A/n: Well, here we are again...I know it's been a while...and it will most like be 2 weeks before I can update this one again. BUT, I am working on the next chapter...just health issues still slowing me down.
Thank you all for your patience and please know that I WILL NEVER abandon a story.
NTBM ch9 Evil and Numb
What the hell was Irina doing here? She was supposed to be in a psych facility in Chicago.
I had made sure that the checks went there every month for her care, once Edward and I began to share an account numerous years ago.
She and I made eye contact. Irina knew who I was, having met me close to thirty years ago for the first time.
I stood and started to walk towards her as she shook her head excitedly. I didn't care, I had to know what she was doing here as she was now basically my responsibility. Tanya had never showed any interest in her nor could she be bothered by the woman's problems.
"Irina?" I called to her.
Her face was streaked with tears as she nodded at me.
"What are you doing here?" I asked gently.
"He was...he was my brother. I couldn't stay away when they told me he had died." She said as the sobs took over her body. I reached out to hold her and she clung to me.
"He was so good to me, even when I didn't deserve his love or patience." She cried into my neck.
"Shhh, Irina...it's okay. He loved you, from the moment he found out about you, he had loved you so much." I tried to comfort her only to see that Tanya stared at the two of us with a look of disdain on her face.
Once again she couldn't be bothered to help her family. Her children's aunt meant nothing to her. Hell, Irina was her own blood family and she never once lifted a finger to care for her or comfort her.
She had considered Irina a huge nuisance and beneath her.
"Irina, let's sit down. You look exhausted." I said softly as I started to walk us towards the rows of empty chairs.
"Thank you, Bella. You've always shown me kindness, it's easy to see why my brother loved you so much." Her smile was so sweet and kind, I couldn't help but love her all the more. She showed small traces of Edward in her face. It wasn't an obvious identical match for them but the small subtle movement of their expressions that made me recognize the resemblances.
I smiled back at her and moved the hair off her tired and worn face. "I loved him so much."
She and nodded her head.
Seth approached, "Bella, would you like me to sit with Irina while you say your goodbyes?"
"Thank you, Seth, I'm sure Irina would appreciate that as much as I do." I said and whispered to Irina that I wouldn't leave her here if she would give me a few minutes.
She nodded again and wiped her face before she turned to Seth and gave him a small smile.
I watched as Alice and Emmett, along with their families made to leave the cemetery.
Laurent left with Edward's children, as well.
The only ones that remained were Tanya and I as we stood by the casket.
Forty-one years ago
Edward cried for a while as I comforted him as best I could. He eventually sat up and went to the sink to splash cold water on his face.
"Let's go sit on the couch as I'm sure you have questions." His voice was soft and filled with emotion.
We sat down and settled in before I spoke, "What happened to Tanya and Laurent's baby?"
He tensed up and let out a long breath. "She got rid of it," he said through gritted teeth.
I stared at him in shock.
"What do you mean 'got rid of it'?" I wanted him to tell me, there was obviously more than just an abortion behind that statement.
"I mean that once Caius figured out that it was not my child, he insisted that she have an abortion. He threatened to disown her if she didn't. He threatened me that he would pump Irina full of heroin again if I didn't force Tanya to do it." His voice was full of anger and venom.
"We fought over and over about it, even getting into a physical scuffle at one point." He admitted and ran a hand through his hair.
"I mean, shit, Bella, what if my mother had made that decision to get rid of me?" He said, sadly.
That thought alone caused my heart to seize with pain.
"I reluctantly agreed to take Tanya to have it done, and she went willingly under the promise that I would give her as many children as she desired." His shoulders slumped forward and he placed his head in his hands.
"I fear what will happen when she finds out that you are pregnant. She will want another baby, if she isn't pregnant already." His voice was so faint, I questioned whether or not I heard him correctly.
"What the fuck does that mean, Edward?" I was livid. I was pregnant with his child, when the fuck had he had sex with her?
"She keeps a solid track of her ovulation and when something is going wrong for her or she gets unhappy, she wants a baby. It keeps the attention on her and makes everyone think our relationship is solid." He admitted like it was something casual.
"Edward?" I angrily demanded he look at me. "When did you have sex with her last?"
He looked at me with nothing but regret in his eyes, "The last night we spent in the house before she left Masen with me for the week." He whispered his admittance.
I started to calculate dates in my head.
"Fuck, Edward. She would be as far a long as I am." I said, completely heartbroken at this revelation.
"I know." He rubbed a palm across his face before he screamed, "FUCK!" and stood up to pace the room.
"How could you do this to me? You got my hopes up for nothing, again." I said as I raised my voice at him. "When the hell were you planning on telling me this?" I asked, as I stood up on instinct, my body needed to move and dispel some of this built up tension with me. As I turned and watched him pace. I was to frustrated and afraid of what I would do if I gave my body free reign to move.
"I don't know, Bella. We've never really discussed mine and Tanya's relationship. I wasn't sure that you wanted to hear those kinds of details." He stopped his pace and stared at me.
"How often are you fucking your wife, Edward? Let's discuss it now. I mean, I know you and your libido. Are there anymore of us on the side that you dally with?" I said to him as I felt my anger build. I had never been so angry in all of my life.
"What? Bella, no, you are the only one, ever. I met you and fell head over fucking heels in love with you the moment I first laid eyes on you. Tanya and I do not have regular sex. She has Laurent for that." He admitted angrily.
"What?" I questioned, blinking rapidly.
"She and Laurent never ended their relationship, but he did have a vasectomy so that there were no further 'problems' down the road." He said before he moved to sit on the couch, once again.
"Tanya and I have had sex exactly six times since we've been married, and that includes our honeymoon." He admitted as he looked at me, his eyes pleaded with me to understand him and the significance of his words.
"Masen?" I asked, curiously.
"It was our second time to try." He freely spoke the words, as he let out a long sigh.
I was in shock.
I was completely numb.
I felt like I was trapped in a mouse maze and there was no way out.
"So, what's going to happen if Tanya is pregnant right now? I mean, how did you get the legal separation?" I sat down because all of this new information made my head spin.
"I pray to God that she isn't, Bella. For both of our sakes, I have never prayed for something so hard in all of my life. Once you told me about our baby, I wanted nothing more than to say to hell with it all and get the divorce." He paused, reluctant to say anything further.
"What is it, Edward?" He had me worried now.
He looked at me and sat still for a minute, "She has pictures of us in Denver."
"She's blackmailing you?" I whispered to which he nodded confirmation.
"Caius is sick, he's dying of cancer and he has told her everything, he's given her documents. She's carrying on his threats. I have to give her what she wants or she'll not only destroy me now but you as well."
I sat there in complete shock.
I was in so far over my head with no way out at this point.
"She only agreed to the legal separation if I agreed to keep it quiet, no one in our families could know about it. As well as we had to try for another baby." He relented and reached for my hands.
I let him comfort me. I had no idea how to wrap my head around all of this information.
All I had wanted was for Edward to get divorced, to marry me and us to have a family together.
Now, he's told me we're being blackmailed and his estranged wife may or may not be pregnant with my child's half sibling.
"Edward, I'm scared. She'll never let you be with me if she's pregnant. What will happen to me? What will happen with our baby?" I broke down in sobs under the weight of it all.
"Shhh, baby, come here," he said as he pulled me into his lap. "Oh baby, I'm sorry...so fucking sorry that you've been brought into all of this mess."
He kissed my temple and held me tight, "I would never abandon you or our child. Never. Nothing she could do to me would keep me from a child that was actually conceived in our love."
I cried harder at his words.
He rubbed his hands along my belly, "Bella, this child, our child means more to me than anything in this world, besides you. This baby was made out of pure love. I am already so attached to that little fellow, I can't wait for the next six months to fly by so I can see his beautiful face."
I felt him smile against my cheek.
"I know it's a boy." I spoke into his neck.
"Me too." He whispered before he pulled me up to look at him.
"He's going to be perfect, just like you," Edward's words died down as his lips attached to mine for a heated kiss.
He picked me up and carried me to the bedroom, our eyes and hearts locked in this fierce battle of hurt and love.
As he laid me down, he whispered words of love, family and forever. These words were not new to us, but the meanings and feelings behind them felt infinitely different.
Edward hovered over my body as he removed my clothes with soft kisses to my various parts of my body as they were revealed to him. Then when he had me laid bare before him he leaned down and placed a single kiss to my small belly, "I love my child. I cannot wait to meet you and hold you in my arms."
He raised his head up and our eyes locked. A single tear ran down his cheek as he slowly ascended up my body. "I love you so much, Bella. I want to show you my love. I want you to feel the depths of my soul."
I gave him every piece of myself that night, knowing that I might never have all of him. But, I knew that no matter what he would always own me.
I stood next to the head of Edward's casket, wishing I had one more minute with him. I wished for one more whisper of his voice in my ear. I closed my eyes as the tears streaked my cheeks.
"He always loved you more than anything else in this world." Tanya's bitter voice brought me back to the present moment.
I turned my head to look at her, the anger and hatred plain on my face, I'm sure of it.
"You should have let him go." I snapped at her.
She narrowed her eyes at me before she spoke quietly, "He knew that was never an option."
I turned my whole body to face her, "Tanya, you never once loved him, you never appreciated the man that he was for you or for your children. You could have changed the fate of so many but you chose to remain a cold-hearted bitch your entire life. I have never met anyone more ungrateful or selfish in all of my life."
"If he had wanted to be free of me, he knew what he had to do. He chose not to. I offered him a way out." Her words laced with the years of venom as she spoke.
I didn't know whether to laugh or cry at her absurd statement. "Your options were more dictations on his life and we both know it."
We locked eyes in a stare down.
She had taken enough of my life from me, she wasn't taking my final moments with Edward as well.
A/n: A HUGE THANK YOU to my beta, Bnjwl...she is more important to me than she can ever realize. I love you bb! YOU rock my world, hardcore...