The Twilight Twenty-Five
Prompt: #11, Hollow
Pen name: IdPattThat
Pairing: Edward & Rosalie
Photos for prompts 1, 7, 13, 19, & 25 can be found here:
He watches her sleep and feels his chest tighten. He brushes messy blonde curls from her face before kissing her forehead and exiting the room. It's a sad realization that's brought tears to his eyes, an aching in his heart that just won't stop.
Tonight is the last night that he'll get to tuck her in. It's the last night that he'll get to read her a story and watch her fall asleep.
It's the last night he'll get to hear her whispered 'I love you' as he silently shuts off the light.
Tonight is the last night he will spend at his house with his wife and daughter.
Tomorrow he won't have a wife. Tomorrow he will be 'separated.' His daughter will be the product of a broken home. Just like her father, just like her mother.
"So, what are you in for?" He leaned over and tried to catch the attention of the girl next to him. He'd never seen her before, but he was pretty sure he liked what he saw. Long legs, wavy blond hair, ice blue eyes and pretty pink lips, yeah… he liked what he saw.
"Flipping off the teacher. Stop fucking talking to me." She spun around in her seat so her back was to him and he grinned.
Detention wasn't so bad.
He entered the guest room down the hall from his daughter's, stripped down to his boxers and crawled into the small bed. Tomorrow she would be home. Tomorrow he would take the last of his stuff to the three-bedroom condo he'd purchased on the other side of town.
Tomorrow his family would cease to exist.
"You wanna go out with me?"
"Nope," she said as she tossed her books in her locker.
"Can I have your number?"
"Not a chance." She slammed the locker door.
A name was better than nothing.
His wedding photo stares at him from the dresser. A gown and a tux, big smiles and roses. He snatches it off the dresser and traces her face with his finger before letting the frame fall to the floor. His sleep was uneasy; his daughter's face weaving in and out of his dreams disappearing from his sight and returning as her mother.
When Edward awoke in the morning, the frame was still on the floor, cracked down the middle of the couple in the picture. He couldn't find it in himself to see the irony.
"I can't believe I agreed to this," Rosalie said as she lowered herself into Edward's car.
"Face it, I'm irresistible." He grinned and she shook her head at him
"You're something, all right," she returned, not daring to look him in the eye. Rosalie wouldn't give him the satisfaction of knowing what he did to her. Yet. She watched him as he drove through the winding road and the modestly busy streets of Port Angeles. The way he tapped the steering wheel at red lights was annoying, but how he pulled his bottom lip between his teeth kind of cancelled that out.
He took her to dinner. Not 'dinner and a movie.' Just to dinner and then out for ice cream, even though it was fifty degrees outside. Edward held his hot chocolate with both hands and watched her eat a double scoop of chocolate ice cream. He wanted to kiss her and see if she tasted like chocolate.
"I want to taste you," he blurted out and then mentally kicked himself. Really, really hard.
"What?" She laughed loudly at his outburst and he groaned.
"I didn't mean that. I mean – I did mean that. But I didn't mean to say it." Edward explained knowing that it really only made him more of a creep to admit that he was thinking it.
"Um… okay?" She tossed her unfinished cone in the trash can and linked her arm through his. "What did you mean to say?" Rosalie asked as they walked through the small flea market set up around the town square. He watched her pick up different beaded bracelets, draping them across a dainty wrist.
"I want to kiss you," Edward answered, angry at himself again. Something about her always made him spill his guts.
"Oh." She blinked and looked away, her eyes focused on dark blue beads intricately woven together. "Maybe. Maybe later."
"Daddy?" Her sweet voice broke him from his trance and wiped the frown from his face.
"Yes, sweet girl?"
"Daddy, can I have more chocolate milk?" She held out a glass and he tried to smile as he took the cup from her hand, but the blue beaded bracelet on her arm made his stomach drop.
"Where did you get that Rae?" Edward set the cup down and grabbed his daughter's wrist.
"Mommy gave it to me," she said with tears in her green eyes. "Am I in trouble?"
"No baby. You're not in trouble." He let go of her and filled her cup up again. "Finish that so we can go to school."
"I got you something," Edward said, his hands shoved in his pockets.
"That 'something' better not be in your pants, Edward." Rosalie snickered at her own joke and Edward felt himself turn red. He liked when she said his name.
"It is. But in my pocket, you dirty girl."
"Darn." She pouted and he laughed.
"Here." He thrust the tiny plastic bag into her hand and watched her open it. Her pretty lips curved into a perfect smile and before he knew it her arms were around his neck and she was kissing him with all she had. It took him a moment to remember to kiss her back.
"Thank you,"she whispered against his mouth.
"Anytime," he replied and watched her put the bracelet on. If that was the way she said thank you, then he'd spend the rest of his life buying her presents.
"Daddy, will Mommy be home tonight?" Reagan asked, while they waited in line at school.
"Yes. She'll pick you up today."
"Can we have pizza for dinner?" She fingered the bracelet on her wrist.
"You'll have to ask your mom about that."
"Daddy? Are you going on a trip?" His daughter noticed the duffle bag sitting next to her in the backseat.
"No. No, I'm not."
"What are we going to do?" Rosalie asked softly from the center of the twin bed in her dorm room. Edward leaned against the dresser, his arms crossed in front of him, and his eyes fixed on the floor. "Edward?"
"Huh?" he asked, still dazed from her revelation.
"Help me out here, babe." She stood in front of him, her arms around his waist. He uncrossed his own limbs and wrapped them around her.
"I guess you'll just have to marry me."
"But, I don't want you to go!" Reagan wailed. Edward looked around anxiously. The front step of the town's elementary school was not the ideal place for a seven-year-old to have a meltdown.
"Rae, we talked about this. You'll come see me on the weekends at my new house. Remember? I took you to it last week."
"I don't care! I want you to stay with me. You're. My. Daddy!" She stomped her tiny foot in protest and Edward felt the fissure in his heart threaten to crack wide open.
"I'm still your daddy, Reagan." He pulled her into his arms and tried to wipe his own tears away. "I'll just live at a different place."
"Who will tuck me in at night?" she asked as the bell rang.
"Mommy will. You know she will." Reagan's bottom lip trembled and her eyes filled with fresh tears. That was all it took for Edward to scoop his daughter up and carry her back to the car. School and work be damned that day.
"Are you happy?" The question startled Edward and he looked up from the laptop sitting on top of his legs.
"Extremely. Come to bed." He closed the computer and patted her side softly. Rosalie didn't move.
"I'm not happy."
"What do you mean?" He lifted himself off the bed and took slow steps to her.
"I mean I – I want a divorce."
"Rosie, what the hell are you talking about? What about Reagan? What about our families?"
"I met someone else." The words hit him like lightning; anger erupted from every pore of his body. She had the audacity to ask if he were happy and then drop a bomb like that?
"You met someone? We're married Rosalie. You can't "meet" someone."
"At work. And I - "
"Oh, so now you're fucking your clients? Classy. That's a great way to build business."
"Stop it? You fuck around on me? On our family? And you ask me to stop it? After all I've given up?"
"I didn't ask you for anything!" She yelled.
"No. I gave it to you. Because I fucking love you, Rosalie. How hard is that to understand?"
"He cares about me." She whispered. Edward laughed humorlessly.
"Really? Are you fucking kidding me?"
"Edward, please listen…"
"Get out." He stared at her with cold, dead eyes. She recoiled slightly, never being one to back down from a fight. Especially a fight with Edward. Edward who practically worshipped the ground she walked on. Edward the father of her precious daughter. Edward, Edward, Edward. She'd never seen him so angry.
"Get out of my fucking house. Now."
"Fine. But Rae is coming with me."
"You'll take my daughter out of this house when I'm dead." He spat the words. She squared her shoulders and grabbed her jacket from the end of the bed. He heard her walk down the hall and into their daughter's bedroom, then down the stairs, and out the door.
He fell to his knees on the hardwood floor, his head in his hands and his heart in his throat.
"Why isn't she at school?" Rosalie whispered loudly when she finally arrived home.
"It was a rough morning." Edward shrugged, lifting his daughter's sleeping head from his lap. He stood and walked around his wife toward the door.
"We can't let her do that to us. She can't take advantage of the situation that way. We knew it would be rough, Edward."
"No, you knew it would be rough. I thought we were married."
Thanks to UofMAnne, Lightstardusting, and sah4004 for reading, commenting, beta'ing. Hugs and boob grabs all around.