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Edward meets Charlie. Edward gets an offer he has to think about.
"Wow, Dad! You didn't tell me you were coming into town," Bella says.
"Well, that would've ruined the surprise, now wouldn't it?" I can't help but squirm when he looks me while saying that.
"Dad, this is…" Bella clears her throat. "Edward."
Charlie looks at me long and hard. He's sizing me up. I feel like a fucking rabbit being targeted. Doesn't he hunt? Didn't Bella say something about him hunting? He's looking at me like he's deciding if I'm the right guy for his daughter or he's measuring me for my coffin.
"Nice to meet you, Edward," he says entirely too sweetly while holding out his hand for me to shake.
Bella sees right through him, blocks my hand and moves to stand between us while she opens her front door. Charlie hasn't taken his eyes off of me. I shudder and Bella catches it. She holds her door open and beckons us inside. Charlie goes in first and I follow in behind him.
"Dad," Bella says. "Be nice." She rolls her eyes at him and takes the takeout out of my hands and heads to the kitchen after telling us to go to the living room.
Charlie looks at me with a smile as he gestures for me to lead the way. "You first."
Yeah, he's definitely sizing me up. He's going to kill me.
We sit on the couch in awkward silence. Bella calls me to the kitchen and I fly off the couch like it's on fire and run to kitchen. Bella hugs me when I walk into the kitchen. She kisses my cheek and tells me to relax. It's easy for her to say. She doesn't have someone ready to kill her for fucking their daughter. Oh my God, does he know we're sleeping together? What the hell is wrong with me? I'm acting like a kid.
"I'm gonna kill Jake," Bella mutters. "He knew Dad was coming and he didn't say anything. I'm gonna fucking kill him!"
We share the food and head back to the living room. I want to run for the door. I'm nervous as fuck.
"Well, Edward…" Charlie says after taking a bite of his food and looking around his daughter's place. "Do you live here too?"
"No, sir." I'm quick to say.
"Really?" he says in a teasing tone. "So, is that Bella's jacket?"
I follow his pointed finger to the jacket I wore when I came over yesterday, hanging off the back of the couch. "Oh, umm, sir, I can…umm, explain that."
"You two had a sleep over?" Charlie smiles and I shiver in fear.
Bella saves me. "Dad, stop grilling Edward."
When she says that, something amazing happens. Charlie blushes and looks down like a scolded kid. He apologizes and then says in a whiny voice as he complains with an almost innocent look on his face. "I just want to get to know him."
"Not by intimidating him," Bella scolds. "Edward's great. He's sweet. He's the most wonderful guy I have ever met."
I'm at a loss for words. I want to kiss her so bad, but I'm still afraid of her dad.
"He looks like he loves you," Charlie muses and my eyes nearly pop out of my head. "What?" He smirks at me. "Did I let out a secret?"
"Ummm. No. I just…"
Bella saves the day again. "Dad, stop it. Quit putting Edward on the spot."
Charlie laughs. "I'm just fucking with him."
I let out a breath when he cursed and Bella laughs. She tells her dad to stand and waits for us to shake hands and introduce ourselves properly.
Charlie is all smiles. "Hi, I'm Charlie Swan."
"I'm Edward Cullen, sir. It's nice to meet you."
Things seem to blow over after that. Charlie and I sit and talk. He's a cool guy. Bella smiles proudly at us while we exchange jokes and he tells me stories about Bella when she was a kid. She begs him not to, but Charlie ignores her and goes on. To ease my girlfriend's embarrassment, I share some stories about myself as a kid, making them laugh.
Dinner is spent at a restaurant. Charlie and I talk about fishing and all the do's and don'ts of his favorite pastime. Conversation flows easy between the three of us and I'm shocked to see that I can find so much to talk to Charlie about. Bella is happy. Once you get past Charlie's cop face and his 'Don't fuck with me, I mean business' moustache, you realize that he's a great guy. He loves things simple. He's happy with his life and he loves his daughter more than anything in this world. I hope I can be a great dad like him some day.
I'm a little sad after dinner because Charlie is staying with Bella and that means that 'alone time' is over. Bella says I can stay, nut no fucking way. I just got on Charlie's good side. I'm staying over and letting him hear me defile his daughter. I can't do it. Bella pouts and gives me puppy dog eyes, and as much as my dick is cussing me, I'm not going to do it.
I explain things to her and Bella laughs at me, saying her dad isn't a prude. But she agrees with my decision.
We talk on the phone after Charlie goes to bed. We keep things 'pg' and then hang up after whispering good night to each other.
The next day at work, the ER seems brighter and filled with promises of a good day to me. No one understands why I'm smiling so much, but I don't care. I'm happy and in love with a beautiful, sexy woman. I have a wonderful career I'll never stop learning from. It's one of the good things about being a doctor, you never stop learning.
Carlisle takes notice of my good mood. "What's up with you, Edward?"
"I met Charlie." I smile. Carlisle's eyes widen.
We finish going over the patient's file before Carlisle says in disbelief, "As in Charlie Swan?"
"Yeah." I chuckle. "The one and the same."
Carlisle cocks an eyebrow. "And you're standing here smiling and not lying on a gurney in pain?"
I shake my head and laugh at him. "No, I really like Charlie. He's a lot like Bella. He's straightforward, has a dry sense of humor, caring. Yes, he's really intimidating, but he's got to protect his daughter. She means the world to him. I had a parent like that once. And I hope to be as good a dad as he is some day. You and Charlie are great examples for me."
Carlisle is baffled. "Thank you for the compliment. I'm happy you and Charlie are getting along. I was worried about it. But I'm breathing a sigh of relief now. As for being a dad…" he looks around and leans in to whisper, "is there something you or Bella want to tell me?"
What? "No," I chuckle at him. "We're not there yet. But I know I'm in love with her, and when I'm ready for kids, Bella will be the greatest mom."
Carlisle's mouth is hanging open. He's shocked. He applauds me on my maturity and says he's looking forward to those milestones in my life. "I'm really proud of you, Edward."
We continue our shift. Carlisle and I talk during and he fills me in on something important. We have to handle an emergency in the ER. Bella calls the OR for surgical assistance. Carlisle and I head down there. She winks at me when she sees me and I blush. Carlisle shakes his head and we get to work. We're successful with the patient and Carlisle and I head back upstairs.
After texting Bella, asking her to lunch. Carlisle catches me in the hall and says he needs me to stand in on a heart surgeon. I text Bella and tell her lunch will be late. She agrees and tells me she's swamped in the ER.
"What's up, Carlisle?"
He looks pleased. "Another surgeon has requested you. He wants you in surgery with us."
My brows knit in question. "Who?"
"Aro. He wants you to observe today," Carlisle says proudly. "He really admired your keen sense on the last surgery we worked on and he'd like to pick your brain with this one."
Holy Fuck! Aro Volturi wants to speak with me in a surgery! The country's best cardiologist wants to pick my brain. Shit!
"Yes!" I say excitedly. I text Bella and she texts back telling me she's happy for me and she's got an emergency. I tell her I'll talk to her later. I wanted to say I love you at the end of that.
I'm walking out of the operating room in a daze. An amazingly wonderful daze because Aro Volturi has just made me an offer too hard to refuse. I told him I'd think about it, but damn, what's there to think about?
Shit, I have to talk to her about this. It's an amazing fucking offer. I'd get to train under one of the best cardiologists in the country. The only problem is, I'd have to leave Chicago. Aro works in Los Angeles, California. To be fully trained by Aro, I'd have to live and work in Los Angeles for the next seven to eight years to complete my residence. I told him I'd think about it. Carlisle doesn't seem too pleased with the offer. Something irks him all of a sudden, but he won't tell me what. I'll try and talk to him about it later, but right now I have to get downstairs and find Bella. I want to talk to her right away!
This is a tough decision. How can I leave her? I want the opportunity. But I just found Bella. I'm in love. I want to be with her but I can't ask her to pack up her life and come with me. No, Bella's life is in Chicago. How I can think about leaving? My family is here. My friends are here. Chicago is my home.
The elevator doors open and I'm about to step out and end up bumping into him.
"Hello, Edward," my father says.
"What are you doing here?"
"It's a free country last time I checked."
"Whatever. Excuse me." I move around him but he follows me to the front desk. Bella isn't anywhere around. Carole is sitting at the desk and tells me Bella is in an emergency. She glares at Edward Sr. and I glance back in time to see him winking at her and smiling slyly. Carole mutters something about 'disgusting bastard' and gets up. I beg to tell Bella I'm heading to lunch and I'll pick her up something.
I thought I got rid of my father by ignoring him, but he follows me outside. "What do you want?"
"I feel hungry."
"What does that have to do with you following me?"
"I'm not. We're just going in the same direction."
"You don't eat where I eat," I say to him.
"You don't know that," he counters. "Anyways, I'm here to see Carlisle. He's not returning my calls."
"I'm not Carlisle."
He chuckles. "You've got your mother's fire. She was always rude and straightforward."
I scoff and walk off.
"What? What did I say?"
I don't look back. I cross the street and head to the diner. I get inside, grab a seat and orders lunch. My father sits down in front of me. He's really pissing me off.
"I told you, I'm hungry."
"This isn't a five star restaurant," I sneer.
He smiles at me. "So much hostility."
He orders what I order. I place an order for Bella. Our lunch is delivered while he sits here talking shit. I ignore him and eat while texting Emmett, telling him what he's saying and what I want to do. Emmett says to ignore him.
"You really look like your mother," he says and I stop and glare at him. "You've got her anger too."
"Don't talk about her." I'm pissed and I want him gone.
"Don't. You don't know anything about her. You ran out because shit got too hard!" My voice is raising, people are looking but I don't care. All I see is my father's smug face. "You walked away. She stayed. That's it!"
"See? Her temper." He smiles.
I get up, grab Bella's lunch, pay the bill for all three lunches and head for the door.
He follows me out. "Say hi to your little doctor friend for me. Tell Carlisle I'll talk to him anther time."
I don't look back.
Alice texts me when I walk through the hospital doors. She wants me to know that she just found that Tanya and my father are not together anymore so I should watch out for Tanya. I tell her I can handle Tanya.
Bella's in another emergency so I leave her lunch with Carole and leave the hospital again. My lunch break isn't over so I go somewhere I know will calm me down. I know once I talk to her, I'll feel better. Even if she can't answer me.
I ride up the path that leads to her grave and stop. I park my bike and get off. The grass is green and the sun is high in the sky, but under her tree will be cool. I take a seat in the grass next to her headstone. "Hey, mom," I say to her and I can imagine her smile. I tell her I miss her and then I don't stop.
From then on, I tell her everything. I tell her about my horrible lunch. I tell her about everything going on in my life. I tell her about Tanya bothering me. I tell her about meeting Charlie and about Bella and how in love I am with her. I tell her about Aro's offer and ask her advice, though I know she can't answer. I tell her about the future I envision sometimes and don't tell anyone. I tell her about how scared I am sometimes. I tell her I miss her again and I cry.
By the time I leave my mom's graveside, I feel better. A weight has been lifted off my shoulders.
Bella meets me out front when I pull up to the hospital. "Hey, thanks for lunch." She hugs me when I get off the bike. "Carole told me about your dad being here. Are you okay?"
"I'm better now. I went to talk to my mom."
Bella smiles and jokes, "Does she like me? Or does she think this dusty old woman should leave her son alone?"
"She'd love you."
She blushes and ducks her head into my chest. "I'd thank her for such a wonderful son. I wish I could've met her."
We sit and talk over Bella's lunch. I tell her about Aro's offer. We don't talk about my father. She says she didn't want to upset me. Bella isn't entirely happy about Los Angeles despite what she says. She's just putting up a front because she wants what's best for me. She believes I can do it. She believes in me.
We spend another night apart but we're both too tired to care. As soon as I see my bed, I throw myself down on it and I'm fast asleep before I can even think about taking off my shoes.
I turn over and open my eyes, sighing as she comes into view. "Hi, Mom."
"Hi, baby." She smiles. "I was happy to see you today."
"I was happy to visit."
Mom is as beautiful as ever. Her caramel, unruly hair with those thick wavy curls I use to love playing in as a child, is lying on her shoulders. Her floor length, white, lacy summer dress is swimming around her ankles as she steps closer and kneels before me, leaning her elbows on my bed.
A genuine almost ethereal smile lights up her face. "Bella is very beautiful."
"I love her."
"I know," she says. "I have known since you laid eyes on her. It's something I prayed for. Emmett has found the girl for him, but I use to worry about you until Bella."
I smile as a tear falls from my eyes. "I miss you, Mom." I cry.
"I never went away," she says with shimmering tears in her eyes. "Edward, I have been here, every step of the way. I cheered on your first day of being a nurse and I was the happiest at your med school graduation. You can't see me, but baby, I see you. I love you. And Emmett, I'm always watching over him. Don't worry. Let me handle it. I'll never leave my boys hanging."
I smile amidst my tears.
"What am I suppose to do?" I know she understands. Everything in me is telling me she does. "Aro made me an offer and it's too unbelievable to refuse."
"Sweetie, it's your life, and if this is something you truly want to go for, then you've got to take the chance. Live your life to the fullest."
"What about Bella?"
Mom smiles knowingly. "It'll all work out. Trust me, baby, you'll see."
My eyes open to my darkened bedroom as I hear a whisper, "I love you, Edward."
Next: Welcome to Forks.