Finding the Perfect Man
Epilogue: Life Goes On
It wasn't easy saying no to Edward, but it just had to be done. As he looked down at me with sad eyes and a pout in his lip, I had every urge to just turn around and say yes, to make him happy, but I knew it couldn't be that way.
"But, why?" he asks, staring down at what he's holding in his hands and then back at me.
"Because…" I say, and then rest my hand on the side of his face. "These paint colors you've chose are horrible. Pink and orange, Edward? What, are you craving starburst or something and it's taking over your mind?" I ask with a chuckle, and he joins in after a while, placing the paint samples back on the shelf in front of us and shaking his head.
"Fine." he says with a huff and then crosses his arms over his chest and stands there like an overgrown 2 year old. My eyes land on Liv's and we burst out laughing at her father's antics. If there's one thing I've learned after 5 years of marriage to this man, is that he can be a total drama queen at times.
"Liv, what do you think?" I ask, holding up the light violet and bright white paint. "We can paint the room purple and then stencil on some butterflies in white."
"I think it'll be nice, mom."
Mom. I still remember the first time she called me mom.
Edward and I had been married a little over 2 years, and we had been living in California a little longer. He had found a job quickly with my company and was working more hours than I was, so as usual, I was the one able to pick Liv up from school.
I smiled when I saw her class walk out of the building, and I got out of the car and gave her a big hug when she reached me. After waving bye to her teacher, I buckled her in the car and we were on our way home. It was almost the end of school and mother's day was coming up so she pulled out a fake flower from her book bag and handed it to me.
"What's this?" I ask, grabbing the stem made of construction paper and smelling the flower made of tissue paper.
"It's a flower. I made it for you for mother's day." she said, and I smiled and thanked her and handed it back, telling her to hold it for me.
"Everyone in class has a mommy. I asked the teacher how you know if you have a mommy and she told me that a mommy takes care of you and loves you. So, does that make you my mommy?"
Edward and I had had the conversation about this a year ago, and we both agreed that we wouldn't push the 'mommy' thing on her, but that she could call me that if she wanted to. There was nothing that would make me prouder than to be called her mom.
"I guess it does." I tell her as we pull into the driveway and get out of the car, walk to her door to open it and as soon as I have her out of her seat, she wraps her little arms around my legs and closes her eyes.
"You're not Bella. You're my mom."
Mom. I never tire of hearing her call me that. It had been a rough road to get where we were at but we made it in one piece.
When Lauren showed up at Liv's 2nd birthday party and told Edward it wasn't the last we'd see of her, she was right.
"It's a court date, Bella. Lauren is trying to take me to court!" Edward yelled into the phone. I couldn't find the words to say. I couldn't find what to say to him to make him feel better about this whole situation, so I said nothing. I let him rant about it, and after he was done I told him I loved him and that I'd speak to him later. As I hung up the phone, an overwhelming rage came over me.
Lauren had been unbelievable these past couple of weeks. She had begun stopping at Edward's house and begging him to take her back, to let them be a family again, but after a couple times, Edward threatened to call the police and she stopped. Only to start going to Carlisle and Esme's house and ask to see Liv.
Eventually the cops were called and we thought it would be the end of it, but it was only the beginning.
Edward's call let me know that the court date was scheduled for a month from now, and I intended to be there.
Edward and I walked hand in hand behind the attorney as we made our way into the courthouse. After placing all our things into the conveyor belt and walking through the scanner, we made our way up to the floor where the hearing was being held. As we stepped into the small, wood covered room, my eyes immediately fell on Lauren. She was sitting at the front, leaned over and talking to her lawyer. Her head snapped up and she met our eyes with hers as we took our seats in the front of the room and lingered there for a while before she brought her stare back to her lawyer.
I felt Edward's hand tighten on mine and looked up at him, seeing his jaw tense and his eyes narrowing at her.
"Edward. It's ok…" I whisper, and he looks down at me and nods briefly before kissing me quickly and turning his head towards the door next to the podium that had just opened, and watching as the judge walks in.
With another quick squeeze of my hand, Edward rises up from the seat, along with his lawyer and steps up to the podium just as Lauren and her lawyer does and as the judge begins to speak, I shut my eyes and let out a breath I hadn't been aware I was holding, and hope that everything goes well.
The hearing that day, all those years ago went by so quick. Lauren and her team had tried to say that Lauren felt threatened by Edward and that was the reason she had terminated her rights. She said she was afraid for her life because Edward swore he'd end her and with the money his family had, she was sure he could. However, Edward's and his lawyer came prepared with every phone conversation, every email, every text from the two of them that clearly showed the real reasoning behind Lauren giving her daughter up.
She was a selfish pig.
I listened on as Edward's lawyer played the tape of the conversation Edward and Lauren had the day she decided to leave her daughter. She had been out partying, and hadn't come home all night and when Edward finally got a hold of her, she went off. She told him she didn't want anything to do with him or 'the kid' and Edward suggested she terminate her rights then, to which she responded with a 'fuck yea' and told him she wanted a rush order on that.
She was a disgrace.
With nothing else to say, her lawyer gave up right there, and the hearing was dismissed. I'll never forget the look Lauren gave me when she walked out of the room. Her eyes were burning into mine, seething with hate and I actually flinched back as she hit the doors with all the force she had and walked out.
We hadn't seen her since that day.
"Where to?" Edward asks as we leave the store, paint in hand.
"Food. Please!" I beg and both Edward and Liv laugh and we get into the car and drive off towards our favorite restaurant downtown. I lean back in my seat as Edward glides through traffic, every so often turning his head to smile at me and rub my stomach.
The phone rings from my purse in the backseat and Liv grabs it, answering quickly and laughing before handing it to me.
"Here, mom. It's aunt Alice." she says, and I take it and hold it up to my ear as I prepare to hear the bitching of a lifetime.
"Yes, Alice?" I say, sighing into the phone and rolling my eyes as Edward lets out a chuckle and turns into the restaurant.
"Bella? You're roaming the city? What the hell, do you want to give birth on the floor of "La Bella Italia'?" she screams, and I laugh and shake my head.
"Alice. It's fine, Ok? We just came from a doctor's appointment this morning and everything is fine. I'm still 1 centimeter and they don't expect me to go into labor for another week or so."
"Really? I guess the fact that Paige was born 2 weeks before her due date means nothing to you? I'm telling you, you're having that baby soon and I would appreciate it if you did it in a nice clean hospital and not on the floor of the mall or something like that."
"Love you, Alice. Talk to you later." I say, and quickly hang up. After talking with her, I always got so nervous. Alice's daughter, Paige was born a year ago with barely any warning. If Jasper hadn't raced down the streets of Seattle, she would have been born in the back of their Lexus and every time she reminded me of that, I got incredibly anxious.
"You Ok?" Edward asks, grabbing my hand as all three of us walk into the restaurant.
"I'm fine. Just hungry." I say and we are immediately seated and in the next hour, we're walking out, leftovers in hand as we make our way to the car. Edward opens my door for me and takes the food from my hands, and as I go to sit down, I feel something trickling down my leg. I gasp and look down just as the trickling turns to a gush.
"Edward. I think we need to go to the hospital." I say, turning to meet his eyes as he places the food into the back seat with Liv.
"Why? What's wrong? Are you in pain?" he asks, and I shake my head as the tears cloud my vision.
"No. My water just broke."
"Bella, baby she's right there! Just one more push!" Edward said as he held one of my legs up, and starting counting as I pushed.
My daughter's cry stops Edward's counting, and I look up just in time to see the doctor placing her on my chest. The nurses begin to wipe her down, taking all of the goo off of her mop of brown hair and her skin.
She was perfect.
I start to get misty eyes as I look down at her, taking in all of her features, seeing her cloudy eyes looking up at me as I reach down and grab one of her tiny hands in mine. The nurses grab her real quick, take her measurements and her weight and then finish cleaning her and hand her to me.
"7lbs 7 oz, 20 inches long." the nurse calls out, and I look at Edward who mouths 'perfect' and then smiles and leans down to place a kiss on my forehead. Minutes later, the nurses bring the baby back to me, cuddled in a pink blanket with a pastel colored hat on her head.
"Hi.. I'm your mommy." I say, and look up at Edward, whose tears are flowing freely down his face. "And this is your daddy." he leans down, sniffling back and reaching a hand out to touch her face.
"What do we name her?" I ask him, and he brings his eyes to mine for a second before looking back at our baby, and he smiles.
"Would you be totally against the name Emma?" he asks, and I look away, close my eyes and let the name roll off my tongue. Emma. Emma. Emma.
"I love it. Emma Cullen."
The following month we had a welcome baby party. Everyone who we knew and loved had flown in to join us and I had never been more excited to see everyone.
Angela and Tony came, along with Tony's now 11 year old daughter and his wife. Angela had moved on from the shop a couple years ago and was now managing a hotel in Seattle and Tony was working as a bartender in a successful bar here in California. He decided there was something weird about having a kid and working in a porn shop… what would he bring to her class on career day?
Alice and Rose were there, of course, along with the guys and their kids. Alice had one so far, Paige, but was aching to have more, and Rose was on her 3rd… I had sworn it would have been the other way around because of the way Rose used to be about kids, but I guess things change when you have your own.
Carlisle and Esme were here, as well as my father who was absolutely enraptured by his newest granddaughter… and I say it that way because he counted Liv as his granddaughter as well and he spoiled her rotten and flew down frequently to see her.
I hadn't spoken to my mother since that day over 7 years ago, but while it was painful in the beginning, it didn't bother me anymore. I didn't cut her out of my life she cut me out of hers. I never will understand why certain mother's find it so simple to just up and leave their child, but I know that I never would be. I guess that was the point with situations like that, they happened for a reason. For some it was to write a song about it, for others it was to write a book, but for me, it was to make me a better mother.
At the end of the night, everyone leaves, with the promise of coming tomorrow to spend more time with us. As I have every night since the night I met her, I read Liv her story and put her to bed. When I walked into Emma's nursery, I smiled when I saw Edward rocking her in his arms as he stood next to her crib. I watch from the doorway, not wanting to interrupt the scene before me. It melted my heart to see Edward with Emma, he truly was an amazing father to both of his girls and I just couldn't help but think of how lucky I was.
With great caution, Edward gently lowers Emma into her crib, tucking the blanket over her and turning on the baby monitor before turning and starting to walk out. His eyes meet mine as he makes his way to the doorway, and he smiles as he reaches me and wraps his arms around me.
"Hi." I whisper, grinning up at him as out torsos press against each other and my arms rest on his waist.
"Hi. You ready for bed?" he asks, his voice thick with need. I swallow the saliva that has suddenly pooled in my mouth and gently nod, grabbing his hand and leading him down the hallway into our bedroom.
I excuse myself once we get in, telling him to take a seat on the bed while I go and slip into something more comfortable. I walk into the closet, and open the drawers on the wall, looking for something special to wear for him when I come across something I hadn't seen in years. With a chuckle, I take off my shirt, and slip it on and then walk back out to where Edward is waiting for me, leaning back on the bed, propped up on his elbows and shirtless. His eyes widen when he looks at me and he slowly pushes himself up and off of the bed.
"Bella… really? The shirt about the stamp?" he says, walking over and grabbing the fabric in his hands. I look up at him, shake my head and gently begin to bite on my lower lip.
"It's not about the stamp this time…" I say as I reach up, grabbing the back of his neck and pulling him down to me.
"Well, then I guess we should get to it then…" he says, and then places his lips on mine. Our mouths dance along each other, and slowly we make our way to the bed, where Edward throws me down and moves to get on top of me.
"Edward!" I say against his lips, causing him to pull back and look down at me. "We need some lube or something…" I say, remembering what the nurse had told me when I called her earlier that week, begging to be told I could wait the 5 weeks instead of six to be with Edward.
He looks down on me, his face puzzled and then slowly I watch as it changes to a smirk and he leans down, pressing his forehead against mine, and with a shit eating grin, he says something that causes both me and him to laugh like fools.
"I prefer spit."
As we calmed down from our laughing, my eyes stayed on him. Edward was truly beautiful and had everything I had ever wanted in a man. It's crazy to believe that over 7 years ago, I started my search for the perfect man and even though I didn't know it at the time, he had been in front of me just days after. I had found my perfect man and had gotten so much more in the process…
The perfect family. The perfect life.
Thank you so much to everyone who read, reviewed, story alerted... whatever you did, Thank you. A big thank you to those of you who I heard from EVERY SINGLE CHAPTER since the beginning. You guys are awesome!
If you didn't already know, I'm reworking my story 'Obsess' and posting as I finish each chapter, so if you haven't read it, go check it out!
If you want something new from me, I am working on something but won't begin posting it until the new year, so Author alert me if you want to read another killing/crazy/psycho fic cause that's exactly what you're getting. =)
Again, thank you to you all! xoxoxox for all of you!