A/N: As always big sloppy kisses to my beta genius Maxipoo... she is brilliant, and she is the reason this even gets posted at all. So everyone say *THANK YOU, MAXI*.

Also, I am contributing a o/s to the Fandom Gives Back fundraiser for Autism! It will be my first attempt to be part of the cool kids that do good stuff for others. Stop by the fandom gives back (dot) blogspot (dot) com for more info about how you can get the compilation.

Stephenie Meyer is the Queen of the Twi universe, I'm simply the Queen of my laundry room.

Chapter 6~ Maybe


I'm dreaming. It's one of those dreams where I know I'm dreaming. Edward is pushing me on a swing set, and I'm singing "You are my Sunshine" at the top of my lungs. I wake up with a smile on on my face. I open my eyes and see that Edward is still asleep next to me. I lay there and study his angel face. He is so beautiful. His lips are full and slightly parted. I could study him all day. I wish I could stay like this forever, in this make believe world where no one knows me. I can create any character I want for myself, but I find myself only wanting to tell him my truth. I want him to know me, and I want to know him. I don't have any idea where my life is headed now that Jake isn't a factor anymore, but I'm not naive enough to think that I can just stay here. I need to take my life back. I need to head home.

"Edward?" I try shaking him awake. He mumbles and blinks as his eyes adjust to the light.

"Good morning, beautiful girl." He smiles up at me. "What are you doing up so early?"

"I need to make a phone call. I'm sure that my friends have heard by now that I ran away from Vegas. They are probably worried about me. I threw my phone away at the hotel, so they have no way to reach me now. Will you meet me for breakfast at the diner when you're ready? My treat." I give him my most angelic smile.

Edward grabs me with one arm and pulls me until I am lying under him. It feels like home. His scent surrounds me and his eyes burn into my soul. His knee nudges my legs apart and he settles between them. He hitches my leg over his hip and smiles down at me. "Are you sure you have to do that right this second, B? I can think of something that might be more fun than explaining the situation with your douche nozzle ex-fiancee. Can't you? " He rubs his nose from my chin to my ear and it makes me shiver.

I can think of nothing else I'd rather do then allow him to ravage me in his bed. I know that if I don't get up right this second, I will never leave this bed again. "Edward stop!" I giggle into the crook of his neck. "I have to call my friend before she calls the police. I'm missing in action, remember? And I hope you don't think I'm going to give up my panties before you even brush your teeth! I'm a lady in case you haven't noticed, sheesh!" I say in mock horror.

He places soft, delicate kisses along my neck and shoulder. "Excuse me, Princess, but are you even wearing panties? If I'm not mistaken there is nothing under that t-shirt. Not that I mind, and yes, I will most definitely meet you at the diner for breakfast. Thank you for asking. Give my regards to your friend and please tell her not to expect you home anytime soon. I have grown quite fond of waking to you in my bed and I am just not ready to start sleeping alone again."

"I'll pass along that message. I'm sure my father will be interested to know that I'm shacking up with a super hot mechanic in the middle of the desert. There's no way he'd call the friggin' FBI and demand that they storm the place," I say as I wrap my arms around his back and hold him tighter to me. "He's only the chief of police, after all."

He looks up at me and I swear I can see the color drain from his face. "Your dad is the chief of police, Bella? How long has it been since you've checked in? Fuck, I'm going to prison for kidnapping or some shit, aren't I?"

"I sure hope not, you are way to pretty for prison. That would not be a good place for you!" I laugh so hard I think I'm going to pee my pants.

When I finally regain my composure, Edward rolls off of me. "Go make your phone call. Let them know you are okay and then let's have some food. I'll meet you at Rose's in half an hour. Is that cool?"

"Sounds perfect, Edward," I say as I get out of bed and make my way to the bathroom. When I reach the door I pull my shirt over my head and toss it over my shoulder at him, never looking back to see his reaction.


I walk to the pay phone in front of the motel and dial Alice's number. Alice is my college roommate and my best friend in San Diego. She has been my support system for the past four years. She's seen me at my best, and I am about to tell her all about my worst.

"Hello?" I hear her voice on the line and I immediately break down. "Hello?" I hear her say again and I try to pull myself together enough to answer her, but it comes out like a sob forced from my throat.

"Alice? It's me, Bella." I'm still sobbing. I can imagine the worry that I am igniting in her heart, so I try really hard to calm down when I hear her start to shout into the phone.

"Bella? Where are you? I've called you like eleventy billion times and you haven't answered once! Are you alright? Talk to me Bells... You gotta give me something to work with!" She's still shouting, and feel like a horrible friend. I'm fine, and I'm freaking her out.

I take a deep breath and prepare to try and calm her down. "Sweetie, calm down. I'm okay. I'm in a little town called Baker. It's before Vegas, but after Barstow. I went to marry Jake, and I caught him in bed with some dirty blonde skank! So I left there without marrying him and came back here to see Edward, he's a mechanic, and I slept with him Alice! I slept with Edward and he's not Jake! Can you believe it? I can't. Does that make me a slut? Because I don't feel like one. I like him so much, Al! It's like fate or something. Can a beautiful, sparkly, mechanic God, be my fate? Alice? Hello? Alice, are you still there?" It sounded like the line was dead and right before I hung up to call her back she nearly busted my eardrum she yelled so loud.

"WHAT? Who is this and what have you done with my friend? What the hell do you mean you caught Jake in bed with someone else? Are you kidding me? And who is this Edward... Is he hot?" She is talking just as fast as I am and asking just as many questions. So I launch into the story of the last few days. I fill her in on my trip and the car trouble. I tell her about our trip to get the part and our two karaoke dates. I tell her about the wedding dress bonfire, which does not go over well. I tell her about sex in the bed of Emmett's truck. I totally purge myself like I am in the confessional at church and she listens quietly. She stops me to squeal about sweaty Edward, and truck sex Edward, and of course guitar playing Edward. I know it's killing her to let me talk, and I am kind of astonished that she gives me all the time I need. Finally, I come to the end of my story, telling her that I don't want to leave... That I want to stay and let him know me,and I know that it's crazy. It is, and then she finally speaks up.

"Bella, it is not crazy to want something for yourself. It is also not crazy to feel something for this guy who obviously feels something for you. I know that this is not in your life plan, but some times thing are just meant to be. I mean, what are the odds that all this crazy shit would happen to one girl, if it wasn't supposed to? And he seems to just be letting it unfold as the universe dishes it out. You are sleeping in his bed and hanging out with his family. Hell, he made you cry with karaoke, Bells! Maybe it isn't the ideal situation, but it is a fantastic story to tell your grand kids one day. You graduated, you have nothing tying you to San Diego, you can afford to stay there and see it through. So... See it through. It would suck to always wonder what could have been, don't you think?" She finishes without taking a breath and lets out an exasperated sigh.

"Maybe you're right, Alice. But you know me well enough to know that letting this run it's course won't be easy for me. I feel like I'm just flying by the seat of my pants here. I'm not a fly by the seat of my pants kind of girl!" I huff and give her a plausible story to feed my dad when he calls looking for me. I tell her that I will call her after I talk to Edward. I don't know how much more time I have with him, but hopefully I will know before the day is done.

I walk to the diner with Alice's words ringing in my head, and I decide that it is time to have the "what do you want out of this" conversation. Does he want me here? Does he even know what he wants? More seemingly fucking easy questions, that actually carry the weight of my entire world with them. Now it is time for some answers.

When I walk into the diner Rose catches my eye and points to a booth in the back corner where I see Edward hunched over his menu. He's wearing a gray t-shirt, jeans, and black studded Converse sneakers, that make me like him a little more than I already do. He sees me and stands while I take my seat across from him. He looks like he's seen a ghost, and I wonder how much of my conversation he over heard in his attempt to slip past me unnoticed.

"Have you been waiting long?" I ask without looking at him.

"No, just a few minutes. Did you get your phone calls taken care of?" Edward's stare is burning a whole into me.

I sigh and finally lift my face to look at him with a smile. " I did. I talked to Alice, she was my roommate in San Diego. We had a nice talk. She feels much better now that she's all caught up." I giggle to myself. "She also thinks it's time for you and I to have a serious talk. You know, what are we doing together, and all that stuff." I make air quotes and he smiles. "She kindly pointed out that the universe has thrown me a curve ball, and you have been an incredible pinch hitter. Or something like that." I sigh and shrug, trying my best to not stand up and run out of there as fast as my pink Vans will carry me.

Edward does the "Edward" thing, and reaches across the table to hold my hands in his. "Do you think we should have that talk, gorgeous? We can talk about whatever you want." He lays the crooked grin on me and caresses the backs of my hands with his thumbs.

"Edward, I don't want you to think that I'm trying to move in here and be your girlfriend or anything. This has been so much fun and I really like spending time with you, but I know that I just kind of landed on your doorstep. I also know that you had a life before this week, and if you're ready to get back to that life then all you have to do is say the word and I'll get out of your hair." I give him a weak smile and wait for him to speak.

"What's the word, Bella, because I want to make sure that I don't accidentally say it." He chuckles at his own joke and continues, "You landed on my doorstep and changed my life. Honestly, I haven't had this much fun in… Well, ever. I'd like you to stay as long as you want. If you would be more comfortable getting your own room, then we can do that, but you're not putting me out in anyway by staying with me. It's nice not to be alone all the time. I don't know exactly what you want me to say here or exactly how to define what is going on, but I'm happy Bella, and I haven't been happy in a long time. I have no idea what your plans are or where you are headed, but stay with me, beautiful girl. Stay as long as you can." His smile is weak but his eyes are shining and his words have lit me from the inside out.

Somewhere during his little speech tears have started rolling down my cheeks, and I have made no effort to stop them. I didn't know what I expected him to say, but it wasn't that. His words were so beautiful in their simplicity, and I can't remember the last time I felt so wanted.

"Edward, I can't stay." His face falls and it's like a knife through my heart. "Hear me out. I don't plan on walking out the door right this second and never looking back. You have changed my life just as you say I have changed yours and there is no going back from that. I could never walk away from you after the time that we've spent together, but I just graduated from college. I want to go to graduate school and see what I can make of my life. I want to prove to myself that I can do it. You have your life here, and you are obviously doing very well for yourself. I don't want to park my butt on your couch and live as your side kick. As much as I'd like to, I can't karaoke my way through life. I want my own song, and my own couch for that matter. Don't you want that for me? You don't even know what I do for a living, because that already doesn't matter here." I'm crying in earnest now, but doing a fairly good job of keeping my voice down.

Edward stands and my heart beats faster. For a fleeting moment I think he might just walk away, but he comes around to my side of the booth and sits next to me. His left arm drapes over my shoulders and his right hand lifts my face until I have no choice but to look him in the eyes. "I'll take you for as long as I can get you, but now I have to ask, what do you want from this, Bella? I want to be with you all the time. Not just the karaoke or even the sex. I want to know you, the real you. I want to know your favorite color and what you like to eat. I want to know about your parents and what you were like as a child. Do you have siblings? And yes even the million dollar question... WHAT IN THE HELL DO YOU DO FOR A LIVING? I didn't even realize that I didn't know that!"

I blink up at him and can't help the laugh that escapes me. He looks so flustered and genuinely upset. I feel bad that I may have hurt him, but I feel good that I was honest with him. I try to think of a compromise and hope that he will go along with it, because I really don't want to let him go.

I reach up and rest my hand on his cheek as I speak. "Would you be up for a compromise, Edward? I think that I can stay here with you for a bit longer if you'd be willing to come out and see me once I head back to San Diego." My thumb strokes his cheek and his eyes close.

"Of course I'll come see you in San Diego, silly girl! Especially if it means I get to keep you here a little while longer. How long are we talking? A day? Two days?" I think I see him cringe.

I flash him my brightest smile when I answer. "I was thinking more like a week? Maybe ten days if you're really good. Then I need to find out what I have to do to get back in school. Not every photographer wants to be weighed down with college degrees, but I do."

Edward squeezes me tight and I have no doubt that if we were standing he would spin me around. "So you'll be here at least another week? Will you stay with me or do you want to get your own room? I'd really rather you stay with me. I want every second I can get with you, you gorgeous photographer."

"Yes, I'll stay at least one more week and I will stay with you, since you don't seem to mind." I smile and look up at him through my lashes. "Can we eat now, though? I'm starving!"

Edward places the softest, sweetest kiss on my lips before he answers. "Anything you want, Bella."

I don't want to be the one to say goodbye

But I will, I will, I will

I don't want to sit on the pavement while you fly

But I will, I will, oh yes I will

Maybe in the future, you're gonna come back,

you're gonna come back around

Maybe in the future, you're gonna come back,

you're gonna come back

The only way to really know is to really let it go

Maybe you're gonna come back, you're gonna come back,

you're gonna come back to me

I don't want to be the first to let it go

But I know, I know, I know

If you have the last hands that I want to hold

Then I know I've got to let them go

Maybe in the future, you're gonna come back,

you're gonna come back around

Maybe in the future, you're gonna come back,

you're gonna come back

The only way to really know is to really let it go

Maybe you're gonna come back, you're gonna come back,

you're gonna come back to me.

Ingrid Michaelson~Maybe