This is going to be a short multi-chapter fic. This is not in any way related to Battle Scars. If you're one of my BS-ers and you're looking for the sequel, it will be called Aftershocks and will be posted by Monday. This is an entirely independent fic.

Disclaimer: I do not own Bella, Edward, or any other characters created by Stephenie Meyer. However, Emerson and Emmy are mine.

Chapter One: "Meeting" Bella's POV

"Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!" I heard my favorite voice shout as my bed started to bounce. I opened one sleepy eye to see my main man jumping on the foot of my bed.

"Whoa, Emerson!" I exclaimed just as my five-year-old son dove right on top of me. I laughed as I wrapped my arms around him, snuggling him to me. "Good morning, baby. You are up really early, handsome."

He kissed my cheek. "It's Saturday," he stated.

I nodded. "It is." I'm well-aware of it...why do kids have to wait for their teenage years to start sleeping in?

"So are we going to the playground?" he asked hopefully.

I looked at my curtained window. Sunshine. "Yeah, sweetie. Let Mommy get up and get dressed."

"Okay!" He rolled out of bed and ran out of my bedroom.

I stretched and yawned before I got up. I was young, but I had long ago abandoned the boundless energy that comes with youth. I dozed a little as I took a shower. After the water ran cold, I knew I had to get out and go take care of my main man. I threw my hair up into a ponytail and put on jeans and a sweater before I walked into the kitchen. "Emerson!" I called. "What's for breakfast?"

"Waffles!" he shouted as he ran into the kitchen.

"Inside voice," I scolded lightly before smiling at him. "And waffles sound great. Are you going to wear your Superman pajamas to the playground?"

His brown eyes widened. "Can I?" he asked excitedly.

I laughed. "I don't think so, Clark Kent. Why don't you put on some real clothes while I make your waffles? It's cold outside, so wear jeans and a sweatshirt, honey."

After breakfast, we prepared to get into the car and go. I packed a tote bag including a thick novel and bottle of water for me, and a few juice boxes for Emerson. He was already at the door, waiting on me impatiently.

I stooped to his level and zipped his coat up before giving him a kiss. "Where's your hat?"

He rolled his eyes. "Mom…"

"I can't afford for you to get sick," I told him. "Go find your hat and your gloves in your room and then we can go to the playground."

I buttoned my own coat as he returned with his Batman knit cap and gloves. "Thank you," I said gratefully as I helped him put them on.

"Can we go now?"

"Absolutely, hun. Let's roll."

He went straight to the passenger's seat of my old Toyota Corolla. "Not the front seat," I reminded him.

"Aw, Mom, why not?"

"Because your car seat is in the back." I walked around and gently lifted him into the child seat, buckling him in. "Where's Buzz Lightyear?"

Emerson shrugged. "I didn't want to bring him today. I brought my dump truck." He held it up and made a sound like an engine.

"Okay," I said quietly, closing the door and going to the driver's seat. Emerson had an avid interest in cars, trucks, and any other form of transportation. Most mothers wouldn't be bothered by this, but it brought back painful memories. Emerson had most definitely inherited his father's interest in mechanics...

As I drove to our favorite park, I lamented once again on my life. I was a twenty-one-year-old with a five-year-old. If you do the math correctly, you'll figure out that I was only sixteen when I had Emerson. It was the cliché teenage pregnancy story-I started dating Jacob Black, we had sex, I got pregnant, and he refused to have anything to do with me. I had always imagined that if I got pregnant in high school, I would immediately abort the baby.

But Emerson was automatically precious to me-as soon as I saw the little pink plus sign on my pregnancy test. I think it was because I had never had a hands-on mother, and maybe I wanted to be one…anyway, I'm not getting into the psychology of it. All I know is that I knew I couldn't give my baby up.

And it was the best decision of my life. My father helped me out so much that I named my son after him-Charlie Emerson. He helped me while I got a two-year associate's degree at a community college, and then he helped me find a job in Seattle...along with a good apartment and a reliable car. Charlie helped me become a good mother who could provide for her son, even though a husband wasn't in the picture. I still had to live frugally, clipping coupons and buying generic brands. Emerson didn't get a lot of new toys, but he was clean, well-fed, healthy, and happy. And truly, that was all that mattered in my world.

Emerson and I were heavily reliant on each other. He was definitely the apple of my eye, and he loved his Mommy a lot. Though I was entirely too young to have a child, I knew I was a good mother. That was obvious just by the way he kissed and hugged me everyday.

I drove to the park and helped him out of the car, holding his hand as we walked to the playground. Once we got to the edge of the gravel, he took off running toward the swings. "Emerson!" I called. "Be careful!"

I walked to my normal bench, surprised to see someone sitting on the left side of it. As I got closer, I realized that this someone was actually a really gorgeous man. He had untidy bronze
hair, a beautiful chiseled face, and long fingers that were typing away on a laptop. His eyebrows were knit together in concentration.

I tried to quietly sit on the opposite side of the bench without disturbing him. I loved this bench; it was under a big tree and gave me a perfect view of the entire playground so I could keep an eye on Emerson.

My son waved to me from the top of the slide. I smiled and waved back as I sat down with my book. It was my tattered copy of Wuthering Heights-one of my favorites. It never got old.

I started reading, my eyes frequently looking up to check on Emerson, and occasionally looking to the side to catch a glimpse of the handsome stranger next to me. I noticed as I kept scanning the playground that Emerson was playing with the little girl again. We came here as often as my job and the weather would allow, and I had seen this little girl quite a few times. What did Emerson said her name was? Emma?

She was a beautiful little girl, with reddish curly hair and fair skin. There was always a number of children that Emerson played with, but she always stuck out to me because he played with her a lot. I wondered if it was a silly playground crush.

Grinning at my handsome little charmer, I returned to my book. It wasn't much later that I was interrupted by Emerson.

"Mommy," he said. "Can I have my juice?"

"Sure." I pulled out one juice box.

"Can I have two?" he asked. "I'm, um, thirsty."

I looked at him quizzically, but shrugged. "Um, okay. You do know that if you waste them, we're not buying more," I verified.

"I know, Mommy. I'll drink them." He gave me a reassuring smile before taking the two juice boxes and running to the playground. I shrugged it off and went back to my book, but I was interrupted again.

"Excuse me," the beautiful man next to me said. "Is that your son? With the black hair?"

I looked up in horror, not sure what to expect. Emerson bleeding or something…but my son was fine. He was with the Emma girl again.

"Yes," I said, turning to look at the man. "Why?"

He gave me a heartbreakingly adorable crooked smile. "He just gave a juice box to my daughter."

I squinted my eyes to focus, and I could see Emerson and the little girl drinking from the bendy straws.

"Oh," I said. "I didn't know he would share. Is that alright? Is she allergic or something?" The mother in me started freaking out, and then the woman in me wondered how in the world this young man could have a five-year-old. He couldn't be older than me...though I definitely understood that it could happen.

He laughed. "It's fine. I'm just nervous that it's a romantic gesture. You know how protective daddies are. I'm Edward Cullen, by the way." He offered me his hand to shake.

I laughed and shook his hand happily. "I'm Bella Swan. And I can assure you that Emerson has only the best intentions in mind. He's been raised to respect women."

Edward grinned. "I'm sure. He's a beautiful child, by the way. He looks a lot like you."

"More like his father, I think..." I mused. Emerson had clearly Native American features. "But thank you. I can see the resemblance in your lovely daughter as well."

"Thank you," he beamed. "Emmy is my pride and joy."

Emmy-that was it. "I can tell," I nodded. He literally spoke of her as if she were his religion.

"Emerson as in Ralph Waldo Emerson?" he asked.

I blushed and nodded. "Yes. I'm a literature geek, and I went through a transcendental phase in high school."

He chuckled. "Emmy is actually short for Emily."

"As in Emily Dickinson?" I asked half-teasingly.

He nodded and laughed. "Yes. I'm a literature geek as well."

"I thought I was the only one to name my child after my favorite writer," I smiled at him. "It actually came down between Emerson and Langston. As in Langston-"

"Hughes," Edward filled in for me. "Emmy's middle name is Juliet, for my love of Shakespeare."

"That's hilarious," I said. "I never thought I'd have so much in common with a man on a park bench. I hope your wife is as well-read as you are, so she approves of the namesake."

He shook his head. "No wife. Emmy's mother left the picture a very long time ago. She went to the grocery store in my car with my wallet and left the baby with me. I never saw her, my car, or my wallet again." He stopped talking and turned to look at Emmy adoringly. "I have to say I got the better end of the deal, though."

"I think you did, too. I'm still sorry, though," I said.

He shrugged. "It's fine. Emmy and I are doing just fine without Tanya. You're not wearing a ring..." he observed.

Did he look to check if I was single?
I wondered, flattered. "Yeah," I murmured. "Emerson's father is out of the picture as well. And I have to say I respect you for staying in Emmy's life. Every child should have a caring father."

He sighed. "Thank you, Bella. Every child should have a caring mother, though. Single parenting isn't easy."

"Especially when you're young," I agreed quietly, turning my eyes to Emerson. He and Emmy were on the swings.

"You can say that again," Edward said softly.

He grew quiet, so I turned my attention back to my book.

Some amount of time later, I heard a sickening thud and then a very familiar cry. Panicking, I looked up to see my baby lying on the ground in front of the swing-set.

"Oh, God," I murmured, immediately dropping my book and running to him. "What's wrong, baby?"

"He jumped off the swing," Emmy informed me. "Is he gonna be okay?"

"Shh, sweetie," I soothed my son, rolling him over. "Let Mommy see."

He rolled up his pants leg, revealing a bloody scrape. My stomach rolled, but five years of being a mother kept me from passing out. "Come on, baby," I told him, picking him up. He was so heavy…

I was surprised to see Edward right behind me. "Is he alright?" the man asked me.

I nodded. "Just a skinned knee. We'll have to go home to get a Band-Aid."

"I have plenty of Band-Aids," he said. "Bring him to the bench."

I complied and sat Emerson on the bench while Edward pulled out a first-aid kit. "Overprotective?" I asked with a raised eyebrow as I started to wipe the blood up with a tissue.

Edward only grinned.

"You're okay, honey," I told Emerson, who was still sniffling. My hands stoked his hair lovingly and I kissed the crown of his head. "If you'll be a big boy about it and go play with Emmy some more, we'll go get ice cream later." But only because I have a coupon for a free kiddie scoop…

He nodded and wiped his tears on his sleeve.

Edward studied me as I expertly stopped the bleeding, applied just a little Neosporin at a time so it wouldn't burn, and then placed the dinosaur Band-Aid over the scrape. Emerson was thrilled about the Band-Aid; his favorite movie was The Land Before Time.

"It looks like Ducky," he observed.

"Yeah!" Emmy exclaimed. "I have Sarah on my elbow." She showed us her triceratops Band-Aid.

"Oh, no," I said dramatically to Edward. "You're a Land Before Time parent, too?"

Edward nodded. "Yeah, Emmy has a thing for dinosaurs. I guess it's better for me than princesses."

"You okay, little man?" I asked Emerson. "Do you want to play some more?"

He nodded, sniffling.

"Okay," I said, kissing his forehead. "Be careful, baby. You know you're just as clumsy as I am."

"Okay, Mommy. Thank you, Mr. Emmy's Dad."

I laughed. "This is Mr. Cullen," I told my son.

"Edward," my new acquaintance corrected me, giving me a dazzling smile.

"Aunt Rosalie!" Emerson shouted as he ran and jumped into my best friend's arms.

"Hi, sweetie," Rose said, kissing his cheek. "How are you?"

"Good. Mommy took me to the playground and I skinned my knee, but Mommy's new friend Edward gave me a dinosaur Band-Aid." He pointed to his knee.

"Mommy's friend?" Rosalie asked him, raising her eyebrows at me.

"Yeah," he said. "Aunt Rosalie, who is he?" Emerson pointed to a big burly man standing by her.

"This is my friend Emmett," Rosalie replied. "Emmett, this is my handsome boyfriend Emerson."

"What's up, kiddo?" Emmett asked him, offering a fist bump. "I've heard a lot about you."

Emerson crossed his arms and glared at Emmett.

"Okay, Emerson," I laughed nervously, blushing. "Jealousy isn't attractive. Hi, Emmett. I'm Bella."

"It's very nice to finally meet you," he said. "I've heard a lot about you as well."

"All good, I hope."

"Emmett," Rosalie beamed at him. "Can you get us a table? I need to go powder my nose." She yanked on my arm.

"Come with us, Emerson," I told my son.

"Aw, Mom, I always have to go to the girls' room," he complained.

"I'll hang out with him," Emmett volunteered.

I hesitated, but Rosalie said it was a great idea, so I allowed it. Rosalie considered Emerson to be her own son, so she wouldn't leave him with just anyone.

As soon as we were behind the bathroom door, Rosalie commanded me, "Spill."

"About what?" I asked incredulously.

"Your friend Edward, of course."

I snorted. "Rose. Emerson has a friend on the playground named Emmy. I happened to sit at the same park bench as her father, and he gave me a Band-Aid for Emerson."

Rosalie studied me through slanted eyes. "No. There's more."

"Ugh, fine. We talked. He's a single dad, so we talked about how hard that is."

"Did he make any indication that he wants to change his status as a single dad?"


"Come on, Bella. Throw me a bone. Is he hot?"

I blushed.

Her blue eyes widened. "I knew it! I bet he's gorgeous."

"I don't see how that's relevant," I replied curtly. "But by the way, Emmett is really hot and he seems to be a great guy."

She smiled happily. "I know, right? I think he may be the one."

"Rose, you've been dating him for like, three weeks!"

She shrugged. "I just have a feeling. Like I have a feeling about Edward."

I rolled my eyes. "We need to go. You might lose both of your boyfriends if we don't hurry back."

This will just be a cute romance. It won't be very long, but I would love it if you left me a review and let me know what you thought. The next chapter should be posted pretty soon.

Happy Thanksgiving!