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Disclaimers: Twilight © Stephenie Meyer. No copyright infringement is intended.
Special thanks to my beta and pre-readers. All remaining mistake is obviously mine.


¤ You Came Too Early ¤


Chapter 26- Making plans
(part I)

BPOV

I grabbed my phone and put it in the back pocket of my jeans; it was a weekday and I needed to stay reachable for work, especially now that I was waiting for news about Jasper's manuscript.

I was just about to slip my feet into my flipflops when Edward and Juliet came back from the airport. I rushed a bit, feeling giddy, and ran my way downstairs to meet them. By the time I reached Edward outside, he was trying to handle a sleeping little girl on one arm and keeping his grip on a big white bakery box, while closing the door of his car with his foot.

"Here, let me help you," I said, grabbing the box.

"Thanks." He smiled and readjusted Juliet in his arms, locking the car.

I could feel my stomach growl as I opened the box and took in the assorted dozen of butter, chocolate, raspberry and almond croissants that all looked – and smelled – freshly baked.

Managing to hold the big box with one arm, I picked up a raspberry and almond filled croissant and took a bite. I quietly moaned.

"You realize that you're probably my favorite person in the entire world right now," I said to Edward, my mouth full.

Edward laughed out loud. "If only I'd known sooner that pastries were all it took!"

"Yeah," I cringed playfully. "Maybe not." Croissants were nice, but I'd appreciated his efforts and apologies more. "Let me get that for you," I said again as we reached the porch. I put the croissant between my teeth to free my hand and opened the door.

"I'm going to take her back to bed," Edward told me before climbing the stairs with Juliet in his arms, her face buried in his neck.

I nodded to no one and went to the kitchen to put the croissants away. With my mouth still full with one of the best croissants I'd ever eaten, I juggled with the idea of having a second one. As I was making up my mind, my fingers flickering above the delicious pastries, trying to choose the next one, the ringtone of my phone startled me.

I checked the caller id and smiled.

"Seth!" I exclaimed, hoping I'd managed to cover the sound of my mouthful.

"Hey, sis! How are you hanging in there?" My brother's voice was warm and cheery.

"I'm doing great," I said honestly as my eyes landed on Edward from a distance as he was already coming back down.

"Yeah?" Seth's voice on the other end of the phone sounded skeptical. "You two aren't trying to kill each other yet?"

"What?" I frowned.

"Angela told me about your fight, and about his girlfriend." He now sounded concerned.

"Oh," I replied, stunned. I'd spoken with Angie barely a few days ago and yet it seemed like a lifetime ago. Edward and I had really come a long way; I wasn't sure how I was to explain this change to the people close to me. "Actually, no." I hesitated. "It's fine now. They, uh— they broke up." I lowered my voice as Edward approached, so he wouldn't overhear what I was talking about.

"For you?!" Seth wondered out loud, sounding stunned. It was almost hurtful.

"I don't think so... but thanks." I was starting to get annoyed and Seth heard it.

"Aw, it's not what I meant," he apologized. "It's just that... I worry about you."

"Well, don't—"

"I worry about you with him," he clarified as if I hadn't said anything. I sighed.

Edward had arrived in the meantime and now frowned at me. "Who's that?" He asked quietly, having noticed my irritation.

Seth, I mouthed.

Oh, he mouthed back, guilt and shame appearing on his gorgeous face. Unlike his relationship with me, where we both had our wrongs, when it came to his failed friendship with my brother, Edward took all the blame on his shoulders.

As for Seth, he was bitter and angry.

"Don't you think it's convenient that he broke up with that woman right when you're there? As if he could redeem himself. What is he even trying to prove?"

"Nothing," I replied, really believing it – believing Edward. I thought back at the reasons Edward had given me about his break-up with Tanya, and though he'd said it had nothing to do with me, I had to agree that the timing had worked perfectly for us. There was no doubt I'd pushed things along, but Edward was right; they both wanted different things in life and they would've broken up eventually, with or without my being here.

"Listen, Seth, I'm not a child anymore. I think I can make my own decisions now." As if to prove my words to myself, I reached up and pressed my lips to Edward's. He kissed me back, chastely, and smiled.

"I know," Seth admitted on the other end of the line, having no idea that his former best friend was right by my side. "It's just that I would hate for you to fall for his tricks again. I don't want you to end up hurt... again."

Speaking with Seth made me realize how glad I was that I'd made up my mind already. I wanted to spend my last days here enjoying Edward's company. I was done letting myself be influenced by the opinions of others who clearly didn't know all the facts. I shook my head, forgetting for a moment that he couldn't see me.

"It's okay. We're okay. We've talked things through, explained ourselves—"

"There is nothing to explain," Seth exclaimed. "That's what I'm warning you about! He was a selfish prick who abandoned you and your children to pursue some stupid dream—"

"And you," I said suddenly, stunned at how right I was. I couldn't believe I hadn't seen it sooner.

"What?" Seth calmed, dumbfounded.

Edward looked at me, equally shocked. He could only hear one side of the conversation, but I'm sure he'd realized by now that Seth and I had been talking about him.

"And you," I repeated calmly, for I was sympathetic for my brother. "When he left, he abandoned you, too." Unconsciously, I'd been staring at Edward's eyes as I said it, and he cringed at my words. I blinked. "That is why you're so mad. It has nothing to do with me; you're mad at him because he was your best friend, and he left you."

Edward looked down, saddened and remorseful. The next few words left my mouth without a second thought. "But he misses you, you know," I said to my brother. Edward's emerald green eyes snapped back to mine. "You should talk to him." My voice was only a murmur, hurting for those two men.

But Seth stayed silent and Edward seemed to sense it. "I'll let you finish," he whispered. "I'll be in the living room." He took a step forward, pressed a hand on the nape of my neck and kissed my forehead.

"Seth?" I called after a moment, watching Edward retreat.

The silence continued a few seconds before Seth spoke again. "I'll see you when you get back." He sounded both shaken but obstinate.

I sighed, resigned. "Fine."

"In the meantime... don't get hurt, okay?"

I smiled. Always the big, overprotective brother. "I won't," I assured him.

We said our goodbyes and hung up. I'd always been thankful for my brother when he went all the way to Los Angeles, in hopes of persuading Edward to come back. It'd been no surprise for me when he'd failed. If I hadn't succeeded to keep my husband – if even his own children weren't enough reasons to stay, I'd thought at the time – what could Seth say or do to change that?

I'd never realized how hard Seth had taken it, though.

Despite my sorrow, I smiled as I entered the living room. Edward was resting on the couch, lying down with both his head and feet on each end of the couch. His eyes were closed, but a frown and a subtle pout were spoiling his perfect features.

I walked closer and bent over him, kissing his worries away. He sighed contentedly and his arms wrapped around me, pulling me in. I almost fell but caught myself as we rearranged ourselves so we'd both fit on the couch, me in his arms. We continued to kiss, but as Edward's hands roamed over my back, I realized his heart wasn't in it.

"What is it, babe?"

Edward finally stopped kissing me long enough to ask the question. "He's still mad at me, isn't he? After all these years."

I raised myself up with my forearms on his chest and glanced down at him. "Seth has been mad for the past five years. But that's because he's hurt, I realize that now."

Edward nodded. "He hates me. That's understandable," he said to himself. "Of course he wouldn't want us back together."

I sighed and shook my head. I was so done speaking about Seth.

"I thought we'd agreed that we didn't care what the people around us thought was the best for us." His family wanted us back together. Mine... probably didn't. But it was what we wanted, what we thought was best for our kids and family that needed to count now.

"You're right," Edward replied, looking sheepish. "You're totally right!"

"Of course I am. I'm also right here, right now; we should make the best of it."

"Yeah," Edward laughed, in a better mood already. "Aren't you the voice of reason." His hand cupped my cheek and he rose up to kiss me, his full lips pressing on mine.

"I try," I joked between kisses; to many people, what we were doing, risking what we were risking, wouldn't exactly be considered reasonable. But it worked for us.

Edward smiled, happy that I was willing to give him a chance. "I love you," he whispered, quickly grabbing my lips again, his arms hugging me tighter.

-:-:-

The next thing I knew, a cacophony of murmurs erupted around me and a small hand shook my shoulder. I had to concentrate to make any sense out of it.

"Mommy...?"

"Shh! Juliet, don't wake them up!"

"But I'm hungry."

"Look, they seem so peaceful, let them sleep, okay? Come with me, we'll figure something out... Come on."

I blinked and opened my eyes, feeling foggy. They were already leaving the room, but I had time to notice Emma pulling Juliet away by the hand. Under me, Edward stirred and groaned.

"What time is it?" He asked hoarsely.

We hadn't exactly planned to fall asleep, but we both did. And despite the narrow couch and our uncomfortable setting, I'd slept better here, in Edward's arms, than I had in days.

I reached for my phone and checked the time. "It's ten thirty," I said, sitting up. Edward sat beside me, rubbing a hand to his face and neck.

"Was that the girls that I heard?"

"Uh-uh," I confirmed. "They were here just now." I gave out a sharp, powerless breath. "So much for not telling them, huh?"

Edward eyed me, unsure how to react. When I finally smiled at him, shrugging, he let out a weak laugh and kissed my cheek. "It's not that bad," he said. "I promise."

He patted my thigh, rose, and offered me his hand. Together, we joined our children in the kitchen. They were sitting at the table, knees on the chairs, and had their heads joined as they looked down at the open box of croissants, deciding on their next one. Emma's chocolate-covered fingers and Juliet's dirty chin were an obvious give away that they'd already had one.

Juliet was the first to notice us, snapping her head up. The two braids I'd made in her brown hair earlier today were starting to look disheveled. She smiled cutely at us and asked for a glass of apple juice. Emma's green eyes immediately darted to our joined hands, always so perceptive. She didn't comment, but the grin she flashed us was contagious. Edward winked at me before he let go of my hand and went to get Jules' drink. I joined my daughters, sitting next to Emma. She sat closer to me, resting her head on my shoulder, looking content.

"I knew it," she crooned, playful.

I rolled my eyes, poking her ribs. "And what do you know, exactly?"

Her only response was to grin at me, her eyes gleaming.

I was still determined not to involve my children in whatever was going on between their father and me. That was too much of a risk and I was still scared to hurt them, to give them hope. But I wasn't going to lie to them either. Things were better between their dad and me, and I was convinced than no matter what, all our lives would improve from this.

But that only meant one thing for the next few days: if we wanted the kids to enjoy their time with reconciled parents, we needed to be extra careful. We could be cozy around each other, but not too much. Relaxed and light-hearted, but not passionate, for Emma had a very creative imagination and I was certain she wouldn't have any trouble influencing her little sister.

For all I knew, she was already planning our second wedding in her mind...

-:-:-

The rest of the day was pretty uneventful. We mostly planned the rest of the week; Alice had let us know that she wanted one last dinner with us and Edward suggested Thursday night, the eve of Juliet's x-ray. Also, the girls proposed a day at the zoo, which I thought was a great idea, since both surfing and water parks – which were also proposed – were not particularly recommended with Juliet's current condition.

"Tomorrow!" Squeed our youngest as she climbed on Emma's back. Emma bounced her around for a while, equally excited.

But when their dad mentioned they needed to do a load of laundry, they quickly gathered their dirty clothes, brought them to their dad, and magically disappeared.

Edward's laundry room was in fact a large closet at the end of a corridor upstairs, adjacent to the bedrooms. For the first week of my stay, the double doors had remained closed, so I hadn't really paid much attention to them, but the little room was in fact, pretty, for lack of a better word. The washer and dryer were huge and new. They were surrounded by a marble counter, and behind was a mosaic tile wall on which was installed two cupboards for the cleaning products and in the middle, a flat screen TV.

"Really?" I asked Edward, judgingly. "A TV? In your laundry room? Which isn't even a real room."

Edward only laughed. "It was there when I bought the house," he explained like it was no big deal, stuffing the girls' clothes in the washer. I'd brought some of mine – my favorite pieces of clothing that I knew I would want to wear again before the end of the week – and dropped them in. Edward added the soap, started the machine and turned towards me, grabbing my waist. "Well, wasn't that a great way to get rid of our kids?" He wobbled his eyebrows.

I chuckled. "Was that the plan?"

"They're not here, are they?" He kissed me then, and I happily reciprocated.

Once again he lifted me on the counter and I could feel the vibrations of the washer running under me. Being way taller than me, Edward liked to have me higher in order to kiss me. I didn't mind, it allowed me to hold him closer to me, wrapping my legs around his waist.

Since this morning, since the pantie-dropping kiss we'd shared in the kitchen, not to forget the one on the stairs, it was like we couldn't get our hands off of each other. As soon as we'd found ourselves alone, the passion would build. Even when we weren't kissing, there would always be a glance, a caress, a secret smile.

Things were still going too fast, but after years of thinking I'd lost him, I needed to be near him, to love him and to have him love me back, to convince myself that he was real. That what we had was real; that our relationship could be built on love, and trust and passion, rather than on duty, guilt and doubt. And despite our five years of marriage, I'd only felt this way once before.

"Do you remember that week-end when you came back from L.A. and I was sick?" I suddenly asked, out of the blue. Edward had been kissing my neck, which had allowed me to speak.

He backed his torso a little and looked at me, an eyebrow raised teasingly. "You mean, the week-end we actually conceived our youngest?"

I chuckled. Of course that was what he'd remember. "Yeah," I acquiesced.

"What about it?"

I diverted my eyes as I softly grabbed the front of his t-shirt and folded it between my fingers. I wasn't sure why I'd brought up the subject – what had made me think of it – and I needed time to sort out my thoughts. That short three-day week-end was one of the best memories I had with him as my husband. His parents were babysitting Emma while he took care of me being sick. Then once I got better...

I felt my cheeks burn at the memory and looked up at him. "Do you remember how we were? So carefree. And passionate. A lot like we are now."

Edward nodded seriously before a cocky smile spread on his lips. "I mostly remember you being half-naked all the time. I wouldn't mind that, now." Then he went in for a kiss.

"Be serious!" I pushed him away and we both laughed as he stumbled a bit.

"What are you trying to say, Bella?" Edward asked, sounding more composed. He took a step forward and put his hands on both side of my thighs.

We locked eyes. "I— I want that, Edward. And I know we have it in us to make it happen, but we had it back then, too, and yet it didn't work out." Edward approved with a nod. I knew what was on the tip of his tongue; we were young, and stupid. That wasn't what I needed to hear right now though as I shared my worries. "Aren't you afraid we're going to make the same mistakes all over again?"

He didn't reply right away and I looked down at my hands on my lap.

"Yes," he said after a while and my eyes snapped back to his.

"You do?"

"Yeah. And Bella, that is why it's going to be okay. It would be stupid not to worry about repeating the past." He cupped my face up and gently kissed my lips. "But we know better now. And besides, Mrs. Cullen," he added in a whisper. "I'm in love with you."

Like each time he would say those words, my heart missed a beat. Not to mention the way he'd threw the 'Mrs.' in there, like I was his. Like I always have been.

But Edward was obviously unaware of how his words were making me feel and his gorgeous smile started to faint, his eyes wary. That was when I realized how often he'd professed his love to me since last night and how I had yet to say it. The whole 'I'm protecting myself' excuse didn't apply anymore. Either I was all in, or I wasn't.

I swallowed my doubts and gave him the most sincere gaze I could muster. "You are the only man I've ever lov— Hfmph!"

He didn't let me finish. He crashed his lips to mine, sliding his tongue in my mouth. His hands got lost in my hair, while I circled all the way around his ribs with mine, pulling up on his t-shirt. He finally got the cue and raised his arms above his head where I could remove the unwanted piece of clothing. His skin was warm, his body lean and muscular. As if we'd suffered to be away from each other for even four seconds, our bodies collided as we embraced each other again. Edward's head was thrown backward, his large palms on my back holding me to him. As I kissed his offered jaw and neck, my fingers wandered in his irresistible reddish-brown hair.

All the way through his jeans and my cotton shorts I felt the pressure and warmth of his erection between my thighs. My breasts were crushed again his chest and I felt like I was about to combust; I was lightheaded and aroused. And when Edward's mouth found mine again, I started to grind my pelvis against his.

"Bella..." he said breathlessly. "Love, we need to... Uhhh... We have to— Isabella, God!"

He stepped back sharply, panting hard, and put both hands on my hips to restrain me from moving. I would've felt embarrassed if I wasn't so damn smug. He smirked at my expression and brought his forehead to mine, bending in order to have his crotch as far as he could from me. "You're killing me," he breathed.

"Hey, you started it," I reminded him.

Edward chuckled. "I know. And I would gladly continue this until I can make you scream my name... repeatedly," he promised, "but surely our kids must be starting to wonder where we are."

"What kids?" I asked half-playful, half-numb as my mind fixated on his six-pack and under. He laughed, deep and loud, and the sound of it did sweet things to my lady-parts.

Edward took me off the counter and bent to pick up his t-shirt from the floor. Now that he wasn't touching me anymore, I started to think straight again. I walked around him to exit the cute, little room and passed a hand through my hair, exhaling.

This wasn't just ordinary kissing in order to rediscover each other. This was foreplay. Hot and steamy foreplay that could've easily led to sex. And sex, well... sex complicated everything.

I hadn't realized I'd stopped walking until Edward joined me in the corridor and put a hand on the small of my back. "Hey, you okay?" he asked.

I smiled up at him, shaking off my momentary anxiety. "Yes. Why?"

"You seemed a bit flustered," he explained.

"I'm fine." I smiled, secretly hoping he wasn't aware of my inner turmoil. I loved how playful we were, and how easy things seemed to be between us, but it was the 'honeymoon' phase of our newly, hopefully healthier relationship, and it could easily blind us. Serious matter still needed to be discussed, if not today, later on. Let's just say that sex shouldn't be involved until we figured it all out...

After all, I was still leaving in less than a week.

-:-:-

"Knock knock knock," I said out loud while pretending to knock on Emma's already opened door.

"Come on in." She smiled up at me, but cringed when the hairbrush got stuck in what looked to be a sizable knot.

"Do you want me to do it for you?" I asked as I took my place behind her on the edge of the bed, one leg below me. She was freshly washed and ready for bed, but her long, wet hair still needed to be untangled. She nodded vehemently and gave me the brush. I put most of the hair over her shoulder, so I could concentrate on the knot at the nape of her neck.

"When was the last time you brushed your hair?" I asked.

She shrugged. "Yesterday?"

I chuckled, knowing very well she hadn't since she went surfing. The movement of the waves and the sea salt had created the knot. Her neglect had worsened it. "You should've come to me then," I said, taking out the first strands of hair that I'd succeeded to unravel, and placed them over her shoulder.

Emma crouched forward, putting her elbows on her crossed legs and held her head up with her palms. "I did, but you were busy getting ready for your da-ate." I could hear the smile in her voice.

So that was why she'd come to my room and assisted me getting ready. "You could've asked your dad."

Though I couldn't see her face, I easily imagined her wrinkled nose just by the tone of her voice. "Daddy's great for a lot of things, Mom, but combing hair – when it's that bad – isn't one of them."

"Alright," I laughed. "What about Esme?" Surely her grand-mother could've handled this just fine.

"Oh," Emma exclaimed, turning her head towards me. "I guess I forgot to ask her." She shrugged. "I knew you were here." She grinned at me.

I smiled indulgently. "You like having me here, don't you?"

"I love it!" She beamed. "It should be like this all the time!"

"Emma," I breathed in a warning, remembering why I'd wanted to come and speak with her in the first place. But then, a little, brown-haired tornado entered the room and jumped up onto the bed. Emma laughed at her sister and pulled on her pajamas to help her up, for Juliet still had trouble climbing up on Em's enormous adult bed.

"I heard your voices!" Juliet explained in an excited voice. For someone who just took a bath and got ready for bed, she sure wasn't on the edge of falling asleep anytime soon. "What were you talking about?"

"Nothing special," Emma answered. "Mom's brushing my hair."

Juliet nodded and came to me, walking with her knees on the mattress. She watched closely what I was doing, leaning against me. She hissed, "It's bad. Would she have to cut it?"

"NO!" Emma screeched. "Mooom!" If there was one thing Emma was attached to, it was her long, dark-red locks.

I chuckled at Juliet's sense of drama and Emma's excessive reaction. "Don't you worry," I told them both, "I've seen worse." The fact that Emma's hair was still wet and that she'd used a lot of conditioner helped a lot.

"There you are!"

All three of us turned our heads simultaneously towards the new voice. "Me?" We all asked. Edward laughed deeply and joined us in the room. "Which one were you looking for?" I asked more specifically.

"That one," he said, pointing a finger in Juliet's direction. "It's past your bedtime, honey, and we have a big day tomorrow."

"The zoo!" Juliet exclaimed, fist in the air. She made a move as if to stand on the bed but I grabbed her arm to stop her. At the same moment, Edward lifted her, which eased my task.

"Say goodnight," Edward told her, tilting her small frame so she could give me a kiss.

"'Night, Emma! 'Night Mommy!" She squealed, sounding much too excited to be sleeping anytime soon.

"Sweet dreams, baby." I kissed her back, chuckling, and gave a 'good luck' look to her father. He arched an eyebrow and nodded heavily; he knew exactly what he was in for.

"Well, I'm gonna say goodnight, too," Edward said, kissing Emma's head. "As soon as I'm done with Miss Giggles here," – Juliet giggled – "I'm gonna crash." He truly looked exhausted.

Emma laughed. "Well, goodnight, Dad! I love you."

"I love you, too," he told her with a warm smile, passing a hand on her cheek. The two of them seemed to have reconciled at some point during the day.

Edward readjusted Juliet in his arms and looked at me then. "Well, goodnight," I said, a bit unsure how to act in front of our kids. I was tired too, and I knew I was going to bed as soon as I was done with Emma. If I was to go to him for a goodnight kiss, we both knew I wouldn't make it out of his bedroom. And there was no way that was happening tonight.

But damn, I wanted that kiss!

Surely Edward sensed my longing. His lips curved into a lopsided smirk and to my astonishment, he reached in for a kiss. I didn't back away, but I stayed stoic for fear of reacting too strongly. His lips landed at the corner of mine, making it both chaste and teasing. "Sweet dreams, love," he whispered for only me to hear.

Once Edward and Juliet were gone, Emma turned towards me, literally bouncing. "Is there something you wanna tell me?" She grinned.

I arched an eyebrow. "Is there something you want me to tell you?"

"Mom!" She whined.

"Emma," I echoed.

She sighed, resigned. "Why is it a secret?" she asked, shoulders collapsing.

I shook my head as my fingers reached to work on her knot again. "It's not," I heard myself replying, still resolved to not lie to her, "but I don't think it is as big of a deal as you imagine. Your father and I are only starting to communicate more."

"So..." she hesitated a few seconds, "you're not back together?"

"I don't think we are." Yet.

"And we're not moving here with him— Ow!"

"Sorry!" I exclaimed as she automatically closed both fists on the strand of hair I was working on. "I'm sorry, sweetie," I repeated.

"I'll take that as a 'no', then," she whispered, and I felt really bad. I'd been so surprised by her comment that I hadn't paid any attention at my movement, tucking the hairbrush right in the middle of the knot and pulling too strongly.

"Is that what you want, though?" I couldn't help but ask, stroking her hair in a soothing motion. "Moving here? Changing schools and leaving all of your friends behind? What about Uncle Seth? Jacob? Your grandparents?"

Both sets of grandparents, actually.

Emma looked at me, her eyes filled with doubt and hesitation. It was easy to see she hadn't thought it through. But then she said, "Wouldn't it be worth it, though? To be with Dad?"

Catching me by surprise, the first thought that popped into my brain was 'yes'. But I kept it to myself. "Emma..." I sighed.

"Maybe he can move back in with us, then," Emma suggested, cutting me off, her voice full of hope.

"Emma," I repeated. "Look, honey, I promise you things are gonna get better between your father and I. We'd been acting selfishly these past five years, and we hurt you and your sister, and for that we're sorry. But we are talking now, and trying to mend things between us." I cupped her cheek softly. She was almost all the way turned toward me by now, facing me. "But, sweetheart, this is no fairy tale. These things take time. Maybe, for now, we can plan a few more vacations, all four of us. Maybe some other weekends, would you like that?" She nodded, looking very saddened. Even for me, it sounded like it was not enough. I knew I wanted more. "I refuse to make any more drastic decisions," I added. "The last time we did—"

"You divorced," Emma finished it for me.

"Exactly." I nodded. "Rash decisions only end up hurting people; the people I care the most about." I kissed her forehead, letting her know I was talking about her, and her sister. "I'm not making the same mistake again. And your father agrees."

Emma nodded, a ghost of a smile appearing on her lips. Relief washed over me. I was about to ask her if she felt better when her smile disappeared and her face transformed into a scowl. "Tanya probably got hurt," she stated.

I blinked, taken aback. "She probably did," I admitted, contrite.

It was the first time she'd mention Tanya since Edward had told the girls that he and his girlfriend had broken up. Once again, I noticed a glimmer of guilt in Emma's eyes.

"Your dad had to make a decision," I tried to explain, feeling awkward. "In these kinds of situations, it can't end well for everybody involved." Someone had to get hurt, and this time, Tanya did. Misinterpreting Emma's feelings, I added, "but it's not your fault, sweetie."

Emma pushed her hair out of her face and behind both ears. "I know," she nodded, "but Mommy, when Dad told us, I was happy." Her eyes glanced up to mine. "Tanya was hurt and probably sad, and I knew Daddy liked her at some point, but I was glad she was gone."

That was where the guilt came from.

"Oh, honey!" I wrapped her in my arms, holding her close to me. My little Team Mommy best supporter. "You don't have to feel guilty for how you feel. Ever."

"I just want— I just wanted you and daddy to be together again," she mumbled into my shoulder.

"I know, baby. I know. And I promise you, we'll try our best to make it work."

-:-:-

By the time I was done with Emma's hair, she was already half-asleep. I braided it for the night, kissed her goodnight, and got out. I hesitated a second or two about going to see Edward, but even if his door was ajar a little, the darkness coming from his room dissuaded me. He was probably already asleep.

Anyway, I thought, I'd made a plan of having no physical intimacy with him anytime soon, and going to see him late at night was not a good idea towards that goal. Besides, tomorrow, we had a pretty loaded day waiting for us, with the zoo and all, and I needed to get some rest.

Little did I know, all those great plans would go down by the end of tomorrow. For starters, as my alarm clock rang on that Tuesday morning, it was pouring rain outside.


To be continued...

I realize there wasn't much happening in this chapter, except for Bella's clarifying thoughts. Originally, this one and the next were supposed to be just one chapter, but I cut it in half due to length. The next part should be ready soon, and it is called 'Change of plans'.

*wink*

Kat