Here's the latest for our slugger and his sleeping beauty. I'm really enjoying this one and the next few chapters are some of my favorites. A big shout out to the WC ladies and my beta's Mizzdee, and the master of the red pen on this ditty, A Cullen Wannabe.

Voting is open until the 26th for the contest I'm co-hosting with Rosalynn, the Share Your Inspiration Anon O/S Contest To check out the entries and vote for your favorite check out the profile: http:/www(dot)fanfiction(dot)net/u/2580394/


I don't know why people like the home run so much. A home run is over as soon as it starts... The triple is the most exciting play of the game. A triple is like meeting a woman who excites you, spending the evening talking and getting more excited, then taking her home. It drags on and on. You're never sure how it's going to turn out. ~George Foster


Chapter 3 – An Unexpected Triple

I've had bad nights in my life, the worst of which were a few years ago when Bella and I hit our rough patch, but nothing compared to last night. Tossing and turning was impossible the way they had me cocooned in my pillows, but it didn't keep my body from trying. Someone, most likely my mom, had stopped by and changed the sheets, but by doing that, she removed the thing that helped me sleep through the night, Bella's scent.

Around 6:45, when I couldn't take it anymore, I screamed my frustrations and was soon hearing the pounding of feet in the hall before my door flew open and my parents were at my side.

"Edward, what is it? What hurts?" My mother's frantic voice had me shaking my head before I could form the words.

"Nothing. Can you help me get ready? I have to get to the hospital."

I saw the look between my parents before my mother edged closer. "Why don't I cook you something for breakfast, then your dad can help you shower and we'll talk some about your plan that way we can go over it with Emmett when he comes by. He's moving into the guest room across the hall today, so he's close by. We'll see Bella…this afternoon."

"No. They let visitors in at 10am, and I will be outside her room then. The nurse told me that her doctor would stop by around 11, so we can discuss her condition and I need to talk to my agent. I have to make the announcement."

"Don't you think you're jumping the gun?" My father wasn't talking about the injury not being a career ender, but more about the desire to make it official so soon.

"I'm not going to play again, why deal with weeks of speculation. I'll announce it and then the team will be free to move on and so will I. Now can one of you please help me?"

My parents relented and in the next few hours, I showered as best as I could with my casts, dressed, ate and had spoken to my agent.

By the time that 10am rolled around, I was sitting in my chair in the hall as Bianca walked out from behind the Nurse's station. "Good morning, Edward. It's good to see you out of that bed and back in the world."

"I wish I was back in it. How's my wife?"

Bianca looked solemnly. "The same. Dr. Rolands will be here in a few minutes if you'd like me to bring you in there."

"Thank you, Bianca."

We approached her room and she left my chair right next to Bella as she got to work checking the various machines connected to her and imputing the information onto her chart. I was looking up at my sleeping beauty when I heard the door open.

"Oh, Mr. Cullen, it's good to see you. I'm Dr. Rolands, and I'm your wife's neurologist."

I took a deep breath and extended my hand to him. "It's good to meet you. How is my wife?"

"Her condition is complicated. She has many more minor injuries, but on top of that, when she hit her head she had an intracranial bleed. Now, that bleeding hasn't gotten any worse since she underwent surgery when she first arrived here. Her coma isn't medically induced at this time, but in the future, it may be necessary. She has a lot of injuries and we need her to recover from those, so at the current time, her brain activity is promising. Once she regains consciousness, we can test to see if there was any permanent damage, but now the timeframe for her coma is what we have to watch. It could be a long time and she'll wake up with no difficulties, but she could wake tomorrow and have some problems. It's a waiting game at this point, but we're monitoring her very closely. I'm sorry there isn't more I can tell you."

I hadn't expected more good news from him, so to hear that the tests had shown the bleeding was still under control was something. Now I just needed her to come back to me. "Thank you, Dr. Rolands, that's good news. At least she's stable and nothing new has cropped up."

"That's always a good attitude to have, Mr. Cullen." The doctor left at that point, moving on to his next patient as my mother fluttered around the room, straightening things out, and only serving to piss me off.

"Mom, why don't you and Dad go back and get your things together, I know you have to head back to Forks. I'll call Emmett later to come get me."

"Sweetie, we don't mind waiting with you, our flight isn't until late tonight-"

"Esme, I think our son was politely asking for some time alone with Bella. We'll stop by later to say good-bye to her before visiting hours are over."

I felt bad for kicking them out, but my dad seemed to understand I wanted to spend some time with my wife. I moved a little closer and took her hand, the way I started my stories the past few days, with the gentle hum that let me know that somewhere in there, was the love of my life. "I couldn't sleep last night. They made the bed before bringing me home so the sheets didn't smell like your shampoo and bodywash. I know it's childish to get that upset over it…but I've gotten so used to it, that I can't sleep without it anymore. I can't live without you, Bella. You know, the funny thing is that all this has me remembering our first date. I'm sure you don't know it, but I was a complete wreck."

~%~%~%~%~

My punishment for the fight with Mike wasn't as bad as I had expected, but still, those two weeks were a slow torture. Bella and I saw each other every day in school, and we made out while she hung out at my house with 'Alice,' but the date she'd agreed to still hung over me. This could be over really quick if she had a shitty time.

We were sitting on the couch in my bedroom, on my first night of freedom and I was trying to plan this date in my head, something that Bella obviously noticed.

"Edward if you're bored, I can always go home and I'll just see you tomorrow at school."

Wrapping my arms around her waist, I pulled her closer and started kissing below her ear. "Silly woman, I was just thinking about where I was going to take you on our date."

Her face lit up and I knew I had to make it something good, despite the words I knew she was about to repeat to me. The same ones she said a thousand times in the last two weeks. "Edward, it doesn't have to be some big scheme, I just want to spend some time with you."

"If I can get us reservations at La Bella Italia for Friday, will you talk to your Dad about it?"

Her face scrunched up as she heard the name. "What's that? I've never heard of it."

"It's an Italian place in Port Angeles."

"You don't have to drive all the way to Port Angeles to go to some fancy restaurant."

I scoffed at her logic on that one and shook my head. "Bella, there are only two real places to eat in town, the Lodge, which I know you hate, and the diner. This place isn't super fancy, plus if we want to go to a movie we have to drive to Port anyway."

"How about this, dinner out and a movie in?" This woman was seriously undermining my plans here, but the thought of getting some petting during the movie was enough to sway me.

"Fine, I'll call the restaurant, you call your dad."

The school week that followed us agreeing to dinner was pure agony, as she seemed to be staying away on purpose, but when Friday rolled around it was so worth it. I knocked on her door at 5:30, knowing we had an hour drive ahead of us, and 7 o'clock reservations. Bella was ready when I got there so I walked her out to the car, an umbrella between us as I opened the door for her and then ran around to get in myself.

The rain was coming down pretty hard and some of the lights were out on the road, so I kept my speed slower than I liked, but when we got to the restaurant with a little time to spare, I was happy enough. Walking in, the hostess flashed me a bright smile, making sure to act as though Bella wasn't there. I noticed it register with her a moment before I pulled her closer to me and told the girl, "My date and I have a reservation for two. The name is Cullen."

We were led to a small table and thankfully, we had a male waiter who was old enough to be our father. He took our drink orders and then left us alone while we looked over our menus. Bella was tapping her foot under the table, her teeth firmly pressed into her lower lip, as she looked at the different options.

"They have some great fish dishes here, if you aren't in the mood for pasta." Her eyes flashed to mine and then settled on the left side of the menu, where the salads were. "Bella, order whatever you want, it's okay."

"Are you sure?"

"If I wasn't okay with the prices, I wouldn't have brought you here. I wanted tonight to be special."

Her hand reached across the table to rest on mine. "It was special the moment you picked me up. What do you say we relax and just be Edward and Bella?"

"I'd love that."

Our waiter returned and Bella ordered the salmon while I got the sea bass and then we settled into easy conversation. Most of the time she talked about the different stadiums she'd been to thanks to her stepfather, making me excited to see them myself someday. I wasn't used to being able to talk sports with a date. Seeing how well she knew the game made her that much hotter in my eyes, not that she needed the help.

We finished the meal and I paid the check quickly, taking her hand as we ran for the car. The rain was a lot harder and heavier than they had predicted. As we made it down the winding road back to Forks in the darkness, we hit a dip in the road and everything went black.

The engine died in a sputtering rush and with it the lights and music vanished. I reached for the door when Bella stopped me. "Edward, where do you think you're going?"

"I have to push the car onto the grass; if I leave it in the road someone is going to hit us. The water's too deep to try and use a flare to mark our location."

"Okay, I'll help you." Bella was reaching for the door when I stopped her.

"You'll get sick if you stand out there in the rain!"

"And you won't?" She fired back, but I was putting my foot down.

"Just try and call for help." I got out of the car and was thankfully able to use gravity to push it the last ten feet until we were safely off the road. I got back in the car to see Bella staring at a walkie-talkie. "What's that?"

"My dad. He keeps putting it in my bag, but I always take it out. I guess he thought I may need rescuing tonight." She smiled sheepishly at me but I was glad to see it.

"Hey, radio in. There isn't any service out here. It's a wonder we get reception in town."

Bella turned on the walkie and called into it, hoping her father would hear her.

"Bells, what's the matter?"

"Dad, Edward's car died when we went through some water. There's not a lot of lights on this stretch of the highway and we're stuck."

"Is the car still in the road?" He was clearly talking like the Chief now, but I was just happy that we'd be getting out of here.

"No Edward was able to get it onto the grass; it's downhill, so it wasn't too bad. We're at mile marker 87."

"Okay, you two stay put and I'll give the tow company a call before I come and get you."

"Thanks Dad." Bella smiled and I could hear him grumble before he spoke again.

"If Edward can't hear me, tell him I said thanks for taking care of you."

"You're welcome, Chief." I called out into the waiting walkie and then we sat there and waited. To pass the time, we played a movie game where you name movie stars. When the bright lights of the tow truck, followed by the Chief's cruiser flashed in front of us, we both sighed as it had started to get cold. I grabbed the things that I really needed out of my Volvo, then took the umbrella and ran around to Bella's door to help her out.

Chief Swan was waiting as we walked up to the cruiser, ready to open the front door for Bella and then the back door for me. I'm sure he was going to entertain a few ideas of how he could land me in that back seat for real now that I was dating Bella, but in reality, we were warm and I'd hopefully earned some major points with him tonight.

He stood watch as my baby was loaded onto the flatbed truck and then taken away before he walked back and got in the cruiser to drive me home. "So, how was dinner?"

"It was really nice. Edward was a true gentleman, opening doors, waiting with the umbrella so I wouldn't get wet, I'm just sad that we couldn't go and watch the movie with Alice and Jasper like we planned."

"So that little show of running around to Bella's door wasn't for my benefit?" I heard the smile in the Chief's voice, but I played the moment straight.

"No sir, my parents raised me to do those types of things. I've had years of practice with Alice."

Charlie's eyes caught mine for a second and then he turned back to Bella. "For all you go on about the good that phone your mother got you does, it was the radio that got you both out of this mess."

"There isn't good reception out in the boonies, Dad," Bella teased.

"If you had gone to watch the movie, how would you have gotten home? Was Edward going to drive you?" The Chief was keeping a close eye out for the turn to my house, so I didn't know where this could have been going.

"No, Jasper was going to on his way home. It would have been a little late for Edward to make the trip when he was already home. He or Emmett always give me a lift when we have a movie night."

We had just pulled up in front of my house when Chief Swan turned to me. "I'm proud of you son. You took good care of my daughter tonight, and as long as you do that, we will never have a problem. Now Bella, go let your boyfriend out of the back and enjoy your movie."

Bella's face lit up as she turned to face her father. "Seriously? Thank you, Dad!" Her arms found his neck as she gave him a tight hug and then took the umbrella off the floor of the car and ran around to let me out. We ran to the house and gave him a quick wave before heading inside to find Alice and Jasper already half way through their movie.

"Jasper, what time do you have to be home?" I asked as my mom walked in.

"No special time, why?"

"Because Bella and I were going to go upstairs and watch a movie, but she's gonna need that ride, so I didn't want to leave you waiting for her."

"Why can't you drive her home if she stays a little late, Edward?" My mom was drying her hands and I took a deep breath and told her the bad news.

"Some of the lower lying parts of the highway were flooded. I couldn't see how deep the water was, so when I hit one of them my engine died. Chief Swan had to come pick us up and have the car towed, but it's probably totaled."

"Oh my word! It's a wonder you two weren't hurt, but with the rain, I bet not too many people were driving. This rain was a lot worse than they predicted."

"Yeah, it was, but now we're going to have to carpool it even more than usual."

Jasper nodded and then turned back to the movie. "Well, I can get you all for school until you find out what's happening with your car."

"Thanks, dude. Shall we?" I turned to Bella, offering her my hand, which she accepted with a blush quickly flooding her face. We went up to my room, picked the first movie off the shelf and popped it in. Heading straight for my couch, we got comfortable and then proceeded to forget about the movie as we made out. Bella and I had talked and set up very specific rules because there were things that made her nervous, still being a virgin and all. I didn't mind it, because when you know what you can't do, it gives you very clear ideas of what's allowed, and the over the shirt action I got that night was a pretty awesome way to spend the evening.

~%~%~%~%~

As I finished the story, a thought entered my mind, where were Charlie and Renee in all this, and Phil? "Baby, it's funny, I don't think I've thought about that night in years, but it was that night that started my relationship with Charlie. He and I have always had a good relationship, even when you and I were fighting; he never completely shut me out like he could have. He's a good man and I'm going to find out why he isn't here, because I can't imagine him missing this."

I squeezed her hand a little tighter and kissed it, before wheeling closer to run my hand over her forehead. "I miss you, baby. Come back to me." There was more silence from my beauty, which caused a sigh to escape before I could even stop it.

"How's my Transformer?" I looked over to see Emmett poke his head through the door.

"She's good, the same, but that's something, right." Right now, I was 100% sure.

"Sure it is." He walked over and kissed her forehead. "Alright, Bumblebee, we menfolk are going back to your crib. I'll have Edward back here tomorrow, as early as he can roll his ass out of bed."

"I have a little business to tend to tomorrow morning, but I'll be here as soon as I can. Night Bella, sweet dreams."

Emmett wheeled me out of the room and down to the elevator, telling me that my manager called saying he'd be here in the morning and had set up the press conference just as we'd discussed. Emmett helped me into the car. When I mentioned I was hungry, he swung by McDonald's like we did when he'd visit us during college and then we headed home.

We watched some movies, but with my shit night sleep the previous evening, I was fading early. Noticing my fatigue, he helped me upstairs and threw me some shorts and a shirt I hadn't seen in years. "Em, where'd you find this?"

"Your mom found them with Bella's things. She said something about feeling bad about doing laundry or something and said she found a bunch of them, so you could sleep in them if it helped. Oh and lay down and tell me if you notice why I'm your best friend."

I looked at him like he was out of his mind, but once he had me under the blankets and cocooned in my pillows so I was properly supported I caught the familiar scent. "Emmett, what in the fuck?"

"I called Rosie, because I knew that she bought Bella bath stuff every year as part of her gift and she told me to go to Bath and Body Works and get 'Moonlit Path.' When I went in and found it, I bought a bunch of bottles of the spray like Rose told me. When I got back, she told me how to spray the bed so it would smell like it without killing you with it. You've got enough of it to last you a fucking decade because I never wanted to go back into that place, but there you go."

"How did you even know?"

"I stopped by and heard you talking to Bella, I didn't want to interrupt, but wanted you to know that I was there. When I heard it and got Rose on the phone, I figured that I could run the errand and still be back before you'd be ready to leave." He stood there looking proud of himself and in all honesty, I wanted to cry I was so happy, it was a small gesture, but it meant everything to me. It really meant so much that he went to the trouble.

"Thanks Emmett, and you're right, Jasper would have mentioned it to Alice, knowing that he'd be off the hook."

We both laughed until I was clutching my ribs, the pain from them silencing us as my best friend left me alone for the night. Lying in bed, the scent of her body wash surrounding me, I finally found a comfortable slumber.