Hey everyone, thank you for the amazing response for the last post! I received 2000+ views on the chapter and couldn't be happier about it!
Thank you to the beautiful few people that reviewed my last chapter!
HappyCup, ratih choco, alc1002, sujari6, jansails, Leslie E, mfield05, melissamary55, Cattinson, Ur fan, shanjam22 and all of the non-members that reviewed me as well!
You are the reason this chapter has gotten out quicker than the rest. So here I introduce to you a father and his son!
As I walked slowly to the Irish Tavern I felt my heart in my hands. I was lost. I didn't know how to have these feelings for someone or even if I should. Was I allowed to have someone to think of affectionately? I mean I'm not going to marry the girl we barely know each other… but I have seen the inside of her bedroom… and I have seen her in her sleeping clothes… one of which is a piece of clothing that I coveted for years…
Enough about that for now!
I pushed my phone back in my pocket relishing in the small conversation I had shared with Bella via text hours earlier. I couldn't believe it when she first text me, and so soon after I had seen her. I could still hear her friend shrieking through the walls as I got the message. She hadn't texted me out of guilt or duty, she texted me because she wanted to… right?
I pushed open the heavy mahogany door and stepped inside.
"Edward" a young voice called out my name from behind the bar
I walked towards the noise quietly to see the son of the bar owner hiding behind the counter preparing to jump out and scare me.
"And what do you think you're doing!" I spoke loudly and quickly directly above him, causing him to gasp and fall on his bottom.
"Alfie, get up off that ground and stop harassing Mr Cullen" Peter beckoned his son!
I'd been coming here regularly since the break-up, mainly because it was a friendly face. My father knew Peter when they were at school together and as soon as my father knew I was moving to Chicago, he made sure to contact Peter to ask him to look out for me. It was nice to get a sense of home without having to actually go home and hear my mother beg me to make her a grandmother already. I had tried!
"It's alright honestly! Alf and I were just playing a game!" I tried to defend the mischievous young man.
"That's all very well and good Mr Cullen, but Alf should have been in bed an hour ago!" upon hearing this Alfie leapt up and shouting out a goodnight to me ran as fast as he could upstairs to the house above.
"When there's mischief I can always count on you to be at the scene of the crime!" I heard my father's voice beckon from behind me and I relaxed.
"Oh I know that feeling very well Carlisle!" Peter called out, "It's good to see you old friend!" he reached across the bar to hug my father, who reciprocated graciously.
"I wish you would call me Edward!" I moaned seeing their embrace.
"You're a fancy city boy now Edward, CEO and all of that lark, I'm a man of free will and I will call you what I like!" Peter defended
"Have some respect Edward!" my father scolded
I looked between both of them gobsmacked as they struggled to keep their silent laughter to themselves. That's what I get when I revisit my past is it? Ridicule and mockery!
"I'll leave you two to it! Must check that little man isn't climbing the curtain poles or my wife will have my neck!" Peter confessed before turning and heading into the house leaving only one bar maid to man the bar by herself.
My father ushered me away to a corner seat and I sat, placing my phone on the table in front of me and a few minutes later he returned with two double whiskies.
I brought the glass to my lips immediately and inhaled, relishing in the musky scent.
"Trust you to buy the good stuff" I spoke quietly to my father before taking a long sip of the caramel coloured liquor.
"Only the best for my son" he smiled at me thoughtfully while we enjoyed our drinks in comfortable silence.
"Bella says thank you again by the way" I thought I should mention it before I forgot.
As soon as her name left my lips his eyebrows rose and a smirk, not dissimilar to mine appeared across his face. Now I at least know where I get that from.
"Edward, how would you know that?" he smirked at me and leant forward in his seat, resting his elbows on the table in front of him.
"I may have seen her since she's been working from home" I confessed shyly.
"You did huh? I didn't think you made house calls to staff!" he emphasised the word to catch my attention. Believe me it caught my attention, it made me cringe just as it has since the word originally left my lips.
"About that…" I began to talk but couldn't quite find the words to explain myself; luckily my father took the torch and continued talking to fill the aching silence that had woken again in my midst.
"Yes, about that, I can't help admitting son that you behaved very badly that day. I expect better of you. Your mother and I raised you better than that! I understand that there are some… feelings… you can't quite understand going around in your mind but that is no excuse to bully and belittle an innocent girl. I would have thought being in such a high position of business you would have at least some experience with dealing with employees!" he sighed and rested further back in his chair.
"I knew better than to behave like that dad it's just... I can't explain it!" I ran my hands through my hair desperately trying to pull some ideas to the surface.
"Try!" my father pushed for a response
"There's just something about her. Every time I see her I can't help but be angry about the way my mind wanders. I have no trouble dealing with employees at work dad; I can handle my business very well. Trust me on that. I just… this might be a long story dad" I looked up into his eyes for conformation.
"I have all night!" he smiled warmly at me and I returned the smile.
Then I began my story. I retold of the elevator times, the confrontation in my office. I told of the stationary cupboard incident all the way up to the hamper and gifts, trying my upmost to explain my actions. My father's expressions changed and danced through emotions as I explained my aggressive attitude but softened and warmed at my re-telling of my gifts.
"She just has some power over my mind dad; I don't know what to do!" My head dropped into my hands and landed on the table in front of me.
I was spent. I hadn't spoken about this to anyone nor even confirmed it to myself and now I had word vomit. My father made no attempt to move me or speak for a few long minutes.
When the air had cooled I heard my father move and felt a warm hand rest on my forearm. I looked up briefly to see him cautiously looking back at me.
"Son, let me tell you a story"
I pushed myself away from the table and rested against the back of the booth to be able to concentrate fully.
"Halls of residences are strange places, I'm sure you know having slaved at university like most people these days. I lived in some pretty dire places when I was younger, I was strapped for cash and I studied hard. I never partied and I never left my room apart from going to lectures and volunteering at any hospital locally that would have me. I remember feeling exhausted one day and remembering that I needed to get some books from the library, I pushed myself out of bed and made the slow walk across campus. While on my way I was dazed, having not slept in over 30 hours, I wasn't concentrating on where I was walking. I didn't see anybody until I bumped into them. Their books went flying across the quad; their hot drink scolded my chest and stained my only clean scrubs shirt. I flipped out. I swore loudly at the innocent person, damning them for being in my way. It wasn't until I noticed who was lying on the floor that I toned my voice down. A young woman in her early 20s stared up at me. Her hair slumped over her shoulders and her eyes bewildered. Her honey coloured dress was ruined and she held her hand tightly. I hadn't thought of her being scolded or even that she wasn't in the wrong."
I was confused but I couldn't stop listening to my father's story.
"I couldn't say anything to her; as far as I was concerned it wasn't my fault. I stormed past her and went on my way to the library. It wasn't until I was sitting back in my cold, plain and dreary room reading my books that my concerns for the stranger really showed themselves in my conscience. I threw my books to the floor and grabbed a shirt to replace my dirty scrubs and rushed out of the door heading in the direction of the campus offices to ask after the girl in the honey dress. I took a sharp left and crashed directly into something. As I looked down at what had crashed into me I gasped. It was her, Edward. She mumbled and stumbled away and apologised, rushing backwards into the door next to mine that she had just emerged from. I tried to stop her and reach for her, grabbing her hand but she pulled away and hissed at the touch. It was only then that I knew she had been hurt more than me in the scolding incident hours earlier"
I gasped at what my father had told me, these actions were something that I never imagined him to do. I mean, he was scolding me for calling Isabella 'staff', he was the most innocent man in the universe, he wouldn't hurt a fly.
"I told her I was training to be a doctor and she finally, after some persuasion, let me into her room to see to her burn. As soon as I entered her room I felt my jaw hit the floor. The room was stunning, decorated beautifully and so light and open. It was the exact size and build as mine and I couldn't understand how she had done it. It was incredible. She told me she was a design major and showed me her hand. I ran it under water, cleaned and dressed it but It was no use, it would definitely scar and pretty bad too. From that day I vowed never to hurt her or any person I cared for ever again. We spoke and shared interests and she accepted my apology" my father smiled warmly as he finished his tale
"Wow, that's a hell of a story! Do you still talk to her?" I asked with genuine concern.
"Why do you think I kiss your mothers palm every time I see her?"
Now it was time for my jaw to drop.
"That was mom in the story?!" I implored, struggling to believe.
"Yes, Edward I know how hard it can be when something gets a hold of you so tightly it controls you. But those are the times when it pays off, you need to let it drag you to what you need, don't let it go for something you think you want"
I nodded thoughtfully, thinking through everything that my dad told me and I knew what I had to do.
"Thanks dad" I smiled warmly and finished my whiskey.
"My round?" I asked, grabbing my father's empty glass and heading to the bar.
"So, where are you planning on taking the lucky girl?" my father implored
We were on our fourth round of drinks and I couldn't be happier that I spent my evening catching up with my father. I had got too stressed dealing with my twisted emotions that I was beginning to forget how much being with family relaxed me.
"I'm not sure yet, I don't know whether she'll be impressed if we V.I.P our way into the most expensive place in town" I laughed into my liquor
"She's not Victoria; ask her what she wants to do? Communication is only a good thing for you both at the moment!" I flinched when he said her name but agreed necessarily.
"Oh shit look at the time, I've got to be on my way son, I've got to catch a flight in the early hours!" My dad confessed
I looked at the time on my phone and gasped it was 10pm already
"Yeah I better head back and get some sleep, got a date to plan!" I smiled and bumped elbows with my father
"That's the spirit son! I'm so proud of you!" we laughed and smiled together and I waved him off as he got into his taxi a short while later.
I decided to walk back to my home, it would only take around 20 minutes and I wanted the cool evening air to calm my mind.
I briefly looked at my phone and saw nothing new on its display. I smiled at the thought of Bella all tucked away safely in her apartment. A feeling of protectiveness grew inside me and I knew what my father had suggested was correct, she did have a hold over me and it wasn't something I was going to let go of lightly.
As I approached my quiet suburb I felt warmer in my chest than I have for years. I was glad I had a home that I could call mine. I was glad I had someone I could develop my feelings with and I was so glad that I had my family's faith with me.
I stepped into my cold and lonely hallway and my thoughts travelled back to the story my father told me. I wanted someone who would open up my walls and bring light in. Someone to make the smallest plainest places, just seem brighter with their personality. I hoped I was lucky enough to get that in my life, I hoped strongly that I wouldn't have to be alone here forever.
I took my towel off after a long relaxing shower and throwing it on the floor, slipped between my cool bed sheets. Smiling widely and resting my phone on the pillow beside mine.
As my head hit the pillow I felt my eyes droop shut and my smile widen as I drifted off into a peaceful night's sleep.
A rapid vibrating sound stirred me from my slumber and I reached towards the noise in order to quieten it. When I noticed it was my phone I sat up slightly in my bed.
I hadn't set any alarms?
I looked at the display and my smiled
Bella's calling me
She must trust me some more, thank heavens.
I pressed accept and held it to my ear tightly
"Hey, sorry Bella you woke me up" I chuckled down the phone.
"Edward?!" Her voice spoke back rushed and teary
Her tone made me push myself away from the sheets on my bed. Something wasn't right.
"Bella?! What's wrong?!" I begged.
"Edward! I think… need help…. Fire… please help!" we lost signal every time she tried to speak and I couldn't hear her voice properly
"Bella are you home? There's a fire? Explain Bella!" I tried to talk but couldn't barely make the words leave my mouth as I rushed around my room trying to dress
Bella coughed down the phone and panted out her words
"Please… can't move … quick… enough… help…"
"Bella, I'll come get you just don't breathe anything in okay?" I waited for a response, a cough, anything!
The next thing I heard chilled me to the bone. A loud thud followed by absolute silence.
I brought my phone forward to look at it
I ran faster than my legs could carry me, stumbling through my home, grabbing my car keys and jumping into my car and did the only thing I could do.
I floored it through the peaceful suburb and prayed that Bella was safe.