Title: His New Beginning
Penname: Mina Rivera
Betas: Nicia & Nails233
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
Summary: He walked down the shore and that was when he saw her. She glowed under the light of the setting sun, her dark hair tousled by the sea wind. He couldn't help but notice how exquisitely beautiful she was. As he walked closer to her, he noticed her tears and heard her cry.
Written for Fandom 4 Autism
His New Beginning
Italics conversations means characters are speaking in Spanish*
Edward was a writer, a very good one. His books had been on best-seller lists many times and he thought he had a pretty good life. At his 35 years of age, he had a wife that loved him, a family that supported him and an amazing career that made him very happy.
It all came crashing down one afternoon after his younger sister's wedding.
His wife Rosalie hadn't been feeling well. The flu had taken a hold of many of her coworkers and she was now one more of its victims. She bowed out from attending the wedding ceremony, not wanting to interrupt with a mad dash to the toilet. He understood and left her at the flat, promising her he would pick her up so they could to go together to the reception.
The ceremony was perfect. His sister Alice had never looked as beautiful as she did that day. He wished their parents were alive to see her this day; it had been almost five years since they died in a car accident, but it was days like these that they were missed more. Alice confessed to Edward she felt the same way, but she was grateful he was there to walk her down the aisle in place of their father.
The ceremony began and Alice's fiancée Jasper, the poor bloke, was in tears as Edward escorted his sister down the aisle. With a strong handshake, Edward gave his little sister away to his best friend.
It was then that he noticed his younger brother was nowhere in sight, but he shook it off, thinking he was probably sitting next to one of the pretty female guests that had been invited to the event. Emmett was a skirt chaser and a major flirt. Unfortunately, the bloody idiot made no distinctions between single, engaged, or married women, which got him into a lot of trouble that Edward was pretty tired of getting him out of.
Once the ceremony was over and pictures were taken with still no Emmett in sight, Edward left the church to pick up his wife. He had a bad feeling when he opened the bedroom door and heard voices from the master bathroom. He prepared himself for the blow, and walked in to find, not only his wife in the shower, but his younger brother also in there with her.
After kicking the shit out of his brother, tossing him out of the apartment, and disowning him, he turned to his wife. Rosalie sat on their marriage bed crying her eyes out. He told to pack her stuff and to never come back. He couldn't even look at her.
Rosalie tried to apologize, but he shut her down, not wanting to hear her lame excuses.
Edward returned to the reception, trying to look like nothing was wrong. Today was Alice's day and he'd be dammed if he let his adulteress wife and traitorous brother ruin this day for her. He spent the rest of the party alone, downing glasses of scotch, one after the other. He decided to stop when his words started to slur. The last thing he wanted was to embarrass the newlywed couple in front of their three hundred guests by getting pissing drunk.
When he returned to the flat, all of Rosalie's stuff was gone. Luckily, she hadn't taken much and she even left his music collection intact.
That night he slept on the guest bedroom.
Three months later he sold the flat and moved to Jasper's old place.
Jasper had decided to rent it out instead of selling it. It was a pretty smart move, since rent would provide a backup income for the newlyweds. So, Edward lived in the small studio flat until the divorce was final.
Emmett tried to ring him up, but he refused to listen to him. Even Alice had sworn off ever speaking to him. She had been completely disappointed by her younger brother when she found out what he had done after returning from her honeymoon, and chose to stay on Edward's side.
After the divorce, Edward moved to the place where he was once the happiest.
When he was in his twenties, Edward had been part of the Peace Corps and had visited many countries. One of them had really felt more like home than the rest, so he decided to move back there for a new start.
Ayangue was a small town on the coast of Ecuador. The house he had purchased there had an amazing view of the ocean from the master bedroom and the houses were pretty far spread out, which meant he wouldn't need to worry about nosy neighbors.
Edward really liked the house he had bought, it was built in levels and all the floors had balconies with plush furniture and small dining sets. He picked the first floor balcony as his spot for writing since there was an electrical plug socket on the wall. He could plug in his laptop and write all day from there, and the kitchen was only a few steps away in case he got hungry or thirsty.
Edward also enjoyed his walks with his dog Sally down the beach. He had found Sally after two weeks into his fresh start; the poor puppy was left in a box by the rocks. Her fur was the colour of butterscotch and she was barely a month old, so he took her in. She was tiny, but soon he realized she was going to be big by the size of her paws.
The vet confirmed it when he told him she was a cross between a Pitbull and a Labrador.
Sally turned out to be a very tender puppy that liked to snuggle close to Edward's feet, and she quickly became the companion he needed in his new home.
Months passed and the high season started. More and more tourists came pouring down to spend their day on the beach.
The beach wasn't private property; the only places allowed to have a private beach were the five star hotels in the city of Salinas.
Edward didn't mind, though. He actually found it enjoyable hearing children's laughter and people talking in the morning. More than once, children came asking if they could play with Sally, and he would let them, as long as they promised to bring her back before sunset.
One day, a small kid named Seth asked if he could take Sally for a walk.
"Are you a dog walker?" Edward asked in fluent in Spanish.
After living in this town for more than a year, his Spanish had improved exponentially.
"No, I just want to show her to my girlfriend."
Edward smirked; the kid couldn't be more than ten years old.
"All right, but make sure she's back before six."
"Thank you, sir."
He waved him off and went back to lie down on the hammock he had installed a few weeks ago. From there, he watched as Seth took Sally to a little girl with brown hair pulled up in pig tails. He watched as the cute little couple played together until a woman with hair that was a similar shade of brown to the little girl's walked up to them and took the little girl away.
Seth quickly ran up with Sally.
"Thanks again, sir."
"No problem, Seth. Sally looks like she had lots of fun."
He said goodbye to the little boy and went inside his house to start on dinner.
A few weeks later, Edward hit a major writer's block. The usual stuff he did to get over it wasn't working, so feeling frustrated with himself, he grabbed Sally's leash and went out for a walk.
He admired the now empty beach, school was in session again, and there weren't many tourists pouring over anymore. The silence was comfortable, but he felt a bit lonely. For the first time in months, he wished things had been different. He thought back to the time when he was dating Rosalie, and realized, he had been settling by being with her. He loved her, there was no doubt about that, but it wasn't that all-consuming love he had yearned for, it was more like a comfortable companionship.
This realization hit him like a ton of bricks, and for the first time, he felt like he was finally able to let it all go.
He walked down the shore for a few more minutes and that was when he saw her. She glowed under the light of the setting sun, her dark hair tousled by the sea wind. It was the same young woman he had seen the day Seth asked to play with Sally. As he took a closer look at her, he couldn't help but notice how exquisitely beautiful she was. She wore a cable knit white sweater over a white tank top and cut off jean shorts. As he walked closer to her, he noticed her tears and heard her cry.
"Are you all right?" he asked concerned.
The woman whipped her head around and he felt like he was hit by a lightning. Her big brown eyes held so much sadness in them, he felt the sudden need to wrap his arms around her and never let her go.
She wiped her tears away with the back of her hands and gave him a tight smile.
"I'm… fine." She sighed wistfully.
Edward chose to not push her and instead decided to strike up a conversation with her.
"I'm Edward, and I live in that house over there," he said, pointing at his two-story beach home.
"I'm Bella, and I live on the house over the cliff."
Edward turned around to where she was pointing at and saw a bungalow style house. The cliff wasn't very high, but it was far into the ocean that the waves crashed softly against the rocks.
"I bet you sleep like a baby with the sound of the waves crashing."
She laughed, and it was soft and warm. "Sometimes it's pretty hard to leave the bed, yes."
"You are not from around here, are you?" He asked curiously, her Spanish accent had a hint of European.
"No, I was born in Italy. My father was American, but I grew up with my mother and her family in Torino."
"You speak English, then?" he said, switching languages.
Edward couldn't pass up the opportunity to speak in his mother tongue if he could. It was so rare in this small town to find someone who spoke anything besides Spanish or Quechan.
"Yes, but you will have to forgive my accent," she answered with a heavy Italian accent.
Edward found himself captivated by the tone of her voice. "Nothing to forgive, I think it's quite lovely."
She blushed. "Are you English?"
He chuckled. "Me? No," he said, shaking his head with a smile, "but, I grew up in Surrey."
She smiled brilliantly and it lit up her face. "I've lived in Cambridge."
"For school?" He assumed.
Now he was curious. "What was your major?"
She bit her lip, hesitating for a minute. "Engineering, Computer Sciences."
He was surprised by her answer; he had pegged her for an English major. "What made you choose that?"
She shrugged. "I've always been curious about technology, and in the end, I decided could work creating software for Windows or working at Google."
She looked down. "I created a virus, and then a patch. Now countries hire me to make their systems secure."
Edward was surprised. "Wow, never saw that one coming."
She laughed. "Me neither, but it is an easy job for me. I can work remotely from anywhere in the world, and the pay allows me to live comfortably without worrying about money."
"I bet your husband loves that."
She blushed and looked down to her feet again.
"No husband," she mumbled without looking up.
She shook her head 'no' while she kept staring at the ground.
"Lucky me," he muttered under his breath.
They talked about family and friends. Edward found out Bella had a brother in Guayaquil and her niece came over to visit her every weekend or when school was out.
"Santi and his wife, Renata are great parents, but they have very busy lives. Valentina, my niece, is very into ballet, and I always try to go to her performances whenever they can't."
"I bet she is very happy that you do."
Bella sighed and wrapped her arms around herself. "I love watching her dance, she's so carefree…"
A sad look took over her face and Edward found that he didn't like it at all.
Edward bumped her shoulder with his. "Are you a good dancer?"
She snorted. "No! I was born with two left feet."
When Edward saw her smile again, he tried to avoid any other family subjects, all he wanted to see from Bella was her smile and to hear her laughter.
It became a routine for Edward to meet Bella every afternoon to walk down the shore and talk. He learned so much about her and her life in general. A few topics brought back that sad look on her face, but Edward always changed the subject quickly.
As the time passed, their friendship grew, until one day Edward woke up and discovered that he was really falling in love with the mysterious girl.
Bella seemed a little guarded, but Edward was a very patient man.
He knew what being hurt was like and decided he should open up about his past first, so that maybe she would feel more at ease and comfortable about doing the same.
So, a few months after meeting Bella, Edward told her about Rosalie and Emmett. He explained about the pain of not being able to even live in the same city as them, and how he chose to leave London for the comfort he'd known when he was younger in this town.
Bella listened to his story with rapt attention, but didn't open up about her past that night, but Edward wasn't surprised. He hadn't had any expectations that she would. He had only wanted her to know that the ball was in her court.
Luckily, only a week went by before she finally opened up.
Edward wasn't expecting it. In fact, he had started to think that maybe Bella only wanted a friendship from him and nothing else. He was surprised when one morning he heard someone knocking on his door and found Bella, holding a tray of patacones con queso and a determined look in her eyes.
"Can we talk?" she asked, holding up the platter of appetizers.
Edward nodded and let her in. He took out the coconut water he had chilling in the fridge and served two tall glasses with lots of ice, and then together they sat in the living room.
For a few minutes, they ate the salty plantains and drank their water, not speaking a word. The tension was thick in the air, but Edward chose to let Bella lead and waited patiently for her to start.
Finally, Bella set her empty glass down and turn on the couch to face him fully.
"When I was in Cambridge, I met a guy named James. He was very charming and came from a very wealthy family, I think they were even related to Fergie or something, but the thing was that they were very snobbish and looked down on lower class people. I was a middle class girl. My father worked for the Marines. He had a high rank until he had an accident in Afghanistan. He was honorably discharged after that and then decided to live a comfortable life in Seattle. My mother is a seamstress for a high fashion designer, and I think that was the only reason why James' mother ever accepted me in her son's life. I always had the inside scoop on the next season's trends, and she bonded with me through that.
"James and I dated for a year until one day we were vacationing in Barcelona and he proposed out of the blue, in the middle of the park. It was perfect for me and I was very happy. We got married six months later, and my father flew in to give me away. The wedding was small by James' parents' standards, but it was perfect for us. I was very, very happy."
Bella took a deep breath and stood up. She started to pace the floor and Edward braced himself for what was to come.
"I got pregnant three months after our honeymoon. James was ecstatic! We both were. When we told his parents, they were really happy for us, but a little concerned. We were still in school and they were worried it'd be too much for us to handle. We agreed to move in with them over Christmas break, since I'd be very close to my due date by then, and I would have extra hands to help me out with the baby.
"James wanted to go back to Spain before the baby came and I agreed. We went on a cruise and then decided to road trip some of the cities. We made a stop at Burgos, one of James' favorite cities for their architecture and history. We were just sightseeing and that's when we heard it."
Bella had tears streaming down her face and Edward wanted so badly to comfort her, but he knew that she needed to say this. So, he simply handed her his handkerchief and let her compose herself.
"It happened so fast… The first thing we heard was the bomb going off and then people screaming. People panicked and suddenly I was being pushed. I fell hard on my side and hit my head, I was very dizzy, and next thing, I knew I was pushed out of the way, and James was hit by a car."
Bella collapsed onto an armchair and Edward quickly stood up, he couldn't stay away anymore. He wrapped her in his arms and rocked her back and forward until she stopped sobbing on his shoulder.
"He died before we made it to the hospital, and I lost my baby that same day."
Edward closed his eyes at the pain in Bella's voice.
She'd had it all and it was taken away in an instant. He knew his lost didn't even begin to compare to hers, but he wanted so badly to be able to comfort her in any way he could.
"They blamed me, you know. James' parents. They blamed it all on me and disowned me. James had left a hefty amount of money in his will to me and they took it all away. I only had a small shoe box with mementos from our time together left."
Edward sighed and rubbed her back. "I can't believe there are people like that out there, but Bella, you know it was not your fault, right?"
She smiled sadly and nodded. "It took me years to finally grasp it, but I know that now. We were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Not long after James' parents kicked me out, I was hired by the government of Ecuador to build up their systems defenses and I gladly accepted the opportunity. They paid for everything and even allowed me to choose where to live. They set up everything for me and I was grateful they only ask me to come to the city at least once a month for reports and the like."
"You wanted to isolate yourself."
Bella pulled back and looked him in the eye. "Yes, I guess you can understand that need to be alone."
Edward nodded and tucked a loose lock of her hair behind her ear. The action was intimate, but tender at the same time. "Your brother…"
"He had my back all the way. He was already here with his family, and he became my rock. When Valentina was born, I was a bit depressed for a while, but then when I held her for the first time… I knew I was going to be all right."
Edward smiled when he saw a spark of hope in Bella's eyes.
They talked some more about their pasts and connected in a way they hadn't done before. They both could feel the shift in their relationship, even more when they noticed Bella had been sitting in Edward's lap all the time, yet it didn't bother either of them. During a lull in their conversation, Edward noticed it was night already.
"I should go home," said Bella, standing up and stretching her muscles.
Edward stood up as well and escorted Bella back to her place. He waited dutifully until she was inside, but just when she was about to close the door, she stopped and called out for him to come back.
When he did, he was surprised when she asked him out on a date.
"Are you sure, Bella?"
"Yes, I know you can feel the connection like I do, Edward. I'm not afraid to explore it anymore."
He took her hands in his and kissed the back of them. "I promise to never hurt you if you give me this chance to make you happy again."
"Then say yes."
"Yes, Bella, I would love to go out on a date with you."
He insisted on cooking for them and she gladly agreed.
Bella gave him her number so he could call her with the details for Friday night.
As Edward lay in bed that night, he couldn't wipe the smile of his face, even though the storm that had started not long after he arrived home cut off his power and the heat was practically cooking him from inside out. The only thing he could think of was Bella with her captivating brown eyes and how he never wanted to see her cry again.
"This is delicious!"
"Thank you. I've been known to have my brilliant moments in the kitchen."
"Glad I get to reap the benefits of one of those rare moments."
Edward laughed and clinked his wineglass against Bella's. "You and me, both."
The date had been a success.
Earlier in the day, Edward had gone to the store and bought a couple of bottles of a nice white Chilean wine. He had been almost out of the store when he saw a simple and elegant dinner set, and realized he didn't have anything like that to serve the food. He bought it without second thought and left quickly to start dinner.
At home, Edward had cooked a light seafood meal for them, which Bella now ate with gusto.
"So tell me what books you have written, Edward."
He smirked. "Wouldn't you like to know?"
Bella huffed and set her wine glass down. "I know you must use a penname."
He filled her glass with more wine. "And how do you know that?"
She bit her lip. "Google, of course. Nothing came up with Edward Cullen."
Edward laughed at her guilty expression. "You're right; I do use a penname."
"Well, what is it?"
"My mother's maiden name."
When it looked like Edward wasn't going to elaborate more, Bella rolled her eyes.
"C'mon, Edward! Just tell me, maybe I've read one of your books."
He doubted it, but she had surprised him more than once already. He leaned in closer to her and she did the same. He was close enough he could smell the shampoo from her hair.
Coconuts, he guessed as he discreetly took in her scent.
"Edward?" Bella whispered, her eyes hooded.
He hadn't noticed he was so close to her that, if he just tilted his head to the side, he would be able to kiss her plump lips.
Not wanting to push his luck, he chose to lean in closer to her ear and whispered, "Anthony Masen."
Bella sat back, gaping. "Are you serious?"
Edward nodded as he took a sip of the wine.
"You write porn!"
Edward spit the wine, while Bella threw her head back in laughter.
"I. Do. Not. Write. Porn!" He cried out, outraged. He grabbed his napkin and quickly dried his face.
Bella rolled her eyes and giggled. "Fine, erotica or whatever you want to call it."
"I don't write erotica either, that was just one book. How do you know about it, anyways?"
Bella shrugged. "I'm 25 years old and at my sexual peek. Call it curiosity!"
Edward shook his head. "It's not erotica. The theme was sexual, yes. BDSM can be all about sex, but I wrote it because there are books out there that really didn't paint the community the way it is."
Bella narrowed her eyes. "Are you a Dom, Edward?"
He sighed, that was a question he had heard before many times. "No, but I do have friends in the community. I might've dabbled a little bit, but didn't like it. Being in control all the time or surrendering it to someone else, it's just not me."
"I understand that. I admit I have thought about the possibility of being a submissive, but then I realized that the play aspect was what attracted me, more than the lifestyle."
"There's nothing wrong with wanting a little kinkiness in the bedroom, as long as you find the right person to share that experience with."
They drank more wine and talked about his books. Bella seemed very well read, and they were just finishing discussing the redeemable qualities of "Wuthering Heights" when Edward stood up to make coffee, since they had already finished the two bottles of wine.
"Just so you know," commented Bella, who seemed to be a little tipsy, "I have a third date rule."
Edward hummed. "Really?"
She nodded seriously.
Edward set the cups of coffee on the table. "What about this coffee," he said pointing at the full cups of the black liquid, "would they count as a second date, since I asked you to dinner…"
She giggled, "Maybe."
"And what if I take you out tomorrow night, too, that would be a third date, right?"
"You are bad… very, very bad."
"I could be very, very bad… for you."
She flushed at the tone of his voice and smiled seductively at him. "Let's make it coffee tonight and you can cook breakfast in the morning."
Edward smiled triumphantly when suddenly his phone started ringing.
"Keep that thought, I'll be right back!"
Bella giggled and started to sip her coffee, humming at the taste.
Edward felt that sound all the way down his neglected cock, but chose to ignore it. For now.
He checked the caller ID and saw it was a number he didn't recognize, but it had the international area code for England. He hesitated for a second, thinking perhaps it was Emmett trying to make amends yet again, but after his realization that night on the beach before he met Bella, he knew he needed to start opening the lines of communications again if he ever intended to really move on.
So, with a heavy sighed, he accepted the call.
"Edward- Jasper- don't- Alice- can't- hospit- come-"
"Jasper, is that you? I don't understand what you are saying."
"Blood- be- going- have- you- home- please."
Blood? What blood?
Edward started getting worried, so he climbed up to the second floor and into the balcony, knowing the signal was better from that spot.
"Jasper, please… can you tell me again what's going on?"
"Edward, Alice was in an accident. She was coming home from the shop, but a car hit her from the side. She's in the hospital now, but I don't know anything other than that she needed emergency surgery."
"Fuck! And the baby?"
Alice was 23 weeks pregnant. They had been trying for such a long time, and to have this happen to them was heart breaking.
"I don't know Edward! They won't tell me anything!"
"Alright, Jasper. Calm down. I'll catch the first flight out of here in the morning. I'll probably be there in two days. Just keep calm and check in with me through email. I'll keep my laptop with me."
He sent a silent prayer to God for the baby and his sister, and then went down to explain the situation to Bella.
Heathrow airport was packed when Edward arrived. It took him almost three hours to pass through customs, grab his bags and pick up a rental.
During the drive to the hospital, Edward thought back to his last night in Ayangue. Bella had been so understanding of his situation and even offered to drive him to Guayaquil, where the nearest international airport was. It was only a two hour drive, but Edward was thankful for the extra time he got to spend with her, for who knew how long it would be until he saw her again.
He lucked out once he got to the airport, and was able to book a seat in the earliest flight that departed in the morning straight to Newark, and then he only needed a bus ride to JFK to take a flight to London.
He made it in record time, only one day and a half of travelling. He felt exhausted, but after a couple of coffee cups from a near shop, he was good to go.
Edward finally arrived at the hospital and quickly made a bee line for the reception. After being sent to a nurses' station in the third floor, he there learned that Alice was already in a suite and felt calmer knowing she was alive.
When he arrived to the room, he spotted Jasper in a chair near the window.
Jasper quickly stood up when he saw him and gave him a very tight hug.
"I'm so glad you're here, Edward."
Edward hugged his best friend for one more minute, and then pulled back.
Jasper must've seen the question in his eyes for he quickly started explaining Alice's condition.
The good news was that the baby was fine and had a very strong heartbeat. Alice's surgery was to correct her clavicle that was fractured during the impact. The bad news was that Alice was bound to bed until she had the baby, and her leg would need more surgeries to correct the many fractures it suffered when the door caved in during the crash and crushed it.
Edward sighed in relief. A few fractures were fixable, but a life could never be replaced.
He sat down in a chair placed near the bed where his little sister lay. He saw a large bruise in her cheekbone and several on her right arm. He took her small hand in his large one and kissed the back of it, sending a thank you to his parents who were watching over their daughter from heaven, no doubt.
Alice eventually woke up, but only for a few minutes. It was enough for her to see that Edward was there and thank him for coming.
Edward brushed off her thanks and just asked her to heal fast, and asked her to take care of that little bundle of joy she was still carrying.
Dinner time came and Edward offered to buy something for Jasper. He went to the cafeteria, but didn't find anything appealing to him, so he decided to go to the coffee shop he saw a block away when he came from the airport.
On the way out of the hospital he bumped into the last person he ever thought he would see.
He turned around and saw Rosalie standing by the reception desk. Her hair was short and she was wearing a white sundress instead of her usual power suit, but what surprised Edward the most was the huge pregnant belly she was supporting with her hands.
Edward stood there, gaping like a fish at the site of his ex-wife, his very pregnant ex-wife.
Rosalie smiled tentatively. "How've you been?"
Edward shook himself out of his reverie and walked over to her. "I've been good, really good actually," he answered with a smile.
Rosalie nodded and rubbed her belly.
"So, you and Emmett?"
Rosalie snorted and shook her head. "No, the bastard cheated on me two months later. Karma is a bitch."
Edward wasn't surprised. "I'm so sorry, Rosalie."
"Shouldn't I be the one apologizing?"
He shrugged. "It's in the past. It looks like you found someone that makes you happy."
"Yes, Royce is a great guy."
Edward recognized the name and smirked. "Royce? As in Royce King, your boss?"
Rosalie blushed, she actually blushed!
She cleared her throat and nodded. "Yes, he was with me when we discovered Emmett. He was a good friend and well, friendship turned into more… He makes me very happy."
"Then I'm happy for you, Rosalie."
"Do you- I mean, have you met someone?"
This time, Edward's smile couldn't be contained. "I have," he answered, Bella's face on the forefront of his mind.
"I can tell. She's very lucky to have you."
"No, I'm the lucky one."
A nurse walked up to the reception desk. "Mrs. King? The technician is ready to see you."
"Thank you." She told the nurse, then turned back to Edward and extended her hand. "It was good to see you, Edward."
Edward shook her hand and kissed the back of it. "You too, Rosalie. All the best for you, Royce and the little one."
Rosalie thanked him and left with a smile on her face.
Edward stood there for a full minute, and then he turned around and went out to buy dinner for his brother-in-law and himself. He didn't dwell on his encounter with Rosalie, but he did feel a sense of freedom. He realized that he finally was able to truly move on. He had forgiven Rosalie a long time ago, recognized that he wasn't happy in their marriage as he thought he was, and he knew that Rosalie wasn't entirely to blame.
The only part of this whole story that let him down was Emmett's attitude. Edward wanted so badly to help his brother out, but he was tired of being the one to get him out of trouble. He realized his brother should be the one asking for the help he needed when the time came, but not before he was ready. Edward vowed to be there for him and hoped his brother would change before it was too late.
Right now, though, he would worry about his little sister and his unborn nice or nephew.
"Everything is fine, Edward. Sally misses you, you know?"
Edward heard Bella giggling through the line.
"I miss you, too. How is your sister?"
"She's feeling better, though she keeps complaining about the bed rest. Being inactive is driving her insane and us with her."
"Maybe she should pick up embroidery, knitting, or something."
"That's actually not a bad idea. I'll go to one of those craft stores later this afternoon."
"I'm glad they are all right. Have you seen your brother?"
"No, but I left a message in his mobile. He hasn't called me, but he did text Jasper. He knows about the accident, but I think he is avoiding me."
"After what your ex-wife informed you…"
"Yeah, well… that's Emmett for you."
A knock came from the door and then opened to reveal Jasper.
"Hey, I'm gonna go get some food from that Italian place Alice likes. What would you like?"
"Gnocchi in four cheeses sauce for me."
"Gnocchi con salsa quattro formaggi, per favore!"
Edward chuckled at Bella's correction. Hearing her speak in Italian always amused him because she only did it to correct him when he ordered his favorite Italian dish.
"Okay, man, see you later."
After talking to Bella for a couple of more minutes – and even Sally – he said goodbye and went to check on his sister, who was now in the comfort of her own home, yet still miserable at being bed bound.
He knocked on her door and popped his head in when he heard her say 'Come in'.
"Hey, want some company till Jazz comes back with the food?"
Alice turned from the television and smiled. "Sure," she patted the spot next to her on the bed, "come here, I really wanted to talk to you about something."
Intrigued, Edward walked in and sat next to her, shoulder to shoulder – or more like head to shoulder since Alice was much smaller than him.
Alice turned off the television and faced him. "Tell me about this place where you live now."
He smiled just thinking of his home and Alice noticed it.
"Well, the house is a two-story and I have a dog named Sally."
"You have a dog?"
He nodded, laughing at his sister's surprised expression.
"Tell me more!"
"It's very peaceful, and it gets a bit chilly half the year, but the rest is hot and humid. A lot of tourists come during the winter, since it's actually summer over there."
Alice sighed. "That must be nice, living on the beach when half the year is summer."
"Yes, it's really great."
"How's your writing?"
Edward thought back to the last book he had written, but hadn't had the guts to send to his editor, even though Victoria had been begging him for months to send her at least a chapter.
"I wrote a book," he simply stated.
Alice waited for him to elaborate.
"It's different. I know I write thrillers and some philosophical books, but this one is nothing like that."
"What's it like, then?"
Edward pursed his lips, not sure if he should be talking of the book that has been like a journal to him.
"It's personal, isn't it?"
Edward regarded his intuitive sister before finally nodding.
"Has Victoria seen it?"
"No! I'm not sure if I want to publish it…"
"If you typed it into your computer, that means you really want people to read it, unless you have it in your notebook."
Edward chuckled at how well she knew him. "That's the thing Alice, the book IS the notebook."
Alice sat back, gaping at his brother's confession.
And so he did.
It had all started after the divorce. He couldn't write anything that wasn't particular angry or scary, and then a major writer's block hit him.
Until he met Bella.
"Is the book about this Bella?"
"Yes and no."
He told her how one day he wrote a letter to Bella, just for fun, and left it at her doorstep, only to get a response letter from her in the same fashion. They went back and forth until Bella came to his home and poured her heart out about what happened to her in the past.
"I just looked at the letter, you know how I keep copies of everything I write, and well… I just kept writing. It was us, from friendship to more."
"And now you don't know what to do with it."
Edward rubbed his hands over his face. "I want Bella to read it. I wrote that book with her in mind, but I'm not sure if she would feel comfortable with having other people knowing about her life. Damn, I'm not even comfortable with people knowing that much about me!"
"Then change some of the facts," Alice advised with a shrug. "I mean, you could change the names and places, instead of a husband change it to a boyfriend, things like that."
Edward sighed. "I still need her to read it, though."
"And she should, but also talk about the possibility of publishing it, if that is what you really want."
"I do," he confessed softly. "I really want people to read it. I've never felt so strongly about a book as I feel about this one."
"Then do it. Talk to her and take it from there. What do you have to lose?"
Her, my life, my everything… he thought.
But Alice was right.
Edward knew he needed to talk about it with Bella, and he hoped she had an open mind about the whole thing. He needed to come forward with what he had done, and even though it didn't look like a bad thing, it could be misinterpreted like he had been using her all along for creative purposes, which was insanely far from the truth.
All Edward had to do now was go back home and come clean to Bella about the book.
He just wished it wouldn't come with high price.
The scent of coconut and salt water invaded Edward's senses as he hugged Bella.
She had been there at the airport to receive him and drive him home when Edward got out of baggage claim. His bag had been one of the first to come out, he guessed because it was the lightest of the bunch. He really didn't bring anything back from London, except a few knickknacks for Bella and Sally.
He had barely had time to drop he bag on the floor as soon as he spotted her, for she threw herself at him and wrapped her arms around his neck.
"I'm so happy you're home, now."
"I'm happy to be home," he whispered in her ear.
The drive back to Ayangue was filled with Edward's voice as he retold his last weeks in England. His sister had given birth just three weeks ago to a baby girl who weighed 8 pounds, 13 ounces and was 19.5 inches long on a Sunday morning. The birth was difficult, but delivered naturally. Both mom and baby were doing well. He was very taken with the little blonde baby girl who was named Charlotte Elizabeth in honor of both grandmothers.
"That's a beautiful name," commented Bella as she listened to Edward with rapt attention.
"I know, Alice had always wanted to name her kids after our parents, I just begged her to use dad's middle name if she ever has a boy. There are enough Edwards in the world thanks to those vampire books, thank you very much."
Bella laughed. "I think you are right."
A comfortable silence fell between them, until Bella cleared her throat.
"What would you name them?"
Edward was surprised by her question.
"You mean, if I had kids?"
Bella nodded and bit her lip apprehensively.
"I'm not sure… I guess I'd like to pick the name with the mom. I don't have anything against family names, but I would prefer to have an original one for their first name."
Bella exhaled. "I agree. Family names are good for middle names. James' mother's name was Euphemia, I could never name my baby that."
Edward laughed. "My grandfather's name was Caedmon!"
"Oh God, that's horrible!"
They laughed and it seemed to ease the tension that had started to build with the baby name question. The rest of the ride was comfortable as they listened to some music and stopped by one of his favorite sea food restaurants for dinner.
"Does this count as a third date?" he asked jokingly.
Bella giggled and blushed. "No, Mr. Cullen. This would be our second date."
"What about the coffee?"
"I never got to actually drinking the coffee, did you forget?"
"Damn." He pouted.
Bella threw her head back in laughter at his crestfallen expression.
When they finally arrived at Edward's home, he was barely inside when he was knocked onto his arse by a very large ball of fur.
"Sally!" exclaimed Bella alarmed as she saw Edward fall hard on his ass.
"Jesus Christ, she's huge! What have you been feeding her?" he asked as he marveled at the hyper dog that was trying to lick his face.
He had left when she was only high enough to reach his waist when she stood on two legs, now it looked like she would be able to reach his chest without much effort.
"Only the dog food you instructed, now she just eats twice the amount."
Edward stood up and dusted off the fur from his clothes as Sally went looking for her ball to play fetch. He kneeled and scratched behind her ear when she came back and kissed the top of her head. "I missed you, too, Sally."
Sally barked and then ran out to fetch the ball Edward threw out the back yard.
Edward walked further into his home, and when he reached the living room he was surprised to see what was on the coffee table.
"I see you got the book."
Bella walked around the couch and picked up the manuscript.
"Yeah, I wasn't sure if I could read it, I mean your letter alone had me in tears…"
Edward had printed the book and sent it to her a week ago. He had asked her over the phone if she didn't mind reading his next book, but had left out what it was about. Bella had readily agreed and he wrote her a letter explaining about the book and how it was written with her in mind. He had always been better at expressing his feelings by writing, and he knew he wouldn't leave anything to be misinterpreted if he did so.
Bella shrugged. "Don't be. It was beautiful. You really are a very talented writer."
Edward flushed at the compliment. "Did you finish it? The book?"
"I've read it twice now."
Edward fidgeted on his spot behind the couch. "And what did you think?"
Bella set the book back on the coffee table and walked over to him. She wrapped her arms around his waist and looked him straight in the eye.
"It was beautiful, Edward. It took my breath away."
Edward exhaled in relief. "It did?" he asked, switching to English.
She nodded and smiled tenderly at him. "Can I suggest a new title, though?"
"Anything," he said as he wrapped his arms around her and pulled her closer.
He hummed. "I like it."
"Yeah, it fits perfectly."
She smiled, and for a moment Edward felt like time stopped. He touched her cheeked tenderly with the back of his hand and then kissed the spot softly.
"I missed you so much, Bella."
"I missed you, too."
He took her arms, put them around his neck and slowly pulled her closer. Her curves fit with his as their bodies touched from chest to feet.
He kissed her forehead and then each eyelid. She sighed and reciprocated each kiss.
"I really want to kiss you, now."
"Then, kiss me."
"I'm not sure if I will be able to stop after that," he confessed.
She bit her lip. "Then don't."
He froze. "What about the third date rule?"
"Rules were made to be broken," she said with a cheeky smile.
Edward didn't need any more incentives.
He picked her up and she wrapped her legs around his waist. He climbed the stairs to his bedroom, and as soon the door closed, he pushed her against the mattress of his bed.
He kissed her neck, chest and hitched her leg over his hip, her moans spurring him on.
He was panting and so hard that it hurt, but he had a confession to make before things got out of control.
"There is something I need to tell you, Bella."
Bella groaned when he pulled back. "What is it?"
He cupped her face with both hand and looked straight to her eyes. "I love you."
Her breath hitched, and then tears started to fall from the corners of her eyes. He quickly kissed her tears away and she hugged him tightly to her.
"I love you, too. So much," she whispered in his ear.
He couldn't hold back anymore after that and finally leaned in to kiss her lips.
When their lips met, fireworks exploded.
He kissed and nibbled her lips, savoring her. He didn't want to pull away from kissing her, her lips were the sweetest thing he had ever tasted, and the soft skin beneath his fingers was addictive.
Their kissing quickly escalated to more, and Edward gently worked to remove the clothes Bella was wearing, while she tugged and pulled at his.
Their movements were in sync with each other, like a couple that had been together for years, yet they each took their time exploring and discovering each other's bodies.
He worked her up until she climaxed with his fingers, and as his hips settled between her thighs, he could feel her body more than ready and waiting for him.
Slowly, they connected as one. Her facial reactions to his touch were the biggest turn-on for Edward. Knowing that he could make her body buck and scream made him feel on top of the world.
As he changed position, bringing her legs to his shoulders, he felt the need to just take her.
Bella seemed to know what was coming, for her arm flew to grab the headboard as Edward started to thrust as hard as he could. She barely gasped before he kissed her hard, swallowing her cries of pleasure as she started to climax. His own seed spilled out in spurts as he let himself go, but it was the feel of her constricting all around his cock that sent him completely over the edge.
As they lay on the bed coming down from their highs, Edward realized that there really was no turning back now. He had fallen hard for the girl he'd met all those weeks ago, and vowed to never let go. He saw a future with her, and as she snuggled closer to him, he knew she was open to the possibilities as well.
They would move forward at their own pace from then on, and he vowed to be a good man for her, and because of her.
Together, they could accomplish anything.
And together, they would.
Thank you for reading. x