I don't own Twilight!
As the excitement of my sister's engagement spread, I felt the subsequent prying into my personal affairs. The years of practice I've had keeping secrets from Alice had definitely built up my tolerance from their questions. I could hardly attend a business meeting or receive a telephone call without the press inquiring about my love life. They wanted to know if anyone were foolhardy enough to take an interest in me. And if there were such a woman, who was she?
She was the person I spent most of the day thinking about. She was the person that I wanted to create a better future for. She was the person who made my life better than I deserved it to be. She was the only person that held my heart in her brown hands. It was the very thought of Bella that made me fall in love with her over and over again.
One of my father's oldest and closest business partner, Caius, spoke to me after the meeting. He brought me aside from the others, and we walked out of the large office building together to where our drivers and cars waited.
"Edward, you've got a fine head for business on your shoulders but you mustn't let these personal distractions get in the way." He looked up at me with his cold grey eyes.
"Personal distractions? What do you mean?"
"You know the whole affair with your sister's engagement, and your bit of troubles with those mobsters. You've done well with keeping everyone's faith in you and what your father stood for; you have to keep it up. They don't care if you're depressed or heart broken or lonely or whatever the papers say about you. They care about numbers and figures." He said sharply.
"Yes, I…I understand that." I said as I cleared my throat.
"Stay on that path and don't speak a word of your personal problems to any of them. I don't mean to be rough with you Edward, but I'm seeing a change in your demeanor. You're certainly more melancholy. Whatever you were doing in the beginning in the spring, start it up again to get your chutzpah back. You'll be alright." He nodded and headed into his car and I headed to mine.
'Whatever you were doing in the beginning of spring.' He told me. The beginning of the spring I was spending as much time as I could with Bella. That was the missing piece to this puzzle. I lost the ability to forget about the day's hardships and melt into her welcoming body.
Sadly the last image I had of Bella was that of her shedding tears. Yes, I was able to say goodbye to her by the kindness of Margaret, but it was still painful. I never want to see those brown eyes of hers so sad. As much as I tried to reflect on our happier times, that image was engraved in my mind.
The driver let me out of the car and I attempted to get inside of Jasper's home. I tried to avoid the flash of the camera bulbs, the calls and the banter from the press. They were accustomed to my schedule now that I worked more often.
"Edward! Edward! Is it true that your brother is banned from Alice's big matrimony celebration?" one of them called to me. I stopped short and turned around.
"Banned?" I asked.
"Yeah banned! That's the scoop from here to Brooklyn. Don't want any gangsters at the big shindig right?"
"Uh…it isn't my responsibility to make the guest list." I answered quickly. "But safety is everyone's ultimate concern. If you'll excuse me."
"Edward! Wait!" They called but I closed the door and leaned my head against the door for a moment. I closed my eyes and when I opened them, one of Jasper's maid waited for my jacket. I forced a smile on my face and took of the jacket swiftly.
"Everythin' alright, sir?" She asked as I handed it to her.
"The easy answer would be to simply say yes." I said as I ran my hand through my hair.
"We're all are rooting for you." She smiled. "We think it's grand that you haven't fired any of those factory workers or any of your other employees. It's a very noble thing you've done."
"I think it's what my father would have wanted. He knew that if the morale of his employees were high, than productivity would be high. Therefore, it would be profitable for everyone despite the economical factors of this depression." I looked at her and she looked a little confused. Sometimes I could be a bit on the wordy side. "If the employees are happy, then it's best for everyone involved." I added.
"Yes." She smiled. "Dinner will be ready in about a hour. Make sure you come down and have some of it. It'll make your cheeks rosy again."
"Yes, thank you." I touched my face. Did I really look that bad?
"Edward? I thought I heard your voice!" Jasper greeted me as he wobbled along with his cane. "Are those good for nothing newsies out there still?"
"Yes, they're like vampires." I sighed.
"Allow me." He said and made his way to the door and opened it slightly. He stuck his head out and I heard him shout. "Hello fellows, that's it for today alright? Why don't you go on about your business? Thank you fellows." He closed the door politely and made his way back over to me.
"So there was some film on my camera I had developed, ole boy. I thought you'd want to have this." he handed me a photograph wrapped in gauzy paper.
Carefully I unwrapped it, and there in my hand was a sepia toned photo of Bella. She smiled at me with her bright eyes. Her hair was a wild mess of curls.
"Thank you," I said softly. It felt like an eternity since I laid my eyes on her. This photo captured her perfectly.
"The thought occurred to me once I saw the photo of Alice and I in the newspaper. I thought it would make things a little easier for you. Or maybe it would give you more motivation. I know you've been brooding since that night we left the mansion."
"This is wonderful. I believe this was the first night she stayed here with me." As I stared at the beautiful photo, I felt my mind start to wander back to that time. Everything was so simple and so easy for that brief period if time. Will it be that simplistic once we're married?
"You should put it in a safe place then." Jasper insinuated. "Wouldn't want those newsies to get a hold of it."
"I'll see you for dinner this time around right?" Jasper smiled. I had to make a better effort to be his friend. The past few nights, I'd either eaten alone in my room or not at all.
"Yes. I'll be there." I said. I hoped my smile didn't look as forced as it felt.
I wrapped the photo back up and went away to my room. I stepped out of my shoes and then my suit jacket. I placed the blazer on the chair haphazardly. I pulled the silk tie loose from my neck and fell back on the bed.
After the day that I had, a strong drink would be nice. Anything to erase all the numbers and business jargon that jumbled my mind would be nice. I picked up the photo of Bella and looked at it some more. I could almost hear her voice. I placed the photo on my chest and closed my eyes.
Once my eyes were closed I imagined what I wanted for Bella and I. I imagined us far away from the city and away upstate in Bedford. There would be nothing but privacy, the sounds of nature, the baby, and ourselves. I would want to spend most of our time in the large backyard garden that stretched into a wooded area.
I imagined myself on the grass with Bella. She lay nestled on my chest as the bright summer sun shone on us. I would hear her hum and sing softly. Very close to us, the baby lay in a simple basinet. The lace sheet from my mother's wedding ceremony draped over the opening to protect him from the sunlight. I could hear the baby's sweet laughter as some invisible fairy tickled his tiny tan feet.
As simplistic or silly as it seemed, it was what I imagined often. That's all I wanted from my life with her: to be happy and safe. I could even feel the warm summer breeze, as I looked up at a sky in my favorite shade of blue.
"Edward, do you love my body after the baby?" Bella asked softly. I didn't know why, but she was always concerned about her figure. She still couldn't see what I saw.
"There's nothing I love more than your body, Bella." I whispered. "Your body will always be perfect to me."
"Would you make love to me? Right here in the garden?" she cooed.
"Outside? What if the servants see us or hear?" I whispered as I felt my passion rise. Of course I would play coy with her, but ultimately it did not take much for me to surrender to her.
"They'll leave us alone. They won't bother us." She insisted. She climbed carefully on top of me and smiled.
"What about the baby?" I smirked.
"He's won't bother us either." She giggled. Then she loosened the ties of the white dress she wore. The airy fabric glided off her smooth shoulders.
"Bella, you're exceptional." I whispered as I reached out to touch her. She smiled at me as I brought her closer to me and began to kiss. My hands could not touch enough of her and my tongue could not taste enough of her skin. She whispered something to me, then glanced over her shoulder. I arched up to see what she looked at…
"Excuse me, sir?" I heard a voice respond. I opened my eyes and the same maid from earlier stood by the bed. I sat up and rubbed my eyes. I moved the photograph from my chest and glanced at the clock on the nightstand. How did I manage to sleep for over an hour?
"Oh…I must have been talking in my sleep. Sorry. I'm quite certain that I've never done that before." I apologized.
"It's ok, sir. You've been doing that for the past few nights now."
"A few nights?" I felt my face turn red.
"I know it isn't my place to ask, but that colored girl in your photograph…is that the same colored maid that was here more than a month ago?"
"Yes. She is a childhood friend of mine." I said nervously.
"Is she also the girl from your dreams? The one you're always talking to?" she said asked shyly. I didn't respond but took off my tie, adjusted my clothes.
"What exactly do I say in those dreams?" I looked at her earnestly. Perhaps maybe a bit too intense because she looked flustered.
"All sorts of things, but they're all about love." She said shyly. "I wish someone loved me that way."
"I'd appreciate if you'd keep this between us." I said softly. "Not just for my sake, but for her safety."
"Cross my heart." She said.
Soon after I left my room to join Jasper for dinner. I apologized for keeping him waiting and explained how I fell asleep. Of course he was gracious as always.
"So apparently I've been talking in my sleep." I said.
"Have you been divulging business or stock secrets?" Jasper laughed.
"Unfortunately not. That would be markedly better." I smirked "They appear to be more of the erotic theme."
"I'm beginning to think that maybe you're more sexually repressed than I thought." Jasper said. "I don't mean to pry, but I'm curious. How many partners have you had in the bedroom?"
"Only one. Only Bella." I said sincerely.
"There weren't any while your were away studying?" he insisted.
"Not one at all." I shook my head no.
"Well, I'd say you've done well for yourself, ole boy. Respectfully saying that is."
"Were there many before Alice?"
"A handful. But I'm not being boastful. In the end, it's more about the quality. Some men don't understand that..."
"My older brother included. Did I ever tell you about the time he bought a prostitute for me?"
Jasper nearly spat his wine out after I asked him the question. He wiped his mouth and leaned forward. "No! He did that? Emmett is such a cad. What was his reasoning behind it?"
"Where should I even begin?" I threw my hands up. "Well when we were younger I made the mistake of telling him that I found colored girls attractive. That became our own private thing that we shared: secrets about girls.
He'd tease me about being a virgin. He said that if he had green eyes like mine, he wouldn't have to work too hard. Women would throw themselves at his feet. He couldn't understand how I could be in my 20s and be so inexperienced.
Following my return home after my father's passing, he became obsessed in a sort of way. And then he caught me one night in my room. Honestly, it was my own fault for not locking my room door."
"He caught you?" Jasper's eyes squinted.
"In the act you could say. Pleasuring myself." I cringed as I remembered it. "And what's actually the worst part, I think he heard me call Bella's name."
"Oh, I'm sure if he did, surely he would've mentioned it by now." he tried to assure me.
"Jasper, you don't know Emmett he's cold and calculating. Maybe he's waiting for the right moment."
"He sounds a bit like your grandmother."
"So how did the prostitute become a part of this?" he urged me to continue the memory.
"Well, when I had my first successful meeting with the investors, he wanted to congratulate me. In the middle of the night, he brought her in my room. He said, 'A little chocolate and booze to celebrate.' He had a colored prostitute for me, and a blonde for himself. I think it was his initial intentions were to celebrate...you could say...together. The four of us."
Jasper's eyes widened as he listened.
"Well, I just sat there dumbfounded. I'd never been in that situation before and I had no idea what to say. 'Can you believe this? The great Edward Cullen doesn't know how to pitch the woo?' He teased. So Emmett left the girl and I alone. She sized me up and told me what she could do. How she could do it. What would cost extra.
And you know something Jasper? The only thing I could think about was why a young girl like her resorted to that kind of lifestyle. So I offered her a job. Something respectable decent, and she laughed in my face! She said that she wasn't going to scrub any toilets or cook any meals. She said that she had fun doing what she was doing and if I ever had sex before I would know what she meant. When she realized I wouldn't touch her, I surmised she was offended. She grabbed her things and left the room."
"Unbelievable." Jasper shook his head in disbelief.
"That seems to be the running theme with my life lately" I had to laugh.
"Edward, you and I should talk more often." Jasper chuckled.
"Excuse me Mr. Cullen, there's a call for you on the telephone." one of the other maids said to me.
"Jasper, this will only take a moment." I got up from the table and followed the maid to the telephone phone. I picked it up not sure who would be on the other end of it. "Hello?"
"Son? I just had to hear your voice!" A voice raspier than my own answered.
"Yeah, mac it's me. I been so worried for ya. I heard some people talkin' about you in the bookshop. They said you're a marked man. Son ya have to protect yourself. Ya have to learn how to fight. I don't think my old ticker could take it. I can't lose ya twice." My father sounded anxious and nervous. The last thing I needed was for another person to worry about me.
"I learned how to shoot. I have a gun. I have great aim." I tired to convince him with my confidence.
"Mind yourself. Shootin' ain't all ya need to be good at. Ya have to be fast on ya feet too and quick with your fists. Those Italian mobsters are rougher than those bowsies from the park. I could teach ya a thing or two son of you let...if ya trust me. "
"Of course I trust you. When can I meet up with you? I don't know how safe it'll be to meet at this hour." It was already dark outside and I'll be perfectly frank, I had grown to become quite fearful of the night.
"Yeah. Come see me in the morn, boy. Come to the bookshop, then."
"Alright, I'll see you in the morning." I said. I hung the telephone back on the receiver and went back to dinner.
That following morning, I fought myself to wake from an extremely amorous dream with Bella to meet my father. I bathed, dressed, and had a quick cup of coffee. I assured the maids that I would eat while I was out. I started to wonder if Margaret had contacted the servants here to prod me to eat. It was believable.
I read the paper while we drove silently up the side of Central Park. The headline was about Emmett. He was pictured with a striking blonde shopping at a jewelry store. The headline read "Is Emmett Cullen the next to Wed? Dethroned Prince with Newfound Love!"
He could at least try hard enough to be less conspicuous. This new lifestyle has changed him drastically. A new scar was on his face. His hair was set in glossy waves and his new style of dress was gaudy and flashy. To make his new look complete, all he required was a Tommy gun.
I skimmed through the article, but it did not have any quotes. It was all mere gossip and assumptions. Apparently the blonde pictured in the photograph was the owner of the nightclub he where did business. That woman, Rosalie Hale, seemed to have a criminal record longer than most people that were in the papers these days.
"Emmett, when will you learn?" I muttered to myself.
"Sir, we've arrived." The driver said.
"Thank you. I'll only be a moment. Drive the car around the block. When you return, I'll be outside with my companion." I smiled. I exited the car and entered the bookstore. The chime on the door rang, and the floor squeaked slightly under my weight.
"Good morning." I said to the shop clerk who nodded at me and continued his work. It was always refreshing when someone did not recognize my face. Most people did not realize how tall I was so they were never really certain.
I walked around the shop to look for my father. I saw him in the poetry section. He looked lifetimes better than when I last saw him. His hair was neat and cut. His beard was neatly trimmed and his clothes although inexpensive, complimented him better than the rags he last owned.
In his hand, he held a copy of poetry by William Butler Yeats. As he read, he mouthed the words. He did not realize that I stood close to him. Or at least I thought he didn't until he began to read out loud.
"And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars". He closed the book and smiled at me.
"There was once I time I knew all of his poems by heart." He said with a sad smile.
"What happened? How did you forget them?" I asked.
"No use for it. I had to grow up, and leave that poetry stuff alone. I keep trying to warn ya that this world has no place to dreamers." He huffed and placed the book neatly on the shelf. "Let's go."
We left the bookstore quietly and just like I requested, the car was in front. I let my father enter in first and I followed him we drove off silently.
"Are you gonna take me to that dear mansion you're hiding out in now?" He asked.
"I thought that maybe we could get something to eat. Have you had breakfast yet?"
"I ate already, but I've a mouth on me!" He laughed. So we drove to a café. A small one that would not have attention drawn to me and we ate and talked. I would have loved to take him back to "Forks", but I didn't want to impose on Laurent. I watched my father make his special coffee by pouring his flask into his mug.
"Here, have some. It's never too early. There ya go, a proper cup of coffee." He said as he poured the liquor into my mug. I took a sip; it certainly was strong whatever it was.
"Don't ya drink? Or do ya just have all that fancy wine and champagne?" He joked.
"Mostly…I don't drink liquor that often." I cleared my throat. He stared at my face kindly. I wanted to read his mind; I tried to read his expression.
"It's like staring into my old face lookin' at ya face. If I knew then what I know now…" he started. "I know ya won't listen to me. I can tell it's too late already. Dreamin' of marriage and babbies ain't ya? "
"Yes…" I hesitated slightly before I continued. I looked into his eyes and I knew he could be trusted. "She's going to have my baby."
"A babby? You're gonna be a dad?" He blushed.
"Jaysus! I'm gonna be a granddad?" He asked as a wide smiled spread across his face.
"You are." I smiled.
"Ya actually did it? You're definitely my son!" he reached across the small table and placed his hand on my shoulder. "Ya couldn't have picked a better girl too. Renee's babby is fine girl. Renee was a fine girl herself when we were young."
"Was she? Could you tell me more about the happier times?"
"Oh, before I did everything arseways ya mean?" He laughed. "I remember coming to the mansion the first time and being amazed seeing all the finery there. Where I lived in Dublin didn't have those things. I was like a kid on Christmas day. I was naive and nervous and excited.
Renee's husband, Charlie, was my best mate. Well before they became husband and wife, was when I met him. He took me under his wing, showed me the ins and outs of the mansion. We got into loads of trouble together, but we were decent people. He was the only who I could talk to besides Esme…" when he said my mother's name, he looked at his breakfast with an expression I couldn't decipher completely. Was it love? Was it regret? Was it a sense of longing?
"Well, I told him everythin'. All the things I thought about Esme, all the things we did. He tried to talk me out of it too you know. He didn't want me to get fired for it…I didn't listen though." He cleared his throat. "But he was there for me, he never told. So I had to be there for him. He loved Renee. He sang all these songs to her and that sort of thing. She wouldn't think twice about him. She didn't like that he gambled.
Now I never knew someone as lucky and unlucky as Charlie. He'd win money all the time, but he was too generous for his own good. He wanted to help everyone that had less than he did. And we weren't rich at all, but it was something in him that made him want to give. I think that's what Renee fell in love with, his big heart.
And the fact I helped. I went to the kitchen one day, Renee was there with her friends and I called her to the side. Of course Margaret was on my back nagging 'Don't keep her long Anthony'. So I pulled Renee to the side and I spoke to her. I told her. 'Charlie loves you more than anything in this world. Why are ya so mean to him all the time?' And she says in her voice 'I can't raise a baby in a mansion. Havin' that baby see all the things she can't never have. It ain't fair. I love Charlie too, but I can't start my family with him here'. So I think about it for a while and I think of the most romantic thing I can think to say.
I look down at Renee and I said to her, "Your babby might not have all these fancy things, but he'll have someone who loves you both more than anything. Charlie is a fine man Renee, money and finery can't buy that." And don't you know that worked? She gave him a chance she did. I didn't go to their wedding, it happened after I got shacked out."
"So it was because of you they married?" I asked.
"Damn right! I may have fecked things up in my own life, but at least I did one good deed on this Earth. I helped you by letting Carlisle raise you as his own." My father crossed his arms and nodded.
"You've done a lot more for me." He looked at me confused, so I continued. "There was always this part of myself I felt was missing. I felt like I didn't fit in with my family…but from meeting you, I understand why. From what my mother told me about you, I know why."
He uncrossed his arms and his expression softened. "Esme told ya about me?"
"Yes. She had nothing but kind words to say." I said softly. He said something in his native tongue. It was in a language I never learned or heard anyone else use besides Margaret. I would have to find out what 'mo chuisle' meant.
"So let me do another good deed and teach ya how to fight. My da taught me, I'll teach you, and you'll teach your babby." He said kindly with a light in his eyes.
Edward is making a better effort to be Jasper's friend…how did you feel about their conversation? He's also in for some quality time for with his father. Do you think he'll be able to help him? Let me know what you think in a review or a private message!
I appreciate hearing from all of you! Many thanks to those who read and review! Many thanks to those who have subscribed, favorited my story, and suggested my story to others. Another thanks to everyone who liked my facebook page: NY Dollface Fanfiction. I'm trying my best to stay connected to all of my wonderful readers out there! Have a great week everyone!