"Hello?"

"Edward?" Bella was unsure until she heard-

"Hey, what's goin' on? Its nice to hear your voice again," Edward's smooth voice was like mercury. The dulcet tones of his voice filled her ears and she was suddenly transported back to the summer of 1993. That was the summer he kissed her. Her world was never the same.

"Nothin' much. Its nice to talk to you again. How have you been? I heard you got married," she spoke quietly, her knee shaking with the excitement she thought she was long past feeling.

"No-well, yeah, I did, but that was over a long time ago. I actually just got out of jail-well at Christmas-but yeah…" he left her hanging. He always did that, offered just enough to make her curious and she always, always, took the bait.

"Jail, huh? That sucks. What happened?" she asked gently.

Bella was always so generous. Immediately he remembered the respect she gave him and it buoyed him and filled him with gratitude. She never imposed or was rude. She would pull the information out of him; untangling him in the process and making him feel a worthwhile man once more.

"I was being stupid and driving drunk. My girlfriend and I had a fight and I took off. Tanya called the cops and they found me and pulled me over. I just maxed out two days before Christmas," he offered the information so matter-of-fact and she supposed that it really was pretty cut-and-dry, but she felt that he deserved so much more than what his life had become.

"I'm sorry to hear that," again, gently.

"Me too. I didn't have any presents for anyone. I felt like a jerk because I just beat someone up twenty-four hours before and people were showering me with gifts; it sucked ass," he continued candidly.

She wasn't sure whether to laugh or to cry so she settled for humor instead.

"Sucks to be you."

"Ha-ha-ha-ha!" Edward exploded, "thanks, Bella, your life sucks," he mimicked her tone of voice and continued to chuckle as she spoke over him and continued to follow the joke.

"Well, people hand you presents and you think your life sucks, it is kinda funny," she chuckled good-naturedly.

"Yeah, sure make fun of me. That's it; have a laugh on me."

"At least we're laughing, right?

Yeah.

I've missed you. I thought you were dead.

You did?

Yeah. After your evil stepmonster told me you got married (she frowned at this and he could hear it in her voice. He felt badly for never being able to marry her. He wondered where she was at with the relationship-end of things in her life.) "she said that she couldn't give you the message and that I should just leave you alone."

"She always was a bitch. Yeah, I did get married."

"You have kids?" He was annoyed that he hadn't been able to ask the question. Thing was, he didn't really want to know. Kids were just a complication and something to pile on the responsibility that he still wasn't ready for; maybe would never be ready for.

"No, uhm, no kids. So, you married or what?" he snuck that in there before she could ask another question.

"Yep, I have three little boys, Seth, Sam and Levi."

He was quiet. She was killing his buzz. He tried to cover it but it didn't quite come across in his voice.

"Well, hey, good for you."

"Yeah. Good for me." She quoted. He was confused by the bored tone in her voice.