Savannavansmutsmut is feeling a little under the weather after her surgery, so I'm posting this for her. Send her some love and maybe something funny. She's high as a kite right now on painkillers, so everything is funny!

Chapter 35- One night I looked up at the beautiful stars and began to think...where the HECK is my roof?

EDWARD

I had been home for a month now. I had no plans on going back to work. Facing death had a way of making me see what was important, and I realized that spending my every waking minute and some of my sleeping ones with my girls was the only thing that was important to me anymore.

We would be fine financially. I came from money, and my trust fund alone was plenty for us to live on for the rest of our lives.

My mom had wanted us to come and visit, but Bella was still nervous about going somewhere that had employed a man who had tried to kill her. I still couldn't believe she had been right. But then again, I realized I should never question Bella. She had a way of reading most people that would put fortune tellers to shame. Maybe I'd have her help my parents get a replacement butler.

I did finally get her to agree to meet my mother for tea. We were all going together. I was clinging to my girl, since I realized I'd almost lost her, and, well, she was hanging on to me, too, so it was okay. An outsider might think we were smothering each other, but in reality, we were just grateful that we still had each other.

My mother met us at the door. I almost said, "See, no butler," but I didn't.

My mother immediately took little Emma from my arms and snuggled her tightly. I felt bad. It was obvious that she missed us horribly.

I looked over at Bella and saw she was looking very worriedly at my mom, who turned quickly and hurried down the hall toward one of the tea rooms. I held Bella back a little so we could talk.

"Is everything alright?" I asked hoping for some insight.

"No, it's your mom…something's wrong, Edward. Something's very wrong," she said and then quickly followed after my mom.

We all sat down in the tea room, and I could see my mom was plastering on a fake smile. How had I missed that before? She had dark circles under her eyes that not even her expensive makeup could hide.

"Hey, Mom, how have you been doing?" I asked sincerely worried. I scooted next to her and put my arm around her.

I saw a flash of pain on her face, before she said, "Oh, I'm fine, dear. I'm so happy you all were able to come. I was missing you so much." She reached a hand out and squeezed Bella's to let her know that she did truly miss her.

My girl, the wonderful woman she was, got up and sat on the other side of my mom and hugged her tightly. That was all it took, and my mother was a blubbering mess. I took Emma from her lap, and my mother held onto Bella with all her might, as she cried her eyes out.

Little Emma started to fuss, so I took her out for a walk in the hall to let my girls have a moment. My mom was obviously upset about something.

I didn't get very far, when I saw my father at the end of the hall. "Oh, you came," he sneered, "And you brought your little brat. Well, you're both worthless shits now, aren't you," he growled and stumbled.

It was the stumble that made me realize my father was very drunk. That and he was holding a bottle that he took another swig from. "You're nothing now, threw it all away, and for what? Nothing!" he said taking a few more steps toward me. "I raised a couple of fuck-ups, didn't I? You and your brother, you're total fuck-ups, with your whores and their babies."

If I hadn't been holding Emma, I would've punched the jackass in the face.

"YOU'VE RUINED EVERYTHING!" he shouted.

I heard a door open and close behind me, and then I felt Bella's hand on my arm. "Edward, we need to go."

I looked to see that Bella was still holding my mother in her arms, my mother's face down on her shoulder. I realized then when she said 'we' that she meant my mother as well. I nodded and followed her down the hall and out the door, doing my best to ignore my father's drunken ranting behind us.

It was later that night, after I'd learned what was going on, that I wished I had passed my daughter to my wife and beaten the ever living shit out of that bastard.

What I'd thought were dark circles turned out to be black eyes. My father had beaten my mother. I didn't know how my girl had known, but thank god that she had, and we were able to get my mom out of there.

Of course, mom made excuse after excuse for him. I wasn't all that surprised to hear her blame it on his drinking and my grandparents.

As it turned out, once I'd dropped out of my residency, word had gotten back to my grandfather. What I hadn't known was that my father's fortune had a stipulation on it. My father was the only Cullen boy, and so it had been left up to him to produce male heirs worthy of the Cullen name and reputation. Of course, if we turned out to be a couple of dropout losers who amounted to nothing, as my father now saw us, then my grandparents would pull the plug on the money.

My mother told me that the Cullen's had previously disowned Carlisle; that was until Emmett and I had been born. That was when the money came back into play. That was when the whole mess had erupted.

My mother told me that she had met with my grandfather recently on her own and had cleared everything up, letting him know that Emmett was still in school, but my father hadn't believed her and went nuts, beating her.

If I never saw my father again, it would be too soon, and I would be going nuts on his face.

Bella was an angel. She had my mother set up and comfortable in the guestroom. She sent Rose out to get her some clothes, and then she pulled out a deck of cards and a tub of ice cream to help distract my mother.

She was a saint.

My mother had been staying with us a week, when someone rang our doorbell. One might not think a doorbell ringing was odd, but it was at our house, because everyone we knew who was welcome just walked in.

We all stopped what we were doing and stared at the front door for a minute. Bella finally got up, taking little Emma with her, and answered it.

We were all shocked by what we saw.

"Well, look here, Marjorie, they answer their own door." It was my grandfather and grandmother. My mother quickly patted her hair and straightened her dress. It made me sad that she was nervous around them.

Bella, being the angel she was, smiled at them and invited them in. He looked around and seemed to be amused with something, whereas my Grandmother Marjorie seemed to be disgusted.

"So, Edward, all that money in your trust fund and you choose to live here," he said tapping his cane on the floor. My mother actually blushed.

"Here is good. Emmett lives next door. We wanted our kids to grow up together."

"Plenty of room in the mansion, you know."

"It's a little crowded with my father there," I growled.

"Right, right," he said looking around at the pictures on the wall. "Look, this won't take long. Seems Emmett is on the road to becoming a doctor, and I wanted to know why you stopped."

I pulled off my shirt, shocking him, and then turned around, exposing my scars. They hadn't attended our wedding and had no clue what had happened to me.

"Heavens, boy, did someone drag you behind a horse?" he asked.

"No, someone tried to kill my wife and child at our wedding. They missed and got me instead. After nearly dying, I decided I'd rather be with them than waste my time anywhere else."

"Do you need to sit?" Bella asked shocking us all.

My grandfather looked at her surprised and then smiled. "Thank you, dear." He took a seat in the living room, and my grandmother sat next to him carefully. I was amazed she didn't pull out a hanky to sit on.

"Would you like something to drink?" Bella, ever the angel, asked.

My grandfather smiled. "Why, yes, do you have some Bourbon?"

Bella smiled. Alice had given us the good stuff trying to make amends. "Yes, we have Bourbon del Valle, red or gold label?" she asked.

His eyes lit up. "Red, if you have it. That's a rarity, you know, my dear."

She grabbed him a glass and brought him out the bottle. His eyes widened. "How on earth did you get this?"

"My friend owns a bar; people give her this stuff all the time and she usually passes it on to me. She knows Edward has the taste buds to appreciate it."

"Well, then, my boy, you should join me in a drink."

I was about to protest, when Bella put her hand on my shoulder and gave me that play nice look. She handed me a glass and took her seat next to me. My grandmother was still making a face, as if she smelled something bad, and it was pissing me off.

Bella set Emma on the floor, and she pulled herself up using the coffee table and smiled at my grandfather. He'd better hope he didn't say anything bad, because I was not above punching the old man.

"Well now, looks like she has the Cullen eyes, doesn't she? Are you planning on having any more children?" he asked looking at me.

I looked at Bella and shrugged. "Well, yes, I suppose, but Emma isn't even a year old yet."

"Yes, yes, right, of course, and you don't even have a nanny. So in a few years then?" he asked Bella directly.

"Yes, I suppose. I'm not opposed to having more kids, if it's what Edward wants."

"Of course it is. We need an heir to pass down the Cullen name. Turns out Emmett shoots blanks, I assume that's something that runs in your family," he nodded to Esme.

I was about to say something to correct his misinformation and the slight against my mother, but Bella gripped my hand. "So, Mr. Cullen, to what do we owe the pleasure of your visit today," she asked a bit too politely, but I didn't think he'd noticed.

"I just wanted to get the facts, before I draw up the papers."

"Papers?"

"My will, boy, you don't think I'm leaving anything to that mess of a man you call your father, do you? Your mother's gone and ruined him good."

At that, I stood up, and Bella, wise woman she was, quickly put Emma in my arms.

"Look, boy, I know we don't see eye to eye, but I promised my father on his deathbed that I'd be sure to produce an heir to pass down the family name. It took five tries before we had a son. Now, your father only had you two, and since Emmett's shooting blanks, that leaves you. So I'm going to leave everything to you, if you can produce a son."

"I don't want it," I snapped.

"Fine, fine." He looked at Bella, "You be sure to call me, when you have yourselves a boy. If I'm dead, Marjorie knows the drill. She'll make sure you'll get it all once she's gone."

"We don't want it," I snapped again.

"Think of how many houses for homeless people you could build with all that money." I looked at him shocked. "What, you think I don't know where you're spending all my pennies?" He let out a laugh. "You may not think I like you, but I do, and when you bought a mess of houses to give to some low-lives, just to impress a girl, I knew you were on to something with this one," he said pointing to Bella. "Charity's good for public relations. You have yourself a girl who'll make us look good."

Did he really think she cared if he approved of her?

"My mother's been head of several charity boards for years," I defended her.

"Yes, but I can tell with this one, she thinks outside the box. She's really going to make something of the Cullen name, and 'bout damn time, I'd say." He stood up, so I guessed he was ready to go.

"Well, Edward, Bella, it was nice to see you again," he said. Emma kicked and squealed, smiling at him. "She's a happy one, isn't she? I knew there was more to babies than screaming." He reached down and tickled my daughter's foot. She laughed and squealed, reaching for him.

"Would you like to hold her?" Bella asked.

I wanted to scream, "No, he can't hold her!" But when I saw the look on his face, I couldn't help but smile.

He was downright stunned. "I…ah…I don't think I know how."

Bella, the little wonder she was, put her arm around my grandfather's shoulder. "I'll help you," she said sweetly and brought our daughter to his chest.

My daughter, of course, was a happy baby and kicked and squealed at the attention. She clapped her hands for him and grabbed at his cane, making him laugh.

"How do you make her so happy?" he asked smiling.

I wanted to say something rude, but my Bella cut me off. "Oh, she just knows she's loved, that's all. With Edward, Esme and me doting on her all the time, she can't help but be happy."

"Well, that's nice indeed." He passed my daughter back to my wife and patted her shoulder. "Thank you, dear," he said sincerely.

He headed for the door. "Edward," he called, stopping before he stepped outside, but I was sure my grandmother was long gone already, "This visit has been eye-opening. Don't worry about school. I've decided you're fine to do what you're doing and just have a family for now. You seem to be doing good with this one," he pointed to my daughter. "Make some more, Son, and enjoy it while it lasts," he said before he left, shutting the door after himself.

I stood there gaping, a little lost and confused. My mother broke the silence. "Well, that went well."

We looked at her shocked. My grandparents had been outright rude to her, and she thought it went well?

"So, Bella, dear, would you like some help in the kitchen with dinner?" she asked.

"Mom?"

"Edward, I've been dealing with the likes of them for going on thirty years now. Please, don't make anything out of this. They were actually very nice this time. I think they were trying to be friendly."

"What?"

"I think she's right, Edward."

I was sure my wife and my mother had lost it.

"Your grandfather seemed to really try, and your grandmother didn't say a word. That in itself is an amazing feat, dear. You should be pleased. It seems they're trying to change for the better," my mother tried to explain. "I think your wonderful wife has something to do with it."

I couldn't believe it, but my beautiful Bella wrapped her arms around me and kissed my nose. "See, baby, things are looking up." She smacked my butt and winked at me, before disappearing into the kitchen.

Yeah, my girl was just amazing.

BETA'S NOTE: I wanted to rec a few stories/authors I've been working with lately. Please go have a look and leave them some reviews. Their stuff is really good and terribly under-reviewed!

Stealing Home by redkat19761 is an awesome read. The story is finished, she's just publishing chapters as I finish beta'ing them. The story spans over a ten-year timeframe from when they meet as teens (him 15, her almost 17) when Edward and Emmett's dad move them to be nearer to their grandfather after their mother dies of cancer. Both have trust and abandonment issues, but can they overcome them to find each other again?

Emanon by morganb91 is a WIP, but it's really good so far. Jaded teens who have clashed since preschool are still clashing and tempting fate with their reckless behavior while trying to grow up and cope with life and peer pressure, but their Boxers have other ideas about how to get along. Puppies ensue!

Supernatural Hunters in Training (S.H.I.T.) by meeky311. This story is so funny it should come with a no-drinking-while-reading warning. It's very tongue-in-cheek, among other places, while the dynamic duo deal with horny haints and possessing perverts. Emmett is in rare form throughout. It's the Rated-M convergence of Ghostbusters, Supernatural and Scooby Doo. Zoinks and Jenkies!

Paladin, also by meeky311, is a WIP. Bella is a "superhero" of sorts, stalking the seedy streets of Seattle after dark, saving innocents from the scum found there. She's known as the Coffee Vigilante, because all her rescued vics claim she smells like coffee. Edward Cullen is the SPD detective determined to find out who she is, using a secret weapon of his own. Very good story so far!