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Shopping. I hated shopping. I especially hated shopping with an indecisive almost four year old, when I happened to be six and a half months pregnant with twins. I was thoroughly exhausted by the time Masen and I returned home.
After dropping what few bags I had brought in with me by the door, I made my way to the couch, while Masen ran past me, and up the stairs to his bedroom — his daddy's birthday present in hand.
"Awe, baby," Edward chuckled pulling my shoes off. "Did he wear you out that much?"
I laughed. "You have no idea." He laughed just as Liam's cries rang out through the baby monitor. Edward made way to get up, but I quickly stopped him. "I'll get him."
He cocked his head at me and raised his eyebrows. "You're sure?" he asked.
I nodded hurling myself off the couch. "I haven't seen him all day. I missed his chunky little cheeks. Besides, Masen would have a hairy canary if you saw what he got you before your party."
"Party?" he called out behind me. "I don't remember agreeing to any party!"
"Sorry, my love," I laughed making my way up the stairs. "Your son has spoken."
Liam had his toes in his mouth, whimpering, when I walked into the nursery. I couldn't help the giggle as I made my way to his crib. "Are those toes that tasty?" I asked leaning over the edge.
He started kicking his little legs, and flailing his arms around as his squeals filled the room. I couldn't help my smile; it seemed he was genuinely happy to see me.
Of course, he's happy to see you, Bella, my subconscious chimed in. You're the one that has cuddled him, fed him, changed his dirty diapers, and loved him for the past three months. You've been his mother for all intent and purposes.
I pulled him into my arms and kissed him on the forehead. "I'm sure there's a bottle down stairs that would taste a heck of a lot better than those toes do."
He smiled as I laid him on the changing table and made quick work of changing his wet diaper. I was definitely enjoying all the bonding moments Liam and I were experiencing, but knowing it was only a matter of months before I would have three infants to care for was a bit terrifying. Edward had said something about getting a nanny a few months ago, and I was honestly considering his suggestion. No, I didn't particularly like the idea of someone else raising our children; but when I really thought about it, it was actually a good idea, considering I didn't intend to go back to work. They would only be there to help me, assist me, just as Edward would be doing in the evenings and on his days off.
"Hey, buddy," I called, peeking into Masen's bedroom. "Do you need some help?" Masen met my eyes, and his face was all red and blotchy, quickly grabbing my attention.
"I can't make it purdy," he cried, as I made my way into his room. "I sucks!"
"Masen," I semi-scolded, while taking in the crinkled up tissue paper that currently resided all over his bed and floor. "You don't suck. Even mommy has a hard time making presents pretty."
"Your presents always purdy," he mumbled as I sat on the bed beside him. "I can'ts do it, Momma."
"Hey," I murmured, lifting his chin just as Liam screeched excitedly and grabbed a handful of tissue paper off the bed. Masen hurriedly moved the remainder of the paper out of his bothers reach, but shockingly didn't throw a fit over the paper he had managed to get his hands on.
"How about you and I make it look extra pretty tomorrow while daddy is at work?" I went on to say. "You can even help me with the rest of the gifts."
Masen nodded, as a big, bright, smile covered his cute little face. "Okay, Momma."
I returned his smile, before kissing him on the forehead. "Why don't you get this all picked up, so daddy doesn't see it when he tucks you in tonight." Masen nodded, while I briefly turned my attention to the paper in Liam's hands. "Just put it in your closet," I went on to tell Masen as I pried the wet paper away from his brother.
Edward was sitting on the couch watching some sort of sports channel when we walked into the family room. He glanced at me momentarily, before returning his attention to the T.V.
"Liam was trying to eat his toes when I walked into the nursery," I murmured settling in on the couch. "I'm not a doctor or anything, but I don't really think he got much nourishment out of his toes."
I met Edward's eyes with a smile; he greeted me, however, with a smirk. "He has eaten today, believe it or not." Just as Edward finished his comment, Liam once again bent down and pulled his toes into his mouth. I couldn't help the laugh that fell out of my mouth; Edward of course, belted one out too. "You're making me look bad here, kid. Making momma think I've starved you."
I smiled, pressing a kiss against Liam's forehead, as Edward got up and placed a kiss on top of Liam's head, followed by mine. "Momma knows daddy didn't starve you," I murmured as I grabbed a hold of his tiny foot and brought it to my mouth. "Those toes are just way to tasty to pass up."
"Daddy!" Masen exclaimed excitedly when Edward walked in from the garage. "Yay! Your home! We go to Nana and Papa's now!"
Edward chuckled, as he placed a kiss on my lips. "Can I change first, little man?" Masen pouted a bit, but nodded his agreement as his daddy ruffled his hair, and said, "I promise I'll hurry."
I giggled a little, though it was quickly replaced with a low throaty moan. Edward was making his way through the kitchen and my eyes had fixated on his glorious ass—reigniting the sexual desires, I'd been experiencing since Liam interrupted our sexy time that morning. To say I was horny would have been a drastic understatement.
Edward turned around and met my eyes with a wink. "Tonight," he mouthed, making my girly parts go all ape shit. "I take it this is a formal dinner?" he went on to say, gesturing to Masen's attire and mine.
I smiled, nodding slightly, when Masen piped up, and said, "Momma says I look handsome." Edward nodded, but before he could say anything, Masen added, "And she made me clean behind my ears."
Both of us busted out with a laugh, but he was the first to speak. "Yeah, she makes me clean behind my ears, too." I snorted, as I shook my head. "You do look mighty handsome, though,"
The party was Masen's idea, but the formal dinner party was all Esme. I mentioned Masen wanted to throw a party for his father's birthday; that I was thinking of cooking a nice family dinner at Edward's house, but Esme insisted on having it at their house. Had I known she was going to make my intimate family gathering into a royal dinner party I never would have allowed her to take over.
However, I must admit, my boys did look very handsome all dressed up. I had picked up semi matching outfits for Masen and Liam, when Masen and I went shopping for Edward's birthday, and they both looked so cute in their little suits.
They both had blue sweater vests, dark blue shorts, blue bow ties—the only difference was the plaid dress shirt Liam was wearing, while Masen was wearing a plain white. They both looked so damn adorable.
"Let's get this show on the road!" Edward called out as he entered the great room. I looked up just as Masen clicked off the T.V., and raced into the kitchen. Edward met my eyes with a smile before he finished fastening his cufflinks.
He looked so damn handsome. I found myself almost sweating as I stood there staring at him. Masen was going on about something, but I honestly couldn't tell you what it was. My mind had drifted towards the dirtiness of the upcoming night. Grandma and Grandpa Cullen were angels sent to me by the sex Gods. I was over the moon when Esme called and told me to pack the boys an overnight bag. I couldn't thank her enough.
"Bells," Edward chuckled, placing a kiss on the corner of my mouth. "Just a few more hours, baby, and then it's just you and me." I placed my lips over his, lightly sucking on his top one, the moment he stopped talking. Masen caught my attention out of the corner of my eye and I quickly stepped back—totally forgetting we were standing in the middle of the kitchen, moments away from walking out the door.
"They're full, daddy," he exclaimed proudly.
"Awesome job, buddy," Edward praised taking the bottles out of Masen's hands and putting them into the diaper bag.
I kissed him on top of the head. "Such a great little helper." He smiled widely, before jumping away, saying something about a stuffed dog.
Edward laughed as he wrapped his arms around me and pulled me into him. "You are such a great mother, baby. I just love watching you with them." I smiled and rested my head against his chest.
"I can say the same thing about you. You're a wonderful father, and I'm honored to be the one to share it with you."
"No one else ever stood a chance, baby." I flashed him a genuine smile, just as Masen ran back into the room carrying his Nintendo dog. I knew our conversation was over, at least for the time being, so I placed a quick kiss on his lips and stepped out of his embrace.
"I'll get Liam," I informed, placing the infant carrier on the kitchen island before turning to address Masen. "Buddy, why don't you help your dad put the bags in the car?"
Masen nodded enthusiastically, and quickly grabbed the large gift bag containing his father's birthday presents. "I'll carry this one," he informed, while Edward and I both chuckled.
"You're sure?" Edward asked, observing Masen's obvious struggle. "I promise I won't snoop."
Masen nodded. "Yes, I's sure. Momma will help me, if I need help. You can carry those, daddy."
"If you insist," Edward laughed, as he grabbed the boys' overnight bags.
The driveway was full by the time we got there, so Edward drove around to the back of the property and parked by the pole barn. We still had a little bit of a walk, but it wasn't as much as it would have been had we parked out front.
I had just pulled Liam out of his car seat, when Masen screeched, "Auntie Alice!" Liam and I stood to face Auntie Alice, just as Edward closed the trunk.
"Exactly how many people did she invite?" he snarled.
I had shared with Edward my original idea for his birthday, so to say he was a little pissed off at this royal event would have been a drastic understatement. I think the only thing keeping him from flying completely off the handle, was that the party had been Masen's idea. He genuinely appreciated the gesture; he just wished his mother hadn't made it into such a fiasco.
"50 give or take," Alice chirped.
I chanced a glance at Edward, just before Masen said, "Auntie Alice, will you help me carry daddy's presents? I don't want him to snoop."
"Masen?" Edward squeaked, clearly surprised by what his son said. I however, laughed, because it most definitely didn't surprise me. Masen was always to the point, and he never held anything back.
Masen's eyes were huge when he looked up to his father. "I sorry, Daddy," he quickly apologized.
Edward shook his head, as he ruffled Masen's hair and a small smile covered his face. "It's cool, buddy, Auntie Alice can help you." I watched as he grabbed Liam's diaper bag and the boy's overnight bag, and then turned back to us with a bright smile. "Let's go party!"
Liam was bouncing around in my arms, squawking and squealing happily, when we made our way through the gate following his diaper change. Edward had since immersed himself into the sizable crowd milling around his parent's spacious backyard, while Masen weaved in and out of the crowd with McKenzie.
It was surreal. All these people, family and friends of the man I was in love with, welcoming me back in with open arms—literally. I honestly couldn't keep track of all the hugs, warm smiles, and handshakes I had received since we arrived. It had been years since I'd seen any of them, so that alone was enough to put me on edge, but when you add in the fact that I hated crowds and the obvious elephant in the room, it was no wonder why I was freaking the fuck out.
The party was definitely alive with excitement, while the yard was crisscrossed with fairy lights I could only imagine to be beautiful when they were lit later in the evening. Esme had really outdone herself, but despite the loveliness of the party, and the warmth of the day, I couldn't help but freeze in place, nerves preventing me from moving. I hated the panic I was suddenly starting to experience.
"Bella, baby, what are you doing over here? Come meet my friends." I jumped at the sound of Edward's voice, and felt my cheeks flush immediately. I couldn't help the weak smile I gave him in response as I shifted Liam to my other hip. All I got from him was an amused huff, before he grabbed me by the elbow and pulled me after him into the crowd.
I had only spent maybe an hour in the backyard the entire evening. I was honestly looking for reasons to avoid the backyard, and that saddened me. I loved Edward so much, and all I wanted was to be by his side, to feel him touch me, because let's face it, he was always touching me—and boy did I love it, but I just couldn't push myself to face anyone.
"Baby," Edward interrupted my internal ramblings by bringing my attention back to him. "You remember James, and this is his fiancée Victoria."
I offered a polite smile just as Liam started fussing in my arms. Edward reached for him, just as James asked if he could hold him. Edward, of course, agreed. James smiled nervously when I placed Liam in his arms. If I had to guess, I'd bet he didn't have any children, because he truly looked like a fish out of water—out of his element.
"Try holding him a bit closer, baby," Victoria suggested. "He won't break."
Edward chuckled, as he wrapped his arms around me from behind and placed his hands on my pregnant belly. The twins had been moving around like crazy, but once Edward started rubbing my stomach, they seemed to settle down a bit, and soon moved on to pressing some tiny little body part against his hands. I couldn't help the giggle that fell from my lips.
"How far along are you?" Victoria asked as Edward pressed a kiss against my temple.
I smiled, unconsciously placing my hand over his. "Six and a half months."
She returned my smile. "Do you know what you're having?"
I nodded, but Edward was the one to supply the answer. "Girls."
"Twins?" she squealed excitedly.
I couldn't help the giggle I released. I mean, the girl didn't even know me, but before either of us could reply, Liam started fussing—apparently, he lost interest in the chain around his uncle's neck.
At first, it was just a few frustrated cries, as he stretched his arms and legs out stiff, but then he started whimpering, squirming around in his arms, twisting and turning all around as real tears started to fall.
Edward stepped into his view, just as I placed my hand on his back, and whispered, "Liam, baby, what's the matter?"
He jerked his head around and belted out an ear-piercing screech when he heard my voice, but the moment he saw my face, he nearly fell out of his James' arms reaching for me. His father already had his arms extended; ready to take him, but Liam wasn't having any of that. He was grunting and groaning, bouncing all over the place trying to get to me.
"What's all this fuss about?" I whispered pulling him into my arms. I could hear him whimpering as he burrowed his face into the junction between my shoulder and neck, and it nearly brought tears to my own eyes. I truly did not care that he was not mine biologically, because I honestly loved him no differently. Still to this day, it tears my heart to pieces whenever Masen cries, Liam is no different, and I'm sure it will be the same with the twins. They are my babies.
Liam turned his head, nestling his little cheek into my shoulder as he brought his thumb to his mouth and I lightly rubbed his back, swaying back and forth to calm him. I wasn't paying any attention to anything else going on around me; I was busy watching Liam suck his thumb.
"He's with her all day, and sometimes all night," Edward said pulling my attention back to the now. "My work schedule can be straining at times. I'd be lost without her."
I smiled, bringing my eyes to his, but before I could say anything, James started speaking, "You are really good with him. Thank you." I cocked an eyebrow, but he quickly went on. "I mean, I know this couldn't have been easy, considering, well, you know … so thank you."
I smiled as I shook my head. "It was hard until I saw him. I mean, really saw him." I looked down to find Liam staring up at me. I couldn't help the smile. "Then it was easy," I whispered.
After placing a gentle kiss on Liam's forehead, I met James' eyes. "Your nephew is innocent, and he definitely shouldn't have to suffer for the mistakes his mother made."
Edward wrapped his arms around me from behind, once again, this time placing them over mine. "I love you, so much, baby. You just … you have no idea …" he trailed off, placing a kiss on my left temple before placing one atop Liam's head.
I shook my head, turning to meet his eyes. "I do know."
"Daddy!" Masen yelled running toward his father. "You open presents now!"
It was closing in on midnight by the time we pulled into Edward's garage, and to say I was exhausted would have been a major understatement. I actually dozed off on the short drive home, but woke just as the car came to a stop inside his garage. It was a major feat just trying to get out of the car, luckily my sexy strong doctor was there to catch and save me.
Edward held me tight against his side as he helped me through the garage and toward the house. I could barely keep my eyes open, regardless of how hard I tried, and it pissed me the fuck off. It was Edward's birthday; the kids were fast asleep at Grandma and Grandpa Cullen's, and I was really looking forward to Edward fucking me.
I was literally fuming at how tired I was one second, while the next my eyes were clenched tightly closed, lips attached to his, and my hands laced through his soft hair. I couldn't believe how quickly I went from being drop dead tired, to horny and ready to go. Now I wasn't even sure we were going to make it past the kitchen—hell, the mudroom.
Edward managed to unlock, open, and lead me through the garage door without our lips ever separating. I couldn't help the whimpers and moans escaping me, nor did I really want to. I loved the way his lips felt against mine, the way they fit so perfectly together, and the way he caressed my tongue with his. I wanted him to hear how he was making me feel, and I could guarantee he wanted to hear me.
I whined when he broke the kiss and placed his hands on my cheeks, but he just smiled. "Bella, I love you so much." He brought his lips to mine, again, and kissed me gently. "Tonight was absolutely amazing, baby."
I started to say something, but he shook his head, as he lightly ran his thumb over my bottom lip and silenced me. "Just one thing and it would be absolutely perfect."
He placed his lips over mine before I could respond, and when he finally broke the kiss and pulled back, I was gasping for breath as the room around me spun.
I don't know how long I stood there, staring aimlessly into the dimly lit space surrounding me, before the reality of what was actually happening sunk in. I quickly moved my eyes to the area in front of me, before I slowly turned around to face Edward.
"Isabella Swan …"
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