Mrs. Meyer still owns the charterers, but I own the idea.
This story will contain: Daddyward, Dom Carlsile, lots of BDSM, oh and Constructorward. Pictures can be found in my Facebook group (Addicted-to-romione-bedward Fanfiction) at Photos in the folder named after the story. You can find there the banner made by Falling Stars
A special thank you to harrytwifan for helping me with betaing this one.
I can't thank you enough for the amazing way you received this story.
Have some tissues in handy. You might get teary at some point...
I don't sleep at all.
I sit on our small bed, hugging my knees with my head buried between them, sobbing my heart out.
I was sure Carlisle was the person I've been searching for…not knowing I was even looking for someone in the first place. But I was wrong.
Looking back, he fooled me with his nice behavior, with getting close to Kenna, with trying to have a relationship with me.
I should have known people like him can't sway. I understand his choice and I'm not questioning him – I even accepted it. I learned so much about myself when we were in the playroom…
I take a shuddering breath and sniff.
I need to get a grip, because soon I have to pick Kenna up from Emmett's and tell her something. What can I tell the poor kid?
My thoughts are jumbled, but of one thing I'm absolutely sure – I'm going to make Emmett happy by quitting my job.
I can't be around Carlisle.
Fuck, even thinking of him feels like a knife is being twisted in my heart.
Determined to do something for us, to have a better life and for Kenna to have whatever she wants, I brush away my tears. After a shower and some clean, nice clothes on me, I'm out of the house.
I stop at the first Internet café place and pay for half an hour – I don't need that much, but still. I pull up a Word document and write my resume, then ask for someone to help me print it.
Because I still have fifteen minutes of my time, I also look for jobs, and find a few that go perfectly with my studies.
I leave this place feeling better than I have in years.
I can do this alone.
I have to do it.
Rosalie answers the door somewhat surprised. It's early, I know, but I want my baby.
"Edward! Jesus, why are you here at the crack of down?" she moans.
"Hi. I'll get Kenna then go. Oh, is Emmett awake?"
"Yeah, I think. He wasn't in bed."
"Sorry for waking you up," I mumble.
Emmett is awake and playing with Kenna and Dave in the living room.
"Morning, Emmett!" I greet him, sitting next to him on the couch.
"Morning. She's a handful. I never thought little Kenna could be naughtier than Dave."
I chuckle and open my arms for my baby to crawl there. "She's sneaky like that." I kiss her head.
"Is Daddy C here too?" she asks eagerly, bouncing on my lap.
"No, sweetie," I whisper sadly.
She doesn't get it, but Emmett catches the undertone and raises an eyebrow.
I can't be strong and play it cool.
I thought I could do it.
"Why don't you two go and see if Rose needs help in the kitchen?" Emmett wonders. The kids rush out of the room instantly.
The sob stuck in my throat erupts, probably scaring Emmett. But worse, it stops Kenna in her tracks.
"Daddy?" she asks, worried, coming back to me.
"Man, what happened?" Emmett asks, trying to make Kenna go to the kitchen. She has none of it, crawling back in my lap and hugging me. "Edward?" Emmett insists.
"We broke up," I breathe out, squeezing Kenna to my chest. "I'm so sorry, baby."
"Daddy C left us?" she murmurs.
"Kind of. It's my fault, sweetie. We couldn't work it out." I stroke her hair. "We should have never involved you. My fault."
And it is – all of this is my fault.
I moved too fast.
Carlisle managed to put me under his spell and make me lose my head.
Fuck, I've been such an idiot!
Why did I allow this to happen?
"Where can I find the fucker?" Emmett thunders. "Wait. He works at the hospital. I'm so going to give him a piece of my mind tomorrow!"
"No, please. Don't," I beg him. I brush my tears away and turn to look him in the eye. "Em, your wish is coming true."
"What's that?" he grumbles, looking distracted. He's probably still thinking of hurting Carlisle.
I can't even conceive that.
"I quit," I say loudly, squaring my shoulders.
"Are you joking? You quit just because you broke up with him and can't work in the same place?"
Well, that's not the reaction I wanted. "No, dude!" I shout. "I quit because I'm going to find a better job – something to help us make it through this life." I press a kiss to Kenna's head.
She's awfully quiet.
"Oh!" Emmett shouts surprised. "Well done!" He clasps my back. "Need any help? You know Rosie is friends with someone that needs help? Or you still want a bank…"
I'll pay my debt in no time, then reestablish our lives.
While Em watches the kids a while longer, I talk to Rose and have an address and a phone number. Riley Biers.
I still have Carlisle's phone.
If this last connection to him can help me pull out of my mess, I'm going to use it and say a prayer for Carlisle.
Rose encourages me to go to her friend today. He usually works from home. This Riley needs help with the filling, accountancy and other paperwork. I'm in.
After breakfast at their insistence, I take Kenna to the car, before driving to Riley's. Rose called him and he's expecting me.
"Did I do something wrong, Daddy? Why did Daddy C leave us?" she whispers from behind me. "I promise to be good. Can we go apologize?"
I grip the steering wheel tighter and sigh loudly. "I'm sorry, honey. Daddy couldn't work this out. Daddy C wasn't happy with me, but I promise you that he loved you."
"He loved you too, Daddy," she says serenely.
I feel a tear rolling down my cheek.
If he loved me, he wouldn't have broken my heart.
"Just you, love," I tell her, parking in front of the small house.
"Daddy," Kenna says loudly. "I know what I'm saying! Daddy C told me that he loves you and that we'll be a family. He wants us in his life!"
"When did he tell you that?" I ask shocked, stepping out of the car and opening the backseat door. "Kenna?" I prompt her, bending inside the car to unstrap her belt.
"Before we went to Uncle Emmett's party."
The amazing time in the playroom.
"Yes. You were fighting, but he told me that he loves you and that he's not letting you go."
He might have just said that. Because if he really loved me, he wouldn't have done this. No.
He just tried to pacify her by lying.
Stupid old man!
He has no idea how kids are!
"Kenna, sweetie, he didn't want me. He told me that last night." Not in so many words, but yeah…
She pouts and allows me to help her out. We walk hand in hand to the door where I ring the bell and wait.
The door opens and I feel my mouth unhinge – virtually – because I have enough spirit to keep it closed and try not to stare.
When Rose told me Riley's been working for a long time, I pictured a forty plus year old man, not someone around my age.
He's around my height with sandy brown hair and a pair of sunglasses on his nose. To each their own. I shrug. Everyone wears odd stuff in their houses.
"Uh, hello?" Riley asks uncertainly.
"Sorry. Hello," I greet him, clearing my throat. "I'm Edward Masen and this is Kenna, my daughter. I hope it's not a problem," I babble.
Jeez. What's wrong with me?
He smiles a little.
But there's something off.
He's not even looking at me or Kenna.
When he extends a hand, waving it a little – it clicks.
Why the fuck didn't Rose tell me her friend is blind? I wouldn't have thought less.
I grasp his hand and shake it tightly. "It's nice meeting you."
Riley must have realized I understood what is going on, because he turns a little to his right and tilts his head down. I place Kenna's hand in his.
"Nice meeting you, young lady," he says softly.
"Hello," she whispers confused.
"Let's take this inside, if you still want to help."
I nod, then remember he can't see. "Sure. Lead the way."
I pick Kenna up and follow him inside.
"What's wrong with him?" she asks in my ear.
"He can't see, sweetie."
"You don't have to take your shoes off," Riley tells me as he rounds a corner to the living room.
I still do it because it's polite.
"Like Bobo?" Kenna asks curiously. When I frown at her, she reminds me of Bobo. "Bobo, the puppy Daddy Jay brought home."
How could I forget?
The poor pup was so small and sick that he didn't make it, but the week he stayed with us, Kenna always coddled him. I had completely forgotten about the pup.
"Yeah, kinda like Bobo."
We sit on the couch while Riley takes an armchair.
"Did Rosalie tell you what the job entails?"
"Uh, not much," I say honestly.
"Well, I'll explain. I write articles for different magazines, and even tried my hand at children stories. Most of the time, I just email them, but some want hard copies. And there's the taxes and everything."
"I see." It sounds like labor work – not what I'm looking for.
"My last employee had to move to another city when her husband got a better job. She's been all I knew my whole life. If you accept this, I must tell you that it takes time for me to accommodate around a new person."
"It's normal. No one accepts people just like that." I snap my fingers. "What exactly do I have to do?"
"First, I'll need help organizing everything. Then I'll need help to make deals with magazines or writing houses, help with everything that involves paperwork, and if it isn't too much trouble…with me," he finishes in a whisper. "Tory used to come three times a week and help me with what I couldn't do for obvious reasons."
"You want me to clean?" I ask shocked.
He laughs and shakes his head. "For cleaning the house and cooking, I have someone. I'm talking about my Wednesday evening bookstore visit, my Saturday walk in the park, my personal shopping. I need someone and I'm allergic to dogs."
We both laugh at that one.
"Yes, so a service dog is out of question." After a moment, he groans. "I'm sorry. I think I just insulted you."
"Actually, it was quite funny," I tell him amused. "I'll help."
It's definitely not what I want to do, but it's not construction working.
"Really? Thank you so much! I've been on my own for two weeks now. I feel like I'm going crazy."
"Do you need help now?"
"Not exactly. Can I have your phone number? I'll call you if I need anything, and if you can't make it, feel free to tell me. I understand that. Tory said no a few times because of her husband, you will too. You have a family too," he tells me.
"Just me and Kenna, here."
"I'm sorry to hear that."
"Yeah, we're coping," I say quietly. "Can I have your phone to program the number?"
Once that is done, Riley gets up and extends his hand to me. We shake hands again before he walks us to the door.
"Oh, before I forget, don't you want to know what I'll pay you?"
I bet it's not much.
I still need to look for a job, because Riley will be a part time job – I need a real one.
"Sure," I answer.
He doesn't specify if I'll get that amount every month, but it's obvious.
I drop the shoe from my hand. Once I get a real job, combined with this one, I can finally get on my feet again. That will allow me to catch up on everything in a few months.
"It works for you?" he asks, unsure when I don't answer.
"It's more than enough. Thank you."
He smiles. "I make a lot of money, no reason being shy about it. As you can see, I don't have anyone to share it with so I pay my employees generously."
I pat his shoulder, finishing putting my shoes on. "See you Wednesday?" I ask.
"Yes. I'll call you."
Saying goodbye, we leave. I still can't believe the luck I have.
On the way home, I pass the bank I worked at until I couldn't meet the schedule because of Jasper. Making a rush decision, I slam the breaks and park in front of it.
"Sorry, baby," I whisper to Kenna, who gasps loudly. "One more stop, then we go home," I promise.
We walk inside together and I'm happy to see at least one person I used to know. The cashier is the same. Her eyes widen, and since she doesn't have anyone, she comes around her desk and hugs me tightly.
"Edward!" she exclaims.
"Hey, Kate. Still here?"
"Nepotism works in my favor." She giggles. Then she sees Kenna. "Aw! She's that tiny little baby you used to cling to?"
"I'm not a baby!" Kenna snaps, putting her hands on her hips.
"Oh, she's beautiful, Edward."
"Thanks." I beam at her. "Listen, I'm not here to visit… Is Tanya in her office?"
"She'd move in there if I didn't drag her out sometimes," Kate tells me, shaking her head.
"Busy?" I ask, suddenly feeling all kinds of nervous…like the first day I stepped foot in here.
I was scared shitless.
"You can disturb her."
"Kenna, sweetie, can you stay with Kate? I'll be right back," I say quietly, crouching to her level.
Her green eyes glance at Kate then at me. Her lip disappears between her teeth.
"Don't take too long."
"Never, angel." I kiss her forehead, but before I can straighten my back, I hear a throat clearing from behind me.
And a whistle.
I just know that's my crazy ex-boss.
"Edward Masen! I must say I've missed your fine ass!" Tanya exclaims.
I turn to her, rolling my eyes. "Hello, Tanya. Long time, no see."
"Yes, yes. You didn't visit," she admonishes me.
"Can't say I had a reason to, right? I didn't exactly leave on amicable terms."
"I realize I've been too mean. Kate made me see I lost one of my best employees."
"Hmph. So you need me again?" I ask somewhat hopefully.
"What kind of question is that?" she huffs. "I think you cursed me into the next century for firing you, because no employee after you stayed longer than a month in your position."
"Sorry to hear that." I'm not really that sorry.
"You want your job back?" Tanya smirks at me.
"Yep. And I promise to stay all eight hours or however long you need me to…but first we need to talk," I say.
"Sure." She nods.
I leave Kenna with Kate and follow Tanya to her office. In a few short phrases, I cover everything – from Jasper's death to my unsuccessful relationship with Carlisle to Riley. She understands, and even tells me that I'm allowed to take off if Kenna needs me.
Long gone is the bitch that used to be my boss. Before I leave her office, I understand why she's suddenly so sweet.
I feel sorry for the bastard who ended up with her.
Just like that, my future looks a lot better. But at the same time, I can't find it in me to be happy.
I can't share this with anyone…
I miss Carlisle and it's not even been twenty four hours.
At least this situation made me do something I should have done a long time ago – to take control over my hectic life.
Before anyone jumps on any conclusion: Edward WILL NOT end up with Riley.
Now, that is covered...see you next week. Don't forget about the teaser I'll post on the Slash group and my group on FB on Wednesday. ;)