AN: Thank you to LaMomo, who prettied this up, and Mister BetaMan, Stratan!
(Another small note at the end!)
Sunday morning arrived swiftly and Bella found herself enjoying a boisterous breakfast alongside Edward, Jack, Esme and Tanya at a cafe close to their hotel.
"So, what's on the schedule for today?" Esme asked, sipping her coffee.
Tanya placed her napkin on the table and pulled out her Blackberry. "Well, we have a 1:30 pm signing at Barnes and Noble in Union Square. After that, we're free and clear until our flight leaves tomorrow for Detroit."
She turned to Bella and smiled mischievously. "I was thinking, though, that we could go out tonight. There's this club I want to check out. You've never been clubbing, so I think it would be fun. Please?"
Tahn pushed out her bottom lip into a pout and batted her eye lashes. Bella groaned internally. Every other time that she had gotten out of clubbing with Tanya, Jack had been her excuse. Now with Esme and Edward there, her excuse was moot. Bella sighed and looked over at Edward, who looked contemplative.
"That sounds lovely, Tanya," Esme responded. "Why don't the three of you go out and have some fun while Jack and I go see a movie?"
Bella immediately felt better about going out with the prospect of Edward coming along. She turned and asked him what he thought about it.
"I'm fine with whatever you want to do, love. A night out for drinks and dancing sounds an awful lot like a date." He winked at her.
"Looks like this should be a fun night," Tanya responded in sarcasm, rolling her eyes at Edward playfully.
"Why can't I go dancing?" asked Jack. "I can cut a rug."
Bella bit back a laugh when everyone else turned and gave Jack a surprised look.
"What?" he asked in confusion.
"Cut a rug?" Edward asked. "Where did you hear that?"
He gave his father an exasperated look. "It's in a song from that group that Mom likes. 'Hey, Soul Sister.' I asked her what it meant and she said it meant to dance. Right Mom?"
Bella nodded and grinned as Jack started to sing softly.
They way you can cut a rug
Watching you is the only drug I need
So ganster, I'm so thug
You're the only one I'm dreaming of
You see, I can be myself now finally
In fact there's nothing I can't be I
want the world the to see you'll be with me
Edward and Esme laughed as Tanya shook her head.
"Really, Bella?" she asked. "Can't you teach the boy any decent music?" Tahn reached over and ruffled Jack's hair. "Don't worry, kid. The next time I come over your house for dinner, I'll bring my Jay Z cds."
"You're such a smart ass, Tanya," Bella responded, holding back a giggle.
A few hours later, Bella was seated at a long table in the back of the bookstore, signing books while Jack and Edward shopped around. The event went smoothly and sooner than she expected, they were packing up to leave when Jack walked up to her with a book in his hand.
"Hey, Mom? Can we get this?"
She looked down at the book and raised an eyebrow. "Um, Jack? I don't think 'Tell Me Again About The Night I Was Born' is something you'd like."
His brow scrunched up in confusion. "Why not? It's about an adopted kid. Like me."
Bella crouched down in front of him and smiled. "Yes, but it's about a little girl who was adopted as a baby. She was from another country and her parents went there to pick her up."
"It still sounds cool."
"If you want it, Jack, we'll buy it."
He nodded. "Yes, please. Can we look and see if there are any other books about kids like me?"
Bella blinked back tears and her heart ached for her son. "Sure thing, but I don't think there's any stories very similar to yours."
His nose wrinkled and he shook his head. "That sucks. We should write one, Mom."
Pride welled up in her chest and she pulled him into a hug. "Maybe we'll do just that, kiddo."
They left the store thirty minutes later with a large bag full of purchases, including the book that Jack had originally picked up, along with another adoption story, 'A Mother for Choco.' Edward, Bella and Jack headed out to hail a cab and meet Esme at a restaurant for dinner. On their way out of the shop, Tanya reminded Bella to be ready at eight o'clock sharp for their night out.
When the cab pulled up at a busy intersection and let them out, Bella gazed up at the large vertical sign that read: MARS 2112.
"Mars? Is this where we're going, Edward?" she asked curiously.
He looked around for a moment before looking over a railing and grinning. He pointed down and she saw a a statue of a spaceship and the restaurant entrance.
"Cool," Jack whispered, staring down in awe.
"How on Earth did you find this?" Bella asked him.
Edward shrugged. "I Googled it."
Esme was waiting for them inside the cavernous restaurant, which actually looked like being on another planet. Various servers and actors were dressed up as aliens, and it literally made it an out of this world experience.
As they were tucking into their respective dinners, Esme broached a sensitive topic.
"So, when are you two going to talk to me about moving?"
Both Bella and Edward's eyes widened and Jack's fork clanged onto his plate. He looked up at his mother, shocked.
"We're moving?" he asked, incredulous. "Wait, I thought we already talked about that?"
Bella shook her head, trying to console her upset child. "No, Little Bit, we're not moving."
"Then what did you mean, MeMe?" he asked Esme, who looked abashed.
Edward cleared his throat and smiled at Jack. "She meant me, Jack."
His eyes flew to his father. "You? You're moving? Where?" he asked, his voice growing with excitement.
"I'm not totally sure yet, but possibly Seattle."
Jack jumped up and threw his arms around Edward's neck.
"Dude! That would be so awesome!"
The boy pulled back and looked over at his mother. "Can he come live with us? Please, Mom? Pleeeeeease?"
Edward laughed and patted Jack's back lightly.
"Enough. Your mom and I still have a lot to talk about, okay? Just know that I'm going to be as close to you as I can."
Jack nodded and hugged his father once more before returning to his seat. Edward shot his mother a wry smile and she shrugged one shoulder.
"Sorry, I didn't think that through, obviously," she responded with a sheepish smile.
Bella touched her arm lightly. "It's okay, it was going to come out sooner or later."
Edward nodded in agreement. "I was going to sit down with you and Dad once we all got home. I'm sure you understand, but I can't just let them walk away, you know?"
Esme smiled lovingly at her son. "I know, baby. I knew it back on the very first day. Once you two got closer, it only cemented that fact in my mind. I'm a big believer in fate."
She clapped her hands together and smiled. "Now, Jack, let's discuss our movie options for this evening."
Two hours later, Edward walked into Greenhouse, a club that was well-known for being eco-friendly.
"Be right back," Tanya said loudly over the music, "I'm getting the first round."
Bella nodded and looked around awkwardly. The club was beautiful, with bamboo walls and LED lights everywhere.
"Here!" Tahn handed each of them a shot glass with clear liquid in it.
Bella sniffed and looked at her friend questioningly. "What is it?"
"360 Vodka. It's the specialty drink here 'cause it's organic."
Bella drank it quickly, feeling the liquor burn down her throat and warm her chest.
"Shit!" she gasped out.
Tanya shook her head and laughed before pulling Bella towards a dancefloor area. "Come on, Bells. Let's dance!"
Bella held back a little. "Uh, can I get a minute to acclimate?"
"Acclimate? Really? Let your hair down and have fun for once!" her friend cajoled.
She turned to Edward for some support, but he just shrugged and laughed.
"You might as well give in. She'll just pester you until you do."
Bella shot him a withering look and he pulled her close. He leaned down and his hot breath against her ear made her melt. "As soon as she's done with you, you're mine."
He stepped back and Tanya stepped in and pulled a dazed Bella out on the floor.
Tahn started to dance and press up against her. The music surrounded her, swirling like a tornado. She moved her hips and danced alongside Tanya's lithe body as she got lost in the sound.
"Excuse me," a deep voice spoke right next to her ear. She turned and saw a tall, handsome man smiling down at her.
"Would you care for a dance partner?" he asked.
"No thanks," Bella responded. "I'm fine with my friend."
He looked over her shoulder and nodded in that direction. "Looks like she found someone else."
Sure enough, when she looked, Tanya was dancing with a blond young man. She shook her head and laughed before turning back to the man.
"The answer is still no, but thanks for asking."
"Ah, come on. I'm alone and you're all by yourself. What's the harm?"
"I think the lady declined your offer, pal," Edward spoke, sliding up against Bella from behind.
The man eyed Edward carefully before responding. "I didn't hear her ask you to save her, either."
"Well, I'm her boyfriend, so I don't need a reason," Edward growled, tugging her gently away from the man and further into the dance floor crowd.
She wrapped her arms around his neck and pressed close against his body.
"Well, aren't you the superhero tonight?" she laughed lightly.
He smirked and shook his head. "What if I'm not the superhero? What if I'm the bad guy?"
She laid her hand against his chest. "You could never be the bad guy, Edward. It's not in you."
The music started to pick up again and their bodies pressed tightly against each other's as they moved to the beat.
You know I know how
To make 'em stop and stare as I zone out
The club can't even handle me right now
Watchin' you watchin' me, I go all out
The club can't even handle me right now (yeah)
The club can't even handle me right now (yeah)
Ninety minutes later, Edward helped both women exit a cab outside of their hotel. The cabbie winked at him as he was handed a few bills.
"Have fun tonight, buddy! Looks like your hands will be full."
Edward glanced at the plastered women and shrugged. "Thanks, man."
After dropping Tanya off safely at her room, he maneuvered a slightly less inebriated Bella into theirs.
"Ehdwar," she whispered drunkenly and pushed him towards the bed.
He smiled at her indulgently and allowed her to walk him backwards.
"Yes, Bella dear?"
"I wants you."
He raised an eyebrow. "Really? Now? How do you want me?" he asked as the back of his knees hit the bed, causing him to sit down.
She stepped back and reached behind her, unzipping her dress and letting it slide to the floor. She looked at him with hooded eyes, standing in front of him, clad only in a pair of black lace panties and heels. He gulped and reached out for her, pulling her in between his legs.
He gently pulled her down to sit on his lap and pressed his lips against her. She shifted her body and straddled his lap, grinding down on him. They continued to kiss and touch. Edward slowly started kissing down her stomach and closer to her wet heat when he heard a small noise. His eyes shot up and he sat back, smiling. Bella's eyes were closed and her mouth partly open. She was snoring.
He sighed and looked down at the bulge in his pants, deciding that a shower was now in order. He slid off her heels and arranged the covers over her. When he was finished in the bathroom, he slid on a pair of sleep pants and curled up behind her, letting sleep overtake his mind.
Bella awoke the next morning with a slight headache and a dry mouth.
"Ick," she muttered to herself. She opened one eye and squinted at the light. She shifted her body out from underneath Edward's arm and made her way to the bathroom. After using the facilities and brushing her teeth, she noticed that she was only in her underwear from last night.
She paused, trying to remember last night's events. She groaned when she finally realized that she had fallen asleep during foreplay last night. She had only made love with him once, but she was willing and eager to enjoy his attentions again. She pulled on a robe that was hanging on the bathroom door and walked back into the bedroom. She smiled as she noticed that Edward was now awake and sitting up, his hair a messy array of copper.
"Hey," he spoke in a gravelly, sleep-filled voice.
"Good morning," she responded.
"How are you not hung over?" he asked in surprise.
"Oh, it was the organic Vodka. The bartender said that it was kinder on you the next day. He was totally right."
She sat down next to him and curled a leg underneath of her.
"Hey, can we talk for minute?" she asked, shyly.
He leaned over and kissed her cheek. "Sure, just let me use the bathroom."
A few minutes later, he returned and strode over to the bed, not bothering to change his clothes yet.
"You wanted to talk, so let's talk," he commented, leaning back against the pillows.
Bella narrowed her eyes and shot Edward an annoyed glare.
"How am I supposed to concentrate with you lounging there, half-naked?"
He shrugged his shoulders and rubbed a hand across his bare chest smirking.
"Eddddward," she whined.
He looked up innocently. "What? What did I do?"
She growled and pounced on top of him, causing him to chuckle. Their playful tickles and raucous laughter soon turned to passionate kisses and roaming hands. An hour later, they both lay naked and spent. Bella sighed in contentment and nuzzled her face into his neck.
"I don't want to leave you today," she whispered.
"Me too, baby. It's only three days. Jack and I will be waiting for you in Chicago when you're done with the tour."
"I know, but I've just got a bad feeling that won't leave me be."
He rubbed her back gently. "Ssh, everything will be fine. We've got each other and that's all that matters."
After a few moments of silence, Edward shifted their bodies so that Bella was on her back and he was laying on his side, looking down at her.
"So, let's have this discussion that I distracted you from earlier." He waggled his eyebrows and she smacked his chest lightly while laughing.
"You're so bad. I love you," she said before kissing him softly on the lips.
"I love you, too," he answered. "So, come on now, talk."
She nodded and played with the light smattering of hair on his chest, carefully trying to avoid looking into his eyes.
"What happens in a few weeks when me and Jack head back to Washington? I know we've touched on the subject and talked around it, but I'm a planner and a worrier. I need to know what to expect."
He looked thoughtfully at her for a moment before responding.
"I don't know when exactly, but I do know that I am following you two. Granted, I do own the company, but other people depend on me, so I can't just drop everything and move across country. I'll need to sit down and talk with Tre and Al. See if we can come up with a plan of action. It may take a of couple weeks, maybe a month, but I'll be there."
She smiled brightly and nodded. "I can deal with that. As long as I know what to expect and what's going on, I can deal with anything. You and Jack are my world, Edward."
He cupped her face gently and laid a sweet, yet passionate kiss on her lips.
"Ditto, Bella. After I find a place to live close to you guys, I'm not letting you out of my sight."
She looked at him shyly from under her eyelashes and gave him a small smile.
"Or you could just come to live with us."
"Why, Miss Swan!" he gasped in fake outrage. "Are you suggesting that we live in sin?"
"Well, Mister Cullen, it seems that we already share a son, so I guess propriety is out the window now."
He laughed loudly and pulled her against his chest.
"I adore you, Bella. My heart beats for no one else besides you and Jack."
"Are you always going to be so sappy, Edward?"
"As long as you and Jack are in my life, then yes Bella, I am."
"Good," she murmured against his skin, "I like you that way."
"Really? What if I were an ignorant ass?" he asked jokingly.
"Then I'd have to whip you into shape."
"Whips, Bella? Really? It's always the quiet ones," he sighed. "Should I invest in a blindfold and some handcuffs, too?"
"Only if you want them used on you," she retorted cheekily.
He laughed and kissed her forehead. "I've fallen for you so hard, so quickly. I think that I'm beginning to understand my mother's belief in fate."
"How can you think about your mother while we're laying here naked?"
"Hush you, stop being a perv," he mock-chastised.
"Well, then stop trying to talk about Esme while I have no clothes on. Carlisle, on the other hand..." she trailed off.
"Oh, you little," he growled as he reached to tickle her foot.
Bella squealed and scampered off the bed, taking the sheet with her. Before he had a chance to chase her, his phone started ringing. He reached over onto the nightstand and frowned when he noticed the caller.
"Hey, James," he answered the call.
Bella narrowed her eyes in annoyance and perched on the edge of the bed, shamelessly eavesdropping.
"Today, actually. No, that's fine. Uh huh. Cool. Okay then, I'll see you Wednesday."
He hung up the phone and gave Bella a thoughtful look. "Out of curiosity, has your private investigator found out anything yet?"
She gave him a surprised look. "No, why? Is something wrong?"
He shook his head. "No, but," he paused and pursed his lips in thought. "James has sounded odd the last few times I've spoken with him. Like he's nervous about something. He just asked to meet with me about some documents on Wednesday."
He sighed and ran a hand through his already tousled hair.
"As much as I want to believe you're wrong, I can't discount your apprehension. I just- I just can't picture him with Victoria. It always seemed like they hated each other."
Bella bit her lip in thought, carefully forming her next words. "Hate is a very powerful emotion. It's often said that there's a thin line between that and love."
She reached out and stroked his cheek with one finger. "Hey, let's not worry about James right now. I'll give Jenks a call later on and see if he's any closer to finding anything out. Maybe you were right and I was reading too much into things."
His shoulders sagged as if something heavy weighed down on them. She stood and held out her hand.
"Come on, let's take a shower before we have to get ready to leave."
Bella kissed Jack on the head and hugged Edward tight as their flight leaving LaGuardia for Chicago was called.
"I love you guys and I'll see you in a few days."
"Bye Mom, I love you, too," Jack murmured as he hugged her tight.
"I love you, Bella," Edward whispered, resting his forehead against hers. "Be safe, please."
"I promise," she whispered back.
Esme reached out and held Bella's hand as they watched their boys board their flight. As soon as they were out of sight, Bella let a tear slip.
"Oh, sweetheart," Esme said with a sigh as she put her arms around Bella's shoulders. "It'll be alright. I know it's sad."
Bella wiped her cheek and gave Esme a grateful smile.
"Look at it this way," the older woman mused. "Imagine how I'll feel when my son moves across the country permanently."
Bella gasped and tears built up in her eyes once again. "Oh, Esme, I'm so sorry. I never thought of that."
"Oh, quiet, silly girl," Esme laughed. "I know it's for the best. Even before Jack was taken, a piece of Edward was missing. You're that missing piece. You, him and that gorgeous grandson of mine complete each other. Although, another little one wouldn't hurt, you know."
Esme winked at her and Bella felt her cheeks flush.
"Ooooh, what did you say to make her blush that way, Mama Cullen?" Tanya asked as she plopped down in one of the hard seats across from them. "Was it about her and Eddie boy knocking boots?"
"Tanya!" Bella whisper-shouted. "Jesus, what is wrong with you?"
Tanya laughed and shook her head. "Come on, babe. It's not like the Marriott's walls are that thick, you know?"
Bella's blush intensified when she noticed Esme choking back a laugh. "I'm never living this down, am I?" she muttered.
"Nope," Tanya replied, popping the p at the end of the word.
She narrowed her eyes at her friend. "Popping the p, really Tahn? Who even does that anymore?"
Tanya winked. "Apparently awesome people like me."
After a few moments of silence, Tahn broke the quiet.
"Sooooo, who's telling the shrimp? Me or you?"
Bella groaned and put her head in her hands, not looking forward to the Spanish Inquisition that would erupt when she told Alice about losing her virginity to Edward. "We have an hour until our flight, I'll do it now. If she hears it from you, she'll be pissed."
"Have fun!" Tanya called out as Bella made her way over to a quiet corner, flipping her friend off along the way.
The line rang twice before Alice picked up.
"Bells! How's it going? Are you having fun?" her friend chattered excitedly.
"Allie? Are you sitting down?"
AN: Ok, so this was a bit of filler and fluff. Drama returns in our next chapter.
Just letting you guys know that while I'm unsure of the exact number of chapters left, I know that it's not many. Maybe eight? And no, there won't be a Parachute sequel. As a reader, I've ended up disappointed in a great number of ones that I've read, so I'm not even considering it. I love the story too much to possibly ruin it. We will have an epilogue though, for sure. =)
See you guys on Monday with the next set of teasers! You're definitely going to want a piece of the review reply teaser. I swear it will be worth it. ;-)
Music used in this chapter was 'Hey, Soul Sister' by Train and 'Club Can't Handle Me' by Flo Rida. The music as well as the books mentioned are up on the Parachute Blog. (http : / / kitsushel . blogspot . com)