A/N: I need to thank my beta, Venomousgal for beta'ing this chapter, despite being sick. She's amazing and truly didn't have to do this while being sick. Everyone should thank her for making sure this chapter got done on time.

There is an important message at the end of this chapter so please read it. I hope no one will be mad at me.

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

In the morning when I woke up I laid in bed longer than I usually did, listening carefully for Edward to leave the house. I felt bad for the way I behaved the night before but I had a lot of emotions running through me on top of the pregnancy hormones. Those two things didn't mix very well. I probably made more out of what Edward said than I really should have, but I just couldn't help it. I couldn't face Edward now, after what I did and I was a little embarrassed by how I reacted. I just hoped he didn't take it too personally. I really had no right to get mad at him for trying to help me. He'd already done far more for me than any person should. I owed him so much.

Once I knew for sure that Edward had left for the day, I crawled out of bed and took a quick shower. I changed into a pair of dark jeans and a cream colored blouse. It really wasn't much since all I brought back from California with me was a small backpack with a few clothes, but it was the nicest outfit I had. I pulled my hair back in a ponytail and put on a little lip gloss to try and look a little nicer. I needed to make a good impression if I was going to be searching for a job.

After I felt like I was about as good as I could possibly get, I walked out of the bathroom and towards the kitchen, as I wanted to grab a bagel before I left for the day. While waiting for my bagel to toast, my eye caught sight of something bright in color on the counter. I walked over to it and saw a small book with a safari animal print on the cover. Stuck on top of it was a sticky note saying 'I'm sorry'. Confused by what it was, I picked it up and thumbed through it. Tears sprung to my eyes as I realized it was a baby book.

Edward bought me a baby book? Why couldn't all guys be as great as he was? I definitely wouldn't be in the mess I'm in now if they were.

I ended up burning my bagel because all I wanted to do was look through the baby book. I grabbed a pen and started filling in a few things that had already happened. Everything else I was supposed to do that day became an afterthought and for the first time since finding out I was pregnant I let myself just get lost in the experience. All I wanted to do was fill out that book.

After nearly two hours of sitting at the counter looking through the book and very slowly eating a fresh, unburned, bagel, I reluctantly pulled away and decided to go see Rose to do what I had originally planned to do this day. I needed to find a job. I had to find some way to take care of myself and my baby. As much as I appreciated everything Edward had done for me, I didn't want to depend on him for everything. I left the book on the counter and grabbed my coat before leaving the house to walk the short distance to Rose and Emmett's house.

Rose answered the door still dressed in her pajamas. "Hi, Bella. What can I do for you?"

"I was actually going to see if you were free today to go into the city, but if you're not it's fine," I replied, shyly.

"Are you kidding? I'll do anything to get out of this house for the day," she expressed, her eyes lighting up with excitement. "Come on in." I walked through the door and followed her into the living room. Shawn was sitting on the floor with his eyes glued to a video game he was playing while Emmett sat on the couch thumbing through a Sports Illustrated magazine. Rose sat down next Emmett and I sat down across from them on an oversized arm chair.

"I don't think I've ever seen him sit so still," I said referring to Shawn sitting so peacefully playing his game.

Rose sighed dramatically. "It's the only thing that'll ever work to keep him calm for a while. I hate letting him play video games all day but sometimes we need a little peace and quiet in this house."

I laughed. "I can only imagine."

"You said you wanted to go into the city today. What did you have in mind?" Rose asked, rubbing her hands together.

"Well I'm actually hoping to find a job somewhere. Edward introduced me to someone he works with who was supposed to help me find one but she really hasn't had any leads on anything. I want to go out and find something for myself and not wait around for her to find something for me. Edward thought it would be a good idea if I asked you to drive me since there's a storm coming in," I explained.

"Sure, I can do that," Rose agreed, turning towards Emmett. "Babe, you can look after Shawn today, right? You don't have any plans to go anywhere, do you?"

"No, we'll be fine. Go on and have a good day," Emmett replied, leaning over to kiss Rose on the cheek.

Rose giddily hopped up advising me that she'd be ready in a few minutes and then we could head out.

I awkwardly sat in the living room with Emmett and Shawn while Rose got dressed. I wondered if I should try to talk to Emmett to be polite, or if I should just keep quiet since he was reading a magazine and probably didn't want to be distracted. For at least ten minutes I sat on the couch and fiddled with the zipper on my jacket contemplating what to do. Suddenly, Emmett dropped the magazine in his lap and turned towards me to speak. The sudden movement made me jump.

"I just had a thought, Bella. If you're looking for work you can work for me," Emmett offered, hesitantly.

"What do you mean work for you? What would I be doing?" I asked.

"Well, Rose has been pestering me to hire someone to help her out for a while," he explained. Just then Rose walked back into the living room overhearing what Emmett was suggesting. "Rose also works for me. It's fairly easy work. I think you'd be a great addition to our team."

"That's a great idea," Rose exclaimed. "I'd love to have someone else to work with. Besides, Angela only works two days a week now and I'm overwhelmed with a job I was only supposed to do for three months, which turned into three years."

"You still haven't really told me what I'd be doing," I reminded them, smiling as I did so. "I don't have a lot of skills since I dropped out of high school."

"That's really not a problem," Emmett assured. "Basically you'd just need to answer some phone calls, write up contracts, and do a little filing. It's not hard and Rose always brings Shawn along while she works. We set up a whole section with toys for Shawn and also for our other employee's kids. You could bring your baby there after he or she is born if you'd like."

"What kind of work do you do?" I asked still unsure what type of business I was getting myself into.

He chuckled and hit his forehead with his hand like he felt stupid for not mentioning what his profession was. "I'm so sorry. I work in construction. My team and I work on quite a few jobs within the city. Your job would be to take inquiries, write up contracts and schedule our work load."

I shook my head feeling a little overwhelmed with the job duties he just listed. "How would I know what the right questions are or whether or not to schedule a job?"

"It's really not that hard," Rose answered. "I can train you. And if you don't like it there are no hard feelings if you decide to look for other work."

"So what do you think, Bella? Do you want the job?" Emmett asked.

I thought about it for only a second before I accepted with a smile and nod of my head. I didn't even think to ask what my hours would be, or where it was I would be working, or even how much I'd be getting paid. I was just so excited to have a job I didn't care about all the other details.

"This is perfect. I can't wait to tell you all about the men my husband works with," Rose squealed excitedly. She stood from the couch and grabbed her shoes by the door to put them on. "You should hear some of the stories I have about these men."

I glanced towards Emmett who was rolling his eyes. I hid my amused grin from both of them. Rose was hilarious with her gossip. I was sure working with her was probably going to be quite interesting.

"Well, since we don't need to go searching for a job why don't we go have a day of fun?" Rose offered. "We can get a manicure and pedicure maybe even a facial. You may need a few new outfits for work too. This will be a great day."

"Thanks for the offer but I don't have any money, Rose. Maybe some other time?" I suggested.

"Nonsense. We can give you a cash advance on your wages to help you get started,"
she offered, generously. "I need to get out of here for the day anyway."

"Are you sure?" I asked, hesitant of accepting a cash advance.

"Of course, Bella," Rose insisted. "It's not a problem at all. Now let's go before it gets too late."

I stood and walked towards the door while Rose turned around and kissed Shawn on the head telling him to be good for his dad. Emmett walked Rose to the door and kissed her gently while telling her goodbye. "Don't be gone too long. I don't want you getting stuck with that storm rolling in," he reminded.

"We won't," she promised, kissing him again. "I'll stop and get something for dinner too so I don't have to cook tonight."

"Sounds like a great idea." He smiled down at her and kissed her one last time before she opened the door to leave. I followed her out to her car and got into the passenger seat.

"Thank you for doing this, Rose. It means so much to me that you and Emmett are giving me a job I'm probably nowhere near being qualified for. I promise I'll work hard and won't let either of you down." I vowed, sincerely grateful that they had considered me.

"I'm sure you'll do a great job. Now let me tell you about the men you'll be working around," she began, while pulling out of the driveway and heading out on the road. Part of me groaned internally at the thought of listening to her rumors of the people I was going to be working with, but another part of me was curious to know who these people were.

All the way into town Rose went on and on about every person on Emmett's team. She told me about each and every one of their personal lives as well as how hard they worked and how they behaved. By the time we reached the city I knew which men were married, single, divorced, and which ones to avoid.

Our first stop was a spa where we had manicures, pedicures, and a facial. Rose also insisted I should get my hair cut. I wasn't too thrilled about the idea, but I went ahead and had a little trimmed off so I had a new style for my new job. I was actually looking forward to this new job even though I had no idea what I would be doing. I just hoped I didn't disappoint Rose and Emmett.

After the spa Rose noticed it had already started raining so we headed back home. Rose was disappointed we couldn't get in a little shopping, but we didn't want to get stuck in the storm and the weather was already deteriorating. She stopped at a pizza place to pick up dinner for her family before heading home.

"Are you going to get anything for you and Edward?" Rose asked as we stood in line to order the pizza.

"No, I have some steak marinating for fajitas," I answered. "I've kind of been craving Mexican food lately."

"You know what I craved with Shawn?" she asked placing her hand on my arm in almost a panicked way. "I wanted smoked oysters every day. I put them on everything."

"That's really disgusting," I expressed nearly gagging at the thought.

"I know, right? I don't know what I was thinking. I can't even stand the smell of them now." She made a gagging noise and shook her head briskly at the thought. We walked to the counter where Rose ordered a small veggie lovers pizza, a small three meat pizza, and a small plain cheese pizza. I found it funny that they couldn't all agree on one type of pizza and had to have three different orders. I hoped my child wasn't so picky. We sat down at a nearby table to wait for the order and sipped on a couple sodas Rose had treated us to.

"So, where is Edward today?" Rose asked.

"He went to Forks to visit his family," I answered, not offering any more information that required.

"You didn't go with him?"

I laughed and turned towards her with a confused expression. "No, why would I go with him?"

"Don't you know his family fairly well?" she fished, smiling innocently.

"I do but they weren't too thrilled when they found out I was pregnant," I explained.

"But you're best friends with Edward's sister, right? Wouldn't you want to go visit her?" she questioned further. I knew what she was doing. She was digging for dirt on my situation.

"Alice and I haven't talked for a while. She changed quite a bit when I was gone," I explained. "I think maybe I changed, too."

"But she's ok with you living with her brother?" she asked skeptically, with one eyebrow raised.

"She doesn't know," I admitted, dropping my head and shying away from the reveal. "I'm sure she won't be happy about it, but if all goes well with this job maybe I won't need to live with Edward for very much longer."

"You're telling the truth when you say there's nothing going on between you and Edward, aren't you?" I looked up at her and saw a confused, yet dubious, look on her face.

"Did you think I was lying?" I exclaimed, widening my eyes at her.

"Well I just didn't think it was normal for you two to be living together based on just a friendship," she replied.

"Honestly, that's all there is between us," I assured, my hands twisting together in my lap. The last thing I needed was a rumor that there was more than friendship between Edward and I floating around.

"Good, because I want to set you up on a date with this guy you'll be working with. His name is Jasper. He just started working for Emmett about six months ago. I think he's around twenty-one…" she gushed, excitedly.

"I don't want to date anyone while I'm pregnant," I interrupted, flatly.

"Oh come on. Who says you can't date while you're pregnant? If you can still have sex while pregnant there's no rule saying you can't date. Besides, I think you'll like him. He's such a sweet guy. He's kind of shy and quiet but such a gentleman. He's got that southern hospitality and these sexy dimples –almost as sexy as Emmett's. I think you two would hit it off well. I'll introduce you when you start work."

"Rose, I really don't want to date anyone. I actually called my baby's father last night to try and work things out," I admitted, hesitantly.

"Oh, how did that go?" she asked with a curious tone to her voice.

"Well I got the answering machine, but I'm sure he will call back when he isn't busy," I replied, staring down at my hands.

"Are you planning to get back with him? I assumed since you're living with Edward now things between you and the father must have ended badly."

"They did, but I still care about him and I think if we talk we could work things out. He was my whole world for so long. It's just hard not having him with me anymore," I trailed off, my voice getting smaller and smaller.

"Do you think getting back with someone who didn't want to step up to being a father in the first place is a good idea?" she questioned, though not unkindly.

"I never said anything about him not stepping up to be a father. Things sort of went bad before I found out," I defended hotly.

"But still if things weren't working out who's to say they will now just because you have a baby?" She reached out and touched my hand softly waiting for me to look up at her before pulling back. "A baby is a huge responsibility and can be a strain on even the strongest relationships."

"I just want my baby to have a father and a real family. I can't be a mom on my own. I don't know how to be a mom," I sniffled on the verge of tears.

"It's easy, Bella. It's all instinct. Besides you'll have me and even Edward for support. Edward seems to really care about you even if there isn't anything going on between you two."

"He's like that with everyone. He was that way when I was younger too." While I spoke I played with the straw of my soda and stared blankly down at the table.

"But I think it's more with you. I think he genuinely cares about you," Rose replied.

It all started to sound like she was fishing for information again so I didn't say anything. I didn't think Edward did anything more out of the ordinary than he would do for anyone else. It's just how Edward was. He always wanted to help people and he'd sacrifice everything for someone else's happiness.

"Anyway, about this guy, Jasper," she reminded, mentioning the guy she wanted to set me up with again. I really didn't want to date anyone, but I had a feeling I wasn't going to get out of this. Rose was persistent. "I think you should give it a try. There's nothing wrong with going out with a great guy to have a little fun while you wait for the douche-bag father to come back into the picture. You may be pleasantly surprised."

"Let me think about it," I conceded, grudgingly.

"Well think fast because I'm introducing you to him on Monday morning," she warned with a devious smile.

I rolled my eyes and huffed dramatically at the thought of dating someone new. I sipped on my soda silently while we waited for Rose's order to be called. I really had no interest in dating. All I wanted was to earn some money and get a place of my own so my baby and I had a place to live.

By the time we made it back to the house the rain was coming down so hard we could barely see anything. Rose pulled into her driveway and shut the engine off. We sat there for a little longer than we should have trying to find a good time to dash for the door.

"It looks like Edward is home," Rose pointed out gesturing towards his car parked in front of his house.

"That's kind of strange. He's barely been gone long enough to drive there and back," I commented.

"He probably wanted to stay in front of the storm."

"You're probably right," I agreed feeling a little nervous. The way we left things the night before made me hesitant to face him again.

She sighed, taking her keys out of the ignition and grabbing her purse as well as the pizzas. "Well, I guess now is as good a time as ever. I'll see you at eight on Monday morning."

"I'll be ready. Have a good night, Rose. And thanks again for everything," I said, opening up the door and dashing across the yard towards Edward's house. I walked in and shook off the rain and removed my shoes and coat. I could hear banging noises coming from down the hall so I slowly walked down towards the laundry room. Edward was mumbling angrily to himself and throwing clothes into the washing machine roughly.

"What are you doing?" I asked.

"What does it look like I'm doing?" he snapped back at me, never turning around.

I walked towards him and placed my hand on his arm just as he was about to pour bleach on top of his clothes. "Don't pour that in there," I ordered with wide eyes. He grumbled and slammed the bottle of bleach down. "Let me help."

I gently pushed him aside and began to pull the clothing back out of the washing machine. I noticed some of the clothes were already damp, which told me something must have happened at his parent's house. I couldn't imagine his mom sending him home with wet clothes. "You need to separate the whites from the colors. The whites get bleach but nothing else, unless you want white splotches all over everything."

Edward stood behind me and watched silently while I loaded his clothes correctly into the washing machine, added the soap, and put it on the correct setting. "There. All done." I turned around to face him and he looked miserable. I knew something bad must have happened but he didn't look like he wanted to talk about it. I wasn't going to force it out of him if I wasn't exactly who he wanted to share with.

"Thanks," he said, before abruptly walking into the kitchen. I followed behind him and started pulling things out of the fridge and cupboards to get dinner started. He grabbed a beer from the fridge and started chugging it down before sitting on a barstool, picking at the label on the bottle.

"I wanted to tell you thank you for the baby book. You really didn't have to do that," I whispered, trying to start a conversation.

"I know. I just didn't need someone else mad at me," he deadpanned never looking up at me.

"I wasn't mad at you, Edward. I was mad at myself. I was upset because Mike never called me back. I thought he would. I'm sorry it took it out on you." I looked over at him expecting some sort of response but he never lifted his eyes away from his bottle of beer. "He hasn't called has he?" I hesitantly asked hoping maybe he had while Edward was out.

"No," he answered curtly. I took a deep breath fighting back the tears. Every moment that Mike didn't call made me realize even more he didn't care and probably never would. I was on my own. I was going to raise our baby all by myself and my baby would never have a father.

I made dinner silently while the wind howled outside and the heavy rain pounded down on the house. Edward never once said a word. He just sat at the counter picking at the label of his beer and occasionally taking a drink. When the washing machine was done, I went to put the laundry in the dryer and Edward followed behind to watch what I did. Afterwards he took his place back on the stool and played with his bottle cap, twirling it around in his fingers.

Just as I was finishing up dinner Edward finally spoke. "Bella, do you think we're doing the right thing by living together?"

I suddenly stopped what I was doing, and stared at him with a gaping mouth. I nodded my head a couple times understanding perfectly well what he was trying to say. "You don't need to worry about it much longer. Emmett offered me a job today. As soon as I make some money I'll find a place of my own. I'll get out of your life and never ask you for another thing." My throat tightened at the rejection I was feeling. Not only had Mike rejected me, but also my best friend, and now Edward.

"Bella, I didn't mean it like that. It's just…" he trailed off with a heavy sigh and ran his hand through his hair in frustration. "I'm sorry. I just don't know how to make everyone happy. My family found out about you staying here. My mom is pissed at me and my sister thinks I betrayed her. I don't know what to do."

"I'm sorry I'm causing you so many problems," I cried. "I never meant to hurt you."

"Bella," he sighed sympathetically while standing from the stool and walking over to me, pulling me into a warm embrace. I sobbed against his chest feeling horrible for making his life so hard. "You didn't hurt me. I shouldn't have said anything."

"No, I'm glad you did. I need to be reminded that I'm on my own. I don't have anyone anymore, and I can't expect people to let me depend on them after what I've done," I gasped out, continuing to cry in his arms.

"You didn't do anything wrong," he insisted. "You made some bad choices but you aren't a bad person." He soothed my hair and rocked me back and forth. It had been a while since I felt that much sincere comfort from someone. "And you aren't alone. You have me. I'll always be here to support you no matter what."

I pulled away and wiped my eyes with the back of my hand. "If I'm causing problems with your family it would probably be best if I left. I can figure things out on my own."

"I'm sure you can, but you don't have to." He pulled me back into his arms and held me tightly. "I'm sorry, Bella. I never meant to make you cry. You can stay as long as you want. I'm not going to let my family influence my decisions when I know what I'm doing is right. I should have never let my family put doubt in my mind about my decision."

"You didn't sound so sure a few minutes ago," I reminded, as my tears began to subside.

"I am sure. You can count on me. Once my family realizes you aren't a bad influence they'll understand," he smiled, wiping my face gently.

"Why do they think I'm a bad influence? How can they even believe I did all those things they claimed?" I asked. "I know I made a lot of mistakes but I didn't intend to end up this way."

"It's my sister. I don't know why, but she told my parents this bogus story about you and my mom doesn't think Alice is capable of doing anything wrong. She thinks they have this great mother-daughter relationship and Alice would never lie to her about anything. I'm sure it's only a matter of time before my mother realizes Alice isn't all innocent like she thinks she is."

I nodded my head and turned to dish up our food. The thought that Alice had betrayed me just as much as everyone else, hurt more than anything I'd dealt with. Alice had been my best friend since we were just little girls. I didn't understand why she would hurt me by telling her mother, and who knows who else, nasty rumors about me.

I sniffled and wiped at my eyes even more, while I tried to hide my hurt and focus on dishing up dinner.

"You miss her, don't you?" Edward asked causing the tears to once again fall from my eyes. I turned toward him and nodded my head. He wrapped his arms around me and shushed my crying.

"I just need my best friend right now and I don't have anyone. I know I hurt her by leaving, but I didn't think she would be this mad. I need her," I cried.

"I know. I'm so sorry my sister isn't mature enough to be a good friend, but I hope I'm a good stand in for her."

His comment made me giggle. "I think so far you've done a pretty good job." He chuckled and ducked his head bashfully as I looked up at him. At that moment there was a loud roar of thunder and seconds later the electricity in the entire house went out. We both burst into laughter as we stood in the kitchen in nearly full darkness.

We waited a few moments to see if the electricity would come back on but it didn't so we pulled away from each other and went in different directions.

I fumbled around the kitchen trying to plate the food so we could at least eat, while Edward searched for a flashlight. Edward's cell phone rang shortly after the lights went out, making me jump from the sudden shrill noise in the silence. I couldn't help the feeling of hope that maybe it was finally Mike who was calling. I watched Edward closely as he picked up his phone to see who it was. He grumbled as he answered, diminishing my excitement.

"Hello, Mom," he snarled into the phone.

I walked away and maneuvered my way through the darkness to find the table. Edward made his way into his bedroom and shut the door while he talked to his mom. I waited at the table in the darkness for him to finish on the phone. He was on the phone for at least ten minutes before he walked out carrying a handful of candles and a lighter. He placed a couple on the table and lit them so we could see our food then brought a couple into the living room.

"Well, at least we can see while we eat," Edward joked. He sat down at the table and we ate the slightly cold meal while talking about my new job offer and what I would be doing. He didn't divulge what the conversation with his mom was about, but he didn't seem as upset as he was earlier. Maybe he worked things out with his mom. Maybe she didn't hate me as much as she seemed to. After we finished eating, Edward started a fire in the fireplace and moved all the candles into the living room illuminating the room nicely.

We didn't know how long the electricity was going to be out, but the storm was still going strong outside so we sort of decided it would probably be better to stay in the living room for the night where there was heat. Edward sat in a chair reading a book while I sat on the couch wrapped in a blanket and looking through my baby book again. There wasn't anything else I could fill out since it was still so early in my pregnancy but I just liked looking at it and wondering when certain milestones would happen.

"Edward?" I began, breaking the peacefulness of the house. He dropped the book to his lap and looked over at me. "How did your family find out I was staying here?"

He snorted a laugh and shied away from my question. "You might not want to know."

"Why? You have me really nervous now. What happened?" I begged.

"My mom found a pair of your panties mixed in with my laundry," he chuckled through his words. My face turned bright red and my hands instantly went to cover my face from embarrassment.

"I'm sorry," I apologized.

"Why do you always do that?" he asked making me pull my hands away from my face and look at him with a confused expression. "You don't always need to be sorry for everything. I'm not mad at you because I accidently grabbed a pair of your underwear when I was grabbing my stuff. I think it's a good thing, though. I don't want to hide you from anyone and make you feel like you're doing something wrong. I don't care who knows anymore. My mom and sister are very close-minded and they aren't willing to hear both sides of the story. I tried to stick up for you and explain what you told me about what really happened, but neither of them were willing to listen. The phone call I got from my mother earlier was her calling to apologize for accusing me of some things and not hearing me out. I'm pretty sure my father put her up to it because she still didn't seem like she was willing to listen to me. I think it was just her attempt of trying to keep peace for the time being." He sighed heavily and stared out into the darkness aimlessly.

It was nice to hear him say he wasn't going to hide me away like I was some dirty secret he had. It was even nicer knowing he was sticking up for me against his mom. I could only hope someday his mom and even Alice wouldn't be angry at me and be willing to hear my side of what really happened. "Anyway, you don't always need to be sorry. You have never done anything to me to warrant being sorry. Other than taking over my kitchen and rearranging things so I can't find them," he said with a smirk.

I opened my mouth to say I was sorry for taking over his kitchen, but he quickly stopped me with a raise of his hand and a raised eyebrow.

"Besides, I think it's time I finally learn how to take care of myself. I've depended on both of my parents for far too much and I'm starting to wonder if it's affected how they treat me and how they react to my decisions. I need to learn how to cook for myself and do my own laundry, among other things. I don't even want you to do it for me anymore. I was paying attention today and I think I can handle it."

I hid my amused giggle but it didn't do any good. Edward knew I was laughing at his comment and he threw a pillow at me.

"I'm serious. I'm going to try it on my own," he insisted. "I just may need some help at first."

"I can help," I agreed. "First thing I'll need to do is hide the bleach." I wanted my remark to make him laugh but just as I said it there was a really loud crash of thunder outside. I jumped and even squealed a little from the sound. Edward laughed at me instead of my joke.

"Scared?" he asked in a mocking tone.

I threw the pillow he threw at me earlier back at him and told him to shut up in a playful way. The thunder outside continued to get louder and louder with every moment. I knew I was safe inside but it didn't change the fact that the loud crashing noises rumbling across the sky frightened me. With another small chuckle, Edward put his book on the coffee table and got up to come sit next to me. He put his arm around my shoulders and pulled me close to his side. I curled up next to him and wrapped the blanket up around my neck and shoulders.

"When Alice was a little girl she used to come into my bedroom when there was a storm and lay in bed with me. I would wrap my arms around her tightly just like this to protect her from the storm so she could sleep," he reminisced. I smiled at the memory he shared with me about him and Alice. Sometimes I think when we were all kids things were so much easier and uncomplicated. I wished there was a way to go back to the innocence of my childhood and not mess up the way I had.

There was another loud roar outside and I felt Edward slightly jump next to me. I sat up a little, smirking at him. "Who's scared now?" I teased.

He smiled bashfully. "I'm just reacting to you," he said, looking away from me.

"Uh huh, right." I teased even more. He shook his head and sighed while rubbing my shoulder. I curled back into his side and listened to the thunder and rain. We lapsed into a peaceful silence while comforting each other from the storm raging outside. I wasn't scared anymore being close to Edward. Just his presence and his acceptance of me made everything seem possible.

**Important message**

Due to a very busy schedule in September I won't be able to update for a while. I hope to be back in October and without any more delays in posting. Please understand that I will be back. I won't give up on this story and will see it through to the end. I just need to take a month off so I can focus on the overflowing RL schedule I have.

A teaser to get by with: In the next chapter there will be some dates, some truths revealed, and some healing that will begin. Just so everyone knows, though this is an Edward/Bella story and even if Bella goes on a date with Jasper (which I'm sure you're all freaking out about but there is a purpose for it) or Edward goes on a date with someone (even scarier, right), it doesn't mean much. Edward and Bella will be together eventually. I just want to build their relationship gradually over the course of Bella's pregnancy.

Don't forget to nominate and vote in the Emerging Swan Awards and on September 1st the 80's Power Ballad Contest entries will be posted so please read and vote for your favorites. There's still plenty of time to write an entry for the contest also. Information on both of these is on my profile.

Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoyed this chapter. :)