AN: Hello my lovies! I've missed you all so much! My computer died right smack in the middle of Hurricane Irene and I ran into some problems getting it fixed. My baby is home now and we're back on track!

If you'll forgive me, I have an important cause to pimp out! Both my awesome beta, ysar, and the love of my fandom life, laurnorder, are both from Texas and dealing with the devastation being reaped upon their state by rampant wildfires. A fandom charity compilation has been set up and I sincerely hope that all of you check it out!

I'll be contributing Chapter 3 of my other story, Comfortably Numb, to the cause. More info on CN's schedule is listed on my profile.

Love, kisses, and big ass hugs to all of you! I really did miss you so much! ^_^

Chapter 3 ~ BPOV

I slowly came to as I was being carried upstairs. Warm arms surrounded me, while my head rested against someone's chest. Not wanting to face anyone just yet, I breathed in softly through my nose. As soon as the sweet, yet tangy smell of his cologne hit me, I immediately relaxed in Carlisle's arms. I'd never felt more safe than in that moment.

Silently counting his steps, I knew we'd entered my room when he made a right halfway down the hall.

"I know you're awake," Carlisle chuckled as he set me down gently on the bed.

I opened my eyes slowly, and tears immediately sprung to my eyesclouded my vision. His grayish blue eyes were full of sympathy and understanding as he pulled me close, wrapping his arms around my shoulders in a tight hug.

"Shh, sweetheart," he cooed. "It's all going to be fine."

"H-how can you say that?" I sobbed. "He-he looked so mad! Why was he so angry? He's the one that left us!"

Carlisle rubbed my back gently, soothing away my anxiety with his touch as well as his words.

"I don't know, Bella, but we'll find out. I'm sure he had his reasons, as irrational as they might be."

I sniffled and scrubbed my hands across my face to dry my tears. "This used to be his room, ; should I move my stuff in with Masen?"

Even though I was trying to be noble, I grimaced internally as I waited for his answer. Yes, this had been Edward's childhood room, but for almost the past three years, it'd become been mine. This was my home; I had nowhere else to go if things became too awkward.

Carlisle pulled back slightly, and looked down at me, his eyes blazing. "Absolutely not. No matter what happens, you are our daughter and this is your home. If he needs a place to stay, he can use one of the guest cottages. He's my son and I love him, but you and Masen mean just as much to us. Never doubt that, sweetheart."

His words were heartfelt, and I knew in my soul that he meant every word.

"I don't want to be the source of any drama, Carlisle."

He chuckled and shook his head. "I think we're a little too late for that, darlin'. Don't you worry your pretty little head about that. When you're ready, you two need to sit down and hash everything through. Afterwards, we'll sit down as a family and get our answers as well. We'll move forward from there."

Carlisle cupped my cheek, and leaned down to kiss my forehead. "We'll get through this, side by side."

After he left me alone, I flopped back onto my pillows, staring at the ceiling. Every night for the past three years, I'd hoped and wished and prayed on every star that he'd come home to us. I daydreamed about how he'd show up on our doorstep with flowers and open arms, professing how much he missed us.

Reality dashed all of those dreams when his eyes lit into me with such anger. Hurt and sorrow washed over me as I recalled that look on his face; I'd done nothing to deserve that. The more I thought things through, the more I started to become angry myself.

What a hypocritical bastard!

He's the one who left us!

We'd made plans for our future, and he left them all behind to "find himself."

I was the one left behind, 19 and pregnant.

"Shit," I murmured to myself. Being angry wouldn't solve anything; it would just make everything more difficult.

Running my hands through my hair, I stood up and made my way to the door, intent on finding Edward. I had so many questions, as I'm sure he did as well. Giggling from next door caught my attention, and I walked over to Masen's room. The sight before me brought tears to my eyes.

Edward sat on the floor, with our son between his legs, as Masen was showing him his prized truck collection. His father's eyes were soft and kind as he listened attentively to while the little boy rambled on and on.

"Mama!" Masen cried out, running over when he noticed me.

Edward's gaze shot up to mine, and immediately a blank mask replaced his features. At least it wasn't blistering anger. I sighed as I unhooked my son's limbs from around my leg, and lifted him into my arms.

"Hey, Mase," I whispered, kissing his head.

"Mama, I was so woraid bout you! Is you ok?"

Masen cupped my cheeks with his little hands, scanning me for injury. I bit my lip to keep from grinning.

"Mama just got dizzy. I'm fine, baby. See?" I asked as I tickled under his arms.

His gasps and giggles filled the room with happy sounds. "Ok, ok! Stop, Mama! I has ta pee!"

Laughing, I set him down on his feet, and he took off running down the hall. I looked over at Edward as I heard the bathroom door close.

"He'll go down for a nap in about an hour, if you want to talk," I murmured, somewhat shyly.

His mask slipped, and I couldn't help but gasp when I saw the desolation in his eyes.

"What the hell happened to us, Bell?" he asked in an anguish-filled voice.

My heart broke, and my arms ached to hold him, like they had every day since he'd left.

"I don't know, Ed, but it damn well hurts."

He was up and hugging me tightly before I could even blink. I knew we had so much to talk about, but right there, in that moment, I was complete.

"Fuck," he whispered. "When I saw the kid shit in your car, my heart shattered. But once I saw him, Christ, it was like looking in a mirror. Why didn't you tell me?" he begged, his voice full of desperation.

Confused lanced through me like a knife. "Don't you think I tried?" I asked incredulously. "Your parents even hired a private investigator, to no avail. I was scared to death to do this all alone, especially after my father found out. He kicked me out when I refused an abortion, and your parents gave me a place to live."

Edward's jaw dropped in shock. "What?" he whisper shouted. "He fucking threw you out?"

His face turned pale, and his eyes widened suddenly. "He never gave you my letters, did he?"

My stomach flipped, pain searing my chest as the puzzle pieces starting fitting together. He hadn'tforgotten about me. That piece of knowledge sparked a flame of hope in my heart. But, I did my best to hold it back, considering there were so many other questions that needed answering.

"Where did you go? Why didn't you come back sooner?" I asked, desperate for answers.

He opened his mouth to reply, but the sound of Masen's feet hitting the hardwood floors made me hold up my hand to stop him.

"I'm sorry; I should've waited," I apologized. "We'll talk more once he goes to sleep?"

Edward nodded slowly, his eyes still sad and bleak. He turned to the door, and his face lit up just as our son burst through. Seeing this brief interaction between the boys I loved helped the ache in my gut lessen.

I tried to pay attention, ; I really did. But my mind was pulled in so many directions that I soon found myself wandering over to the window, which faced south, toward my father's small spread a few miles away. I had a sinking feeling that my talk with Edward was going to rekindle the bitterness and anger that I'd finally let go of in regards to Charlie.

From the moment he outright demanded I have an abortion and kill my baby, I lost all respect for him. To that day, Mase and I had seen him around town, but he'd never once tried to speak to us or even acknowledge our existence. At some point, I stopped worrying about what Chief Swan thought of us, and started focusing on just living life and loving my son.

Glancing back at the owners of my heart playing together, I felt a surge of dread that this conversation was going to shatter our lives. But hopefully, we'd be able to rise up from the ashes like a phoenix.