The Difference Between Us

A/n: Hum. Yeah. I know. Where Have I been? Well I had the worst recovery pretty much ever. I almost died too many times to count and, well, to be honest, I still haven't recovered and the doctors don't think I will. The surgery had more bad out comes than good really and I'm in and out of hospital a lot. Like a lot – I'm in hospital right now. I have some issues that keep arising and it makes it hard to focus on writing, and to be honest I think trying to get back to this after so long, was a challenge, but now I have the first chapter done, I'm praying it comes a little easier. This story is not finished. Not by a long shot.

I would love to give huge thanks to all the amazing folk who have sent love and messages of support to me. You have no idea how it felt to be reading those messages when I was still in ICU and struggling so bad. I love you guys. I honestly do.

Now I'll leave you to it, let you read, and please let me know what you thought. I personally don't think this is the best chapter, but I know much more exciting stuff is coming real soon.

With the flick of my wrist, the damp kitchen towel snapped across Bella's backside making her scream and causing her to promptly turn around towards me. She waved a large kitchen knife in her hand in my direction as I had distracted her from chopping up vegetables that she was preparing for diner.

"I swear, you do that again Edward Cullen and I'll be chopping off something else." The playful glimmer in her eyes and the small smile on her face wasn't much of a warning, but the idea of that knife anywhere near me was.

Sitting down the towel I went to her and placed my hand over her ass, trying to sooth the sting as she went back to the avocado she was cutting up.

It had been over a week since my father had been around and put his hands on her. She was tougher than she gave her self credit for. She got on with things. She was up, ordering me around, studying, cooking, cleaning... It was almost as if it never happened. Occasionally I would catch her looking deep into the mirror and the look on her face would devastate me. Of course I would tell her it would heal and that she was still as beautiful as ever. The truth of the matter though is, I didn't think that she ever truly believed me.

But she was still Bella. Still stubborn and still able to take herself from that day and be here with me all the rest of the time and I was happy, if she was happy.

Sweeping here hair back, I let my lips trail across her neck. She let out a giggle and shrugged her shoulders all the while trying to fight the stone out of the avocado.

"You're going to make me cut off my fingers." She chided me.

"Well put it down and come to bed with me. We can eat later." I let my hand roam from her hip, over her stomach and up to her breast, cupping the soft mound from over her top.

I felt her relax into me and I could tell she was weakening. But before I could pull her up stairs, my cell phone began to ring, snapping her back to reality.

"Who is it?" She asked as she pulled forward and away from my touch, returning her attention to the vegetables.

Emmett's name flashed across my phones screen and I swethered on whether I should answer it or not. All I wanted to do was to sneak into bed with Bella. But I knew I had to answer it. I didn't want to upset the balance that we had just already found.

"Emmett" I called, answering Bella and Emmett at the same time.

"Edward, it's Rosie. She's gone into labour." He panicked out. My attention was on him. "We're heading to the hospital right now. Mom is on her way from Seattle."

"We'll be there as soon as we can." I promised. There was no doubt or hesitation. Emmett called me during one of the biggest moments of his life. I wasn't going to shake it off and wait for him to call me back once it was over and done with. I was going to rush over there as fast as I could and start to build my life back around me.

Bella looked at me curiously, silently waiting as Emmett informed me that they were heading to Port Angeles Infirmary and who their doctor was. Without a goodbye, he hung up.

"Rosalie has went in to labour." I smiled at Bella. Her face lit up and she squealed before jumping up to me and wrapping her arms around my neck and kissing me squarely on the lips.

"This is so exciting," she proclaimed as she let go of me and promptly began packing up the veg into plastic containers. "We'll grab some food there. I need to go get ready." She was already dressed and looking stunning so I didn't know what she was needing to be getting ready for.

I held her, stopping her from running up the stairs. "Shouldn't we eat before we leave? It's a long drive." Hospital food wasn't really floating my boat after being forced it only a couple of weeks ago. "Please don't make me eat hospital food again." I pouted.

"We can stop for food on the way." She promised.

Where though? Riley was still in Port Angeles. I told him he wasn't needed. We were going to have to get a cab there. I didn't have a car here.

"We're going to need to get a cab." I pointed out to her.

The look in her eyes changed as she thought about it. Then a small smile played on her lips. "We can take the car here."

What car? "What car?" I asked confused before the penny dropped. Ah. There was a car here. A very nice, shiny, expensive car.

"The Aston Martin?" I asked shocked at her suggestion. I didn't even know who the car belonged too. She nodded.

"We need a car and fast. Why not? It's not like anyone needs it right now." She shrugged.

"I don't know who's car that is, Bella. I can't just take it. For one, I'd really shit myself if I scratched it." I laughed.

"You won't scratch it. Or if you're too afraid to drive it, I will." her face practically split in two with the smile of that idea.

"No." I told her sharply.

"Aww. You're not one of those men are you. Women can't drive and all that."

I shook my head. "I'm sure you can drive fine. But I'm not letting you drive a car when we don't even know who it belongs too."

"We need to get to the hospital." She reminded me.

"We can get a cab." I reminded her.

"We need to stop for food on the way since you won't eat at the hospital." I sighed.

This was going round in circles. "Fine. I'll drive it though. I'm hoping it belongs to my mom and that she won't kill me."

Bella lit up and jumped on the spot a little looking a little triumphant.

The keys. I hadn't saw the keys to the car. Where were they?

"I don't know where the keys are."

She looked a little sheepish as she pointed behind me. "Middle drawer on the island. The one with all the junk in it."

I turned around looking at the closed drawer and turned back to Bella with a raised eyebrow.

"After last week, I went hunting for them. If I'm ever going to be in this house myself again, I need to know I can leave. I'm not being trapped here."

I nodded, understanding her. "Do you feel trapped?" I asked carefully.

She nodded. "A little. At times. Last week when I couldn't leave until you came back, that was a horrible feeling."

"You were trying to run away because of what Carlisle did to you. I'm glad you were stuck here." I told her honestly. "You are right though. You need to know that you can leave if anything like that were to happen again. Though it won't because because I'll always be here to make sure it doesn't. No one will get a chance to hurt you again."

She shrugged, ending the current topic of conversation. "So am I driving?"

Pulling up to the hospital, Bella knocked back her double shot cappuccino. "Finished." She proclaimed. "I'm ready for the night. I'm buzzing."

I shook my head at her excitement. "If you get tired, let me know. We can get a room at a hotel. There is one right along the street."

"Edward, I'll be fine. I'm twenty-two, not two." She reached for the handle of the car and I followed suit, cornering the car and taking her hand in mine. I'd never taken her hand. Not really, at least. I had done so to pull her along in my direction, but here, in the public eye... this was different. And a first for me.

We rushed in through the electronic doors and followed the signs for maternity. It was quiet. The waiting room empty with the exception of an older couple. I asked for Rosalie and they pointed us toward the seats, telling us they would let them know we were here.

We sat and waited.

"Eddie." Emmett's voice called out to me. I stood up instantly, turning in his direction. The smile on his face was huge and he practically skipped along the corridor. Meeting me, he crashed into me, hugging me tight. "I'm glad you came. It really does mean a lot that you're here." Bella smiled at us as she stood up. When Emmett broke away from me, he clamped himself down onto Bella. Bella being lifted off the floor in the process.

Placing Bella back down, he spoke. "Mom should be here in a little while. I'd like to stand here and chat, but Rosalie is almost ready for castrating me. I don't want to piss her off any more." he grinned.

I nod. "Of course. I'll be right here if you need anything." With that, he left us and we took our seats for the night ahead.

Bella's head rested on my chest as we sat slumped in a small settee in silence. I let my fingers run through her long dark hair and tried to stop myself from looking at the bruises that she still carried. I was feeling oddly nervous. I hadn't spoke to my mom since the whole incident had happened. Not even to let her know that, now, I understood why she left.

Too many feelings ran through me. My mind was in over drive and the only thing I could think about right now was that I hated myself for not going to see and speak to her as soon as I had found out. My concern had been Bella. I hadn't left her side. Not once, with the exception of speaking to her father. And Bella didn't need to be dragged through all of my family's problems when she had enough to deal with. And even more importantly, I couldn't risk taking her to the city.

"You've been quiet since we got here." Bella's hand rubbed along my thigh in a comforting way. No doubt trying to prise my thoughts out of my mind.

"I'm just thinking."


"My mom. I haven't spoke to her after... after I found out." I couldn't say it out loud. I didn't want to. For my own sake and for Bella's. I hadn't spoke to my mom after Emmett had told me everything. I still hated myself for not knowing. Not seeing it. "I should have at least called her..." I sighed.

"She won't care, Edward. Once she sees my face, she'll know why you haven't." I cringed at the thought of my mom seeing Bella's face, black and blue, just like how hers would have been all those years ago. "She's your mom. The only thing she will care about now is that you're here. Could you have imagined all this happening before you were attacked? No. And I doubt she could have either. You're all together again and that is all she will ever care about. Not who was right or wrong or who knew what." Her head lifted up and she kissed my lips softly, pecking them before resting her head back on my chest.

"Edward," My mom's sweet voice called out to me, my head snapping to her instantly as she stopped on the spot. She wore a smile but it dropped as her eyes landed on Bella.

Bella stood up and I followed suit taking a step or two towards my mom. I felt Bella's hand rest on my back as I stopped and shifted uncomfortably under the gaze of my mother.

"Bella, sweetie. What happened?" My mom's tone a pitch or two higher than normal. She leaned to her left trying to angle herself so she could see Bella's face, Bella still trying to hide behind me. My mom looked hurt. Pain I her eyes.

"I didn't do anything wrong." Again, like I had told Emmett the day after it happened, I defended myself in sheer panic at that thought that I could have ever have done that to Bella.

She nodded, positive of herself. "When did he find you?" She was obviously well too aware of who was behind it. Carlisle.

"Last week." I croaked out. "I was out at check-up." I shrugged. I hadn't had felt as devastated since I had saw Bella after the incident. Being here with my mother, standing right in front of me and Bella behind me, supporting me, it was too much.

My mom reached forward, embracing me in one arm and reaching out to embrace Bella with the other. "This should have never of happened to you, Bella. None of this is your fault. It's mine." The certainty in my mom's voice was powerful. Looking at Bella, her eyes welled with unshed tears. She was trying to be strong.

I had to disagree thought. "Mom, none of this is your fault either."

Stepping back, she shook her head. "I should have reported him. I should have done something."

"Mom, I need to talk to you. In private." Her brows furrowed forward in confusion, but she nodded. Turning to Bella, I excused myself and kissed her on the temple. My mom and I walked along the corridor looking for a quiet spot. We found one quickly and sat down.

"I'm sorry." I whispered out.

"Why are you sorry?" She asked with more confusion across her face.

"Because I didn't know. I... I never knew what he did to you. I thought it was all you. He made me think there was another man. That we weren't good enough for you. That's the only reason I stayed with him. I found out last week." She looked shocked, her mouth hung open a little and her eyes wide.

"You didn't know? Until last week?" I nodded.

"I took Bella to Emmett's, where she would be safe. I had to go tell her father what had happened. When I went over and he saw what had happened Emmett guessed it was Carlisle... I never knew." My face fell into my hands and I scrubbed away at my eyes. Looking back up at her, a sad look played across her features, lips tightly lined. "Seeing Bella like that, it's hard. It made me so angry. When I got my hands on him I thought I was going to kill him. I wanted too. Then when I found out about you and that he covered it up blaming you. I hate myself so much. I hate him so much. I feel like my life is one big lie and the fact you two were hurt makes it... I don't know. I still want to kill him."

Her hand reached out for my face and her thumb traced along my cheek bone. "You won't. You know why? Because you are a decent man. And that look in your eye right now tells me that the only thing you really care about is how Bella feels, and she needs you. So you will be the bigger man, walk away from him and leave him to rot alone. Bella is far better for you than your father ever will be." I nodded.

"You are too." I squeaked out. "I'm going to do better. I'm going to prove to you that I'm not him. I'll make it up to you. I promise."

She shook her head as her hand slipped from my face to my hand. "You don't need to prove a thing to me, Edward. You are my son." She closed here eyes briefly for a moment. Her green eyes once again made contact with mine. "I will be honest, I was sceptical that you were able to treat Bella right. The way she deserves to be treated. I see the pain in your eyes and I wish I had someone who felt like that when I was hurt. You love her, don't you?" I nodded, yes.

"Does she know?" I shook my head answering her in silence once again.

"She told me she loves me though." I admitted.

"Why didn't you say it back?" She looked sorry for me as her hand reached for my hair stroking it.

"Because she deserves something better." I shamefully admitted. "I want this to last beyond being holed up in the house but I don't want to say those things for it not to work out in reality." I sniffed. "I want to keep her forever but at the same time, I know she could have an easier life with someone who isn't messed up or looks like how I do."

Her hand moved from my hair and pulled on my chin sharply. "Edward, sweetheart. Listen to me right now. Never in your life have you looked more beautiful than in this moment. You deserve her too. You deserve to be together, to be happy. Don't make my mistake. I knew I shouldn't have married your father. We weren't right together. He was a bad guy from the start and I was naïve. I thought marriage and babies would change him."

"I think we're a long way from that," I mumbled.

She laughed lightly "Yes. I'm sure you are. But don't think that you don't deserve it. If she makes you happy, why complicate it with second guessing yourself. After all, you are the reason that she's happy too."

"Her dad is going to kill me."

She shrugged her shoulder "He's her father. It's his job to scare the life out of you." she laughed again. "He's only looking out for her, like you would look out for her." I nodded.

Silence fell between us as we watched people walk by in the distance.

"Mom, Who does the Aston Martin belong too?"

"I can't believe she had a girl." Bella squeaked out as she collapsed onto the hotel bed. I didn't want to start off driving back to Forks in the middle of the night, only to drive back in the morning so I thought it was best to get a room. "She was so tiny. So beautiful. She looks so much like Rosalie." She continued as she kicked off her jacket and trainers.

"She's lucky she looks like Rosalie and not Emmett." I quipped in.

"Aww, Edward. I could have held her all night." She sighed as stretched out.

I laughed. "You sound like you want one of your own." Bella with a baby was a scary thought. Because if Bella were to have a baby right now, it would be mine and that was a thought that my mind would not process.

"Come on, she's cute in all her little baby ways, but I don't think it's enough to encourage me to have one of my own." She let out a little sharply.

"You don't want kids?" I asked surprised.

"Maybe one day. Right now? No." Pulling off her top, she smiled over at me. "I am, however, very interested in the mechanics of baby making. You know, you got a lot of training to do before you can run a marathon." She smiled widely and I had to laugh.

With her laying out on the bed in only her jeans and bra, I was drawn to her. My mind forcing my legs in her direction. I let my body crawl over hers as I felt something incredible pulse between us. "I hear practice makes perfect." I mumbled into her mouth before kissing her lips and letting my hand trail over her hip and towards the zip of her jeans.

We awkwardly shuffled out from our jeans, laughing. As soon as she was free of the denim she pushed me down onto the bed and straddled my waist, reaching down to kiss me. I was drowning in her hair, blinded by the brunette with only my hands to guide me around her curves.

Come morning, the bright day shone through the crack of the curtains. Sneaking out of bed, I left Bella sound asleep as I reached for the curtains, taking in the day. A warm glow shone through the streets but you could see the cold frost on the sidewalks. It was a perfect day for being bundled up and out side. I hated the fact that I couldn't wander the streets with Bella on my arm. I had to put her safety first. I felt it was a big enough gamble going to the hospital.

She came up behind me silently, startling me a little. I was entranced by the beautiful day and thoughts of the beauty who I had woke up beside. I knew now, and after last night that the only thing I was certain of now, that Bella was the only solid thing in my future. And I would fight everyone and anyone who got in my way of that.

"What are you day dreaming about?" She whispered out to me, her grip tightening around my waist.

"Thinking about how great life is."

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