Sorry for the delay in posting this. Writer's block is a pain in the derriere, and I started to fall behind on my chapters for this. Hope you enjoy!
Creative Original or Derivative Fiction: Derivative
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Prompt: Word Prompt: Allowance
"So, all the wedding stuff still coming together okay?" Charlie asked as he sat across from Bella, grabbing his knife to begin cutting into the steak he'd ordered.
She felt a little guilty; with all the time and energy she'd had to put into the wedding as the date loomed closer and moving into the new house, it was the first weekend she'd managed to get together with her dad outside of work in more than a month. He understood, of course, but it didn't make her feel any better about it.
"Yeah, you know, just last minute things that tend to pop up for the sole intent of freaking you out a bit. Nothing that's unmanageable. Esme and Rose have been really great," Bella replied as she picked at her food.
"Bella, when are you ever going to learn that you can't fib your way through things like this with me?" Charlie asked and her eyes rose to meet his. "I know you don't want to worry anyone, but you can lose the poker face with your old man. What's going on?"
Bella sighed heavily and set her fork down on her plate, resting her chin in the curve of her palm. "Edward and I had a little argument this morning, that's all. A minor disagreement. It'll be fine."
"Bells?" Charlie prompted, gazing at her intently.
"I don't see what the big deal is about some extravagant honeymoon. It's a fancy word for an expensive vacation. And if we need the money for more important things, why should it matter so much?" Bella asked with a heavy sigh, fiddling with her fingertips distractedly.
"Baby, are you and Edward okay? Financially, I mean," Charlie asked with a concerned look, foregoing his meal as well for a moment as he gazed at his daughter.
"We're fine, Dad. There's just so much going on at once right now, with the wedding and the house. The expense of a honeymoon seems a bit extraneous, and he disagrees. He thinks it's important for us to have that time together down in San Diego, and refuses to cancel."
"I agree. With him," Charlie said and Bella's eyes shot up to gaze at him in disbelief. "You both need to get away after all this and have some time alone before the full responsibilities of life kick in. You'll always wish you had if you don't, and there may never be another chance."
"Okay, you realize what you're encouraging here?" Bella asked, lowering her voice an octave. "You know what happens on honeymoons. I think we need a new living room set more than just another place to have—"
Charlie cut her off by holding his hand up and cutting it to the side. "TMI, Bells. Don't need it spelled out for me, thank you. But honey, you can always buy furniture, at any time. You only get one chance at your honeymoon."
Bella fought to restrain her smile and leaned forward on the table, lifting a brow at him. "Are you telling me that my father, Charles Swan, is secretly a romantic at heart? Wow, just when I thought I knew everything about my dad."
"Not even close to everything, but that's beside the point," Charlie said, blushing slightly with a shake of his head and she chuckled at his mumbled response. "You'll regret it someday if you don't take this time with him. So, he's right, you need to do this before you start having to worry about bills again and raising kids, and just life in general. I'll be right back."
Bella's forehead creased as he set his napkin on the table and rose, watching him walk out of the restaurant. She didn't think it was possible for him to surprise her more than he just had. She expected it from Rose and Esme when they told her that the honeymoon could be just as important to the beginning of a marriage as the wedding itself. Like her dad said, to have that time alone together before everyday life and children became the main focus and to celebrate their marriage. However, to have her father agree with that so wholeheartedly had nearly rendered her speechless.
Charlie's footsteps approached the table and she turned her head again in time to see him set an envelope on the table in front of her. At her questioning glance, he sat down and gestured his hand toward it. "I was saving this as a wedding present, but now seems more appropriate. It's not much, but it's something."
Bella opened the flap and pulled out a small blue booklet with a sheet of paper inside. She unfolded it and her jaw dropped, her eyes widening even more—it was a bank statement with her name on it and a balance of just over fifteen thousand dollars. "Dad, what is this?"
"When you born, my mother opened this account for you. I've been adding a little bit here and there while you were growing up and saving up to help with your college tuition. Then you got that scholarship and I started putting in your allowance every week when you moved out, and thought it would be a good starter for you when you got married, or wanted to buy your first house or something. Whichever came first. But Edward kinda beat me to the punch on that," Charlie answered with a shy smirk and shrug. "You've always been so independent since you were a little girl, wanting to take care of everything yourself, and I am so damn proud of you. But I've never been able to really do anything for you. Even help pay for your wedding, when it's technically the duty of the father of the bride, since you're determined to do it all yourselves. So, if all I can contribute is giving you the means to have a proper honeymoon or get that living room set you want, it's the least I can do."
Bella's eyes misted as he spoke and slid the contents of her hands back into the envelope, setting it aside and returning her gaze to him. "How can you say that? Everything you have ever done has been for me, and I've always known that. Always. I wouldn't be the person I've become without you. So don't ever think that you haven't been everything a girl could ever want or need in a father, because you are. If I can be half the parent someday that you have been, I consider myself doing really well. I love you, Dad. And thank you."
"You're welcome, baby," Charlie replied, glancing down to her outstretched on the table and taking it in his. "I love you more than you'll ever know. Always have and always will."