AN: Thanks to my amazing beta, Karenec, for whipping my words into shape.
Disclaimer: I do not own Edward or Bella. Michelle, Carrie and the plot are mine. Happy reading!
Bella was shocked when Edward's two girls came home suddenly. She just could not believe that she and Edward had been so wrapped up into the moment, but what a delicious moment it was. Bella raised a hand to her lips as she recalled the taste of his lips on hers: cinnamon and vanilla. The feel of his long, toned body pressed up against hers, trapping her between the cold glass and his warmth, was intoxicating. She craved the feeling again.
"Bella, can you braid Carrie's hair?" Michelle asked in a shy voice.
Bella refocused on the girls.
It's as if she thinks that I will say no.
"Of course, I would love to braid Carrie's hair. Come sit here with me." Bella motioned to the spot between her legs on the bed.
Bella sensed that she would have to work hard to gain Carrie's trust. She pulled Carrie up in her lap and started to brush her long blonde hair. Carrie seemed to relax as Bella continued to stroke her hair.
"Your hair is so soft and thick," Bella said in a friendly tone.
"Thank you, I have hair like my Mom's," Carrie whispered in a quiet voice.
Bella was not quite sure what to say after that.
Do I ask her about her mom? Or should I change the subject? I should wait until I hear more of the details from Edward.
"Can I tell you a secret?" Bella asked with a giggle.
Carrie nodded her head dispassionately. Bella leaned forward and whispered in Carrie's ear.
"I think your sister is the one I should braid. Look at the little rebellious hair sticking up in the back!"
A huge smile spread across her face and a soft giggle escaped from her lips. Making Bella smile too. Hearing the sweet sound of laughter come out from this sad, lonely child made her day. Bella wanted to make this little girl feel happy again. She finished braiding her hair and then decided it was time to play princesses.
"Ok, Michelle, you are the fairy, and Carrie and I are princesses, what do we do now?"
Michelle's eyes lit up with excitement as she explained her game.
"First thing we do is go into the queen's wardrobe and pick out jewels. Follow me."
Michelle grabbed Bella and Carrie's hands and led them down the hallway. She entered the bedroom almost directly across from Bella's room. In the room was a huge four-poster bed made of a dark cherry wood. The linens on the bed where a creamy white satin and the plump pillows had an embroidered red C in the center of them. At the end of the bed was a matching chaise lounge in the same color, and throw pillows in orange and red tones.
This must be Edward's room.
Michelle tugged on Bella's hand and directed her to the jewelry armoire. She opened the chest and passed what looked like a ruby necklace to Bella.
"Here you should put this on and Carrie can wear the Sapphire one," Michelle said in a bossy voice.
Bella felt uncomfortable with the idea of wearing a piece of Edward's wife's jewelry, but she didn't want to let the girls down either. She looked around the room and she found the perfect thing: white satin gloves and a pink feather boa sitting by the night stand.
I don't even want to think about why these are so close to the bed.
"Wow, Michelle, this necklace is so beautiful. I think you should wear it. It can be your magic charm necklace."
The smile on Michelle's face grew.
Jackpot, I knew would love that idea.
"But what will Princess Bella wear?"
Bella tried to make her voice sound as excited as possible when she suggested that she wear the boa and gloves. Both the girls laughed and said that a princess should wear a necklace around her neck, not a feathery boa.
"But I want to pretend that I am going to a costume party." Bella pouted to keep up the charade.
The girls liked this idea and ran over to get the items. They draped the boa around her neck and placed the gloves on her hands. She actually felt like a princess being pampered. Bella sauntered around the room and did a shimmy with the boa and the girls watched her in awe.
"You are so much fun Bella! Our Mommy never played dress up with us," Carrie said happily.
These poor girls, what kind of Mother do they have?
Bella heard the sound of a throat clearing from the doorway. She turned towards the noise and saw Edward standing there with a pained expression.
He must have heard what the girls said.
Bella looked down at her feet. She could not believe she was caught in his room, dressed in his wife's things.
"Mr. Cullen, I am sorry. We were just playing dress-up and I thought it would be more appropriate to wear these items instead of any jewelry," the words tumbled out of Bella's mouth.
She hoped he wasn't mad.
"Ms. Bella, please help yourself to any of Lauren's things while playing dress-up with the girls. Whatever is here, is for them," Edward said with a smile.
How generous of her, to leave behind her garbage jewelry for the girls.
"Ok Mr. Cullen, I will remember that for the next time."
"Can I have a word with you in my study, Ms. Bella?" Edward asked nervously.
"Of course, sir, I just need on second"
Bella turned back towards the girls and curtseyed, "Well, Milady and Fairy Godmother, thank you for letting me play dress-up with you."
The two girls giggled and hugged Bella.
"Thank you, Ms. Bella, we can't wait to play with you again!" Michelle said.
I am so happy they like me.
Bella followed Edward out into the hallway and back down the stairs. They entered the room just past the first floor bathroom.
I wonder what he is going to say. Maybe he changed his mind about me working here. Why, oh why did I let him kiss me? Oh yeah, it is because he is gorgeous and I want him to do dirty things to me.
"Please, Bella, sit down, I would like to discuss some important details before you officially accept the job," Edward said while looking at a paper on his desk.
Great, he won't even make eye contact with me. This can't be good.
Bella sat directly across from him and waited for him to speak. Her stomach churned with acid. She felt like she was about to be scolded by the principal for skipping class.
Hmm, maybe he will spank me with a ruler bent over his desk.
Bella felt her cheeks flush at the thought of Edward punishing her. She tried to tell herself to calm down, but felt as if her face was on fire.
Finally, he looked her in the eyes and said, "I am sorry, Ms. Bella, for what happened upstairs before the girls got home. That was unprofessional of me, and I can assure that it will never happen again."
He paused for a second and inhaled deeply. "I would like for you to forget about my lapse in judgment and start over."
He thought it was a mistake. That was the most alive my body has ever felt and he regretted it. Can I work next to this man and not touch him?
Bella was relieved that he still wanted her to work for him, but was distraught that he didn't want to pick up where they had left off.
"Mr. Cullen, I am sorry too," She hesitated for a moment. "I have no idea what came over me to be so… naughty."
Edward's eyes bugged out of his head.
Was it my choice of word? This might come in handy later.
He cleared his throat and shifted in his seat.
I wonder what is happening under that desk. I would love to crawl under there and find out.
"Okay, so we agree… that cannot happen again. The last thing I want is for you to be a part of the girls' lives and then have to leave because we made a mistake. I am sure you already noticed how hard the divorce has been on them."
"I don't want to sound noisy, but can I ask what happened?"
"Of course, Ms. Bella, you have the right to know."
"Mr. Cullen, before we go any further, if I am going to work for you, can you call me Bella?"
"Bella it is. All right, basically I found out that Lauren was cheating on me and I asked her to leave."
Edward was looking at his desk again, not meeting Bella's eyes. She had the impression that he was embarrassed to admit that she cheated on him.
What crazy woman would cheat on this beautiful man and abandon her children. I hope I never meet the bitch.
"Oh, Edward, how awful; do the girls do not know the truth?"
"No, I did not want them to hate her, but she has completely abandoned them. I don't know how for much longer I will protect her."
Bella heard the strain in Edward's voice.
It must be hard to explain why there family was broken without help.
"On another note, what did you think of the girls? Are you still interested in working here?" Edward asked in an unsure tone.
"The girls are wonderful; little Michelle has such an imagination and Carrie is very soft spoken and sweet."
Bella and Edward talked for another half an hour about the girls and different rules that he had in place for them. Bella felt crushed on the topic of Edward and herself. She understood why he was so hesitant to be physical with her, but she truly thought that if he had some release he wouldn't be so stressed out.
Bella agreed to be move in the next week; Operation Seduce Daddy would begin then.
AN: Thanks again for reading