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CHAPTER 14

BPOV ~

Saturday, February 3rd, 2007 ~

I don't know how long we sat in the silence, me in his lap, with my head buried in the junction between his shoulder and neck, silently trying to make sense of everything he had just told me. I just couldn't wrap my head around any of it.

I knew sitting there with him, so close and intimate, allowing him to hold me—I knew it was wrong. I knew I should have put some serious space between us, but his scent, the way he held me, it was calming and brought forth a comfort I've only ever found with him. How was I going to make it through this without him? I needed him so much more than I ever knew—he was, my rock.

There was so much going through my head, and I didn't know what to do. Should I stay with him and continue being his mistress? Do I make him choose? Or, should I just say 'to hell with it' and walk away? I didn't want to do that, it was honestly the lastthing I wanted to do, but I couldn't help think that he did cheat on his wife with me, so what's to say he wouldn't do the same to me? The saying, 'Once a cheater, always a cheater,' ran through my head.

"Bella?" he whispered, breaking up my thoughts. He wiped my tears away as I lifted my head to look at him, though I didn't say anything. "Baby, please say something. Tell me what you're thinking."

I shook my head. "I - I don't really know, Edward. I mean, it's a lot …." I let my words trail off, because I honestly didn't know. It was all so much—almost too much. I had so many questions, some of which I wanted answers to, but there were so many that I didn't think I could handle knowing.

Edward nodded slightly, as he lightly ran his hand over my back. "I know you need time," he sighed. "And I know I need to give it to you, but I'm scared, Bella. I'm afraid you're gonna leave and I'm never gonna see you again." He had tears in his eyes when I looked at him, and it tore my heart to shreds. I hated that we even had to be having this conversation.

Why did he have to be married?

I believe that everything happens for a reason, and while I couldn't for the life of me figure out why I had to lose both of my parents, or why on earth I was placed with a family that never should have been foster parents to begin with, I still believed there was a reason behind it. But now, learning all this—I just didn't understand. Hadn't I suffered enough? When was it going to be my turn to be happy?

Edward sighed and placed a kiss on top of my head. "I don't wanna lose you, Bella," he murmured. I nodded against his chest, but I didn't say anything in return. "I'm … I'll go, give you some time, but please—"

I sat up abruptly as panic started to set in. "You're gonna leave?"

"Hey," he whispered. "I don't want to. I just—tell me what you want me to do baby, please?"

I shook my head and quickly stood up. "I … I don't know," I cried, pacing back and forth. "I can't—" I cut myself off, wiping my tears away as I stopped and turned to look at him. "I don't want you to leave, Edward."

He stood up and came to stand in front of me, lifting my chin slightly so he could see my eyes. "Then I won't go," he whispered.

I nodded, unconsciously taking a step forward, and buried my face in his chest. The panic subsided, the tears, however, did not. Edward wrapped his arms around me and held me as my tears turned into full on sobs.

"I hate this," I bawled.

His hold tightened immensely, which only made me cry harder. "I know, baby. I wish I could go back and change it, tell you—hell, I wish I could go back and not marry her."

I quickly stepped out of his arms. "But you can't!" I spat, wiping my tears away angrily.

Edward frowned, nodding slightly. "I know." I looked at him briefly, before I turned and walked away.

"I don't—" I sighed, pulling my hands through my hair roughly, as I turned around to look at him. "You said you'd find a way, Edward, but how? I mean, if filing for a divorce is the only way; I just …. I can't ask you to do that, Edward. Not if there's a chance you're going to lose Masen Industries. I would never forgive myself."

"Bella, I—"

"I know," I interrupted. "You don't know for sure that you would, but what if, Edward? What if you do?"

He wrapped an arm around my waist, pulling me into him as he lifted my chin so he could look into my eyes. "Bella, I cannot live without you. Do I want Tanya to have Masen Industries? Absolutely not, but there isn't anything I wouldn't give up to have you."

I stared into his eyes, trying to find a shred of conflict, but all I saw was sincerity. He was speaking the truth, and as much as that meant to me, I couldn't ask him to walk away from his company. I could tell him that I wanted to be with him too, but the overall choice had to be Edwards'. He needed to decide when, if, and how, he was going to leave his wife. The decision had to be his. I needed the decision to be his. I needed him to choose me.

"Bella?" he whispered pulling me from my thoughts. "Baby, please?"

I shook my head. "I can't tell you what to do, Edward. I'm sorry, but this has to be your decision. I—"

The grip he had on my waist tightened slightly. "Baby, no—"

Again, I shook my head. "Please," I interjected. "Let me finish." He nodded his agreement, but I could tell he was nervous. "I don't want this to end, Edward. I—"

"Then don't let it," he exclaimed quickly. "I'll find a way, Bella. I promise you, I will figure it out, but please, baby, don't leave me. I can't lose you. I swear, I will find a way, and if I can't, I'll leave her. It's you that I want, Bella. Only—" He was rambling, and since I'd heard what I needed to hear, I threw myself at him and silenced him with a kiss.

My actions took him completely off guard, forcing him to stumble back a bit, but he recovered, and quickly wrapped his arms around me, holding me tight against him.

Desperate for air, I broke the kiss, but he was the first to speak. "God, baby," he breathed. "Please tell me that wasn't a kiss goodbye."

I stepped out of his arms, and took his hand in mine, shaking my head as I led him to the couch. "It wasn't," I assured as we both took a seat. "Not if you really meant what you just said."

He smiled brightly and pulled me onto his lap. "Every word. I will not lose you." I nodded absentmindedly, as I lightly fingered a button on his shirt, silently processing what it was I had just agreed to. "Bella?" he questioned nervously. "Baby, are you sure …?"

"I'm just—" I sighed, bringing my tear-filled eyes up to meet his. "I'm scared, Edward."

"Of what?" he inquired wiping my tears away. I shook my head nervously, as I pulled my bottom lip between my teeth and attempted to duck my head beneath his chin. Edward, of course, wasn't having it. "Baby, please talk to me."

"H-how is this going to work? I mean, is it going to be like before, where I only see you every now and then? Because if it is—"

He shook his head. "It won't," he interrupted. "I can't be here every weekend, but—"

"I know that," I interjected. "But I can't go weeks like before, Edward. I need—" I shook my head and rethought my words. "It hurt too much, being away from you for those long periods of time."

He lightly ran the back of his hand over my cheek and then brought his lips to mine for a chaste kiss. "I know," he whispered against my lips. I had no clue if he knew what I was originally going to say or not, but I appreciated him not pressing the issue and making me say it. I needed him to make me a priority, but I needed him to do it because I was his priority, not because I asked him too.

"If all goes as scheduled, our Vegas branch will start taking orders the first of June," he went on to say. "I'll continue overseeing our advances until we're up and running, but once we open, my brother-in-law will be taking over."

My heart started to race as the panic set back in. "And then what?" I questioned.

Edward ran his hand over my back, lightly caressing it as a way of calming me. "Well, hopefully I'll have figured our situation out by then, and we won't have to find out." I nodded, but I didn't say anything in response. "I know I failed you before, but I swear to you, that will never happen again. I want this to work, Bella, and I'm going to make damn sure it does."

Again, I nodded, while silent tears fell from my eyes. "I—" I wanted to tell him how much I loved him … how much I too wanted it to work, but I quickly cut myself off. "I want to believe you, Edward. I really do, but I'm—"

"I know you're scared," he interrupted. "But, baby, I promise you things will be different this time. I'll be here as much as I can, and in between, you could …." He didn't finish his statement, but I had a feeling I knew what he was going to say.

"I could what?"

"Visit me in Boston." He shrugged. "Obviously, I would pay for everything."

"You want me to go to Boston?" He nodded hesitantly. "Wouldn't that be risky?" I asked, silently considering his suggestion.

"It's a large city, Bella." I narrowed my eyes, but Edward just smirked and went on. "Yes, baby, it's risky, but if it means I get to spend time with you, I'm more than happy to take it."

I smiled brightly as my heart skipped a beat; unfortunately, my newfound happiness was short lived as another thought occurred to me. "You wouldn't be able to stay with me, would you?"

"I'll spend as much time with you as I can …." I nodded, tears filling my eyes once again, but I didn't say anything. "Bella," he murmured wiping my tears away. "Trust me, if I can pull it off, I will."

I nodded knowing there was no need for me to question him any further because deep down I knew Edward would do everything in his power to make us work. As much as I hated this predicament we were in, I wouldn't trade it for the world if it meant that I never would see him again.

**Author's Note**

I'm sure a lot of you are upset by this … don't agree with Bella's decision, but come on, you had to of known this was gonna happen …. I mean, you did read chapters 1 & 2 :D

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