Trust in Me

June 1996

~AL~

"Bella, please call me back. It's been weeks since we've spoken, and I've been doing as you asked. Giving you some space." At first I thought the message was finished, but then he began speaking again. "I miss you and love you so much, Matthew, too," he whispered and hung up.

That was the first I had heard from him in weeks, and he was right, I did ask for more time. He kept his distance at work, but I'd catch him watching me. Of course, because I was watching him. Edward had surprised me with his willpower to stay away.

Excuse my crudeness, but it was time to either shit or get off the pot. I couldn't lead him on anymore, I needed to decide what I was going to do and just do it. I sounded like a Nike ad.

The thing about this whole situation was I really didn't want to wait anymore. I loved Edward and had since the day I saw him sitting on his tug on the ramp. Remembering my grandmother's motto, forgive and forget. I knew it was what I needed to do in order for this to work. I couldn't take him back on conditions, past actions hanging over his head, or the risk of throwing it back in his face during spats.

So, I did what my heart had wanted to do for months.

Picking up the phone, I dialed his number. Unfortunately, he didn't pick up.

"Hey, Edward. Um, it's me calling you ba–" A beep rang through cutting me off. I pulled the phone away from my ear and looked at the Caller I.D. to see it was Edward. Hmm, that was quick, I thought.

I clicked over and answered, "Hello."

"Hi, sorry I missed your call. I was delivering bags to a flight." He sounded out of breath.

"Oh, it's okay. I just left you half a message. So, I called to see if you're available tonight, maybe we can get together and talk. I, uh, think I'm done needing time."

Silence met my ears and I began to worry if I had taken too long. If he was calling to tell me he didn't want to wait anymore regardless of the fact he still loved me.

"Are you still there?" I asked.

The sound of him clearing his throat sounded before his words began to flow. "Yeah, I was just processing your words. So, uh, what does that mean?"

I rubbed my forehead, understanding he was most likely weary at my change of heart. "Can you come over tonight so we can figure this all out together?"

This time he answered quickly. "Yeah, sure."

~AL~

Hours later, after I scrubbed the house clean and obsessed over how our conversation would go, I decided to get ready. With my mind racing, my emotions flopped between anxious, nervous and excited. I just didn't really know what I was going to say to him. It's not like I had anything planned, but it was time to say something.

After I showered and primped a bit, I flitted around the kitchen. I decided to make a few appetizers. Tortilla chips with guacamole, quesadillas, and nachos sat in the kitchen until he got here. It was almost five o'clock and I knew he'd arrive soon. Hopefully, he would be a little hungry.

Walking over to my stereo, I put on some Luis Miguel (from his 1991 Romance album), since he was Edward's favorite. Plus, it served as great background music.

The banging on the security door startled me, and I all but ran to open it. My big, happy smile fell when met with Edward's serious expression. Dressed in a short-sleeved button down shirt, jeans, and dress shoes, he looked handsome as always. Looking back up to his face, I realized his seriousness was really a mask for nerves.

"Come in."

He moved forward and stepped inside the house. His hands were shoved deep inside the pockets of his pants. The tension was too thick and I needed to change that.

"I made some snacks, let me put those in the oven." I turned to place the nachos and quesadillas in the stove to cook. Looking back at him, I asked, "You want a beer?"

He nodded, taking his hands out of his pockets. "Sure, thanks."

Opening the refrigerator door, I grabbed a Corona and some sliced limes. I handed the beer to Edward so he could open it while I took the food out of the oven.

"Go ahead and sit in the living room, and I'll bring in the food."

On a huge tray, I placed the plated nachos, quartered quesadillas, the chips and guacamole and salsa, and walked it to the coffee table in the living room.

"Looks good, thanks," commented Edward.

I smiled as I moved to sit next to him on the sofa. "No problem. Shit, I forgot to get myself something to drink."

Edward jumped up. "I'll get it. What do you want?"

"Um, bring me a Corona, please."

He came back with my beer and sat down again.

"Thank you. So, I'm not really sure where to start, but we do need to get everything out in the open. I, I just need to get this whole Tanya deal out in the open with complete honesty and then, hopefully, we can move on."

He was concentrating real hard on the food, and then he looked up at me. "You're right. We do need to do that. It's just, I've done a lot of soul-searching and I didn't like what I found. But, I have taken our time away from each other to work on it. I'm not saying I'm perfect, but I understand myself a lot better, and like myself a whole lot more now."

"The reality is, Edward we haven't even known each other that long. I mean, we fell fast and hard without really dealing with our previous relationships first. I think starting off like that and then just allowing our feelings to drive us forward, without using our heads, set us up for failure. Throw in an emotionally charged miscarriage and things were just so real, too real.

"I feel like we need to start over, if our love is as strong as we think it is, then we'll be able to get through this."

He moved closer and took my hands in his. At that point, all the food and drinks were forgotten and we concentrated on each other.

"I agree. Let me just say this … Tanya is no longer in the picture and hasn't been since right after the concert. And for all I did, I'm sorry. I know the apology might not mean much, but I have to let you know how truly remorseful I am. My actions were from pent up craziness from my separation from Jane, and going directly into a new relationship, which moved so quickly and scared the shit out of me. But even those are the reasons; I hate saying them, because they feel like excuses. I told you that the day we met at the beach. I just wanted, then and now, to take responsibility for fucking this up and hopefully move on.

"I know you want truths, real answers about what really went on between Tanya and me. All I know is that we did not have sex, sleep together, or any other descriptive like that. We did kiss and possibly pet above clothes." He pulled his hand from mine and ran his fingers through his hair, messing it up.

I wiped the tears dripping down my cheeks. The pain that sprung up every time I thought about him touching or kissing her seared through me.

"What do you want for us?" Instead of me telling him what I wanted, I decided I was going to ask him and let him tell me. I thought it was important to know.

Turning to face me, he sat up straighter. It seemed like he was happy to have the chance. He cleared his throat and began. "I want us to be together. I want the chance to be with you and love you forever. I want the chance to watch Matthew grow and become a man, and have our own children. Someday, when the time is right, I want you to become my wife.

"And I'm sorry it took me so many mistakes to know this is what I want. It's been a rough road and all my fault, but if you give me the chance, I'll spend the rest of my life proving to you how special you are, how much I love you, and how much I need you in my life."

I nodded and looked down at my hands. My heart clenched with all of those beautiful words, but my mind was still cautious.

I felt his fingers grasp my chin to lift my head up. He looked in my eyes and I saw the trepidation in his.

"Hey, talk to me. Tell me what you want, Bella."

I wrapped my hand around his and moved it to my cheek so I could nuzzle it. With a quick kiss to his palm, I pulled his hand to my lap. Just being able to touch him again, being that close to him, made me a bit dizzy. But I didn't want it to persuade my judgment.

"Edward, I want to be with you as well. I'm not sure I can forget all that happened, but I can forgive you. But we just need to take it slow, and, as you said, start over. I do love you so very much and that's why this has hurt so badly." I gave his hand a quick squeeze. Then one more point came to mind. "And heed my warning, if you fuck me over again in any way shape or form, I won't hesitate to shut you out, and never speak to you again."

He chuckled and pulled me in for a tight hug. "I wouldn't ever dare. It took losing you to realize I'd never be able to live without you."

I snuggled into his chest and held him as tight as he held me. The familiarity of his scent, the way we melded together, and the feeling of his touch made me feel like I was home once again.

With a kiss to my head, he whispered, "I love you, too, Bella."

~AL~

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