Something was definitely up. I could feel it in my bones. Edward was amazing when he got here last night and Lilly was behaving. She was being an absolute angel, which was normal, but Jasper had painted her as demon spawn when he dropped her off.
"You're wearing that?" Rose asked with a frown.
I glanced down at my black sweater and skinny jeans. My hair was in a topknot. "I'm going to work," I said defensively. "And another thing, your husband took my boyfriend away on Valentine's Day."
It was true. Rose and Em always celebrated Valentine's Day the weekend of the day. Their work schedules were too crazy, but tonight Em took Edward to his dad's pub.
"You don't like it anyways," she argued.
"I never really had anyone to celebrate it with," I defended with a shrug.
Rose stood, her little belly evident through her tight gray t-shirt. "You love Edward," she stated with a smile.
I rolled my eyes and grabbed my bag. "If Lilly wakes up, tell her we'll be home later."
"Hmm, this is his home now," she mused.
"I'm going," I called, going into the garage.
When I pulled up to the curb a few stores down from mine, I noticed how packed downtown Port Angeles was. My store was dimly lit like it usually was at night. We had open mic night, which meant we would be open until one tonight.
I entered the store, and headed to my office so I could drop my stuff at my desk. When I came out, Emmett was sitting on a stool at the café bar holding a beer bottle. I blinked at him, confused as to why his ass was sitting in my store, giving me a big goofy grin.
While I stood staring at my dopey friend, a silky, gritty voice surrounded me. The eerily low tempo from the drums and Edward's quiet strums on his guitar, gave me chills. Edward was up on stage with three other guys. He didn't look like my put-together boyfriend at all - tattered jeans were worn and faded, and the red flannel he had over his thermal had holes in it. Don't even get me started on the Docs he was wearing.
He was looking at me, belting out something about being a savage and pillaging a village. Their haunted sound was channeling Nirvana and Edward was their Kurt Cobain. I felt the squeal and manic giggles rip out of me as I started bouncing. It wasn't attractive, but he was giving this to me. His teenage angst was mine for the taking right now. Most guys would say fuck off if they were in their thirties and some hot shot doctor. Not my hot shot doctor - he embraced embarrassment and took one for the team. As they played a set of three songs and I stood next to Emmett holding his shoulder as I tried to stay put, but as soon as Edward put that guitar down I took off.
I rushed him, wrapping my legs around him. He leaned his forehead against mine and smirked at me.
"That was The Pissing Saxons," I whispered.
"Happy Valentine's Day," he murmured, capturing my lips with his.
I pulled back after kissing the everloving shit out of him. The store was packed, but people were waiting for the next set and not paying attention to us. I moved my head down to his ear and told him exactly how I was feeling in this moment.
"I'm absolutely sure . . . I love you," I whispered in his ear.
I saw Esme and Carlisle sitting at one of the tables by the window, but this was our private moment. I had almost told Edward a few times that I loved him, but something kept holding me back. This...this was right.
"I love you too, Bella," he whispered back, giving me a soft kiss on the corner of my mouth before walking us over to the counter where Emmett sat.
Edward sat me on the stool beside Em, but stayed standing between my legs. He cupped my neck, asking Angela for two Blue Moons.
"I'm gonna start calling you the Rockin' Doc," Em announced.
Edward glared at Emmert, but I gained his attention by patting his face. "He's just jealous because he has no talent, babe," I assured him as I moved close to his ear. "You're most definitely getting laid tonight."
"Am I?" he asked, giving me this brilliant grin I hadn't seen before.
"Mm hmm," I hummed, giving him a quick peck.
"Ed, man, it's been real," this short Asian man said, coming up behind Edward.
"It has, Yorkie," he chuckled lazily. "Yorkie, this is my girl, Bella. Bella, this is Eric Yorkie, a founding member of The Pissing Saxons."
"Nice to meet you, "Eric responded, warmly. "This is my wife, Brianna." He introduced me to the leggy blonde attached to his side.
She was like a supermodel in a little black dress, while her husband was a hipster with his slouchy knit cap, jeans that bordered on skinny and a gray t-shirt.
"Great to meet you both," I said, leaning into Edward's side.
"Bella, I got to thank you. You got him to finally agree to a reunion performance," Yorkie said with a laugh.
"He knew I was interested in your band," I explained.
"We're pretty kickass," Yorkie all but gushed.
"I videoed the whole thing, I can send it to you," Brianna offered.
"I definitely want that," I told her.
They complimented me on my store and I learned Eric was a lawyer in Seattle and his wife worked on various charity committees. We said our goodbyes after a few minutes of talking and Eric and Brianna departed into the chilly night to finish off their Valentine's Day plans at a restaurant in Seattle.
"He's just living the rock star dream," Emmett joked once they left.
"Yorkie takes The Pissing Saxons seriously," Edward sighed.
I giggled with a snort and Edward leaned down to kiss the side of my head. I wrapped my arms around him, giving him a squeeze. Esme and Carlisle made their way through the crowded room to us. Esme's beaming smile said enough - she supported our relationship and I could see how happy she was for us.
"Well son, I didn't know you guys sounded like that," Carlisle grinned.
"He needs to audition for The Voice or something," I teased, looking up at Edward.
"That good, huh?" Edward smirked.
"Now he's going to reconsider his whole medical career," Esme said with a laugh.
"The singing doctor could be my gimmick," he mused.
I playfully smacked his chest and his hand held mine there. We were grinning at each other and in that moment, we got lost. Lately it had been easy to get lost with Edward.
"Your mother and I have a date down the street," I heard Carlisle say.
"You guys can stay at my house tonight if you'd like," I offered. "It's already late."
"Are you sure?" Esme asked hesitantly.
I felt Edward squeeze me when his parents accepted. They said they would text us when they were headed back to my house.
"You didn't have to do that," Edward murmured. He turned to face me, standing between my legs.
"They're your parents and the drive to Seattle is over an hour. They obviously made a special trip down here for this."
"My mom couldn't believe we were performing. She wanted to see your reaction as well."
I waited a few moments to gather my thoughts before I spoke. "I really like your parents, Edward, and I'm thankful for how warm your mother has been to me," I told him honestly.
Edward ran his knuckles down my cheek and then cupped the back of my head, gently running his fingers through the curls that had escaped from my topknot during the evening.
"She loves you, you know?" he murmured, leaning towards me and pressing his forehead to mine.
I let out a breath and nodded.
We finished our drinks with Em before Angela shooed us out to enjoy the rest of our Valentine's Day. Emmett made it back to my house before we did and was dragging Rose out as we entered in through my garage.
"I knew something was up when Rosalie was questioning what I was wearing," I said, shaking my head.
"That's ridiculous, you look gorgeous tonight," he said, cupping my cheek.
"Sometimes I think you're a dream," I sighed.
"I'm right here, babe, and I'm very real." Edward's words made my heart skip a beat.
He leaned down, kissing me until my landline started ringing. "Ugh," I groaned, pulling out of his hold.
"Bells, Leah's having the baby," Dad breathed out.
"God, okay… I'll be right there."
"She's at Port Angeles."
"I'm on my way. Bye," I said to Dad before turning back toward Edward. "Leah is in labor."
"I can stay with Lilly."
"I want you to go with me."[*]
I didn't want to be the buffer for the Swan/Clearwater household and if I got bored I would have Edward with me, not to mention we had said I love you for the first time tonight. I wasn't going to have him sleep in my bed alone.
"Since my parents are staying tonight, I can talk with them… ask them to watch her?"
"I can't ask that of them," I said, chewing on my lip.
"They'd do anything for you, Bella," he soothed.
I puffed out a breath and agreed to let Edward's parents watch Lilly. After he texted them, they were here within fifteen minutes.
"Bella, please don't worry. We're happy to watch Lilly anytime," Esme said, giving my shoulder a squeeze.
"Okay," I nodded. "Thank you."
Edward's arms wrapped around me and he guided us out to his car. "I have a feeling tonight will not be boring," I told him.
"Leah shouldn't be stressed," Edward frowned.
I knew that, but with all the La Push drama going down or at least from what Dad had been telling me, I knew that Leah was feeling anxious about the birth.
"I bet you ten bucks, Jacob Black will be there," I told him holding my hand out. Jacob had been inserting himself into Leah's life. She had been a bitch to him, but he knew she was hurting. Even though he was a few years younger than her, he grew up worshiping Leah Clearwater. He'd seen her at her worst and her best. He hated Sam Uley for many reasons, but the biggest one being he abandoned Leah and their son.
"I don't know Jacob Black so I'm not betting you ten bucks," he said with a laugh.
I glared at him before adding, "You're a doctor. You can afford it."
Edward shook his head and winked as I huffed. The roads were clear and the drive to the hospital didn't take long. Once Edward pulled into the lot and parked, I noticed Sam a few spots down, getting out of his truck with Emily.
"That piece of shit," I growled through gritted teeth.
"Babe?" Edward asked, as he opened his door to get out.
I hurried, opening my door. Before Edward could stop me, I ran up to Sam like a crazy person.
"What the fuck do you think you're doing?" I hollered.
Sam spun around glaring at me. "My kid is about to be born," he snapped. "That bitch should be with the midwife in La Push!"
Sam Uley was huge; most of the guys on the Reservation were. He was about six four, not much taller than Edward, but his mass made him scary. Emily stayed behind him and I caught the bruises on her face and stitches near her eyebrow going down to her cheek.
Edward had caught up to us, wrapping his arm around me to pull me behind him. I didn't realize how in my face Sam had been.
"Is there a problem here?" Edward asked calmly.
"You pale faces are my problem," Sam growled.
"Yeah, that's not racist or anything," I said with a snort. "You shouldn't be here, Sam. Sue didn't want you anywhere near Leah. How did you even find out?"
He wouldn't answer me, but his anger and general hostility radiated off him. I looked to my right near the hospital entrance, to see Jacob Black emerge through the automatic doors.
"You followed Jake from La Push, didn't you?" I accused, my voice rising shrilly.
I got my answer as Sam moved closer. Edward was faster than Sam as he stepped directly in his path.
"What's going on, guys?" Jake asked standing beside Edward.
"You shouldn't be here, Black," Sam said, menacingly.
"Leah doesn't want you here, Sam," Jake told him, standing at his full height, which was about two inches taller than Sam.
"It's my child."
"You forfeited those rights in front of the council."
"I changed my mind," he roared.
Two security guards walked over to stop Sam's grand production. "Is there a problem here, Dr. Cullen?" the shorter security guard asked.
"Mr. Uley needs to be escorted off the premises," Edward told them, again using his calm tone.
"You have to be fucking kidding me!" Sam spat.
"I'm a consulting physician at this hospital and your behavior is not acceptable for the staff and patients to bare witness to," Edward explained smoothly.
"I'm not going anywhere," he growled.
"Sir, we have already contacted the police," the other security guard informed Sam.
Jacob took my hand and pulled me away as Edward stayed to talk with the authorities. "Leah's been asking for you," he told me warily.
"Me?" I asked in confusion. "Jake, I've known you forever. When has Leah ever liked me, let alone asked me to be in the same room as her?"
"She said her mom was annoying her and you've delivered a child more recently than Sue," he explained.
And alone. Leah was basically in the same position I was almost five years ago. Though Jasper was there after Lilly's birth, he wasn't the one to hold her or cut the cord after I pushed her into this world.
"Let's go," I said with a sigh.
"What about Dr. Cullen?" Jake asked curiously.
"He'll find me," I said with certainty.
No matter where I went, I had a feeling Edward would always know where to find me.
A/N: Sorry this is beyond late. This chapter got a little off track, but I feel like it's back to where I wanted it!
I also wanted to introduce my new beta Astro2009. Her suggestions and advice helped extremely for this chapter! Dolphin62598 also deserves a huge thanks for her beta'ing and being a constant supporter. Moving forward Dolphin62598 andAstro2009 will be my betas on board.