Just a little chapter that popped in my head...enjoy! I still love writing for this story-CC
Lilly was finally down for the night and Caleb wasn't far behind her. Edward had taken the task of putting both children to bed nightly over the last month in an attempt to help Bella find some free time for herself. Not that it mattered…because he already knew that she was standing in the hall, currently peeking in on him and ready to jump in and replace him. Instead of being frustrated with her…he simply chuckled as he tucked Caleb in tighter to his blankets.
"You know…sneaking after me isn't exactly doing something for yourself, love." He whispered enough for her to hear. Her footsteps followed just a second later, then her warm arms wrapping around his center.
"How did you know I was watching…?" she asked quietly from the comfort of his back. He felt her squeeze him tighter just as she breathed him in longingly. And just like that he was done teasing her…because he was ready to simply love her.
He didn't answer her, but instead turned and kissed her softly before taking her hand gently and leading her down the hall toward the stairs.
"Are you in the mood for a movie? Maybe a puzzle we can start?" he didn't particularly like puzzles, but Bella did, and he was prepared to make a good time out of whatever it was she wanted to do.
"Would you mind if we just sat on the porch for a bit? I pumped tonight…so I can have some wine if you'd be interested in having some with me?" He couldn't help but chuckle at her hopeful expression, because he thought it was comical that she'd even think he'd turn her down. For Edward's part, there wasn't anything he could think of that she might name that he would or even could turn down. All he wanted was to make her happy. No matter how he had to do it.
"I'll grab the monitor and wine if you'll grab the glasses." That was all he had to say for a smile to brighten her face. He watched her move excitedly toward the kitchen before he turned to grab the video monitors then make his way into the wine cellar.
He found a nice red that he knew was her favorite and hurried back up the stairs to get their evening started. Just as he made his way out to the patio, Bella's frustrated voice caught his attention. He stopped short at the door, instead waiting to make his presence known until she finished her conversation.
He didn't mean to spy, truly he didn't. But the tone in which she was talking led him to believe that she was nervous for him to hear her and also frustrated that she was saying whatever she had to say.
"No! Absolutely not!" She said nervously. Edward leaned forward a touch more to hear better but stayed shielded behind the door. "Because I don't want him to know…it was an accident! I wasn't thinking when I did it and now I just want to forget about it all together…"
His stomach was turning in circles right now, his heart somewhere at the bottom of his feet. Edward didn't know exactly what she was hiding, but he now knew she was hiding something. He felt completely sick at the moment… had no idea what in the world he would be rocked by if he continued to listen. Already the blood from his body was stirring in his ears, making it a feat for him to hear anymore. He was just about to walk out and confront her, but then she continued on.
"Look, Todd. I'm sure you can smooth talk just about anyone into anything…and for a moment there you had me believing this was something I could do…but…I…I just can't. I can't do that to Edward."
His worst fear had just happened it seemed. Because from the sound of things, Bella was either ready to start something with a man named Todd…or already had started something with him. He was utterly sick now.
Instead of going out to confront her, he instead headed to the kitchen. He wanted to cry but wasn't sure if he could at this point. He was a multitude of emotions and none were sticking around long enough for him to seize one. Instead, he grabbed a shot glass and grabbed the chilled Patron he kept in the cooler for parties and slammed a shot.
As the liquor hit his blood stream he made himself calm down. Sure this was bad…it was the worst flipping thing he could imagine, but he knew he needed to confront her about what he'd just heard. So…he slammed one more shot, grabbed his pride and walked out swiftly to the back patio. When he made it outside he saw Bella's resigned face staring down worriedly at her cell phone. Instead of jumping on that, he decided to ease into the conversation they needed to have.
"That's not the face of a woman who should be happy." He teased. At least he was trying to tease. Her head popped up and he could see the glassy reflection of what looked like tears she'd been trying to stop.
He took his seat next to her as she chuckled with little humor and wiped at her eyes. "Sorry…I guess my allergies are just getting the best of me tonight." It was a good cover he thought, because her allergies generally were bad at night. But she'd just taken an allergy pill not even an hour before. However he refrained from correcting her on that.
"Oh" was all he said.
Edward busied his hands with opening the wine while his mind raced with ways to Segway into what he wanted to ask and know. He was still drawing a blank when she placed the glasses out for him to fill. As she pulled her hands back, he noticed her wedding ring…and it made him want to cry again.
Sure he'd been a dick at the beginning of their relationship…sure there were many who could come up with better names than that! But damn it, he'd committed to her! He'd committed to her and their family for the rest of his life! He'd been completely faithful…had trained himself to avert his eyes around attractive women! He wanted to prove himself to her and thought he'd been doing such a good job. Apparently not.
Suddenly the thought of this faceless Todd had him boiling on the inside. But he kept himself collected on the outside. He knew he had one good chance of getting the entire truth…and right now, he wanted it more than anything.
He handed Bella her wine and sat down next to her and looked out over their expansive backyard in silence. This continued on for what felt like forever but was really only a few seconds. Soon it was too much for him to bear and he started with an ice breaker.
"So…what's been happening in your world while I've been working during the days?" He couldn't help the way his hand shook as he brought the wine to his lips for a sip. He noted that Bella didn't turn to look at him, but instead dropped her head and picked at her cuticles. A sign that she had something she wanted to say.
He wanted to know things…but wasn't sure if he could actually go through with asking flat out. He prayed silently that she would spare him and just say what it was that was going on.
"I…um…nothing really. Just taking care of the kids…" Edward watched her take a long drink from her goblet before going back to her cuticles. This only made him tenser but he wasn't giving up yet.
"It must get so boring here alone. I'm sorry about that…" and he was, truly he was. He wished he could be with her every moment, hated having to leave her ever. But it made him worry that maybe he'd led her to do things that maybe could have been avoided.
Her head popped up and she looked him straight in the eyes for the first time since the call he'd overheard. He saw anguish and guilt in her expression…and yet all he wanted to do was take her into his arms and make her feel better. He knew already that if what he thought was going on was indeed happening…it was going to crush him. Utterly crush him.
"Actually…I um…I have something I need to tell you." This was it he thought. This was where he'd learn about this Todd. He turned to face her as well, but swallowed down the remainder of his wine before making eye contact with her. He placed his glass on the small table beside them and breathed deeply before signaling he was ready for her to begin.
He noted that Bella watched him with scared eyes and a nervous expression, her eyes glancing back and forth between his face and his now empty glass.
"Well, um… I guess I should start by saying how much I love you." She looked into his eyes and he could see the love she had for him. But that only made him hurt worse. "I respect you and admire you and all you've done for us as a family."
He could only nod as he tried to follow along with the direction in which the conversation was going. He didn't know how she was going to connect the dots. She reached for his hands and held them tightly in her own as she bunched up her eye brows and bit her lip; he noted that she was trying to find the strength to say what came next.
"I guess I just got too comfortable…" she squeezed his hand and her fingers linked with his. "In this life I mean." She stood then and began to pace. All Edward could seem to manage was staring up at her and watching her pace the porch back and forth between their seats. Suddenly she stopped and took a deep breath, Edward did the same in preparation for the blow she was about to deliver. Dropping her head, she began.
"About a week ago I was running around town and doing errands…" she paused to look up at him but whatever she saw there made her drop her head and close her eyes before she could continue on. "Anyway…I was dropping the dry cleaning, grabbing some groceries and such, nothing too exciting. When I was loading the groceries…I um…I got irritated with the small amount of room in the back…"
If Edward had been confused before, well then he was completely lost at this point. He couldn't begin to find a link to how another man would play into this story. But Bella continued on anyway.
"I called your mom and asked her to watch the kids for the afternoon, and after she agreed and I dropped them with her, I drove to a Cadillac dealership." She finally looked up and met his eyes, and he could see the big tears forming in her own.
Edward was baffled. His first instinct was to pull her into an embrace and tell her everything would be okay…so he did. But as he continued to comfort and assure her, the more she shook. He couldn't wrap his head around it though, because from all she'd said so far…she'd simply went to look at a car…he didn't give a damn about that! He was just about to say those very words aloud but she continued on with small sobs that tore at his heart.
"I'm so embarrassed!" she whimpered into his shoulder.
"Why?" he asked her with a small laugh that was more relief than anything. Now he felt like an asshole to have thought the absolute worst…
"Because the story's not over! I still have to tell you I bought a 65 thousand dollar vehicle on our credit card!" Her head fell to his chest once more but this time she was sobbing as she apologized. Edward stood motionless at her confession, but not for the reasons she thought. He was simply shocked that the fact she bought a vehicle was the reason for her tears.
He didn't give a damn if she bought herself a zoo as long as it made her happy. He was actually over the moon that she'd decided to do that on her own and hadn't bothered to tell him…it was a first!
Usually Bella would call or text him to tell him she was going to Target! He hated that she did stuff like that…because she didn't need to! What they had was theirs, and Bella had just as much right to it as himself, he wasn't keeping tabs. Before he could tell her any of this, she popped her head up and apologized once more.
"I'm so sorry I did that…but I want you to know that I returned it that day before you even got home. I don't know what possessed me to do it in the first place, and by the time I brought it here…I felt so selfish. You've given me an amazing life and the range rover is more than adequate! I just wish I had realized that sooner."
He words were enough to make him snap out of his daze, and so he kissed her nose, wiped her face and sat her down on his lap.
"Baby…" he nuzzled her neck and rubbed at her arms before continuing, "You've done nothing wrong sweetheart…nothing." She was already shaking her head no but he went on anyway. "I love that you wanted something for yourself and went out to get it! We can afford it…so you shouldn't be upset. Did you really think I was going to be mad at you?"
Bella finally calmed down enough to tell him her side. "I was more worried that you'd start to see me as some kind of money grubber…" Edwards face transformed to frustration instantly, so she hurried on with her point. "Because I used our credit card…and not what I have in savings." She dropped her head again but continued on.
"I was more disgusted with myself that I went to a Cadillac dealer…"she was shaking her head but a smile tugged at her lips. "A Chevy Tahoe would have been just fine, but no I had to go for luxury."
When they met eyes again, she could see understanding in her husbands. She went on to tell him about the salesman Todd and how he was devastated when she brought back the Escalade. Edward could only laugh as she described the despracy the salesman emitted in each call to her since. When the story was done and Bella seemed in better spirits, Edward decided to break this down to her once more.
"Feel better now, love?" when she nodded and smiled in relief, he continued on. "Bella, you simply wanted something nice…that is all. Would a Chevy Tahoe have been adequate? Absolutely. But I think you know me better than that. I expect the very best for you, Love, and it seems like you're finally starting to understand that."
He kissed her sweetly and she melted into him. They sat quietly with each other for a long moment, every few moments sharing a kiss or caress. Finally Bella broke the silence.
"It just felt so foreign to me…"she sat up to face him but he could see she was in far better spirits.
"I never thought I'd get so comfortable in our life to a point where I told myself it would be okay to run out and buy a car…just because I was irritated with the perfectly beautiful and new one I already had."
Edward could only smile at her words, because it was exactly what he'd hope she'd do. "Well I for one am happy that you've grown this comfortable…" he kissed her neck, then grabbed her ring finger and kissed that too. "It gives me hope that you'll let me spoil you rotten and not complain."
Bella poured new wine and went in to grab some cheese and crackers as well as wash her face. She was a bit embarrassed about her reaction…at least now she was, since she saw how well Edward had taken it. She headed out back onto the patio and found her husband with a smile that said he'd done something since she'd been gone. He wasn't spilling so instead they spent the rest of their night talking about the kids and work. Edward had dropped the hint of a family vacation soon, and Bella was more than happy to get into detail on that subject.
The next morning, Bella woke to an empty bed. Though it would have been a typical day in the work week, it wasn't right now. Today was Saturday…and Edward always slept in on Saturday. She rolled to her side and saw it was only 9am.
She rose and made her way to the nursery, finding only a note from Edward that read:
Took the kids out on an errand. We'll be home soon.
Bella simply smiled and went to take a long bath. She loved when Edward did things like that for her; it was always a sweet surprise. When she was ready for her day, she headed downstairs for the kitchen to prepare Lilly's bottles and to get food started for Caleb. Her little man was as good an eater as his daddy and she imagined the growth spurts would be coming soon.
As she prepared meals for the kids and for her and Edward, she faintly heard the garage door closing. Excited to see her family, she raced out into the garage but stopped in her tracks at the doorway. There in front of her was a brand new Escalade. Butter Crème colored and fully loaded…nicer than the one she'd brought home on a whim.
Edward walked her way with Caleb in hand and Lilly in his arms. She met him half way, but was speechless. That didn't deter him one bit.
"You deserve the very best Bella…you all do. Todd and I worked out a very good deal and I think you'll find this one suit's you better with the kids." He ended his speech with a kiss to her lips before dropping the keys in her apron pocket.
"Edwar…" he kissed her sweetly and patted her butt, which earned him a scowl from Caleb but he decided it was more than worth it.
"Let's have a bite to eat first…then we can take it out for a spin. Okay?" His Cheshire grin told her that it would be a losing battle to argue, so she simply smiled and decided to shock him.
"As long as you know that this is my car…" she patted his bottom and made her way into the kitchen.
Edward laughed so hard Lilly woke from the noise. And so began the best Saturday of their marriage yet…
I hope you enjoyed it! It you'd like a new chapter...tell me what you'd like to read...