Summary: Left alone for the evening with his children, how will Musicward cope? Bella warned him it's not so easy… he thinks it's a walk in the park

This is the chapter I donated to the Fandom Against Hunger.

Beta'd by MidNight Cougar. All the usual disclaimers.


"I'm so sorry to hear that, Mrs. Jones. Please tell Kate I hope she feels better soon." I heard Bella put the phone down and sigh.

Speaking quietly so Joshua wouldn't wake up from his impromptu nap on my chest, I smiled at my wife. "What's wrong, Little One?"

Bella came over and sat beside me on the sofa, her hand softly stroking over Joshy's head. "Kate has that flu that seems to be making the rounds. She can't baby sit tonight."

"What about one of our other girls?" I asked frowning.

I could see her head shake. "No. Rose has already booked Sandy and Esme has Beth. Rachel is away with her parents. I guess you'll be going solo tonight, Edward."

It was my turn to shake my head. Bella and Esme had worked so hard on the Volunteer Appreciation Gala for the foundation and I didn't want her to miss it. "Bella, this is your event. You and Esme have worked so hard on it, you can't miss it. And you have a speech to give. You have to go."

"Well, we can't just leave our children alone, Edward. Esme can speak for both of us."

I smiled. "No need. I'll stay home with them. I'm just window dressing, you're the star tonight."

There was a pause.

"Bella? You have a problem with me staying home with our children?"

"Oh no, of course not, Edward, it's just… there are three of them now."

I feigned shock.

"Three of them? When did that happen?"

Her soft laughter as usual, brought a smile to my face. "Smart ass," she muttered. "Edward, I'll have to leave by five and I'll be gone all evening. You'd be alone with them for hours."

I frowned at her. "That occurs on a regular basis for you and we've never had to discuss it. I fail to see the problem here. I'm quite capable of giving our children dinner and spending the evening with them. It's not like I haven't done it before."

"Not since Joshy was born. Caleb and Lizzy were both very little Edward. Things have gotten a little more…complex since then."

Had it really been that long?

I sniffed dismissively. Really, how much more work could another baby be? Joshy slept a lot; more than the other two ever did. He'd be down for the evening by six and I'd have dinner with Caleb and Lizzy. We could play or watch a movie and I would have some Daddy time with them. It was only for a few hours. I said as much to Bella who still seemed strangely reticent to agree.

"Do you not trust me with our children, Little One?" I asked quietly, feeling strangely hurt by her reluctance.

I felt her stand up and Joshy gently be extracted from my arms. She moved over laying him down in his small bassinet, and then came back to the sofa. She sat down, straddling my lap, her arms around my neck. "Of course I trust you, Edward. It's just a lot of work with the three of them now. What about dinner?"

"Pizza in front of the TV," I grinned.

"Baths? Bedtime?"

"Bella, I give them baths all the time. And we'll have a fun night and stagger bedtime. Or they can fall asleep out here with me and I'll carry them to bed."

She sighed. "I hate going without you," she admitted softly. "I wanted you there tonight. I always…feel better…when you're there."

My arms went around her instantly, enveloping her in a tight hug. Even after all this time she still had flashes of fear. And despite my inability to do much except stand beside her, she was always more relaxed when I was with her. And in my heart of hearts, so was I.

I held her closely, her head tucked under my chin. "I know, Little One. Emmett will be there. In fact, I'll make sure he takes you. And Carlisle will be there as well. And as much as I would like to go with you, and hear your speech, I'll stay home and look after the monsters…I mean children. It's just one night and when you get home you can tell me all about it. Okay?"

Bella's shoulders sagged a little but she nodded in acquiescence. "Okay."

Leaning back I lifted her chin. Wanting her to smile, I waggled my eyebrows at her. "I'll discuss my fees for my services rendered with you when you get home, Mrs. Masen. I am a professional after all. I hope you're prepared to pay the going rate, but I warn you it's pretty steep."

Bella giggled sweetly. "I don't keep much cash in the house…"

I lowered my head, brushing my lips across hers softly. "I'm sure we can come to some sort of …agreement…we are both happy with," I murmured before capturing her lips in a searing kiss.

When we finally pulled apart we were both breathless, and I was all for both of us staying home. Screw the dinner. Reluctantly I released her to go and start her preparations. I sat back smiling at the thought of how impressed she would be when she got home and found us all happy, content and in one piece. It was gonna be a fun evening.


"Mommy, you wook so bootiful!" Lizzy clapped her hands and danced around Bella who had just emerged from the bedroom. "Daddy don't Mommy wook bootiful?" I could smell Bella's perfume as she walked closer and I concentrated on trying to see some of the details of her dress to compliment her on. When she was close enough I lifted my hand, stroking her cheek. "Mommy is the most beautiful girl in the entire world," I smiled, agreeing with Lizzy.

"You have your hair up," I said quietly, and then grinned widely. "And you're wearing the earrings I gave you when Joshua was born." I already knew her necklace would be around her neck, and she never took her rings off.

Bella laughed. "Yes Edward, I am wearing the boulders in my ears."

"Dey not bouldas Mommy, dey is hearts," Lizzy corrected patiently. Bella knelt down to eye level with Lizzy so she could touch the large diamond hearts I had given her, that dangled from her ears. She held up her wrist for Lizzy's inspection as well. The bracelet sparkled vividly under the lights catching the glittering diamonds and gemstones in it. A large diamond was added after the birth of each of the children along with their respective birthstone on each side of the diamond, creating brilliant patterns in the gold. I know we both still hoped there would be a fourth set to add to the heavy links one day. Bella didn't wear it very often, but I knew she wore it tonight to keep her family close to her. I knew her so well.

I smiled warmly down at my sentimental wife, as I held out my hand and helped her to her feet. "Your dress is a very lovely color, Little One. I know you are exceptionally stunning tonight," I murmured and brushed my lips over her warm cheek, adoring the fact I could still make her blush with my heartfelt words after all this time. "You'll be the loveliest, sexiest woman in the room. Make sure you hurry home to me. I'll be waiting," I growled lowly into her ear.

Her sudden kiss, as she grabbed me around my neck and pulled me to her lips, was more than soft and fleeting. I stood back surprised, but pleased at the ardor in her gesture. Bending down I kissed her back tenderly. "We'll be fine, Little One. All of us will be waiting when you get home," I reassured her.

"Me is gonna help Daddy wif Joshy," Lizzy informed Bella.

"You be a good girl for Daddy, Lizzy," Bella leaned down and kissed her.

"I will, Mommy! I pwomise!"

I heard Emmett pull up and a few seconds later the front door burst open. "Hey, Shortstack! Wow didn't you clean up well tonight! You ready to be escorted by the most handsome man in the city?"

Beside me Lizzy snorted. "Daddy not going Unca Emmy. You is taking Mommy."

I laughed as I saw his shoulders drop. I scooped up Lizzy and rained kisses all over her face making her giggle. "You tell him, Lizzy. Defend Daddy."

Bella walked over to Emmett and patted his arm in comfort. "Sorry Emmett, but she's a Daddy's girl."

Emmett shrugged. "I'll win her over yet!"

Bella turned. "Edward, are you sure?"

I walked over and kissed her one last time. "Go. Dazzle them all. We'll be fine."

And I sent her off with a smile.


I wasn't smiling an hour later. Caleb was upset and refused to come out of his room. My normally well behaved, quiet son was sulking. Miss Kate was far 'funner" than Daddy and he wanted no part of spending the evening with me. Bella had warned me he had a bit of a crush on his favorite babysitter and would likely be upset she wasn't going to be here, but I had no idea he would be this upset. Normally he loved spending time with me, so I was sure I could cajole him into a better mood. I certainly didn't expect his refusal to come with me and order pizza for supper. Pizza was his all-time favorite. I even tried bribing him by telling him he could have his own pizza with whatever he wanted on it, but that got me nowhere also. Finally, beginning to get irritated, I told him to come to the kitchen now.

Which is when he stormed over to the door and slammed it in my face.

I stood blinking in shock for a moment over the fact that my six year old had just slammed his door, only to be roused out of it by the wailing of Joshua who had been startled from his sleep by the unexpectedly loud noise. I hurried down the hall to the nursery and picked up my screaming son, who needed to be changed and soothed. I pulled off his diaper and was just grabbing a clean one when a wail of distress from the kitchen had me swooping up Joshy without securing the diaper and running down the hall, calling out Lizzy's name.

I skidded to a stop and took in the sight that greeted me with astonishment. I didn't need perfect vision to see the fact that a huge part of the kitchen was blanketed in white. Or that my daughter, who stood on a chair at the counter, was also covered in the same white substance. "Lizzy, what have you done?" I asked in horror as I stepped forward.

"I no want pizza, Daddy. I want pandcakes. I was detting it all weady for you to hewp me," Lizzy's voice trembled. "But the big bag waf too heaby and me dwopped it."

And then suddenly she began crying, huge wailing sobs. And instantly on hearing his big sister cry, Joshy began crying again as well.

I took a step back in horror. Was this what Bella meant when she said things were more complex than before? I shook my head in wonder and stepped forward reaching for Lizzy.

"It's okay, Little Dove," I soothed her with my free hand as I tried to rock Joshy. "Daddy will clean it up as soon as he finishes changing Joshy and ordering some pizza. Okay?"

"No me wants pandcakes!" she wailed even louder.

I groaned. I had never made 'pandcakes'. Bella always made them. I leaned down. "Lizzy baby, Daddy doesn't know how to make pand… pancakes. I'll get Mommy to make them tomorrow, okay?" I pleaded, desperately wanting her to stop crying so maybe Joshy would stop as well. I felt her head shake against my chest. Then I heard the clock chime out the time – 6pm. Bella had been gone for just over an hour and I had so far had my oldest son throw a temper tantrum and my youngest two were both currently sobbing.

I sighed. Great start. I shook my head. It had to get better.

I pulled away. "Okay Lizzy, Daddy will try, okay? Please stop crying. I'll… what the fuck is that smell? I gasped without thinking.

"Daddy! You saided a bad word! And it was da baddest word of all! You hafta put moneys in Mommy's bad word jaw!"

I groaned. I was way better than I used to be with swearing, but Bella still made a killing with my cursing. And the way the evening was going, I'd be writing her a cheque for a new car before it was over. I looked down at where the smell was emitting from. I pulled Joshy away from my now sodden, reeking chest. Apparently my son now had diarrhea. And because I had rushed out before getting his diaper on properly I was now wearing some of it. Thank God the diaper caught most of it. I turned my head gagging a little. I was always shocked how something so horrid smelling could come from someone so cute.

"Lizzy, come with Daddy," I held out my hand. I help her down off the chair and pulled her down the hall with me. I put Joshy down on the change table and lifted Lizzy beside him. "Make sure he doesn't roll Lizzy, okay?"

She covered her nose. "He stinks, Daddy."

I laughed as I pulled my shirt over my head. "So does Daddy."

I picked Joshy up and took him into the bathroom and cleaned him up, stopped his crying and got him into a fresh diaper and sleepers. I carried him into Lizzy's room and helped her change into something not covered in flour. I let her pick whatever she wanted. We weren't going anywhere- what did it matter? While she was changing I used my cell phone and ordered pizza and then grabbed a fresh shirt and pants. Feeling like I had things back under control I stopped at Caleb's door and went in. "Pizza's coming, buddy. You wanna come and pick a movie?"


I sighed. "Caleb you have to eat supper. I'm sorry Kate couldn't come tonight, but I'll make sure she comes over as soon as she's feeling better. Now be a good boy and come out with Daddy. I got lots of pepperoni on your pizza," I cajoled him.

I hid my grin as he huffed his way past me.

I had this back on track. I'd have them fed and Joshy down in the next while and then I would bath Lizzy and put her to bed and spend a little extra time with Caleb. I had it all planned.

I could do this.


Except I couldn't.

Joshy wouldn't stop fussing and refused to drink his bottle or be comforted. As soon as I sat him down for longer than a couple minutes he started wailing.

Lizzy carried on about the pancakes until I was so desperate I called Alice, who was out of town, begging her to tell me how to make them. But what sounded easy enough proved to be very difficult when you were trying to deal with a crying baby who didn't want to be put down, a whining toddler clinging to your legs and a cranky child who wanted the movie changed every five fucking seconds. I dropped the eggs on the already messy slippery floor and then promptly fell into the slimy puddle, grateful I had put Joshy down while I had grabbed them from the refrigerator.

The mixer was way more powerful than I expected and batter flew everywhere, much to Lizzy's delight. I know we were both wearing the runny stuff and I was sure it was all over the cupboards.

When I finally, triumphantly, placed a plate of misshapen, slightly burnt, pandcakes in front of Lizzy, she ate a couple bites, wrinkled her nose in distaste and was done, saying they didn't taste like Mommy's.

I wanted to beat my head against the granite countertop. I know I swore. Again. And my pockets were empty since I had already fed the bad word jar everything I had. In fact, the fucking jar was starting to overflow and now Lizzy insisted on an IOU for Mommy.

Caleb picked at his pizza and turned his nose up at the pancakes.

Joshy whimpered yet again and I was ready to join him in his misery. Then he promptly filled his diaper again with the god awful smelling sludge.

How the hell did Bella do this? On the nights I was out, when I got home the house was quiet and peaceful and everything was in its place. "Fucking miracle worker," I muttered quietly, as I changed Joshy yet again.

"Daddy!" Lizzy gasped. "You dided it adain! Mommy is gonna be so mad." I groaned.

Was her hearing especially sharp tonight? And how did she keep sneaking up behind me to hear me swear?

The clock chimed nine.

I was officially fucked.

None of the children were fed or bathed.

None of them were happy.

The kitchen was in total disarray and I could only imagine the state of the living room with the flour and mess that had been dragged through it.

And I smelt horrible.

I groaned. I need to try and fix this.

Before Bella got home.


"Caleb, stop trying to drown your sister!" I roared out in frustration from the counter where I was trying to clean Joshy up.

"I'm a big boy! I don't take baths with my sister!" he yelled back again in protest.

I groaned. It was almost ten o'clock. Two hours past bedtime and everyone was awake and full of energy. Except me.

"Caleb," I said, softening my voice, "Help Daddy out here okay, buddy? Just give Daddy a few minutes to finish with Joshy and then I'll get Lizzy out and the bathtub is yours." None of them were getting much of a real bath tonight. Really, all I was trying to do was get the sticky off them.

In retrospect giving in on the soda pop and letting them open their own cans wasn't a good idea. Thinking of the wet, sodden mess that now covered the kitchen I was fearful of Bella's reaction when she got home. In fact the more I thought about it, I probably shouldn't have given them soda at all. All I managed to get them to eat was some potato chips and the soda. Probably not a Bella approved dinner.

I finished up with Joshy and laid him on the floor beside the tub and attempted to clean and detangle my children in the water. And stop the constant picking on each other. I sighed. When had this started? They were always so close. Bella was right when she said three were a lot more work than two. And I completely understood the complex thing she tried to tell me about. I still had no idea how she did this on a daily basis.

Twenty minutes later, I sat down exhausted on Lizzy's bed, all my children around me. They were all…damp. I really couldn't say clean, except for the pajama's they were wearing. Joshy was finally sucking away at a bottle snuggled on one side of my chest, while Lizzy was tucked into the other side. Even Caleb finally seemed to give up the grudge against me for replacing Kate and had sat down with us, his head on my lap. I realized too late I had forgotten about brushing their teeth, but shrugged. The night was, without a doubt, a total disaster parenting wise for me. What more was another checkbox in that column? Taking advantage of the sudden harmony, I began to hum and soon I felt all the warm little bodies on me relax into sleep.

I sighed.



I decided I would sit for another few minutes until they were fast asleep then move them into their own beds and try and at least straighten up some of the kitchen. And to get out of these clothes. In the meanwhile I texted Carlisle with my one free hand and told him I needed him to get the cleaning crew from the studio here first thing to clean the house and to make sure they brought lots of anti-sticky cleaning products with them. His quick reply of, "Done…but this story I gotta hear and am already LOL over it", I ignored. I just didn't have the strength.

I shut my eyes. I was exhausted. I had to get up. I knew that.

Five minutes.

I would get up in five minutes.



"Thanks Emmett," I smiled as I got out of the car.

"You want me to come in?" he asked. "Make sure things are okay?"

I laughed. "I'm sure it's fine. Edward probably went to bed early after being with the kids all night. You get home to Rose and the boys. I hope they feel better."

Emmett nodded. A worried call from the babysitter had them needing to leave early when she mentioned the word fever. I was grateful to leave and I knew Esme would understand.

I walked towards the front door. The lights were on dimly in the front room and when I opened the door silence greeted me. I smiled softly; everyone must be asleep. Ten forty five was early for Edward but I was sure tonight had been more than he expected. I looked over frowning at the living room. There were toys strewn around, pizza boxes sitting on the coffee table and the cushions from the furniture were everywhere but on the furniture. I shook my head deciding to go change and check on everyone before I tackled straightening up.

I walked forward and stopped dead at the sight that met my eyes.

My kitchen.

It looked like a bomb had gone off in it.

Everywhere I looked there was a mess, followed by yet another mess. A mostly empty bag of flour lay on the floor, it contents laying all over the surfaces of the kitchen. I could see the remnants of drying eggs mixed in with the flour which had been tracked everywhere. I stepped closer, my shoe sticking onto the tile floor. Automatically my hand righted a bottle of syrup that had been knocked over and slowly dripping onto the floor, causing the puddle I had just stepped in. A plate was on the counter containing the flattest, strangest looking pancakes I had ever seen. I poked one with my finger and grimaced. It was as hard as a rock. My mixer was standing there, batter hardening on the beaters. Looking around it would seem it was also hardening on the cupboard doors and the floor.

My eyes widened when I saw the open bag of potato chips and the empty soda cans on the counter adding to the mess. Edward fed them chips? And pop? Both of those were treats and we never gave them soda pop at night. What was he thinking?

Another familiar item caught my eye, and I leaned over and picked up my bad word jar I kept around for Edward and Carlisle. Esme had the identical one in her kitchen. But mine was really full. I opened the lid and pulled out and counted $65.00 in bills plus a hand full of change. And then I started laughing silently as I read various IOU's that had been added. Some were money based but then they became interesting. Apparently a new car was on its way. As well as trip to "anywhere I fucking wanted as long as the children were not with us." The one stating the contents of all Edward's bank accounts "as long as I promised not to ever leave him alone with said children again" made me laugh even harder but the last one brought tears to my eyes. "IOU everything because you have given me everything. How you do this is beyond my comprehension. You are the heart of this family and we need you."

I stuffed the contents back into the overflowing jar and went to find my family.

I stopped in the doorway of Lizzy's room and felt the tears getting even stronger. Edward was passed out on the small bed with all of our children on top of him. I quietly walked into the room and gazed at them. All were alive and breathing, and I could see from the dampness of their hair not long out of the bath. Stepping closer I could see none of them were very clean. Especially Edward. His hair was covered in batter and flour. His clothes were different than what he had been wearing when I left and were crumpled and covered in stains. His arms and hands were both blotchy and looked sticky. And he smelt. Badly.

My lips twitching, I retreated quickly to our room and changed out of my dress and into a shirt of Edward's that was laying on the chair. I went back and eased Joshy out of Edward's arms and carried him into the nursery. Quickly I figured out the source of the smell. In ten minutes Joshy was clean, dry and tucked into bed with a dose of medicine for his tummy. I was shocked at the amount of dirty clothes; both Edward's and Joshy's that were lying around on the nursery floor. Obviously it had been a long night for both of them, and Edward was not as adept at changing him as he once was.

I went back into Lizzy's room, deciding to move Caleb next. As I leant down to get him, lifting his sleep heavy body, Edward's eyes flew open. I put a calming hand on his chest and whispered for him to stay quiet.

His hand grabbed mine. A look of intense relief crossed his handsome, yet filthy, face.

"Oh, thank God you're home Bella. I'm sorry for the mess. Thank God."



Opening my eyes to find Bella leaning over me was both a relief and a shock. Joshy was gone so I knew she had been home for a while, and had probably seen the condition of the house. I babbled at her how sorry I was and how grateful I was she was home. She laid a finger on my lips and carried Caleb out of the room to place him into his own bed. I carefully maneuvered myself out from under Lizzy and tucked her up into her bed, smiling as I watched her burrow down into her blankets just like Bella did at night. I walked into the hall and met Bella coming out of Caleb's room. I reached for her but she sidestepped me, laughing and shaking her head. "Edward, I love you. But you reek. Go have a shower and we'll talk when you're done."

I looked down. I was covered in pancake batter, flour, raw eggs, the remains of exploding soda pop and shit.

"Oh God, Bella," I croaked unable to wait. "It was awful. It was like some aliens kidnapped our children and left me with little possessed monsters," I shook my head. "I couldn't do it. I kept messing up. Caleb wouldn't talk to me, wouldn't eat, Lizzy kept following me around with the bad word jar and wanting pandcakes and Joshy… he just kept pooping on me and crying. They shook their soda cans, Bella! It went everywhere! There is flour and batter and…shit everywhere! I have no idea where my glasses are or how they even came off my face! It was horrible!" I shuddered, my hand reaching out. "Please don't ever leave me alone with them again. Please!" I begged, not caring how much of a child I sounded like at that moment.

Bella regarded me for a moment and suddenly wrapped her arms around me. I sighed in relief as the need for her sympathy flowed through me and I clutched at her tightly. I was surprised to feel her shaking. Oh God, she was crying for me?

I pulled back expecting to see her face wet with sad tears over the horrid evening I had been through.

But she was laughing. Her hands covered her mouth but I could still hear the muffled gasps of laughter she was struggling to contain. I narrowed my eyes looking at her.

"I fail to see what is so fucking amusing here, Bella. Obviously our children are out of control."

She pushed past me, grabbing my hand and dragged me down the hall to our room where she shut the door and allowed her laughter to escape as she slid down the wall to the floor. I stood watching her body thrash as wave after wave of laughter rolled from her. Finally she calmed and sat up.

Wordlessly she came over and took my hand and led me to the bathroom. Reaching in she started the shower, and then turned back to me. She tugged on the bottom of my shirt and I let her pull it over my head. We both wrinkled our noses at the smell. Her hands pushed my pants down, and then she opened the shower door back up indicating I should go in. With as much pride as I had left I walked past her preparing to go wash the nasty smell of the night off, hoping she might join me and show me some needed and deserved sympathy.

She swatted my ass loudly before she shut the door.

I could hear her laughing again as I stood, alone, under the warmth of the spray.

"Such a fucking perfect ending to a fucking perfect night," I muttered.

"I'll just go get the bad word jar for you…I see it's rather full, but if I pack it down a bit tighter, you can add to it." Bella laughed gaily on the other side of the glass as she moved around the bathroom.

Well fuck.


I stepped out of the shower, smelling way better than when I had stepped in. As I leaned over to grab a towel I noticed the dim light reflecting on the walls and inhaling, I realized Bella had her favorite candles lit. Usually that meant one thing.

My head swiveled and I was met with the sight of Bella standing by the tub. I watched as the shirt she was wearing slipped to the floor and she stepped into the fragrant water.

"You don't really need that towel, Edward," she murmured.

I looked at her, taking a hopeful step forward. "No?"

"No need to dry off if you're just gonna get in the tub with me," she whispered huskily.

I needed no second invitation. I clamored over the ledge and settled in between Bella's legs wrapping them around my waist tightly and leaning back into her with a contented sigh. Her hands stroked up and down my arms, cupping the warm water and dribbling it down my chest and arms. Then she pulled me closer, her arms wrapped around my shoulders as I slid further down into the water.

"Tell me about tonight," she said quietly.

I told her everything. She was quiet for a moment, her hands softly stroking my chest.

Then she sighed. "So not a good night all around I'd say."

I snorted. "I don't understand how you do this, Bella. You make it look so easy. Nothing like this happens when you're here!"

She laughed quietly. "Of course it does, Edward. They push me every day. Some days I think I'll go out of my mind."

I looked up at her in amazement. "It never looks like it. You always seem so in control."

She stroked my cheek. "For one thing, Edward I am with them more than you are. They know my rules, and when to stop, and they know there are consequences when they don't." She laughed softly. "Tonight was all about them pushing their boundaries with you. Testing you. Well, Caleb and Lizzy anyway. Obviously Joshy is coming down with something. But no matter what, three children is a handful, Edward.

"And for another thing, I told you things had gotten more complicated. They're growing up Edward. And as hard as it is you have to push back and be tough at times."

"Tell me, Bella. Tell me what I should have done."

"Well there wasn't much you could do with Joshy, but both Lizzy and Caleb should have gotten time outs in their rooms. Caleb should not be slamming his door. And you should have stuck to your guns over the pancakes. I know it's hard when they cry but sometimes, Edward, you're being played. And if they didn't want to eat the pizza then no supper. Simple."

"But I didn't want them hungry," I tried to explain. "I wanted them to have a good evening with me."

Her arms tightened around me. "I love how caring and loving you are with our children, Edward. Missing one meal won't hurt them. But rewarding their bad behavior with soda pop and chips, yeah, not a good idea."

I sighed. It all made sense now. "I failed miserably."

Bella laughed. "No you didn't. They are all fine and sleeping. Tomorrow is a new day and we'll just carry on. The kitchen on the other hand…"

"I have the cleaning crew from the agency coming in first thing. You don't have to touch it," I hastened to assure her.

"Thank you. That gives me more time to buy my new car, plan our trip sans children, and then abscond with all your money," she teased softly as she leaned forward nipping my ear playfully.

I laughed. "You saw all the IOU's, did you? Lizzy was very…on the ball… with the jar tonight, and I gave her lots of reasons to keep collecting, I'm afraid."

"I saw that. Nice haul. I hope they don't share the words Daddy kept saying with their friends."

I groaned. "I said the 'baddest' one – a lot. I'll talk to them in the morning."

Her arms tightened again. "We'll talk to them."

I smiled. She was right. Together we were better. We were quiet for a few minutes, just relaxing into the water and then Bella spoke up again.

"There was on IOU I especially loved though."

I smiled up into her face. "I didn't even swear for that one. I just put it in the jar. I meant it Bella. Every word. You are the heart of this family and without you we're lost."

I pulled her head down closer. "Especially me, Little One," I breathed against her lips before capturing her mouth in a deep kiss. She responded sweetly, moaning into my mouth and I shifted and rolled, so our chests were pressed together, pulling her under me in the warm water.

My hand cupped the back of her head as I ravished her mouth, my tongue stroking and twisting with hers. As usual, as soon as we were close like this my desire raged through me, needing more and more of her. Sitting up, I pulled her with me, straddling her across my lap as my lips and teeth nibbled and lathed her arched throat, her soft whimpers encouraging me. My hands caressed and stroked her warm curves, as I lowered my mouth to her nipples, gently nipping and teasing her. "Edward…" she breathed lowly.

I smiled against her breast. "Does Mommy wanna 'play' Daddy tonight as well?" I growled teasingly, nipping at the soft flesh. Her giggle was drowned out by my groan as she wrapped her hands around my throbbing cock.

"I love playing Daddy," she whispered into my ear, her hands stroking. I groaned at the sensations her hands were causing. Shivers ran up and down my spine as she increased the intensity. "I've been thinking about playing with Daddy all night," she whispered before her mouth crashed onto mine, her tongue seeking and stroking while in an unexpectedly smooth move she rose and slammed herself down on my hard straining cock. I gasped at the sudden intense feeling of being engulfed by her warm wet heat and my head fell back while I groaned out her name. Using my shoulders as leverage she began moving, taking control and riding me furiously. Her mouth was everywhere, tongue stroking and tasting, tiny nips of her teeth raining up and down my neck and torso as she drove us both towards our release.

Her hands gripped my shoulders fiercely as her body arched sharply, stretching tautly as she shuddered, a deep sexy moan escaping her lips as she came hard, her muscles clamping down on me. My own orgasm tore through me as I thrust deeply up into her, fisting my hands into her damp hair as I swore with the intensity of my release. Panting I held her close, my hands now gentle and soft as I caressed her skin, my lips barely grazing hers as we kissed and slowly calmed in the water.

I wrapped my arms around her waist when I felt the water cooling and a shiver go through Bella. "Hold tight," I murmured as I lifted us both from the tub. I grabbed a towel and carried her into our room, gently patting her dry before placing her on the bed, drying off myself and crawling in beside her.

"That was incredible, Little One," I whispered as I kissed behind her ear, smiling as she shivered.

Her head tilted. "I think you owe the jar another IOU Edward. That was an impressive string of expletives you just uttered."

I laughed. "I think that should be a freebie. I can't help the fact you just blew my mind. I had no control over what I was saying."

She smiled and I traced her lips with my finger. "Blew your mind, did I?"

I nodded. "You constantly amaze me. I am without a doubt the luckiest man in the world."

"I love you, Edward." She snuggled in closer. "And Edward?"


"Consider yourself paid for your services tonight. And here's a bonus tip. Don't quit your day job."

I laughed and gathered her closer. "Duly noted Little One. I'll leave it to the real professionals."

"You do that," she mumbled sleepily.

I laid beside my beautiful, amazing wife, just listening to her breathing become deep and even, reveling in her warmth and love. She truly was my heart.

Before I fell asleep I reminded myself to call the jeweler in the morning. I think her bracelet needed an addition. A large matching heart shaped diamond like her necklace. Placed in the middle of the bracelet so she always knew she was the centre of this family.

And the focal point of my life.

Ah Musicward... I do love revisiting him. Thanks for reading!