A/N: Hey, this is mainly a filler chapter, but still needs to be read. You'll understand in chapters to come. Talk about foreshadowing… It's not the shortest chapter I've written, but it's by no means the longest one either. I wrote this chapter all in one night. Long story short, someone really pissed me off and I needed an outlet. Those of you who saw why I asked for help on Facebook, know what I'm talking about.
I am still not SM; therefore I still do not own Twilight. Boohoo, right?
It was a brisk morning with the smell of rain hanging in the air. It was early in the city's seasons to get a summer shower, but it looked like a late summer drizzle was probable. Although the sun was trying to peak from around the clouds, it just didn't have enough strength, enough willpower to achieve its goal, proving the weatherman right for once with his prediction of a gloomy Sunday afternoon.
The people bustled around the city streets, trying to get indoors before the clouds unloaded upon them. Men and women alike had to skirt around a lone, stationary man as he stood on the sidewalk staring up at the tall building across the street from him. If he cared at all, he would have realized that the people trying to dodge him were getting frustrated as he stood there in the middle of the sidewalk, obstructing the walkway. But he didn't.
The sight of one of his targets coming out of the parking garage of the building in a bright orange Hummer made the man sneer as he was finally snapped out of his staring. He had found a nearby park bench across the street from the building and taken up residence to keep vigil. He was off of work, but he could never turn off this driving need to watch them go down once and for all. And he was going to be the one to do it. It would be HIS name in all the newspaper and on all the reporter's lips. He was going to be famous.
The drive to bring the family down started three years prior in a small warehouse on the outskirts of the city. It began with mistaken identity and male ego and pride that wouldn't let Detective Black forget what could have been prevented with just a little bit of planning and foresight. He was the youngest detective on the force at just twenty two years old, with a knowledgeable partner that had ten years experience on the job who had just become a father for the second time.
The Cullen family had been on the radar for organized crime for a generation already, but nothing serious. No murders, no racketeering, no drug trafficking, no gun running had ever been linked to the Cullen family or organization, though it was the worst kept secret in Chicago that they ran the entire city. The Volturis were more of a problem in that day and age than the Cullens.
It had been overcast, a rainy Monday morning when Detective Jake Black and Detective Nicholas Holly followed a young, up and coming, cocky twenty two year old Edward to an abandoned warehouse. Technically, Black was off the clock, but he had just taken down a massive drug dealer that had been trafficking cocaine from Mexico in baby formula canisters. It was a multimillion dollar bust and got millions of pounds of coke off the streets. Naturally, he was still on an adrenaline high and felt invincible.
Detective Holly should have been at home that day with his newborn baby girl, two year old son and his wife, but Black coaxed him out of the house for a few hours, "just to move some furniture." Black didn't tell him they would be trailing a known mob member on their day off; off the clock and without backup, but a cop always backs up their partner. By the time Black pulled into the warehouse area, it was too late for Holly to leave.
They watched as the cocky, hotheaded Edward entered the front of the warehouse with a black duffle bag and before Holly could stop him, Black was charging into the warehouse to arrest Edward because he "just knew" something nefarious was happening inside that building. He had no probable cause; he had nothing on Edward, except maybe his gut. Holly, being the good partner he was, followed Black into the warehouse to cover his partner's back.
What Black didn't see was Edward leaving through the back exit to get in a car with James, leaving to meet up with his family for lunch at a restaurant in town. With the way James drove, he and Edward were already two blocks away when Black finally stormed across the deserted parking lot and into the warehouse with Holly hot on his heels.
Believing he would have the next big arrest in the department with the son of a renowned Mafia boss of the city, Black kicked in the front door of the warehouse with his gun drawn and started shouting demands that everybody should get down on the ground with their hands on their heads. Too bad the two men in the warehouse didn't want to back to prison.
Before Black knew what had happened, there was a searing pain in his chest as it felt like he was thrown back. He landed on the floor on his back, staring at the ceiling as he tried to determine what had happened. He heard Holly shouting nearby as loud bangs reverberated through the room. As he turned his head, he saw Holly fall back onto the floor next to him and then the loud noises were done.
One of the men stepped into Black's vision with his gun in his hand. The look on his face was murderous as he raised the gun to shoot Black again, ending his life once and for all. As the criminal raised the gun to point at Black's head, Black was able to get two shots off, landing them both in his chest in a double tap.
The gunman stumbled back, shocked, before he crumpled to the floor and stopped breathing.
Black struggled to sit up with the excruciating pain in his chest. He sat there on the cold cement floor for a moment, trying to clear the confusion when he remembered Holly was with him. He scrambled over to his partner's body.
The first thing Black saw was all the blood. The collar of Holly's white undershirt had turned a dark red, almost black color due to the blood that was seeping from the man's neck. The detective's baby blue eyes that had been so lively and happy all the time were now open and vacant as they stared into the wall across the room.
With a loud "Fuck," Black whipped out his cell phone to call the situation in.
Even after all those years, Black still blamed Edward Junior for what happened to him and his partner. He was sitting on the damn bench across the street, watching, waiting for the man responsible for the death of his partner to come out so he could pin something on him. Edward had been laying low the past couple of months, barely showing his face around town; probably due to that Miss Swan he had been doting on since she appeared.
Black had done a little bit of research on her once he found out who she was and was appalled that she would be helping the Cullens out instead of the law. Her father was a police officer for God's sake, but apparently that didn't matter to her. She was turning her back on him and all he stood for when she broke the law to help that family out. He was also able to find that her aunt and uncle died just after she had left the Bay Area. He could tell something was hinky with the whole situation, but he couldn't figure out what. The flight logs showed she had left on a private jet chartered by Edward Cullen Senior the day before her aunt and uncle were killed, after spending a full day at the mall. He just needed to figure out what was false and what was fact and then he could start pulling on threads to unravel the entire story.
Bella Swan's aunt and uncle's murder case had been ruled as a home invasion robbery by a local drug addict since the police couldn't find any jewelry or other valuable items left in the house and with no new leads in the case, had been deemed a cold case file. The chances of ever catching the murderer were slim to none.
The girl had gone through more than her fair share of heartache and tragedy in her short life, but she was helping the wrong people. If she wanted to stave off more tragedy, she would start giving Black information while she still could. However to do that he would need to get close to her one more time when she was alone to try and turn her into a confidential informant. She had to know at least some inside information of the goings on in that penthouse apartment and the family that resided there. The way she turned a blind eye to the law concerned him the most. How could someone who grew up with an officer of the law as a father so easily turn their backs on it? Granted, he knew children of law enforcement either turned out good, law abiding citizen or turned out bad, entitled brats; there was rarely anything in between.
All Black had to do was find her one weakness and turn her. That and he needed to find a way to be alone with her to finally once and for all break her. She would hand over vital, pertinent information whether she liked it or not, Black was sure of that.
Once Black had been released from the hospital with the diagnoses of a shattered rib, shattered clavicle and a collapsed lung, he realized just what a mess the whole situation was. With Internal Affairs sniffing about and breathing down his neck, trying to find answers on what happened and how something like that could have been prevented, Black focused on his true target. He needed to find a way to bring the Cullen family to its knees. Especially that Edward Cullen Jr.
Two weeks after the attempted bust in the warehouse, Black was called into the station for questioning on what had happened that day. He learned that the two men in the warehouse were mechanics with minor criminal backgrounds with chop shops and similar things. The picture of Edward Junior exiting the vehicle in front of the warehouse, which had been pulled off of Black's phone having been taken the day of the shooting, had been analyzed and debunked. While Edward Junior had the hair color of a shiny new penny and bright green eyes, the man in the picture looked similar, but his hair was a more golden color and his eyes were bright, royal in violet color.
As long as Black lived he would maintain that the man that entered the warehouse that day was in fact Edward Junior with the sun glinting differently on his hair and purple colored contacts.
Holly had been pronounced dead on the scene. In Black's eyes, because of Edward Cullen Jr. Holly's little girl would never know her father and his son would grow up without a father. Holly's wife had to deal with the funeral, death and subsequent days without her best friend, lover and husband. She had remarried a year ago to a bank manager who was now raising Holly's children as his own. She wanted nothing to do with Black as she blamed him for the death of her first husband - her high school sweetheart. Black was certain she was putting the blame on the wrong person. It wasn't his fault Holly was killed, it was entirely Edward Cullen Junior's fault.
If Edward Junior hadn't led them to the warehouse, the detectives never would have rushed in to arrest him for whatever deal had been going down and Detective Holly never would have been shot and killed.
Detective Black looked back up at the top floors of the building across the street from him. Yes, the Cullen's were going to pay. Especially that cocky son-of-a-bitch Edward Cullen Junior.
The gloomy clouds hung around the sky, draping themselves around the building as if the two were lovers. The black storm clouds looked threatening, almost like they would let down any moment, and didn't look like they would clear up any time soon. Storms were rare but not unheard of in Chicago in late summer. It only meant it was going to be a long, harsh winter that would descend upon them in a few months time.
Little light was illuminating the bedroom when Edward woke for the day with Bella safe and sound in his arms - as it should be for the rest of their days. He had been wrapped around her like a koala holding on for dear life to its mother. She was snoring slightly, her mouth just barely open as her chest moved up and down rhythmically with each breath she took. Her hair was mussed up and sprawled around her on the pillow creating a halo effect on the white pillowcase below as her eyelashes fluttered with the movements of her eyes just below the lids.
The white wife beater Bella was wearing had ridden up ever so slightly during the night to expose some of her stomach. The smooth skin between the end of her shirt and the top of her innocent, cotton white panties called to Edward and when he could resist no more, he carefully moved his hand from her hip to the soft skin of her tummy. His thumb dipped under the shirt and tenderly skirted back and forth, coaxing a small moan from Bella as she continued to sleep.
It was late August and though it had been a couple of weeks since the fiasco after returning from the hot tub on the roof, the couple hadn't progressed much in their physical encounters. That's not to say they hadn't repeated the performance. They did. Quite a few times. The night before being one of those times leaving them both satiated, exhausted and feeling closer to one another. Clothes remained on, but when it came time for bed, they would both shirk their lounge clothes and wear the bare minimum to bed to allow for more skin contact.
Edward had no problem taking care of business by himself when he needed to because the thought of pushing Bella into something she couldn't handle made him physically sick. If having to deal with himself a bit more prevented Bella from being scared and scarred for life, he would do so for the rest of his life. He was willing to go at Bella's pace with what Bella was comfortable with. He wasn't about to push her into doing something she didn't want to, something she would regret later. He would give her the time she needed. But did she have to tempt him with the wife beaters or tank tops and the innocent underwear she always wore to bed now? He was about to combust. He'd do it in private though.
Watching her every response, trying to gauge her every reaction, Edward couldn't help but groan out softly when he noticed Bella's chest. Her wife beater was thin, so thin in fact; he could just make out the outline of her small, pink nipples. And it seemed that with every stroke of his thumb, they puckered even more until they were straining, trying to break through the flimsy fabric of her shirt. He knew he'd have to get up to take care of the growing problem that was now pressing against Bella's leg, but he loathed to get up until after she was awake and in the bathroom herself. He didn't want to miss out on even a second watching her sleep.
When she slept, there were no nerves evident on her face, no worries and no stress. She was peaceful and childlike as clichéd as that sounded. She was beyond perfect in those moments just before her eyes fluttered open and she smiled up at him. She'd stretch languidly like a cat before she got up and brush her teeth, use the bathroom and brush her hair before returning to bed with him, if the day's activities permitted it.
That day was begging to be a lazy Sunday. Edward decided right then and there the only things they would get out of bed for that day were to get something to eat, go to the bathroom and for Edward to show Bella something important he rightfully should have showed her long ago.
An hour later when Bella finally started her routine of waking up, Edward beamed. Her eyes fluttered open to see Edward leaning over her with a soft grin causing her to smile sleepily up at him in response. Then she lifted her arms above her head and groaned as she stretched out before flopping back on the bed. Today she broke her routine though and leaned up and quickly pecked him on the lips, catching him by surprise, before she got up and made her way into her bathroom to deal with the rest of her morning routine.
Bella was the first to return to the bed followed shortly by Edward. As they lay there, wrapped in one another's arms she asked, "What kinds of things do you have to do today?"
"Nothing much. I have some paperwork I have to get done, but I can do that on my laptop in here by your side," he responded in a whisper into her hair.
"Oh goodie. I get to keep you all to myself today? We can just lay here and not worry about who wants what?" Bella asked as she looked up at him with a lazy grin on her lips.
"Not quite," Edward said. "I need to show you something I should have shown you at Thanksgiving. It's in my office, so while we're in there, I can grab the things I'll need and we can come back in here. Sound like a plan?"
Unbeknownst to her, Bella's lower lip pushed out in an adorable pout. Edward grinned down at her and quickly kissed her lip before pulling away from her and getting out of the bed. "Come on, the sooner I can show you this, the sooner we can get back in bed. Let's go."
"All right," Bella groaned playfully as she got out of bed too. "If I must."
Not even bothering to make the bed since they would be right back, Edward pulled on the pair of lounge pants and shirt he had discarded by the bed the previous night while Bella went into the closet to pull out clean lounge clothes for the day. It was a pet peeve of hers to reuse clothes from day to day and while his clothes weren't dirty, per say, since he had only worn them for a few hours the day before, they were still being used for a second day of lounging around the house.
Edward took Bella by the hand down the hall and into his office, shutting the door behind them. He pulled Bella into the connected bathroom and stopped in the center. "In case there is ever an emergency, I want you to try and get into one of my brother's office bathrooms, my father's office bathroom or this bathroom, depending on which floor you're on," Edward started to explain. "When you reach the office doors, lock them behind you and make your way into the bathroom and lock that door as well. Do you understand me?"
The look of terror mixed with horror on Bella's face as she nodded at him, made Edward feel bad, only for a split second before he realized everything he was telling her would potentially save her life one day.
"Once the bathroom door is locked, come over to the linen closet," he continued while taking her hand. He brought her with him over to the linen closet in the bathroom. It looked to be a heavy linen bookshelf in the corner of the room between the wall and the sink. "On the bottom shelf are two things. The first is a cell phone." Edward reached down to the bottom shelf and stuck his hand between the two towels, revealing a small cell phone. "There will be one in every one of our office bathrooms, along with one in a few other rooms in the apartment. Don't ever use these unless it's an emergency. Do you understand, Little Love? Forget these are even here unless there's an emergency, all right? I'm talking like a fire, intruder, police raid, any emergency; you get one of these cell phones and call one of us to tell us what's going on."
"Ok," Bella whispered nervously. How else was she supposed to respond? He sounded like it was life or death she remember all he was telling her.
"I'm not trying to scare you, or suggest you can't take care of yourself, but if something were to happen," Edward stopped speaking and shook his head, unwilling to think of something happening to Bella. "I'm just trying to prepare you in case something does happen, you can take care of yourself to the fullest of your abilities. I don't want anything to happen to you."
With a nod of her head, Bella was determined to learn everything he had to tell her about the room, just in case, if only to put his mind at ease. "Ok, what else?"
"The other thing the bottom shelf of the linen closet has is…" Edward knelt down closest to the wall, motioning towards Bella to mimic his movements. She sat down on the tan natural stone beneath her and watched as Edward pulled the neatly folded towels off the shelf, setting them to the side to reveal a key pad to something.
Confusion colored Bella's face as she wondered why he would have a keypad there, but Edward soon answered his question. "I'm going to tell you the combination; you'll need to remember it, just in case. Remember 1918, like the year."
"Why 1918?" Bella blurted out when she couldn't handle the question any longer. "Sorry, I just think it it'll help remember the code, you know," Bella rambled nervously. She didn't want Edward upset with her that she interrupted him while explained something so important to her.
Looking over at her, Edward explained his choice of numbers. "I chose that code because I owned 19 hotels when I was 18. It was off the wall and nobody would guess it," he reasoned with a lopsided grin and a shrug of the shoulders. Unfortunately great minds think alike and his brothers had similar ideas with their own codes.
"All right," Edward continued, "1918," he muttered as he pressed the numbers into the keypad. "The code, then press the enter key," he explained, showing her what needed to be done. Bella nodded to let him know she was following him when he looked back at her.
The moment Edward pressed enter; it was something like out of the movies. The entire linen closet swung forward just an inch to reveal something behind it causing Bella to gasp loudly with the unexpected turn of events.
Putting the towels back in front of the keypad, Edward stood and helped Bella to her feet before taking the side of the large closet and pulling it easily toward him, revealing a room behind the closet. Edward held out his hand to Bella, who immediately took it, and walked into the room with her on his heels.
Florescent lights quickly blinked on in the cooled room. The bright lights illuminated the entire room, showing the racks upon racks of guns of all types, calibers and sizes on the surrounding walls. Below the racks were drawers lining the walls of the room containing ammunition for all the guns stored right above the drawers. And in the center of the room stood two islands, each island had five drawers across on either side and stood four drawers tall, making the islands waist height on Bella.
The room looked like it was in a concrete bunker somewhere. The walls looked like they were reinforced with concrete along with the floor and ceiling. Though, if Carlisle's vault was right above this one, the concrete on the ceiling would be moot. Nobody even bothered to try and make the concrete look like something else. It wasn't at all decorative in the room, but it was definitely functional.
Watching Bella's eyes bounce around between everything, trying to take in every single detail of the room before landing on the walls, Edward decided he would try to explain what was going on. "This is my vault. I hold all my unregistered guns in here, along with ammo and the family jewels," he said with a chuckle and the pun. "The walls are lined with some-odd inches of steel before being coated with a thin, but sound layer of concrete. If someone were to shoot at the walls from the outside, the bullet wouldn't penetrate into the room. It's almost like a panic room, if you will. If you need to, I want you to come in here, shut the linen closet back on you, locking yourself in and wait for me. If I need to get in touch with you I will call the landline in here," he stated pointing to a phone resting silently on one of the ammo cabinets.
"While you wait, I want you to arm yourself. I know you know how to use a gun," Edward said with a small smirk. "Be ready to use it, just in case, though you and I are the only ones who know the combination to this vault. Nothing is impenetrable, so be ready. If it's not me or one of my brothers or father coming through that door to get you, shoot to kill and keep shooting. There're screens right here," he pointed to a couple of TV screens in one of the walls above the phone. "They are connected to the cameras around the house so you'll be able to see if someone is at the vault door and if they're friend or foe. I will come and get you out as soon as it's safe to do so." Bella nodded once as she studied the different guns in the room.
Before long, Bella moved on from the guns. Unsure just what the drawers were for; she stepped forward and noticed each drawer had glass panel fronts to reveal all kinds of jewelry housed within. The first glass panel Bella investigated housed tiny little rings, too small to fit on her fingers. She was just about to ask when Edward answered her unspoken question. "Those three stacked drawers hold different kinds of toe rings."
"Toe rings?" Bella asked skeptically. "Why would you have toe rings?"
Edward laughed at her facial expressions as he walked closer to her. "Those were very in during the 1960's, 70's and 80's. While she was alive, my grandmother pestered me to get some made for my future wife; of course she didn't know they wouldn't be as hip as they were back then. The only reason I kept them is because of what they're made of. All the jewelry in this room is made from the finest materials; diamonds, sapphires, emeralds, that kind of thing. I didn't just want to get rid of them because they weren't in fashion anymore. And unlike some, my wife isn't swayed by how rich I am or how many shiny baubles I can give her," Edward teased with a smile. "Just my luck."
The shy smile that graced Bella's face made Edward giddy. It was the one that told him she was just placating him, placating his rambling and quirky sense of humor. He could tell she wasn't judging him. How could he have found the only woman in the world that wasn't swayed by money and material things? In a way he was glad for that because he knew without a doubt that she wanted him for him and not for the riches he could give her. On the other hand, it made the wooing he would give her that much harder. What do you get a girl who doesn't want material items?
"All right, well, what else do you have hidden away in here? Show me? Please?" Bella asked as she stood up again and looked back at Edward, who pushed away from the ammo drawers near the vault door and stepped up next to her.
"Well, you've already seen the toe rings, so the next three stacked drawers are the regular rings. You know, for fingers? Next set is earrings, followed by magnetic earrings, don't ask," Edward said, seeing the questions swirling around in Bella's eyes. "That was another thing my grandmother insisted upon for each of us. She didn't have her ears pierced and rarely found any workable earrings for herself. She insisted upon all us boys having magnetic earrings and clip-on earrings in our vaults just in case. I wish I could thank her now, because," he said as he brushed Bella's hair away from her ear, "You seem to lack the piercings." He bent to her ear and nipped playfully at her ear lobe, causing her to giggle in surprise.
"What else do you have hidden away in here?"
"The clip on earrings are organized; top drawers are the yellow gold fixtures, the middle drawers have the platinum fixtures and the bottom drawers have the rose gold colored fixtures. You can thank Esme and Alice for all the different organization tactics. Elizabeth wanted to do it, but that would have involved creating more drawers and nobody had the time when it was done and I didn't want anyone in here that wasn't family," Edward explained, as he motioned to the next set of three drawers on the island before escorting Bella around to the other side with a gentle, guiding hand on her back. "On this side, we have the hair items. The first row of drawers are the hair gems, you know like the little stones that look like dew drops in a woman's hair, the hair combs," Edward pointed to the next row of three drawers before moving onto the next stacked set. "These are the hair clips, then there are the hair ties and lastly on this island we have the three drawers with tiaras. Don't ask me what the hell any of this stuff is. I'm kind of hoping you either know or could ask Esme, Rose or Alice because I don't know the first thing about the hair stuff. I don't have any use for them. With the exception of one drawer, all of them have the same organization scheme - yellow gold, then platinum then rose gold."
The sparkly baubles were all lined up perfectly in their drawers, everything in its place and shined and buffed to perfection. If any lesser woman had seen the jewels and precious metals lined up in front of her, they would have probably tried to grab as much as they could hold and make a break for it, but as for Bella, well, she was almost scared to even open the drawer, lest something happened and one of them were damaged in any way. The smudges that would be left from handling the jewelry were almost sacrilege to Bella. No, Bella was more comfortable just looking at the pretty stones than touching anything.
With a gentle nudge, Edward turned Bella around to the other island in the room to reveal those drawers. "This island has the same organization as the other one. This side holds the necklaces," Edward said pointing to a stack of drawers, then another one, "The lockets, and chains," he said moving on to the other stacks of drawers, "necklace pendants and then finally for this side, the broaches. On the other side," Edward said escorting Bella around to the other side of the island one more time, "Are bracelets, anklets, lose gems, watches and glasses. Trust me; the glasses were all Alice's idea. She decided we all needed blinged out eyewear, whatever that means. Who the hell needs diamond encrusted glasses?" Edward asked with a slightly disgusted look on his face.
Seeing Bella looking at him, Edward simply shrugged as if to ask, "What can you do?"
"Since the lose gems don't have any settings, they're organized a little bit differently. The top shelf are the pink, red, orange and yellow stones, the middle drawer houses the green, blue, purple and "white" stones while the bottom shelf houses the black, grey and brown stones. Each shelf is sorted and labeled by stone type."
"They're all so colorful," Bella breathed as she bent over and looked at the different contents in the drawers, not bothering to open any of them. "The colors are all so rich and vibrant. They're beautiful."
Unable to keep his eyes off Bella, he responded with an unintelligible agreement as his eyes trailed over her body, finally landing on Bella's pert bottom. He knew he loved her and he would never do anything to make her feel uncomfortable, but did she have to always look so edible all the time? Edward had no problem waiting as long as it took for Bella to be ready to move forward in their physical relationship, but it didn't stop him from looking, or appreciating her form. And boy did he appreciate it. But alas, he was one of the few true gentlemen out there.
After he snapped out of his fantasy induced haze, Edward cleared his throat a few times and told Bella "If you ever want to wear any of this stuff, Little Love, either ask or just come in and take it. I trust you not to pawn them. Whether you're just home or if we go out to some place formal, feel free to use them to your liking. I really have no use for them, except having the pleasure of seeing you all decked out in them. Who knows, maybe some time I can go fishing for a diamond in your belly button like Pierce Brosnan did with Halle Berry in the James Bond movie." The wicked smile he gave her as she snapped her eyes over to his gave her chills.
With goose bumps on her arms, Bella blushed brightly at the thought of such a thing ever happening as she stood up straight. How could he always bring that reaction from her without even trying? And how could he so easily say these things as if he wasn't embarrassed? It was almost like he said them just to garner some similar reaction just to watch.
"You're always welcome in here. This is your space now, too."
Once the couple was back in their room, Bella rushed over to grab the channel changer from the table off to the side of the room as Edward climbed onto his side of the bed and started setting his things up so he could do the little bit of work he still needed to do.
"What are you going to watch, Little Love?" He asked as she climbed onto the bed next to him.
She waited until she was completely comfortable before she shrugged. "I don't know, maybe whatever's on the Food Network."
A chuckle escaped from Edward as he opened his computer to start his work. "Ah yes. I forgot you have a crush on that chef."
Bella looked up at him with a grin. He caught her and there was no denying it. "Don't worry, you're the only one I want, even though you couldn't cook to save your life," Bella joked with a giggle.
Unwilling to give up the care free spirit and playfulness for something like work, Edward scoffed feigning hurt. His hand covered his heart as he replied. "Oh, I don't know. I'm getting pretty good with those truffles you introduced me to. Pretty soon I'll be able to make them all by myself."
Chuckling, Bella shook her head in the negative. "Not if you want to keep the kitchen intact. You're likely to start a fire and burn the entire building down."
"Oh, I see how it is," Edward said playing along. "Turn on your little show and leave me to my work."
Bella laughed again in response as she turned on the TV and flipped it to the Food Network. Lo and behold, Restaurant Impossible was on, reruns that Bella had already seen, but was always up for another watch. She settled in against the pillows at the head of the bed right next to Edward and turned her undivided attention to the screen before her as Edward turned his to his laptop screen.
Half an hour later, Bella was lying on her stomach with her feet crossed next to Edward's head, completely absorbed in the transformation of the failing business. She jumped when Edward asked, "Why do you like this guy? He looks like a roided out body builder."
"Hey!" Bella protested as she looked over her shoulder and back at Edward. "I happen to like Robert Irvine! Don't knock him."
Edward scrunched his face in confusion. "But why do you like him?"
Shrugging, Bella went back to the TV as she answered. "Maybe I like the name. Maybe I like his English accent. Or maybe, he tells it like it is without trying to sugarcoat it." And under her breath she added "You and your dad are the same way."
But even though he wasn't supposed to hear that last comment, Edward did, which caused him to smile softly. "All right, Little Love. I guess I'll let the crush slide this time. Just don't leave me for Popeye there and everything will be good," he teased as he turned back to his computer.
The scoff that left Bella seemed deafening in the otherwise fairly quiet room. Instead of simply turning her head to address him, Bella knelt and crawled up the bed to Edward. She discarded his computer on his lap as she cupped his face in her hands. "I could never and would never leave you for anything. Nobody would ever be as good to me as you are. Don't even joke about something like that. I have no doubt if we, for whatever reason, were ever to get separated, I would be a shell of the person you've helped me to become. I know I would be so distraught without you I'd go numb. I wouldn't be living, simply going through the motions of life. I wouldn't be me without you. Do you understand that?" she asked, pleading with him to understand what she was feeling.
Edward could see the serious truthfulness seeping out of Bella's eyes as he studied her reaction. Finally, he smiled, leaned forward, pecked her lips and said, "No going anywhere for either of us. Got it."
With a nod of her head, Bella went back to her previous position of lying on her stomach inverted so she could see the screen better. A gentle smile graced Edward's lips as he reached out and patted one of her calves softly.
A loud, shattering crash woke Bella from her cat nap an hour later. She was still in the same position on the bed, signaling to her she had fallen asleep while watching television. Adrenaline surged through her body as she lay there, trying to figure out what was going on and what caused the crash.
It didn't help that the next second she heard a whispered "Shit" from Edward as he got out of the bed.
Sitting up, Bella watched as Edward walked over to a red pile of mess on the floor near the wall. The red pieces were hard and scattered all over the floor in that general area.
"What the heck was that?" Bella finally asked, startling Edward at her sudden, unexpected question. He looked over at her and she watched, astonished, as a slight blush covered Edward's cheeks when he stood with the different pieces in his hand.
"I thought it was a bouncy ball," he explained nervously as he showed her the pieces.
Recognition colored Bella's features as she immediately realized what the pieces made up. Reaching out, she took the pieces from him and asked, "You thought my chap stick was a bouncy ball?" The incredulity was thick in her voce as she cried, "That was brand new!"
"I'm sorry!" he crowed. "I didn't know why you kept it by your side of the bed. I chucked it at the wall to keep myself entertained, and well…"
Putting the pieces roughly back together, Bella sat there staring at her brand new chap stick she opened just the night before. Well, she thought; that was a waste of a few dollars.
"Please say something," Edward begged, pleading with her to forgive his erroneous actions.
Bella locked eyes with Edward and warned, "Oh, Alice is going to kill you. You're on your own, buddy. You're a Chap Stick murderer. What did it ever do to you? It was innocent! How could you?" Bella asked with a wild giggle.
The tension in Edward's shoulders evaporated as they slumped in relief that she wasn't mad at him. "So, you're hanging me out to dry with the pixie, huh?"
Incredulous eyes met his before Bella called out, "You're the one who murdered it! The poor thing only saw one day of life. You're damn right I'm letting you hang when it comes to Alice. I didn't do it. You did." She reached over to the nightstand and pulled another bouncy ball looking sphere out of the drawer before turning back to Edward. Instead of another red one, this one was bright blue. "This is not a bouncy ball. This is Chap Stick. Do not throw it against the wall. I am going to leave it on my nightstand where the other one was. Okay?" Bella asked cocking an eyebrow at him.
Sheepishly, Edward smiled and nodded. "What kind are they? I thought Chap Stick only came in tubes?"
Studying his face for any kind of deception, Bella finally explained, "The brand name is E.O.S. It stands for Evolution Of Smooth."
"You wore this one last night?" Edward asked signaling towards the red pieces in his hand with a critical eye. "What flavor is it? It seemed fruity last night."
"Yeah, I was. It's called Summer Fruit." At the peculiar look on his face, Bella asked, "Why?"
"I liked that one," Edward revealed as he licked his lips as he remembered the fruity taste he enjoyed licking off her lips the night before.
Bella smiled brightly over at him while the blush colored her face, knowing exactly what he was thinking. "I could tell. Don't worry though; this one is the Blueberry Acai. I think you'll like it."
"Really? How many of these things do you have?" Edward asked as he took it from Bella to smell.
"I have ten because Alice made sure I had one of each of the flavors. This is her favorite kind of lip balm. She swears by it. Apparently all you do it apply some at night and in the morning, your lips are hydrated and smooth and they're all natural ingredients. I don't know about all that, I just know you and I both like the taste of them."
The grin on Edward's face was wide and giddy as he leaned in and pecked Bella's lips. "I think I'm going to have fun taste testing all the different flavors."
"I have no doubt," Bella replied as she lay back down on her side of the bed.
"You, Little Love, are adorable," Edward whispered as he leaned over and pecked her lips as he wrapped his arms around her, lying down next to her. "I love you," he whispered into her soft, sweet smelling hair before he kissed her head.
Bella nuzzled into his chest and whispered back "I love you too."
Soft whispered words back and forth between the couple saw them off into slumber of a small catnap.
What the oblivious couple didn't notice was the rain softly pelting the windows outside as the clouds finally let loose. The ground quickly turned dark with moisture of the droplets from the sky in the first rain of the season.
A/N: Please thank TwiSNFan for her amazing beta work! None of this would be possible (or legible) without her hard work! Even with a busy schedule, she makes time to help so you can all read this. Drop by and leave her a note if you can. She puts in so much hard work for this story, it's amazing.
Leave a review if you can, but don't be mean just to be mean people, it's not cool. How would you like it if you put your time, effort and heart into something and someone came around and tore it all apart? You'd feel down too, right?
As a side note, you may want to check out a blog that just did a little diddy on this story. (Thank you for the PR) and now it's my turn for some PR for her. Check it out, she's already written stuff on lots of stories. This is the link to MB, go check it out and snoop around: . . I think she'd love the extra visitors! Check it out, you won't regret it.