A/N: I hope you all enjoyed this story as much as I did writing it even on those days I had no idea where the story was even going. I have to give lots of love to AstonMartin823, Sister_liz, Venomousgal, and Cherieblossum for helping me figure this story out in my head and giving me advice and support through all of it. And of course, last but not least my good friend Christag_banner for making yet another wonderful banner for one of my stories.

Disclaimer: I don't own Twilight or any of the characters involved. No copyright infringement intended.

Chapter: 3

For weeks, everything was great between me and Bella. I spent almost every night at her house. The sex was amazing. We probably had sex on just about every surface of her home as well as just about every place we could get away with at work. I don't think I'd ever had this much sex in my lifetime. I wasn't complaining in the slightest.

She still wanted to be very secretive about our relationship though. At first, I thought it was fun and exciting to be having this mysterious relationship and sneaking around. However, after a while I started to wonder why it had to be a secret. If we went out at all we had to go places secluded or bring along work so if we were caught we could use the excuse it was a work related dinner.

We were caught once by Angela and her husband. Bella played it really cool and made Angela believe we were discussing work related stuff. I don't think Angela bought it, though. She never said anything, but I could tell by the way she looked at me in the days following she knew.

Bella played dumb to the fact and I didn't understand why. What was the big deal if Angela of all people knew we were dating? Sometimes I wondered if Bella actually considered us dating or if we were more of just fuck buddies like she was with Jasper and Emmett.

When we were together in private she was so different. She was playful and carefree, whereas when we were in public she was totally opposite. She was uptight and secluded, cold even. I started to realize why at the office she needed a quick release after having to keep up the façade all the time. At work, she liked the rough and dominating type of sex. At home she liked to be treated like a queen and lavished with tenderness. Unfortunately, I never knew which Bella I was going to get. At times it felt like I was dating two totally different people.

I finally decided it was time to take things to the next level. I wanted this to become public even it was just a small step into the public.

While lying in bed one night she was talking about some company picnic. I wasn't paying much attention to her request. I was propped up on one elbow and tracing lines with my fingers across her stomach and breasts, paying more attention to her exquisite body laid out in front of me than the words coming out of her mouth.

"Are you even listening?" she asked angrily. My attention quickly went back to her face which didn't look very pleased.

"Of course I am," I lied.

"You are not," she accused playfully. She rolled me over onto my back and straddled my lap with her warm pussy rubbing against my hard cock.

"I was, I promise," I lied again with a playful smile on my face. Her fingers raked against my chest and down my stomach.

"Then what did I say?" she asked smirking down at me.

"Um, something about a company picnic coming up," I answered.

"Uh huh and what about this picnic?" she asked beginning to kiss my neck, working her way down my chest and stomach. Shit, this is where I lost focus.

"Um," I began breathlessly. "It's coming up?"

"Yes it is," she breathed against my stomach, pulling my boxers down to remove my cock from its confines. "And what's so important about this company picnic?" Her tongue licked upwards against the bottom side of my cock, eliciting a small moan from her lips. My eyes closed and my mouth opened releasing a ragged breath.

"I don't know," I mumbled my answer.

She suddenly stopped her tongue, just as it reached the tip. In one quick movement, she was off of me and walking across the room.

"Too bad you weren't paying attention," she teased.

I sat up looking over at her across the room dumbfounded by what happened. She pulled an old shirt out of her drawer and slipped it over her head.

"Wait, why did you stop? What did I miss?" I asked.

"If you were paying attention you would have known and maybe you would have gotten a little surprise."

I sighed and walked over to her on the other side of the room. "How can I possibly pay attention to work related information when I have your beautiful body laid out in front of me?" I asked wrapping my arms around her torso.

She smirked and leaned into me willingly.

"We can talk about work when we're at work. Right now I just want to focus on you."

I lifted the shirt up to reveal her breasts before leaning down and taking her pert nipple into my mouth. I swirled my tongue around her nub eliciting a soft moan from her lips. Her fingertips dug into my shoulder blades as I suckled her breast into my mouth.

I left a trail of kisses down her stomach, as I fell to my knees in front of her. I looked up at her with a smirk on my face and a raised eyebrow. I knew how to make her forget about work. My hands rubbed against her thighs and stopped at her knees. I lifted one leg up and threw it over my shoulder. Working my way up her leg with my lips, I stopped inches away from her pussy and waited for a moment. I could hear her deep throaty moans changing from exhilaration to confusion as I hesitated.

"What are you doing?" she asked.

"Just wondering if I should continue or suddenly stop and walk away like you did," I replied.

"Don't be a tease, Edward," she sneered.

"I'm the tease?" I questioned with an accusing voice. "No, Miss Swan… I'm not the tease." In an instant my tongue was against her clit licking and sucking, causing her to lose her balance and need to brace herself on the dresser behind her.

Her moans and the way she bucked her hips into my mouth only made me want to keep going.

Her body trembled and she let out a loud cry as I pressed two fingers deep inside of her while I continued to suck and lick against her clit.

The sweetest moans and squeals left her lips as she came. I loved listening to her come all over my mouth. It was always such an erotic rush to know I could pleasure her so completely where she wanted me and no one else.

When I knew she had successfully reached her climax, I dragged my lips up her body and stood to my feet. Her hands rested on my biceps while I assaulted her neck with tender kisses.

"I guess I owe you something now, huh?" she asked.

"What is it you owe me?" I asked against her neck.

"Well, I could tell you," she began slowly lowering herself to the ground. "Or I could show you." Her dark brown eyes looked up into mine through her lashes giving me that 'I want you now' look. My breath caught in my lungs when her small hand wrapped around my shaft and began to pump back and

forth. Her warm mouth and moist lips made contact with the tip of my cock causing me to shudder from the sensation. Her tongue swirled around my tip before she took me all the way into her mouth, sucking and licking all around my cock. She moaned uncontrollably making me think she enjoyed giving me a blow-job. I groaned and closed my eyes as she continued. I could barely hold it together.

"Yummy," she whispered pulling off of me and licking her bottom lip. "How about we finish this on the bed with you buried deep inside of me?"

She stood to her feet and we danced across the floor towards the bed. I pushed her down on the bed, causing her to giggle, which was such a turn on. I crawled over top of her pushing her legs out beside me. I grabbed my cock and rubbed it against her pussy a couple times before pushing it deep inside of her. Her eyes rolled in the back of her head and she sucked in a raspy breath. My hands rubbed up and down her inner thigh as I pushed in and out of her. Our hot breaths mixed together between us, as we got closer and closer to our final release.

"Mmmm, come for me, Bella," I begged with a clenched jaw.

"You first," she ordered.

"No, you first," I refused. "This is for you. I want you to be pleasured. You have to go first."

I balanced myself on the palms of my hands, not losing motion inside of her and leaned down to suckle her breasts. She stretched her arms above her head and grabbed the headboard tightly as I pressed harder and deeper inside of her. The small cries leaving her lips told me she was close.

"Come on, Bella," I said breathlessly.

Within seconds I could feel her pussy tightening around my cock making it very hard not to come right away. I looked down at her face and watched as her mouth hung open and her eyelids tightened together. A few labored breaths left her lips as she came around me so pleasantly. Letting go of my concentrated control I came moments later, releasing inside of her with a few shutters of my body.

She hummed as a pleased smile spread across her face. I rolled to the side and pulled her into my arms, holding her tightly against me.

"I love pleasing you," I whispered against her shoulder.

"You always do in so many ways," she whispered back.

I held her close, spooning around her body while one hand brushed through her soft, delicate hair laid out in front of me.

I watched her as she hummed softly and her eyes grew heavy. Her entire body relaxed against me. In that moment I realized how much she meant to me. My entire body filled with the sudden revelation of what I wanted with her.

"Bella," I said in the softest voice. She barely acknowledged me in her near sleep state. "I love you."

When she didn't respond in any way I assumed she was probably already asleep and never heard a word of what I said. In a way I was glad. It probably wasn't the right time to tell her what I was feeling. I questioned whether it was love I was feeling for her or if it was just infatuation. Or it could have been the amazing orgasm I just had and the scent of her still all over me.

I decided to let it go and lay my head down to go to sleep next to her.

In the morning it was the same routine as usual. We woke up and while she got ready for the day, I would head home to my apartment to shower and change before I headed into work. One time I brought over extra clothes, thinking I could shower and change at her house and we could drive to work together but she was dead against it. She didn't want to chance anyone seeing us.

I gave her a quick kiss on the lips before I darted out the door and took off in my car. I got home and quickly showered and changed my clothes before heading off to work. If timed just right, I always arrived about five minutes after Bella.

During the drive I listened to my voice mail messages. There was a call from my mom telling me to call her as soon as I could.

I dialed up the number waiting for my mom to answer.

"Where have you been?" my mother asked, not even taking a moment to say hello.

"Hi, Mom, it's nice to hear from you too," I said sarcastically.

"I'm sorry, Son, but I've been worried. We haven't seen you or heard from you for weeks now."

"I have to work, Mom. Did you forget I have a pretty important job now?"

"I know, but the least you could do is call us once in a while. Your sisters call on a regular basis."

"I'm sorry. I'll try to remember to call you more often," I offered. "Is that the only reason you called?"

"Actually no," she answered. "This weekend is the Fourth of July. Are you going to make it to the barbeque this year?" Every year since I can remember my parents had an annual Fourth of July celebration for friends and family. It was always a big hit and not to be missed. "It's not going to be a huge bash this year, just a few close friends and of course your sisters. I believe they'll be bringing a couple guests as well."

"Um…" I hesitated for a moment thinking about what I had going on during the weekend. "Yeah, I'll probably be able to make it."

"You can bring your girlfriend if you'd like," she suggested.

"What makes you think I have a girlfriend?" I asked in horror. I hadn't exactly told my family I was in a way dating my boss or that I was dating anyone. It was still supposed to be a secret between me and Bella.

"A mother always knows, Edward," she replied with confidence. "I would like to know who it is who keeps my son from coming home on the weekends like he used to. Is it someone you work with or someone who lives in the same apartment building as you do?"

"Mom," I complained.

She giggled. "Just bring her home with you. Your father and I would love to meet her."

"She's not who you would expect her to be," I said, thinking about how awkward it might be when my parents find out I'm dating my boss.

"Your father and I have always trusted your decisions. Whoever she may be is perfectly fine with us. Even if she's covered in tattoos and piercings, we aren't going to care. If you care about her that's all that matters," she insisted.

I sighed heavily into the phone and ran my fingers through my hair, while I walked towards the front entrance of the building.

"Are you embarrassed of her?" my mom asked.

"Of course not," I disputed. "I just don't know if she'd want to come."

"Well, I suggest you ask her and I'll see you both on Sunday," she concluded. "Have a good day at work."

She hung up the phone before I had a chance to say another word on the subject.

As I walked into the building and towards the elevators I decided I needed to just ask and get it over with. I could convince her to come with me. I've convinced her to do a lot harder things. I could do this. It's not like it would be that bad either. My mom had said this year was going to be small anyway. There were only going to be a few people. It wouldn't be that bad.

I rode the elevator to the top floor and walked down the hallway towards Bella's office. Her door was open, so after I put my stuff on my desk I walked in. She was on the phone and jotting something down on a notepad when I walked in. She glanced up for a brief second before finishing up her phone call.

Even when she hung up the phone she barely acknowledged me in the room.

"What do you want, Edward?" she asked while still writing something on the notepad.

"My parents are having an annual Fourth of July party this weekend. My sisters will be there and a few close friends. I'd really like it if you came with me."

"I'm sorry, I can't," she declined without even thinking it over for a moment.

"Why?" I asked.

"I just don't have the time," she said as an excuse.

"It's the Fourth of July and a Sunday. You can take off one day, can't you?"

"Edward, I said no."

"And I'm not accepting it," I argued. "I'm tired of being your little secret. I want this to be real. I want you to meet my family and know where I came from."

"I'm not going to argue with you. If you want to take a couple days off to go visit your family, then fine. Just don't pressure me to come with you. I don't want to meet your perfect little family," she sneered.

"My family isn't perfect," I defended. "I just want you to meet them. I want you with me. I don't understand what the big deal is. Why is it so hard for you to be a part of my life?"

"What's that supposed to mean?" she asked leaning back in her chair and crossing her arms against her chest in a defensive stance.

"You've never been to my apartment, you don't let me shower or change my clothes at your house, you very rarely ever let me take you out on a date and if you do it has to be secretive, you don't ever seem to want to know me or where I came from," I accused angrily. "I know you keep yourself guarded, but you don't have to with me. I care a lot about you, and I want you to be a part of my life. I don't want this to be just about sex."

"Are you trying to say you don't enjoy the sex?" she asked in an accusatory voice.

"That's not what I'm saying," I defended. "You know I enjoy the sex and everything we've done, but I want more than just sex."

"Are you sure you're not gay?" she questioned. "I've never known a guy who wanted more from a girl than just sex."

"I think we've already established I'm not like most guys. And besides how many guys have you known? According to you there have only been two, and they were clearly just after sex."

Her head dropped and she released a small sigh.

"I'm not going home with you," she refused once again. "Don't ask me again."

She stood up from her desk and walked out of the office with a few files in hand. The frustration building inside of me caused me to do something I truly regretted. I slammed the door after her and knocked over a pile of files on her desk.

After a few minutes of calming myself down, I sat on the floor for nearly an hour straightening the files and putting them back together. When she got back, she didn't say a word and neither did I. When I was done, I went back out to my desk and avoided her all day. Even at lunch I didn't eat with her like I usually did.

After work, instead of going over to her house I went home. She called later in the evening asking if I was coming over, and once again we got in an argument about whether or not she wanted to be in a relationship with me. It wasn't even about the barbeque at my parent's house anymore. It was about never feeling like I truly knew her. She still held so much in and never shared much of herself with me. I knew I had to be patient with her and not push, which for the most part I was but asking one little request from her didn't seem like such a big deal.

The following days we still avoided each other, but eventually I did give in and apologized for pushing her to do something she wasn't ready for. That night we went back to her house and had make-up sex, which was amazing. We were up most of the night having sex multiple times. I was exhausted by the time we finally went to sleep.

Late the next morning, I woke up and carefully crawled out of her bed. I gave her a chaste kiss on the cheek and whispered I'd be back later. She barely awoke and mumbled something incoherent as I walked out and headed back to my apartment. I quickly showered and headed out on the highway towards Forks. I figured I'd just make a quick appearance, have dinner, and then head home before the fireworks started. I could use the excuse I had to work the next day and didn't want to get home really late.

I pulled into the driveway and parked to the side so I didn't end up trapped if more people came. There were already quite a few cars in the driveway. I thought my mom said this wasn't going to be a huge party, but I guess our versions of small are different.

I walked into the house calling out for anyone only to find everyone was outside on the back deck. I walked out to the small crowd and spotted my mom chatting with a group of women across the lawn.

"Edward!" my mom squealed rushing towards me to give me a hug.

"Hi, Mom," I greeted in return while hugging her back.

"I'm so glad you made it," she said holding me out at arm's length. "You look thin. Are you eating alright?"

I rolled my eyes and sighed. "I'm fine, Mom. Stop worrying."

"So…" she began. "Where's your girlfriend? I'm dying to meet her."

"She couldn't make it. She had to work," I lied.

"Oh, that's too bad. I was looking forward to getting to know her."

"Maybe next time," I suggested.

"Or maybe I'll just need to make a trip to Seattle soon to meet her myself," she planned aloud.

As we walked further outside I heard a familiar chuckle and turned my head to see who it was. When I saw who was standing next to my sister with his arm wrapped around her waist I froze. It couldn't be. I

blinked my eyes a few times trying to make the image of Emmett and my sister, Rosalie, out of my head. It had to be my imagination.

"You have to come meet Rosalie and Alice's new boyfriends. They are both so charming," my mom insisted, linking her arm around mine and dragging me across the yard towards them.

"Oh, there he is," my sister, Alice, squealed in excitement as she came into view standing next to Rose and my other nemesis, Jasper. This seriously couldn't be happening.

"Jasper and Emmett," Alice began walking over to me and taking my other arm. "This is our little brother Edward. Isn't he adorable?" Her voice squeaked as she described me as adorable.

I stared at both of them with disgust and anger rushing through me. I wanted to kill them both right here and now.

"Baby, why do you look like you just saw a ghost?" Rose asked Emmett with concern in her voice.

"I'm fine," he assured looking away from me and focusing on her.

"Jasper, you don't look so well either. Are you okay?" Alice asked noticing Jasper's expression as well.

"Yeah, you both don't look well. If I didn't know better the look on your faces reminds me of someone who might be a little guilty. Are either of you guilty of anything?" I questioned with an accusing voice.

"We aren't guilty of anything but loving your sisters," Emmett retorted. While my sisters, and even my mom, awed and fell for their pathetic excuse, I rolled my eyes and scoffed.

"Right," I laughed. "That must be it."

I walked away knowing if I didn't get away soon I was going to say or do something I might regret. I couldn't get in a fight at my parent's party, nor could I embarrass my sisters by telling them the truth in front of everyone.

I walked over to the bar and asked for a shot of tequila. I usually wasn't a big drinker, but I needed something strong to calm my nerves. I downed the shot, choking a little from the burn.

"Edward, we need to talk," Emmett demanded from behind me. Just hearing his voice made me angry. My entire body shuddered from the anger I had for him. I turned around slowly, glaring at both Emmett and Jasper.

"We can't do this here," Jasper reminded. "Is there somewhere we can go to discuss this?"

"Discuss?" I questioned. "More like beat the living shit out of both of you."

Emmett chuckled while Jasper smirked at the amusement of my threat.

"It's really not as bad as you may think it is. Give us a chance to explain and maybe you won't look at this as such a bad thing," Jasper tried to excuse.

Nothing either of them said would make this better, but I led them back into the house and into the empty living room.

"Edward," Jasper began. I crossed my arms against my chest and clenched my teeth waiting for whatever it was they wanted to say. "We know you're upset. We totally understand why, but you don't know the whole truth. Nothing serious happened between Rose and Emmett or me and Alice until things cooled off with Bella. We wouldn't do that to them. When we say we love your sisters we mean it."

"Do you both do everything together?" I asked. "You keep saying we. Is that how you operate by working together? You couldn't fuck Bella without being together and now you went after my sisters. Were they easy targets? I don't know, maybe you both have some sick fetish by being together all the time that you just use people who are easy prey."

"You have no idea what you're talking about," Emmett said. "We weren't the ones doing the using, Bella was. She's probably doing the same thing to you."

I laughed and shook my head in total denial to what he said.

"Look," Jasper began trying again at explaining an impossible situation. "I met Alice at a club about a month ago. I asked her out and we went on a couple of dates. It was never serious at first. After Bella told us she wanted to break things off and be with you, to be honest it was kind of shocking but a huge relief. It wasn't until then that I pursued a more serious relationship with Alice. When I say I love her I mean it."

"The same goes for me," Emmett added. "It was just a coincidence that Jasper and I were at this club and happened to be attracted to sisters. It wasn't our intention to fall for sisters, and definitely not your sisters. We didn't even know until just a few minutes ago. We knew they had a brother named Edward, but we never imagined it was you. Of all the people in the world named Edward how could it possibly be you?"

"I don't want either of you dating my sisters," I said firmly, not caring what they said about loving my sisters. To be honest it made me sick to hear them say that.

"It's really not up to you, Edward. Your sisters are grown women and they don't need their little brother to defend them."

"I'm sure if I told them what it is you used to do with Bella they'd have a change of heart," I said smugly.

"That's exactly what we're asking you not to do," Jasper begged.

"I know we can't make this any easier, but what we did with Bella was not because we wanted to. It was more of an obligation. It had been going on for so long and she's the one who made us who we are today, we just couldn't stop. Like I said, it was a huge relief when she told us she wanted to end things."

"Bella was an obligation?" I repeated with a questioning voice and look on my face.

"Bella has problems," Emmett cut in. "She has for a long time. We never understood exactly what was going on with her but we knew she had issues and we weren't important to her. She used us to help her set up her company and make it successful. When this first happened years and years ago it was fun and exciting, and we never saw anything wrong with it, but as time went on it became a chore. It wasn't fun anymore, but we couldn't walk away. We couldn't just leave her for fear of what might happen to her. We seriously worried about her health and her safety. I know she thinks we don't know her, but we do. It wasn't just about sex. It was about taking care of her. I don't know why she suddenly decided to fall for you and want only you but she did and we both couldn't have been happier. We want her to be happy and to have someone she can trust to take care of her. Unfortunately, that's not what we think she's doing."

"She doesn't need anyone to take care of her," I interrupted. "She's one of the strongest women I've ever known."

"Are you sure?" Jasper asked. "You don't really know her, Edward. You may think you do but you don't."

"I do know her. You guys are the ones I don't know and don't trust."

"As much as I want to believe you're right I don't think it's that simple. All you are to her is a shiny new toy she can play with. Once she's done with you she'll push you aside like she did us. After a while you'll be in the same predicament we were in. You'll start to see her as an obligation and a mistake."

"You don't know that," I sneered through clenched teeth. "She chose me over both of you. She wants to be with me."

"Then where is she?" Jasper asked. "If she truly cared about you don't you think she'd be here with you?"

"Edward please, all we're asking is you don't say anything to your sisters. It's been a long time since we could have a life of our own without feeling guilty. Don't ruin this for us or for them. What happened with Bella meant nothing. It was only for her benefit," Emmett continued.

"You expect me to believe that?" I asked in shock. "I saw the way you were with her. You treated her like she's a whore. I think you have it the wrong way. All she was to both of you was a good fuck. Is that how you treat my sisters?"

"It's because it's the way Bella wants it," Jasper shouted. "It doesn't make it real to her if it's forceful and rough. It's not real if she's with both of us at the same time. There are no feelings attached. She doesn't know how to love someone."

Emmett sighed and turned towards Jasper. "We aren't getting anywhere. He's too jaded to see the truth."

"Edward," Jasper said ducking his head and sighing to calm his anger. "We're both happy Bella has you. I think with you she's finally breaking through some of her insecurities and fears. She's needed someone like you for a long time, but it's going to be tough. You need to understand that. You have to be careful. We both have tried to help her, but she just pushed us away. She's going to do the same thing to you. However, I think you may be the one and only person she'll ever let in to truly help her, if she's willing. She's already proven that just by what she's done so far. We know you don't like us and you don't trust us, which you have every right not to, but please just believe us when we say we love your sisters and would never do anything to hurt them. We'll live the rest of our lives trying to prove that to you if we must. Bella changed for you, so let us change for Alice and Rose."

Before I could answer, my dad walked in with a questioning look on his face.

"Is everything okay in here?" he asked.

I sighed running my fingers through my hair. "We're fine. I was just getting to know Jasper and Emmett a little better."

"Mr. Cullen you have an amazing son. He's very protective of his sisters, and that's a very admirable quality," Emmett complimented. I wanted to puke hearing him say what he did. However, seeing the proud expression on my dad's face made it impossible to hate Emmett too much.

"Alice and Rose talk very highly of both of you. I'm sure Edward will see just how much you both care for my lovely daughters who happen to be looking for you out back."

The three of them chuckled and walked back outside to join the crowd. I stayed inside and paced the floor contemplating what to do.

I should tell them, but it would kill my sisters and my parents. Then where would it leave me? If my family knew about Jasper and Emmett they would know about Bella. I would have the same ridicule as they would.

"Edward," my mom called from the backdoor. A few seconds later she walked into the living room and saw me pacing the floor. "What are you doing? Are you alright? You look stressed. What's wrong?"

"Nothing," I lied. "I need to go."

"What? You just got here," my mom reminded.

"I know, I'm sorry," I apologized. "I just can't be here right now. I have work to do."

"Edward!" she shouted after me as I headed for the front door. I ignored her calling me and stormed out to my car. I jumped in and sped out onto the road. I had so many emotions running through my body I didn't know what or how to feel. I just drove. It was the only thing I could focus on at the moment.

After the three hour drive back to Seattle, I pulled up in front of Bella's house and jumped out still feeling angry and confused about everything. My fist pounded on her door while I waited for her to answer.

After a few minutes, she opened the door with a confused expression on her face and in nothing but her robe. "Edward, what are you doing here? I thought you were visiting your family today?"

I didn't answer her questions. I stepped through the door and took her face in my hands, kissing her lips with a fierceness I didn't even know I had. Her hands wrapped around my shoulders and kissed me back with the same fervor as I was. I reached behind me and shut the front door with a loud slam before picking her up in my arms. Her legs wrapped around me as I carried her back towards the bedroom. We didn't quite make it to the bedroom, though. I slammed her against the wall in the hallway and pulled off her robe to release her naked body. She breathed rapidly and intensely as I kissed and ran my hands all over her body.

"I love you, Bella," I said between kisses. "I love you so much, and I want you to tell me you love me too?"

When she didn't say anything in return I stopped and looked up at her. Her face was cold and unmoving. "Bella?" I questioned, searching her eyes for answers.

"Edward," she began in a condescending voice. With a raspy breath I stepped away from her and ran my hands through my hair ashamed by what I said and how she reacted. She moved towards me and reached out her hand towards my arm. "I…"

"Don't," I interrupted jerking away from her. "I don't want you to patronize me. Jasper and Emmett were right. You don't care about me. You never have."

"That's not true," she retorted.

"Really? Then why wouldn't you go with me to meet my family today? Why won't you ever let anyone know about us? Why do you never want me to shower or bring over a change of clothes? Why do you like to randomly have sex in your office? Why did you always have to have sex with Jasper and Emmett at the same time and never with just one of them alone? Why is it you don't have friends? I'm just the toy, like Jasper and Emmett said I was," I concluded. "I'll never mean anything to you, will I? You aren't capable of caring about anyone."

"When did you talk to Jasper and Emmett, and what exactly did they tell you?" she asked.

"It doesn't really matter anymore. They were right. You just use people for your own desires and have no concern with their feelings. I truly feel sorry for Emmett and Jasper now. You deserve to be alone."

I walked towards the door and opened it up with a forceful swing.

"Edward?" she called after me as I walked across her yard towards my car.

"Oh, and one more thing," I said stopping near my car. "I quit."

I hopped in my car and sped off. All the way home I was on the verge of tears. I did everything in my power to hold them in. I'm a grown man. I'm not supposed to cry over a fucking girl. I was pathetic. But it hurt to know everything I thought was wrong. Bella never cared about me the way I did her and Jasper and Emmett weren't the enemies. They were right about Bella, and they were right about me being jaded. I was so blinded by love I couldn't see the truth.

I walked into my dark and lonely apartment and fell to the floor against the front door. My face fell into my hands and for hours I just sat there. I didn't know what else to do but think about everything that's happened and put it all together in my head.

I sat in the same spot most of the night thinking over what I did and what I was going to do now. In the middle of the night my phone began to buzz in my pocket. At first I ignored it, thinking it was probably Bella. I couldn't talk to her, at least not yet. When it started to buzz once again, I took it out of my pocket expecting to see Bella's name on the screen and fully planning to turn it off for good. Then at least I didn't have to hear it. However, I was taken by surprise when I saw my mom's number on the screen. I answered quickly, wondering why she was calling me in the middle of the night.

"Mom?" I questioned into the phone.

"Edward," she cried hysterically. "There was an accident. It's your sisters."

"What?" I asked breathlessly into the phone. A large pit of fear grew in my stomach as my mom tried to explain what happened. They were in a car accident on their way home and at the hospital now. "I'm on my way."

I hung up the phone and dashed out the door. Once again I sped down the road, towards the hospital this time. In a matter of minutes I was pulling into the parking lot at the hospital and running towards the emergency room entrance. I stepped in and saw my mom and dad in a tight embrace while they cried. I instantly thought the worse. The tears fighting their way out all night had finally met their match and tears filled my eyes.

"Where are they?" I asked with a voice thick with emotion.

My mom and dad turned towards me, pulling me into their embrace. "We don't know anything yet. Alice is in surgery and Rose is still in intensive care."

"What happened?" I questioned pulling away from their embrace to get some real answers.

"They were in a car accident. It was late, I should have insisted they just stay at the house and drive home in the morning," my mom explained.

"This isn't your fault, Esme," my dad insisted. "Don't blame yourself. They'll be fine. We raised strong girls who can make it through anything."

"Dad's right," I agreed. "They'll be fine. We just need to wait to hear something."

We sat down in the chairs, all of us taking a collective breath as we waited with anticipation for the doctor.

After a few minutes of complete silence a voice suddenly broke through. "Have you heard anything?" Jasper asked. It was a voice I didn't want to hear at the moment. I looked up and saw the bandages on his head and chin causing me to realize he was in the accident as well.

I jumped up and pushed Jasper against a wall with full force. "What did you do?" I accused.

"I didn't do anything, Edward," he disputed. Everyone around me was shouting and pleading for me to let him go.

"He didn't, it was my fault," Emmett said from behind me. I turned around and glared at Emmett before charging towards him and punching him in the face. He fell backwards and grabbed his nose.

"Damn it, Edward. That's the second time you've made my nose bleed."

"You're worried about your fucking nose while you very well could have killed both of my sisters?" I shouted.

"Edward," my mom gasped.

"What is wrong with you?" my dad asked pulling me away from Emmett. I walked to the other side of the waiting room trying to calm down while my dad looked over Emmett's nose.

"Edward, I know you're mad," Jasper began. "Once again you have yet another reason to hate us but it wasn't our fault. It was a drunk driver who hit us."

"Then why is it both of you walk away unscathed while my sisters are lying in a hospital bed very likely dying right now?" I asked.

Jasper's head dropped in shame. "Rose and Alice were tired. It was a long day and really late when we headed home. They curled up in the backseat to get some sleep during the drive while Emmett and I sat upfront. They weren't wearing seatbelts while they were sleeping," he explained regretful.

I let out a loud sigh feeling my anger build once again. I didn't want them anywhere near my sisters.

"Edward," my dad cut in holding me back. "Why don't we go for a walk?"

He pulled me away and guided me down a hallway.

"What's gotten into you?" he questioned as we walked.

"Nothing," I lied.

"You know I can always tell when you're lying. You were lying earlier when I found you talking to Emmett and Jasper in the living room and you're lying now. I have a sneaky suspicion the three of you know each other. Why don't you tell me how you know them and explain why you seem to dislike them so much?"

"It's a long story, Dad and not one I feel comfortable explaining right now," I answered.

"Give me the short version."

Realizing he wasn't going to give it up I decided to tell him a little. "I work with them, or maybe for them. They're co-owners of the company I work for. My boss is their partner."

"So what did they do to make you not like them?" he wondered. "I haven't known them long, but they seem like great guys and your sisters adore them. If there's something we should know I'd like you to tell me now."

"I just don't. It's not something I can explain," I answered.

"Emmett mentioned something about this being the second time you gave him a bloody nose. When was the first time?" he questioned further.

"About a month ago," I sighed.

"And what was the reason for that bloody nose?"

"He just said something about my boss I didn't like and I hit him."

"So you were defending your boss' honor?" my dad theorized with a grin.

I rolled my eyes hating how he could always see between the lines. "I guess so."

"Your boss means a lot to you, doesn't she?" he continued.

"Dad, can we not do this. We should be worrying about Alice and Rose, not my love life or those assholes in there."

My dad's eyebrow rose at my comment but he didn't ask any more questions. It wouldn't take long for him to figure it out, but right now I didn't want to talk about it.

We walked back to the waiting room and sat down on the opposite side of the room from Jasper and Emmett. While we waited I glared across the room at Jasper and Emmett. They glanced in my direction a few times with a regretful and worried look on their faces. For a moment I almost felt sorry for them…almost.

As the sun rose and we still hadn't gotten word of either Rose or Alice's condition we all started to fear the worst. It couldn't be a good sign if no one was updating us on their condition.

"Why is it taking so long?" I questioned in irritation.

"Be patient, Edward," my dad demanded. "It's a good thing it's taking a long time. The longer it takes the more we know they're still fighting for their lives and the doctors are working hard to fix them up."

"Can't you go in there and find out what's going on?" I asked.

"I don't have clearance in this hospital and they won't let me in the operating room if it's my own child on the operating table," he answered.

"You have to know someone here who can go find out for us."

"The last thing the doctors need is someone bothering them during a surgery. Be patient."

I sighed heavily while raking my fingers through my hair and down my face nervously.

Another hour of waiting and finally a doctor walked into the waiting room. We all jumped up and rushed over to him.

"Are you the family of Rose and Alice Cullen?" the young doctor asked.

"We're their parents," my mom answered.

"I was the operating surgeon on Alice. She had some internal bleeding that took a while to get under control. Her left lung collapsed and at the moment she's on a ventilator to help her breath. She did suffer some minor head trauma, but her brain waves look good and I have confidence she'll be able to make a full recovery. We just need to take it day by day and keep a close eye on her condition." There was a collective sigh of relief from all of us.

"And Rose?" my mom asked.

"Rose is just fine," he assured. "She had some minor bruises and cuts as well as a broken arm and collarbone but she's doing just fine. She's resting now."

"Can I see her?" Emmett asked.

The doctor turned towards him with questioning eyes.

"I'm her boyfriend," he added.

"I'm sorry, for right now we're only allowing family members," he replied.

"Can we go back to see them?" my mom asked.

"Of course," he said leading my mom and dad down the hallway towards the recovery area.

I could have probably gone with them, but for right now I thought my mom and dad needed a few minutes alone with them. Also, I didn't know if I could handle seeing them hooked up to machines and all bandaged up.

I rested my elbows on my knees and ducked my head down low feeling relief wash over me knowing my sisters were going to be okay.

"Emmett, Jasper," I heard someone gasp coming into the room. My head shot up recognizing the voice as if it was my own. I watched as Bella embraced both of them in a hug and held them tight. "I heard what happened when I got to the office. I came as quickly as I could. Are you both okay?"

"Yeah, we're fine," Emmett answered.

"Why are you here, Bella," Jasper asked.

"Yeah, why are you here?" I repeated the question angrily. Her head whipped around and her shocked expression fell upon me.

"Edward?" she breathed. "What… Why…"

"Well isn't this great. A big fucking orgy reunion at the hospital, while my sisters are lying on their death beds," I said furiously. "Did you need a quickie before work?"

"Edward, I didn't know you were here," Bella defended.

"Would it have mattered if you did? You don't care about me, remember?"

"That's not true."

"It doesn't matter," I said getting up from my seat and walking past her. "I'll always be nothing to you, so I don't care what you do with them or anyone else for that matter."

"Edward," she called reaching for my arm as I passed by her. I jerked away and walked out of the waiting room and towards the elevator.

"Edward," she called again chasing after me.

"Go back to Emmett and Jasper. The three of you deserve each other, and maybe then they'll stay away from my sisters."

"Your sisters?" she asked catching up to me and keeping in step.

"Didn't you know? As soon as you broke things off with them they went and found someone new, which happened to be my sisters. Kind of fucked up, huh?"

"Were your sisters in the accident?" she asked.

"Why do you care?"

"I do care, Edward. I care about you, and I can tell you're upset. Talk to me."

I stopped and faced her. "I don't want to talk to you. I don't want to even look at you. I can't stand knowing I fell for a heartless bitch like you. I can't believe I was so naïve to believe you actually cared about me. But you don't and you never did. You're fucked up, Bella. You need some serious help, or better yet don't get help. Maybe it would be better for you to suffer and live a life alone with no one who cares about you. You don't deserve to be loved."

She blinked tears away and her mouth hung open.

"Edward," Emmett scolded. "Don't be a fucking asshole. She doesn't deserve to be treated like that especially from you."

"She doesn't deserve anything," I scoffed. "Go back to Jasper and Emmett. I don't ever want to see any of you ever again. Stay away from my sisters." I looked up at Emmett warning him with my comment and my glare.

I walked down the hall to find my parents. They were huddled over a bed holding Alice's hand and crying.

I stopped at the door and watched them as they cried openly for my sister. I couldn't go much further in the room. I didn't want to see her hooked up to machines.

I went a little further down the hall and found Rose's room. She was asleep, but her injuries were much less than Alice's and I felt like I could walk in without feeling squeamish.

I sat down next to her bed and watched as she breathed. After a few minutes her eyes opened, but she couldn't move her neck much.

"Edward?" she wondered.

"Yeah, I'm right here."

"Where are mom and dad?"

"They're with Alice. Her injuries were a lot worse than yours were."

"Is she okay?"

"For now, I guess. They said she needs to be watched closely for the next few days. She hasn't regained consciousness."

"What about Emmett and Jasper? Are they okay?" she questioned in a fearful tone.

"They're fine. They didn't have any major injuries."

"I want to see Emmett. Is he here?" she asked.

"He was down in the waiting room. I'm not sure if he's still here though. I kind of got in an argument with him."

"What? Why? What did you do?"

"It wasn't me, Rose. You shouldn't be with him. He's not good enough for you. If you knew who he truly was you'd think the same thing," I defended.

"I already know, Edward."

"You do?" I asked.

"Yeah," she agreed. "On the way home Jasper and Emmett told me and Alice the truth because they were afraid we might hear it from you and they wanted us to know the whole truth."

"What did they tell you?" I asked skeptical they told them the truth.

"They said their boss is now your boss, and for years they had some transgressions with her. They aren't proud of it and they regret it ever starting, but it's over now and they couldn't be happier in their life with us," she explained.

"What else did they say?"

"Only that you walked in on them once and it was kind of embarrassing for them," she giggled.

"It doesn't bother you knowing they had threesomes with their boss and they still work with her on a daily basis?"

"No, it doesn't. It's in the past and it's not happening anymore. I'm not exactly proud of my past either, so I have no room to judge him on his past."

"Your past?" I questioned with a smirk on my face.

"I can't believe I'm talking about this with my little brother," she said with a small giggle. "We all make mistakes, Edward. I'm honored you want to protect me and look out for both me and Alice but you don't need to. We know how to take care of ourselves. Emmett's a good man and if you gave him half a chance you'd see that. I love him, Edward and he loves me. He'd never hurt me so don't worry."

"Does Alice feel the same way about Jasper?" I asked.

"I'm sure she does," she answered. "When you love someone all their mistakes don't seem so big anymore."

I sighed feeling guilty for the way I treated Emmett and Jasper as well as Bella… especially Bella. I was horrible towards her. She didn't deserve that from me.

"What did you do, Edward?" Rose asked.

"Nothing for you to worry about," I answered. "You need to focus on getting better."

"Can I come in?" Emmett asked hesitantly from the door.

"Emmett," Rose said with a huge smile on her face. She put her hand out gesturing for him to come towards her.

"I know you don't want me in here, Edward. But I can't leave. I love your sister," he admitted.

"It's not up to him. Now get over here," Rose demanded.

I hopped out of the chair and gave Emmett an accepting nod before he rushed across the room and took her hand in his.

"I'm so sorry, Baby. It's all my fault," he said regretfully.

"It's okay. We're all alright. There's nothing to be sorry about," Rose soothed.

"I'll take good care of you while you recover. I'll be right by your side," he promised.

He kissed her knuckles repeatedly and as I stood in the doorway I thought I saw a tear fall down his cheek.

Maybe I was wrong.

I walked down the hall and peaked in on Alice once again. Jasper was standing next to her, brushing her hair off her forehead and kissing it gently. My mom and dad held each other close on the other side of the room with sad expressions on their faces.

I walked back out to the waiting room hoping to find Bella. I needed to apologize for what I said. As angry as I still was she didn't deserve what I said. I needed to make it better.

When I reached the waiting room though, she was gone. I thought about going down to the parking lot but I didn't. I needed to be here for my family first.

I called her, but like I thought would happen her voicemail picked up. "Bella… I just wanted to say I'm sorry for what I said. I was just upset about my sisters, and I was still mad at Jasper and Emmett. I shouldn't have taken my anger out on you. I'm sorry."

There was so much more I wanted to say, but I couldn't say it over an answering machine. I didn't think she'd want to hear it anyway.

The following day Alice did regain consciousness. It took a while for her to fully recover but she did. Jasper was by her side every minute of every day, as was Emmett for Rose. They very rarely went home or even went to work. I started to see a different side to them when they were with my sisters. They were sweet and caring with them. It was like seeing two totally different people. I started to see the truth in what they told me. With Bella it wasn't real, with my sisters it was.

I hadn't talked to Bella since the night at the hospital. I tried to a few times. I drove by her house and tried calling her, but I never went through with it. I just couldn't yet. I couldn't face being hurt again. If

all I was to her was a fuck buddy then I didn't want to get sucked back into that. If what we had really meant nothing to her then what I said couldn't possibly affect her that much.

When my sisters were finally released from the hospital I decided I needed to start looking for a new job. I knew I probably wouldn't find anything as good as what I had but I needed something.

I sent out my resume to just about anyone I could find who was hiring and even some who weren't hiring; yet there were never any leads. With bills piling up and no job in sight, I decided to move back home for a little while. I started packing up my apartment and I knew I had to face going back to pack up my stuff at the office. I waited until the last and final day before I went in.

Jessica spotted me instantly and came running towards me.

"Edward," she called waving her arms like a lunatic. I glanced briefly in her direction but didn't bother slowing down. "I heard about your sisters. I'm so sorry. Are they doing better?"

"Yeah, they're both fine." I stopped in front of the elevator and pushed the button a few times. I hoped it opened fast so I could get away from her.

"That's great news. I'm glad to see you're back. You came just in time for the company picnic this weekend. We've all missed you around here. Miss Swan has been exceptionally bitchy lately."

"How so?" I asked trying to hide my curiosity.

"She's had at least four or five temporary assistants and she's fired all of them within days. I offered to take the job but she won't let me. It's for the best anyway. I'd probably want to kill her after a few hours. I'm sure she's happy to have you back."

"I'm not back. I'm just here to get my stuff."

"What do you mean? Miss Swan said you were taking some personal time off because of your sister's accident. Are you quitting?"

"I already quit a few weeks ago. I don't know why Miss Swan said I was taking time off, but I quit."

"Why did you quit?" she asked shocked by my confession.

"Personal reasons."

The elevator finally opened and I stepped inside, quickly pushing the button for the top floor. Thankfully, I think I stunned Jessica so much that she didn't bother getting on the elevator with me to find out more information.

I took a deep breath when the elevator doors opened on the top floor of the building. I stepped out and walked down the familiar hallway to where my desk once was. There was no one around when I reached my desk. I had hopes all my stuff may have been packed in a box somewhere so I could just grab it and go. However, I was surprised to find everything was left exactly how I left it. There was

another temporary desk set up across from mine, but nothing on my desk had been touched. I found it odd but pushed my thoughts aside to pack my things.

I found a small box and began to fill it with the few belongings I had there. While packing, Bella's office door suddenly opened and my heart literally skipped a beat. I almost dropped the box when I turned around to see her. I didn't expect to see who I saw walking out of her office though. I came face to face with Jasper and Emmett walking out of her office with small grins on their face like they had so many times before. My mouth dropped open as the sudden thoughts of them fucking around with Bella while they were supposedly being loyal to my sisters went through my mind.

My jaw clenched shut and my eyes narrowed when they stared back at me with shock.

"Edward, it's not what you think," Jasper quickly defended.

"Then what the fuck is it?" I asked loudly. I didn't care who heard me or what the repercussions might be for exposing them.

"It was only a business meeting. There are some changes being made and we needed to discuss them," Emmett added.

"You expect me to believe you? I can't believe you're betraying my sisters after everything they've been through. I was finally beginning to like both of you and now this? I'm glad I came back one last time to find out the truth. Don't for one minute think my sisters aren't going to hear about this."

Once my outburst was finished I noticed Angela step out of Bella's office right behind Jasper and Emmett. She looked at me with a smile on her face.

"It's good to have you back, Edward. I'm sure Miss Swan will be happy to see you."

My eyes darted back and forth between the three of them trying to make sense of what was going on.

"Edward, we're about to have a companywide meeting and Miss Swan would like you to be there," Angela continued before walking down the hall to the elevators.

"Do you believe us now?" Emmett asked. "I swear, Edward, it was just a business meeting. We have both been faithful to Alice and Rose the entire time. You really need to stop jumping to conclusions about everything."

"Whatever," I breathed in frustration and humiliation. "As soon as I get my stuff together I'm out of here."

"You need to be at the meeting. It's in about twenty minutes," Jasper insisted.

"I don't work here anymore. There's no reason for me to be at a company meeting."

"It's important and Bella need, you to be there," he further pressed.

I sighed heavily and rolled my eyes. "Fine," I agreed, thinking I could probably get out of here before the meeting and no one would even notice.

They walked down the hallway leaving me alone once again. I quickly packed up my stuff not paying attention to anything else around me.

"Hello Edward," Bella greeted timidly from her door. I looked up at her and saw this different woman from who I'd come to know. She wasn't the strong and independent woman anymore. She looked weak and scared. Her eyes had heavy bags under them like she hadn't slept in weeks. She was thinner than usual and very pale. She looked sick. I instantly started to worry she wasn't taking care of herself like she should have been. "Um… you are coming to meeting, right?" she asked with her head down. I'd never seen her so scared in all the time I'd known her. The confidence she once had was gone.

Against my better judgment I told her I'd go. I followed her down the hall to the elevators. The ride down to the first floor conference room was completely silent. I didn't know what to say to her.

I walked into the conference room and stood towards the back of the room while Bella walked to the small stage. The room became quiet when she reached the podium.

I could tell she was nervous. Her hands were shaking and she barely looked up towards the people in front of her.

She took a deep breath and licked her dry lips before beginning. "As of Monday morning Emmett McCarty and Jasper Whitlock will be taking over the company temporarily." The whispers that went through the crowd were deafening. Everyone was in an uproar. I could only stare at Bella with confusion. What was she doing? This magazine meant everything to her. "I have been dealing with some personal matters lately, and I am in need of a mental break. It's not permanent, and I will be back. I just need some time off for a little while. I have confidence Emmett and Jasper can handle the company without me for a short time. Nothing else is going to change other than me taking a step back for a while. There is nothing to be worried about where your jobs are concerned. Mr. McCarty and Mr. Whitlock have both been informed of these changes. There are a few of you I still need to talk to in regards to some changes while I'm gone, which I will do privately when this meeting is over.

"I will not be attending the company picnic this weekend so I hope you all enjoy your time there. I put a lot of work into making it extra special this year to thank all of you for everything you've done for me and my company this last year. I'm sure I'll see you all very soon. Thank you."

She stepped off the stage and walked out of the room without another word to anyone. Jasper and Emmett took the stage next to say a few words. I stepped out into the hall and found Bella leaned up against the wall, sitting on the floor with her face in her lap. I walked over and leaned down next to her placing my hand on her shoulder. Her head jerked up and she quickly swiped at her tears.

"You are actually someone I need to talk to about your place here," she blurted while standing to her feet and mustering all the confidence she could. "I haven't formally removed you from the company. I was hoping after a few days you would change your mind and come back. I haven't removed any of

your things, and if you want to come back you have a job waiting for you. Of course while I'm gone you'll be assigned to Jasper or Emmett."

"Bella, what are you doing?" I interrupted. "You love this place. You live for this work. Why are you walking away?"

"I'm not walking away. I realized you were right and so were Emmett and Jasper. I have some issues I need to work out. As much as I hated hearing it, you were right. I don't let people get close. I keep myself guarded to protect myself. I used sex as a way to cover up my feelings. It's easier to not feel so I'm not hurt. But the thing is, being hurt by you made me realize I need help," she admitted.

"I'm sorry," I said.

"I've been working with a counselor and a psychiatrist to help me figure my life out," she continued ignoring my apology all together.

"That's good. I hope it works out."

"Edward, when we were together I was using you, but not in the way you think. Being with you made me lose control of who I'd worked so hard to create and it exhilarated me but scared me at the same time. I was supposed to be strong and not let anyone get to me. But you did. I couldn't resist you. I wanted you from the first day I met you. I hated feeling the way I felt, because I wasn't supposed to. I tried to deny my feelings for you and fight to push them away by using Jasper and Emmett, but I couldn't. Then when we slept together I felt like a kid again. I felt like the girl I missed out on. You made me feel alive. I didn't want to lose that feeling, but at the same time I was afraid of losing who I'd created. So, I created two worlds and you were sucked into both. I needed you to fulfill both sides of my desires. But somewhere in the middle of you telling me I needed help and going days without seeing you I realized I was wrong."

"I don't understand what you're trying to tell me."

"I'm trying to tell you I love you. I don't know how to live without you. I thought I could get past it, but I miss you so much," she admitted on the verge of tears. "It wasn't just sex with you. It was so much more. As wrong as it may be for us to be together I fell in love with you. I want the whole world to know how much you mean to me, I want to meet your family, I want you to stay with me all the time, and I want you to love me in return. I want to be a part of your life every day for as long as you'll have me."

I didn't wait for her to say any more before I took her face in my hands and kissed her. As much as I knew things weren't perfect with her, I still loved her. I couldn't help it.

"I know I'm not easy to handle but if you're willing, I'd really like it if you would stand by me during my treatment. The counselor wants me to face my parents since they are the root to a lot of my issues. I don't want to do it alone. I could really use a friend by my side who I know I can trust," she said nervously.

"I'll always stand by you. Through everything I'll be by your side. It's what you do when you love someone," I assured wrapping my arms around her waist. She smiled up at me and wrapped her arms around my neck.

"I'm really sorry about what happened at the hospital. I didn't know you were there. I came to work and found out Jasper and Emmett were in an accident so I needed to check on them. As much as I try to say I don't care about them I do. They aren't just a part of this company but the only two people I've been able to depend on all these years. They're my only family. If I had known you were there I would have been there to see you too."

"Don't worry about it. It's in the past and doesn't matter anymore. Let's just work on what's to come next."

"And what is to come next?" she wondered.

"Let's start with trying a date again. One out in the open and not hidden," I suggested.

She smiled up at me. "What did you have in mind?"

"How about I take you to meet my family this weekend?" I suggested. "My mom was dying to meet the woman who kept me from coming home every weekend."

"Are you sure you want me to meet your family? I don't know if they'll like me knowing who I am and what I've done."

"They don't know anything about what happened. My sisters know who you are and I can imagine they might be a little shocked to find out how close we are, but if I have to accept Jasper and Emmett then they can accept you."

"What about our age difference? I'm sure I'm not who they expected their son would bring home."

"My parents aren't going to care about the age difference. They'll probably just be happy you aren't full of tattoos and piercings."

She giggled and ducked her head slightly.

"If you aren't ready or you don't want to then we don't have to," I said offering her a way out.

She thought it over for a moment before nodding her head in agreement. "I want to."

I wrapped my arm around her shoulders and guided her out of the building. "Let's get you home."

I led her out to my car and helped her into the front seat before driving off. At first the drive was silent. I wanted to say so much, but it didn't seem right at the moment.

"Edward," she said breaking the silence. I glanced between her and the road waiting for her to continue. "Thank you."

"For what?"

"For giving me a second chance," she answered. "I don't think I deserve it but I'm glad you are."

I reached over and took her hand in mine bringing it to my lips and gently kissing her knuckles before resting our linked hands on my leg. She leaned over and rested her head against my shoulder.

"About the job," I reminded. "I could really use it right now, but do I have to work for Jasper or Emmett? It's bad enough I have to see them with my sisters, I'd rather not have to work for them too."

She giggled freely sending hope through me that she was beginning to be the same Bella as before. "I can find another position for you."

"I don't care if it's working in the mailroom or even working in the cafeteria, just as long as I don't have to work with them."

"I think if you're willing I could still use an assistant. I'm going to need someone to help me get to appointments and someone to support me through the rough times. I also need someone to make sure I eat and take care of myself. I haven't done a very good job lately."

"Bella, I'll do all of that regardless of whether it's my job or not. I told you I'd stand by you and I meant it. I'm not doing it because it's my job. I'm doing it because I love you."

"You do?" she asked timidly.

"Did you not believe me when I told you before?"

"Yes, but a lot has happened since then."

"It didn't change anything."

As I pulled into her driveway and looked over at her I saw tears in her eyes. I reached out and swiped her tears away with my thumb.

"Where were you when I was fifteen?" she asked. "Everything would be so different now."

"When you were fifteen, I was only two years old. I don't think I could have given you much advice then," I explained playfully.

"God, it's sounds so horrible when you look at it that way," she complained.

"I probably would have still loved you even as a child. It wouldn't have been in the same way…" I joked, causing her to giggle and shove me playfully. I took advantage of the moment and pulled her close for a kiss. When the kiss ended I rested my head against hers and brushed my thumbs across her cheeks. "I still would have thought you were the most beautiful and amazing woman I'd ever met."

She wrapped her arms around my neck and I held her tight while she cried. She cried for happiness, for fear, for love, and sadness. She was a mess with emotions, but the best thing about it was she was letting them out and she wanted me to be here with her.

The End

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