A/N: Time for an Edward POV!

Chapter 21

Edward pushed his laptop away from him as he stood up from his dining room table and glanced down at his watch. He still had over an hour before he was scheduled to meet Bella and her parents for dinner. It wasn't the first time he was ever meeting a girl's parents and technically he already knew Bella's, but he was still nervous.

Bella had already spoken to Esme and she had agreed with their reasoning. He was almost certain that Carlisle would approve after the initial shock had worn off. The President was also a very observant man, and it wouldn't be surprising if he already suspected the relationship. But Edward was also aware that he was still taking a huge leap of faith that could possibly endanger his professional life.

His thoughts were brought to an end when his cell phone began ringing in his pocket. Edward rolled his eyes as he glanced down at his screen and saw his sister, Rosalie's, name.

"Hello," he answered trying to keep the annoyance in his voice down to a minimum.

"Edward," she replied. "You know you could at least call from time to time. I'd like to know you're alive."

"It works both ways, Rose." Edward dropped down on his sofa, knowing this call was going to last at least thirty minutes. "What can I help you with?"

"Why do you always assume I want something?" Rosalie replied as Edward took a deep breath.

"Because you never call me unless you do. So what do you want this time?" Edward answered, hoping to end the call quickly.

"I don't ever need anything, Edward. I'm calling because I wanted to know whether I should expect you for Thanksgiving this year. Or are you going to bail like you do every year?"

"I don't know, Rose. I'm not sure what my work schedule is going to be like," Edward replied cryptically. "Aren't you taking some sort of tropical vacation like you always do?"

"No, I was actually hoping you'd come and we can have a real Thanksgiving. You know Krissy has been asking about you and asking why we never have a real Thanksgiving," Rosalie added causing Edward to sigh.

Edward hated the fact that he never spent time with his niece, but going back home was always so painful. He hadn't spent a Thanksgiving at home for at least five years. The few times he had gone back it had caused feelings he didn't want to experience to return, and the guilt was overwhelming. His parents would still be alive if he hadn't been so stupidly blind.

"You know my reasons," Edward protested. "And they have nothing to do with Krissy."

"I wish you weren't so stubborn. If you took the time to really look at things, you'll realize that it wasn't your fault. I know how paralyzing the guilt is, but I went to counseling and I've dealt with it. It wasn't any of our faults." Rosalie stated her voice slightly cracking. "And there's no need for you to pull away from me and Krissy. We're all we have left."

"I can't deal with this now, Rose." Edward knew he had to learn how to deal with his past, but he didn't have the strength to do it now. "I'll think about Thanksgiving."

Edward didn't allow Rosalie to answer before he hung up the phone and braced himself against the counter in his kitchen. He loved and missed his sister and niece, but he couldn't deal with the pain and anguish she always stirred in him. No matter what she and everyone else said he would always feel responsible for his parent's death. His selfishness caused them to be on the road that night. If he hadn't been so busy getting laid he would've been there to take Rosalie home and their parents would still be alive.

Edward looked at the watch on the microwave before pushing all the thoughts away. He didn't have time to worry about Rosalie or any holiday plans. He would figure everything out another time.

Edward picked up his keys and left the apartment. His main focus now was Bella, and he didn't need any type of distractions. He knew that he didn't deserve to have Bella's in his life, but he was a selfish man. He had fallen hard and fast for Bella, and now knew there was no turning back for him.

Edward arrived at the White House a little early, giving him plenty of time to go through security before heading up to the Residence where he would be having dinner. He wasn't quite sure how things were going to play out, but he was anxious to get everything out in the open.

"Hi," Bella greeted meeting him just past the security checkpoint.

"Hey," Edward replied, resisting the temptation to kiss her hello. "What are you doing down here?"

"My mom sent me down. She said I was making her nervous and I needed something to do to burn the excess energy," Bella explained as she led the way up the stairs.

"Edward," Carlisle stated as they walked in. "How's it going?"

"It's going well," Edward answered as he shook his hand.

"How wonderful of you to join us," Esme added as she entered the room from the kitchen. "Dinner is just about ready. Bella could you help me set the table?"

"Sure," Bella answered with a perplexed look.

"Can I speak to you for a few minutes?" Carlisle questioned once the two women had exited the room.

"Sure," Edward replied before following Carlisle to what appeared to be an office.

"Have a seat," Carlisle offered before Edward sat down in one of the overstuffed armchairs in the room. "Would you like a drink?"

"No, thanks," Edward answered as he tried to appear cool, calm, and collected. He had no idea why he was in Carlisle's personal office, but he knew it had nothing to do with work.

"Edward, there are very few people in my life that I have found to be trustworthy. And in the short time you have worked for me, I have found that you are an honest and hardworking man. Those are two qualities I place a lot of value on."

"I'm not going to beat around the bush here," he continued as Edward realized that Carlisle knew exactly why he was joining them for dinner.

"I have been suspecting there was something more than friendship between you and Bella for quite some time now. At first, I ignored it purposely. For me Bella will always be far too young to date." Carlisle laughed and shook his head. "But it became much more obvious after the Convention. I decided to say something after Felix informed me of the amount of time you spent in my daughter's hotel room last weekend."

"Bella and I spent the majority of our time working on her speech. I have the utmost respect for your daughter, and I would never take advantage of her." Edward interrupted. He wasn't quite sure how to read Carlisle since his face remained blank and expressionless.

"I believe that," Carlisle answered with a laugh. "And I'm honestly not surprised by this. Like I said I've seen it coming for a while. I'm just concerned about your intentions, Edward. Are you seriously interested in my daughter? I know Bella and she is not the type to just date to date."

"I'm completely serious about Bella," Edward answered without hesitation. "She asked me to come tonight to tell you about our relationship. I have already asked her to be my girlfriend and she has accepted."

There was a knock on the door before Bella popped her head inside. "Dinner is ready," she announced as she eyed Edward curiously. "Is everything alright here?"

"Edward and I were just having a man to man talk," Carlisle responded.

"Carlisle figured it out." Edward motioned for Bella to enter the room.

"I guess we weren't as secretive as we thought," Bella stated with a nervous laugh.

"I think you two are good together," Carlisle continued as Esme entered the room with a huge smile on her face.

"They remind me of us when we first started dating," Esme added happily.

"I think this is all great, but I must ask for a degree of secrecy for a bit longer. I think the public's attention should stay on the issues of this election and not on the love life of my daughter," Carlisle spoke seriously.

"I completely agree," Edward answered as he draped his arm around Bella. "We only wanted to have your consent before we continued our relationship."

Carlisle nodded with a smile before turning his attention to his wife. "We can't let good food go cold." Carlisle led the way out of the study followed by Esme.

"We'll be there in a few," Bella called out as she turned to Edward with a huge grin.

"I'm completely relieved," Edward stated as he looked down at Bella.

"I freaked out when my mom told me that Dad wanted to talk to you alone man to man. She practically had to hold me down in the kitchen," Bella admitted with a blush.

"There's no need to worry. Your father and I had a talk and we're just fine," Edward assured Bella. "And you were right. We'll keep things between us quiet until after the election."

"We can do that," Bella answered before tiptoeing to press her lips against Edward's.

"Dinner is served!" Carlisle called from the dining room causing Edward and Bella to pull away from each other and laugh.

"I'm not going to push my luck," Edward commented as he took Bella's hand and led her out of Carlisle's office to join her parents for dinner.

A/N: The cat is out of the bag! What did you think? Did Carlisle react the way you imagined? Can their relationship really stay secret? I want to know your thoughts and predictions.

As always, thanks for reading!