Thank you jkane180 for the beta job, and for making me laugh while reading your corrections!

Chapter 16

My attempt to be more relaxed and have faith in my husband and our relationship proved to be working. I was feeling a lot better. Things were slowly getting back to normal.

I wanted to forget all about what had happened, but at the same time, I knew that wasn't healthy.

It was the day before New Year's Eve, and I had to go into the gallery to get some work done—Jake said he needed me to do it today, and considering he'd been so great with my time off, I wasn't going to give him a hard time about it. I did wish I could do it from home though, so I wouldn't have to face Edward. He'd been trying to talk to me, but I really didn't want to talk to him.

"So, who wants to go with Mom, and who wants to go with me?" Emmett asked, looking from Evan to Aiden.

He had to go into the office too, and we had no one to stay here with them.

"Umm," Evan frowned, unable to decide. "I don't know."

"Okay, Aid, it's up to you."

"I think I want to go with Mama. I like your work too, Dad, but I want to see if Edward's there. I have some new paintings I want to show him."

Emmett's jaw tightened at the mention of Edward, but he nodded.

I pulled Aiden into my side. "Mama's little Picasso," I mused, running my fingers through his overgrown hair. He didn't want it cut, so for now—while it wasn't too out of hand—I'd let him have his way.

Evan liked his hair short, though, and looked very professional, helping Emmett by carrying some files.

"All right, Ev, we're outta here," Emmett announced, placing a kiss on my lips and giving Aiden a high five.

Evan and I kissed goodbye then Aiden and I got ready to leave.

"Ma, can I go to Edward's office?" he asked as soon as we arrived.

"Yeah, make sure you knock and don't interrupt if he's with someone or on the phone," I told him. He was already on his way.

A couple of minutes after I was settled and doing my work, Aiden ran in to tell me that Edward had told him to come tell me he was with him and not to worry. I was glad I didn't have to wonder about where he was, and also that with Aiden here, Edward wouldn't try talking to me.


I looked up to see Renesmee and smiled, standing to greet her. She already had a baby bump and was glowing.

"Hey, how are you?" I asked.

She smiled, placing her hand over her stomach. "I'm great. You okay?"

I nodded, and the two of us had a little chat. She and Jake were really happy. They had just married, were expecting their first child, and her sister and niece were living here now. I'd met them the other week, and they were as lovely as Renesmee.

Turns out Renesmee was just here hanging out while Jake had a meeting, and she'd just come in to say hello because we hadn't talked in awhile.

It was going to be exciting having two brand new little babies soon. Perhaps our kids would be friends. It would be nice. If she had a boy, maybe they'd date and even marry when the time came...

I spent way too much time with Alice... She'd been trying to figure out who Sam was going to end up with in the future—Aiden or Evan. I'd gotten sucked into it. I had to admit, it would be amazing if our kids joined the three families into one big one.

She left me to my work when Jake was done. Jake nodded at me and told me not to work too hard. I couldn't believe he was married and about to be a father. I was really happy for them. I knew he'd be amazing.

As happy as I was for them, it was hard seeing everyone else so content. All our friends seemed to be without worries. I wanted the same. I felt a small shot of pain in my chest and quickly pushed it aside, taking a deep breath so I wouldn't break down and cry again. I'd been so emotional with this pregnancy.

"Excuse me, Bella, I'm sorry."

I shook my head and focused on the employee that was at my door.

"It's fine. What's up, Ash?"

"There's someone here for you. He said he's been trying to reach you."

Riley. Oh, shit, I'd gotten a voicemail from him and completely forgotten to get back to him.

"Let him in."

I smiled when he entered my office and stood to shake his hand.

"Wow, look at you. You look beautiful," he complimented.

I sighed. "I feel like a whale, but thank you."

He laughed and shook his head. "When's the baby due?"

"Couple of months. I can't wait."

I motioned for him to sit, and after a few more moments of small talk, I asked what was on his mind. He seemed kind of nervous about something.

"I don't really know how to tell you this. It will probably sound like I'm lying, but I'm not. I swear Bella... I've been trying to find a way to say this, but I don't know how."

He was sort of scaring me now, and I honestly had no idea what he could possibly have to say.

After Riley left and my work was done, I walked to Edward's office in a daze. His office door was open, with Aiden coloring on some papers at his desk and Edward on his cell phone. When he noticed me, he excused himself and made Aiden aware I was here.

"Hey, Ma."

"Hey, come on, we have to go home now."

"But Edward and I are hanging out," he pouted.

"Come on, baby, we have to go pick Sammy up." Alice had texted me with a last minute emergency with work and Jasper couldn't cancel his lunch meeting.

He huffed but gathered his things.

Edward stood and gave me a smile.

"Thanks for..." I motioned to Aiden.

"No problem. We're buds after all. Right, Aid?"

Aiden nodded as he came to my side.

"Okay, say bye to Edward."

Considering the news I'd just gotten, I wasn't even thinking about how awkward I felt around Edward.

The drive to Alice's was quick, with Aiden singing along to the music he'd put on. I didn't even notice the song. I had no idea what to do. I knew I had to tell Emmett, but I wasn't sure how or what he'd think. Could he handle this?

It had the potential to be a great thing... or not.

Alice and Jasper's house still felt like home, so I never knocked, letting me and Aiden in to a whole punch of people yelling, "Surprise!"

It took me a minute to realize I'd walked into my own baby shower.

Alice was smiling brightly as she came and hugged me. I hugged her in return, holding her as close as possible.

"You want me to go into early labor?" I laughed, very surprised.

She shrugged innocently. "I'm sorry."

I shook my head and laughed. "I love you."

"I love you." She hugged me again. "I really am sorry." She didn't have to go on; I knew what she was sorry for. She and I had been off ever since my kiss with Edward and Emmett's... stuff.

She soothed my hair out, and I looked behind her to see Jasper had a hold of Aiden's hand. "We're going to go meet the guys for lunch. You guys have fun."

"Did Emmett even have to work today?" I asked him.

"Yes, but I didn't. Half of today was a lie. Jake didn't really need you at work."

I put my hands on my hips but wasn't mad.

"We just needed to make sure you were busy and wouldn't stop by here for any reason," Alice explained.

"Well, thank you for lying. You're all very sweet."

All the girls greeted me, Renesmee admitting she'd only come in to make sure I was distracted for longer than the work would distract me for.

Little did they know Riley's news would be the most distracting. I was happy for the delay in having to speak to Emmett though.

The baby gifts were all extremely cute, and the games we played made me laugh to the point that I almost peed my pants. The food was great too.

"Hey, you okay? Did you like the party?" Alice asked.

Half the people were still here, talking, eating, and drinking, but all the main events were over with.

I smiled and nodded. "I'm just tired. Thank you for the party, though; it was so fun."

"I know. How cute is this?" She grinned, holding a tiny pink dress. "Baby clothes are the best."

I laughed and agreed, hanging out with Alice and everyone a little longer. I made my way home as I really was getting tired, and when I got home, Emmett and the boys left me alone to nap. Although it took me awhile and I spent most of the time staring at the ceiling, I still did get some sleep in.

I'd tell Emmett later.