(A/N): Hello! Here's the beta'd version as promised! :) Just a few changes and typos cleared up. Makes for a better read :)

Beta: The Amazing (RandomatGedz)

Enjoy!


A Second Chance

Chapter Sixteen

Edward and I spend the next few days slowly moving my things over to his room. The more I think about it, the more it feels like something permanent, like we've just taken a step that we can't go back on. And the strangest thing is that I'm not scared of it. It just feels right.

What I feel more anxious about is the impending visit from our families. While I'm happy that I'll be seeing my mom and dad again so soon, I still don't know what to expect from Elizabeth's visit. I just hope that Edward Sr. can keep her in check while she's here.

I hate that Edward's relationship with his mother is so unstable, and it looks like it's going to remain that way for now, at least.

It takes us a couple of days to set everything up so that it looks like we've been staying in the same bedroom. My clothes have now joined Edward's in his closet, and my toiletries now sit side-by-side with his in the main bathroom.

After we're done, we order some pizza and settle down in the living room to eat.

"So, when are your parents arriving tomorrow?" Edward asks.

"Their plane lands at noon, so I'm going to pick them up at the airport and drive them back here." I explain.

"No need, I'll go." He replies.

"But, don't you have to be at work?"

"I can take off for a couple of hours tomorrow, it's no problem." He shrugs. "It's one of the benefits of being my own boss."

"But isn't that misuse of power?" I tease him, grinning.

"Oh, please. There are much worse things I could do with my power." He scoffs.

"Oh, really? Like what?" I lean in closer to him as he sits across from me, and my breath hitches as he does the same and our faces are suddenly so close that I can feel his breath fanning across my cheeks.

"You really wanna know?" He whispers.

I nod dumbly, unable to form coherent speech.

"Are you sure?" He asks again, leaning even closer now so that our lips almost touch.

"Uh-uh." I barely articulate.

"I could tell you," He starts to say, "But then I'd have to kill you." He grins devilishly.

I giggle despite his sad attempt at a joke. He's just too damn hot to be lame.

"God, I hope you don't tell jokes at your business meetings with clients, because you'd definitely go out of business then."

"Oh, you think so, huh?" He lunges forward suddenly and his hands reach for me and start tickling my sides.

"No, wait, stop!" I gasp, "Edward, cut it out. I take it back, I swear." I giggle.

He grasps both of my hands in one of his and pulls them over my head as he leans over me.

"You take it back, huh? I'm afraid it's not that easy." He says.

"What do I have to do then?" I ask, breathless.

He stares at me, as if he's contemplating his next move.

"Can I kiss you?" He finally speaks.

"Edward, you don't have to ask." I reply quickly.

The moment his lips touch mine, I'm lost. He slowly loosens his grip on my arms and I take the opportunity to wrap them around his neck and pull him down further so that his upper body is stuck to mine.

"Wait, Bella." He pulls back a bit. "I don't want to hurt you, I'm too heavy." He pants.

"No, you're not." I whisper quickly before pulling him back in.

It could have been minutes or hours, but we finally came up for breath a while later.

"That was…wow." Edward smiles down at me.

"Yeah, it was." I smile back.

We slowly get up, reluctant to leave our little cocoon, but we'd agreed to take it slow after all. However, the warmth that had spread all through my body during that fantastic make-out session, makes me grin like an idiot right up until I'm ready to turn in for the night, a few hours later.

Turn in, as in sleep; sleep in the same room as Edward. The same bed. Right next to him.

My heart threatens to beat right out of my chest as I lay in bed waiting for Edward to come out of the bathroom and climb in. I take a deep breath, trying desperately to calm down.

Realistically, I know that nothing is going to happen tonight. We're not quite there yet. But I do know that this is a big step for us. After all, we started this whole thing as a ploy to deter my mother-in-law from asking for custody of my child, but now it's turning into the real thing. A real marriage.

Edward walks in a second later, interrupting my thoughts and my mind goes blank as I stare at his bare chest as he walks to the bed and climbs in.

Holy mother of sexiness!

I didn't know he liked to sleep shirtless! Not that I mind at all, but a warning would've been nice.

Edward settles in, and then turns on his side facing me. And I finally notice the smirk covering his face.

Oh my God, he caught me staring!

I can feel as my face heats up, and I pull my gaze away from him and look straight up at the ceiling.

"You don't mind do you? I've always slept like this." He grins at my reaction and my face heats up even more.

"N-no, of course it doesn't bother me, why would it?" I brush off his question, hoping he actually bought what I just said. But judging by the look on his face, he doesn't believe a word I said.

I swallow loudly as he moves closer and puts his arm around my abdomen. My eyes widen in surprise. Edward has always been affectionate, but he's also always been careful with his advances. He's never touched me so much before in a single day.

My mind flashes back to the day he pushed me against the front door during our heated kissing.

Crap! I can't think about that now.

Must… Not… Get… Horny.

Unfortunately, for a pregnant woman in her second trimester, that's not really an option.

"Is this okay too?" He asks again.

"Uh-huh." I reply, once again rendered speechless by the hot man who's turning my brain into mush.

"Great," He announces. "Good night, Bella." He rests his head comfortably next to mine on the pillow and closes his eyes.

"Night." I whisper softly, still lying on my back, staring wide-eyed at the stupid ceiling.

It's going to be a long night.

OoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoO

Waking up the next morning is difficult. Mainly because I don't want to leave the warmth of the bed and get up, but as I slowly regain consciousness, I realize that it's not just the bed that's warm, it's also who's lying in it.

Edward!

I'm suddenly wide awake and completely alert. Edward is lying right behind me, with our bodies completely stuck together, back to front. His arms are wrapped around me, pulling me back into his chest, and our legs are tangled together.

Moreover, my hands are actually grasping his, knotting us together.

I let go quickly and attempt to get up, but Edward's arms tighten up around me and pull me back down.

"Where are you going this early in the morning?" He speaks up, scaring the crap out of me.

I lay still trying to restart my heart and thing up an answer at the same time.

"Um, it's almost time for you to get ready for work, so I-uh thought I should probably start getting breakfast ready."

"There's still some time, you can stay a bit longer, and then I'll come down and help you with breakfast too." He offers.

"Oh no, I can manage, you rest if you want. Besides, I need to go to the bathroom." I babble as I quickly maneuver out of his embrace and almost sprint to the bathroom.

I hurriedly shut the door and lean back against it to catch my breath. I have no idea why I'm freaking out so much. Maybe, it's because I've never been that close to a guy before?

Yes, I've been married once before, but Riley was nowhere near as affectionate as Edward.

I guess I'm just going to have to get used to it.

Of course, I can't imagine that being a hard task at all.

I grin to myself as I quickly brush my teeth and fix up my hair before slowly opening the door and checking the room to see what Edward is up to.

He's not there.

He probably went out to get the paper from out front like he does every morning. My guess is confirmed when I look out the window and I see him out there, thankfully with a shirt on.

I don't really want anyone but me to enjoy that particular view.

I shake my head to clear it, as I walk to the kitchen and start the coffee maker.

Edward comes in and puts the newspaper down on the counter before sitting down.

"Good morning." He smiles my way, and I can't help but do the same.

"Good morning."

"Here, let me help you with that." He takes the hot pan away from my hands and starts preparing the eggs and bacon himself. "You just sit down and enjoy the view." He winks.

God, can he read minds now?

"Uh, okay." I concede and sit down at the counter. I decide to look through the newspaper, instead of fidgeting in my seat or staring dreamily at Edward, despite how much I wanted to do the latter.

I flip through the paper until I find the job listings. I might as well do something useful while I'm at it.

Edward finished up the food and comes over, looking over my shoulder.

"Looking for anything in particular?" He asks, as he notices the page I've been browsing.

"I'm actually thinking about starting to look for a job."

"No need," He answers immediately as he takes a seat next to mine. "I've got the perfect spot for you. One of the companies we're investing in is a publishing company and one of their editors just quit for personal reasons, so I thought the job would be perfect for you, since you majored in English lit in college and you've actually always wanted to be an editor."

"How do you know about that?"

"Ah, I think Riley might have mentioned it once before." He fidgets for a second before composing himself one again. If I hadn't been watching him closely, I might have missed it.

"Um, well, that's incredibly thoughtful of you, but I'd actually like to get my first job on my own, without anyone's help." I explain.

"I know, which is why you're going to apply just like everyone else, you can even use your maiden name so no one makes the connection."

"So, you really haven't put in a good word for me? At all?" I ask skeptically.

"No, not a word." He smiles. "But, I can still do it, if you change your mind."

"No. Thank you, but no."

"Alright." He shrugs with a grin. "You can send your resume to this e-mail and they'll contact you soon for an interview." He grabs a paper from the pad by the phone and writes the e-mail down, before pushing it towards me on the table

I reach out to grab it but he pulls it back quickly.

I look up at him, confused.

"Before I hand it to you, I want you to promise me one thing." He says seriously.

"What is it?"

"I want you to promise that you won't ever overdo it, that the moment you feel the slightest bit of exhaustion, you're going to slow down or take a few days off, quit even, if that's what it takes, okay?"

Surprise, doesn't even begin to cover how I feel at this moment. Stunned may be a more apt description. While I was hyped about the possibility of a new job and finally getting a chance to start my own career, Edward had been thinking about the baby.

My heart melts into a puddle of goo in my chest.

"I promise." I choke out as he finally hands me the paper.

"Good luck." He winks again and gets up to go get ready for work

He comes down barely twenty minutes later all prepared and putting on his suit jacket, getting ready to leave. "I'll see you tonight."

I barely shake myself out of the usual haze that settles over me whenever I see Edward in a suit, to speak again.

"Edward?" I call out to his retreating back.

"Yeah?" He looks back at me.

"Thank you." I say again, this time with so much emotion that there's no way he wouldn't know how much what he just did means to me.

His Adam's apple bobs as he swallows, "Anytime." He says before walking out.

OoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoO

I spend the rest of my morning setting up my resume to send to the company Edward mentioned and readying the house for when Charlie and Renee get here.

They arrive around one o'clock along with Edward, who is helping Charlie get the suitcases inside.

Mom jumps up and down squealing; much like Alice would react, and squeezes the breath right out of me as soon as I open the door for them.

"Mom…can't…breathe." I wheeze out, hoping to get her to loosen her grip.

"Oh, sorry, baby! I'm just so excited to see you again! We both are, aren't we Charlie?" She looks back at Dad, who's standing by the doorway watching us interact quietly, like he always does.

"Sure are." He replies simply. "How've you been, Bells?" He inquires as he walks forward for his own turn at the hugs.

"I'm great, Dad. I missed you guys." I confess. I really did miss them a lot. After all, I had never been really away from home for long periods of time before. This was a big adjustment for me. But I have to say that being with Edward made it all worth the while.

"Aw, baby, we missed you too." Mom replies enthusiastically. "I can't wait for us to spend time together! This is going to be so much fun. Oh, and Bella, I have to say, that man of yours is just…wow." And then my mother actually fans herself like a sixteen year-old girl. Thank god Edward's still outside unloading the bags from the car.

I laugh at Mom's unending youthfulness and promise her we'd go out tomorrow so I could show her around.

Edward helps Dad take their luggage up to the guest room, but not before stopping to speak to me first, while my parents went upstairs ahead of him.

"I got a call from my Dad an hour ago." He announces, hesitantly.

Fear grips my heart suddenly, and I hope he doesn't actually have bad news.

"He told me that he and Mom are flying over tomorrow."

Oh, crap.

"He said he tried to deter her for as long as possible but she insisted on seeing for herself how we're managing together." He went on.

"What does that mean? Does she work for social services now?" I can't help but reply sarcastically.

Edward smiles wryly.

"We'll have to wait and see what her next move is, unfortunately. But don't worry, she can't really do anything at this point." He pulls me close, rubbing his hands up and down my back as he notices how anxious I look.

I nod in agreement.

"Aw, Charlie! Look how cute they are together!" My Mom's voice floats over, and I look up to find her standing at the top of the stairs next to my dad, grinning happily at our apparent embrace, while dad stares at us speculatively.

Once thing I know for sure. This is going to be an interesting visit.

I just hope Edward and I can last through it.


(A/N): I'm baaaaack! I'm seriously completely ashamed of myself over this insanely long delay in updating! All I can say is the fact that I work two jobs has me completely worn out these days…The hazards of being a fresh graduate :/

Also, the fact that I've been hit with the worst writer's block to-date, hasn't helped.

Anyway, I'm glad to be back with you guys, and I can't thank you enough for the amazing messages, review and comments that I've received so far. I appreciate every single one of them. Thank you so much!

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Until Next Time,

Ciao!