[Disclaimer] All things Twilight belong to Mrs. Stephenie Meyer
[A/N] I apologize for taking so long to update this story. This is the last chapter for Coming In. It was a pleasure for me to write this one and I hope that you enjoyed reading it.
**Better than chocolate**
"You don't have to do this, if you feel like you're not ready for doing it." She reminded me a second time when I parked the car in front of my mother's house.
A deep sigh escaped my lips before I forced them into a half smile and spoke up again, my voice trembling slightly. God, I was already so terribly tensed and nervous.
"I want to tell her about us. You are important to me and you don't deserve to be kept a secret. I know it makes you feel bad."
She took my hand and started drawing fine, invisible circles all over my wrist. Then she put it against her lips and planted a soft kiss on my palm.
"Do you want me to come with you?"
"Yes, no…well, I don't know how she's going to react. I don't want her to be rude to you or something like that."
Slowly she leaned forward to put a wisp of my hair behind my ear, sending a pleasant shiver down my spine when her fingertips grazed the shell of my ear for a split second.
"Don't worry. I can handle that. I'm more worried about you. It's going to break your heart if she doesn't handle your Coming Out well."
I nodded my head and stepped out of the car. When we walked towards the entrance of the small house my mother had bought with her current husband I almost tripped over my own feet.
Alice wrapped her arms around my middle to keep me upright.
"Try not to hurt yourself." She whispered, caressing my bare forearm gently while I tried to get my breathing under control again. Right now, I felt a lot like crying.
"Oh Bella, it's so nice that you decided to visit me and Phil." My mom greeted me cheerfully when she opened the door.
"He's still at practice but will probably be back for dinner."
The question was would I still be around for dinner. Maybe she would freak and throw me out of the house.
"I brought someone with me, if you don't mind."
Jeez, what sort of crappy start was that supposed to be?
"No, of course not," she replied when we followed her into the living room. The house was already crowded and I wondered if my mother had some hidden tendencies to becoming a messy.
She sure as hell had difficulties throwing away stuff.
"How are you…it's… Alice, isn't it? I'm not that good with names."
You are not good with remembering things at all, mother, I thought, wiping my sweating palms on the fabric of my jeans skirt.
"Coke would be nice if you have some."
"Fine, I'll get you one. Bella, do you want some too?"
I quickly shook my head and cleared my throat nervously.
"No thanks, mom,"
Alice took my hand in hers and squeezed it gently, rubbing her thumb over the pulse point on my wrist in an attempt to calm me down a bit. It wasn't really helping but still it felt nice that she was so caring and supportive with me. Somewhere deep inside of me I wondered if it shouldn't be the other way round.
I wanted to protect her and yet despite me being the older one in our relationship it was as if she was my protector all the time.
My mother returned from the kitchen and placed the glass with the coke in front of Alice, who let go of my hand to take a small sip from it.
"Bella, is there something that you would like to tell me?" her voice sounded a bit too shrill in my ears and I wondered if she had already figured out the reason for my visit here.
"Ahm, yes mom," I stumbled out, feeling the tears running down my cheeks. It was an embarrassing habit that I always had to cry when I was nervous. Yet there was nothing I could do about it.
"Does that man already now?" she asked me, sitting down across from us on the edge of an armchair.
"Yes, I told Dad. He's not exactly thrilled but he said that as long as I'm happy…,"
"And what does the father say to all of that?"
She raised one eyebrow and stared down on my upper body. What the hell was she looking for?
"So that this one thing is clear, Isabella – I will never ever be called grandma by this kid. I'm too young to be anyone's grandmother. That doesn't mean I'm not happy about you being pregnant."
"Pregnant?" I repeated, almost choking on the word.
"What makes you think that I'm pregnant?"
"You are not?"
I shook my head and took Alice's hand in mine again, desperately holding on to it as if it were a life vest.
"Renee, what made you think that Bella could be expecting?"
"Well, she was so ridiculously nervous when she called me yesterday and then she brought you with her like she would need some sort of rear cover."
Alice giggled and wrapped her arm around my shoulder, caressing the length of my hair with gentle movements.
"She is nervous but definitely not because she's going to have a baby."
"Mom," I started hesitantly, trying desperately to remember one of the phrases I had learned by heart in order to make this conversation a little bit easier.
"I have to tell you something. It has to do with Alice…,"
"Is she the one who's pregnant?"
"Mom, for heaven's sake, stop with the pregnancy crap. None of us is pregnant. None of us will ever be pregnant. Point."
"There is no need to be so harsh, Isabella. I really would like to know why you are always like that. You must have inherited that from that man….,"
"That man has a name, you know? It's Charlie, in case you couldn't remember it."
"Don't be like that."
"Sorry, my nerves aren't the best right now."
"They never have been. Alice, is she like that around you too? You have to know that Isabella is terribly moody at some times,"
"Oh, I don't mind. Jasper is like that too. I can handle PMS-ing pretty well."
"Is Jasper your boyfriend?"
"No, he's not. Jasper isn't exactly my type."
"Hmm, I see."
"Mom," I whispered so low that my voice was barely audible.
"Mom, do you love me?"
"For heaven's sake, kid, what did you do? Please tell me that you didn't hook up with one of the high school kids you're working with. I don't want to see you end up being arrested by your father for statuary rape or something like that."
My mother definitely watches too much bad TV…
"No, it's not like that."
Alice pulled me closer and started drawing fine, invisible circles over the bare skin on my forearm.
"I'm in love with Alice."
The words came out so fast that I was almost a hundred percent sure that Renee couldn't have understood one syllable of the sentence.
"You are what?"
"I'm in love with Alice. We're together."
"Together? You mean like a couple?"
I nodded my head and wiped my running nose on the back of my hand. Alice sighed and pulled a tissue out of her handbag.
"Please, stop crying. Everything is going to be okay."
"She's right and why are you crying anyway. You're not afraid of me not accepting you, are you?"
I sniffed and cleaned my nose. When I managed to raise my head again, her lips twitched into a warm smile and I sighed in relief. She wouldn't be smiling at me like that if she would be angry at me.
"You…you're okay with me being…I mean with me being with Alice?"
"Does she make you happy?"
"Yes she does."
"Well, that's all that counts for me."
"But you always wanted to pair me off with Mike."
"I wouldn't have done that if you had told me that you're not interested in dating men."
I leaned forward and spilled the entire content of Alice's coke all over the table.
"My daughter is a little bit clumsy." Renee stated, while she tried to wipe it up again with a cloth.
"Are you sure that you can handle that?"
I sat down behind her on the picnic blanket and wrapped my arms around her. My fingertips moved over the pearly white skin on her neck and I felt her shiver under my caress.
"I love you."
"I love you too,"
She turned her head and cupped my face between her hands, stroking down my cheekbones until she reached the edge of my mouth.
"Can I kiss you now?" she asked me, her warm breath tickling the skin on my lower lip.
"Here?" I croaked out, almost starting to panic now. It was the middle of the day and the park where she had suggested holding our picnic was crowded with dozens of people.
When she felt me stiffen in her arms, she instantly pulled back. Her pretty face turned into an ugly frown and when she grabbed her jacket from the blanket I could see that her eyes looked glassy.
"Leave me alone!"
I stood up and tried to put one arm on her shoulder but she quickly shook it off.
"Leave me alone! I can't do that anymore. You'll always be ashamed of me, of us. I can't handle that. I can't…I just can't."
She turned around in order to walk away but I grabbed her hand to keep her where she was.
"Please, don't go. How can just run away now? I told you that I love you. I told my mother about us. What in heaven's name do you expect from me, Alice?"
"I expect nothing from you,"
She tried to make her voice sound hard but it trembled and a heartbeat later she collapsed on the grass underneath us and started sobbing.
"You are ashamed of me,"
I pulled her quivering body against mine and let her cry against my shoulder, feeling how her tears soaked the fabric of my blouse. A sharp, almost unbearable pain went straight to my heart and I wondered if she was going to break up with me now.
"I'm not ashamed of you." I told her, my own voice, thick with the tears I was trying to hold back.
"You are the best thing that ever happened to me in my entire life. I want to be with you. God, I love you so much, Alice. How can you think that I could be ashamed of you?"
"Because you always keep worrying what people would think if we'd kiss in front of them,"
I sighed deeply and wiped some tears from her cheeks, trying not to smear her mascara all over her face.
"I'm worried about what people would think if they see us kissing." I told her, putting my forefinger against her warm lips to keep her from responding.
"That's not the same like being ashamed of you."
"Oh yes it is," she whispered hoarsely.
"No, it's not. Look, I know that you hate it that I'm not as open-hearted about my sexuality as you are. That doesn't mean I don't care about you. I want to be with you and I love you. I really do."
"I love you too; probably more that it is good for me. I'm terribly afraid of getting hurt."
"I'm not going to hurt you,"
"Please, Bella, how often will I have to tell you not to make a…,"
My mouth was on hers before she managed to finish the sentence and she's so surprised that she didn't even start to kiss me back before I pulled back about five seconds later.
"What was that supposed to be? Aren't you scared what people will think? What if someone saw you kissing me?"
"I would be horrified by that. I see how people look at gay couples…like they were some sort of freak or something like that."
"Then why did you kiss me, when you are so afraid whether people will approve of our relationship or not?"
I swallowed hard before I leaned forward and cupped her face gently between my hands, letting my thumb caress her full lower lip so lightly that I was barely touching her skin at all.
"There is one thing that I'm more afraid of than of what people might or might not think about us."
"And that would be?"
"Losing you, Alice; I've never been so happy before in my life and I don't' want to risk to lose that. I love you more than anything and that's the only thing that matters more to me than my fears,"
I kissed her again, feeling her smile against my lips before she kissed me back. Somewhere in the distance someone chuckled and for a split second I wondered if it was because of us.
Then I figured out that it didn't matter. All what mattered were her lips on mine, my tongue toying against hers and the sweet taste of her warm mouth.
It wasn't enough to end my fears, that would still be a long way to go and it made me wonder if I could expect her to go this way with me, to stop when I needed to stop without doubting my feelings for her.
So I pulled her closer, trying to put as much love into this kiss as possible and hoped that she would somehow be able to feel how much she meant to me.
We were in this together and together we could manage to overcome whatever was going to be.
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