A/N: Disclaimer: The only thing I own in this twisted story is the plot line.
Many people who meet me comment on how much I was like my mother. She gave me her long legs, her smile, and her silky black hair. As I watch her talk to Charlie Swan, I realize she must have given me the ability be oblivious to the obvious.
My father left my mother years back and while he was gone, his best friend, Charlie Swan fell in love with her. I don't think Charlie saw it coming. He was being a friend to my mother while my mother grieved over her dying marriage. Then it turned into more. I'd catch him staring at her so absorbedly, like she was his beacon of light in a world of darkness. Charlie wasn't always good with words. He showed his love through actions. Like when he offered to fix something at the house on his only day off, the gentle way he'd brush away a stray eyelash from her cheek, or how on stressful days at the hospital he'd buy her a cup a coffee and listen to her vent. He was head over heels, balls to the walls, deep in love with my mother, and she couldn't see it. She was too busy waiting for my father to come home.
My brother, Seth, and I had both made peace with our father leaving. He didn't just abandon my mother, he left all of us. We used to get phone calls from him on holidays and birthdays, but that soon turned into birthday cards in the mail. I think we made him feel uncomfortable because we reminded him of the pain he caused our family.
Charlie Swan, however, filled in where my father left off. He wasn't our father, and he wasn't trying to be. He was someone my brother and I could turn to if we needed someone. There were moments when Seth acted out, but Charlie kept him on the straight and narrow.
Charlie was the best of the best, with a heart of gold. He was the real deal; the one who would look at a stack of money confiscated from a drug ring and not touch a dime of it. Instead, he'd do everything in his power to get that money to needy charities.
"Are you having a good time?" Charlie asked my mother and then took a sip of his punch.
"Yes." My mother smiled as she looked around the home. "It was a great idea for Joshua to throw this party for your birthday." She leaned in and gently touched Charlie's arm. "Although, I know how much you hate all this fuss."
"Yeah, but I'm surrounded by good people. That makes it easier." Charlie nervously cleared his throat.
My mother laughed leisurely.
"What about you, Leah?" Charlie turned to me, probably to help hide the blush creeping up his cheeks. "Are you having a good time?"
My mind flashed to the laundry room where Edward's hand was up my dress helping me ride out an amazing orgasm.
"Yes." Heat rushed to my face and I took a sip of my drink to hide my own blush.
"Good, I'm glad you're having fun." His smile was genuine, caring.
Charlie turned back to my mother. "So how are things at the hospital? I heard there were some budget cuts coming down the pipeline."
"Yeah." Sue nodded gravely. She'd been working at Forks General for almost thirty years. The corporate big wigs had already forced veteran nurses into early retirement, but my mother wasn't ready to leave. She really loved being a nurse and didn't want to sit at home watching television all day. "We still haven't heard any word yet on the status. I'm hopeful, though."
"You're the best nurse they got, Sue." Charlie smiled as he lovingly looked at my mother. "They'd be crazy to let you go."
"You're sweet." She smiled back, making a connection with his dark brown eyes. For a moment, I thought that my mother would finally open her eyes and see the love in Charlie's eyes. Feeling like I was intruding, I started to ease away so I wouldn't ruin the moment. However, my mother took care of that.
"Have you heard anything from Harry lately?" She was so hopeful, wishing and praying that Harry Clearwater would leave his new wife and come back to her. I could see the attraction in her eyes, but felt like she was betraying my father by not staying true to him.
I watched Charlie's face sink like a deflated balloon. "The last I talked to him, he said he was doing fine. He likes it in California." He forced a smile, but I could tell it was hurting him.
"Oh." The pain in my mother's voice broke my heart. It was hard watching my mother pine over a man who obviously didn't want her anymore and watching Charlie who was clearly in love but didn't know how to express it. I wanted to lock them up in a room and force them to be honest with each other.
Rosalie appeared next to me and looped her arm within mine. "Hi, Mrs. C. Hey, Chief Swan."
They both greeted her politely.
"Leah, I want to show you something." She tilted her head to the side and gave me a pointed look. This was her cue that she wanted to talk to me about something.
"Okay." I turned to my mother. "I'll see you later, mom."
"Okay, honey." With that, she went back to her conversation with Charlie.
Rosalie tugged my arm and pulled me toward the snack table.
"God, he is so in love with her." I watched as Charlie blushed when my mother briefly grabbed his arm after he told her something funny. I could practically see the love radiating from him. "Too bad she can't see it."
Rosalie pursed her lips, placed her hands on my shoulders and turned me toward my mother and Charlie. "Pot, have you met kettle?"
"Yeah, yeah," I commented with an eye roll.
I was still wrapping my head around Edward's feelings for me. It just seemed so weird. We'd been friends for years. How did I not know? Then there were my feelings for Edward; feelings I didn't even know about until we danced at Jacob and Angela's wedding when he told me about his wish.
"Speaking of unrequited love, you owe me two cherry flavored Blowpops." Rosalie perused through the choices of finger foods. "And I expect payment by the end of this week."
"What are you talking about?" I nervously adjusted my dress. Standing there without my underwear was more uncomfortable than I imagined.
"I'm talking about the disappearing act you and Edward pulled about a half hour ago." Rosalie grabbed a small plate and added a couple of carrots and some celery. "Not to mention, you've got that goofy look on your face again."
"What disappearing act?" I answered quickly, adjusting my dress again. "I just went back there to get some air…"
"Don't lie to me, Leah." She pointed an accusing carrot at me.
Geez, was it that obvious that I'd just been finger fucked in my father-in-law's laundry room?
I glanced over at Edward talking to a blond woman. Watching her laugh at his jokes and him smiling back at her made an uncomfortable bubble form in my stomach. However, it was familiar. I'd gotten that feeling whenever Emily exaggerated a laugh at one of Sam's corny jokes.
His wandering eyes landed on me. He winked at me while dropping his hand in his pocket; the same pocket that held my underwear. Warmth surged through my body, melting my core.
I realized at that moment that I was in deep shit. My plan of revenge against my cheating husband might have gotten me in more trouble than expected. Sure, it took away the sting, but replaced it with a new ache that only one man could soothe, and he was standing there, holding my underwear hostage.
"Okay, can you stop making goo-goo eyes at your boy toy and admit it?" Rosalie pinched my arm.
I yanked my arm away. "Okay, we might have…done things…" I waved my hand around so she would get the point. "…a little while ago."
"I thought you told me that it was a onetime thing?" She dipped her carrot in ranch dressing before biting into it.
"It was…is…" I stared down at my punch. "I don't know. Edward just makes me feel so…good."
"Alright, I wouldn't be a good friend if I didn't play devil's advocate." She tilted her head for me to follow her to the window for more privacy. "What's the endgame here?"
"What do you mean?" I finished the rest of my drink and tossed the cup into the trash.
"I mean, where do you see this going? Are you going to tell Sam you know he's fucking Emily? Are you going to leave him or are you going continue sailing on that river of denial? Are you going to have some super-secret affair with Edward? What's next?"
What I was doing with Edward was wrong, but knowing that I'd never feel Edward's hands on me again sent a ripple of dread through me. Two weeks without him was hard enough.
"I don't know, Rose." I looked at Edward again. "I love Sam, and I want to make it work. But Edward…"
"Yeah, I know." Rosalie rolled her eyes. "He makes your panties wet."
"If I were wearing any, yeah," I muttered as I looked back at him.
"Nothing." I quickly went back to the subject at hand. "The thing with Sam is we haven't been married that long, and he's cheating on me. Has he always been cheating on me? I haven't been that clueless, have I?"
"You want my opinion?" Rosalie asked.
"You're going to give it to me anyway," I mumbled.
"Damn right, I am," she answered defiantly. "I think this is a first for Sam." Rosalie looked over at Sam as he talked with some of the other cops. "If he'd been doing this all along, I think you would have known years ago. He may think he's slick, but he's not smart or smooth enough to pull this off."
"Yeah, you're right." I laughed. "He's about as stealthy as a bull in a china shop."
"Yep, speaking of which, you and Edward need to work on your slyness." She nodded as my eyebrows rose. "You went down that hallway and he followed right behind you. Then you came out and he waited about two seconds before he was behind you. You both looked like you were guilty, him adjusting his pants, you fiddling with your hair."
"Shit!" I put my hand to my head. "Do you think anyone else saw us?"
Rosalie shrugged. "I don't think so, but next time you sneak off with your new fuck buddy, you might want to do a little recon and have a plan."
"He's not my fuck buddy!" I shouted, then lowered my voice. "He's more than that. Besides you should talk. Didn't you and Jacob have a 'no strings attached' relationship for over a year?" I used air quotes around 'no strings attached'.
"That was different," Rosalie pointed out. "That was before he started dating Angela and we were both single."
"I know you had feelings for Jacob and I think if you were a little honest with him that would be you nuzzling with him right now with his mother's wedding ring on your finger and not Angela."
We watched Jacob cuddle close to his new wife. He held her like she was the most precious thing in the world and kissed her until she giggled like a school girl.
"We weren't a good match, and he's happy now. That's what matters." Rosalie's voice was sad as she looked at Jacob. Then she turned on me with a harsh glare. "Wait a minute. This is about you hooking up with Edward while your husband is hooking up with your cousin. Not about my fling with Jacob Black. Why don't you just tell Sam the truth?"
"Because I still don't know what that is. I don't know if I want to start a relationship with Edward. He's in the middle of a messy divorce and I don't want him to use me to bang out his memories of Bella."
"Well, you can't keep leading him on."
"I'm not!" I insisted. "I really do care about him. Maybe if I wasn't married, we could start something. But I married Sam. I owe it to him to a least try and make it work."
"Huh." Rosalie's mouth twisted. "Do you know where your husband is right now?"
I looked around the room, searching all of the smiling faces for him. Nothing.
"And where is Emily?" Rosalie added, waving her finger around the room. "Do you see her anywhere?"
"No." I looked shamefully at my hand and started twisting the wedding band on my ring finger.
"That's what I'm talking about." She pointed at me. "You should be with someone who wants to be around you and someone you want to be around. The only way a relationship works is if both people are willing to make it work."
"Hello, ladies." Joshua Uley suddenly appeared, scaring the life out of me. "Oh, sorry, Leah. I didn't mean to scare you." His smile was sinister, disturbing like he just took candy from a baby and wasn't the least bit apologetic about it. He leaned forward, wrapping his arm around my waist, his hand patted the small of my back. "You look beautiful, tonight."
"Thanks, Mr. Uley." I was trying to be polite. I looked up into those dark brown eyes and regretted it. I had a feeling there were a series of dirty thoughts running around his brain that didn't involve his wife. For as many years as I'd known this man, he'd given me the creeps.
Joshua Uley, Sam's father, was a sexual harassment suit waiting to happen. He was a handsome man, tall, lean, and in excellent shape. Sam looked a lot like him. He'd also gotten around quite a bit. It was common knowledge that he'd had affairs, and that his wife looked the other way. Apparently, Sam was learning a thing or two from his father.
"Leah, you've been with my son for years. It's about time you started calling me, Josh. You're family." The smile he was more of a sneer that seemed to see through all of my secrets. His eyes wandered up and down my body, making me feel like I was completely naked for his viewing pleasure and there was nothing I could do about it.
I crossed my arms over my breasts to get his eyes back up to my face.
"My son is a fool to leave you out here looking like that," he commented, his eyes centering on my bosom. "If you were my wife, you'd be by my side so I can make sure other men stayed away."
"I'm sure he's busy," I answered automatically.
"Yeah, you're probably right." He winked at me. Could he know that Emily and Sam were sleeping together? "So tell me, what are you both over here whispering about?"
Rosalie and I exchanged glances and then she spoke. "Just girl talk. Makeup, clothes, that sort of thing."
"Ah." He nodded his head, but his eyes stayed on me. "Well, there are a lot of interesting people around here. You should mingle a little bit." He waved his hand around the room. "And don't worry about Sam. I'm sure Sam will show up soon. Maybe, Emily knows where he is. My assistant is very resourceful." He looked at me meaningfully.
With that he strolled away, his smile broadening as he left.
"Is it just me or is he creepy," Rosalie said in my ear.
"No, he's creepy." I looked at Rosalie.
"Yeah, well watch out for him. I have a feeling he's not used to hearing the word 'no'," she said wearily.
"You're probably right, Rose."
A/N: Sorry, no lemon this time around, but I'm setting some things up. As always, I'd love to hear your thoughts.