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Banner by: MinaRivera
A Love Ignited by addicted-to-romione-bedward
Summary: Edward decides to cheer his little sister up, after her first break-up. He does more than cheer her – Bella meets someone she slowly falls for. A Love Bargain outtake. Written for SU4K.
Dedication: To Katalina
My world crashed around me.
Okay, maybe I was being too dramatic, but I was eighteen and my boyfriend broke up with me when he heard I was a virgin. Like, what the hell?
I couldn't talk to Alice, because she was still at Homecoming with James, having fun...probably getting lucky afterwards.
A fresh round of tears pooled around my eyes.
I couldn't talk to my parents - it had taken an inhuman effort to keep the tears at bay when they greeted me downstairs, surprised I was back before curfew. I shrugged and said I was tired.
I knew who I needed...but he wasn't here.
As I picked up my phone, I prayed he wasn't sleeping, or...busy. I shuddered at the memory of interrupting him the last time.
"Hello?" a groggy voice answered.
"Jasper?" I asked, surprised. "Hey."
"Bella, sweetie. What's up?" He sounded a little more alert and I could hear a commotion on his side. He chuckled a little. "Stop, babe. Bella's on the phone." There was a loud groan from my brother. "He thought I wanted a midnight snack...if you understand," Jasper told me before yelping. Edward probably hit him.
"Sweets?" Edward asked, concerned. "Home from Homecoming?"
My throat constricted and I burst into a fresh round of crying.
"Oh, God! What has what's-his-face done?" he demanded. "I'm going to kill him!"
"Edward," I whispered. "He was so mean," I muttered before delving into my story. I said it all in one breath, unsure that I could repeat myself in case he hadn't heard me right.
"He what? Tell me he didn't touch you!" he yelled, agitated.
"Didn't you hear?" I groaned, aggravated. "He didn't want me because...I haven't done that before!"
"Oh. Is he stupid or something?" Damn, my brother was so annoyed. "What kind of guy doesn't want that? I mean, seriously...Not that I say it's alright to have sex at eighteen," he added. "Shut up, Jazz."
I giggled, already feeling better. Edward always knew how to make me smile...even over the phone.
"Forget him, sweets. You'll find a decent guy. Don't worry. Just focus on school for now."
"Yeah...sure," I grumbled. "G'night."
I tried to forget that idiot that I used to call boyfriend, and by Christmas, he was locked away in the back of my mind.
Since he was still worried about me, Edward came personally to take me to Seattle for the holidays. Alice preferred to stay back; she was still going strong with James. I'd have never guessed that they could end up together after being there in the early years...but opposites really do attract.
My brother and Jasper were constantly with me during Christmas break. They even took me to Jasper's Christmas Party at his workplace.
While they were mingling, I decided to check out the bar. I knew no one would give me alcohol, considering my beloved brother proclaimed loudly that I was his little sister––emphasis on little.
I was begging the barman to pour me a few drops of whiskey in my Coke when a man came up next to me, ordering two Bloody Marys...whatever that was.
The barman immediately started working on his order, telling me to drink my Coke as it was. I scowled at him, slouching on the tall chair and sipping from my glass.
Two glasses filled with some red liquid appeared in front of the man next to me, before the barman fled to the other side to attend to someone else.
One of the tall glasses was pushed toward me as the man climbed on the chair closest to mine. I glanced at him and...wow. He was so handsome...and probably around Edward's age.
"Adam Crawford," he introduced himself, just as I was taking a sip of his offered drink.
I sprayed the top of the bar in front of me.
I'd heard a lot about him...because he was Jasper's boss.
"Isab...Bella Cullen," I offered, stuttering like an idiot.
His beautiful, green eyes widened. "Are you related to Edward Cullen?"
"Yep. He's my brother." I bobbed my head, hugging the drink with both hands in case he wanted to take it from me.
"It's very nice to meet you, Bella."
I had a funny feeling in the pit of my stomach. Especially when he smiled; I felt a flutter inside me.
"You too," I said, grinning stupidly.
And so we started talking.
He didn't seem to want to run for the hills when he learned I had just started my last year in high school. Actually, he was really interested in what I was learning. We talked for the rest of the night about all kinds of stuff.
As the end of the party approached, he took me to the dance floor and...Wow, again. He had amazing dancing skills. Like fabulous.
I was so crushing on my brother's boyfriend's boss. He was perfect.
And right before the last dance ended, he tucked a piece of my hair behind my ear, kissed my cheek...but it was so close to my lips, whispering how he'd like to see me again. I was leaning into him, wanting to test my theory about his reaction to me kissing him, when Edward separated us, glaring at Adam.
During the following months, he managed to keep us separated without much effort - I had to return to Forks for high school. Duh.
But what my brother didn't know was that Adam had my phone number and email. We continued talking until the end of the school year. He even visited twice...without anyone knowing. That second time, he kissed me and it was divine.
To everyone's surprise, including mine, Adam came to Forks for my graduation. That was when we told everyone - officially - that we were dating. Edward was the only one upset. Dad - the one's reaction I feared most - patted Adam on the back and told him to take care of me. He trusted him because he was older and wiser or something like that.
Adam insisted on helping with the rent for an apartment in Seattle when I started college.
Even though Edward didn't like it, this wasn't changing. I loved Adam...and he loved me back.
On Edward and Jasper's wedding day, he took me aside and asked me to marry him. We decided to break the news once the lovebirds were on their honeymoon, so as not to steal their light.
*A Love Ignited*
I had just gotten home after a hard day at college, followed by a few hours of job hunting. Needless to say, I was tired.
Adam wasn't expected home for another couple of hours, so I had time for a long bath.
My plan was ruined when I saw Edward's car parked in front of our house. Crap.
He jumped out of his car, opened the back door, and took out Theo along with two stuffed bags.
"NO!" I moaned, advancing to him.
"Yes," he pressed. "It's Jasper's birthday. I promised to take him out and then have a night alone."
"Edward, I'm tired! I have no idea how to take care of a baby!" I whined, eyeing his overexcited kid who was currently pulling at his hair. "Adam's not home for at least a couple more hours."
"First, Theo's not a baby! He's two and a half. You're not a baby, right?" he asked his kid, who shook his head, beaming. "Second, I was sixteen when I was left alone with you for the first time. You were three, almost four at that time."
I scowled at him. "Stop bringing that up! You're a saint for having taken care of me when you were young. Thank you, but don't… I'm not cut out to be a mom, or even a sitter."
"Sweets, you'll be an awesome mom when the time comes!" Edward encouraged me. "Now, let's install Theo in the guest room. I have to finalize my plans for the evening."
"Are you serious?" I protested. "I'm so driving him to Mom's!"
"No! Mom's on your side. She's kinda hypocritical, not understanding that we need some time alone."
I sighed heavily, marching to the front door. "Come on!" I groaned, jerking my head for him to follow me. "Before I change my mind."
"Thank you so much, sweets! You're an angel!" Edward kissed my cheek soundly before strolling past me to the guest room.
I tried to keep my panic at bay.
I shouldn't worry.
Theo's just a little boy.
I can take care of him for a few hours.
Holy shit! Who am I fooling?
I walked to the kitchen to heat some food. Edward appeared in the doorway with Theo in his arms.
"Hey. He's settled there. You have anything you could need; from diapers and clean clothes, to toys and his food."
"What food?" I wondered. "Doesn't he eat like us?"
"No!" he exclaimed. "You really have no idea?" Edward bit his lip, looking panicked.
"I'll figure it out. Go, have fun with Jazz!" I took Theo from him…and cue loud cries.
"No crying, kid. What did I tell you? You're staying with Aunt Bella and Uncle Adam. Me and Daddy Jazz will pick you Sunday evening," Edward explained soothingly, as if the kid would understand.
"Sunday?" I shouted. "You must be joking! You want us to take care of him through the weekend?"
"Bella, please. For me," he begged. "I'll do whatever you want."
I pursed my lips, rolling my eyes. "Stop." I pressed my palm to his face, pushing him to the front door. "I can't resist that look and you know it."
"Love you, little sister." He kissed my cheek again before kissing his son, then he left.
And it was just me and Theo.
"Okay, keep calm," I mumbled under my breath.
"Wanna watch cartoons?" I asked curiously. I had no idea what to do with him.
Theo studied my face for a long minute before I felt his body tensing…and a loud yell escaped his little throat. "Daaadddy!"
"You're stuck with me, unfortunately. Your dads need to be alone. It's Daddy Jazz's birthday. You know that?" He started to relax as I continued talking, so I took it as a good sign and went to the couch. I sat down and started talking to him about anything that came to my mind; from how his dads needed some time alone every now and then, to how Edward had taken care of me when I was little like he was now. I told him about my classes. I told him about Adam.
"…so yeah, I knew what I was doing, but Edward didn't, so he freaked every time." I snickered, grinning at the memory of our time at the park. "Oh, and when they thought we were sleeping…we were usually at his door, listening. Almost got caught a few times."
"Quite the adventurous child you were!" Adam said amused from the doorway.
My eyes widened as I focused on him. "Oh, hey!" Then I glanced at Theo who was fast asleep on my lap.
I guess my story was boring.
"I see we're babysitters today," Adam joked.
"For the weekend," I corrected him, scowling.
"Say what? Oh, no!" His face fell. "I'm going to have a talk with your brother about dropping Theo over any time he wants."
"Yes, please do," I begged. After arranging Theo's small body better on the couch, I got up and walked to my husband. "I'm so glad you're home. I have no idea what to do with Theo."
"You're an amazing storyteller," he said softly, cupping my cheek. "I had no idea you were quite the wild child."
"There's a lot you don't know about me, Adam," I said laughing. "Not even Edward knows what I just told Theo."
"And it better stay between the three of us," he agreed. "It looks like we'll have a full weekend."
"Apparently. So much for the quiet evening I was expecting," I grumbled.
"Practice is always good experience." Adam winked at me.
We were going to talk babies. I was so not ready, but who is?
After dinner, and once Theo was in bed, we went to our room. I was dreading the talk.
We'd been married for two years and never brought this subject up.
"Bella," Adam started, taking my hands.
"I know, I know," I mumbled. "It's time to have that talk."
"Unless you don't want to. Kids were never on my list, but lately, when I see you with Theo…I want that."
I smiled, looking in his eyes. "I know what you mean. The thought of having a baby…scares me," I admitted. "But I guess everyone is scared."
Adam chuckled. "I'll be right here with you through it all," he promised. "Besides, of course everyone is scared. Remember how Jasper fainted when he heard Leah was actually delivering?"
We shared a laugh over the memory. Edward and Jasper were on call most of December, two and half years ago, because every time Leah had contractions, she called them. When it was actually time to give birth, they didn't believe it until the doctor said the actual words, causing Jasper to faint. That left Edward–who was never Leah's greatest fan–to go to the delivery room, while Adam and I tried to wake Jazz. It had been funny as hell.
I always thought Jasper was stronger than my brother, but apparently he was the weak one…especially when it came to Theo. It's not like Edward wasn't spoiling the kid, but Jasper had always been closer to Theo. That could be because Theo is actually Jasper's child – out of the two samples they sent, his worked.
"I know you want it too, deep down." Adam's voice brought me back to the present. "I'm not asking for us to grow the family tomorrow, but maybe once you're done with college?"
I moaned, remembering my horrid day. "Don't remind me of college. I had a bad day. But yes, I'd like for us to try."
"I love you." He kissed me quickly, lowering me onto my back.
We didn't get too far before Theo woke, asking for his parents. It took us hours to make him settle and fall back asleep.
"Are you sure you want this?" I asked skeptically as we trudged to our room.
"You're crazy." I laughed and fell on the bed face first. "Wake me up when Sunday evening comes."
"Two days can't be that bad!" Adam insisted. "They stay with him 24/7. They're still sane," he reasoned.
I snorted into my pillow. "Have you met them? They're definitely not sane."
Adam settled next to me on the bed. "If they can raise a kid, so can we."
"Right," I mumbled into the pillow. "Night."
In less than forty-eight hours, our house looked like it had been ravaged by a tornado. Chairs were upside down, and pillows and wooden spoons were scattered everywhere. Theo's toys were always in my way, plates with snacks were on every available surface, and there was a suspicious brown stain on our couch – definitely chocolate. The guest bedroom had clothes thrown everywhere after Theo's tantrum that he wanted home and that he hated me.
When Jasper and Edward arrived Sunday evening, I was ready to tear my hair out. The worst part was that Adam had stooped to the kid's level.
They were currently playing Hide and Seek.
"Thank God!" I exclaimed, tugging Edward inside. "Please, don't you ever leave him here for the weekend! One night? Sure. Not longer than that."
"Oh, what has he done?"
"You can ask what he hasn't done," I muttered, putting my hands on my hips.
"Bella, are you sure you're talking about Theo? He's the most laid back kid ever!" Jasper butted in.
Before I could answer, there was a crash from the living room.
"Ooops!" Adam gasped as Theo started giggling.
"I don't want to know what you did!" I shouted toward them.
"Just a flower pot."
My eyes widened before I looked pleadingly at my brother. "Please."
They stepped further in the house and took in what their tornado-kid had done. When Theo saw them, he rushed in our direction…but not before stepping in the earth from the pot.
"What have you done, kiddo?" Jasper asked scandalized. "Aunt Bella won't babysit you again if you don't apologize for the mess."
"Hate Ont Bewa!"
I rolled my eyes. "I told him to stay five minutes in the corner for putting chocolate on the couch."
"He's too young to understand, Bella," Edward told me. "Still, you should apologize," he added, looking at his son.
"Sowy," Theo mumbled, not looking at me.
They offered to help us clean up, but I waved them off. "We can clean, don't worry."
After saying goodbye to the crazy family, Adam and I started cleaning the once spotless house. When we reached our bedroom that night, we caught the other's eye and grinned.
"I still want a child," Adam whispered.
"Me too. We're two calm people. That can't go wrong, right?"
"Let's hope our baby won't have Edward's genes."
"Knock on wood, baby."
I hope you all enjoyed this. Some of you wanted to know about Bella or Alice...well, I wrote this.
On 25th of this month, I'm adding another chapter for this A Love Bargain outtakes compilation. It's another contest piece which I wrote for Toys4Tot. So keep me on story alert.
Don't forget to check the mean banner Mina did for this piece.