Glancing at the clock, I groaned. Again. I'd been watching the clock all day. It was Friday and Edward and I planned on doing a little shopping later. Some "disguise" shopping and I could hardly wait. All day long, I'd been picturing him in wigs, dresses, and mustaches and I could not stop giggling. My dreamy neighbor had no idea what I had in store for him.
I planned on embarking on my investigation of Tanya tomorrow. I had already talked to Jazz and he told me that she had to work on Saturday but that she planned on doing some "shopping" afterwards. So I planned on trailing her on her little "shopping" jaunt and catching her in the act, whatever that act may be.
I had just shouted, "Woohoo," and shut my computer down for the day when someone knocked on the door. I frowned because I knew it couldn't be Edward. I had given him a key as well as my extra garage door opener the other morning.
Looking down at Diablo, I yelled at him to shut his trap and snatched him up in my arms before quickly peeking out the window. My frown deepened when I saw Rose standing there. Rose had never shown up at my house unannounced before. I put Diablo in my office and opened the door.
"What's up?" I asked.
Sticking her nose in the air, she stepped around me into the house. Talk about rude… she's lucky I loved her.
I rolled my eyes as I closed the door and followed her into the living room. I sat down on the couch and frowned as I watched her pace back and forth. She finally stopped pacing and came towards me.
"Look at this," she demanded, sticking her hand in my face. My eyes bulged.
"Holy shit," I mumbled, staring intently at the gigantic ring on her finger. "How many carats is that sucker?"
"It's five carats, Bella, five. Did you hear me?"
"Holy shit," I said again like those were the only two curse words in the English language. "You need a security detail with that thing."
"I thought it was cubic zirconia."
"It's not funny."
"Sorry, not funny."
"I yelled at him for buying me a cheap ass ring."
"Yeah. He showed me the receipt and I told him he was full of shit and threw the ring and the receipt back in his face."
"You knew he had a trust fund?"
I nodded, a bit fearful.
"And you knew he went to Wharton?"
"Yes, and I've been dying to tell you but I knew I couldn't because it had to come from Emmett and I swear to you that I just found out and I told Edward that you were going to kick Emmett's ass for not telling you."
"Bella, the man knows numbers. He dreams of numbers."
"I know," I said, laughing. "It's completely insane, isn't it? You two were meant to be, right?"
"Yes, but I'm still fucking pissed at him."
"Well, that's to be expected," I said as I took in a deep breath. "So, are you guys officially engaged now?" I asked gently unsure of what kind of response I would get.
She stared at me for a long moment, an angry scowl on her face. "Yes."
"Well… good. That's good, right?"
"So when's the big day?"
"On my birthday. At the end of the month. We're going to Vegas. Don't make any plans because Emmett is flying everyone out."
I stared at her for a long moment and watched as her lips slowly curved upwards. She held her hand up and stared at that monstrous rock before throwing her head back and laughing heartily.
Relived, I laughed with her. "We're going to Vegas," I shouted as I jumped from the couch and pulled her in for a big hug.
"Just wait until you see 'The Moat'," I said with another laugh.
"What's 'The Moat'?" she demanded.
"You have to ask Emmett…" I sang, giggling some more.
She asked me to contact the girls – Alice, Victoria, and Lauren. Rose didn't like a lot of fanfare. She just wanted everyone to be there. We had already made plans for Rose's birthday so I knew everyone had that weekend off.
Alice reacted sweet and subdued but very supportive of Rose. Lauren and Victoria, on the other hand, made bets on how long they'd last. Lauren went with two weeks and Victoria went with three days, those dumb bitches. But overall, everyone seemed excited for Rose and could hardly wait to party in Vegas.
I smiled when I heard the garage door opening and my heart fluttered a little. Diablo took off like a bullet towards the kitchen and skidded around the corner, his feet flying out from underneath him. I laughed crazily as I followed him.
Edward opened the door to the kitchen and chuckled when he got attacked by Diablo. He picked him up and I wrapped my arms around the both of them, each of us fighting to give Edward some love. "So how was your day, Mr. Hunky Important Pants?" I asked before smothering his warm, delicious-smelling neck with kisses. Diablo kept switching back and forth between us, giving us as many smooches as he could sneak in.
Edward chuckled and squeezed my ass with his free hand. "Boring as hell without you. How was your day?"
"Terrible without you, but I did just find out some juicy information."
"Drum roll please…" I said excitedly before shouting, "… Rose and Emmett are getting married."
Edward laughed. "Yes, I am aware of it."
"No, I mean they are really getting married. Have you talked to Emmett?"
"Yeah. He told me about the ring, but nothing after that."
"Well, she said it was cubic zirconia and threw it back in his face."
Edward barked out a laugh.
"So he showed her the receipt, told her about Wharton and the trust fund, and she just stopped by here to show me the rock. I told her she needed a security detail for that monstrosity."
He grinned. "They're certainly a pair."
"That they are. They're getting married in Vegas on her birthday at the end of the month. Do you play poker?" I asked, waggling my brows.
"Yes, and how about we play a little strip poker right now and I poke you with something…"
I laughed. "We are not getting naked because we are going shopping."
I jumped when he squeezed my ass again. "Stop. Oh, and I love to gamble. I get obsessed, though. Kind of the way I'm obsessed with you. But I'm cheap and only play penny poker. I might have to give you my penny bank for safekeeping."
He chuckled. "How about I just tie you to the bed and keep you trapped in our room all weekend?"
"Hmm… gambling or an Edward sex-a-thon? I'll have to think about that one…"
I squealed when he slapped my ass.
Edward did indeed want to poke me with something, but I refused to let him go there because I wanted to see him in a wig. So we grabbed some dinner and headed to the costume store.
"Bella, all I need is a baseball cap and some sunglasses."
"Oh no, we're going full incognito. A baseball cap and sunglasses would not hide your hotness. It would only enhance it."
He chuckled as he pulled into a parking spot. We stepped inside the store and started looking around.
"Okay, this one is perfect for you," Edward said, holding up a barely-there French Maid costume. "Go try it on."
"Come on, beautiful."
"No. Now why won't you give this a try?" I asked, holding up a long, curly, red wig. "You'd be perfect as a woman and this color would look great with your skin tone."
"I'm going to pretend that you did not say that to me."
I let out a frustrated grunt. "Well, I guess we'll just have to go with the 70's porn star."
I startled when he grabbed me from behind. "And you know I have the cock to go with it," he whispered in my ear and I laughed.
Continuing my browsing, I stopped in my tracks. "Wait," I said excitedly. "Oh my god, you have to try this on." I giggled as I held up a hideous mullet wig.
"Please, pretty please? I'll make a deal with you."
He stepped close, pinning me against the racks. "What kind of deal?"
My eyes quickly dashed around the store. I pulled his head down so I could whisper in his ear. "I'll suck your cock."
He let out a low groan. "Where? In the changing room?"
"No, of course not," I hissed. "I mean later, at home."
He pressed his lips against my ear. "If you suck my cock in the changing room, beautiful, I'll try on anything and everything in this store."
"No. We can't do that here. What if we get caught?"
"What if we do? What if we don't? That's part of the thrill."
"But what about cameras?" I asked, looking up at the ceiling. "You know I have videoagoraphobia now."
He smiled. "There might be cameras in there… so we might get caught…" he said, wiggling his brows.
I stared hard at that stupid mullet wig. I really wanted to see Edward in a mullet.
My eyes met his and I knew he could see the defeat in mine. "Oh my god," I moaned, wishing I'd just kept my stupid mouth shut. Edward grinned and grabbed my hand along with the French Maid costume and dragged me behind him towards the changing rooms. He smiled and cocked a brow at me when he picked up a Darth Vader costume for himself.
"We'd like to try on a few things," Edward said to the teenager manning the store.
I could feel my face heating as we stood there, waiting for the kid to unlock the dressing rooms. I could not look him in the eye because of my guilty conscience. He opened two rooms and when he turned around to walk away, Edward quickly tugged me inside his.
"Put this on," he said in a low voice, handing me the French Maid costume. "No panties."
My eyes widened and I shook my head vigorously.
"Mullet, Bella. Don't forget the mullet," he whispered with a smirk and a wicked look in his eyes.
"Damn it," I mumbled before I turned around and got completely naked before slipping on the sexy little get-up. The top had a bustier in it which pushed my breasts up and the lacy, black and white frilly skirt barely covered my ass. Bending over, I pulled the white thigh-highs with black bows up my legs before slipping my tennis shoes back on.
I turned around and had to smother a giggle with my hands when I saw Edward standing before me with his jeans unzipped and his very stiff cock already hanging out.
"My dirty little maid," he whispered, his eyes roaming provocatively over my body. "You're so sexy."
I stared at his cock for a minute before my eyes honed in on the door handle. I just knew at any minute that teenager was going to bust in and catch us in the act.
"You can't wait to put me in your mouth, can you, beautiful?" Edward asked in a low voice.
"Oh my god, I can't believe I'm going to do this," I whispered, my heart pounding in my chest.
I went to sit down on the bench, but he grabbed my arm. "No, stand up and bend over."
I looked behind me and inhaled sharply when I saw the mirrored wall that I'd completely overlooked.
"I want to see your pussy."
Breathing heavy, I bent over and quickly glanced behind me again and I could see my naked everything. I felt myself getting wet and I hadn't even touched him yet.
"Oh, yeah, just like that," he groaned, his breathing increasing.
My eyes darted to the door again as I grabbed his cock in my hand and kissed the glistening tip. He groaned when I gave it three or four more kisses along the length of it before I gave it a little lick.
"Oh yeah," Edward whispered. "Wrap those beautiful lips around me."
With my eyes glued to the door, I took him all the way in, gagging myself a little.
"Yes, just like that. Gag on it. You love sucking my cock, don't you?"
Looking up into Edward's eyes, I nodded. He groaned a low, deep growl in his chest.
"How far can you take me in?"
I braced myself and took him in as far as I could before I gagged again.
"Fuck that was so hot," he said, panting, in a low voice.
I stared up at the ceiling for a moment, trying to see if I could detect any cameras in the light fixture before I slowly ran my lips up and down his length, softly sucking on the tip and running my lips and tongue all over it.
My eyes kept darting from the door, to the ceiling, to Edward's face while my ears strained for incoming footsteps, my senses on high alert.
"What's wrong?" Edward whispered.
I pulled my mouth away from him but kept my hand still wrapped around his cock. "Someone's going to catch us."
"No one's going to catch us."
"But they might…" I said, my eyes going to the door again.
"Spread your legs. I want to feel how wet you are."
Releasing him, I spread my legs and gasped when Edward ran his fingers along my slit. "Damn, Bella," he panted, bringing his fingers to his mouth and sucking my arousal from them. "Tell me how hot your pussy is right now."
"I… my pussy is so hot…"
"Good. Now suck my cock…"
So I sucked his cock. And I still watched the door and the light fixtures like a hawk, but I kept my mouth on him until he grunted and came, shooting long, thick spurts down my throat. I quickly swallowed and stood, smiling at both relief and him trying to recover as he leaned heavily against the wall.
"That was incredible," he said, grinning through his heavy breathing.
"You're welcome," I said with a smile as I started to strip off the French Maid outfit as fast as I could.
Edward stopped me. "What are you doing? It's your turn."
My eyes widened. "Oh, no, the deal was for your pleasure only."
"But I want to make you come. Lay down on the bench."
"No, I can't, I – " I managed to say before someone pounded on the door like they were trying to break it down. My body jerked all over as my mouth simultaneously opened and I screamed like a crazed banshee. I screamed so loud that it actually hurt my throat. It sounded like I had Freddy Krueger himself in that changing room with me, claw and all.
"What are you guys doing in there?" the kid yelled through the door. "There's no messing around in the changing rooms."
I stood there scared stiff, panting heavily with my hand over my racing heart and Edward busted out laughing. I hauled off and smacked him. "I told you we'd get caught," I whispered between heavy pants before I smacked him again.
Edward just stood there howling with laughter.
"I think I'm having a heart attack, you jackass," I whispered through my heavy breathing and for some reason that made Edward laugh even harder.
With a loud huff, I turned around and quickly took the French Maid costume off and put my clothes back on. I could hear Edward still snickering behind me and when I turned back around, he was wiping tears from his eyes. "If you could have seen your face," he said before busting out laughing like a hyena.
"It's not funny and I am so mad at you right now."
"Ah, come here, beautiful," he said, trying to pull me into his arms. I resisted but he still managed to get his arms around me. "You can't stay mad at me."
"I can and I will. I am so embarrassed and I knew we would get caught and my throat hurts because of that scream and I – "
Edward busted out laughing again.
"And you keep laughing at me and it's totally not funny and – "
"Hey, look at me."
I didn't want to. I pouted and stared at his shirt for a long moment before I finally gave in and looked up at him. "I'm sorry I laughed, I really am, but you're so cute right now. I love that you can make me laugh."
I rolled my eyes.
"I love you so much, Bella."
"Ugh," I said, smacking him again. "I can't even stay mad at you… I love you too."
He kissed me and promised to take care of my hot pussy when we got home. I tried to put the Darth Vader mask on to exit the dressing room – and the store – but Edward wouldn't let me. Instead, he dragged me out the dressing room and made a mad dash for the mullet and proudly put it on, grinning like a crazy fool. I laughed until I had tears in my eyes.
He even let me take pictures. And when he put the long, curly, red wig on and wrapped a pink scarf around his neck, I laughed so hard I got a little choked. He also tried on a giant Afro, some dreadlocks, and a goofy clown wig which all earned continued giggles from me.
While inspecting the moustaches, Edward came up behind me, grabbed me in his arms and dipped me. Staring down at me he suddenly smiled and said, "Give me a kiss," brandishing a set of crooked Billy Bob teeth in his mouth. I laughed and laughed until I could barely catch my breath.
Once we finished up our shopping, Edward told me I could go ahead and go out to the car and he would check out to save me the embarrassment of facing that kid again, which I gladly accepted.
When we got back home, he insisted I put the French Maid costume back on, stating he had "unfinished business" to attend to. And when I stepped out of the bathroom, trying to look sexy in my stilettos, there he sat on my bed, naked, sporting the mullet and Billy Bob teeth. He begged me to "ride the hillbilly" and I laughed so hard that I had to lean against the wall. But I stood firm and absolutely refused his hilarious offer.
He did indeed finish his "unfinished business" quite successfully, I might add.
We slept in late the next day and lazed around in bed all morning. After lunch, I started getting ready for my investigation. I located my binoculars, checked my camera with the telephoto lens, and made sure everything worked properly. Then I started going through all of the stuff we bought. "Okay, this is yours, Mr. Dressing Room Porn Star," I said with a laugh as I tossed him a short blond wig and matching moustache.
I pulled out a long blond wig from one of the bags and put it on before adding a cap and my "Fly" shades.
"This thing tickles," Edward said, wrinkling his nose at the thick moustache on his upper lip. I busted out laughing at him in that goofy 'stache and wig.
"Hang on," I said. "You're missing some of your disguise."
I dug around in the bag and fished out another baseball cap and some Erik Estrada sunglasses. He put them on and I started laughing again. "All you need is some 'bow chicka wow wow' music."
"Let's make a video. Right now…" he said, wiggling his brows.
Giggling, I escaped his arms and with both of us in disguise, I drove over to the hospital and parked near the garage that Jazz told me Tanya parked in. Her shift had just ended so I knew she would be coming out at any minute. I pulled out my binoculars, even though I didn't need them, and looked towards the garage, watching intently for her car.
"This disguise is making me feel a little frisky," Edward said, leaning towards me and fingering my blond wig. "I like this color on you."
I hummed, half-listening and continued looking through my binoculars.
I felt his hand creep up my thigh. "So are you a Russian spy?" he asked in a low voice. "What's your name? Nikita, or Natalia?"
"Stop," I said laughing as I pushed his hand away. "You're distracting me. This is serious business."
"But you're cute and seriously hot when you're in spy mode."
"No, I'm not."
"Yes, you are. Turn around here and give your porn star a kiss."
"I'm not kissing you with that thing on your lip."
"Come on. I modeled the mullet for you."
I smiled. "True… Okay, but just a little peck." I wrinkled my nose and puckered my lips up extra-big and gave him a fast one.
"Ew, that was creepy," I said, cringing and wiping my lip. "And it tickled. And it weirded me out because my dad used to have a mustache like that."
Edward chuckled. "I was okay with it until you had to ruin it and bring up your dad."
"Sorry," I said with a laugh.
I picked up my binoculars and looked through them again and saw Tanya's car. "Oh, crap. There she is. I almost missed her."
I put the car in drive and followed her, staying a few cars behind. "Keep your eyes on her," I said to Edward. "I don't want to lose her."
"She's turning," Edward said, pointing. "Get in the left lane."
"Crap. Get out of the way, you stupid moron," I yelled at the idiot driver beside me.
"Watch out!" Edward yelled as I slammed on the brakes.
I followed her for about ten more minutes. She drove through an older section of town lined with several abandoned warehouses before turning into a deserted parking lot. I pulled off to the side of the road where I could still see her and turned off the ignition. "What is she up to?" I asked, frowning as I watched her.
She turned her car off and just sat there. I pulled out my binoculars and could see the back of her blond hair through them. I picked up my camera and took a few pictures. Moments later, a silver sedan entered the parking lot from the opposite direction.
My heart started beating as I sat up and leaned against the steering wheel. I watched as the car slowly pulled up next to hers. The door to the sedan opened and out stepped a man. I quickly clicked off a bunch more pictures. Tanya got out of her car and I cringed when they embraced.
"That disgusting, slimy slutty slut," I growled. "I knew she was sleeping with your dad."
"Bella, that's not my dad."
"What?" I shouted almost dropping the camera as my eyes darted to Edward.
"That's not my dad."
Frowning, I raised the camera and stared intently through the lens as I watched her lip lock the stranger. "Oh… my… god…" I said slowly as realization sunk in. "That triple-timing skank is cheating on Jazz and your dad."
Edward laughed and I huffed.
Putting the car in gear, I slammed my foot on the accelerator. The engine roared and the tires screeched, the car careening side-ways. "Whoa, crap," I mumbled as I tried to gain control of it.
Edward slapped his hand against the dashboard. "What the hell are you doing?" he shouted.
"She is not getting away with this. She is going down in flames and I'm about to light her up."
"Well, don't kill us in the process."
I jerked the wheel hard to the left and with a quick slam to the brakes, my car came to a screeching halt. I threw open my door and Tanya separated from the man she'd been lip-locking. I studied the man for a moment and he reminded me of Weird Al Yankovic, only uglier.
"You've got a lot of nerve, you cheating skank. I can't believe you would do this to my brother after everything he's done for you. How could you?"
"Bella?" she asked, her face scrunched-up in confusion. "Is that you?"
My eyes widened and I internally groaned… I still had my disguise on. I glanced at Edward and of course he'd had the good judgment to already ditch his. I quickly slipped the wig, cap, and sunglasses off. "Yes, it's me," I said hatefully. "Now I want an explanation so start talking."
"I don't owe you anything. This is my business so stay out of it."
"Oh, no, this became my business the moment it involved my brother, niece, and nephew."
Weird Al's bro practically sprinted to his car. In a matter of seconds, dust from his tires kicked up around us.
I took a step closer to her. "So who was that guy?"
"I don't have to tell you anything."
"Tanya, I have pictures of you and him kissing. Now answer the question."
She swallowed hard. "He's one of the doctors at the hospital."
"So are you doing that ugly guy and Edward's dad?"
"What? Of course not."
I glanced at Edward and back at her. "Then what's going on with you and his dad? He said he saw you two in the hallway."
Her eyes darted to Edward. "We were just… arguing. About something… work-related."
"You had your hand on his arm…" Edward said pointedly. "And I overheard some of your conversation and it had nothing to do with work."
"Okay… we were arguing about something… personal."
"What exactly were you arguing about?" I asked.
Her eyes darted back and forth between us. "It… it didn't work out."
"What do you mean 'it didn't work out'?" I asked, my eyes narrowing.
"I mean… nothing happened between us."
"I don't believe you."
"I'm not lying. Nothing happened."
I studied her face for a long moment and that's when I saw it. She'd been rejected by Edward's gambling, pretentious prick dad. At least he'd had enough sense to not touch her.
I sighed heavily. "Jazz told me about the purses you've been stashing in your closet. Where did they come from? That guy?"
"Um… well, he has bought me some gifts on occasion."
"So the one that cost five grand?"
Her mouth fell open before she quickly recovered. "Yeah. It was from him."
I closed my eyes and rubbed my temples. Taking in a deep breath, I blew it out before I opened my eyes again and stared at her. "How could you do this? How could you do this to my brother? This is going to crush him, absolutely crush him because of his tender heart. He has done the right thing by you every single time and he has tried so hard to make it work even when you were completely undeserving of it. You don't even realize what an incredible man you have right under your nose. Men like my brother just don't exist in the world today. And he loves those kids so fiercely and all he wants is for them to have a family. And what do you do? You cheat on him. I just don't understand. I really don't."
Her eyes filled with tears.
I stared at her for a long moment before I took in a deep breath. "I'm going to go talk to Jazz. And it's going to break my heart. You're going to lose your kids, Tanya. I hope you realize that."
"Bella, please. You can't take my kids away."
"It'll be Jazz's decision but I don't think the kids should be in your life. I really don't."
She grabbed my arm. "Please don't do this to me. I love my kids. I may have issues with men, but that doesn't mean I don't love them."
"But what kind of example are you setting for them? Do you really want them to grow up and know this side of you? Do you want them to think that it's okay to cheat and completely disregard your marriage vows?"
"No," she said, sobbing. "I don't. I don't want them to ever know about this…"
"Then take this opportunity to straighten up and get your life back in order. Quit sleeping around and be a mom to those kids for once. They're young now so you've got time. You can make a difference in their lives."
She stared at me before quickly wiping her eyes. "I will, Bella. I promise you I'm going to change."
"I hope you do. I really hope you do."
I stared at Tanya for a long moment before I turned and slowly made my way back to the car. Edward sat down quietly next to me. Sighing heavily, I flipped the ignition and pulled out of the parking lot and drove quietly for a few minutes. I finally pulled over in an empty parking lot and shut the car off. I sat there for a minute, staring straight ahead before I cleared my throat. "That was really hard for me," I said.
"I understand," Edward responded softly.
It started raining and I watched the water droplets make designs on the windshield. "When I first found out she was pregnant and discovered that she'd slept with those other guys it was easy because I felt like my brother had an 'out'. I didn't want him marrying her period."
I sighed. "But I also hadn't met Jack yet..."
I could see Edward nodding from the corner of my eye.
"I've hated Tanya for… let's see… almost three years now. I've hated her from the first moment I knew she existed. I blamed her for ruining my brother's life and I refused to fault my brother for any of it."
Turning towards Edward, I reached my hand across the console and he took it in his and entwined our fingers together. "And do you know what's even worse? I never once kept my contempt of her from my brother. I openly hated his wife right in front of his face. I guess Tanya is not the only one who has some things to work on."
He nodded and clasped my hand in both of his, gently rubbing his thumb across my palm.
I looked straight ahead again. "You were right. This definitely didn't go the way I planned."
Edward gave me the time I needed and I watched the rain for a bit. "I wanted to lash out at her and hurt her for hurting my brother, but she is their mother. Do you think I did the right thing?" I asked, looking at him.
He nodded. "Yes, I do."
"Are you sure?"
"You did exactly what you should have done. You gave her an earful, you protected your brother, and you gave her a lot to think about."
"I hope she changes, but I honestly don't think she ever will."
"She may not, but I guarantee you that she will think about it."
"I hope so. She needs to think about those kids."
Sighing, I pulled my hand away from his and started the car. "Do you mind going with me to my brother's?"
Edward paused. "No... I think you two should discuss this in private."
"No, what I meant was," I said, smiling a little, "I wanted to see if you would go with me as… the babysitter. While we talk?"
He chuckled. "My babysitting fees are pretty steep…"
I grinned. "Well, I'm down with sexual favors as long as they don't involve public places or cause a flare-up of my videoagoraphobia."
I leaned over the console towards him. Smiling, he leaned closer until our faces were just inches away. "Thanks for hanging with me during all of this," I whispered, before I touched his lips softly with mine. "It means a lot to me."
Reaching his hand up, his fingertips gently brushed across my cheek before he smiled softly and nodded. Giving him one more kiss, I sighed and sat back in my seat, reaching for my phone. "I need to text Jazz…" I mumbled as I quickly typed him a message. I put the car in gear and took off.
Stopping at a light, I looked over at Edward. "Well, thank goodness your dad wasn't one of her johns," I said. "Can you imagine what a nightmare that would have been? We would have ended up on either Jerry Springer or Dr. Phil."
Edward laughed. "But that would have given us another opportunity to wear our disguises again."
I chuckled. "And why didn't you remind me about mine? I was so embarrassed when I realized I was standing there in my wig and "Fly" glasses."
He grinned. "I didn't get a chance to because you jumped out of the car like a mad woman."
I laughed. "True. My adrenaline was pumping like crazy. For a moment I felt like a Viking."
"A Viking?" Edward repeated with a laugh.
"Yeah, you know that thrilling moment right before the plundering and pillaging."
Edward chuckled, his hand finding my thigh. "I really want to say something dirty right now but I'm trying to refrain."
I glanced over at him. "What?" I asked, smiling. "Where are your dirty thoughts, you pervy man?"
"I wanted to say that I'd like to do some plundering and pillaging in that hot little pussy of yours later, but it's highly inappropriate," he said, grinning, his hand inching up my thigh.
The light turned green and just as I started to turn, his pinky finger touched my clit and my body jerked. I clipped the curb as we rounded the corner, bouncing us around. "Stop," I said, laughing and pushing his hand away. "Don't get pervy on me while I'm operating heavy machinery. Do you have a death wish?"
We both laughed and he kept his hand in check. Pulling into Jazz's driveway, I turned the car off and glanced over at him. "You know I didn't think about it before but I guess this is kind of like 'meeting the parents' since Jazz is my only family. Are you nervous?" I asked, smiling.
"So nervous," he said with a grin. "How are you going to introduce me?"
"Hmm… probably as… well… the man I love…"
He chuckled. "With that kind of intro, what could possibly go wrong?"
"I know, right?"
"Does he know anything about me or will I be a complete surprise?"
"I did mention that we were dating…" I said, leaving out the fact that Jazz had some reservations about my moving too fast.
"Good. Now, I'll play with Jack, but I've never held a baby before. Babies terrify me."
I giggled. "You mean you don't want to get puked or shit on?"
"Definitely not. I'm wearing designer jeans, Bella, big price tag here…"
I laughed as we made our way out of the car and up to the door. It opened and Jazz stood there with Raine in his arms. She smiled, flashing her gums and her two bottom teeth. I reached for her and buried my face in her fat neck, inhaling her clean, baby scent. I laughed when she grunted and tried to squirm out of my arms.
Jack appeared out of nowhere and held his little chubby hands up to Edward repeating, "Up, up, up." My insides liquefied as Edward's questioning eyes found mine before darting to Jazz.
"Jazz," I said, grinning, "I'd like to introduce you to my babysitting partner, my neighbor, and, well, my new love interest, Edward Cullen. Edward, this is my brother Jazz Swan. And Jazz? As you can tell from Jack's reaction, Edward already comes 'kid approved'."
Grinning, Edward held his hand out to him. "It's a pleasure to meet you."
"You too," Jazz said with a nod, shaking Edward's hand.
"Do you mind?" Edward asked Jazz, nodding towards Jack who kept trying to climb Edward.
Jazz smiled. "Not at all," he said, watching carefully.
Edward leaned down and picked Jack up, and immediately, he settled right down, so content in Edward's arms. Edward smiled down at him and pointed to his Buzz Lightyear shirt, speaking quietly to him. And as I stood there, watching the two of them, Edward so effortlessly showing affection to a little boy he'd only met twice, my heart clenched in my chest and my eyes filled with tears.
Blinking rapidly, I could feel Jazz's gaze so I glanced at him, and when my eyes found his, they were so soft and full of understanding. He stared at me for a long moment before a ghost of a smile touched his lips and he gave me a small nod. He understood. He knew right away what kind of man Edward was without me saying a word.
Quickly dashing a few tears away, I sat down on the couch and buried my face in Raine's neck again, trying to keep it together.
"Please, have a seat," Jazz said to Edward, motioning towards the couch.
"Thanks," Edward said with a nod and a smile as he sat down beside me. Jack scrambled off Edward's lap, grabbed a truck off the floor, and climbed right back up.
"Bella mentioned that I ruined your date with the babysitting," Jazz said to Edward. "I'm really sorry about that. I wanted to thank you for helping watch them."
Edward grinned. "Not a problem. But I have to admit I'd never babysat before so it was definitely an experience," he said with a chuckle. "But, it allowed me to get to know Bella better. So it turned out to be one of the best evenings of my life."
Edward turned to me and smiled the most beautiful smile. Still a little teary, I sighed and grinned, feeling so much love for him.
But I glanced over at Jazz and felt a pain in my chest as I remembered why I came by his house. Swallowing hard, I cleared my throat. "Edward, can you watch the kids for a minute while I go talk to Jazz?" I asked quietly. "I'll put Raine in her bouncy seat."
"Sure," Edward said, nodding. "Not a problem."
Kissing Raine, I buckled her in the seat, gave her a toy, and turned to Edward. "We'll just be in the kitchen," I murmured.
With his eyes on mine, he nodded.
I followed Jazz out of the room. "Do you want something to drink?" he offered.
"No, I'm good."
We sat down at the table. "I really like Edward," Jazz said. "He seems like a good man."
"He is," I said, nodding.
I stared down at my hands having no idea how to start the conversation.
"She's cheating, isn't she?" he asked quietly.
Looking up into his eyes, I stared at him for a moment before I nodded. "I'm sorry," I whispered, reaching my hand out to squeeze his.
Sighing heavily, he stared down at the table. I stayed quiet, giving him as much time as he needed. Clearing his throat, he shifted in his chair. "I… I've been preparing myself for it, but… I have to admit it still stings a little."
"I am so sorry, Jazz. You don't deserve this."
"You are such a good person. You have the sweetest, kindest heart of anyone I know."
"I guess being the good guy doesn't always pay, huh? Maybe I need to toughen up a little."
"Jazz, you stay true to yourself and be exactly who you are and don't ever change anything. You're perfect just the way you are. The world needs more men like you."
He sighed heavily. "It's hard to admit I was wrong. I guess I should have listened to you and never married her to begin with."
"But if you had listened to me, you wouldn't have that beautiful little angel sitting in the other room right now."
He smiled, but it still had a sadness to it. "She is my angel."
I quickly wiped a tear away. "Your children are so special and they are truly a gift."
"But… I'm repeating the past. They're going to grow up just like we did. I didn't want that for my kids, B. I wanted them to have more. I wanted them to have stability. To have a family, a normal family."
Sniffling, I wiped my eyes. "But you tried, Jazz, and they won't grow up like we did. Tanya can still be in their lives. They can still have a mom."
He sighed heavily, his eyes still downcast.
"And Jazz?" I asked and he glanced up. "I am so sorry for the way I talked about Tanya around you. I shouldn't have done that. It was very disrespectful to you. It's just hard for me because I wear my heart on my sleeve and it's hard for me to keep my mouth shut."
He smiled a little and nodded.
We sat there quietly for a moment before he spoke again. "I tried to love her," he said. "I really tried."
"And I tried to love Jared. We're both messed up," I said laughing and wiping away some more tears.
He smiled but then it faded, his eyes growing weary. "What am I going to do, Bella? How am I going to take care of those kids?"
I reached for his hand and squeezed it. "I'll help you. We'll get through this. I'll be there for you in whatever way you need me. You're my family and you mean everything to me."
He nodded, some tears in his eyes. "I love you, B."
I stood and pulled him into a hug. "I love you too," I whispered. "I'm so proud to call you my brother."
I started laughing and crying all at the same time and grabbed a paper towel, quickly wiping my eyes. "I can't believe you made me cry," I mumbled as a few more tears leaked out.
Looking up, I saw the tears on his cheeks and I laughed and cried some more and handed him a towel of his own. "I'm right with you, sis," he said with a chuckle as he quickly wiped his face.
Once we had composed ourselves, I gave him another quick hug. "Everything's going to work out. I know it will."
"I don't know what I'd do without you…"
I grinned. "That's right and always remember it."
He laughed. "I'll try to…"
As we made our way back into the living room, I could hear Raine giggling. Edward looked up from his sitting position on the floor, his concerned eyes searching mine. He had his legs sprawled out in front of him with Jack on his lap, his arm around him. Jack had Woody in one hand and a small truck in the other. Raine sat next to Edward still in her bouncy seat.
I smiled and nodded, answering the question in his eyes. Dropping to my knees behind him, I hugged him and Jack and kissed Edward lightly on the cheek. "Thank you," I whispered.
"You okay?" he whispered back.
"Yes… everything is okay."
Jack stood and handed me the truck, ready to play. Smiling, I took it from him and scooted around, sitting down beside Edward.
"Watch this," Edward said, nudging me and smiling brightly.
"What?" I asked, excitedly.
With his eyes twinkling, he turned to Raine and made the silliest face at her. She laughed and kicked and squealed, the most adorable giggles I'd ever heard pouring from her sweet, cupid lips.
Laughing, Edward's eyes found mine. He smiled, his face literally shining. Grinning, Jazz dropped down beside me and Edward made another funny face at her. We laughed and laughed, just soaking up the beauty of that little giggling angel that Jazz had been blessed with.
"Do it again," I said, grinning, unable to get enough of her cuteness. Smiling, Edward made one more goofy face right before Jack clunked him on the head with a dump truck.
"Ow…" he moaned, grabbing his skull.
"Jack, no," Jazz said, jumping up. "Sorry, Edward," he mumbled as he grabbed Jack and began scolding him. Jack started screaming so Jazz had to take him out of the room.
Laughing, I sat up on my knees and parted Edward's hair, inspecting his injury. "Are you okay?" I asked, giggling.
"No. Babysitting is dangerous business. My fee just tripled…"
Grabbing his face in my hands, I kissed his lips softly. "I can't wait to pay up…"
And as I stared into his beautiful, handsome face, I knew Edward and I had endless love and laughter ahead of us. And I would be there for my brother whatever his future may hold. And I'd work hard on overcoming my hatred of Tanya for those beautiful kids... but I might have to enter some "anger management" classes for that one. And, I never thought I would every say this, but, I would now proudly stand next to my best friend at her impromptu Vegas wedding and I knew she would be calling me soon to go dreaded gown shopping and...
Noisy Raine interrupted my wandering thoughts with a loud raspberry, causing both of us to laugh. Grinning, Edward glanced over at her and made another crazy face and delightful giggles spilled into the air, surrounding us…
… Surrounding me, and my dreamy neighbor…
The man that I loved.