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Taking Back What's Mine

EPOV:

Chip. I hate that fucker. What the hell kind of name is Chip anyway? I don't know if it's a nickname or his legal name, but I do know that I hate him. He thinks he's so right for her. He's nothing. Did I mention I hate him? Just look at him, sitting there with his arm around her and my baby on his knee. Like he's some kind of fucking super-dad; I hate that he's touched either of my girls. More than I hate Chip, I hate myself for being such a fuck-up. I had everything: my high school sweetheart, kids, and a great job. I was happy. That fucker ruined it all. If he thinks he can just take my place, he's wrong! Dead wrong!

"Dad? Dad?" I shook my head, trying to get out of my thoughts.

"Sorry," I mumbled.

"No worries, but you might want to ease up on the staring. I think you're scaring the relatives," Jake, my oldest, said with a chuckle.

"Sorry. I didn't realize," I deadpanned.

"Look, Dad, you know I love you and Mom, but I hate seeing you like this. Something has got to change," Jake said sternly. Leave it to my seventeen year old to be the man of the family and put me in my place.

"I know. I should just let her go, but I can't. I love your mom more than...well, anything. I can't just move on. I know she can, but it's not in me." I pointed to my chest to drive the point home.

"I don't want you to move on; I want you to fuckin' grow a pair and get her away from that bastard. You know he's trying to get Bree to call him Daddy C, right?" Jake asked. Yes, I did know that, but hearing it from my son's mouth just fueled my hatred for that rat bastard even more.

"Fuck! I'll rip his fucking throat out." I stood angrily, trying to get to the front where the fucker sat at the bridal party table.

"Dad, listen. I shouldn't tell you this, but I heard Mom talking to Aunt Rose right before the wedding. She was hoping the two of you could at least dance. She misses you. I know it. Besides, she's made Chip sleep on the couch for the past week." Jake chuckled darkly.

"Good. I think I will have that dance, right now. Keep The Chipper away," I told Jake as I saw my opening. I noticed The Chipper was dancing with Bree, so I turned and said, "Get that fucker away from your sister." Jake nodded and headed to cut in. I made a bee line for my Bella.

"Hey," I whispered quietly, bending down until my lips were almost touching her exposed ear.

Her intake of breath let me know that I still affected her in some way. "Hey, I'm surprised you came," she said, looking shocked.

"Why wouldn't I come? Jasper's my cousin. It's his wedding, after all," I said, slightly pissed, but tried to soften my voice. It didn't matter how much time apart I spent from her, she could either make me the happiest fucker alive or the angriest in two seconds flat.

"I know, I just didn't...never mind. How are you?" Bella asked.

I didn't hold back; I never did. "I'm fuckin' shit," I answered honestly.

Bella shook her head and rolled her eyes. It made my heart jump. I missed her so fucking much. "Nice language. I hope you're not using it around Jake," she chastised. I didn't care; I loved her voice.

"I haven't said anything he's not said first." I grinned cheekily like the cocky bastard I am. She giggled. I loved that sound. It was once my world.

"Dance?" I asked, holding my hand out. She took it without a second thought. That was good, real good.

"Edward?" she asked.

"Bella?" I copied her tone.

"I love you. You know that right?" she asked wearily.

"I know that I love you. I know that having you in my arms is the only time I feel sane. I want you back, Belly," I whispered her pet name. I'd given it to her when we were kids, in the third grade, maybe.

"Oh, Eddie...things are so complicated. I'm not happy," she stated, completely stopping our dance. I stared down into her deep brown eyes as I brushed a stray hair from her face.

"Tell me what to do to make you happy, and I'll do it. Even if it's...you never wanting to see me again. I'll do anything for you, baby," I cooed, hoping that would not be her solution.

"I kicked Chip out. There was only so much of The Chipper I could handle. He doesn't have anywhere to go, so he's staying on the couch. I only let him come here tonight because it was already planned," she sighed heavily.

"I'm sorry. Why didn't you call?" I was sorry that she had to put up with him, but I was fucking ecstatic that she'd kicked his sorry ass out.

"I don't know." Bella shrugged her shoulders and looked down at our feet. I pulled her chin up so I could see her eyes. I couldn't stand not looking into them when we were so close.

"I hate that fucker," I said menacingly. He ruined my perfect family. I should have fought. I should have killed him in his fucking sleep. I obviously didn't. I just walked away from everything, everyone I'd ever loved.

So here's the story. Chip was my wife's boss. He flirted with her from time to time. I hated it, but it seemed harmless. Then, I got busy...I'm the only pediatric surgeon near Forks, Washington. My schedule got crazy; I was spending less time at home with my wife and our two amazing kids, Jake, whom you've met and Bree, my adorable little four-year-old daughter. She was the spitting image of her mother, minus the hair—that was all she got from me. Jake, on the other hand, was me made over with Bella's hair. It was strange how it worked out that way. They were, after all, thirteen years apart. I'll get back to that, later.

Anyway, I was busy and didn't make enough time for my wife or family. Chip got a little too 'Chipper' with her; one thing led to another, and they ended up having an affair. I know, some wouldn't blame me for leaving, but I blame myself. I should have taken my wife back, but I divorced her, and she let Chip move into our house where he slept in my fucking bed.

That was over a year ago. I've sat by and watched him try to take over my family. My only hope has been my kids. They hate him. Sure, Bree might sit on his lap and play nice, but Jake says that once he starts with the "call me Daddy C" bit, she shuts down and won't have anything to do with him. Smart girl.

So Jake, my seventeen year old, was the product of a broken condom when Bella and I were in high school; we'd just started having sex, too. Cliché, I know. We were almost sixteen when he was born; we were both so stubborn that we had to prove everyone in Forks wrong. We graduated high school, moved to the other side of the country and attended Dartmouth. We did it all by ourselves while raising our son with no help from our families. Sure it was tough, but we got by. We loved our little family. We were obviously more careful with our protection after that, hence the reason why Bree, or Breanna Marie, wasn't born until four years ago.

Our life wasn't perfect, but we were happy. Or so I thought.

"Edward?"

"What?" I said sharper than I intended.

"You keep spacing out on me," Bella sighed, aggravated.

"I'm sorry, love," I said softly.

She flinched. "Don't."

"You just confessed you still love me. What is your problem with me calling you love?"

"Because, Edward, sometimes love isn't enough. It's not like we've really changed. You still work all the time. I still take care of everything else. We're too busy for each other." Bella stopped dancing and stepped back. I wanted nothing more than to pull her back into my arms.

"We can change, Bella. We can work together just like all the other times in our life. We can't let this ruin us. Please, I'm begging you take me back. Let me try please." I didn't care who heard me begging; I needed my family back.

"Edward, I can't," Bella said. Tears filled her eyes before she turned and ran out of the ballroom. Jake took off after her, followed closely by Bree and my sister, Rose.

"Son, give her time," Dad said as he clapped me on the back. He turned back to the dance floor, sweeping my mother into his arms, making her giggle loudly. I wanted that. I wanted what the great Carlisle and Esme had. I had it once, and I wanted it again, and I didn't want to wait anymore.

I walked slowly to my car, not knowing exactly what I was going to do next, but I would not give up without a fight. She'd have to file for a restraining order to keep me away, and even then, it would still be questionable.

Two weeks went by without seeing Bella. It wasn't for a lack of trying. She just refused to see or talk to me. She asked me to stop coming to pick the kids up, letting Jake drive them both over. I hated my life. Work sucked; it had no meaning. I performed my job well, but the joy I had in my work was gone. It had been gone for a while, but it was somehow worse now.

My phone rang, startling me awake and causing me to fall out of my bed, tangled in my sheets. This promised to be the start of a great day, I thought, rolling my eyes sarcastically.

"Hello?" I answered groggily.

"Dude, you gonna run today or what?" Jacob asked. Jacob was my son's namesake as well as his uncle. He and I had been friends for as long as I could remember. We met the first day of kindergarten. He and Bella are twins—fraternal twins, obviously. They had absolutely nothing in common other than sharing the same genes. Bella was sweet, soft-spoken, caring, and pale. Jacob was loud, nosy, and had a dark complexion. She took after her dad, Charlie, and Jacob took after his mom, Sue, who was a Quileute Indian. They had two other siblings from Sue's first marriage: Seth and Leah. Leah was several years older than us, while Seth was about eighteen months older. Sue and Charlie had married after Sue's first husband, Harry, had died from a heart attack. They'd been friends forever, and it only seemed natural to take that step. That's what they say anyway.

"What time is it?" I asked.

"It's six. Come on, you've been cooped up in that damn hospital for weeks. Live a little, man." He laughed.

"Fine, I'll be there in ten." I hung up with him and threw on my track pants and running shoes. I figured since I was going to get all sweaty, the shirt I slept in was good enough. I jogged out to my car, and ten minutes later, I was at the trail where Jacob was waiting for me.

"Hey, Jake," I greeted. Sometimes I regretted naming my son after him, especially when they are in the same room. Of course, then Jake, my son, gets called Jakey, which he hates. Who wouldn't? Oh well, moving on.

"Ed, my man, you've got my little sister in a mood." He laughed.

"What? What'd I do now?" I sighed as I stretched out.

Jacob guffawed as he stretched his beefy arm around his body, pushing on his elbow to stretch out his arm farther as he twisted his body to the left. "Dude, I don't know. She kicked Chip out...Did you know?"

"Yeah, she told me. Now, what did I do wrong? I've been trying to win her back, but she keeps turning me down. Then, last Saturday, she had Jake drive himself and Bree over to my house. She doesn't want me near her. So how could I have done anything?" I asked as we took off on our jog.

"I don't know. She won't say. I told her that she should be smart and take you back. It's not like you're the one who fucked around and got yourself knocked up," Jake said casually. I stopped completely, dropping to my knees. Jake kept running ahead, only stopping and turning back once he realized I'd stopped. I was on my knees doubled over; I couldn't breathe.

"You didn't know?" Jake asked, looking at me with a mixture of regret and sympathy.

"No!" I sobbed. My life was officially over. My Bella could not have another man's baby. I couldn't handle the thought, much less seeing the kid all the time. Chip's kid. I shivered in disgust.

Jake sat down, wrapping his bulky arm around me. "Ed, I know this sucks...but don't quit on her. She's a wreck. Chip told her to have an abortion because he didn't want any kids. That's why she kicked him out. She needs you. I'm not telling you to take advantage of my sister, but go in there and be her fucking knight in shining armor."

"I can't. I can't raise another man's child, especially his." I gasped for breath. I had just lost her forever.

"Sure you can. I don't know if she's even gonna keep it; she said something about adoption." Jake shrugged.

I sat up right and looked at him. "Why would she give her baby to strangers?"

Jake blew out a breath. "She said that she didn't want a child that wasn't yours. She loves you, Edward. She always has. The fucker just screwed with her head enough to get in her pants."

I jumped up. "I gotta go; I can't think straight." Without another word, I ran back to my car and drove. The more I thought about the possibility of losing the love of my life for real this time...forever, the angrier I became. I wouldn't let anyone come between us again. Not even a baby. Without thought, I drove straight to the school where Bella taught. I didn't bother with stopping at the principal's office for a visitor's pass. I just ran straight to her class, and luckily, she was in there, and alone.

"Bella!" I almost shouted.

She looked up from her desk. "Edward? What are you doing here? Are the kids okay?" she asked, panicked.

"They're fine. I'm not," I told her, trying to calm my breathing so I could speak. "I can't do this anymore; I have to be in your life. I need you. I need my family." I looked helplessly into her eyes, pleading silently with her to understand.

She turned and looked away from me. "Edward, it's more complicated than that. Trust me, I don't deserve you," she said, tears brimming in her eyes.

"You're wrong. I don't care about the baby, Bella. I just need you. I want you, please," I begged. Right then, I came to the realization that it didn't matter if it was my kid or Chip's, all that mattered was that Bella was happy. I knew I could make her happy.

She whipped around towards me. "You know?" she gasped.

"Yeah, Jacob let it slip." I shrugged.

"Oh, God, Edward, I'm so, so, sorry. I was ready to beg you to take me back...then I found out. Oh, God." She shook out her hands then ran them roughly through her hair. "I'm a terrible person. How could you want me?" She sobbed. I pulled her into my arms, crying with her.

"Shh, love, nothing will ever change the way I feel for you. Nothing." It was the truth. I knew that now. I wished I could take back the past year and a half. I'd do things differently. I wouldn't have been such an arrogant ass. I would've hired another surgeon, like I did last week. I now had the time to make time for my family. I knew I could make this work and make us all happy.

"Edward?" Bella whispered.

"Yeah?"

"I'm not pregnant... anymore." I pulled back and looked at her face. She was trying to hold back more tears. Pain. I could see it in her eyes.

"You..." I didn't want to ask if she had an abortion or a miscarriage, but I didn't have to because she read my mind.

"I had a miscarriage...last weekend. That's why I asked you not to come over and asked Jakey to drive himself and Bree over. I knew something was wrong Friday at work, so I went to the ER. I spent the whole weekend a crying, sobbing mess. One, because I lost my baby, and two, because I was happy about it, and three, because I'd lost you for forever. Mostly I was heartbroken about losing you. What kind of a mom am I?" she wailed. I squeezed her tighter.

"Let's get out of here. Tell them you're sick," I instructed, and she nodded.

I helped her into my car and drove back to my apartment. She sat on the couch looking so fragile... broken. I wasn't sure what to do for her, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't ecstatic that she was actually there with me.

"I've never been here before. It's nice. Seems...big," she said as she looked around the room.

"Would you like a tour?" I thought it could get her mind off everything long enough to help her feel comfortable.

"Sure."

I led her around my apartment. It was actually pretty big. It was roughly thirty five hundred square feet. It had four bedrooms, three and a half bathrooms, living room, formal dining room, and my office. I also had a den that I never used, except with the kids. I guess it was more of a game room, with the pool table and Jake's huge wide screen TV set up with his Xbox 360 and a Wii. I didn't really see it as spoiling him since I had purchased the Wii, and his Uncle Emmett had given him his old Xbox. There was also a good-size balcony that wrapped around the corner of the building. I had the corner space and had also purchased the adjacent apartment to expand my place. I guess it was a condo for all intents and purposes, but apartment sounded less ostentatious. After our tour, Bella seemed more relaxed, so I offered her a seat at the kitchen table and a glass of my mother's famous hot tea. We'd had many important conversations around this particular kitchen table; our first was when she announced she was pregnant with Jake.

"Is this?" Bella asked, pointing to the table.

"The table your parents had in the old house." I finished, nodding.

"I guess it makes sense to end us where we began," she mumbled. I froze.

I clasped her hand in mine. "Bella, we are not over. I'll prove to you I'm good enough, if it's the last thing I do," I vowed.

"Don't you get it?" she said almost angrily. "That's just it. You are good enough; you're too good. I don't deserve you, Edward. I don't deserve anything. I cheated on you. I never wanted to be with anyone else in my entire life. I wanted it to be just you. You were my first everything— kiss, sex, boyfriend, husband—you gave me the world, and I threw it back in your face. I don't deserve your forgiveness. I don't want it; I want you to hate me. I want you to take everything away from me because that's what I deserve. I deserve your hate, not your love." She finished her rant softly.

I sat stunned for a few moments before speaking. "Bella, we are made for each other. I know you made a huge mistake. I hate that you've been with another man, that you've carried another man's child inside you. But, even though I hate those facts, I love you. It will never stop, Bella. We're soulmates." I pulled her into my arms. She fought me slightly, but I tightened my grip. She eventually relaxed into me. She didn't cry again, but she was very still. Like she was afraid if she moved, I'd let go. "I love you, Bella," I whispered.

"I love you too," she whispered back.

We stayed like that for a while longer. I couldn't take the silence any longer so I asked, "Can we fix us?"

"I hope so. I'd like that."

"Me too, but you should know, I will not move back into that house. It's ruined for me. I'd love it if eventually you and the kids moved in here. It's plenty big enough. I'll understand if you would rather have a house. We can buy another." I rambled a bit.

"I already put the house up for sale yesterday. They are supposed to put the signs up this afternoon. I hate that house without you. I regret ever letting Chip move in there." She sighed.

Chip, that bastard, how I loathed him.

"Ow, too tight," she said. I sighed, releasing her; I didn't realize I had squeezed her so tightly. The very mention of him made me crazy.

"I'm so sorry, baby. I just hate that fucker."

"Me too." She giggled. "Edward, does it make me a horrible person to be happy that I won't be having his kid?" she asked with a sigh.

"Not unless it makes me a horrible person too, 'cause I'm fucking happy about it. I hate that you've experienced the loss of a child, but I'm relieved. Am I horrible?"

"No, I know it's way too soon for this, but I want you to know that if we can work everything out and get to a good place, I want to have another baby. I want more of your kids. I'm so sorry, Edward," she cried softly, clinging to my shirt.

"Sweetheart, I'd put a baby in you right now if that's what you wanted. You know I love kids, but you're right, let's fix us first and then I'll knock you up so good you won't know what happened." I growled as I attacked her neck in kisses. She giggled, squirming in my lap, which caused a very neglected part of me to stir.

"We better stop before you really do put a baby in there. I'm not on birth control right now, and I know my body isn't ready for another baby." I let out a relieved breath that things were actually going to go my way. It had been too long. I honestly could have taken her right then and there, consequences be damned, but I didn't want to treat her like I didn't respect her. I'd woo her if need be.

Later, Bella passed out on my couch, so I called my son. "Jake?"

"Hey, Dad. What's up?" Jake said, sounding a little out of breath. I groaned internally. I didn't wanna know what he was doing, so I just got down to business. Though, I was pretty sure his girlfriend was with him.

"I just wanted to ask you to take Bree to Mimi's."

"Sure, is anything wrong?" he asked.

"No, your mom is here with me. I thought it would be a good idea to have you guys stay with Mimi so we don't worry."

"Is everything okay? Are you getting back together?" I could hear the excitement in his voice.

"I hope so. We're talking. She cried herself to sleep, but I think she'll be all right," I told him honestly.

"Okay, tell her I love her and not to worry. I'll take care of my little Breeze," he said affectionately. He was really great with his sister. He'd started calling her Breeze after she started walking; he said she was so fast all he could feel was the breeze as she passed.

"Will do, thanks. Oh, and Jake, cutting school to fool around with your girlfriend is not cool," I said, chuckling silently.

"How'd you..." he asked, shocked.

"I didn't, but you just confirmed it; get back to school, little man." I laughed.

"Good one. We're going." Jake laughed.

"Make sure you clean up your mess, and you better be using condoms," I admonished.

"Don't worry, Dad, I will; of course we are, and she's on birth control," Jake answered proudly, if not cockily.

I shook my head. I was glad that he was open with me about this stuff, but it drove me crazy that he was so much like me. At least he had enough sense to be sure the girl was on birth control. Not that I'm not grateful for my son, but I should have made sure Bella was protecting herself. He's definitely smarter than I was.

Bella lay against the arm of the couch; she looked so small and fragile. She didn't stir as I picked her up and carried her to my room. I laid her on the bed and covered her with the throw from the chair in my room. I'd never used the thing, but my mother insisted I needed it to make the chair look cozy. I never questioned her, and now, I was glad for her input. After covering Bella up, I lay on top of the covers and watched her. I knew it was creepy, but I had spent years doing this, and I couldn't help the overwhelming desire to do it again.

I loved watching Bella sleep. She was so peaceful and beyond beautiful. Plus, there was the added bonus that she talked in her sleep; she'd actually answer you at times. It was always great fun growing up. It's actually how I found out that she wanted to be more than best friends. I'd secretly always wanted that, but I hadn't wanted to ruin our friendship. So, the next morning after her sleep confession, I just went all out and kissed her as soon as her eyes opened. She was quite shocked by my confession of my love for her. She, of course, returned the sentiment, and we were never apart until almost eighteen months ago. It was the worst year and a half of my life.

"Edward," Bella mumbled in her sleep. It may be cheating, but I was going to use anything I could to win her back.

"I love you," I whispered back to her.

"Love you," she mumbled back as she has every time I've said it while she slept. Now it was time for some fun.

"Bella?"

"Hmm?"

"Who's better in bed, me or Chip?" Wrong, I know, but if you could have an unfiltered answer, wouldn't you want to know?

She giggled. "You. Chip's tiny."

I was shaking with laughter. Edward-one, Chip-zero.

"When was the last time you had sex?"

"A month ago. I didn't want it." Bella scrunched up her face. Now I was curious and borderline mad.

"What do you mean you didn't want it?" I asked. If that fucker raped her, I'd kill him.

She sighed heavily and opened her eyes. I was a little surprised but didn't say anything as I waited for her answer. "He was drunk and a little hands-y. I thought it would be easier to give in than to fight him off. Edward, I'm so sorry about all this. I've never really wanted Chip. You were so angry at first; you wouldn't hear me out. I swear I never would've let things go as far as they did, but I felt sorry for him. He used it to his advantage," Bella finished softly, wiping a tear from her eye.

I didn't know what to say. To think that I could've had her back a long time ago, but I was too stubborn to listen, made me sick. I pulled her to me.

"I hate him and what he did to us. Take me back, please," I begged, fighting my own tears.

"You did nothing wrong. It is you who needs to take me back," she whispered.

"Then, I take you back. Tell me you're mine." I cupped her face and stared pleadingly into her watery eyes.

"I'm yours, Edward. I always have been."

I hugged her tightly. I kissed down her face to her lovely red lips, kissing her passionately until we both needed to breathe. I continued kissing down her neck to her breast. Things were getting out of hand and, though I'd love nothing more than to continue to our releases, I had to stop. It wasn't time, and her body needed to heal.

"We need to stop," I told her between kisses.

"No, please." She whimpered.

I groaned. "Baby, you need to heal, and we need to work everything out before we have sex. I want to do things the right way this time."

"What do you mean?" Bella asked, adorably confused.

"I mean that until you remarry me, we are abstaining from sex. We have a lot to work on, and I think it will only complicate things."

"Really?" Bella snorted, completely unladylike.

I was slightly offended, so my answer came out less than manly. "Yes."

"Can we do it one time?" She was so freakin' cute, I knew my will would crumble. I was a pushover for her.

"One time? I guess, but not until you're healed and you're...tested. I love you, but I'm not putting Goliath anywhere near you until I know he hasn't tainted you." Offensive I was sure, but it was the truth.

She rolled her eyes. "I was just tested when I found out I was pregnant. I'm clean. Now can Goliath come and play?" She batted her eyelashes at me. I was gone. It's a pipe dream to think that I would be able to wait until we remarried, but I was determined to give it a shot.

"Oh, okay, are you sure? I mean, are you sure you want to now? You're not healed, are you?"

"Yes, but please, if you don't want to, tell me. I don't want you to do something you're not comfortable with. I'm fine; I wasn't that far was like having a heavy period. I'm not bleeding anymore."

I caved. "I've been thinking about this for months. Of course I want to." It was my turn to roll my eyes.

I started taking her clothes from her body until we were both lying there naked. She was just as beautiful as I remember. Even after having two kids, her body was perfect. No stretch marks, her tummy completely flat. I licked, sucked, and bit every inch of skin I could reach, save for where she really wanted me. I know it was mean, but I planned on teasing the shit out of her.

"Edward, please, now. I need you now." She panted. I kissed back up her body, lining myself up with her entrance. I pushed forward and for the first time in my life, I went limp. Not just a semi, I mean completely limp, like a huge slug just lying there between us. I looked down at him, willing him to come back to life, but Goliath was dead.

"What's wrong?" Bella asked. She sat up on her elbows, following my eyes back to Goliath. Did I mention that was the name Bella had given my cock the first time I let her have a peek when we were thirteen? The name stuck.

"Shh...Goliath is sleeping," I said chuckling. I'd never been so embarrassed in my life. I figured, why not handle it with humor?

She giggled. "I'm sorry. Did I do something wrong?"

Did she do something wrong? Yes, Chip, and for whatever reason, Goliath wasn't ready to forgive her. I sighed and rolled over.

"No, not really. I guess I'm just over-thinking things."

"I understand. We can wait; it's probably best any way." Bella sighed.

"I'm sorry." I groaned.

"Don't, Edward, this is all my fault. I know you; you can probably think of nothing but the fact that I've been with Chip. I'm disgusted by the thought myself. Never in my life did I want to be with anyone other than you. I'm so, so, sorry." She started to cry again.

"Love, please, no more tears. I'm sorry you're right, I'm sorry that..." I sighed and stopped. I didn't want to say it out loud.

"Say it," she demanded.

"I haven't forgiven you yet," I whispered as a tear slipped from my eye.

Bella nodded sadly. "I understand. I think I should go home. We can talk again tomorrow." She got up and gathered her clothes, then slipped into my bathroom to redress. I pulled on a pair of sweats and a hoodie. Bella came out of the bathroom and walked to the front room, pausing to put her shoes on quickly before walking out my door. I followed after her.

"Bella?" She turned slowly to face me.

"Um...I brought you here."

"Oh, right, well I'll just call Jake to come get me." She looked around noticing it was dark and gasped.

"Don't worry, I had Jake take her to Mimi's," I told her, relieving her worry. We still stood awkwardly in the hallway outside of my apartment.

"Thank you. Esme must really hate me." She sighed.

I shook my head and pulled her small body into my embrace. "She doesn't hate you. She was, of course, upset when all this happened, but we've had many talks and she just wants us both happy."

"How will I ever face your family again?" Bella sighed heavily into my chest.

"Time," was my only response.

~8~

The next several weeks, Bella and I dated. We went to movies, dinners, and on walks. We had family outings together with our children, but each date ended with me dropping her off at her house and me returning to mine. I wanted Bella more than anything, but every time I thought of having sex, I would go limp. I didn't know what to do about it; I thought maybe I should talk to someone, but I had no idea who?

Jake's birthday was coming up, and we had decided to let him have a party. We'd be home to supervise, but we'd stay in the bedroom while Bree would be at Mimi's. You honestly thought we would leave a four year old at an 18 year old's birthday party? The night came, and we retired to my bedroom. Bella was sitting on my bed, and I was in my oversize chair. I had no clue what to say or do. Luckily, she broke the ice.

"Can you believe that Jake is eighteen?"

"I know, it seems like only yesterday that we were sitting around talking about having sex." I chuckled.

Bella laughed. "We were sitting around yesterday talking about sex."

"Oh, right." I chuckled with her.

Bella looked up from the book she was reading and asked, "Edward, what can I do to make it better? Am I so repulsive to you now that Goliath has to run and hide?"

"You're definitely not repulsive. I get hard just looking at you, but when he," I pointed to my cock, "thinks of entering you, he dies. I don't understand it, and I'm so sorry." I sighed, running my hands through my hair.

She scrunched up her face then smiled as if she had just gotten the best idea ever. "Can I try something?" she asked.

"Sure."

She walked over to me and knelt down in front of me. She slowly moved to release my belt, staring into my eyes the whole time she tugged down my zipper. I lifted my hips to help her free me. Goliath was at full salute, as always when he was around her. She slowly lowered her head. In fact, it was so slow that it was like she was trying not to spook to him. She wrapped her warm lips around the tip and sucked lightly. I groaned. It had been more than year since I'd been with her, or anyone, for that matter. I never once considered going elsewhere. Bella was the only woman that I had ever been with in every sense. I groaned as she took all of me, deep-throating me. She was the WonderWoman of blow jobs. She moved quick, then slow, driving me closer and closer until I came, hard. It had been so long that I didn't care that I'd just shot my load with no warning and had come quicker than I ever had in my life.

"Thank you," I mumbled, slumping down farther into the chair. I didn't even try to right my clothes.

Bella beamed with happiness. "I know it might not mean much, but you are the only man that I've ever put my mouth on," she promised.

"It does mean something; it means everything. I want to try again soon. I want to bury myself in that hot, tight little pussy of yours. Will you let me try again?" I asked, almost begging, tucking her hair behind her ears and kissing her deeply.

"Yes, anytime you want," she vowed.

We talked until the wee hours of the morning. I had offered to return the favor, but she refused. She wanted to wait until I was ready for her completely.

The next month was spent moving Bella out of her house. She sold most everything. I had already set up a room for each of the kids when I moved in here, so getting them settled wasn't too difficult. I gave Bella the spare bedroom; it was too small for most of her things, so what she didn't want to add around the apartment, we stored. I was happy to have them all with me, back where they belonged, but things weren't back to where they should be.

Bella and I were still sleeping in our separate rooms. We still had not consummated our new relationship. We were, as always, best friends. It reminded me of when we were in high school and Bella had lived with us for a year. Her dad, Charlie, had taken a position in New York; Bella and Jacob wanted to finish out the school year in Forks, so my parents offered to let them live with us. It was awesome having her with me day in and out. Of course, at the time we hadn't started our relationship as boyfriend and girlfriend, but it was still wonderful to have my best friend on call twenty-four seven. Bella and Jacob were set to move to New York when her father decided to move back. That was when I took the steps I needed to make her mine.

"Edward?" Bella called from the kitchen. I was in my office, sorting through some old books to donate to charity.

"In the office," I called back.

"Hey, I was going to start dinner, but you're out of almost everything. You mind keeping an eye on Bree while I run to the store?"

"Is she still sleeping?" I asked.

"Yep, should be pretty easy." She smiled. I loved her smile, and I told her so as I motioned for her to come over to me.

I pulled her into my arms. I was sitting in an armless chair so I pulled her to straddle my lap. I looked up into her eyes. I could see the love and lust in them. I pressed a kiss on her breastbone, breathing in her scent. She smelled of strawberries, lavender and a bit of baby soap from when she'd bathed my little angel who was sleeping in her room down the hall. I continued my kiss up to her lovely jaw and then to her luscious lips. I slipped my tongue into her open mouth, moaning at the taste of her. We kissed passionately for several minutes; we were both panting loudly.

"Bella," I moaned.

"Edward, please," she begged, though I wasn't sure for what.

"Tell me, Bella. What do you need?"

"You, Edward, I need you. Please can we try?" Bella begged. I couldn't turn her down. I didn't verbally respond, but I took her shirt off as my answer. We quickly shed our clothes, leaving her straddling my lap with both of us naked. Goliath was at full attention— so far—so good. I pulled her closer by her hips, rubbing my thumbs along the inside of her hip bones. I was trying to free my mind so I could do this, but I couldn't, because I didn't want this to happen here in the chair in my office.

"Bella, wait," My head dropped to her shoulder as I caught my breath. She sighed; her movement stopped. She started crying...well, not really crying as much as sobbing. I squeezed her to me. "Shh, love, I didn't mean to stop. I just want to move," I promised. I was more determined than ever to make this happen for us. I stood with her; she immediately wrapped her slender legs around me. I walked over to the door, poking my head out and listening for sounds of our children. When I was sure it was clear, I took off running to my bedroom. Bella giggled. I pulled back, smiling with her, though our smiles faded quickly as she attacked my lips with a searing kiss.

"Bella," I moaned. "God, I love you so much, baby."

"I love you too. I'm so sorry for being so stupid." She panted as I attacked her breasts.

"I forgive you," I mumbled. I flipped us so that I was hovering over her. I gazed into her eyes; they looked up to me with such love and adoration. I knew I could finally get Goliath to agree with me and finally take back what was mine. I was just about to push into her when a tiny little knock sounded on my bedroom door. Bella and I both groaned.

"I swear, baby, it was gonna work this time."

Bella cupped my face and said, "I know, baby, we can try again later if you want."

Waggling my eyebrows, I said, "Oh, I want. I want you so bad right now."

The knock was a little bit louder followed by a sweet little voice. "Daddy, you in dere?"

I pulled some sweats on quickly and opened my door a bit. "Hey, baby girl, I was going to take a quick shower. Go get your shoes on so you can go to the grocery store with Mommy," I instructed.

"Okay!" she shouted as she ran back to her room.

Bella giggled as she slipped her arms around me. "Can I borrow your robe so I can go get my clothes?"

"Wait here, I'll go get them," I told her softly, giving her a soft peck.

Bella and Bree left about ten minutes later for the grocery store. It was then that I realized that I hadn't seen or heard Jake since he'd gotten home with Bree from school. His room was on the opposite end of the apartment. I didn't hear anything outside his door, so I knocked once and opened the door like always. I was not ready for the sight that I saw, which made me shut the door quickly and loudly. I heard them scurrying about the room. Jake jerked the door open with a huge smile on his face, like he hadn't just been caught getting head from his girlfriend.

"What's up, Dad?" he asked, slightly out of breath.

I tried to appear upset or disappointed, but I was really just shocked, embarrassed, and oddly, proud. Yeah I know it's weird, don't ask, I don't know.

"Nothing. I wasn't sure if you were home or not. But obviously you are... um...busy..." I trailed off.

"Uh...yeah...sorry. I know I'm not supposed to have a girl in here with the door shut, but you know how it is, Dad. You need what ya need, ya know?" Jake stated, shrugging.

"Just...take her home and be back in time for dinner, and don't let your mom find out. We're finally on the right path. I don't want your teenage antics to interfere."

"No problem, Dad, and if it's any help, I really am sorry. I was just so fuckin' horny." He waggled his eyebrows, looking too much like me. I groaned with a disgusted look on my face.

I held my hand up to stop whatever was about to come out of his mouth next. "Listen, I'm glad you're so upfront with me about your sex life, but Jake, that's too much. I don't need details. Just hurry; Mom should be home soon." I shoved him lightly back into his room then hightailed it back to my own.

~8~

The opportunity to have Bella alone, completely alone, didn't happen for another week. I was dying to get inside her. I think whatever problem Goliath had with Bella was finally resolved, because just the sight of her made him come to life, be it doing the dishes or folding laundry; it didn't matter, just her very scent caused him to harden uncomfortably.

Bella was cooking dinner when I got home from work on Thursday. The house seemed unusually quiet. The sight of her working at the stove was enough for Goliath to stir. I wrapped my arms around her, my front to her back. "I missed you today." I breathed into her neck as I kissed it softly.

"Hmm...feels like someone else missed me too." Bella purred.

"That he does, love. What are you cooking?"

"Just spaghetti, it's nothing fancy. How was work?" She turned in my arms.

"Spaghetti sounds perfect. I had a pretty shitty day, actually. The head surgeon is riding my ass. I was, apparently, under the impression that we took on this profession to save lives, but I was informed that's not the case—unless we can get our procedures done in under thirty minutes. This new health care policy they are implementing is for the birds." I sighed, scrubbing my face as I plopped down at the kitchen table.

"I'm sorry, baby," Bella cooed as she ran her fingers through my hair, massaging my scalp. I was putty. I pulled her closer to me, resting my head on her stomach. I loved her fingers on my skin.

"Is dinner close to being ready?" I asked.

"Umm, no, not really; I only just started the sauce. Why?"

"I can't wait any longer. The kids are gone. Please let me make love to you, please."

"Yes." Bella moaned as I sucked on her neck.

I scooped her up, carrying her into the bedroom. We both tumbled onto the bed, making quick work of each other's clothes as our lips never left the other's skin for any length of time. I sucked, licked, and bit everything possible.

"Please, Edward, I can't take it anymore." Bella growled.

I kissed my way back to her mouth as I lined myself up with her. "Ready?" I asked huskily.

"Yes, God, yes!" she all but screamed.

I pushed inside her. I was finally home, sheathed within her hot center. I felt as if my whole world had been righted. There wasn't a Chip or a miscarried baby. There was just Bella and me, finally back to where we belonged.

All those months apart had brought us here to this moment and for the first time in a long time, I was finally grateful for what I had. I would never take for granted what was here in front of me. I had taken back what was mine, and no one would ever take it from me again. No matter how hard I had to fight. I would fight, fight until death, if need be. My love was mine, and would be forever more. We were finally home, where we belonged.

"I love you, Edward." Bella sighed.

"I love you too, Bella, forever. You're my life."