The phrase means that things are going well and there is no trouble in the foreseeable future. The train is on course, despite anything that could have been a setback previously. It was going forward and it as on the right rails.
For the first time since the death of her best friend, she finally felt like she was getting back on track.
He and she both felt pain still, and the heartbreak had barely begun to heal. There were still times when their breaths were taken away from the staggering remembrance of what they had lost. But it was starting to heal.
Life was calm.
She had her fingers crossed it would stay that way.
"Did Emmett get Edward your shoes?" Rosalie asked anxiously over the phone.
Bella rolled her eyes. "Yes, Edward gave them to me last night. He was complaining about having to carry heels through the firm."
"Emmett was too. It's not like I asked him to give you tampons or anything!"
"But can you?" Bella asked with a smirk, "That would be kind of fun, actually."
Rose's laugh rang across the line. She had called Bella at work, saving the latter from the writing of recommendation letters for the interns. They had a week left before they would be leaving, and Bella had to get everything tied together.
"I will, fear not."
The door to Bella's office opened and in slipped Landon. Bella grinned at him as he walked over towards her.
"And you said Joy is flying in from England?" Bella asked distractedly.
Landon, looking attractive as ever, made his way around the desk. He leaned down and she tilted her head up in order for her cheek to meet his lips.
"Yeah, my parents are picking her up from the airport tonight," Rose replied, referring to her maid of honor.
Landon grinned and leaned in to kiss her other cheek.
"Hmm," Bella hummed.
"And you have next Friday off?" Rose checked.
Rosalie was exceedingly and understandably anxious about her wedding which would be taking place a week from tomorrow on a Saturday afternoon. Bella had gotten many phone calls from her over the past couple of weeks, sometimes in tears, sometimes swearing up a storm.
"Yup," Bella muttered as Landon pressed a light kiss on her lips.
"Good, rehearsal dinner starts at 5 o'clock," Rose reminded.
Bella merely hummed in agreement.
"You and Edward are sharing a room, right?" she checked.
Landon did not hear the question. And even if he had, the room they were sharing had two queen sized beds, verses one. It would be silly to get separate rooms, especially if Edward struggled to sleep.
"Yes," Bella agreed, a little breathlessly as she immediately went back to pressing her lips against his.
"Landon, are you going to be Bella's date for the wedding?"
Bella and Landon both froze at Rose's loud question, but Landon pulled back with a grin at having gotten caught. Bella laughed.
"My parent's 25th anniversary is next weekend, so I'm supposed to head to Michigan for the weekend. Sorry ma'am," he apologized.
"Oh, I suppose you shouldn't miss that one," Rose agreed and then sighed, "Well, since Bella's ignoring me, you two carry on."
"Bye Rose," Bella laughed as she leaned over and hung up her desk phone.
"Where were we?" she asked when she leaned back in her chair.
Landon smiled. He placed his hands on each of her chair's armrest and leaned in, kissing her with a still gentlemanly air about him.
"Ma'am, huh?" Bella teased in between pressing her lips against his.
"You're the one-" he kissed her before gasping out, "-who told me she likes it."
"Don't…indulge her," she muttered against his lips.
After their date two weeks ago at the baseball game, things had been great between her and Landon. They had kept it casual as far as dates went because Landon was wary of setting Bella off as had happened on their planned first date. He didn't kiss her until their third date and it had been a little difficult to stop since.
Bella was still a little skittish about the whole relationship. Landon was awesome; he was really a great guy. Bella enjoyed his company a lot and there was nothing wrong with him. But there was a little feeling in back of her mind that was usually easy to push aside…but was still there. She sensed it has less to do with Landon and more to do with herself. But she remained unwilling to decipher it.
"We should stop," Bella gasped.
Landon continued to kiss her. "Definitely."
"Someone could walk in," she continued breathlessly, not stopping.
"Any minute," he agreed.
Bella, who was still slightly in awe of what a great kisser she had found, was starting to feel a little dizzy. He had very, very sexy lips. And they were surrounded by his muscular, tan and good looking face.
"Landon," she mumbled.
She felt a grin against her lips. "Bella?"
"I gotta get going," she told him, regretfully pulling her lips away from his.
Landon pulled back, but made no move to back away from how he was hovering over her. "Ah, yes, four o'clock."
Bella smiled. "High school tennis awaits my presence."
He stood up out of the leaning position he had been in and offered her his hand with a smile. She took it and he helped her out of her chair.
"I'll see you tonight then," he grinned.
"And you're insisting on picking me up from the courts? I mean, teenage girls will swoon over your presence…" she said as she started to gather her things. "But I probably won't look too great."
"We're just going to get ice cream! And besides, you always look good!"
Bella laughed loudly. "He thinks I always look good…" she muttered to herself, shaking her head.
Landon rolled his eyes. "I'll let you get changed then."
Bella quickly changed out of her skirt and blouse, kicking off her heels as well. She slipped into a tennis skirt and tank top. She gathered up all her stuff and checked the time, swearing as she did so. Landon's attentions had made her late.
As she started driving, the skyline of the city growing smaller in her rearview mirror, she couldn't help but reflect. Afternoons with the high school tennis girls were quickly becoming something she looked forward to the most in her day. Well, besides getting home and seeing Molly afterwards.
When she was on the courts with the girls and Kessler, she just felt lighter and happier. She realized helping with the team was healing her. It was therapeutic in a way she couldn't have even imagined.
Sometimes it was so easy for Bella to just put herself back 10 years and see her and Taylor and their team hitting like girls were. She'd randomly remember things about Taylor and all that they had done together. Instead of feeling a sharp pang of absence in her chest, she would smile.
Seeing one of her favorite mentors everyday didn't hurt either. She loved Kessler and admired many things about him. She was able to be sarcastic and give him shit, and he would not hesitate to return it. But when it came down to it, he was there for her in a quiet, reassuring way that she doubted he knew how much she appreciated.
When she got to the courts, she was somewhat confused to see the girls jogging around the fencing of the eight courts. Kessler was waiting for her when she got inside the courts and raised a quizzical eyebrow at him.
"They forgot to pick up a few balls yesterday," he explained.
"Shit, how many?" she wondered, immediately feeling their pain. For every ball that they left on the court, it was a lap around the courts.
"Oh that's not too bad. One time you made us run 19 laps," she remembered with a glare.
The tennis coach rolled his eyes. "And did you forget to pick up balls again that year?"
"No," she grudgingly admitted.
He grinned. "You're welcome for the character building, then."
The girls finally came walking into the courts, each of them out of breath and going to get drinks of water.
Kessler clapped his hands together and they all turned to listen to him. "Alright, who wants to play a match against Bella?" he asked.
About 14 hands went into the air, some patiently held up, and some with fluttering fingers.
"She played Division I," he reminded.
About 5 hands hesitantly dropped. Kessler sighed, seeing that he was getting no where.
"Alright, keep your hand up if you like Justin Beaver, or whatever his name is."
Only 1 hand dropped without any thought.
Kessler addressed the girl who had put her hand who happened be the captain. "Brianna, you and Bella take court 4."
Brianna grinned triumphantly and Bella laughed. The rest of the girls rushed into their defense on why Justin Bieber was changing music as they knew it.
Even though Bella didn't like singles and hadn't since she had been little, she and Brianna had a lot of fun. Bella found after the first game, that she didn't have to go easy on the younger girl. So, they hit back and forth, serving and calling balls out and chatted about college and high school in between games. Bella was really enjoying herself.
They had been playing for about an hour when they were nearly done. Bella had gotten sweaty during the time and was cursing about how out of shape she was. It was her serve, and Bella easily hit a great ball out of the air which Brianna did not let ace her. They played the point until Brianna moved up to the net and Bella lobbed the ball over her, planting it just inside the court.
"Good game," Brianna laughed, slightly breathless from the exertion.
Bella nodded and grinned as she tried to catch her breath. "You did really well." Bella had won both sets, 6-4 and 6-3, but Brianna had definitely done great.
"It's great to play with someone so experienced," Brianna gushed as they picked up their water bottles.
Bella smiled, but looked over to the parking lot when she heard a door close.
Heads on every court turned to see a handsome cooper headed man who was holding hands with a little girl who was toddling along with him at a slow pace, but was walking happily.
"What the hell is he doing here?" Bella muttered to herself as they got closer.
When Edward found Bella, he nodded with a crooked grin. Bella waved back but gave him a confused look.
"Alright! It's six! Snack time!" Kessler thundered from where he had been on the first court.
Molly's eyes found Bella, and when they did, her whole face lit up and see cried out in delight. Bella smiled at the little girl and walked out of the fencing. She crouched down on the sidewalk and held her arms out for the little one. Molly walked like a pro over and when she was close enough, Bella snatched her up as she giggled.
"Hey, honey bunny!" Bella laughed, bouncing her around. Molly continued to giggle as Bella settled her on her hip.
Bella was just about to talk to Edward when a squeal interrupted her.
"Oh my God! She's so cute!"
And suddenly, she found herself surrounded by teenage girls. They all cooed and smiled at Molly who looked up at Bella in confusion at first, but settled into the attention and smiled at the girls.
"What's her name?" Brianna asked, giving Molly a small wave.
"Molly," Bella answered, making the little girl look back up at her in reply.
"That's so cute!"
"Her eyes are so big and pretty!"
"She's a doll!"
"She looks just like you!" One of the younger girls, probably an 8th grader, commented.
Bella's smile froze. She glanced over at Edward who had his eyebrows furrowed, having heard the comment. Bella gave him a small, apologetic shrug.
Luckily, the captain other than Brianna looked at the girl frantically, clearly embarrassed by the words. "Lucy, that's Taylor Daniels daughter."
"Oh my God, I'm so sorry Bella," Lucy apologized immediately, looking horrorstruck at her ignorance.
"It's okay, Lucy," Bella told her.
"I feel like more eating should be happening, ladies!"
All the girls froze and looked over at Kessler who had remained inside the fencing and was looking at the team with raised eyebrows. They all said cheery goodbyes to Molly and reluctantly went back to where their bags were.
"So, what are you doing here?" Bella asked, turning back to Edward.
He held up a brown paper bag. "It's Friday, so I was off work. Molly was getting a little antsy so I figured she could use some fresh air and you could use some food."
Bella smiled. "Oh thanks."
"I was also hoping to talk to Kessler as well," he added.
Bella raised an eyebrow at him. Edward didn't offer any information. She shrugged finally. "Okay."
Kessler happened to be right behind her, so she didn't even have to call for him. Molly immediately perked up at the stranger who was grinning at her.
"Man, she's a cute kid," he said.
Bella and Edward both smiled.
"You weren't kidding either; those are Taylor's eyes through and through."
Bella smiled but then glanced over at Edward. "Hey Kessler, Edward wanted to talk to you quick."
Edward stepped forward to offer his hand. The two men shook while Bella and Molly moseyed over to the picnic table.
"Bella told me what the team was doing for Taylor, dedicating the season and all," Edward said, getting right down to it. He met the coach's eyes and said, "And I wanted to thank you for it."
"It was the girls' idea actually. The ones that knew her really looked up Taylor."
Edward gave him a brief but sincere smile. "She loved it here. She always told me these were some of the best times of her life."
Kessler gave him a grin. "Taylor was a good kid. And she turned into a great woman. The world still needed her."
Edward sighed quietly, but for the most part, felt a sense of calm sadness. It was painful, but the sorrow was not quite so overwhelming these days, and he was able to be calmer.
"I'm really thankful that your team is making sure she's not forgotten."
Kessler gave him a sympathetic look. "She won't be forgotten. There's no way someone who left such a big foot print and touched so many, could not be remembered."
Edward was quiet for a moment, but then remembered a passing though of his. "Did the girls pay for the embroidery on the skirts themselves?" he asked, referring to the TD they had gotten.
The coach shook his head. "We have a booster club, and we decided this was important."
"Well, can I donate to the booster club?" he asked, pulling out his wallet.
Kessler shook his head. "You don't have to do that."
Edward ignored him and wrote out a check for 250 dollars, quickly signing it and ripping it out. He handed it to the coach.
"I want to."
Kessler recognized he had been ignored and slowly took the check into his hand. "Thank you."
"No," Edward shook his head, "You're doing far more. Thank you."
The two men gave barely noticeable nods to each other, but communicated a respect that passed between them silently.
"How's she doing?" Edward asked quietly, glancing quickly over at Bella. She sounded really upbeat whenever she talked about the team, but he still worried about her.
Kessler grinned with something that Edward thought looked a lot like pride. "You know, she's doing really well. It's great to see her smiling and laughing."
Edward offered a faint smile. "It hasn't been too much?"
The coach shrugged. "I think she's been figuring out that moving on doesn't mean letting go."
"She's been awesome," Edward said, looking over at her. She had given a small piece of food to Molly and was laughing when the child scrunched up her face in dislike.
"Bella's a good kid," he agreed.
Edward glanced at him, trying to mask his confusion.
Kessler grinned. "I know she's like 26 years old, but sometimes all I see is the sassy and gifted teenager from a while ago."
"Well the sassiness has just evolved into full blown sarcasm since then," Edward chuckled.
Kessler laughed along in total agreement. Bella heard the noise and turned to look at them with a raised, accusing eyebrow.
"What are you two talking about?" she demanded, amusement dancing in her eyes.
"Some of your finer qualities," Kessler replied.
Bella scoffed. "You say that like there are only a few."
Edward chuckled. "Well, attention to children isn't always one of them."
She looked at him in confusion, but then saw Molly out of the corner of her. The toddler was trying to shove the sandwich into her mouth, smearing food all over her face as she did so. "Oh! Molly, don't!" she said, rushing to grab the food away from her before she made more of a mess.
Kessler and Edward shared a laugh before Kessler excused himself, needing to go give schedules to his girls. Edward walked over to where Bella was wiping a napkin over Molly's gave. Molly's eyes were twinkling mischievously.
"My bad," Bella admitted, finishing cleaning Molly.
Edward just chuckled. "It's fine."
"Did you get what you needed from Kessler?" she wondered. He slid onto the picnic bench seat so he was next to her, Molly still sitting on the table top.
"So, this it, huh?" he asked, looking around at the courts.
Bella smiled as she took a bite of salvageable part of the sandwich. "This is it," she agreed after she had swallowed.
"I can see how you liked spending your falls here," he commented.
"And summers," she added.
"So, I can see how you liked living here," he rephrased with a teasing grin.
Bella didn't dispute the fact. She took another bite of the cookie had Edward had brought her…one that she had baked a few days ago…but he had still brought it.
"How's life?" he asked.
Bella looked at him for about a full minute before she burst out laughing. Edward grinned, realizing it wasn't exactly normal question for someone you're living with.
"Well, I just feel like you've been so busy with work and this tennis that the only time I see who is when we sleep," he clarified, rolling his eyes at the women's amusement.
Bella sobered up, nodding in understanding. "I know what you mean."
He continued somewhat shyly, "I mean it's good that you're keeping busy…but I guess I kinda, I don't know... miss you."
It's true, their schedules had been hectic. Edward was more into work than ever and the demands of being a junior partner were heavy. Bella now had work and an additional few hours of tennis every night that by the time she got home, it was nearly time for Molly to be going to sleep and then Edward and Bella would have to spend the next couple hours catching up on work before going to bed.
Bella gave him a soft smile and nudged his shoulder gently with her own. "I miss you too Edward."
She let her head gently fall against his shoulder, and he let his head rest on hers.
They stayed like that for a while, neither moving nor breaking the silence. Molly was even quiet as she watched two of the girls finish eating then go and hit. There was a peacefulness that usually they only felt at night, right before they would fall asleep next to each other.
"You know…we should go up to the cabin tomorrow and stay overnight," she suggested.
Bella shifted so that she could look up at him, meeting his gaze. He didn't say anything as he stared at her.
"It'd be just me, you and Molly. No work, none of Em and Rose's wedding, no trial cases, no tennis…just the three of us."
Edward didn't even have to think about it. The picture she painted was stress free and peaceful.
"Okay. We'll leave in the morning."
Bella smiled at him with a soft smile that still managed to be incredibly bright.
They looked over to the courts and saw all the girls getting up from where they had been snacking and starting to grabs tennis balls and go to different courts.
"I better get going," she sighed as she moved to stand up from the table.
Edward stood up as well. "I'll take squirt and we'll get everything packed."
Bella grinned. "Sounds good." She leaned down and kissed Molly's soft hair before putting a hand on his shoulder and smiling once again at Edward. He returned the smile before she went back into the fencing.
She found Kessler leaning on the other side of the fence, watching four girls play doubles. Quietly, she leaned next to him and waited for him to tell her who she would be working with.
"I figured you might be tired from your match with Brianna and might want to help me with these girls."
She immediately recognized the two 7th grade girls that had such an uncanny resemblance to Taylor and herself. They were playing two older girls and it looked evenly matched.
"They're getting better about trusting each other," she commented, looking at Courtney and Rebecca.
"We're getting there," he agreed.
They silently watched the four play out almost a full game before Kessler spoke once again.
"You know, Lucy feels really bad about what she said."
Bella shrugged. "She didn't know better."
Kessler was quiet, and Bella thought the conversation had ended. "If I didn't know better myself, I would have thought the same thing."
Bella looked over at him with a raised eyebrow.
"It's the way you carry yourself around her. It's like how a mom would and it's hard to tell the difference."
"But, I'm not Molly's mom."
Kessler glanced at her with a sad smile. "That may be true, but Bella, everyone needs a mother."
"And is that supposed to be me?"
"I don't know. That's up to you to figure out."
There was a time
I met a girl of a different kind.
We ruled the world,
I thought I'd never lose her out of sight.
We were so young, I think of her now and then.
I still hear the songs reminding me of a friend.
Upon the hill across the blue lake,
That's where I had my first heartbreak.
I still remember how it all changed.
My father said,
"Don't you worry, don't you worry, child.
See heaven's got a plan for you.
Don't you worry, don't you worry now."
Don't You Worry Child, Swedish House Mafia
AN: I do realize this wasn't the most exciting of chapters, but it was important to see that Bella is healing so well. And also, before there is panic (or gladness...?) Landon will be gone soon. Trust me, two chapters max.
Part II is rapidly coming to a close. There's only about five more chapters after this, before we get to big stuff (not that this isn't important!)
Are you going to be sad to see Landon go? Glad to get rid of him? Still love Kessler? Is he right about Molly? Any predictions on how Edward and Bella are going to handle Rose and Emmett's wedding? Lemme know! And thanks for the birthday wishes last week! (: