I Want A Mommy
Edward bolted upwards in bed, "Fuck," he groaned, rubbing a hand over his face. "Fuck, fuck, double fucking, fuck." He muttered to himself.
The alarm clocked glowed, letting him know it was thirty-two minutes after five in the morning.
"Edward, love," Bella hand reached out, rubbing his back gently as she sat, dropping a kiss to his naked shoulder, as she wrapped her arms around him, "everything okay?"
He shook his head and turned the lamp on low, lighting the room in a soft glow. "No. I need to talk to my brothers," he confessed, turning to capture her lips. His eyes brightened with satisfaction as his gaze settled on the love marks he had left on her skin the night before.
"Now?" She raised an inquisitive eyebrow, "it's five-thirty love," she murmured, running her hand gently up and down his back, suggestively.
"It's imperative. I must," he assured her, his tone a touch grave. She frowned at his answer, and he caressed her cheek, "don't worry, I'll be back with breakfast. Our honeymoon awaits." He gave her a wolfish, hungry grin.
She brushed her lips against his, "be safe," she whispered.
He smirked and nudged her playfully backward against her pillows, "sleep love, I'll return to you later. This is just a brotherly chat, something I must address with them before we depart."
She hummed a bit skeptically as she forced her eyes closed while he slipped out of bed.
Edward gave Antonio a tight nod in greeting, as his guard held open the door to the Lounge, the only room in his entire hotel that he was certain wasn't bugged.
He placed the donuts on the bar and started the coffee machine. He couldn't believe his oversight; his fuck up; what in God's name had he been thinking last night? He growled to himself.
He shook his head roughly, as he dragged in a deep breath and released it slowly, letting some of the tension he felt brewing under the surface, go.
Emmett, he ran a hand over his face with a groan. He had sent that little girl up with Emmett.
Emmett, who had the biggest heart among them. The ruthless giant who had no qualms about expressing his desire to start a family. Hell, he practically oozed male pride whenever his gaze landed on his pregnant wife.
He squeezed the bridge of his nose and shook his head once more. He might've well just handed the little girl to him on a silver platter with a glittery pink bow.
Jasper smirked at him as he stepped into the room. He was dressed casually in dark jeans and grey sweater. "The mess has been cleared," Jasper stated as he poured himself a cup of coffee.
He nodded, "good, I'm sorry about Peter. Anything his family needs," he promised, "but they showed their hand. We have a traitor among us, as much as I hate to say this, we need to take a closer look at those who we surround ourselves with."
"Will do, Ward," Jasper agreed, using his brother-in-law's, high school nickname.
Edward's lips curled upwards briefly at the name before sobering in thought, "we'll start with Antonio." He glanced over at the door as his brother strolled into the room, the large man hadn't even bothered with dressing, he wore a simple pair of gray sweatpants and a fitted black T-shirt.
"What the fuck can you possibly want this God-damn early?" Emmett grumbled, stepping into the lounge, his glare didn't soften as he reached for the coffee mug Edward offered him without a word. "Seriously, shouldn't you be buried in that hot little wife of yours," he smarted, dropping down onto the sofa.
Edward gave him a growl of warning, "my wedded bliss is no concern of yours."
Emmett rolled his eyes, chuckling lowly, "because you interrupted my breakfast, you dickbag," a wicked satisfied grin stretched over his lips as he thought of his lovely wife kneeling before him.
"Neither of us wants to hear about your kinky exploits, Em," Edward grunted, smirking at his brother narrowed his eyes and glared at him.
"Jesus, you're both cranky fuckheads in the morning," Jasper laughed, lighting a joint. "Knock it off, before I tell you ..."
Emmett and Edward turned their glares on Jasper, as Edward growled, "don't you dare."
"You never let me finish," Jasper teased them, his eyes light with humor as he enjoyed winding up them both.
"Because you married our sister, fuckface," Emmett snapped, flipping him off as he settled back on the sofa as Jasper passed him the smoke. "Now, seriously, what's up?" Emmett demanded, rummaging through the donut box.
Edward sighed, "The girl, Em. We need to discuss our next move."
"I've already spoken to Jenks," Emmett stated stiffly, sitting up straighter, his carefree expression evaporating, "he's handling it."
Edward ran a hand over his face and groaned internally, "Em, you can't just have a kid out of nowhere. Think of the eyebrows that'll raise."
"I know," he shook his head, "Jenks is covering the paper trail needed and Ms. Williams, our social worker, will support the placement. Then Judge Miles will approve the adoption next week. So it's all handled, Edward."
"And what of the grandmother?" Jasper asked, biting into a cream-filled donut, concern coating his voice.
"I'll take care of her today," Emmett stated, glancing up from his phone, "she's in one of Seattle's, state-funded assisted living apartments."
Edward rubbed his chin and looked his younger brother over, "are you sure about this?"
"Rose fell instantly; she's not letting that girl go, Ed. I'll do what I have to do, pay what I have to pay, that child is not going into the system. She'll be a Cullen, and that's all there is to it." Emmett said, his voice firm and assertive, the stubborn tilt of his head let his older brother know he wouldn't back down.
Edward shook his head, "cute little girls don't go missing quietly. There will be alerts, posters, searches."
"Not if she's dead," Emmett murmured. "All the world needs to know is that she died with her brother in his meth fire. It's being set up. I'm not incompetent. Yes, I may be acting with my heart, my emotions, but my mind is up to speed and knows what I'm risking. Support it or fuck off," he leveled his brother with a sharp look.
"Very well." Edward held up his hands in surrender.
"And for all Mom and Pops and the rest of the family needs to know, is this adoption is completely above board," Emmett added. "Alice too, Jasper."
At Jasper simple nod of agreement, Emmett beamed, pulling out his phone, sending them both a picture of the little girl after her bath and new haircut, her hair styled in a cute bob and dressed in a soft pink nightgown. "Madeline Grace, Maddie for short; she and Rose picked it out earlier."
"She's a pretty girl, I'm happy for you. I'm not sure how Tanner and EJ are going to react to a girl joining their group," Jasper chuckled, catching Emmett's worried frown. "But I'm sure it'll be okay. Let's hope there's a bit of tomboy in that sweet girl."
Edward rolled his eyes, "the boys will be respectful and watch out for her, I'm sure."
"And on the topic of daughters, Rose's bloodwork came back yesterday; we're going to have twin girls. So come winter, I'll be the proud father of three beautiful girls." Emmett announced.
"Mother will be in heaven," Edward remarked, finishing his coffee before standing and brushing off his slacks, "I'll see you when I get back."
"Have fun, be safe," Emmett chuckled. Wiggling his eyebrow, he pulled a box of condoms from the pocket of his sweatpants and tossed it at his brother who caught it easily.
Edward rolled his eyes and dropped the box into the trash bin.
"I'll see you Thursday for the meeting with Alonzo. Let him know I'll have his shipment, and that I'm bringing it to him personally," Jasper added, his tone shifting from brotherly to business.
Emmett's eyes darted from Jasper to Edward, "he's going to see Caterina, isn't he?"
Edward sighed having wanted to avoid this confrontation, "we need answers, she'll have at least some. You know Alonzo shares everything with his daughter. Their relationship is disturbing on every level."
"And what of Alice?" Emmett growled, his protective instincts flaring as he thought of his baby sister getting hurt by their actions, "do we not have any morals?"
Edward cringed at his brother's harsh words, and Jasper spoke coolly. "I would never hurt my wife; Cat and I have history, but it's all in the past. I have maintained a friendship with her over the years; a connection I have no problem using. Make note, Em, I don't care for the implications you just inferred."
"Why can't I go?" EJ whined as Bella checked his bag.
"Because it's a special trip, just for your daddy and me," Bella explained for the umpteenth time, giving him a fond smile as she placed his toiletries in his suitcase.
"But ..." he trailed off with a sigh.
Bella grinned, sensing her opening, "but you'll have lots of fun with Tanner at day camp, and you boys have been begging for more sleepovers, you don't want to miss that, do you?"
EJ chewed his bottom lip for a second before shaking his head, "no," he murmured reluctantly as he hugged her around the middle. "But I'll miss you."
"I'll miss you too, Green Eyes," Bella murmured, running her fingers through his messy morning locks. "But I promise, you're going to have fun with Tanner, and I'll be back before you can miss me too much," she promised as Edward entered their suite, wheeling in their breakfast trays.
"Daddy," EJ grinned, breaking away from her and trailing after him as he set the table, "chocolate chip pancakes, awesome," he approved as Edward sliced up his pancakes into easy to eat bites.
"Ready for your week with Aunt Alice and Tanner?" he asked EJ, as he slipped his arms around Bella. Hugging her back to him, he placed a chaste kiss to her temple before giving his son a warm smile.
"Yep, we've checked my bag twice this morning," EJ informed him with an eye roll as if to say silently, what can you do, Moms.
"Good," he ruffled his hair, dropping down next to him, pulling Bella onto his knee, enjoying her surprised laughter.
"You'll be good for Alice and Jasper," Edward warned EJ gently, giving his shoulder a soft, encouraging squeeze. "I'll miss you, Kid," he kissed his forehead, "now go, have fun," he released him.
His heart warmed as EJ darted off; his eyebrow rose as EJ turned around and ran back to them, tossing his arms around Bella for another long hug. "Have fun," she chuckled, waving goodbye as he finally climbed into Jasper's car after Tanner.
"Ready love?" Edward asked, lacing an arm around her middle, "our plane awaits."
"Are you finally going to tell me where we're going?" She inquired, leaning into him as he steered her towards his favorite vehicle; the one that brought out his entitled, rich boy thrills. A sleek ride worth every penny of its six-digit price tag.
"Nope," he chuckled, looking younger with every laugh she seemed to pull out of him.
The flight was long, with quick stops in New York and London to re-fuel.
"Emerson," he greeted a muscular, good-looking man fondly as they stepped onto the tarmac and shaking his hand. "It's good to see you, how's the family?"
"Wonderful, Mr. Cullen. Everything has been arranged. Are you ready for a meal or would you rather have something waiting for you at the Villa?"
His eyes swept over his wife. She had circles under her eyes and appeared to be jetlagged and exhausted from the past week as she had helped get ready for their reception party, "the Villa please, Emerson."
He tucked Bella into his side as the car winded out of the city and into the countryside. The rolling hills had neatly planted grape vines and olive trees, the sun sat on the edge of the horizon painting the sky with vibrant pinks and purples.
He gently squeezed Bella's hand as he helped her out of the car. "Welcome to Tuscany. We're currently in the Chianti hillside, nestled between Florence, Pisa, and Siena," he murmured, watching her face lit up with delight. "Our home features pretty much everything, love. A private pool, a lovely patio, media room, Emerson has arranged the staff."
"Staff?" She asked softly, causing him to smirk.
He wrapped an arm around her waist as he steered her towards the house. "Yes, I hired a chef who's a friend of mine and his wife to help with the housekeeping, while Emerson will being running our guard detail."
"Right," she nodded, taking in the sizeable, Tuscan styled home. It felt warm and inviting, the walls were aged, as if they had been there forever as a part of the landscape.
The inside was elegant and yet still managed to be rustic. Aroma of dinner in the air had her stomach growling. "C'mon," Edward laced their fingers and led her through the house, giving her the briefest of brief tours as he pulled her towards the kitchen.
A large smiling man greeted them merrily, as a younger, thinner woman passed them both a glass of red wine, "Dinner will be with you shortly," the man assured them, barely glancing away from the stove.
"Whatever it is, it smells amazing," Bella praised, giving Edward a smile as he took a sip of his wine.
"Isabella, this is our chef, Carlo and his wife, Mia. They'll be looking after us this week." He kissed his wife's temple. "Carlo, Mia, this is my wife, Bella." He introduced everyone as he reached for a slice of bread.
Mia swatted at his hand as he snatched up a piece of fresh bread. Bella shook her head fondly. It was immediately obvious to her the friendship between the three. He smirked as Mia sighed dramatically as he tore off a piece and popped the warm bit into his mouth.
"And a pleasure it is to meet you, Miss Bella," Mia spoke kindly, giving her hand a shake before going back to wiping down the counters, cleaning up the last of the pots and pans as her husband finished the meal. Placing it before Bella and Edward, she gave them a small nod goodnight as she carried a tray after Carlo, as they retreated to their room.
Edward watched Bella fondly as she indulged in the Tuscan meal, happiness seemed to radiate around her. He couldn't help but be enthralled in her innocence, her wonder; she possessed a purity his world had yet to tarnish.
He shook his head, turning his thoughts away from the dark path in which they were headed.
She moaned softly as she chewed. A slow smirk settled across his lips as he wondered how he had gone from swearing off commitment forever to being enchanted by his young wife.
She wiped at her mouth, and his heart swelled. He felt fucking amazing as her smile settled on him, "Oh, Edward, this ... you're too much," she murmured with a soft laugh, finishing off her glass of wine.
As her sparkling brown gaze met his, he made a mental vow for the next few days to forget the world, his so-called responsibilities, and just focus on her. It was their honeymoon after all.
The days passed quickly.
Lazy mornings spent sipping coffee and talking on the patio over breakfast, driving into the nearby cities to shop. He watched as she spent not quite ten minutes picking out a gown, and three hours selecting a handful of books.
Afternoons spent lounging by the pool, others wine tasting or touring museums. They visited local hot spots, and there was the Friday afternoon they mixed both wine tasting, and a museum. That felt like an episode out of Drunk History. They traded tipsy rambles as they strolled the history museums arm and arm, dazzled by each other's words.
Excellent food and early evenings sightseeing.
In the morning, in the afternoon, under the stars in the orchard, the car, the bedroom, the pool.
"You look lovely," he placed his hand on her back, stroking the smooth fabric as he pulled her close for an impromptu kiss. His fingers played with her zipper. He let out a slow, reluctant sigh, "Jasper's waiting in the car." He murmured against her temple, he placed a chaste kiss there before pulling away.
She smoothed his tie, "we better get a move on handsome," she flirted as he curled an arm around her waist and showed her to the car.
Jasper stubbed out his joint as they approached, "it's good to see you." Bella smiled, giving her brother-in-law a half hug as Emerson moved into the driver seat.
Jasper flashed her a charming smirk, his eyes bright and relaxed, "and you as well, Bella, the Tuscan sun agrees with you." He complimented, opening her car door for her before moving to the front passenger seat.
Bella laced her fingers through Edward's, her gaze settled on the landscape that passed them by as they drove into town. She couldn't resist inquiring about EJ, her heart giving a soft pang of longing as she thought of her green-eyed boy back at home.
"He's having a blast. EJ and Tanner did get into a bit of trouble the other day over excluding Madaline from their play, but Alice sorted them right out. I assure you, he's well." Jasper chuckled as he climbed out.
Jasper greeted Alonzo first before slipping into the booth. Their relationship at best, strained, neither overly fond of the other.
"Alonzo," Edward greeted his Godfather with a thin smile, their hands clasping together in a friendly but firm handshake.
He allowed himself to be pulled in for a brief hug, "Edward my favorite, Godson." He gritted his teeth as Alonzo squeezed his shoulder.
"My wife, Isabella, Alonzo. Alonzo is a cousin of my father's," he explained and added, "and he's also my Godfather." Her lips quirked, as her eyes lit up with a twinkle. He shook his head quieting whatever Mafia or Godfather reference that had sprung to her mind.
Bella spent most of the meal quietly, in between bouts of soft laughter, as Alonzo entertained them with stories of her husband's youth and the mischief he had caused.
"Wait, you told their headmaster they were brothers from different mothers so they'd be allowed to room together? Did Carlisle ever find out?" She asked, her eyes jumping from each of the three men that surrounded her.
"He did indeed," his deep rich laughter reminded her of Emmett's. "I would do anything for these two boys; they're the sons I always dreamed of having."
Bella put her wine glass down and yawned behind her hand as the clock chimed one. "I'll call for Emerson," Edward spoke, motioning him over to their table. "Prepare the car," he ordered dismissively as he stood and collected Bella's purse and shrug.
"Of course, Boss."
He walked Bella out of the restaurant, massaging her shoulders as he spoke, knowing his next words would fill her with disappointment, "I'll be a while more, Alonzo wants to discuss business."
She shot him a questioning look as her smile dimmed, "He's in full support of me legitimizing my businesses dealings. He understands the world's changing. I'll be late. Cigars and whiskey, business coupled with fond reminiscing, leads to a long night." He brushed the hair out of her eyes, "get some sleep, Carlo's making our favorite brunch before we leave for the airport."
"Night," she kissed him softly. He could almost taste her melancholy as she pulled away from him and slipped into the car. He frowned as he watched her disappear down the road before heading back inside.
Jasper sat in a quiet booth off in the corner with Caterina, a lazy smile stretched across his face as he sipped the hard liquor before him and entertained his old high school flame.
The beautiful girl, a friend from his teenage years, reminded him of his distaste towards Alonzo, a man he had once held a great fondness for.
"Let's carry this conversation upstairs," Alonzo said with a wave of his hand as he pulled out a cigar and passed it to Edward.
He followed him up to his office and out onto the patio. He was quiet as they both lit up their cigars. He watched the older man inhale a puff of smoke before exhaling it slowly. He turned his eyes back to his glass as he waited for Alonzo to break the silence they had fallen into on the way upstairs. "In three hundred and sixty-five days, I'm walking away," he revealed causing Edward to look up sharply from his whiskey.
"I'm getting too old for this life," Alonzo stated as he looked up at the stars, "the stress, the headache, the heartache. I'm afraid if I keep going, I'm going to spend the rest of my days in a cell, not with Cat." He explained as he let out a sigh. "Don't give me that look, Edward. I know how you feel about the relationship I have with Cat, it's fucking twisted I know, but it is what it is. I adopted her to save her ... fourteen was too young for what your father had in store for her."
Edward bit off his retort before it could leave his mouth as shame slugged him in the gut. He had never had to put a face to his father's trafficking. "I've never been one to explain myself to anyone, and I'm not going to start now but out of our kinship. I'll say this, it was never supposed to become what it has." Edward took a long pull from his glass as Alonzo turned the conversation back to business, "one year, that gives you time to clean up the messes that surround you."
Edward brow wrinkled for a moment before his eyes widened with realization, "that's right." Edward started to shake his head. Alonzo laughed, "I know you've gone legit boy, cleaning your hands of all the filth of your family name." He unlaced his tie. "But, I've always been good at seeing the big picture."
"Big picture?" Edward finally spoke.
"You wield more power, more control than your father, my father, or I ever did, not that many see it. You're smart, a puppet master. You don't bother dirtying your hands, but you do control the dirt." Edward couldn't help the twitch of his lips. "I'm in favor of how you run things so I'd like to hear your proposal on who I should prepare. It has to be someone who enjoys playing in the mud pit."
Edward rubbed his forehead. Alonzo's multiple revelations were sending his mind into overdrive, "I'll send a name in a few weeks." He agreed, someone trustworthy, someone he could easily manage. "About my messes, do you know anything?"
Alonzo poured himself a glass of water, "I know you've made more than a few people displeased with some of your decisions over the years. Be that with outright refusals, cutting ties or simply telling a certain cartel to go fuck themselves after your son's premature birth."
Edward rolled his eyes at the reminder of his dark temper, "Yes but no one has moved to end my life, outside of that one, low-level gangbanger a few months back who shot Jasper in the leg. That was retaliation. Whoever's behind this is enjoying fucking with my life, my family. This isn't business."
"Exactly, it's personal and if it's personal..." He trailed off giving Edward an amused look.
"It's emotional, and sooner or later, he'll make a mistake I can pin on him," Edward grunted impatiently, annoyance coloring his tone. "I'm also now aware he has one of my guys, someone close to me working for him, giving him information he shouldn't have. It's a fucking nuisance, and my goddamn hands are tied until I have proof. I don't need to ignite a goddamn war over this shit."
Alonzo nodded approvingly. "Smart; keep a steady head."
"I don't understand his fucking motivates," he grunted polishing off the glass and standing with a stretch. "Why now, what for, what the fuck does he want out of this?" He spoke the questions aloud not really expecting to get any answers, just venting his frustrations.
"Aro's always wanted everything you've ever had and that shit's been brewing ever since you two were toddlers." Alonzo chuckled. "But he feels that you're turning back against your family, that you're becoming weak, soft in your ways."
He rubbed his temple, "fuck."
"So my question is, what are you going to do about it?"
Edward took another drag from his cigar, feeling some of the tension lift. "I think it's time to start expanding my influence." He let the silence settle over them as he finished his smoke. He glanced at his watch. "It's late; I need to return to my wife. I"ll call you next week, Al." He excused himself, passing him a check before heading back downstairs.
Jasper followed him out, and they didn't speak as the cab driver drove them back to the villa. He tossed a couple hundred Euros in the front seat before sliding out.
"Aro," they both spoke the name as they looked at each other, "fucking, Aro." Edward shook his head.
"This shit is about to get fucking ugly," Jasper rasped. "Are you sure?" He asked as they sat on the front steps of the house. "Cat only told me that Aro is upset that Al favors you for the takeover when he retires."
"I suspected him, after the conversation I had with him a few days after Ryan's burned. But without proof," he shrugged, "followed by all the shit with Bella kind of threw me off. Emmett informed me of the rumors of Aro possibly starting up a new escort service a few weeks ago, but I didn't give it much pause because he doesn't have that kind of collateral at the moment, not after buying silence last year." They traded knowing looked, "but then our tribute truck was hit."
Jasper shook his head, "so, what are we going to do?"
"I'm done being fucked with; I'm going to distract him by sending some boys into Chicago. It's time to change the game," Edward said leading him into the kitchen to start the coffee pot.
They spoke quietly throughout the night forming a plan.
Bella kissed his cheek softly, "You didn't come to bed," she pouted, as he shut his laptop and pulled her into his lap.
"Sorry, Jasper and I were discussing the possibility of a new business venture and in our excitement lost track of time."
"Oh," she smiled, glancing at Jasper who was scooping up a pile of papers, as she poured herself a cup of juice.
Jasper winked at her and spoke lightly, "nothing gets a rich boy more excited than thinking of new ways to expand his wealth, sweetheart."
She rose an eyebrow and shot Edward a flirtatious look, "nothing, huh?"
Edward rolled his eyes and spoke bluntly, loving how her face flushed bright red. "Sex, beautiful woman being the exception, Love." He kissed her cheek as he sat the breakfast Carlo and Mia had made in front of her. "I'm supposed to tell you Mia sent you a friend request, and she' can't wait to see you again this winter."
"Oh, they already left for her Grans," she sighed, and both Jasper and Edward traded amused looks. "I'll message her goodbye later then."
"Emerson is loading our luggage, we'll leave after breakfast." Bella ate quickly catching Edward glancing at his watch a few times as Jasper, and he spoke in hushed tones. She pulled her hair up and left a note on the fridge for Carlo and Mia. She then rinsed their plates before following Edward out to the car.
The flight back home was quiet as both Jasper and Edward fell asleep as the plane settled after takeoff.
Hey! Thank ya'll for your patience and I apologize for the delay. When I hit the last few months of my pregnancy, I couldn't stand or sit without pain, so I avoided my computer desk and slept a lot. Oliver entered the world the first weekend of December and it has taken the last few months to adjust to having a sweet little boy in the mix, plus GS Cookie Season. I also don't think anyone wanted to read a chapter dedicated to how adorable I believe my little man is. ;)
As always a big thank you to my Beta, Sunflower Fran.
I hope everyone is well, thank you for reading and please leave a Review!
Hugs - Emily