Hey, everyone! Sorry it's been so long! I have been working on this chapter for the last month so I hope some of you like it. I wanted to add more but it was getting too long so what I wanted in this chapter will be in the next chapter hopefully. I'd also like to say that I did some research and manipulated it slightly to fit my needs. Anyway, enjoy and be sure to review!
You come on with a come on, you don't fight fair
But that's O.K., see if I care!
Knock me down, it's all in vain
I'll get right back on my feet again!
Hit Me With Your Best Shot!
Why Don't You Hit Me With Your Best Shot!
I'm gonna get ya', get ya', get ya', get ya'
Hit Me With Your Best Shot!
~ Hit Me With Your Best Shot/One Way or Another Mashup, Glee
July turned to August. August turned to September and it was abnormally hot and dry for the Pacific Northwest. Our air conditioning also chose this time to stop working, finding me ad Addie staying with the Cullens until my parents could find someone to fix the AC.
This also meant more Edward… ad more harassment from Alice about how she thought Edward and I were "meant to be." Every time she mentioned me ad Edward getting together I had to resist the urge to roll my eyes. When she would finally realize that I wasn't paying attention, she would bring up Addie.
Of course she would.
Addie had managed to weasel her way into Edward's heart in only three days. One night I had even woken up to Addie's whimpers only to find Edward ad Addie having a little heart-to-heart.
"Shhh," Edward whispered, bending over to remove Addie from her crib. "Why don't we give your Mommy some rest, hm? She works hard to take care of you. She deserves some sleep, don't you think?" Addie cooed ad let out a little gurgle that sounded like a small laugh. Eve I the dark, I could see the corers of Edward's mouth lift up into a small smile.
Edward grabbed Addie's blanket ad took a seat in the rocking chair by the widow. "You and your mommy are very special to this family, Addie. Your Auntie Alice loves you so much. I've ever see her so happy. Until your mommy ad your Aunt Rosie, she didn't have may friends. Your Nana Esme ad Pop Pop love you too. You'll always be surrounded by people who love you. Eve when you think you have no one, your family will always be there." Addie cooed again before quiet whimpers began to escape her. I heard the creak of the rocking chair, followed by the door open ad close.
I found Edward the next morning asleep on the couch with Addie nestled under his chin, both covered up by a pink fleece blanket, entirely too small for Edward. Alice had giggled, quickly taking a picture of the two. Edward hadn't lived it down.
"A little birdie told me that someone has a birthday today."
I jumped, early spilling a can of formula all over the kitchen floor. I looked at Edward who just stood there wearing a stupid grin. I hated my birthday ad Alice knew it but she still felt like it was her civic duty to inform that Bella Swan was now twenty one.
"It's not that big of a deal, Edward," I grumbled, adding a scoop of formula to Addie's bottle. "People have birthdays every day."
"Yes but today you turn twenty one, Bella. That's a very big deal and birthdays in the Cullen household are an even bigger deal so while you are a guest at Casa Cullen, you will be subjected to the Cullen birthday festivities."
I rolled my eyes before turning to Edward. "You sound just like Alice, you know that right?"
"Just be glad that I'm the one talking to you ad not Alice. She wanted to throw a huge party for you. Mom had to reel her in. She should be glad that you agreed to have your parents watch Addie so you could go out for a bit."
I snorted, remembering the sleepover almost two months ago when Alice had begged me to let her take me out for my birthday. With o working air conditioner, my parents, Esme and Carlisle had decided to take Addie out for the day before coming back to the Cullens where Charlie ad Renee would play with Addie before saying goodbye to their granddaughter for the night.
I could only hope that the air would be fixed soon. I missed home. I missed my parents. The only problem that could from leaving the Cullens is that Addie may miss her nightly chats with Edward. She was his and he hers whether he knew it or not.
"Happy birthday, Bella!" Alice practically shouted as she came bounding around the corer. Addison was securely attached to the front of Alice's chest. By the looks of it, she had already been bathed and dressed.
Sometimes it seemed like my baby was Alice's own little baby doll rather than her god daughter. Oh well… Addie was at least eating up the attention the Cullens were giving her. I couldn't but smile. She was going to be so spoiled… and so loved. My heart clenched when I saw Edward carefully take Addie from his sister. I could see the love in his eyes for her while she looked back him in awe and adoration, clearly mesmerized by what he was saying to her.
"So, Bells," Alice said as she leaned on to the counter top. "Excited for tonight? Emmett and Rose are coming. So is Jazz…" Her eyes quickly shot over to her brother who stood there with his mouth hanging hide open. "You better be nice, Edward. I really like Jasper and I want him to stick around for a while. Please, please. Pleeeeaaaase don't go turning this into some sort of pissing contest."
Edward seemed speechless. I'm pretty sure no one – especially Alice – had ever pleaded with him before. He looked like a fish. I had to stifle a laugh.
"Don't worry, Ali," I told her, placing a hand on the shoulder of my best friend. "I'm sure Edward will be on his best behavior tonight." I shot Edward a grin, causing him to just appear confused. "After all, Rosalie is Jasper's big sister. She wouldn't let anyone mess with her baby brother."
"I thought they were twins," Edward questioned. My grin grew a little bit larger.
"Oh they are but Rosalie's ten minutes older and she takes her big sister duties seriously. One wrong move, word, whatever and she will end you."
Edward visibly gulped. So he was nervous. Great. Rosalie Hale was one of the nicest people I knew and probably wouldn't hurt a fly but watching Edward squirm was hilarious. There was no way I would ever tell Edward that I was bluffing out of my ass.
I watched as Addie's eyes grew wide and a small smile graced her face. I gasped in fake surprise, getting a small but happy coo from my baby.
"Addie bug, who's that?" her eyes darted around the room in search of the source of the voice.
Charlie walked into the kitchen, with a huge smile on his face. His eyes landed on Addie and she went nuts. She cooed and kicked her legs in a poor attempt to get to my dad. I was expecting a laugh any day now.
"Peanut!" my dad exclaimed, taking Addie from Edward. "Are you ready for a day of fun with your Papa and Grammy?" Addie hung on Charlie's every word, just like she did with Edward this was different. When it came to Charlie, Addie looked at him like he had hung the moon. Even at two months old, it was clear that Addie idolized Charlie.
"Gee. Thanks, Charlie," I heard my mom grumble. She stood in the doorway, arms loaned with gifts, glaring at my father. Someone would definitely be in the dog house tonight. "You could have grabbed something."
Edward rushed to my mother's aide and grabbed the majority of the presents from my mother.
"Oi. Thank you so much, Edward. Nice to know that chivalry isn't dead yet. Unlike some people, you are clearly a gentleman. Esme and Carlisle sure did raise you right."
Charlie rolled his eyes while Addie reached for his moustache. "Enough, woman. I can't help that I was excited to see my grandbaby. It's been a while."
"It's been three days! You mean to tell me that in three days you're already through Addie withdrawals?" Charlie nodded, obviously afraid to answer my mother. "We live twenty minutes away! You could have stopped by whenever you wanted!"
"I had to… work?"
Boy he was in deep shit and he knew it too. It was kind of funny actually.
"Sure you had to work, Charles," Renee snickered, earning a loud laugh from Alice. She was enjoying this as much as I was. "Fishing with Billy doesn't constitute as work, my love."
"Speaking of Billy," Charlie began. "Jake's back in town, Bells. He's dyin' to see ya."
"Really? That's great! How is he? I haven't seen him in years. Obviously too busy in California for us small town folk," I teased.
"Well you know he dated Angela Weber throughout high school then ended things when Jake went to California and Angela to Seattle. When they reconnected and um…"
"Angela's pregnant, Bella," my mother finished for my dad who looked all flustered.
"P-pregnant? Is she okay?" I saw the looks my parents had and I knew that Angela clearly wasn't okay. "Dad… what the hell did Reverend Weber do?"
"Crazy old man. How can he treat his own daughter so poorly when she needs him the most? I should go over there and ring his neck!" I paused, taking a breath before grabbing a pen and a napkin. "Give me Jake's number. They're coming to a birthday bash tonight."
Charlie quickly rattled off Jake's number before throwing a gift right at me. I'm pretty sure he was trying to distract me. I always felt like Reverend Weber was crazy and my parents had just confirmed what I had always thought. I opened my presents quickly, not really seeing what I had gotten only slowing down when my mother told me to. I glanced down at what I had received and nearly passed out. How did they afford so much?
"I um… got promoted," Charlie stammered. "Just before Addie was born. I'm no longer the police chief."
"You made Commissioner? That's great, Daddy!" I congratulated him with a huge hug before looking back over my birthday gifts. They had gotten me a new camera with built in video recorder. A locket with my baby picture beside Addie's. A ring with Addie's birthstone set in a heart along with a dew other things but the most important thing to me was what was in a large manila envelope.
A college transfer with a thousand dollars… signed with love from my parents and the Cullens.
"What… I don't understand."
"You wanted away from Dartmouth so quickly that you didn't talk to anyone about a transfer," my mother began to explain just as Esme and Carlisle joined us. "We didn't want you to give up schooling when you're so close to being done. So we sat down with Esme and Carlisle. Carlisle made the calls and did all the hard work. You start in January with twelve credits a week. It's 8 to 12 and if you want, you would still be able to find a job."
"Just don't go burning yourself out, Bells," Charlie added. "You're a mother first and you can't be a mother to Addie if you end up in the hospital. Got it?"
I nodded. It was all I could do. The Cullens and my parents were giving me my future back. I could be something extraordinary for Addie… someone she could be proud of.
"Another thing," my mother said. "Esme and I agreed to take turns watching Addie. You will come home, do homework then be Mommy if you do not work."
"We also ask that every Friday night, you take some time to just be Bella, alone or with friends," Esme told me. "I was a young mother with a husband in medical school. It was hard and I had no one. I didn't have any time to just relax. Even if you just want to stay in and take a nice, hot bubble bath with a good book. Just take a few hours for you."
"Is that it?" I asked, curious if there was anymore to this gift. My parents, Esme and Carlisle all nodded, causing Alice to jump up and down, clapping her hands.
"Good! Now if you will excuse us, we have a birthday outing to prepare for!"
It had taken Alice nearly three hours to make me over and deem me presentable. She had curled my hair, the result being loose curls. My makeup ended up being a bit dark, sexy and mysterious. She put me in a short black dress and paired it with red pumps.
Alice had done a great job with boosting my confidence and making me feel sexy. I hadn't looked this way since James and I were together.
I rarely thought about James these days but when I did, I would become angry. I never thought that James was really serious about not being a father to Addie… or that his parents would allow him to behave this way.
"Ready to go?" a velvet voice asked from the doorway. I turned around and it like the breath had been knocked out of me. Edward looked like sex on a stick with his green dress shirt and black leather jacket. "Alice sent me up here to get you." God did he look good… "Bella, hey… are you okay?" his closeness didn't go unnoticed by me, that's for sure. "Bella?"
"Sorry. I was just thinking."
"About your ex?" I tensed. Was I really that easy to read? Was I such an open book that Edward – my best friends brother – knew what was going on inside my head? "Look, Bella… I know you were expecting a happily ever after but maybe the way things are now… maybe that's how it's supposed to be. Perhaps you're meant to find someone who loves and loves Addie unconditionally. You're young. You're sexy. Any man would be lucky to have you, Bella."
I couldn't keep the small grin from appearing. Edward had managed to make me look at my entire situation differently. Maybe James and I were never meant to have our happily ever after. Maybe James was only meant to give me Addie and that she was meant to be loved by someone else… by me and someone else.
"Edward! Bella! Let's go!" Alice yelled from downstairs.
Edward and I shared a small laugh before Edward kissed my cheek.
"You'll be okay," he assured me. "Ready to go celebrate being twenty one?"
"Not really but I don't really feel like dealing with Alice's wrath."
A loud laugh escaped Edward. Good to know that he finds me hilarious…
The music was deafening as we walked into the club that Alice had insisted on dragging us to. I couldn't seem to keep my eyes off of Bella. My sister had done a great job dressing her. She oozed sex and confidence as she laughed and talked with Alice and Rosalie.
"See something you like?" Emmett asked as he handed me my beer. I couldn't find an answer for Emmett so I shrugged. The last thing I wanted to do was talk to Emmett about how much I wanted his baby sister. "Edward, relax. I'm not going to pound you just because you have the hots for my sister."
"Am I that obvious?"
If Emmett knew how I felt about Bella, did she know? If Bella found out, I didn't want to risk losing her friendship. She was beginning to mean everything to me.
"It's written all over your face, man." Fucking great. "Listen, Bells has been through a lot with that cock sucker leaving her and being a single mom. She would probably shoot you down in a heartbeat but I like you. You care about Bella and even more about Addie. You're good for her."
I let Emmett's words sink in as I scanned the club for Bella. I found her with Alice, Rosalie and an unknown man. Her head was thrown back as she laughed, exposing her beautiful neck. The blond haired man leaned down and whispered something to Alice. I could see the blush creep over her face. Rosalie rolled her eyes before punching the man in the shoulder. My eyes met Bella's that earned me a smile. God she was gorgeous…
"Edward! This is Jas…. Edward? Hellooooo?"
I jumped when I felt my shin take a hit. Fucking A did that hurt!
"What, Alice?" I hissed, bending down to rub the spot where Alice had kicked me. "And did you really have to kick me?"
"Yes, I did," Alice answered with a smug smile. "You shouldn't be staring off into space like that." I watched as her hand slid into another… a much bigger and tanner hand. "As I was saying… This is Jasper. Jasper, this is my brother, Edward."
Jasper extended the hand that didn't hold Alice's. I stared at it for a moment before taking his extended hand in mine and shaking it.
"Good to finally meet you," I told Jasper. "I've heard a lot of things about you from the girls."
"All good things I hope," Jasper chuckled. I couldn't help but laugh as well.
"Good things from Alice," I replied. "Some from Bella and Rosalie. Did you really put glue in Bella's hair?"
Alice's eyes went wide before they narrowed and staring me down in what could only be described as a 'death glare'. She thought I was pushing it when in reality, I was just curious to see if he really was the hellion Rosalie had described to me earlier in the car.
"Not one of my better moments," Jasper laughed. "We were fifteen and she wouldn't let me copy her history homework."
"Seriously? You put glue in her hair for that?"
Jasper shrugged. "I cut holes into Rosie's bras and then froze them as well."
"No wonder you're friends with Emmett."
"Are you kidding me? Emmett found out what I had done and kicked my ass. We're friends now but back then we despised each other. I was always harassing Bells and Rose. It was what I lived for!"
"So what changed? Bella and Emmett seem pretty fond of you now."
A loud, boisterous laugh came from behind me. I had forgotten about Emmett being there until he threw his arm around me.
"Bella got even," Emmett laughed. "She had our friend, Jacob Black, take a part Jasper's motorcycle. She delivered it to him in pieces." He laughed again. "She also poked holes into his condoms."
"And that was the end of my golden days," Jasper laughed.
So… the loving mother wasn't as she seemed. She could act nice until you wronged her and then she got revenge. I watched as she hugged a curly haired brunette who was crying. A tall, tan-skinned with long black hair kept his eyes on them both as he talked to a very angry Rosalie.
"I take it that's Angela and Jacob?" I asked Emmett.
He nodded and his muscles flexed. He looked pissed. "Angie has always been the good girl around Forks. She hung around with Bella a lot. Her father is the Reverend, very strict and firmly believes that you shouldn't have a child out of wedlock. His wife just goes along with the shit he says. When the Weber's found out that Bella had Addie and that the father - if you can call him that - wasn't in the picture, they labeled Bella a whore. When Angela said she was pregnant, they cut off all communication with her. They refuse to be associated with a daughter who is going to be an unmarried daughter. I should also mention that Jacob is a full-blooded Quileute Indian. That baby will be interracial. To Reverend Weber, that's an even bigger no-no than having a child out of wedlock."
"How could they do something like that to their own daughter?"
"They're a bit loony," Jasper explained. "Forks is a small town. We barely have 3,000 people. All there is to do is have sex and do stupid shit. Ain't that right, Em?"
Emmett grinned. "It was kinda funny… 'specially since Charlie was always the first one on the scene."
"Charlie once caught Emmett cross dressing right before the big homecoming football game," Jasper laughed.
"Only because you dared me to! We lost that game too!"
"Tell Edward why the Trojans lost, Em," Bella ordered as she approached. Angela's eyes were red and blotchy but the crying looked like it was over.
"I had to get drug tested…" Emmett mumbled.
"What was that?"
"Charlie took me to get drug tested alright? Thanks to Jasper, my dad thought I was high!"
In all of my twenty-one years, I had never felt or acted so carefree before. Up until I had met Alice, my days were spent being harassed by Jasper and hanging out with Angela. We were the good girls of Forks. We never did the whole party underage-drinking thing. We had venture out to Mike Newton's party once. He kept asking us to have a threesome with him and that was the end of that.
By the looks of it, Alice had really gone all out with making my twenty-first birthday special. She had arranged for my parents and hers to co-babysit, for Rose to be the DD and for all of us to crash at the Cullens, where we would have pizza, exchange gifts and relieve our parents of baby duty, where (at Rosalie's insistence), she would help with Addie if I was too far gone.
Together, Rosalie and Alice had it all figured out and being able to not worry so much about Addie was fabulous.
"Come dance with me," A deep voice said from behind. I was prepared to tell whoever it was to fuck off but when I turned around, I smiled. Jacob had a huge grin on his face. "Come on, Bells. I haven't seen you in ages."
"Alright." I took Jacob's outstretched hand and allowed him to lead me to the dance floor.
Jacob pulled me close to him and we swayed back and forth as Adele's Turning Tables blasted throughout the club. "So, you and Cullen huh?"
I rolled my eyes. "We're just friends, Jake."
"Sure you are."
"He's been helping me with Addie while I've been at the Cullens. She adores him."
"She's two months old, Bella."
"It's true. She does. She goes all quiet when he sings or talks to her. Her eyes get wide when she sees him coming towards her. She's in love, Jake. Edward is Addison's everything and I'm pretty sure she's his everything."
"I see the way he looks at you, Bells… and the way you look at him."
"Jake, come on. I have a baby…"
"You said it yourself that he loves her and that she loves him."
"Look, Bells… you do what you want. I'll support you no matter what you do but just because James is a scumbag doesn't mean all men are. If you feel anything for Edward, it can't hurt to give a relationship a try."
"I barely know him."
"Isn't that what dating is all about? Getting to know each other?"
"You've been talking to Alice… haven't you?"
A huge grin, one that resembled a dog, graced Jacob's face. "Maybe I have. Maybe I haven't."
"You two are awful."
"So sue me. We only care about you and want you to be happy."
"Well I've think about it. It doesn't mean I'm going to go through with it."
"We'll see about that."
"Bella!" Alice came running towards us, tripping over and running into other patrons as she passed through the crowd. I had never seen her so ungraceful in heels better. "Bella! Your phone… and Emmett… then Edward…"
"Alice! Alice, calm down," I ordered, grabbing her by the shoulders. "What's going on?"
"I told them to just let your phone ring but they didn't listen."
I surveyed the club and found Emmett holding my phone to his ear, waving his hands around in the air. Edward was trying to go for the phone but Emmett would push him away. Both wore looks of fury on their faces.