This is my entry for the 'The Summer It All Began' contest. It was my first time being in a contest and it made me really nervous to see all the great stories. Congratulations to all the winners. I loved reading them all.
Disclaimer: I own nothing Twilight, only the story idea is mine.
It Happened One Summer
Really? I mean really? The semester was over and all I wanted to do was go home to Forks and chill for the summer. Then my domineering, self-centered, bitch of a sister says the wedding has been moved up! She wants to get married at the end of June. Could my summer get any more fucked up? I shouldn't have even asked that question. All of this went through my mind as I hung up the phone with my dad, our conversation playing back in my mind.
"Edward," Dad began when he called. I knew from the tone of his voice, I wasn't going to like anything he was going to say.
"Son, I'm sorry. I know you'd rather go home to your mom's house and to tell you the truth I would too but…" I knew it! I hated it already. "Alice and Jasper are getting married sooner rather than later. And she and Vicki want to do the wedding here at the house in LA."
My dad sounded old and tired. I found it strange that he didn't call his house in LA his home. When was he going to wise up and dump that bitch he was married to now?
Mom hadn't been dead six months when Dad announced one evening to Alice and me that he was getting married again. Vicki was a nurse at the hospital where Dad worked and she was half his age, just a few years older than Alice. We didn't even know he was dating anyone much less her.
Turns out dad had gone out with some of his coworkers after a particularly long shift and Vicki was in the group. He had somehow gotten completely smashed and she had somehow ended up pregnant. Funny thing was she somehow lost the baby about a week after the wedding. That was too many some how's for me to stomach. The only thing that would help her get over the loss was for dad to take a job at a bigger hospital in LA and for him to buy her a new house there far away from Forks and the awful memories.
Vicki, my new stepmom, couldn't stand the fact that when mom had died she had left the house in Forks to me. It had been in her family for several generations and she wanted it to be continued to be passed down. After I had left to go off to college, dad and Vicki moved to LA and I only went there for an occasional visit. Summer breaks and holidays, I spent in Forks and I had every intention of settling there when I finished up college next year.
Alice, the root of all my current problems, was a year older than me and had dropped out of school after meeting one, Jasper Whitlock, the only son of the Dallas Whitlock. The family was swimming in oil, you know Texas tea. I'd never met the man but I assumed he was some wimp of a man that let Alice lead him around by the nose. No self respecting man would have anything to do with a bitch like Alice.
Alice had been living in LA and visiting Texas on a regular basis for the past six months. The wedding had been scheduled for late November and now was being pushed up. Could Alice have pulled the same shit on this Jasper guy that Vicki had played on dad? I wouldn't put it passed her.
I realized I'd let my mind wonder when dad's voice snapped me out of my time warp.
"Edward are you there? Are you alright?" Dad's voice was laced with worry.
"Yea, I'm fine Dad," I answered truly sorry for worrying him. I just got lost in my thoughts.
"I'd much rather go home but I guess a few days in LA won't kill me," I finally explained trying to sound slightly excited. Wait he'd said something about home too.
"Dad how about when it's over, you come and stay with me for a few days in Forks," I asked unsure of what his reaction would be.
"Are you sure," he asked timidly. " I mean, I'd understand if you wanted your privacy."
"Dad, I'd love to spend some time with you," I emphasized the word you so he know there was no doubt that Vicki wasn't welcome.
"Believe me, son, it will be just me," I could hear the hurt and anger in his voice. Maybe he had finally wised up.
One week later I found myself driving up to the house in LA. I could have flown but I figured the drive would be nicer and it was. I beat most of the commuter traffic so I pulled up in front of the house several hours before Dad's shift ended and it looked like Vicki and Alice were out too. I didn't see either of their cars. The new maid let me in and I found my way to the room I lovingly called the guest room because this house had never been a home to me. I dropped my bags on the bed and stood looking out at the pool and patio. That was something I needed to work on for the house in Forks. We couldn't have an outdoor pool there but I could build one and enclosed it in some kind of seasonal enclosure. It was something to think about; in the mean time, the pool was calling my name. I quickly changed into a pair trunks and headed out for a dip.
I jumped into the pool at the deep end and relished in the feel of the cool water caressing my heated skin. This was the ticket. Relaxing here before the big family dinner this evening was exactly what I needed. Alice was insisting that we act like a family and she said she wanted me to meet her victim…'er fiancé.
I swam several brisk laps then pulled myself up out of the water crossing the brick tile that surrounded the pool. I felt eyes on me immediately. You know, it's that creepy feeling you get when you know someone is watching you.
As I turned to sit myself in a chaise lounge chair, I saw him at the far end of the pool. The muscles in his arms stretching with the movements he was making as he ran the sweeper along the bottom of shallow end of the pool. Yea, I knew who he was from previous visits here but I had no idea he was stilled employed by my ad and Vicki.
James, the pool boy was one fine piece of ass and I'd tapped that piece on several occasions last summer. As far as I was concerned, it had been over and done then. He wasn't the type to settle down and have a relationship. He was in it for the quick fuck and then move on to the next sucker and I was not a sucker.
Closing my eyes, I thought I heard someone's angry voice coming from the pool house just a few feet away from where I lay. James made a quick movement to come closer to where I was laying too. I opened my eyes enough to see that his eyes were darting between me and the pool house so I knew he heard it too. It would have been comical the way his head darted back and forth if I hadn't realized who the screeching was coming from…..Alice!
"Come on Jazz baby! What's wrong with you," Alice's nasally whining even grated on my nerves. I felt sorry for the guy in the pool house with her.
"Feel how wet I already am for you baby. All you got to do is get hard and stick it in me," Alice was trying to sound sultry. I think. It made my skin crawl.
"Alice, we need to talk," a soft masculine voice laced with honey spoke up. "I've been trying to tell you something for some time now but y'all just wouldn't listen to me."
That slight twang became stronger with each word he spoke and his agitation grew.
"Talk, talk, talk! That's all you ever want to do. Well talking time in over Jasper! It's time to fuck," Alice screeched again. Oh yea, that would so give me a hard on! NOT!
"Alice get off me and stop touching me there," Jasper groaned out. I could hear what was probably one of the lounge chairs being moved around and what was clearly Alice being dumped on her skinny little ass.
"How dare you," Alice screamed this time. "What the hell is the matter with you anyway? You act just like my queer ass brother."
The silence was deafening. I held my breath waiting for the man with the honey laced voice to speak. When he did it went straight to my cock. His voice was deep and determined and lit something in me that I'd never felt before.
"Alice, I don't love you. In fact, I don't even like you much. This whole thing was dreamed up between my stepmom and yours. Yours was looking for more money and mine wanted to hide me away from her other social friends," his voice was sad but still determined. "But I talked with my pa before I came out here and I told him everything." He stopped. I moved closer to the pool house and waited.
"Told him what," Alice asked her words sneered.
"I told him that I was gay, always have been. I told him that I didn't want to marry you or any woman for that matter. I told him, he could keep his fucking inheritance and that I wasn't going to hide who I was for anyone anymore," Jasper answered her. But this time his voice was clear and sounded peaceful.
"And just what did your pa say to that," Alice asked between what sounded like clinched teeth.
"That was the best part, Alice. He said it didn't matter to him. He loved me anyway. Alice! Wait don't throw that," Jasper yelped then I heard the crash of glass being shattered.
She was throwing breakable objects at the poor man. I rushed forward and threw open the door to the pool house. There stood my sister in all her furious glory, arm cocked back with a decanter of some sort of alcohol, aiming for Jasper. He was standing behind the chaise lounge evidently using it for cover.
"What the fuck Alice? Put that down before you really hurt somebody," I stated loudly. Startled by my voice Alice dropped the decanter on the floor. It shattered spilling its contents all over her.
"Shit Edward! Look what you've done?" she turned on me. "And stay the fuck out of this. He has to marry me! I'm pregnant!"
Three male voices shouted at the same time, "WHAT?" James was now standing behind me in the open doorway of the pool house. Jasper jumped up from behind chaise and I saw him for the very first time.
His eyes were wide, watching the people standing in front of him. The bluest blue I had ever seen in my life finally stopped their frantic movement and landed on me. He smiled after a moment. His cheeks tinted a soft pink and two luscious dimples popped on either side of his shy smile. I watched as hands with long slender fingers combed through curls that had been kissed by sunshine. I shook myself. When did I become such a romantic sap? But there was no doubt, he was the hottest thing I had ever seen and he touched something deep inside me.
The sound of voices behind me finally broke me from the trance we were in. I smiled back at him and turned in time to see Alice wrap herself around James. It was then her words reached my fuzzy brain perfectly clear.
"James, baby, I'm sorry. I have to marry him," she tossed her head over her shoulder indicating Jasper. "He's the one with the money and as much as I love you, I need the money."
James' sad voice asked, "Is it my kid?"
"Well it sure as hell ain't mine," Jasper spoke up coming to stand by me. His nearness brought a tingle to my skin and it felt…right.
"Oh, shut up, Jasper," Alice quipped back.
"Don't talk to him like that," I sneered at my sister.
"What? You don't even know each other. Do all you fags belong to the same secret club or what," she asked snidely.
I heard Jaspers whispered words, "you're gay too?" I so wanted to take his hand and squeeze it but I had to deal with Alice first.
"Well, if we did James would be in the club too!" I answered and felt great joy at seeing the stunned look on Alice's face.
Jasper's long fingers warm and tender, wrapped around my arm drawing my attention to him.
"Hi. My name's Jasper Whitlock," he offered his other hand to shake and added, "It's very nice to meet y'all." My heart did a flip and my cock did a fist pump and the sound of his voice.
"Hi. My name is Edward Cullen," I answered back. Having kept his hand in mine, I could give it that squeeze now that I had wanted to do before. "The bitch's much nicer, younger, better looking brother." He chuckled at my words and Alice screamed again.
"What's he talking about James?" Alice said stalking toward the man who was trying to slide out of the pool house unnoticed.
"Ali, baby, come on now. Settle down and let me explain," James said holding his hands out in front of him as he continued to back up until he had cleared the door. Then he ran, fast. The three of us were amazed at just how fast he could move.
"He does have a nice ass," Jasper chuckled beside me, causing me to burst out laughing and Alice to scream again and stomp her foot this time.
"This does not let you out of marrying me," Alice startled us both with the venom in her voice. "I'll sue you and your family for breach of contract if the wedding does not take place as planned, next Saturday.
Leaving Jasper and I both stunned, she practically danced out of the pool house as if she were wearing a fucking tutu.
Beside me Jasper groaned and slumped onto the chaise lounge behind us..
"What am I going to do?," Jasper cried into his hands where he had his face buried.
My heart hurt to see this beautiful man in such agony. And he was beautiful. I really didn't even know him, yet, and I could tell that he was as beautiful on the inside as he was on the outside. I wanted to know him. I wanted to know everything about him.
"Do you think she's really pregnant," he asked finally raising his troubled eyes to face me.
"Can it possibly be yours," I had to ask and wanting desperately for the answer to be a loud 'fuck no'.
"Fuck! No!" he exclaimed pulling himself of a little straighter. "There is no fucking way. We've never…I couldn't…hell no!"
"Then we'll figure a way out of this," I said sitting beside him and taking one of his hands in mine.
"We'll figure it out?," he asked raising an eyebrow and sort of half smiling cockily at me.
I nodded yes and lost myself in his eyes for just a moment. My body took over, the attraction was undeniable. He leaned toward me. He was so close now; I could see his eyelashes were long and as blond as his curls. I couldn't have stopped if I'd wanted to and I didn't want to.
His lips were as soft as a warm summer breeze and as sweet. And the flavor, oh God, reminded me of the sugary residue left on your lips after eating cotton candy at a summer carnival.
Lost in my fantasy, I barely felt the top of his tongue until it was searching for entrance. Wrapping my hands around his face, I pulled him closer and opened to him. Our tongues immediately started to dance together. Damn.
Our simultaneous groans of pleasure brought us back to the present and where we were. Pulling away from each other, we couldn't help but laugh at the sounds we had made and the looks on the others face.
Jasper's face suddenly looked pale again. Worry was setting back in.
Touching his cheek with the palm of my hand and seeing him immediately lean into it made me want to fix this for him. Somehow, I would.
"Come on let's get out of here for awhile," I said grabbing his hand but stopped in my tacks when I heard a whispered voice at the door.
"James, baby? Are you in there?" A female voice I knew and detested was whispering just on the other side of the main door.
"There's nobody home," she giggled and I had to stop myself from loosing what little I had in my stomach left over from breakfast this morning.
Jasper's warm hand squeezed mine to get my attention. Looking at him, I could see he was confused. He had evidently, not recognized that cooing sound, my step mother called her voice.
I pulled him toward a changing screen in the corner of the room and slid behind it just as the door came open. Peeking between the slats on the screen, I could see a mess of wildly fake red hair before her face looked around the door in the pool house.
"Jamie?" she called again. "Honey come on we've got a couple of hours before the old fart get home."
I felt my hands turn into fists at my sides. The bitch was cheating on my Dad with the fucking pool boy. No wonder he was so upset when we last talked. I wondered if he knew what his wife was up to. I suppose I could have been angry at James for humping everything in sight, male or female but really it wasn't his fault. He had a fuck hot bod but very little in the brain department.
Jasper was looking at me searchingly when we heard her whimpering pout and then the door closed behind her as she left.
"Was that who I think it was?" Jasper asked clearly seeing how upset I was.
"Yep, that was my 'step mommy'," I answered between clinched teeth. "It would seem James has been a very busy boy around here and I don't think he's spent all that much time cleaning the pool."
"Damn, Edward, what do we do now," Jasper asked while I opened the door slowly, checking to make sure we were along and the coast was clear.
"We get the fuck out of town," I said walking us to the back of the house.
"Where's your gear," I asked as we headed down the back hallway towards the bedrooms.
"Second door on the left at the end of the hall, you?" he asked as we stopped in front of my door.
"Here," I nodded and opened the door to invite him in.
"Get your stuff together and meet me back here as quickly as you can. I hadn't unpacked yet so I'm going to change and grab my things. We'll sneak out before Alice or Vicki comes looking for either one of us," I said. "We'll call my Dad from the car when we get started."
"Your Dad," he asked and I turned to see him looking confused again. It was crazy I know but it was really hot when he was trying to figure something out. I stepped forward cupping his face between my hands and kissed those sweet lips once more. When I pulled away his eyes were still closed, like he was waiting for me to do it again. Damn!
"My Dad's cool and he needs to know what's going on here. It will be okay," I said softly. "I promise."
His smile, at my words, was breathtaking.
"I trust you," were his only answer. He kissed me softly then went to grab his stuff.
Dad was surprised to hear my voice but quickly agreed to meet Jasper and me at a little dive close to the hospital when his shift ended in about an hour.
Even with the crappy late afternoon traffic, we still beat him to the bar. This gave Jasper and I more time to talk. The more he opened up, the harder I fell. It was like we'd known each other for years, strange as it seems; we were just comfortable with each other. We were so engrossed in each other that we didn't even notice when Dad finally did show up.
"Ah Edward," Jasper said releasing my hand. He'd been holding it for quite some time. I missed his touch immediately. "Your Dad is watching us," he nodded to look over my left shoulder.
I turned to see my Dad watching us and he was smiling hugely. He grabbed his drink from the bar and brought it over to join us.
"How long have you been standing there," I asked feeling like a kid with his hand caught in the cookie jar.
"Long enough," he stated continuing to smile. "Hey, Jasper. Does Alice know you two have…met?"
"No sir…well I mean yes sir," Jasper swallowed and I watched as his Adam's apple bobbed. The sudden urge to lick it was overwhelming.
"Edward," Dad startled me, grabbing my attention. "What's going on son?"
So Jasper and I began to explain what had gone down at the house earlier. Dad listened carefully not stopping either of us as we spoke. When I got to the part about Vicki, I saw hurt quickly followed by anger rush through his eyes.
Dad was quiet for a long time after we finished. He ordered another drink, downed it quickly then turned his attention on us.
"I've only got two questions boys," Dad said firmly, emptied his glass and slammed it in on the table. "One. Edward how quick can your reach Riley and is he still in the same line of business? Two. Just how much do you two boys like each other?"
Stunned into utter silence, Jasper and I listened to what Dad had planned. Once or twice Jasper and I would look at each other for a moment and blush then continue to listen. It was a crazy idea but it just might work and it was certainly worth a try.
We drove along at a steady pace. The top down let the summer sun blister us but the breeze blowing by the car cooled the rays. I watched him from where I sat in the passenger seat. His hair sparkled in the sun light. Even through my shades, I could see the light and depth of the different colors of red. My fingers itched to touch him again. We'd be there soon and this would be all over. I wondered what would happen then but I just kept telling myself it would be okay. I trusted him with everything in me, this had to work.
My mind traveled over the past week and everything that I had been through. At first the plan that Edward and Carlisle had set in motion seemed utterly ridiculous. It couldn't possibly work and I told them that. What I didn't tell them was that someone could get hurt and that someone was me. Then I decided what did I have to lose really? I mean it was just my heart right?
Edward's friend Riley set to work and we left town on the first available flight. Now here we were five days later and we almost to the end of the road. Our flight landed an hour ago. We should make the house by seven, just like Carlisle had planned and confirmed before we left very early this morning.
The wedding was scheduled for this Sunday afternoon. The key word in that sentence being 'was'. Carlisle, Vicki, Alice and Riley would already be sitting down to dinner when we arrived.
Pulling up out front, we got out of the car and Edward gave me a sweet kiss for luck before we knocked on the door. The maid let us in and we proceeded to the dining room to meet with the others.
As soon as Vicki and Alice spotted us, the uproar started. Both of them were on their feet and talking at the same time. I couldn't understand a word either one of them was saying until some of the steam settled down. Finally I could hear individual questions but I didn't say a word.
"Where the hell have you been Jasper?" I could finally hear Alice ask.
"What have you two been up to Edward?" was Vicki next question as she eyed us.
The next sound was Carlisle's fist hitting the dining table and jarring the china and crystal. All eyes turned to face the sound and silence filled the room. Carlisle's voice was bone chillingly calm. You know like the calm before a huge mother fucker of a storm.
"Everyone sit down and be quiet. I have a few things to say now that we are all here together," Carlisle looked to each face in the room.
After everyone was seated again, I took a large drink from the wine glass on the table in front of me. Choking slightly, Edward patted my back and whispered that it was going to be okay. Alice glared at the two of just before Vicki had the nerve to speak.
"Carlisle, this is a family matter. I don't think your friend there should be here," she stated nodding toward the man I assumed was Riley. Never having met him, I realized just how good looking he was. I wondered what had been the relationship between him and Edward.
"If this was a family meeting, then only Edward, Alice and I would be here," Carlisle said bluntly and raised his hand to silence Vicki before she made another attempt to speak.
"First off, we are expecting one more guest and second, Riley is an old friend of Edwards so he is more than welcome in my home," Carlisle smiled at Vicki then added. "And he's been working for me. He's a professional investigator."
I heard Alice and Vicki both gasp at the same time as they looked at each other questioningly. Just then there was a knock at the door into the kitchen and Carlisle answered, "Come on in. We've been waiting for you."
Much to the surprise of both the women in the room, James the pool boy came into the dining room. As he entered the room, his eyes danced across each person until they fell on Riley. He smiled softly and a blush tinged his cheeks. Riley stood and offered James the empty seat next to him. I looked at Edward and was surprised to see that he was just as confused as me and only shrugged his shoulders. Carlisle cleared his throat and all eyes turned to face him again.
"Alright, Riley would you like to begin please," Carlisle asked. Riley pulled out a small notebook from his pocket flipped it open and began to read.
"Monday, 7:50 am Vicki Cullen approached one James Jones at the pool where Mr. Jones was working. After a short amount of conversation, Mrs. Cullen and Mr. Jones retired to the pool house. They did not come out until 10:30 am. Mrs. Cullen entered the main house and Mr. Jones returned to his duties at pool side," Riley said then Carlisle asked.
"And did you hear any more of their conversation in the pool house," Carlisle's voice barely civil as he spoke.
"There was little of what I would call conversation but the pictures I gave you earlier explain things a little better," Riley stated with a devilish grin on his face.
"Pictures," Vicki questioned her voice squeaking as she spoke.
"Yes, pictures and you know they say a picture is worth a thousand words," Carlisle said sliding an envelope across the table to his extremely stunned wife.
With trembling fingers, Vicki opened the envelope and let out a small cry when she looked at the pictures inside. Her eyes immediately filled with tears as she looked at Carlisle pleadingly.
"Oh, baby, it was only the one time and I'm so sorry. I know it was wrong and he well…he tricked me," she said with tears running down her cheeks and pointing at James who was looking at her in astonishment. Carlisle never missed a beat.
"Riley would you care to continue," Carlisle said without blinking his eyes.
"Tuesday and Wednesday at approximately the same time, both mentioned suspects entered the same pool house and stayed for…" Vicki was standing and screaming at that point so no one could hear what else Riley had to say.
"Now wait a minute! That son of a bitch didn't touch me on Wednesday. He said he couldn't do it anymore. That he was tired of being used…" she suddenly shut up when she realized she'd just admitted to everything.
The room was coldly silent for about ten seconds until Alice started to figure out what was going on. She looked across the table at James and exploded.
"You've been fucking her when I told you I loved you!" she screamed as she jumped up and ran around the table. Edward caught her and held her back but she kept swinging her arms and legs.
"How could you do that to me? How long has this been going on?" Alice screamed at James.
James stood up and stared at her then stated in slow steady words, "Look, you do what you have to, to keep your job. She wanted it and she even told me I could be replaced if I didn't do it. God, she's old! I wouldn't have done it if I didn't think I'd lose my job and I needed it."
"Love! You have no idea what love is. You are no different than her, just younger," James spewed out then softened. "But then I didn't know what love was until recently myself." He turned and looked down at Riley and smiled softly.
Carlisle spoke up then and turned on Vicki first.
"You have exactly one hour to pack your things and by your things, I mean only the things you came into this marriage with and get out of this house. Don't even try to apologize or cry your way out of this. I have enough proof to get a divorce without any trouble at all and if you are thinking about that little prenup we signed. Take a look at the fine print on the last page. You'll see it clearly states that if either party is found in a sexually compromising position that document is null and void," Carlisle didn't even raise his voice until his last statement. "Get out Vicki now!"
Vicki left the room sobbing and ran to where I assumed her bedroom was. We could hear her slamming doors and throwing things as she scrambled.
Edward finally released Alice and she turned her wrath on me next. I wasn't looking forward to this but there was no other way.
"Well this doesn't have anything to do with us Jasper. All this happened before our marriage so I haven't broken any rules yet. The simple fact that I'm pregnant and that you are a southern gentleman makes it very clear. Your parents will expect you to marry me and I fully intend to hold you to what you promised me," Alice was quite sure she was completely in the right here. Even though there was no way I was the father of that child if she was pregnant.
"Alice that was a very nice speech but there is a slight problem with that," Edward said pulling Alice to turn and face him.
"What problem?" Alice asked with a sneer on her face.
"Oh the problem that Jasper and I have been in New York for the past five days," Edward let his words sink in and watched as Alice's eyes grew huge.
Offering me his hand, I stood beside him. We showed Alice our left hands at the same time.
"We got married while we were there Alice. So you see the problem is Jasper is already married and I'm not giving him up," Edward said as he left a kiss on my cheek.
I watched as a for once silent Alice looked between Edward, me and the rings on our fingers. Her face suddenly turned red, growing darker with each second that passed. Her entire body began to tremble and her eyes rolled back in her head and she…fainted dead away.
"Congratulations son," Carlisle said as he walked around Alice's little slumped body on the floor.
"Jasper, I hope the two of you will be very happy," he added without batting an eye.
We heard the front door slam loudly and then the other men in the room began to talk happily amongst themselves. I couldn't believe no one seemed to be worried about Alice.
"Shouldn't we check on her," I asked slightly worried looking at her body on the floor.
"Oh she used to do this all the time when she was a kid. She holds her breath until she faints. Jasper I promise she's fine," Carlisle said patting me on the back. "Let's all go have a drink to celebrate your marriage and my divorce."
Riley spoke up, "She's not pregnant Jasper. I checked into the doctor she's been going to see and the guy's a podiatrist. I'm sorry she was such a bitch to you and James using that old line."
After whiskey's had been poured and the five us each had a glass, Carlisle thanked Riley for all his help and wished Edward and I well. I was still nervous about that part. I mean I knew how I felt but even after three glorious nights together I wasn't sure how Edward really felt. I mean he only married me so that I wouldn't have to marry Alice. Now we both knew that I wouldn't have had to marry her anyway. She didn't love me and she wasn't pregnant, there was no reason. So would Edward want out now too?
"And you know the rest of the story," Edward said wrapping his arms around me and hugging me tightly.
"Ah Dad do you have to go and get all mushy in front of us like that," Michael our youngest son whined.
"Yea, just because it's your anniversary doesn't mean we have to hear this story every time it comes around," Kate our oldest and wisest daughter said.
"Oh, don't listen to them. I love hearing about the summer you fell in love and married dad to save him from Aunt Alice," Bella our sweet fourteen year old stated.
"Thank you Bells for at least appreciating how much we love to tell that story," I said giving her a peck on the cheek. "Is that nice young man Jacob coming by this evening?"
Bella blushed deeply and giggled and punched Michael when he made a face at her. Kate who was now twenty and thoroughly not interested in romance or men at all right now, spoke up.
"To tell you the truth, dad I wouldn't miss hearing that story no matter where I was or what I was doing. It lets me know there is such a thing as true love and maybe it will find me one day when I'm ready for it," she kissed Edward and me and then went off to work on whatever manuscript she was working on now.
"Okay dad I've got a video game to beat so can I go now and if Jacob does come over later, I want to be ready to play him and smash him this time," Michael stated as he headed off to the game room.
"Wait a minute Mike, he's not coming to see you. He's coming to see me," Bella trailed off after him.
"Looks like it's just us to clean up again," Edward said as he started gathering the plates from the cake we had all just shared.
"It's hard to believe that it's been twenty three years," I said carefully stacking the dishes in the dishwasher. "And to think that I thought you really didn't want to marry me and only did it to keep me from having to marry your sister."
"You mean you didn't know that I was completely, madly and totally in love with you from the very first time I laid eyes on you," Edward said as he pushed me against the counter and kissed his way up my neck to my earlobe.
"Oh I knew you were in lust but love; no, I wasn't sure of that until the next day," I answered.
"Really," he asked stunned at my admission.
"I thought you were being kind and trying to help me but love me. I couldn't understand why you would. I knew that I had fallen fast and hard for you but you wanting me; that just seemed like an impossible dream," I answered taking his face between my hands and kissing him tenderly.
There wasn't much time or strength these days for wild nights of passion but his touch, his kiss still excited me like no other ever had. The look in his eye at that moment told me this would be one of those nights we'd make special.
"Jasper Whitlock-Cullen I love you with all my heart and soul and I have for all these years. Don't you ever doubt it. There has never been anyone else for me," Edward said bringing the kisses to a different level.
When the passion subsided a little and he let me breath, I only had one thing to say, "I don't doubt it and I will never forget the summer it all began."