A/N: OMG I am so sorry guys! I didn't intend to take this long to post, RL got in the way MAJORLY and well, now i'm back I promise, i'll start updating again. I will tell you that this story is probably winding down now, I can't say how many chapters are left exactly because honestly, I don't really know. So without further ado...
Things settled in for Edward, Ethan and I. Ethan had to start a new school since we were in a whole new school district, he has been adapting well and had by the end of the first day made quite a few new friends and according to Edward, a few of the female variety. Apparently, he was a little casanova. Being a mom, it wasn't something I wanted to think about but Edward was more than encouraging, I had to live with him that wee,k smirking, and more than one, "that's my boy." I just rolled my eyes. Men.
Today, I'm meeting Alice for lunch at this little café we frequent. We haven't had much time to spend together lately, with her job and with me moving further away, the little time we had together to begin with, strained even further. Pulling into a parking spot I got out and made my way inside, Alice called me when she got there and had gotten our usual table in the back. The moment I got to the table I was accosted by the little pixie.
"Oh my god, Bella! I've missed you! We can't go this long again without seeing each other! You look so good, you're practically glowing! OMG! You guys totally did it didn't you! I'm so happy for you; you have to tell me everything!"
Good lord, this woman was like a squirrel on crack! By the time she shut up, I was fire engine red from all the attention she was drawing to us, not to mention the fact that she shouted to the whole place that I had, in fact, had sex.
"Alice, please can we not share this with the whole restaurant? I will tell you about it, but we will be using our inside voices, ok?"
She stepped back from me with a sheepish smile on her face.
"Of course, sorry Bella, I just got over excited when I saw you. I've missed you chick."
I gave her a smile and a wink to let her know I wasn't mad at her and we took our seats. Not needing to look at a menu, we called our waiter over and ordered our usual. Not even fifteen seconds after he left did Alice start in on the questions.
"So, how was it?"
I sighed, it was best just to answer her questions and get it out of the way now.
"It was great. He was so careful with me and loving. He told me he loved me too." I grinned remember that night with great clarity. The look on Edwards face as he said those three little words to me will forever been burned into my mind.
"How sweet is that? You guys are so meant to be. It's like fate or something! I'm so happy for you and Edward. He's really great at being a dad isn't he? It's like he has no issues at all about it." Again I smiled.
"It's true Edward took to being a dad like he'd always been one. I had been thanking my lucky stars every day since that he's been so cool about everything. I could have all gone so differently. I wasn't ever expecting anything to happen between us, all I wanted out of telling him the truth was for Ethan to have his dad in his life. Sometimes I still wonder if it's all a dream. I mean, I lied to him for almost 10 years. He has every right to hate me and he doesn't. I don't understand it and I'd be stupid to question him on it but truthfully, I have to wonder why he didn't act angrier or why he didn't completely fly off the handle at me." It felt good to finally voice this to someone; it had been eating at me for a while.
"Sweets, why don't you ask him? If it's bothering you this much, then you need to get it all cleared up so you can move on."
I knew she was right, I just didn't know if I could bring myself to do it. We were so happy right now that I didn't want to bring any negativity into it. "I'm just afraid of rocking the boat any, I suppose. We've got everything going for us right now, we're happy, in love and our son has both his parents together under the same roof. I guess I'm afraid that if I do bring it up, it'll make him really thing about it, and then who knows? What if he decides that I'm not worth it?"
"He's already told you that he loves you. I really think you guys need to talk this out. You won't be able to move forward until everything is out in the open. I'll bet my Jimmy Choo collection that he doesn't even know that you are having these questions and doubts, does he?"
Looking down at my hands on the table, I shake my head.
"He doesn't know, and I think I've done a good job at hiding it too." I really feel guilty, the more I think about it, Edwards pretty much trusted me right off the bat, even when he had no reason to, and I'm still keeping things from him. I feel tears start to form but I quickly dispel them, no need to get all emotional over this, I need to put my big girl panties on and just talk to Edward about it.
"Your right Alice, I need to talk to him about it, I'll bring it up tonight after Ethan goes to bed." I nod bringing the subject to a close. Alice smiles at me but doesn't say anything, and like that, the topic is closed and she transitions into the next subject, the newest outfit she bought and the accessories to match. I roll my eyes but grin. I missed my friend, even her long winded talks about fashion.
After lunch, I head out to get some errands done, after a quick stop in the office to pick up another book to edit, I head to the grocery and then go to pick Ethan up from school. We get home, after helping me to put groceries away; he sits at the bar and starts on homework while I get dinner going. With the weather turning colder, I opted for stew tonight. Getting all the ingredients chopped up, I put it in the crock pot to cook. I look around for something to do, be it clean or straighten up, but I come up empty so I opt to sit at the bar with Ethan and work on the book, I'm supposed to be editing. Minutes go by and we work in a comfortable silence. I hear the quiet scratching of his pencil stop, then silence followed by him running the eraser over the table, followed by a thumping noise from him hitting it against the table's edge. It's a nervous tick, one that I myself have. Setting my red pen down, I look up at my son. He stops tapping, but doesn't let go of his pencil, choosing instead to twirl it around in his hands. He's nervous about something, obviously, hmm… My son doesn't squirm, ever. He's never been afraid to ask or tell me something, so this must be a good one. Clearing my throat to get his attention, I start.
"So, Ethan, how's school going?" He keeps the twirling up but responds,
"It's going good. I like my new teacher better than the last one."
I sigh; I can already tell this conversation is going to be like pulling teeth. Best just to cut right to the chase, I think.
"Ethan, why don't you tell me what's bothering you, so we can fix it. You've never had an issue before with telling me anything, so either this is something really big, or well, I can't think of any other reason you're not telling me. We've never kept secrets from each other before." His shoulders slum down a bit, so I know he feels guilty about not telling me, I need to fix this quick.
"It's ok, if you don't want to talk about it though, you just talk when you're ready, be it to me or your dad, ok?" He nods, I see that that's all I'm going to get out of him at the moment so I let it go and go back to my editing.
Edward arrives home around 5:30 surprising us all. Getting up, I place a quick kiss on Ethan's head as I move to greet Edward at the entrance to the kitchen. He grins and wraps his arms around my waist I place a quick kiss to his lips as I put my arms around his neck.
"I like getting kisses as soon as I walk in the door, a man could get used to that"
He lets go of one side of my waist, but still keeping me near as he moves past our son, ruffling his hair as he goes by, "Eth, behave yourself for a few minutes while I go change. After dinner tonight, it's you and me on Just Dance 2, I want a rematch!"
For the first time today, I see a genuine smile on my sons face, "Pffft, you can't beat me old man, you might as well just save your energy for something a little more your pace. You might break a hip trying to keep up with me." Ethan laughs maniacally as Edward lets go of me to go after him.
"Why you little brat, get back here!" They chase after each other, Edward finally catching up to him and gently tackling him outside in the back yard, tickling him mercilessly. After a few minutes they come back in both a little rumpled but with matching crooked grins on their faces.
"OK, you heathen, your mom and I'll be right back, stay out of trouble, ok?"
I grin as I walk with him up stairs; Edward always manages to put a smile on our faces.
I wanted to mention Ethan's behavior and see if he's noticed anything. Going into the massive walk in closet, Edward starts to undress, immediately I close the distance between us, and help him with the buttons on his shirt.
"Have you noticed anything different about how Ethan's been acting lately? He's seemed more closed off, normally he's happy and tells us about anything going on but, earlier today, he acted like he wanted to talk to me about something but when I asked him, he just got this look on his face, but didn't say anything. Has he said anything to you?" I look up at Edward and see a perplexed look on his face.
"No, I haven't really noticed anything, but he seemed fine a few minutes ago when I came in. Do you want me to ask him about it later?" I debated it, I told him that he could come to us when he was ready, and I didn't want to force him to talk before that.
"No, I told him he could talk to us when he's ready to. I don't want to push, but at the same time, I want to know what's wrong so I can fix it." Edward nods in understanding, but then lets the topic drop. He finishes changing and then we're on our way back downstairs.
Ethan's finished his homework and dinner's done, so we dish up and sit down to eat. We go over each other's days and once again, Ethan's quiet about his, giving short answers and not really divulging anything of value to the conversation. This leads me to believe that he has something going on at school. I glance at Edward and notice he's got the same worried look on his face that probably matches mine. We'd discuss it later after Ethan went to sleep. The boys take care of dishes since I made dinner, then we all adjourn to the basement to have some down time, the boys start off on their competition, Ethan once again beats Edward, but Edward beats me. I knew he would anyway, I've never been coordinated, just because I have a little remote in my hand doesn't correct that. Exhausted, we all decide to head to bed for the night. I wait on Ethan to shower and change before I head into his room to say goodnight. After he crawls into bed and gets comfortable, I sit on the edge,
"I know I said I'd give you time to talk to your dad and I, but I just wanted to let you know again that, you don't have to be afraid to talk to us, we're on your side no matter what, ok? We love you. Kissing his forehead, I make sure he's all tucked in before turning out the light, I'm about to close his door when I hear, his sweet little voice. "I love you guys too, mom." I smile as I shut his door.
I crawl into bed beside Edward after showering and changing. He's already changed and shirtless, propped up on the headboard with a book in hand. Leaning into him, he sets the book down and wraps his arms around me.
"I see what you mean about him being withdrawn, and I think it has something to do with school." I nod, knowing it's exactly what I was thinking.
"I agree but, there really isn't much we can do until he talks to us about it." I feel him nod against the side of my head, he starts placing feather light kisses along my temple, making his way down towards my jaw. I sigh, loving the feeling of his lips, but I know I can't allow this to go much further, I need to talk to him about how I'm feeling as well. Pulling back slightly, I turn so that I'm partially facing him. He's slightly pouting now, since I stopped his kisses.
"Is everything ok?"
I nod. "Yea, it's nothing huge, I've just had something on my mind that I wanted to talk to you about for a while now, and it's been kind of bugging me, I just didn't want to say anything though because we've been so happy lately I just don't know what kind of issue's this is going to bring up and I don't want anything to change between us, I love you and if I lost you I don't know what I'd do." I realize I'm rambling at this point, but I can't seem to stop so, Edward does it for me. Placing a finger on my lips, he looks me in the eye searching for something.
"Love, whatever it is, we'll get through it, I promise, just tell me what it is, you've got me worried."
Taking a deep breath I quickly gather my thoughts before starting.