Silent Sweetheart: Bella is a child psychologist who has a soft spot for children of divorce. Edward is a concerned father of a two-year who refuses to talk. Will one sweet little girl bring these two together? OOC/Canon/E&BPOV
Chapter 1: First Meeting
"Time to wake up, baby doll." I said to my two year old daughter who was lying in my bed, still asleep. I rubbed her back softly. "Come on, Daddy has to go to work."
Laney rubbed her eyes and slowly sat up. Her strawberry blonde hair fell into her dark green eyes as she looked at me silently.
"Go pick out what you want to wear, and I'll go help you, okay?" I asked her.
She nodded and slid out of my bed before running barefoot to her room.
I chuckled softly as I went downstairs to make her breakfast. As soon as I was finished, I went upstairs to find Laney in her best church dress. She pointed to the zipper in the back for me to zip.
"Not today, Lane." I said as I went to her dresser as pulled out some shorts and a t-shirt.
She scrunched her nose at the shorts and went to go get a skirt instead. I laughed. Only Alice's niece would know the actual difference of shorts and a skirt at two years old. I helped her dress and picked her up.
I watched silently, coffee steaming in my hand, as Laney ate. How could her mother leave such a sweet child? Laney had been the epitome of the perfect child. She never really cried and was always all smiles.
Tanya, her mother, and I had met when I was about to start medical school. We dated for a year or so before we got married. The only good thing that ever came out of that marriage was Laney. And every day I thank God that I had her. Of course, Tanya had willingly handed her over to me, saying that she didn't want to be held down by a meaningless child. What I had seen in her, you ask. To hell if I know. I was just trying to make my mother happy and settle the hell down.
Tanya had contributed nothing, and she didn't even try and help pick out Laney's name. I had decided to name her after my grandmother, Elaine, and my hometown of Charlotte. When I asked Tanya how she felt about Laney Charlotte, she was indifferent, so that was her name. Barely a year after Laney was born, Tanya left. A few weeks later, the divorce papers came in. I signed them, and that was that. Laney was for me.
The only thing that was wrong, well not really wrong so say, but odd, was that Laney still had yet to talk. She would be turning three in a month, and she still had not said one full sentence. She was always silent. I knew she could talk because I heard her say a few words here and there. It still concerned me that she wasn't talking fully. My mom had suggested I bring Laney child psychologist, but what was the good if she would not talk? I did not think they would be able to do much no matter who they were or how much schooling they got.
Laney pushed away her plate when she was done and looked at me through the bangs of her hair falling in her eyes. I made a mental note to let Esme trim them if she was able to.
"Are you ready?" I asked her.
She nodded excitedly, and I laughed as she ran into the living room to try and put her shoes on.
I followed her and took the white boot she had been trying to put on.
Laney had been wearing the same white cowboy boots and black gloves for a while now. My brother, Jasper, had given her the boots he had bought her when he was in Texas. The black elbow length gloves came from my sister, Rosalie who was always over dressed. I always guessed that's where Laney had got the tendency to always dress nicer than necessary, like that morning when she wanted to wear the dress she had first picked out.
I picked Laney up and strapped her in the car seat of my gunpowder gray Silverado once we had gotten to the truck. I worked a mechanic shop about twenty minutes away from the house.
Usually, I would bring her to my parents' house, but they were busy so I had to bring her to work. I really hated doing that since mechanics, especially the ones in my shop, had a very colorful vocabulary. Although, it was my only option today because my sister in law, Alice, was working and no one else was available. That left bringing Laney to the shop as my only option, unfortunately.
I pulled up to the shop, and I barely had Laney out of her car seat before she was out of the truck and running towards my office. I laughed and pulled off my coat as I walked over to the newest car that had entered the shop a day before because of a wreck.
"Laney darlin', what's up?" Jasper asked her as he looked up from under the hood of a '71 Camaro.
Laney ran toward him. She leaped into his arms and hugged his neck. Jasper put her down whenever she let go of him, and he turned towards me once Laney was in the office.
"When did she get here?" I asked as I nodded toward the Camaro he was working on.
I popped open the hood to the car I was working on as I waited for his answer.
"Girl brought it in earlier, still runs good, just needed an oil change." He said and laughed.
I shook my head at him and looked under the hood at the engine. Damn Dodge, I thought as I looked at what I was dealing with. I did not enjoy working on the Rams. I liked it whenever I got the GM's, like the Chevrolets and GMCs. They were just so much easier to find your way around. Well, that and they actually had a decent engine under the hood.
I don't know how long I had been working on the car, but it didn't feel like it was very long at all. It had always been like that when I was around cars. I just got lost in them. If I had my way, I would live in the garage. The only thing that had pulled me out at that moment was Jasper telling me that he was going to get lunch. That comment itself told me that it was much later than I had initially thought. I told him what I wanted and he left.
I went upstairs into my office that overlooked the garage and found Laney lying down on the couch, looking at the pictures in one of her Biscuit books while Beauty and the Beast played on the television.
"Hey, Laney Lou, what are you up to?" I asked her as I knelt next to her side.
She shrugged. I rolled my eyes. She had learned the shrug thing really early on. I just couldn't wait until she was a teenager: note the sarcasm. She would be one stubborn ass teen, and I hoped she stayed little forever and never grew up. Besides, let's face it, my daughter had good genes. Tanya was a bitch, but she wasn't unattractive, well she was pretty before all of her surgeries. And my family had good looks too, so Laney would probably have a lot of guys after her. I really was not looking forward to that at all.
"Uncle Jazz is going get lunch, okay?" I asked.
She nodded and smiled at me, crinkling her little nose. I laughed and ruffled her blonde hair.
I went back downstairs back into the main garage and saw a really big guy and shorter girl talking to each other by the entrance of the garage. It seemed like they were having some kind argument. I walked up to the two and saw the girl talking to the guy. She was wearing a black skirt with a silk purple shirt tucked into it and had creamy pale skin and long mahogany hair. She had to be the most beautiful woman I had ever seen in my life.
"Can I help y'all?" I asked.
The big muscled guy looked at me and nodded. "Yea, gotta pick up my baby sis's car." He said and nodded towards the girl next to him.
"The '71 or the Dodge," I asked hoping and praying that it wasn't the Dodge. A girl like that in a Dodge would just ruin the moment.
To my utter happiness, the girl snorted. "Like I would be caught dead in a Dodge… the Camaro is mine." She said and smiled. I noted that there was no south Louisiana accent coming from this girl, and figured she was either not from here or just didn't have one.
I laughed and nodded towards the car. "Over here, let me get the papers and keys in my office." I said.
The two of them nodded and leaned against the car. I got upstairs and noticed Laney wasn't in the office, so I looked in the bathroom, but she wasn't there either. I hurriedly grabbed the clip board and keys and started to run downstairs, but I saw Laney sitting on the tailgate of my truck. Having an eight car garage was nice because I got to park inside when the place wasn't busy, and today was one of those days. I should have known Laney would go to the truck. It really wasn't a surprise now that I thought about it.
I slowed my steps slightly and went over to the brother and sister. Laney hopped down and hugged my leg as I stopped next to the car. I gave the papers to the girl to sign, and once they were signed I handed her the keys.
"How much do I owe you?" She asked and pulled out her checkbook.
"Twenty-five," I answered.
She nodded and wrote the check, tore it out of the book, and handed it to me. She saw Laney and smiled at her. "And what might your name be?" Bella asked with a soft smile after she crouched down to Laney's level.
I was about o answer when a small voice surprised the hell out of me. "Laney." My daughter said. Laney hadn't said one word in months to anyone, much less a stranger.
"Well, Laney, I'm Bella." The beautiful woman in front of my daughter said. Bella, it was so fitting for her.
Laney nodded and let go of my leg and looked at Bella's brother with wide, excited eyes. I held back a chuckle. Laney was accustomed to seeing big and tall men in and out of this place, so the man in front of her was nothing out of the norm. About two of the guys that worked at the shop for me were pretty built. Nothing like Emmett, but they were close. Add that with the fact I was on good terms with every college athlete program near Baton Rouge and New Orleans, Emmett was definitely nothing new to Laney. In fact, she loved the guys. Another thought that made me worry about her teen years. My daughter liked older, built men who worked on cars and played football. Jesus Lord, please help me.
Bella followed her gaze and laughed. "And that's Emmett, my brother."
Laney nodded and gave a shy smile.
Emmett smiled back at her.
Bella stood up to her full height, and Laney ran back towards my office. I suppose the shook must have been evident on my face because Bella looked at me questioningly.
"What is it?" She asked.
"It's nothing; just Laney usually really doesn't talk to anyone… at all."
Emmett laughed. "Bella is a child whisperer. She knew more about child psychology than her professors in college."
Bella rolled her eyes and blushed. "Shut up, Emmett." She then turned to me, concerned. "What do you mean by she usually doesn't talk?"
"She says a few words here and there, but not very often, and she has never spoken a full sentence. It just confuses me a little considering she'll be three in two months." I told her.
Bella pursed her lips then pulled something out of her purse. "If you think she needs to a little extra nudge, here's my card. Now don't force her or beg her, she probably won't ever talk until she's seven or eight if you do that. But just know, that if something happens, anything that you're worried about with Laney, just give me a call." She said.
I took the card. "Thank you."
Bella looked at me for a moment. "I don't think I got your name."
I mentally slapped my forehead. I was an idiot. I forgot to tell her my freaking name! This is one for the books. Crap.
"It's Edward… Cullen." I said.
She nodded. "Well, Edward, thank you for changing the oil in my car."
A throat cleared from behind me, and I turned to see Jasper standing there. I rolled my eyes. I nodded towards him and said, "Jasper actually did."
Bella laughed. "Well thank you then, Jasper." She said and got into her car. She pulled out of the garage and I looked at the card she had given me. Emmett waved and went outside the garage to his Hummer.
"Man, what's up with you?" Jasper asked as he saw my dazed expression.
I just looked at him with wide eyes. Then, it really came crashing down on me. Laney talked to Bella. She actually talked to Bella, a beautiful, brown eyed, pale skinned, child loving, goddess. Good God Almighty, this was the perfect woman. Hell, she hated Dodges. She was my perfect woman, no questions asked. And Laney obviously loved her. She talked to her. That was what my mind kept on going right back to. Laney spoke to Bella. Even if it was just one little word, it happened. And it felt like friggin water pouring from the sky in the Sahara. Nothing could have ruined my mood at that moment.
"Laney just talked to Bella." I stated.
Jasper looked at me as if I was crazy. "Okay, first of all, who the hell is Bella?" He asked me.
"The chick that was just in here, man. Laney just fucking talked to her. She hasn't said a word in months to me or mom, then she talks to a complete stranger. Dude that crap is messed up. Not that I'm not happy she said something, but damn!" I yelled at Jasper, making wild gestures with my hands.
"You're kidding. What did she say?"
"Just her name, but that was still one more syllable than she usually uses." I told him and shook my head as if to clear it.
Jasper studied me for a moment. "You like her." He stated.
I felt my brows furrow in confusion. "Of course I like her, she is my daughter." I told him.
Jasper rolled his eyes at me. "Not what I meant. I meant the other chick, Bella." He explained.
I shrugged. "I guess, I don't know. She's just different is all, and any woman who can get Laney to open up like that has to be special." I said.
Jasper thought for a moment and brought up lunch, dropping the subject for a moment. I was thankful because I did not know what to make of anything that had happened in the past half hour. I just knew that Dr. Isabella Swan in something special, and I intended to find out exactly what it was that made her that way.
My car shook and rode rough, and I knew exactly what that had meant. I needed an oil change. Emmett had told me that he would do it, but I was just too impatient to wait on him. So, I took it upon myself to bring it to Cullen Mechanical Works. It was on the way to work, and my best friend's husband worked there. I figured it had to be decent. So, I had dropped it off that morning and Emmett brought me to get me car back.
I almost buckled at my knees seeing that really hot mechanic walking down stairs. He had coppery-bronze hair curling over the rim of his baseball hat and gorgeous green eyes. He was dressed in ripped up jeans, a navy blue mechanic work shirt with a patch that said CMW, scuffed up work boots, and had a red rag hanging out of his pocket. The sleeves of his shirt were rolled up to his elbows, and I saw that he had a tattoo on his left wrist that said something and one on his right forearm that looked like a crest of some sort.
He spoke, and I nearly died at the sound of it. It was like smooth velvet or something soft. I loved it. I was almost insulted when he asked me if the Dodge was mine, but I tried to keep my thought to myself. It obviously didn't work because I heard him chuckle.
When I met Laney, I was instantly drawn to the little girl, and to her father's left hand which was bare. I instantly started wondering what the situation was. Was he married and just didn't wear the ring, were the divorced, or were they just living together with Laney and not getting married. Then Laney's father told me that she rarely talked, and my heart instantly clenched. I then got the feeling that Laney's mother wasn't in the picture… at all. I couldn't help but give the man my card, both for Laney's good and mine.
That was when I heard his name. Edward seemed slightly fitting. He had that old world charm with modern little quirks that made me want to just jump him. Just that short time with him made me crazy. The weird thing was that my brother was right there, and I still wanted to jump him. I could care less if Emmett had seen or not. Edward was definitely a very, very attractive man.
I knew this was a dangerous situation though. Even if Edward never called me, he had a daughter. I doubt that he just went out with random women who went to his shop. Of course, there probably weren't many women that walked into his shop on a daily basis. Well, there might be if they had ever seen Edward. I would most definitely be going to his shop if I ever had more automotive trouble.
I walked into my one bedroom apartment and threw my purse on the table beside my door and pressed the voicemail button on my phone.
"Hi, Bella, this is your mother, Rene."
"As if I would be expecting another mother," I muttered as I rolled my eyes.
"I just wanted to let you know that I'm worried about you. It's been so long since I've talked to you, dear. I just want you to know I'm here when you need to talk. I love you, call me. Bye." My mother closed the message.
Of course she was worried about me; I had been avoiding her for two months since she randomly married some guy that was only about ten years older than me and thirteen years younger than her. She had her chance to make it right with me, and she ruined it. I'm not the one suffering; I have my dad and Sue. Sue was more of a mother to me than my biological mother ever was.
"Hey, Bells, it's Alice. I was just thinking that it's been a while since we had a girl's day. So, I was just wondering if we could get together soon. Call me back. Love ya, bye." Alice said as she hung up the phone. I laughed. I would definitely call her back. I could use some girl time.
"Dr. Isabella, this is Lee's mom. I would just like to let you know that he won't be able to make it tomorrow for his appointment. My father just died, and he's taking it a little hard. So, I was just wondering if we could reschedule. My number is 555-6768. Thank you."
I sighed. Lee was such a sweet kid. He just was misunderstood by his peers. He was almost seventeen, and it was hard at that age. His parents just got a divorced, his girlfriend was pregnant and it wasn't even his baby, plus he just lost his grandfather. Lee rarely saw his dad, so his grandfather was the only father he truly had. He was truly a nice guy considering all what he was going through.
In my line of work, I worked with kids who were ages six to eighteen. Some of them just needed to talk, while others truly needed my help to cope with everything happening. I started my own practice at children's hospital in Baton Rouge when I was twenty-five last year. Since then, I had the practice up and kicking. Technically, I was a psychologist and wasn't allowed to prescribe medicine. I could; however, send a child to a psychiatrist who was legally allowed to prescribe medicine for mental disorders.
I was a councilor of a different kind, though. Instead of the conventional methods of my patients sitting on a couch and telling me their problems, I had them write, draw, and play instruments. Some of them were really talented, while others still had to work at it. It didn't matter though, because it was just a healing process. Now, I still made them talk to me, but I could learn a lot by the chords that they played, the things they wrote, and pictures they drew. Minor chords, angst poems and songs, and rain usually depicted some sort of sadness. Depending on what sort of these examples they used, I could usually figure out what was bothering them.
I grabbed a coke out of the fridge, and sat down at the counter, going through my bills. Around an hour and a half later, I had all of it settled and was watching television when I heard my phone ring. I got up from the sofa and went to answer it. When I saw the caller ID, I immediately stopped.
"Hey, Bells, um… I don't know if you're there or not, but I really think we should talk. I miss you, and I know that you have no reason to believe me or ever trust me again. Call me, bye." My ex boyfriend, Mike, closed the message.
I only rolled my eyes at that little message. If he thought that little message was going to make it alright, he had another thing coming for him. I was not even going to think about calling that jerk back. No reason to even try and dwell on him. I was more than done with that lying idiot.
The next morning, I got out of bed and got dressed for work in a pin-striped pencil skirt with pockets and a white shirt with ruffles on the collar and at the wrists of the long sleeves. Grabbing my clutch purse and keys, I walked out of the door of my apartment. I got into my Camaro and went to Starbucks before heading over to my office in the hospital.
"You had three calls, hon." My receptionist, who was only a year younger than me, said.
"Thanks Jess." I said as I took the messages from her and walked through the door to my office.
My office was quite spacious. It had to be. On the back wall was my huge u shaped desk, nestled in between two large bookcases full to the brim. On the left wall there were framed paintings of poems and pictures my kids had written are drawn. On the floor in front of the wall were three easels. In the front, right corner of the room was an upright piano with a guitar leaning against it. The entire right wall was made entirely of windows. In the middle of the office, I had two black leather sofas facing each other.
I sat down at my desk and checked my emails after reading the messages Jessica had given me. When I had replied to all of the emails, I sat back in my chair and looked out of the huge window. I saw the tall buildings in front of me that blocked my view of the blue, Louisiana sky.
I was originally from Forks, Washington. I lived there with my dad and brother after mom left when I was two and Emmett was three. That was the main reason I became a psychologist, I wanted to help kids like me. I wanted help kids who were worse off than I was. Because I had a rocky start to my teen years, and I knew now that I could help kids who were close to going down that road. I refused to just sit and watch them. I knew I would be able to help them.
Around lunch time after my first appointment was through, walked downstairs and was on my way out of the hospital to get lunch when I ran into some poor, innocent bystander.
"I am so sorry." I said and looked up to be met with same piercing, green eyes as yesterday. "Oh, hey… Edward," I said dumbly. Real smooth Bella, really, that was great. I told the voice in my head to shut up and looked down to see Laney smiling at me shyly from behind Edward's leg.
"Hello, Bella." Edward told me, a slight smirk on his beautiful face.
Laney waved at me a little, but she stayed in hiding. I figured it was because of all the busy traffic going on around us.
"What are you two doing here? Everything okay," I asked Edward.
"Yea, everything is fine. We're just here for a checkup. Laney got a minor concussion, and the doctor felt it would be able to heal on its own. He just wants to make sure it's okay." Edward said.
"Oh, well I hope it goes well, then. Do you mind telling me how that happened?"
"I'm not really sure." Edward chuckled nervously and rubbed the back of his neck. "I was just rocking her one day and felt a soft spot on her head. I called my dad, and he told me to bring her here just in case."
I nodded. "Well, I'll let you two get to your appointment." I said and waved a goodbye.
I hoped that it really, really wouldn't be the last.
So, how do you like it? TELL ME, TELL ME, TELL ME! I really want to know. So, go ahead, click the review button. You know you want to! BTW, the next chapter of Belonging with Crazy You will also be up in a day or two. So, please, be patient with me.