Okay, we're starting the sequel for A Fresh Start. This will probably be slow going as I want to make sure I tell Marie's story well and appropriately. I'd like to thank all of my readers from A Fresh Start and their stories about their children with Autism. Your recollections will help me tremendously in Marie's story. I'm an educator and I'm familiar with the educational ramifications of Autism, but not living with a child with Autism on a day to day basis.

Anyhow, Twilight is not mine. Never will be mine. Ever. *WAAAH!* David, Lizzie and Marie are mine in a literary sense. Ren, too.

You still with me? I know I've been slacking on this one. Part of it is honestly, I don't know where I'm going with this. I know that Renee will be the bad guy but yeah. Secondly, is that some people have been 'rude' about my portrayal of Marie. I'm not a parent. I'm a teacher and I've dealt with children with Autism. But not on a daily, living situation. All of my research has been done online and from the help and guidance from my patient readers (you know who you are and I appreciate your guidance!). I'm hoping to keep up the story of Edward, Bella and their crazy brood, but please be patient with their growth. If there's something wrong, please don't hesitate to contact me, privately. Thanks!

We're going to hear from our favorite hot doc as a treat! WOO HOO!

Chapter Sixteen: Anger, Apologies and Injuries


I shouldn't be mad. I really shouldn't but I'm absolutely livid. I'm livid at my wife. At Renee. At this whole fucking situation. I don't understand why Renee was so insistent on weaseling her way back into Bella's life. I definitely don't understand why Bella is torn about Renee. That woman has caused nothing but trouble since she was a girl. The cops needed to be called and a restraining order needed to be put in place against Renee.

Bella had fallen asleep after her lunch with Renee and was crying. Her face was tear stained. I know that it was due to my cold behavior toward her. I probably should have backed away but I glowered at her stubbornness. I hated the fact that I made Bella cry but I was epically pissed.

"Daddy, can I have some foot snacks?" Marie asked quietly.

"Fruit snacks," I corrected. "Foot snacks sounds kind of gross."

"Sounds good to me," David said groggily and loudly.

"Shhh," I hissed at him. "Let's leave and let your mom take a nap with Lizzie." They both nodded and we slid out of the bed. I moved Lizzie to Bella's side and they curled around each other. Nessie cuddled next to Bella's behind and burrowed her nose underneath her paws. David, Marie and I went downstairs and I gave both of them 'foot snacks.' I turned on the TV and put in a video for them while I went to call my mom to see what really went down with Renee.

"Unless you are calling with a random sweepstakes where I won a whole set of pots and pans, I'm busy," my mom growled.

"What's wrong?"

"Your father decided to try his hand at cooking. He ruined all of my pots and pans," she grumbled. "What's up, Edward?"

"What happened at lunch?"

"Oh, Renee is a piece of work," Esme growled. "I've never seen such a self-centered, egotistical bitch in all of my life. Bella is so unlike her."

"Bella wants to give her a chance. Or at least, I think she does," I sighed, rubbing my hand over my face. "I'm confused."

"I can understand where Bella is coming from but I also get the fact that Renee is an epic bitch and a half with zero fashion sense," Esme said dryly. "If you were given the opportunity to spend time with your parents, would you?"

"In a heartbeat, Mom," I said. "But, I had a close relationship with my parents. From what Bella's told me, Renee has ALWAYS been like this. This behavior is nothing new."

"Edward, I know that you want to protect Bella. I wanted to protect Bella from this woman, but this is ultimately her decision if she wants to reconnect with her mom. However, based off her behavior, I'd be surprised if Bella wanted to continue the relationship. Just give her time," Esme said. "Don't get mad at her, though. She's struggling with the right thing to do."

"I'll try but I'm livid. At Renee, specifically. She hurt Bella," I growled. "If she's capable of hurting her daughter, then she's more than capable of hurting our children."

"She also gave Bella grief about Marie," Esme said. "She said that both of you raised her incorrectly and that's why she's autistic."

"Aw, hell no," I snarled.

"Swear jar, Daddy," Marie said absentmindedly.

I got up and put money into the jar and slipped into my office. "Now I'm really pissed, Mom. Why would Bella want to interact with this woman if she's questioning our parenting skills?" I spat.

"I don't know, Edward. That's something you have to discuss with Bella. But before you do, you have to calm down. Are you getting a headache?"

"Yes," I sighed, flopping down on the couch. "I'm going to go and take some meds. Plus, I'm going to make some dinner."

"Just don't ruin Bella's pots and pans," Esme quipped.

"Hardy har har," I deadpanned. "I'll talk to you later. Love you."

"You, too."

I hung up the phone and went back out into the family room. Lizzie was sitting on the couch, curled up next to Marie. Marie was playing with Lizzie's hair while they watched the video I had playing for them. "Is Mommy still sleeping?" I asked Lizzie.

"She was crying," Lizzie said. "I asked her what was wrong but she said nothing and told me to go downstairs. I gave her a hug, saying I loved her which made her cry more."

"Will you guys be okay if I go check on Mommy?" I asked.

"Shhhh, Daddy. We're getting to the good part," David hissed, waving me off.

"I'll take that as a yes," I snorted. I turned and jogged up the stairs. The door to our bedroom was closed. I could hear Bella's quiet sniffles through the door. Keep calm, Masen. She's upset and doesn't need you acting like an ass. I knocked on the door and called out to my wife. "Bella?"

"Go away, Edward," she cried. "Leave me alone."

"Nope," I said as I opened the door, shutting it behind me. "You can't just shut down, Bella. You need to talk to me. Why are you so upset?"

"Because you're mad at me," she said quietly and lamely.

"Bullshit," I said. "Bella, is this because of your, um, Renee?"

"Partially," she sniffled, wiping her nose with her hand. "Ugh, can I have a Kleenex?"

I grabbed the box from the bathroom and put it on the bed, sitting across from her. She blew her nose and curled up into a tiny ball. "Bella, please talk to me, baby?"

"It's so much. First off, Renee is up to something. I don't know what but she is. I could only fathom that she needs money or I don't know…Secondly, I hate the fact that I'm questioning even wanting a relationship with her. She's been nothing but evil and cruel to me since I was a kid. Why would I subject myself to her wrath if for no other reason than I'm a fucking lunatic. Finally, my wrist fucking hurts," she growled.

"Give me your hand," I said as I held out my hand. She placed her braced wrist into my hand. I removed the brace and it was quite swollen and discolored. "You should get an x-ray."

"Your dad said the same thing but it's just a sprain," she grumbled.

"If it's still hurting this much tomorrow, I'm dragging you to the ER to get an x-ray," I said sternly. "It could just a sprain or it could be something more since you have such brittle bones."

"Oh," she said quietly.

"Now, in regards to Renee, she is up to something. I don't trust her. You shouldn't either but that's your prerogative to make that call, Bella. I'm not going to tell you what to do," I said. "But, there is something that you do need to know. I do NOT want Renee to come within breathing distance of our children."

"I agree with you," Bella said weakly. "She can fuck with my mind all she wants but she's not coming near our kids."

"Good," I said as I pulled her toward me, curling her in my arms. "I do think you need to get a restraining order against her. She did hurt you."

Bella nodded and nestled further into my arms. "I'm sorry, Edward," she said.

"I'm sorry, too. I shouldn't have been so harsh," I replied, kissing her temple. "Do you want to call Detective Sanchez? Get a restraining order?"

Bella nodded and moved away from me. She grimaced as she cradled her sore wrist. She is getting an x-ray tomorrow. It's probably a hairline fracture. "I'm going to brush my teeth. Can you give him a call?"

"Sure, beautiful girl," I replied, helping her off the bed. I put her brace back on and kissed her soft lips. "Downstairs, I'll get some ice for you, plus some pain killers."

"Nothing too harsh. Just some ibuprofen," Bella said.

"Tylenol-3," I countered. "You still have some from your run-in with those eighth grade boys."

"Fine," she sighed. "I'm still sorry."

"I am too. But we'll get past this. I love you, Bella," I murmured, wrapping her in my arms. She sniffled again and clutched my t-shirt with her good hand. With one more kiss, I left Bella to brush her teeth and freshen up. I went down to the office to find Detective Sanchez's card. It was tucked in the middle drawer of my desk. I dialed it and made arrangements for him to come to the house when he was on this evening. I also called Seth, Bella's attorney. He was, unfortunately, unavailable but I did call Jasper who said he would step in for the time being.

Bella came down the stairs and we all sat around, watching television, having a lazy Saturday. It was even so lazy that we ordered pizza, garlic bread sticks and other fattening foods. I could tell that Bella was putting on a mask for our kids and for me, but this drama with her mother was weighing on my sweet girl. Her usually youthful demeanor and appearance was haggard and she looked old.

After dinner, Alice, Jasper, EJ, and Grace came over. Alice went upstairs in the playroom with all of the kids while Jasper, Bella and I met in the dining room to discuss what happened with Renee. Bella held a cheap flip phone in her hands and was nervously playing with it.

"Okay, first off," Jasper began as he took out his legal pad of paper, "When did Renee first make contact with you?"

"Thanksgiving," Bella answered. "We came home from dinner and she pounced. She was standing inside of our garage without consent."

"Trespassing," Jasper mumbled as he wrote it down. "What else did she do that day?"

"She made some comments about Edward, calling him 'yummy,'" Bella said disdainfully. "I left after that but I know that Edward and she had spoken for a few minutes longer before the cops came."

"Did she touch you?"

"She ran her fingers up my arm," I replied. "But she didn't hurt me. She did have to be escorted off the property by the police. The cop said that she could have been brought in on disturbing the peace and assaulting an officer. She yanked her arm out of his hand."

Jasper wrote down disturbing the peace and assault on an officer. He also put 'battery' in parentheses. "After Thanksgiving, when did you see her next?"

"About two weeks ago," Bella answered. "She appeared out of thin air when I was grocery shopping with David. I think she was following me."

"Stalking?" Jasper mumbled to himself. "Did she say anything to you?"

Bella recounted the entire account and Jasper wrote it all down. He complimented her on thinking of getting a throwaway phone to make contact and took down the number in case the phone needed to be dumped. Just as Bella was starting to tell Jasper about what happened today, the doorbell rang. I got up and ushered Detective Sanchez and his new partner inside.

They sat down at the table and Bella started at the beginning again. Once she was done telling her story, Detective Sanchez was looking at his notes. "We can give you a restraining order. We would also like to put a tap onto the cell phone you used to contact her in case she becomes 'obsessed.' Now, do you want to press charges against her for causing your injury to your wrist?"

"I don't know," Bella muttered.

"Bella, you need to press charges. I may have seemed like she was grabbing you but I honestly think you have a hairline fracture in your wrist," I said as I took her good hand in mine.

"Fine," Bella sighed. "What would she charged with?"

Detective Sanchez's partner listed off several charges and Bella nodded. Sliding over a sheet of paper with Bella's account of what happened, we read it over and Bella signed it. As Detective Sanchez was leaving, the put out an APB out on Renee for her arrest for assaulting, stalking and harassing Bella. My wife was falling apart at the seams but managed to keep it together until the police left. I held her up once the door closed and guided her to the living room. Jasper was sitting next to her while I was in front of her, kneeling and holding her face in my hands. Tears fell down her cheeks unabated. "It's okay, beautiful girl," I soothed.

"I just signed an arrest warrant for my mom. How fucked up is that?" she sobbed.

"She's the one who is fucked up," Jasper said. "Contacting you after many years of ignoring you. She's got some ulterior motive and it sure isn't spending time with your children."

"She wants money or Edward or both," she sniffled.

"She'll never have me and the money is left to you and the kids," I said, brushing her tears away. Bella nodded and wrapped her arms around my neck. I gently swayed her, murmuring in her ear that I loved her. Alice poked her head downstairs and she was holding a very upset Marie.

"She heard you crying and wants her mommy," Alice said. Bella pulled away and moved to the loveseat, taking Marie from Alice's arms. Marie cuddled up to her mommy, playing with Bella's hair. As she held Marie, Bella calmed down significantly. I guided Jasper and Alice into the kitchen.

"Do you all mind taking the kids?" I asked.

"No, not at all," Alice said quickly. "Grace has been bugging me for a sleepover with Lizzie and Marie and EJ won't leave Jas alone, constantly trying to get him to play on Wii."

"Great," I said, giving them both an appreciative smile. "I'll go pack them a bag and, um, yeah…"

"Do they need baths?" Jasper asked.

"Nah. I'll get them tomorrow," I said, waving my hand as I darted up the stairs. I threw some pajamas, stuffed animals and toothbrushes into a small duffel for all three kids. Grabbing the bag, I went into the playroom and gathered up all of the children. "Okay, monkeys, who wants a sleepover at Aunt Alice's and Uncle Jasper's?"

"SAWEEEEEEET!" EJ screeched. "Wii tournament, David!"

"Rock on!" David said as he bounced on the couch. Lizzie and Grace squealed, hugging each other.

"Well, come on!" I laughed. Four very loud and excited children ran past me and down the stairs. I followed, rolling my eyes as I descended down the stairs. Alice was putting on coats on our kids and began ushering them out to their SUV. Marie did not want to let go of Bella.

"Do you want to keep Marie?" Jasper asked. "Your little one seems to know that something isn't right and won't let go of Bella."

"Yeah," I said. "I think they both need each other."

"Okay. Are you taking Bella to the hospital tomorrow?"

"I am. I think that her wrist is more than just sprained. So, I'll pick up the kids once we're done at the hospital," I answered. "I work in the afternoon. So it'll probably late morning when I pick them up."

"How about this? Alice will drop off the kids and help Bella around the house," Jasper suggested.

"Works for me. Thanks, Jas," I said as I hugged him. I watched as Jasper drove away from my house before turning back to Bella and Marie. They both were sleeping on the loveseat. I turned off the lights and picked both of them up, carrying them into our bedroom. My back and arms were protesting as I laid them on the bed. Nessie hopped up and curled up next to them. I pet the dog's head and I went to take some ibuprofen. After going through my nightly routine, I crawled into bed with my wife, my youngest daughter and my dog.

xx TNC xx

The next day, I woke up early and made breakfast in bed for my girls. It was a somber morning as they ate their pancakes. Once they were done, Bella went to shower and I dressed Marie. I set up my daughter in the playroom, watching some cartoons so I could get dressed for my workday. It was pretty much time for me to work in the office so I decided to be somewhat comfortable and wore a pair of khakis and a sweater.

"How's your hand?" I asked Bella.

"Hurts a lot," she sighed, staring at the black brace. "Do you think I'll have to wear a cast?"

"Depending on the extent of your fracture, possibly," I said.

"Great," she groaned. I kissed her temple, holding her to my body. "Can you help with my hair?"

"Up?" I asked. She nodded. I quickly pulled her long hair into a ponytail and fastened it with a holder. She smiled appreciatively. She finished getting ready and we went to get our baby girl from the play room. She was unusually quiet but I think it was due to the trauma that Bella was dealing with. Marie is an extremely empathetic child. She feels what you feel and takes on that emotion until you feel better. For the most part, we're a happy family and therefore, so is Marie. But, if I'm sick with a headache or just exhausted from work, Marie sidles up to me and she always manages to make me smile. If Bella is sad or upset, Marie tends to become quiet and becomes a complete Momma's girl until Bella gets out of her funk.

"Momma, I love you," Marie said quietly as I buckled her in the car. "You, too, Daddy."

"I love you, too, baby girl," Bella said, her voice thick with emotion.

"Don't be sad anymore, Momma. Re Re will take care of you," she said, giving Bella a crooked grin.

"I know you will, Re Re," Bella laughed. "Thank you for taking care of me last night. It made me feel better."

"Lots better?"

"Definitely lots better," Bella said, looking over at our daughter.

"Can I kiss your boo-boo and make it better?" she asked, pointing to Bella's brace.

"It might take a lot more than kisses to make that better, Marie," I said as I backed out of the car. "But, I'm certain that your kisses will speed up the healing process. Now, while I take of Momma, you get to hang out with Miss Rhonda. You remember her, right?"

"She's cool," Marie said, bouncing in her car seat. "She gives me cookies!"

"That always explains the sugar high," Bella said dryly. "And why you had a bit of a gut before you left the ER." Bella poked my stomach which had gone down since I started working as Chief of Staff.

"Please," I snorted. "I did not have a gut, Bella. You always used to tease me about being able to scrub clothes on my 'washboard abs.'"

"They weren't so 'washboardy' during our vacation, Dr. Masen," Bella giggled. "But, like I'm one to talk. I've got a jello gut. It's all wiggle and jiggle."

"You're beautiful and that's all that matters," I said as I picked up her hand, kissing her knuckles. "And you don't wiggle and jiggle. You had three children in there. You could get a tummy tuck if you want it…"

"Go under the knife voluntarily? Um, no," Bella said flatly.

"Then, quit bellyaching," I snorted. "Get it? Bellyaching?"

"Edward, I love you but that was really bad. Even for you," Bella said, arching a brow.

"Yeah, it was," I smirked. I parked the car in my assigned spot and we walked into the ER. Rhonda saw Marie and crouched down, giving our girl a hug. "Hey Rhonda!"

"Coming down to hang out with the commoners?" she quipped.

"Hush," I said as I hugged my head nurse and friend. "Actually, Bella needs a chart. She may have broken her wrist."

"Child, you are a hot mess. What did you do now?" Rhonda teased.

"My mom came to visit and she grabbed my wrist a little too hard," Bella blushed. "I don't have a good relationship with her and well, this was the result." Bella held up her hand. "Part of it is that I have brittle bones from my hysterectomy. Having my wrist grabbed and squished by an evil she-beast doesn't help either."

"Momma hurt," Marie frowned. "Can you fix her, Miss Rwanda?"

"We'll try, cutie," Rhonda said, kissing Marie's forehead. I was so happy that my little girl now allowed other people to touch her, especially since she was so lovable. "Can you grab that clipboard and a pen for me?" Marie picked up the items that Rhonda asked for and together they put together a fresh chart for Bella. "Shapiro's on. Do you want him?"

"Yeah," I answered.

"I'll take you to his office and get these filled out. Then, perhaps Miss Marie will want some oatmeal raisin cookies."

"Nummy!" Marie said, clapping her hands. Together, we walked through the sleepy ER to my old office. Rhonda knocked on the closed door and Dr. Shapiro called out, saying for us to come in.

"Edward!" he smiled as he stood up, shaking my hand. "And Bella!" He hugged my wife and then noticed her brace. "What happened?"

"Mrs. Masen had her wrist grabbed and Edward thinks it's a hairline fracture," Rhonda said.

"How's the pain?" Matthew, Dr. Shapiro asked.

"It's a dull, throbbing ache," Bella answered. "I've taken Tylenol-3 for the pain but I don't want anything stronger."

"Okay," Matthew said. "Let's get an x-ray and then we'll proceed from there." Bella and Matthew left the office and I stayed behind with Rhonda and Marie. I idly looked around the room, seeing the changes that Matthew had made to my former office. The color was the same, as was the furniture, but the layout was slightly different. His desk was pushed up against the far wall and the couch was facing the opposite direction.

"Comparing the changes?" Rhonda teased.

"A little," I chuckled. "How are things down here?"

"Good," Rhonda replied. "Ren and Matt are a good team. It was an excellent call to have both of them as the head of the ER. They've divided up the workload and it's seamless."

"Excellent. I was afraid that they wouldn't work well together, but with Matt's experience and Ren's enthusiasm, it seemed like a logical solution."

"Oh, and what is the deal with Gerandy? Why is he trying to get his job back?" Rhonda asked.

"I don't know. He wasn't hired by any other hospital and when I contacted them, they would not disclose their reasoning behind it," I said as I sat down on the couch, pulling Marie into my lap. She was playing with my iPhone. Rhonda bit her lip. "You know something…"

"It's hearsay," she said. "One of the older nurses said that he was sneaking out supplies, drugs and needles out of the hospital on days that you weren't working. It was covered up by the nurses that Gerandy was buddy-buddy with who doctored the inventory lists."

"Well, based off that, I don't feel comfortable hiring him back on the staff here at Craven," I said coldly.

"Hiring who?" Matt asked as he came back into his office.

"Gerandy," I growled.

"Did Rhonda tell you about what the rumor mill is cranking out?" Matt asked, arching a brow. I nodded. "I'm with you, Edward. He's been pleading with me to hire him back but I've said no. Plus, despite my role here as co-head of the ER, the final decision on hiring is on you and the board."

"Anyhow, I'll deal with that later. How's my beautiful wife?" I asked as Bella sat down next to me. She kissed my cheek and curled up next to me.

Matt put the x-ray up on the light box in the office. "Well, you were right with the hairline fracture. It's small but there," he said as he pointed it out. I got up and looked at it, seeing the tiny fracture in my wife's delicate bones.

"Will I need a cast?" Bella asked.

"No, the brace will be fine. However, you need to take it easy, Bella," Matt said sternly. "You can't pick up your children because it will aggravate your injury."

"Got it," she sighed. "How long will I have to wear the brace?"

"Six weeks," Matt and I answered together. We chuckled.

"Freaky," Rhonda laughed. "Do you think they share a brain, Marie?"

"People can't share brains, Miss Rwanda," Marie said sternly. "That's just gross."

"It's a figure of speech, little one," Bella snickered. "Doctor Matt and Daddy said the same thing at the same time."

"Oh, okay," she said. "As long as I don't see their brains, it's okay if they share."

"Thanks, Miss Marie," Matt snorted. "Well, do you have any questions?"

"No. I just want the pain to stop," Bella sighed. "Not just the pain in my wrist. The epic pain in my," she covered Marie's ears, "ass with my mom would be helpful, too."

"Swear jar, Momma," Marie chided.

"Yes, Marie," she snickered.

xx TNC xx

Renee dropped off the face of the planet. After searching for her for several days, the police gave up. However, she still had an active warrant for her arrest along with the restraining order as well. Now, two weeks after the fateful lunch with Renee, we were getting ready to head out for our long weekend in New York City. Bella was doing some last minute packing. I was making sure that the kids had everything they needed for their time with Nana and Papa. Esme and Carlisle were staying at our place while we were gone.

"Edward, I have a bad feeling," Bella said as she finished folding a pair of my jeans, placing them into the suitcase. "What if Renee shows up?"

"We left explicit instructions with my parents for them to call the cops if Renee shows up," I said as I hugged her tightly. "Bella, we need this. When was the last time we spent ANY time to ourselves?"

"Christmas night," she said. "It's been too long but…"

"No buts," I said as I wrapped my arms around her waist. "We're going and that's that. I've been looking forward to this since we won it at the silent auction at the ball. I get to see my wife wear a fancy dress and have her hair and makeup done for the opera."

"With a lovely black brace," she quipped, wiggling her right hand in my face.

"I think you can get a reprieve for the night of the opera," I said as I kissed her lips. "Besides, you're going with a doctor. I think I can make sure that you don't hurt yourself."

"Okay," she said, kissing my chin. "Can you bring the bags downstairs?"

"Sure, beautiful girl," I smiled crookedly. I grabbed the suitcase and the garment bag filled with our dress clothes for the opera. Bella was working on a small messenger bag that I would grab before we left. Now, I won't tell Bella this, but I agreed with the bad feeling she was having. For some strange reason, I know that her mom would come out of the hole she was hiding in to 'attack' my family while we were gone. I just prayed that this 'hunch' was wrong and that Renee stayed hidden. Hopefully, forever.

Downstairs, my parents were sitting with the kids. Esme was describing to all of them the fun they were going to have with Nana and Papa. Esme was excited. Carlisle looked like he was in pain. However, each of the activities required a lot of set up by him and that made sense for his look of discomfort. I clapped his shoulder and put the bags into my Volvo. I backed it out of the garage and made sure that I had a full tank of gas before driving to New York City.

I went inside and grabbed my coat since it was freezing outside. Bella came down the stairs, wearing a pair of jeans, a buttery colored wrap shirt and a deep merlot jacket with a scarf around her neck. In her left hand was the messenger bag. "No carrying anything, Isabella."

"It's in my other hand, Dr. Masen," she chided. "Relax."

I rolled my eyes and grabbed her bag, slinging it over my body. "You are a stubborn woman, Isabella Masen."

"You're equally as stubborn, Dr. Masen," she snorted. "But, I love you."

"I love you, too," I said as I pecked her lips.

"Babies," Bella called to our children. "Mommy and Daddy are going."

"Have fun," David said, waving at us from the couch, engrossed in a television show. Lizzie and Marie got up and hugged Bella.

"David Anthony, go say goodbye to your parents," Esme admonished. She turned off the television and David groaned. He shot up and hugged my legs before moving to Bella. He mumbled he loved us before going back to the couch, turning on the TV. "Oh, that boy. You two have fun in New York. Call us as soon as you get settled into the hotel."

"We will. Thank you for watching them, Esme," Bella said as she hugged her.

"Spending time with my grandbabies or with my crotchety husband? Like there was a choice," Esme snorted.

"I'm not crotchety," Carlisle growled.

"You're crotchety. And bored. Perhaps you can go back to work part-time. You're driving me nuts," Esme said as she patted Carlisle's head. He swatted her hand away and stuck out his tongue at my adoptive mother.

"We could use some help in the ER," I suggested.

"I'll think about it," Carlisle said. "Now, go. Have fun. Enjoy each other. Make love."

"Dad!" I barked.

"What? You have three kids. We know that you make love," Carlisle shrugged. "If your mother would ever let me back into the bedroom, I'd be doing it too."

"You're still in the doghouse about the pans, Carlisle," Esme said, wagging her finger at him.

"I bought you brand new pans. Top of the line, not CHEAP pans," Carlisle argued. "Besides, I was trying to do something nice for you, Es!"

"I know," she sighed. "This conversation will be continued, Carlisle. You two have fun and we love you." Esme gathered Bella and I into an embrace, kissing our cheeks.

"Love you, too," we both replied and we put on our coats. With one more hug to our children, we left the house and began our four hour long trek to New York City. We stopped along the way to get some lunch and it was nice to spend time with my wife without the stressors of work, children and life. She has also relaxed some since the debacle with her mom. Though, Renee was never far from our minds since Bella kept the throwaway cell phone in her purse along with a copy of the restraining order.

After our drive, I pulled up to the Gramercy Park Hotel and had the Volvo parked by the valet. I checked us into the hotel and we were led up to the loft suite by the bellhop. Giving him a hefty tip, I put the do not disturb sign on the door and locked it.

"What do you want to do, Edward?" Bella asked as she removed her coat, running her fingers along the surface of the tables.

"You," I purred.

She turned and looked at me. She smiled slowly and seductively. "Are you horny, Edward?"

"Always for you, baby," I said as I walked toward her, wrapping my arms around her waist. I leaned down, kissing her neck.

"Hmmm," she moaned, tangling her left hand into my hair. "We could spend tonight in bed since the next few days are going to be jam packed with activities. Going to the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and Central Park tomorrow afternoon, the opera tomorrow night, and the requisite shopping day the following day for your sister. Then the drive home…I think an evening in bed sounds heavenly."

"Just to let you know, this time in bed will not be restful, beautiful girl," I said as I grazed my lips over hers. "I plan on keeping you up all night, writhing in ecstasy."

"Is that a threat or a promise?" she quipped.

"Both, baby. Now, let's get naked and make love," I smiled, before I crashed my lips against hers.

A/N: Don't hate me for stopping it there. Not every lemon has to be written in explicit detail. The lemons should be inserted into the story, tastefully. Not be the story. Ya know? Anyhow, next chapter will include a full lemon. I promise. (Hell, I may continue the lemon from here…) I do apologize with the sporadic updates with this one. I struggle with this story and finding the momentum is tough. With that being said, please be patient with me on this one. I do intend to finish it. It'll probably take time.

Next chapter will be spent in New York City. We'll be joining our favorite couple as they explore the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and Central Park. If any of you have any New York stories, please feel free to share. I've never been to the city and I want to portray it appropriately. In addition to the touristy stuff, Bella and Edward are going to go to the opera to see one of my favorite operas, Romeo and Juliet by Fauré. Unfortunately, there is some drama lurking around the corner.

Some pictures of the Gramercy Park Hotel are posted on my blog (link in my profile). Also, check out my Facebook group: Tufano79's Twilight Fanfiction Appreciation or find me on twitter: tufano79. Leave me some lovin!