A/N Evening my darlings! Here's the outtake as promised...it's a bit late for those of us her on the East Coast. I'm posting it on Wednesday as promised just barely. ^_~
Love and thanks to Ladysharkey and Jadsmama for being so wonderful in asking for this conversation. This little outtake had been banging around in my head ever since before Bella and Edward found each other outside the surgical bay the day of Olivia's procedure. I have to shout out to them for also having such kind words about this little outtake. They got to read this early because well it was done for them...mwah! Love ya ladies!
To Jessica1971, what is there that I can say...I couldn't do what I do without you. much love bb!
Disclaimer: Not mine...but you know that, I'm just playing with these beautiful characters.
Outtake- Need You Now
A conversation with Esme
I smiled, running a hand through my hair as I rounded the corner on my way to the elevators after leaving Bella outside Olivia's room.
I couldn't believe that she truly felt the same way for me. I understood her hesitance and fear of what was going on between us at the moment. Honestly, the intensity of it all scared the shit out of me, but I wasn't willing to allow that to hold me back from something that could be amazing; I knew that it could be….with Bella. I was just happy that it seemed she wasn't going to allow it to hold her back, either.
The things Bella revealed when I first found her outside the surgical holding bay, just after they had taken Olivia away, floored me; when I first saw Bella only days before I would never have imagined that she had such a history.
I mean, I'm not a moron; it was obvious there was something heavy in her past judging by the reactions from Rosalie and Emmett at lunch when Bella ran out on me. I just never would have guessed that she was a widow, or that she had a child, and not just a child but one as ill as Olivia.
Having children wasn't something I had actively thought about in the last ten years. I'm a guy, it's not like our biological clocks start ticking when we hit our mid-thirties. I knew I wanted to have children, I just hadn't really thought about being a father.
The thing I realized after meeting Olivia was that I couldn't imagine not being around her. She was adorable; she looked like a tiny Bella with blond hair, and the kid was funny. Even after having a procedure earlier in the day her sense of humor was firing on all eight. I hadn't spent any real time with Bella at that point, but I had a feeling that biting wit Olivia had was something she inherited from her mother, as well as her beauty.
I was never more thankful for Mrs. Gertrude and the fact that she had a soft spot for me, because Olivia truly seemed to appreciate the gift I brought. That fact alone gave me a warm feeling in the center of my chest that I couldn't exactly explain. It wasn't as if I hadn't brought small gifts to my patients in the past. I knew it sucked to be in the hospital when you're a kid, but there was something completely different in doing that for Olivia.
I couldn't explain it but there was just some magnetic force between the two of us. When I was in any proximity to her I had to touch her- hold her - as if my body needed hers like it needed oxygen and that gave me more than enough fodder for thought on the way to the parking garage and into my car.
A stupid shit eating grin was plastered to my face all the way to my building as the memory of Bella wrapped in my arms and telling me she felt the same pull floated through my mind. She didn't understand it anymore than I did, but she felt it and she wasn't running from it; for now that simple fact made me ecstatically happy.
I made my way into my building, nodding in greeting to the night-time security guard as I hit the call button for the elevator.
As I took the elevator to my floor, even thoughts of the Spanish Inquisition I was sure to endure from my mother couldn't wipe the smile off my face.
Honestly, I was actually anxious to talk with my mom. Never before had I known my mother to take to someone as quickly as she did with Bella and I wanted to get her opinions on the situation after she spent the morning with both Bella and Olivia.
The smell of something absolutely fabulous greeted me as I opened the door to my apartment, immediately making my mouth water and my stomach rumble in protest of the fact that I hadn't eaten since before my shift began early that morning.
I found my mother standing in my kitchen, plate in one hand, wine glass in the other, and a knowing smirk firmly on her face.
"Hello, darling," she said, smiling as I crossed to press a kiss to her cheek.
"Hi, mom," I said, taking the offered glass of Merlot. "What's all this?" I asked, gesturing to the spread of food she had prepared as I took a sip of wine.
"This?" she asked, nodding to the plate in her hand. "Oh, nothing. I thought you might be hungry when you finally made it home, so I cooked you a little something."
"A little something, huh?" I smirked, taking the plate and pulling out a bar stool.
"It was nothing," she smiled, taking a seat next to me.
"Hm..." I hummed as I took the first bite and the venison melted in my mouth. "Oh God, Mom, that's delicious."
I wasn't exaggerating for her benefit, although I knew how much she loved to cook, and like any good cook she should be complimented for the meal, it was amazing. I wanted to make sure she knew, as if the 'mm's' and 'ah's' or the fact that I was tucked into my plate like a ravenous wolf weren't enough to tell her I was enjoying the food.
"So…" she trailed off, looking at me over the rim of her glass as she took a sip of her wine while I finished up my dinner.
"So?" I asked, quirking an eyebrow as I took a drink, knowing exactly what she wanted but unwilling to give in that easily at least for the moment.
"Oh, you rat," she huffed, smacking my arm and laughing lightly. "You know good and well what I meant. Now get on with it and tell me how things went when you met Olivia."
I laughed, taking another sip of wine before I did as I was told, like the good son that I am, and spilled my guts.
"Olivia is….." I trailed off, dropping my eyes to the counter as I struggled to put into words how I felt about the beautiful child I had met just a short time before.
There really was no way to describe what I was feeling; I didn't have enough words.
"She's wonderful, isn't she?" she said.
"Yeah," I whispered, the memory of Olivia's face when she asked about my attending her ballet recital flashing through my mind.
I began explaining everything that had happened, from the awkwardness of initially entering Olivia's room to the way she had invited me to her recital, and the talk about where things stood between us, Bella and I, had afterwards. The warm feeling I had as I remembered the way Olivia smiled and laughed with me during the time I spent with her was just as strong now as it was when I sat in that chair at her bedside, even hours later.
I felt the smile spread over my face as I tried to explain what I felt in that room, how connected the three of us seemed to be even after only a short time with one another. I looked up when I felt a hand closing over mine and felt my brow furrow as I saw the concerned expression on my mother's face.
"Darling," she said, her voice full of emotion.
"What?" I asked, confusion coloring my tone.
"Edward," she said, squeezing my hand. "After spending the morning with Bella and then meeting Olivia….They're both such beautiful people," she paused, seeming to try to gather her thoughts. "I'm just concerned."
I sat staring at her for a long moment, stunned, unsure of how to respond. I turned to glare down at the counter, pulling my hand away from hers. I sat up a little straighter on my stool and twirled the wine glass between my thumb and forefinger. I couldn't bring myself to look at my mother as I tried to control the irrational anger I felt suddenly. When I spoke, my voice was much sharper than I intended.
"What do you mean you're concerned?"
"Now Edward," she said, patting my arm to gain my attention, hoping to stop what I'm sure she could see brewing on my face. My mother knew me better than anyone and could always read me like a book. "Don't go getting defensive with me, son. I'm concerned because I want to make sure you've thought this whole situation through thoroughly. That you've looked at all sides before you go jumping into something you're not fully prepared for."
"What?" I said, standing suddenly as I began to pace around the room, my hand was instantly in my hair.
I had to move, I couldn't sit still at that moment. The shock of my mother questioning my jumping into this thing with Bella blind was hitting me square in the chest and making it difficult to breath as I continued to pace.
"What are you even talking about? At dinner last night you were telling me to go after her, that there was simply no other option. Now you're telling me you're concerned I haven't thought this through? What the hell, mom?"
"Edward," she said, her voice sharp in warning at my disrespect.
"Sorry," I said, stopping myself as I suddenly felt like a little boy being reprimanded.
"Listen to me," she said, and I looked to where she still sat at the bar. "I'm very much aware of the fact that you obviously have strong feelings for Bella. It's easy to see how that has happened. She's quite beautiful and I don't mean just physically, though she is truly stunning. There is something very vulnerable underneath that tough exterior she works so hard to portray to the outside world. And my goodness, Edward, there is absolutely no way to do anything but adore that lovely daughter of hers. But, darling, you have to think this through."
"I have thought it through, mom," I said, trying to keep my voice even.
"Have you?" she asked, quirking one perfect eyebrow at me in question. "Have you really?"
"Yes," I said, but suddenly a little less sure than I had been a few moments ago under the scrutiny of her gaze.
I had thought it through, hadn't I? I knew I wanted to pursue a relationship with Bella, I was absolutely positive about doing just that…..wasn't I?
"Well, I would hope that if you're serious about pursuing some type of relationship with Bella that you have thought about all the ramifications of that decision," she said, taking a sip of her wine and looking at me pointedly as she set the glass back down.
"What do you mean by 'ramifications'?" I asked, taking my seat across from her once again and draining my glass.
"You're a doctor, Edward," she sighed. "I know Pulmonology isn't your field, but you understand what Olivia's disease means for her future, for Bella's future, and if you pursue them, because it is both of them you are committing to, not just Bella. You have to think about what it will mean for your future, as well. Darling, you have to think about that and I just want to make sure that you've looked at that part of this situation.
"Oh my dear, dear boy," she said, standing to cross to me and reaching up to cup my cheek. "You have to know that there are very serious issues involved with having a relationship with Bella. It's not just the fact that whatever occurs between you two is complicated because she's a single mother. She is a single mother who has a child with an extremely serious illness. You're not just starting a romantic relationship with a woman, Edward. That's complicated enough within itself."
She took a breath, releasing it slowly and looking deep into my eyes, framing my face with her tiny hands. "Edward, if you go forward with this…if you and Bella actually take things to that level, you would essentially be stepping into the role of Olivia's father. Are you prepared to be her father, Edward? And even more importantly, are you prepared to lose that child once you've taken on that roll? Because you know with her disease it's not just a fear that haunts every parent, that you will outlive your offspring. For Bella, it's her reality.
"She understands that, even if she doesn't allow it into her conscious thinking on a daily basis. My god, son, if she did she would never be able to function. It's a reality that Bella has accepted as much as any mother can, but, darling, you're coming into this from a completely different place. You have to think about that among others…. Please understand what I'm saying, Edward. I need to know that you're sure, because those two deserve so much more than for you to move forward with this and then realize that you hadn't looked at it from every angle. I don't know that they could take losing someone else after letting them into their lives in that way. It's cruel, Edward, to not make sure. They need you to be absolutely positive of your intentions and to be willing to accept the responsibility of what it means to be the man in their life. I have no doubt you're capable of being exactly what they need, son, but I want you to be sure of what you want and that you know what you're signing up for with pursuing something more with Bella.
"Bella is a very special woman, Edward," my mother said, dropping her hands from my face. "She's been dealt a very difficult hand in life an-"
"I know that," I said, cutting her off, my voice rough and thick. I swallowed the bile rising at the back of my throat as what she said began to sink into my brain.
I closed my eyes and ran a hand through my hair, pulling the ends and taking a deep breath. There was a part of me that wanted to flat out deny what she said, to tell her that I knew all those things and that I was going to continue to see where things went, but for a brief moment I couldn't and it felt like a chunk of ice had hit my stomach, making me nauseous.
I opened my eyes and leveled a look at my mother, trying to keep my voice even as the torrent of emotions washed through me.
"I know Bella is special…..she's just….," I trailed off, shaking my head, trying to find the right words and coming up completely blank for anything even remotely close to being worthy of describing Bella. "You've spent the morning with her…there aren't enough words to describe her or how I feel when I'm around her, Mom."
She nodded as a knowing smile played at the corner of her mouth.
"She's not like anyone I have ever met," I said, clearing my throat. "I've never felt this way, Mom. There's just….I don't know…there's just some pull toward her that I can't ignore. It's like a magnetic force….like gravity. She moves, I move. I'm drawn in and I can't…..honestly, even if I could, I don't want to pull away.
"I know what you're saying" I said, smiling sadly at her and reaching out to take her hand in mine. "And I appreciate what you're trying to do….what you're telling me and why, because you're right, I do need to think about those things, and honestly I have, but I need to think about it more. I know that Olivia's disease makes things difficult for me and Bella to enter into a relationship. I can't even fathom what it must be like to live every day the way Bella does. Knowing that something as simple as a cold could end your child's life… even after just meeting Olivia today, I can't even think about how difficult….." I trailed off as my throat constricted with the mere thought of that beautiful child not being a part of this world any longer.
"I've never wanted anything more than I want to be there for them. I want to be whatever it is they need. I can't imagine not being a part of their lives," I whispered, my voice thick with the intensity of the emotions I felt at that moment. "You have to see that, Mom, please tell me you can see that."
As I looked into my mother's face, I could see the tears shining in her eyes and her chin quivered as she lifted her glass to take a sip of her wine and swallowed thickly. She squeezed my hand tightly in hers and released a heavy sigh.
When she spoke, her voice shook with emotion.
"Oh, darling boy, of course I see that," she said, looking up into my face. "There is a light in your eye when you even mention Bella's name that I have never seen before. I'm sorry, but I felt you might not be looking at the whole picture. After I met Bella today and she told me some of her history, when she talked about her daughter, oh lord, then I met that precious child," she paused, shaking her head, a smile on her face. "I just wanted you to be sure."
"I am," I whispered.
"I know, darling, I know," she said, smiling and wiping the corner of her eye delicately with a single finger.
I knew I was in trouble, though, when she looked up at me and that glint was back in her eye as a mischievous grin began to play on her face. She clasped her hands together in front of her, drawing them into her chest.
"Oh, I can't wait for them to meet your sister. They just must come out to visit for Alice's shower. I really do think that Bella is perfect for you, Edward."
I laughed and wrapped her in a tight embrace. "I'm going to bed, Mom."
She called after me as I made my way up the stairs to my room that she was serious about Bella and Olivia visiting. The woman would have our wedding planned by the time she got on the plane to return to Washington.
I scoffed, shaking my head at the idea, but really unsure whether it was that my mother would probably be doing just that, or the fact that I wasn't completely opposed to the idea.
Thanks again to all of you who have shown such incredible love for this story. I truly appreciate it from the very bottom of my heart!
Until next time...