I want a Mommy!
Disclaimer: All characters belong to Stephenie Meyer. The plot, along with a few of the characters I add here and there belong to my ruthless muse.
"And..." Edward prompted, sipping his chilled coffee, looking out over the quiet resort's grounds. He turned and glanced through the sliding glass door. He wasn't surprised to find Isabella curled up on the sofa, laptop and textbooks surrounding her, or EJ, on the other end of the sofa mimicking her by playing ABC Mouse on his iPad.
"We had to send them back, insurance speaking, the machines had been recalled, malfunction in the software, I've spoken with the company and they're sending replacement machines, an upgraded version." Jasper reassured, "we're still on schedule for the opening."
"Isabella's stalker?" He probed. He forced his lips upward, returning Bella's grin when she glanced up from her textbook long enough to catch his eye, smile and motion for a few more minutes.
"Emmett's tracked down the man, well, I should say boy, who broke into Bella's apartment. The night after ya'll left for Florida. Apparently, he had been paid cash to trash it and place the envelope on the counter. You read the note; whoever is doing this, wants Isabella to run from you." Edward paused, his jaw clenched, eyes darkened as he mulled over the theory that had silently been eating at him, since James's confession; could his own father be behind Isabella's harassment. Carlisle had the motive, the means, maybe her harassment didn't correlate to his own issues, but there was still the chlorinating threats.
"We're not any closer to discovering the man behind his puppets, but the kid gave a good description, he's been more than willing to rat after our little chat." Jasper said, I nodded tossing my empty coffee cup into the trash.
"Very good," he stated. "Make it clear that I want to have a talk with this kid," he ordered. "But in the meantime, cut him loose."
"Is that a wise call, boss?" Jasper asked slowly.
Edward chuckled, "just make it clear, if we have to come looking for him, it won't end well. Is he smart enough to understand that?"
Jasper turned and stared down at the runt of a boy, who was sniffling into his threadbare jacket. "Yeah, boss."
"And when you say boy?" Edward questioned as an afterthought.
Jasper shot the kid a look, and he shakily held up his fingers, one hand, a single finger was raised and the other had held four, "Thirteen maybe fourteen tops," Jasper explained. "I was going to make him hand over the money he earned for destroying Isabella's apartment, but the young lad used the money to pay his mother's rent. That story was confirmed from the boy's, landlord."
Edward frowned, "and he's smart?"
"Yeah, he's intelligent, especially for a gutter rat." Jasper answered.
Edward spoke, knowing he was on speakerphone, "Clean him up and take him home; let his homeboys know that he now belongs to the Cullens. Make it clear we're watching him, that if he so much as steps a Nike out of line, we'll know."
"Y..yyyes, yes, s..sir," the boy stammered, and nodded eagerly as Jasper dragged him to his feet.
"Anything else?" Jasper asked, after taking a moment to switch his speakerphone off.
"No," I shook my head just as Bella stepped out onto the balcony.
"Time's up Mr. Cullen," Bella sassed, giving Edward a firm look, "Tell Jasper you'll speak to him once we arrive back in Seattle; until then you're mine."
"Yes ma'am," he smirked, losing the frown that had developed from talking business with Jasper. "You heard the lady," he stated firmly and he hung up just as Jasper called him, "pussy whipped."
He placed his cell in her waiting palm. "Your call ran over," she teased biting her lips, "I wonder how you're going to make it up to me, Mr. Cullen."
"I could think of a few ways," he said. Bella moaned softly as one arm wrapped around her waist as his other his hand ran possessively up her arm, to her shoulder, she shivered as his fingers ghosted over her neck, finally coming to up to cradle her face. He kissed her as though it was the last thing he'd ever do. It wasn't a show, it wasn't a ploy nor a manipulation, he was simply showing her just how much he wanted her, needed her.
"Eww," EJ said, wrinkling his nose in disgust and smacking his hands over his eyes.
Bella and Edward broke apart, flushing. Edward cleared his throat a bit awkwardly. "EJ."
"That's sooo gross," EJ declared giggling, his face showing his utter disgust, as he spread his fingers to peek through them.
Edward snickered, "One day you won't think so, Sonny-boy."
EJ folded his arms over his chest and gave his father an aspirated look of annoyance, "Tanner says that you can get sick from kissing girls." He paused and thought for a moment. "You should probably go brush your teeth or somethin'," he stated very seriously.
Bella's lips twitched as Edward sputtered for a second, "You know what? I think I am getting sick, I need to stay in bed all day," he claimed faking a sniff, "Bella, too."
EJ narrowed his green eyes and frowned, "You're not funny, Daddy," he scoffed.
"Okay then, boss, where to today?" Edward asked, lifting the small boy up into his arms.
"Tanner says, I can't miss the Spiderman ride," EJ stated. "Can we go to that park? Please, can we Daddy, Bella, please," he begged, holding his hands together and shaking them with a small pout.
"Of course," Bella agreed, ignoring Edward's horrified expression. It was clear to her that Edward was borderline exhausted. "Why don't you finish getting ready," Bella instructed, holding the balcony door open for the little boy, as Edward placed EJ back on his feet.
"I'll be ready in a flash," EJ told them, before bolting off to change his clothes.
As soon as the door clicked behind him, Edward groaned. "Another amusement park?" Bella snickered at the slight whine in his tone.
She smiled excitedly at him, "Oh stop it," she scolded him softly. "We rested all day yesterday," she reminded him with secretive smile. They had spent the day entangled in the Egyptian cotton sheets, while Marcus and Jimmy had run EJ around the Magical Kingdom and other Disney parks, collecting the last of the autographs, the young boy had declared he must have. "And, I'm really excited about this one. It'll be different than Disney, more roller coasters - less lines and express passes."
"Oh, you're really excited are you?" he smirked, tugging her into his arms.
She chuckled and smacked his arm, "shut it, you. Yes I'm really excited. It's going to be amazing, well it better be amazing, I really, really, really want it to be amazing," she confessed excitedly, giving him a bright grin.
He laughed at her exuberance as they stepped back inside the hotel suite. "Are you ready?" he asked, eyeing her simple sundress and converse with admiration. It didn't matter the more he introduced her to his wealth, her simple stylish taste didn't change.
"I am, are you?" she asked, raising an eyebrow at his choice of attire.
His brow furrowed, "What's wrong with what I'm wearing?" he asked, looking down at his clothes.
"You've been sweltering all week in those clothes; no one going to view you any less if you dress comfortably." She frowned, trying to reason with the stubborn man. "Why don't you try, something less forbidding; you can leave that up to your posse of henchmen. Come on, try it, jeans and a tee, I know you packed some."
He gave her a long piecing look before turning and entering their bedroom quarters; not long later he reemerged in jeans and a plain grey tee-shirt.
"Well?" he asked, giving her a sarcastic little twirl that made her snort with amusement. He hooked his arm around her waist.
"You look nice; ready EJ?" Bella called out as the young boy bounced into the room.
"I've been ready for ages," EJ announced, taking Bella's other hand as they head out of the hotel suite.
"Are we eating here?" Edward asked as they entered the lobby.
"No. Daddy. No. The park – they'll have lots of rest-a-rants," EJ stated, dragging his father passed the restaurant in the lobby. "Let's go, please. Plus, Bella and I already ate breakfast."
"I saved you two chocolate eclairs," Bella said, holding up a small box.
He leaned over and pecked her lips. "And this is why you're great," he whispered, taking the box from her as they slipped into the luxury rental.
The ride was filled with EJ's excited chatter, as he told them the plan for the day. "Then, we've got to ride Spiderman like three times, please? Tanner only rode it twice; we got to ride it more, please, please, Bella," he begged, green eyes pleading over at her.
"We'll try, but we don't want to spend all day on one ride though," she said, taking his hand as they climbed out of the car. It's only a matter of minutes before they're walking toward their destination. Bella's not sure what Antonio said to the security officer, but their bodyguards pass through the inspections without pause.
"Always so many people," Edward grumbled, causing EJ to laugh pulling them through the crowds, tugging at both his father and Bella's hands.
EJ doesn't seem to notice that they bypassed the check-in lines entirely.
Bella leaned her head against Edward's shoulder, "You 'Al Caponed' them," she whispered in his ear.
He snorted and shook his head at her, amusement etched across his face as he spoke quietly into her ear. "I'm not Al Capone, babe, I can prove it to you. One – I'm not Italian. Two – I'm not a hundred and fifteen years old. Three – I have never bootlegged alcohol." Bella rolled her eyes smiling at his antics, as he pressed a kiss to her temple, and kept one arm across her back keeping her close to his side.
"All right, Boss, where to first?" Edward asked EJ, lifting the boy into his arms for a moment.
EJ pointed to his right, "Dr. Seussland first." He paused and scrunched up his nose in thought. "Daddy, did you know, The Green Eggs and Ham only has fifty whole words in the entire book?"
"It does?" he questioned, as he placed EJ back onto his feet.
"Yep. Bella told me," he stated confidently, pausing, then posing with his father and Bella in front of the gate for a picture, which one of their guards quietly captured.
"Can we ride that, that and that, and then go into the bookshop, please?" EJ asked, pointing out various Dr. Seuss-themed rides, then the bookstore 'All the Books You Can Read.' "The carousel, first?" he asked Bella, who nodded her agreement over their shared enjoyment of the merry-go-round.
The morning passed with many more rides; meeting and dancing with the Cat in the Hat and Thing 1 and 2. She couldn't pass up purchasing a Thing 1 shirt for EJ; on a whim she purchased a Thing 2 baby bodysuit, for down the road, even knowing she might never have use for it.
"What this for?" Edward asked, pulling it from the souvenir bag.
Her face flamed in embarrassment at her impulsive purchase. "I... I... it's nothing," she stammered. "I don't know, it was stupid, okay?" She stated looking anywhere but back at him.
Edward nodded, a puzzled expression settling over his face, "I was purchasing EJ one and it caught my eye and I don't know, I thought, someday..." she trailed off. "It was just a whim; I'm sorry if it freaked you out," she ended with a forced chuckle.
He pulled in a deep breath as a satisfied smirk spread across his face, "You didn't," he stated calmly, a serious but playful gleam shining in his eyes, "maybe...someday, with you." He grinned, folding the little bodysuit and placing it back into the bag.
EJ's face fell as Antonio stepped out of the shadows with a cellphone to his ear. "Boss, you're really going to need to take this call," he informed Edward with a frown.
Bella squeezed Edward's hand and let it go as he stood up from the bench, where they had been resting. EJ snuggled into her side as they watched Edward step away from them.
"Emmett, what's going on?" he snapped, eyes skimming over the small lake around which the theme park circled.
"You're not going to like this, Edward," Emmett warned, running a hand through his hair. "There are photos of you everywhere, on every local news station, talk shows, in the tabloids – not just you, but of Bella and EJ."
Edward froze, his shoulders tightened, "What?"
"Paparazzi, man, someone has been following you all week capturing pictures of your vacation," Emmett stated seriously.
Edward's eyes went cold as he swept a glance around the parks, he barked a disgusted laugh. People with cameras were everywhere, in every direction around him. "I'm calling MacCormack and his team. I want those pictures pulled — off air. Understood?"
"Yes, of course, Edward," Emmett agreed, signaling Jasper for a meeting.
"When I find whoever did this..." he threatened coldly.
"I hear you," Emmett stated before Edward disconnected the call.
He let out a rough breath, as he turned and took in his fiancée and child's smiling faces. He moved forward swiftly. "Antonio, get MacCormack on the phone," he ordered, tossing his cell phone at his long-time bodyguard and friend.
"Edward, what's going on?" Bella questioned, not liking the shadows that seemed to haunt him as he stepped forward.
"Nothing I can't handle, but requires my immediate attention. EJ and you, go back to our plans and we'll meet up at the Dinosaur restaurant for dinner tonight. I promise."
"You pinky swear?" EJ asked, holding out his small pinky finger.
Edward's lips twitched upwards as Bella placed on a smile for EJ. "I not only pinky swear, but I cross my heart," Edward stated, sealing the promise he had made, as he wrapped his pinky around his son's and shook on it.
Bella hugged him and Edward pressed a chaste kiss to her lips. "We'll see you in a little while," Bella said, stepping back and taking EJ's hand. "But first, we have to ride the Hippogriff and Spiderman," Bella told EJ who nodded eagerly.
"Bye, Dad," EJ called over his shoulder, tugging Bella forward, yammering excitedly up at her.
Edward stopped Jimmy and Marcus as Andrew trailed after Bella and EJ, "Stay with them at all times," he ordered, eyes darkening.
"Of course, Boss," Marcus said, moving past Edward to follow his clients.
Edward fell into step with Antonio as they made their way out of the park and back to the hotel. "I want to know who's selling pictures of my family to the press. I wanted to know five minutes ago," he barked into his phone.
"MacCormack has half his team calling for the removal of the photos, and the other half trying to figure out who sold the pictures," Jasper replied coolly.
"Again, Bella, please..." EJ begged, as they exited the ride.
"One more time..." She agreed with a chuckle, letting him yank her forward and back around to get back onto the ride.
Marcus looked around frantically as he stepped off the ride, "Jimmy, you've got eyes... Andrew?" he asked into his radio.
"No sir," Andrew grunted. "I lost contact with them coming off the last ride."
"I might... headed toward the restroom," Jimmy stated, causing the three men to rush in that direction.
"That was so awesome!" EJ beamed. "Let's get another Butter-Beer, please?" he requested, knowing he had her.
"Okay, come on." The second time through the line went much faster than the first. They wandered in and out of shops, playing with gizmos and gadgets, and purchasing candy and trinkets.
"Andrew? Would you mind..." She trailed off, paling as she realized they had became separated from their guards, and that Jimmy had never handed back her phone earlier, after she had gotten off the rollercoaster with Edward and EJ.
She quickly moved them to a less crowded area and sat down making sure they could easily be seen.
"What's going on?" EJ asked, bottom lip sticking out pouting.
"We need to stay right here, until Marcus or Andrew find us." Bella instructed calmly.
"But why?" he whined, fiddling with the toy wand Bella had purchased for him.
"Because it's not safe, and your father asked us all to stay together," she explained, brushing the hair out of his green eyes.
He folded his arms and protested, "It's not our fault they couldn't keep up."
"I know, but we shouldn't have left them behind," she whispered worriedly, pulling him into her lap.
"But it's not our job to watch them," he grumbled, returning Bella's hug, before pulling her into a simple game of eye spy.
"What do you mean you lost them?" Edward roared, his pulse quickening in his veins.
"We became separated as we exited the rollercoaster," Marcus explained into the phone. His eyes scanning the area around him as Jimmy and Andrew searched for the missing pair. "And we have no way of communicating with her as Jimmy was holding her purse."
"Find them and bring them back to the hotel. If you haven't located them in thirty minutes, call in reinforcements," he growled into the phone, ending the call. "Incompetent fools," he snarled angrily.
He pinched his lips together and every muscle in his body rigid with tension as he focused on not destroying his phone. His stomach turning as cold dread filled his body as the seconds turned into minutes, while his mind tortured him with a horrible scenario and endless what ifs. Never had he felt so out of control... helpless.
"Boss, we've got something," Antonio said, clicking in a web address then twirling around the laptop so his boss could see, as series of pictures chronicling the entire week appeared. The pictures started from the moment they had arrived to their morning at the theme park. "Whoever is behind the site is uploading more pictures," he stated as new series of pictures of Bella and EJ's afternoon started loading.
"They're sitting just outside a gift shop in Jurassic Park," Antonio relayed to Marcus.
Edward slumped back into his chair as, 'found safe and sound,' rang out through his mind.
Bella frowned deeply as Marcus lifted EJ out of her arms and began carrying him through the crowd, she stayed silent as Andrew gently but firmly led her toward the exit. Her heart clenched the very moment that EJ figured out they were being forced to leave.
"I don't want to go!" He cried, face contorting into a angry mask.
"EJ." Bella tried unsuccessfully to calm him.
"No," he screamed, starting to struggle in Marcus's grip. "No," he yelled, his tiny fist beating into Marcus's chest as he tried and failed at wiggling out of his grasp.
"I'm sorry, EJ, but these are your father's orders," Marcus stated, continuing walking with purposeful strides, ignoring the screaming child.
"But I didn't get to ride Spiderman!" He wailed at the top of his lungs, continuing to hit and kick at Marcus.
She forced herself to take a few calming breaths, as equally upset as him and for him. "I know, Green Eyes," she murmured, taking him into her arms as soon as they were both locked safely inside the luxury rental car.
A heaviness settled into her stomach and chest as Andrew pulled out of the parking garage and headed toward the hotel.
Edward's body twisted around as the hotel room door sprang open, revealing his sulking child and ashen-faced fiancée. The relief drained from his body as he took in their perfectly healthy presences. "Do you mind telling me what the fuck happened today?" he snapped coldly at Bella.
"I..." She started to explain as he yanked his hand up silencing her.
He pulled his eyes from hers and stared coldly at Marcus, Jimmy and Andrew. "Thank you, you may go now. Antonio can handle everything from here." He let out a hostile breath, "I'll be in touch with each of you other later."
The blood drained from her face as the three men stepped out into the hall to no doubt take their post out there, that was...if they still had a job...a life.
He stayed silent for a long pause, "I'm willing to give you everything, anything you can ever want, dream or wish for," he stated carefully, his tone laced with hostility. "All I've ever asked for in return is one thing, for you to watch over him, to keep him safe." He released a deep breath, "and how do you keep him safe? By staying with your fucking guards and allowing them to protect you," he snarled, stepping into her personal space.
She couldn't breathe, surprised to note the tears streaming down her face. "I... I'm sorry," she whispered unable to meet his eyes.
He laughed bitterly, "You're sorry?" He mocked. "Do you have any idea what could have fucking happened to you today? You guys could have been tortured, drugged, killed, molested — Jesus-fucking-Christ."
She flushed and averted her eyes, for the first time intimidated by his presence, wondering if she had lost everything. "I—" She cut herself off unable defend herself.
"Stop it." EJ yelled, appearing out of nowhere and suddenly between them. "Stop it," he bellowed up at his father. "It's not Bella's fault," he screamed. "It's not our fault those stupid old farts couldn't keep up," he explained protectively, "you're making her cry. Stop it. You had them ruin our day; you ruin everything, you're ruining my life. I—I hate you," he screamed dramatically.
"EJ," Bella said firmly, finding her voice, "that's enough. Go reset in your room," she ordered quietly, letting him know he needed to go cool off in privacy.
He stomped away from them, "I didn't even get to ride Spider Man once," he snarled slamming his bedroom door shut.
"He doesn't mean any of that," she whispered after quiet moment passed.
She blinked in surprise as his hands wrapped around her arms as he yanked her against his chest. She stared at him, finally seeing the emotions that were fueling his anger. She reached up and cupped his cheek as she took in the fear that still lingered there.
Her chin quivered, "I really am sorry and I understand if..." she stated quietly, gently pulling her engagement ring from her fingers.
He sucked in a deep startled breath, pain blossoming in his chest. He rubbed his hands over his face for a second realizing the need to pull himself together before he lost her. "Isabella, no," he stated shaking his head. "I am in the wrong here, I apologize," he said quietly, slipping the ring back upon her finger. It had made him crazy, for almost the span of almost an hour, they had been out of his protection, his control. He could have lost them; the thought traumatized him. "EJ's right, this wasn't your fault."
She nodded slowly, "It was an accident, Edward. I promise, it'll never happen again," she swore as he pulled her against him in a tight hug.
"I know," he murmured into her hair. "I apologize for my loss of sanity and temper."
She blinked, staying in his arms. "We're okay?" she asked, pulling back just enough to see his face, happy to note he appeared much calmer and relaxed.
He nodded, "We're okay," he assured her pressing a desperate kiss to her lips. "The thought of losing or any harm befalling onto EJ or you, terrifies me." He pressed a kiss to her forehead, "and I do know; I have realized you would never let any harm come to my child."
"I love him - EJ," she admitted unashamed. "I would never," she promised.
He smiled, "I know," he stated, "go wash your face, I'll try to salvage the rest of our day.
I know this update comes after a long hiatus I never meant to take. I am trying, I really am... I love writing! I love this story! It's my escapism. My happy place. I write purely for fun, when I have energy and the muse to do so. I am sorry about the long break but I am hoping that my up-dates will become more frequent from here on out.
Pre-Reader - TeamAllTwilight
Beta - Bobbi