Hi! This is a scene that I cut from Arms to keep the pace up during Edward and Bella's separation. It take place somewhere between Chapters 17 & 18, but was merely alluded to in later chapters as it slowed things down considerably. Still... a lot of you have been curious about how Mama & Papa Cullen reacted to the news of Edward and Bella's relationship, so now that our happy couple is back together and getting ready to move on, I thought it would be a good time to share it with you. Enjoy!
Twilight & its characters belong to Stephenie Meyer, and while this outtake was beta'd early on, I've added some things since then, so any mistakes below are mine. :-)
Arms Outtake: Telling His Parents
"Dude... How long are you going to scowl at that same bowl of… What was it? Lucky Charms?"
I laugh lightly as Emmett stomps into the kitchen.
"It's Captain Crunch."
"There's colored stuff in it," he comments, making his way to the sink and grabbing his travel mug out of the dish rack.
"So it has Crunch Berries in it." I shrug and stir it up a little. It's complete mush.
"You know that shit is coated in wax or something, right? You must have poured that an hour ago, man."
"Are you okay?"
I shrug again and sigh.
Emmett lets out a grunt. "Dude, you're such a chick."
"Whatever," I retort, ever the witty one.
He laughs and gets his own cereal before sitting down across from me. He normally grabs a bagel or protein bar and heads out the door so I know something's up.
"So today's the day, huh?" he asks casually.
I smile. I knew he wanted something.
"Yes, today's the day. Dad's off and Mom is working from home. We're having brunch." I use finger quotes for emphasis.
Emmett's quiet for a moment, with the exception of the loud crunching coming from his mouth.
"Are you sure you don't want some back up?" he says, his mouth half full of cereal. "I could just be there, you know… for moral support."
I shake my head. "No, thanks, Emmett. I have to do this on my own."
I'll feel self-conscious enough as it is telling my parents that I'm in love with somebody. I don't need an audience. And I Certainly don't need witnesses to the disaster that it's bound to be when I tell them I'm in love with Bella.
I just hope brunch is good because I doubt Mom will be cooking for me again anytime soon.
In the past few weeks, she's made it abundantly clear that she and Dad still consider Bella one of their children. If that weren't enough to concern me, on more than one occasion, I've heard them tell others that Emmett and I acted without hesitation to save a girl who'd "clearly become a sister to us."
It makes me want to crawl out of my skin every time they say it, which has been all too often as it's only the biggest news story to hit Forks in about fifty years. In fact, the media coverage has made the situation even more complicated than it needed to be. If word got out that I had any type of relationship with Bella outside what was appropriate for a brother or teacher to have, it would forever taint my career and most likely damage my parent's reputations as well.
Emmett has been supportive about everything though. He's made sure that , legally at least, no one can touch me. In addition, now that he's had a few weeks to deal with it, he honestly seems to like the idea of Bella with me. He's also endlessly optimistic, which means more than I can ever tell him, even if I don't show it enough. It takes almost all my concentration to hide my feelings for Bella publically and with the rest of our family.
It's not been easy. Especially the couple of times I've been over to Mom and Dad's place since being released from the hospital. I can't look anywhere without seeing Bella there. I feel drawn to the room where she used to sleep, the room where we became a we. I feel the same when I pass the dining room where we reviewed math lessons together, math she hadn't needed in years. I'm quite sure returning to my classroom would feel the same to me, but that's one issue I've not had to conquer yet. Medical leave is a beautiful thing.
Emmett clears his throat bringing my focus back into the present.
"So, I think Mom's going to be the one to go mental. She was super attached to Bella and has a tendency to go all "mother-bear" on people. I think Dad will take it better. He's a red blooded American man, so he has to get that attraction is involuntary and has nothing to do with age. He'll respect that you didn't act on your inclinations until you knew she wasn't jailbait."
"Thanks," I snort.
"Yeah, well it would be a whole different situation if you and Bella had been knocking boots beforehand."
"Watch it, little brother."
He laughs. "Okay... how's locking lips instead?"
"Well, going back to Mom and Dad, I don't think you have anything to worry about. The way you were acting the month leading up to the shooting isn't the way a man acts when he's getting some. You know?"
I make a face.
He shrugs. "I'm just trying to help."
"I know you are."
And I do. He's helped me more than I probably even know. But I still won't be inviting him to watch this thing go down.
My mother could have been a chef for a living, and this morning, she's outdone herself. Everything is amazing. The brunch she made tastes perfect, looks perfect, smells perfect... but I can barely bring myself to touch it. I'm too nervous.
Dad picks up on my anxiety and shoots me a questioning look while Mom goes on about how much she misses having us kids at home to cook for.
"Well, since Bella..." she says, trailing off.
We all look at each other and then she and Dad go back to their plates, sad resigned smiles on their faces. I can tell my father is about to ask the same question he begins a lot of these conversations with.
"Has your brother heard anything new from his U.S. Marshal friend?"
I shake my head and pick up my coffee, holding it in front of me to give me a focal point in case I start to freak out.
I will admit... I've had a panic attack or two. Both happened when I was already exhausted and we'd been discussing Bella's case and history, along with making theories on potential outcomes of the upcoming trials she'll be involved in. Today won't be as bad as all that, but I like the comfort of the warm porcelain against my palms and the color of the coffee, swirling inside the mug.
Brown. Warm and liquid like Bella's eyes.
Apparently, I've been silent too long and both my parents are watching me with concerned expressions.
"Honey, is something wrong?" Mom asks.
My eyes widen. "Oh, no. No, everything's fine. I mean, it's the same. Nothing new, but..."
Here we go. The moment of truth.
"I have something I need to tell you guys."
Dad puts his coffee cup down. Mom smiles.
"Well, what is it?"
Oh, God... please don't freak out.
"Oh!" Mom shouts. She waves her hands back and forth. "Wait. Hold that thought. I'm sorry to interrupt, but this sounds like big news as opposed to bad news, and I have something I've been meaning to show you. I just don't want to forget because I promised that sweet Ms. Meyer."
I'm confused. "Who? Steph?"
"Yes," she laughs, pushing her chair back to stand. My brow wrinkles in confusion.
She grins as she walks out of the room. "Don't act so surprised that I know your co-workers. It's a small town."
I shake my head, looking at my dad. "When was the last time mom was at school?"
"I believe Ms. Meyer came to the hospital, actually," Dad says.
We sip our coffee and I pick at another bite of my food before Mom returns carrying what look like two large photo albums. She smiles and sets them down before sliding gracefully into the chair next to mine.
"What's all this?"
"Well, these are all the letters and notes of encouragement written by your students while you were in the hospital. There were so many and they were just sitting in a box, so Stephenie offered to do something special with them."
"That was nice of her."
Mom nods and opens the top album. "She's very creative, too. They're all laid out beautifully. I couldn't have done a better job myself."
She slides a finger along the bottom of the page protector. There is a dedication and a poem. It's very "Steph" and makes me smile. My mom flips a few pages for me. I glance at one or two of the notes. Most are no more than two sentences and a name, but it's still overwhelming. I haven't seen these since I left the hospital.
Dear Mr. Cullen,
I'm so sorry you got shot. It's really shocking to think that something like that could happen in our little town, especially to someone as nice as you. I'm praying for you, and hope you can come back to school soon.
Love from, Laurie Johnson
Mom turns the page and laughs before handing it to me. "Look at this one," she says pointing to one particular note.
Roses are red, violets are blue,
It sucks you're in the hospital,
'Cause we really miss you.
Get well soon, Eric Yorkie
I chuckle and look at a few more until Mom clears her throat. She's holding the other book, thumbing it a moment before opening it.
"This one is Bella's. There were notes and cards for her, too. I wasn't sure what to do with them, but I thought it couldn't hurt. You know... just in case, when this is all over, if she is allowed to come back... if she even wants to."
"Mom..." I start.
She shakes her head and closes the album. "I'm sorry, Edward. I know it's been hard for you to talk about her having a permanent place with this family, but–"
I put my hand on hers and squeeze. "Mom. That's not it at all."
She looks at me and her eyes are moist. Sometimes I think she's suffering almost as much as I am. Sometimes.
I sigh. "I want Bella to be a part of our family, I really do, it's just..." I let go of her hand and run mine through my hair. I push my chair from the table and stand up. "God, this is not how I wanted to start out."
"Start out what?" she asks, clearly confused.
I begin pacing. Dad clears his throat.
"What is this about, son?"
I sigh and turn to face them. Dad is now standing behind Mom. I can tell from his expression that he knows this is serious.
"It's about Bella," I begin, taking a deep breath. "See... see... The thing is... there's this woman."
I glance at them before letting my eyes fall to the floor. They look perplexed by the apparent change in topic.
"Um, I met someone. And she's amazing. Completely amazing. I was instantly intrigued by her and attracted to her, but when I first met her, it looked like it wasn't meant to be. That it couldn't be. So I tried to stay away from her. I tried to put her out of my mind and just be her friend, or whatever I was supposed to be to her, but..."
I shake my head and exhale heavily.
"It was hard — so much harder than I ever imagined ignoring a silly crush should be. It made me angry, too, because she turned my life completely upside down. She made me question who I was and what I believed in. But then..."
I swallow hard and prepare to lay it all out there.
"Then I found out that she wasn't the person I originally thought she was. She was... more... everything I could have wanted. And most importantly, she turned out to be someone who wasn't off limits to me. Which, incredibly, isn't even the most amazing part because she feels the same way about me. She loves me. Or she did. I really don't think she would stop just because..."
My words fall away when I realize I'm rambling.
I stand there, breathing too fast, with no idea what my parents are thinking. I haven't looked at them at all since I began. I'm afraid to look at them. Maybe I just should have started with a simple, "I'm in love with–"
"You're in love with Bella?" Mom asks suddenly. "Bella is this girl?"
My head comes up involuntarily. I can't not look for confirmation of what I'm hearing. She doesn't sound mad, or disgusted. Not at all. Meeting her eyes confirms it. She appears shocked, but nowhere near appalled.
I nod once in answer.
She blinks and opens her mouth before closing it again and letting out a funny sound.
"I can't believe it... Our Bella? Anna Bella, er, Isabella?"
I nod again.
She raises her hand to her mouth and shakes her head. "This is why you didn't want to stay with her while we were gone? Why you stopped coming around for dinner or to help with her school work?"
"Because you were in love with her?"
"Yes, well, because I was falling in love with her."
"How? I mean..." She shakes her head and frowns. "Did you know that she was... older? When you started having these feelings for her, I mean. Did you know?"
I watch while disappointment fills her eyes. "Edward..."
"Mom, please listen. At the beginning, I only knew that I was attracted to her, but I fought it. Please believe me that I tried not to think that way about her. It just turned out to be next to impossible. From the very start I felt intensely protective of her. I wanted to take care of her, and comfort her, but I restrained myself. I didn't act on anything until after I found out she was an adult."
She seems to have a hard time deciding what to say next and is obviously still processing the information I've given her. I chance a glance at my father then and wish immediately that I hadn't.
He looks livid.
So much for Emmett's prediction.
He puts a hand up to stop me. "You lied to me."
"What?" I'm confused. "When?"
"Before we left for Hawaii I asked you if there was anything going on between you and Anna Bella that I needed to know about. You told me no. You fed me that line about how you'd pushed her to open up about her past and her response had been to shut down. You made a big show of blaming yourself for the changes in her behavior, and you said that was the reason you didn't want to be alone with her – because you were worried about how she would handle it. You lied to me."
"I didn't lie. Everything I told you was true."
"Except that you omitted a pretty significant detail. Don't you think?"
"You asked me if something had happened between us, and nothing had."
Dad sighs. "I'd say falling in love with one of your students, and our foster-child, is a pretty big something. You should have told me."
"Told you what? Something I refused to admit even to myself? I thought it just some ridiculous crush. I thought if I ignored it, or stayed far enough away from her, it would go away."
"Yet you agreed to stay overnight in the same house with her, un-chaperoned, fully aware you were attracted to her. Do you have any idea how irresponsible that was?"
"I stayed because I was asked to! Dad, come on... I never would have touched her. I swear."
His eyes narrow. "So you say."
"Are you kidding me? What have I ever done to make you believe I'm even capable of doing something like that? I'm not perfect, but I'm no criminal. I know the difference between right and wrong!"
Mom reaches out and takes my hand, but faces my father. "That's enough. We can discuss this calmly and rationally... and without questioning our son's integrity."
She stands. Dad mumbles something and backs up. I sit down, feeling a little sick to my stomach all of a sudden.
"All right, now, look," Mom begins. "It would be very easy to get wrapped up in the 'could've, should've, would'ves' here. It would be easier still for us to start jumping to conclusions and assume that things went on in this house that we wouldn't approve of. However, for now,I would like to give Edward the benefit of the doubt because he willingly came to us with this."
I take a deep breath and look up at her. Her expression is much more calm than I imagine mine to be. She smiles gently.
"You said Bella feels the same about you."
I nod. "Yeah."
"And how did all of this come up?"
"Um... it was after the incident at the movie theater. After I learned her real name. And after I learned that..."
"That she wasn't seventeen," Mom finishes.
"Yeah," I say, pausing to think a moment.
"So when you realized she was older..."
"I knew I had to talk to her. She was told there was a chance that she would have to leave the next day, so it couldn't wait. And then..." I take another deep breath. "Once I confronted her, every wall between us just seemed to come crashing down. There was so much that had gone unsaid between us, so we didn't waste a minute."
I cringe internally realizing that statement is truer than they can possibly know. I only hope they don't catch on, because I'm pretty sure my dad might just kill me right now if he knew everything, or even guessed. Proving my point, he crosses his arms over his chest looking very displeased.
"I'm going to exercise some restraint and not allow my imagination to run away with that remark."
Great... I look away.
Mom sighs. "Carlisle, let's not make this more painful than it needs to be. The situation cannot be changed now."
Dad sighs. "No, it can't, which is why I'm trying not to think the worst."
"I just wish you'd used a little restraint. We were out of town, you were alone together, and she was in a vulnerable position. I doubt you'd ever do so intentionally, but it would have been all too easy to take advantage of her affection for you given those circumstances."
Mom's eyes flash and she scoffs.
"Oh, please... you had zero restraint when it was me home alone and my parents were out of town. And as I recall, not only did neither one of us ever feel like you took advantage of me, but I was even younger than Bella was at the time."
My father's face turns an unnatural shade of reddish purple at my mother's shocking statement. Even as I try to unhear what I heard, she continues, turning to me with a smirk.
"In case you're curious… your great-grandfather passed away the day after our first date."
"And guess who showed up outside my bedroom window offering a shoulder to cry on when he heard the news?"
I blink. "Mom, I really don't want to know that."
She smiles wryly as my father collapses in the chair next to me. "Well, there are some things I don't want to know about you either, but if you really love Bella, and she loves you, then there are things I'm willing to ignore. Or things I'll learn to ignore. It won't be easy, I have to admit. A large part of me is very uncomfortable with this."
"But I also know it takes two to tango, and I doubt you'd be sitting here right now if you didn't think there was a good reason, if you thought your feelings weren't mutual."
"No, they are."
"Are you sure? Your father does have a point about Bella being vulnerable. Are you sure they weren't hasty declarations made in the heat of the moment?"
I shake my head. "I don't think so. We both fought this for months."
"Did she tell you that she had feelings for you for months?"
I smile, my cheeks heating subtly. "Yeah."
"Hmm..." My mother looks at my father and sighs.
He just shakes his head, looking miserable. However, I can't tell if it's because Mom outted their own impulsive beginning, or if it's because he's that uncomfortable with the idea of Bella and I together.
"Look, I'm sorry…" I say.
Mom waves me off. "Sometimes these things just happen. Sometimes, you can't help who you love."
She moves next to my father and runs her hands through his hair. He smiles up at her and then pulls her into his lap.
I have to look away.
"Did Bella ever tell you how we first met? Her first day of school?" I ask, staring out the window and needing them to understand.
My father is the first to answer. "No, I don't think she did."
"I was tired that morning. My plane from that ski trip got in late the night before and I was already dragging by third period. I had just stepped out of my classroom to make a coffee run to the teacher's lounge when I ran right into her instead. I didn't even see her." I pause, my mind going back to the day it happened. "She went down so fast... before I could even register what had happened she flat on her back. I didn't know then that it was your new 'foster-child' of course, but when I went to help her up..."
"Was she hurt?" my father asks. Of course he does…
"She had a bump on her head, but it didn't seem to hurt her." I smile, remembering the dazed expression in her eyes and realizing now that she'd been as taken aback by me as I was by her.
I realize I've not only zoned out, but my face is probably exactly what it was on that day. I force a smile.
"I wish I could explain what it was like... When she looked into my eyes, I saw her and it was as though she was the only thing I could see." I let out a breath and laugh sardonically. "It freaked me the hell out."
Nobody says anything for a long time, and then,
I swallow back my emotions. "Yeah?"
"You know that we both love Bella, too. Right?"
"So you can understand why we're concerned? Why this is such a shock?"
"Look at me, please."
I turn my head slowly.
"There's something else that worries me about all this."
I frown. "What?"
"I'm worried about your well-being. I realize now why it is you've been so melancholy since you were injured; why you're having panic attacks and failing to bounce back from this the way you should be."
I shrug. "I miss her."
"You more than miss her."
He has no idea. "It feels like I'm... like I'm…"
"Missing a lung? Or some other vital organ?"
"I know what that's like."
Sadly, this does nothing to make me feel better.
"Edward, son, have you thought about what happens if..."
Mom stiffens in his arms, but he continues.
"What happens if you never see her again? She's in the Witness Protection Program."
I shake my head. "I can't think about that right now. I refuse to."
I hear my mother sniffle and know she's struggling not to cry. My eyes burn as well. There is no easy answer, no small comfort to be given. We all know the future Bella is most likely facing.
What they need to know now is... the future I'm facing is the same.
Somehow, someway, I have to find her.
Well, there you go. I hope that answers some questions & helps you better understand a few things that will come up as we wrap up the story.
Thank you for reading, & as always, I'd love to hear from you!