A/N: This picks up where chapter 1 started and follows the same timeline just in Edwards's frame of mind. Join me as I pick his brain. *Insert evil laugh here* As always BellesYellowRose beta'd, thank you! :)
My cell phone rings, I know who it is. The only woman I ever want to call me is lying in the bed next to me. I feel the frustration building up in me and it burns me from the inside out.
"I have to get that, love"
"Edward, just don't answer it."
"I have to Bella." I can feel myself taking my frustration out on her. This situation we've gotten ourselves into isn't fair for anyone, especially not for Bella. I think of everyone involved she's been the one hurt the most.
"Edward where the fuck are you? We have to leave in the morning and Megan refuses to go to sleep until you get here. She has been in bed for hours just waiting. Are you still at the fucking office? What the fuck are you doing?" She shouts in my ear.
"Yeah, this case is just giving me problems Kate. I'm leaving now. I'll be home in ten minutes."
I close the phone, if it were not for my daughter I would have left Kate a long time ago. She is the only reason I let my marriage go on for so long. We were about ready to get a divorce when she got pregnant despite precautions. Hell, Kate may have gotten pregnant on purpose; I wouldn't put it past her.
I lift myself off Bella's bed, I feel like I weigh a ton. I don't want to leave.
I would give just about anything to stay right here with Bella at my side. I shift through clothes on the floor and start pulling them on. Bella's black lace panties are stuck inside my shirt and I'm just about to say 'fuck it' to the world and stay right where I want to be. My daughter needs me though, it's her birthday weekend. She doesn't deserve to have her birthday ruined because her father wants to be somewhere else.
"Please Edward, please don't go. Tell her you're sleeping at the office, you've done it before." She begs me from the bed.
Oh, sweet girl how I would give anything to be able to stay here with you instead.
"Bella, love I can't. Megan's fifth birthday is this weekend; we're leaving early in the morning to visit Kate's family in the Hampton's. I have to go. I'll stay next time I promise."
I know it's a shit promise, even though I would stay with her every night if I could but I can't. I need to stop making promises to her I can't keep. I'm hurting too but at least when I leave I get to go home to my daughter, Bella will be alone though. It kills me every time.
"Edward, you've been promising that the last two months. Please just tonight, I need you."
Has it really been two months since I've spent the night with her? Damn it, it has and now I feel like an even bigger ass. Buttoning the last button on my shirt, I can hear the waver in her voice, she's trying to hide from me but I can hear it anyway. I sit on the bed next to her and cup her chin so she will look at me. Her eyes are beginning to tear and I feel like shit for putting her in this situation. I wipe the tears that start to fall down her cheeks and pepper her face with kisses.
"Please love, don't cry. I can't stand to see you upset, I'm so sorry. I promise I'll make it up to you." Please Lord let me keep that one promise.
"Edward she doesn't love you like I do. What do I have to do to make you see that?"
"I know you do sweetheart, and I love you too so much." I pull her into my arms and hug her to my side. I love her more than I've ever loved Kate. I want to be with her, the timing is just never right. I have to think of my daughter first.
"Please Edward, please stay." she sobbed, "I'm lonely and I miss you when you're not here."
"Oh love, you're making it very hard for me to leave. If it was something for Kate I would call her back and stay, but this is for my daughter. We'll be together permanently very soon. Just please be patient, and I promise I will belong to you and no one else, just a little bit longer. Please, love."
I bend down and pull my shoes on, I need to hurry Megan needs to go to sleep or she'll be cranky tomorrow. Her needs have to come before my own, that's what being a parent is about. When I turned to kiss her goodbye I noticed she had pulled the blanket over herself. I was thankful, if I saw her body again with the tears and the begging I would have stayed. I can't do that to my daughter. I have to keep it together for her.
Kissing her on the forehead I whispered that I loved her because I did, more than anything except Megan. I walked down the stairs, thorough the door and to my car as quickly as I could. On the drive home I thought about all the times I had tried to leave Kate in the last year. The first time Bella asked me to leave Kate, Megan had just started preschool and was having a rough time of it. She didn't like her teacher and some of the kids were mean to her. I asked Bella to hold off until things were better with Megan; a divorce between her parents was the last thing she needed.
The second time was right before Kate's thirtieth birthday; her mother had called me about throwing a surprise party for Kate. It was my responsibility to get her out of the house and back for the party on time. It had been planned months before. The entire dinner with just Kate and me was forced, we barely talked, we even argued about my driving in the car on the way to the party.
Most recently though I denied Bella again because Kate's Dad had just been diagnosed with cancer and it didn't look good. Peter was a great man, how his daughter grew up to be such a bitch is beyond me. At least she isn't that way with Megan she loves that little girl as much as I do, that's all that matters.
I had been giving Bella excuses for so long. I did want to spend the rest of my life with her, I would divorce Kate. It was just never the right time; something was always in the way. When I got home Kate glared at me from the living room, I didn't know if she knew where I really was or if she was just always mad at me. I went straight to Megan who was battling to keep her eyes open.
"Megs you should be asleep, we have a busy weekend planned."
"Daddy, your home," she said sleepily, "Sing me my song please?"
I sang her favorite lullaby, she was asleep only a few lines in but I kept singing. At least this was a promise I was able to keep to someone.
I called Bella three times the next morning. I felt like shit how I left her the night before. I wanted to make sure she was okay but she never answered. By Saturday evening I continued to leave the company of my family to call. When she still didn't answer I was starting to get frantic. There was no one I could call to check on her. I think Rose might have known the way she often looked at me, but she was here with us for the party. Bella didn't have any family close by and no close friends' just acquaintances.
Saturday night found me sleeping on the couch. With Bella not answering the phone I was upset and the thought of sleeping next to Kate turned my stomach. I didn't even see Peter sit on the table in front of me until he spoke.
"You know, I love my Katie bug, but I know she's often a hard woman to deal with. You've been a part of this family for a long time Edward and I love you like a son. Something has gotten into you these last few months though. You smile more, you're happy and I know it's not Kate doing it."
I sat up on the couch and rubbed my hands over my face. How do you tell your Father-in-law that you've met the woman of your dreams and it's not his daughter whom you're married to? I think he could sense my struggle and interrupted my thoughts.
"I don't want to know Edward, don't tell me. I just want to give you some advice. Having cancer taught me that life is incredibly short. If you see a chance to make yourself happy you should grab it and not let go."
"What if what makes me happy though, doesn't make Megan happy?"
"Son, you can't let your children dictate your life. As long as you're happy I'm pretty sure she will be too." I felt his hand clamp down on my shoulder and he patted it for good measure. "Everything will work out Edward, you'll see."
I continued calling all day Sunday except for when Megan was opening presents and blowing out candles. When we returned home late Sunday night I had no reason to go out so I couldn't see Bella. I did continue calling though but she never answered.
Arriving for work on Monday Bella wasn't there and I almost had a heart attack. I barreled through to Rose's office and slammed the door shut, not caring who knew anymore.
"Where's Bella? Why isn't she here?"
Rose crossed her arms over her pregnant belly and leaned back in her chair.
"Good morning to you too Edward. I'm fine thanks for asking."
"Rose, please?" I begged and her face softened
"She called in sick this morning, she'll be back tomorrow."
"Thank you" She nodded her head and went back to work.
All day was busy so I barely had anytime to call Bella, she still didn't answer the few times I called though. Finally after a quiet dinner with just Kate, I faked having work to do and went straight to my home office and called her again. This time she did answer.
"Bella! Thank God, I was so worried about you. I've been calling all weekend, and then you didn't come in today. I went to Rose asking if she knew where you were, she just said you had called in sick. She wouldn't tell me anything else and I really want to see you tonight. Kate spent all day at the spa, which means she'll take a Valium tonight and Megan is at my Mom and Dads. I'll come over after Kate's in bed."
Thank God I would be able to see her tonight, she had me so worried. The thought of her in my arms quickly made the ache in my heart ease.
"Edward, after Kate goes to bed, I think you should stay there."
"What? Bella, love I don't understand."
"After you left Friday I did a lot of thinking, all weekend actually and I've come to a decision. I'm really sorry for doing this on the phone but I can't do it in person. I've given you a year of my life Edward and I can't wait another minute. After everything I've put into our relationship, you still won't leave her. I've given you the best of me, so why does she get the best of you? So don't leave her bed for mine, stay. I'm done begging you to stay with me. I'm lonely Edward, I want a real relationship. I want a husband and children, and you can't give me that, so just stay."
She was crying hard into the phone, I could hear her trying to take in deep breaths. The thought of her in so much pain hurt me badly. I began to cry, in my thirty years I had never cried. She was leaving me.
"Bella," I spoke quietly into the phone, "I'm so sorry for hurting you sweetheart. I love you so much."
"Please Edward, please stop. I have to go." Then she hung up the phone.
I don't know how long I sat there in shock. She had left me, all my excuses and failed promises had finally become too much for her and it hurt.
No, I refused to let her leave. I loved her, she made me happy. Even if she wouldn't take me back, I knew what I had to do. I drove straight to the office and worked for the next four hours drawing up divorce documents. I gave Kate the house, her car and a lump sum of money. Plus monthly payments to support her until she remarried. I made up a custody agreement I thought we could both live with dividing Megan's time evenly between us.
Then I went home and paced outside the master bedroom door waiting for Kate to wake up. I couldn't sleep, my heart hurt too much. I went down to the guest bathroom and showered and dressed. I had been sleeping in the guest bedroom for a while now. Kate and I never had sex so what was the point in sleeping next to a woman I really didn't love anymore.
Finally just after seven, I heard Kate moving around. I knocked on the door softly and opened it. She was still sitting in bed and looked surprised to see me there.
"Kate we need to talk."
When I got to the office I was a mess. Kate had yelled and screamed at me, she knew we were over. We had been for a long time. She just didn't want to admit it to herself. When she finally settled down and read through the papers I had drawn up she closed her eyes and sighed and asked for a pen.
I was giving her more than she legally deserved and she knew it. There wasn't going to be a better offer than this one and Kate was vain. She wouldn't want to stay with a man who didn't want her.
When I walked down the hall and passed Rose's office I happened to glance in and there sat Bella. Even with her tired appearance she was beautiful. She looked broken and resigned and I did that. I made her feel that way. I paused at the door; I could go in right now and show her the documents that Kate and I had signed this morning. It wasn't enough though, she deserved more.
Legally I was still Kate's husband and Bella deserved all of me. I would have to wait. So I did the hardest thing I've ever had to do. I kept walking down to my office.
Just before lunch Rose walked into my office and shut the door softly behind her.
"Edward?" I looked up at her with my bloodshot eyes, "How are you doing?"
"I'm shit Rose, thanks for asking," Immediately I felt bad, "I'm sorry I don't mean to take it out on you. I'm not doing well; I filed for divorce from Kate this morning."
Rose just nodded her head, "Did you do that for Bella or for yourself?"
"Both Rose, but mostly for myself"
"Good, Edward. I'm proud of you. You know she left right?"
"What? Who left?" I was confused
"Bella, she left. She accepted an offer from Franklin and Franklin, she's already packed up her stuff and she's gone."
I sighed and folded my arms on my desk resting my head on top. I didn't want Rose to see the few tears running down my cheeks. I knew she wouldn't give me crap about them, but it was still the thought of it.
"Are you going to fight for her?" My head shot up and I looked right into Rose's eyes.
"Yeah, I'm going to fight for her but I have to wait until the divorce is final. Bella doesn't deserve anything less."
"Good, Edward. Fight hard, she's worth it."
The next six weeks while I waited were torture. If I wasn't working or sleeping I was with Megan. I had moved into a small two bedroom apartment not far from work. I was hopeful that it was temporary. If Bella took me back I wanted to buy a house together as soon as possible. I wanted to marry her and have children with her.
Friday evening I was hand delivered my divorce papers. Everything was now final. Megan was with Kate this weekend so I threw on my coat and ran through the rain to my car and drove straight to Bella's house. Pulling into the driveway though I lost some of my nerve. I had made her promises before and I'd broken them.
I carried on an emotional and sexual relationship with a woman who wasn't my wife. I knew that there would never be another woman for me like Bella. Could I get her to believe me though? Could I earn her trust? Even though I wasn't cheating on her, she was aware that I was a man capable of being unfaithful. Would she believe me if I told her I could never do that to her?
I grabbed the envelope and raced to her front door and knocked. She opened the door and all the negative thoughts left my mind. She was just wearing sweats and a long sleep shirt but the way her hair curled around her shoulder she looked so beautiful.
"Edward? What are you doing here?"
"Here," I said thrusting a manila envelope at her. As I watched her open it I realized I was shaking and probably not from being cold.
After reading though it and realizing what it was, she looked at me incredulously. I wasn't sure if that was good or bad so I started talking.
"I never lied to you Bella. I was always honest with you, I swear. I always knew I would leave her for you, all my stupid reasons though were just that stupid. I honestly believed you would always be there waiting so that's why I waited for the perfect time. When you broke up with me though it hurt so bad. I thought about what would happen if I divorced Kate and it didn't even hurt to think about. You leaving me though, I was dying inside. I knew then that you were it for me."
"What about Megan?" Even when she had every right to be angry with me she was worried about my daughter.
"Joint custody. Megan already loves you. She's always talking about how fun Rose's friend is, about the stories you two make up while lying in Rose's backyard." I paused, "Please Bella, I will gladly beg you this time. I've been standing in your driveway for the past hour trying to figure out what I should say to you to convince you that you are the only woman I want to be with. Please, Bella will you take me back?"
She was silent for far too long. I knew then that I had lost her, I had fucked up beyond belief and she was through with me. I left her covered porch and started walking back to my car resigned. I would always love her, never another. Then I heard the most beautiful sound to ever grace my ears.
"Edward wait!" I stopped in her yard and turned to face her. She was running straight to me through the rain. Maybe not all was lost.
She flew at me and I nearly lost my balance as she crashed into me. Her arms snaked up around my neck, her small hands burying into my hair pulling me to her. I held onto her waist firmly not ready to let go. I wanted to hold her in my arms longer but she was shaking from the cold.
"Can I come in Bella?"
"No" she said.
"No?" I repeated.
"You can take me on a date though. Tomorrow night?"
I chuckled, "Okay, tomorrow, say seven?"
I unwrapped my arms from around her and smiled at her and began walking to my car. From this point on every promise I made would have to be kept.
I had to earn her trust. No time like the present, so I started with the easiest promise I could think of.
"Bella, next time you ask me to stay, I will. I'll stay for as long as you want me to."
A/N 2: I've never been divorced but I know it takes longer than six weeks. The problem was that Edward not talking to Bella for 3 months or more felt unacceptable. I'm hoping that readers will overlook this since it's a small oversight in the grand scheme of things. :)