his head.

"Then why do I have to fight and claw for everything?" I asked simply. I was tired of everything being so fucking hard. I wanted something easy for a change.

"What are you fighting and clawing for?" Why does he always have to answer a question with another question? Was that what they taught him in Chief of Police school?

"Respect, equal treatment…" I hedged.

Affection…

"Basic human rights? What happened at work?" They didn't call him the Chief for nothing.

I told him what had happened earlier with Ryan and Galen.

"That bastard," Charlie said after he took a swig of his beer.

"Pretty much. It makes me wonder how I can just be walked all over. I know I'm not intimidating, but really?" I scoffed as I took another drink.

"Some people think they can get away with things like that. I'm glad that you stood up for yourself, though." Praise from Charlie was an odd occurrence. I knew he was proud of me, but he didn't ever really tell me that I was doing a good job.

"I didn't think I could. I'm not used to having to defend myself like that. I'm nice, everyone likes me. No one has a problem with Bella," I snorted.

"Leave work at work, Bella," he said sternly.

"Yes Dad, but then there's my personal life. That's all messed up too," I sighed.

How did I put what was happening with Edward into words acceptable enough for Charlie?

Dad, there's this super hot guy who's a bit over-protective and has a real nice package that I just want to bone. He's trying to take care of me, but you taught me to be independent so how do I fix this?

Yeah, that'd go over real well, just like the sex talk he tried to have with me a few years ago.

There was a lot of blushing, a lot of stammering, and some diagrams with fruit that I still can't look at the same way ever again.

"There's a boy," he guessed.

"Yes, Dad. There's a boy," I admitted.

"Not Jacob," he said lowly. Yeah, he really did deserve the Chief of Police job.

"No, not Jacob. His name's Edward and he's a student at U-Dub," I offered. At least that would appeal to Charlie. He always wanted me to go back to school.

"Well, that's good I guess," Charlie said with a grunt before taking another sip of his beer.

"Yeah, well, he's really sweet and kind but he's…" I trailed off. How do I finish this?

Different?

Hott?

Overbearing?

"Is he pushing you to do something you don't want to do?" Charlie said angrily, his mustache bristling a little bit.

I don't really think he needs to push me, I'd go along willingly. Especially if there were no clothes involved.

"No, Dad. It's nothing like that." I said quickly and I saw him visibly relax in his chair. "He's very protective and we kind of had this fight earlier."

Fight, yelling match, interrogation… same thing, really.

I explained everything that happened at the shop.

When I was done, he was quiet for a few minutes.

He cleared his throat before speaking slowly and deliberately. "You overreacted, Bells."

"I-what?" Chief of Police Daddy say what?

"It's simple. He was trying to help you, and you bit his nose off for it," he said while gesturing towards me with his beer can.

Maybe his tolerance level had been lowering and he was drunk off his ass.

"I didn't… no," I shook my head. I didn't hurt Edward, he hurt me.

"But you did. Listen, he didn't do anything wrong, he was coaxing you along, right? He saw you in a bad predicament and helped you along to take the next step. Don't let your pride get in the way of you and this Edmund guy."

"It's Edward, Dad," I corrected automatically.

"Yeah, well, instead of disagreeing with me, you corrected his name. That means that deep down, you agree with me."

When did Charlie turn into a psychiatrist?

Now look at these pictures here and tell me what you really see inside them.

I felt defeated, and my eyes were sore from crying. "Dad, I-"

"Don't make the same mistakes I made with your mother, Bella. I miss her and regret so many things from back then. If I hadn't let my pride get in the way, maybe some things would be different now. Tell Edward that you were wrong, sweetheart. Not because I'm telling you to, but because you are."

I slumped down in my chair, realizing that I may have overreacted with Edward earlier.

I definitely had a lot to think about on my two hour drive back to Seattle tonight.

Damn it.

XOXOXOXO

Mom- For your unwavering encouragement, thank you.

Hope Street- For doing the What's In Our Inbox feature, thank you ever so kindly. It means the world to me, more than you'll ever know.

Lady Tater- Doraward is on his way! Thank you for your friendship and advice.

Amelia- Who is absolutely the best beta on this planet, thank you so much! I've never looked forward to seeing so much red ink before!

Katie- Who's the best, best, best validation beta ever! Thank you for sticking with me.

Please go visit the forum thread, its collecting spider webs… (Link has been posted on my bio page…)

The smut-take from FGB: Eclipse is almost ready. Ellie and Melody have graciously allowed me the privilege to post it once it's finished. Put me on your favorite author's list so you'll know when it is out.

"Chances" has been featured on Twi-Fic Promotion Blog, under the "What's In Our Inbox" page, www(dot)twi-ficpromotions(dot)blogspot(dot)com(backslash)p(backslash)whats-in-our-inbox(dot)html. Everyone who reads and loves "Chances" will be able to tell others how much and why. Just send an e-mail to kellytfp(at)gmail(dot)com with your reasons. Your praise will be added to the page as well. If any of you do, THANK YOU SO MUCH!

Love.