Chapter 1, revised
I do not own Twilight
All I wanted was five minutes of peace to sort through my notes and get everything prepared for the huge study session I was planning for tomorrow. I had a quiz on Monday, already, in microbiology and it was all slide work. Unfortunately a certain blonde named Jasper Whitlock had used up all the ink in my printer downloading pictures of him and his new girlfriend from Facebook so he could pin them up over his bed liked the whipped piece of shit that he was; but he was my best friend and the closest thing I had to a brother.
"Jasper, can't you shut up for ten minutes?"
"Nope," he answered from where he was lying on his bed. He popped the 'p' and smirked at me before going back to singing along with the music he was listening to on his iPod.
"Fine then; I'm going for a run." I said throwing my pencil down on my notebook.
"Dude, that's all you do." Jasper complained sitting up and yanking an ear bud out of his head. "Run and study, study and run."
"Yeah well, we can't all be undecided majors, Jazz." I grabbed my shoes and strapped my own iPod around my bicep.
"Yeah well, we can't all be genius pre-med biology or whatever bullshit you are, Ed."
I rolled my eyes and pulled my sneakers on ignoring Jasper. He was being a real wiseass and a first class jerk lately, but I suspected that had something to do with the fact that his new girlfriend refused to put out for him.
"See you later," I called heading for the door.
"What are your plans for dinner?"
"Ok, I'll grab Quizznos or something on my way back from class. What do you want?"
"I don't care. Just don't get that ham and cheese shit you got last time. I spent all night in the bathroom after that."
"Got it, ham and cheese for you, extra sauce."
I flipped Jasper off as I walked out of the room. I headed downstairs and out the front door of the building ignoring all the eye fucking I got from every girl I passed. God I was sick of it. My destination was the park close by. I'd gone running there maybe a dozen times already since arriving on campus. It was a nice park with good up and down trails that provided a decent workout.
I switched my iPod on and started with a light jog working up to a run. I enjoyed this immensely. It was peaceful and gave me time to think to myself and go over whatever was rolling around in my head. Right now I was stressing over the quiz I had on Monday. I wasn't looking forward to it, mostly because of the slide work and because my eyestrain was coming back to haunt me with a vengeance and I would need my glasses. Damn my father and the vision problems on his side of the family. Not that eyestrain is genetic, I just know later in life glasses were going to be a permanent accessory for me.
I broke from my run when up ahead on a bench I saw a familiar figure. She looked up and waved at me with a smile. I returned the smile and waved back as I walked over to her. "Hey, Alice," I bent down and kissed her cheek in greeting.
"Hey, Jasper driving you crazy again,"
"He's your boyfriend," I commented sitting down beside her. "You should know,"
"He's your roommate," she threw back at me and pulled her cell phone from her pocket when it went off. I recognized my favorite piece of classical music.
"Since when do you like Debussy?" I asked looking at her.
"I don't, it's my best friend's tone. It's her favorite piece of music."
I peeked over her tiny shoulder at the text. 'We'll be right there. See you in a few – B'.
Alice pulled her phone away from my gaze. "Don't be so nosy," she chided. Alice was a petite 4'10'' pixie and Jasper was absolutely crazy about her. I could see why. She was bubbly, and fun, and energetic, and spontaneous – but you never mess with her. A pixie's vengeance was lethal.
"So what are you and your BFF up to today?"
"Lunch," Alice answered simply. "I haven't seen her in almost a week."
"Does she go to the college?"
"Yeah, but she's only taking two classes right now. She's got her hands full with other things."
"Hey," a melodic voice called to us. I looked up to see where it came from and my eyes landed on a 5'4'' brunette with chocolate eyes and my heart stopped beating.
Bella stopped and stared at me as well, shock only too clear on her face. My heart picked up again and I felt a wide grin split my face as I stood up to greet her. She walked over looking cautious and scared and I noticed she was pushing a baby carriage. I felt my brows furrow in confusion, but Bella approached Alice and me then and remained standing.
"Bella," I breathed her name, the smile still on my face. She finally returned it and walked into my arms to let me hug her. Alice look confused.
"How do you two know each other?"
"We went to high school together," Bella explained, "We've known each other forever."
"Yeah, except you disappeared senior year without any reason, and now here you are almost a year later." I sat back down and Bella followed suite reaching out to take the handle of the carriage and push it back and forth gently. "Baby sitting still?"
"If you want to call it that,"
"Um…I'm gonna run and find a bathroom really quick before we go. You two go ahead and catch up." Alice said as she stood.
A look of fear flew across Bella's face and she called out for Alice to wait but the she was gone. Bella turned back to me catching the confused look on my face. "I just…I hate when she does that." She said quietly.
"Yeah, I know. So what happened to you? I mean, you were in school for the first few weeks and then, poof, you were gone."
"It's a long story." Bella breathed, her tone very guarded.
This wasn't the same Bella Swan I grew up with. This wasn't the same girl who would push me around my playpen and steal my crayons, and bang on my xylophone. This wasn't the girl who started ninety percent of the water balloon fights between us in middle school, and made up crazy stories to my parents as a distraction so I could slip in the back door when I was drunker than anything in high school.
This was a much more mature Bella, a grown up Bella. Not the crazy party girl I once made out with after too many shots during a game of spin the bottle our sophomore year. I realized immediately that something radical had changed her from the fun-loving, out-going girl I had grown up with.
"You look beautiful," I complimented her. And she did, she'd grown out her locks to where they fell past her collarbone, straight but just a touch wavy. She was wearing her usual skinny jeans and a t-shirt but she had traded her Chucks in for more comfortable and practical flats, and her makeup wasn't as smoky. She was still beautiful to me.
"What have you been up to? Alice said you're taking some night courses at the university."
"Yeah, I'm studying photography."
I felt my eyebrows rise in fascination. "Really? Good for you,"
"Are you pre-med?" Bella asked glancing at the carriage for a moment and continued to rock it back and forth gently.
"Yup, biology and chemistry majors,"
"Hey," I defended myself, "I have a full ride and my parents aren't complaining."
"Well, they wouldn't be. They don't have to pay for anything." Bella smirked in the playful teasing way she always had whenever we bantered like this. "Show off," she muttered again. "Are you still playing piano?"
"Yeah, "I nodded and stretched my arm a little.
"Write anything good lately?"
"Not really, I haven't been that inspired. But now that you're back in my life maybe something will come to me."
Bella's face flushed a light scarlet the way it always did when I sweet-talked her like that. It was one of the most endearing things about her. "Which brings me back to my first question," I recalled continuing with the conversation, leaving it opened ended so she would feel comfortable to share if she desired.
I'll admit when she left without so much as a goodbye my world went black. I must have cried myself to sleep for a month. I called, texted, and emailed every day begging for a response, but I never got one. Eventually though, I had to suck it up and realize that my best friend wasn't coming home.
It had messed me up inside but both of my parents had been there for me and they helped me through it. Bella leaving the way she had, had broken my heart. But she was back now, and although this reunion felt bittersweet I was still the happiest man in the world.
"Did Charlie finally kick you out for being a juvenile delinquent?" I teased.
"You're half right. He did kick me out." I felt my jaw drop. "But I suppose juvenile delinquency falls in there somewhere." Bella added looking to the baby carriage and back to me.
"Where did you go?"
"Back to Phoenix, to my mom,"
"Why did your father kick you out?" I glanced at the carriage and I heard a soft murmuring inside. Bella turned it around and reached inside pulling out a bundle of blue blankets and placed it in her lap. I always adored that she was so good with kids and that she babysat for practically everyone in Forks.
"Didn't your father ever tell you?" she asked as she carefully cradled the bundle.
"Tell me what?"
The, little bundle in her arms cooed just then yawning and opening its eyes. I assumed from the blue that it was boy, but what I hadn't assumed was that maybe Bella wasn't really sitting. I looked down to the baby resting in her arms.
"I'm a mother, Edward."
My brain stopped. All I could do was stare down into the chocolate eyes of the baby in Bella's arms. Those were her eyes. I would know them anywhere. No one else I'd known had eyes like melted milk and dark chocolate mixed together into a perfect, rich hue.
"Please say something." And I felt Bella's hand on my knee.
"I feel like I've just been hit by a freight train."
"I didn't mean to drop the bomb on you like that, but honestly there was no…could you think of a better way?"
I looked up at her. She was smiling but it was uneasy, strained. I laid my hand over hers. "Sorry, I just never expected something like this to happen to you."
"Well, it did. And I'm actually really happy."
"Then I'm happy for you. I just…" I looked down to the little plump bundle. "How old is he?"
"Almost five months."
I touched the little blue cap on his head and idly wondered what color his hair was. He didn't look like Bella. I was instantly filled with hatred for the fucker who had done this to her. But I looked up at Bella and she was smiling at me as she watched me.
"Would you like to hold him?" she offered.
He had fallen right back asleep and looked so peaceful. I'd never held a baby before. I didn't want to disturb him, but something inside was telling me to do it. More so that I wanted to hold him. Bella placed him gently in my arms and adjusted him so his head was supported on my forearm. He was as beautiful as his mother, with the same creamy skin touched by the lightest rose blush.
"He's sturdy. What's his name?"
I chuckled and Bella caught it. "I know, it's your middle name."
"Yeah, were you thinking of me when you named him?" I teased.
Bella sighed but didn't respond. I watched her expression, watched the careful emotion she tried to hide, but I caught it. I don't think she meant for me to see that. What would she have to hide?
"I can't believe Carlisle and Esme never told you."
"Yeah, I'm going to tear him a new one for that. I mean, I went though real hell when you left, Bella. I missed you so much. I cried myself to sleep some nights." I immediately regretted the words as soon as they left my mouth. The pain that flashed across her face was enough to tear my heart in two. "I'm sorry," I reach over laying my hand on her knee.
"It's ok, I deserve that. I really shouldn't have left the way I did. I'm sure you're not the only one who dealt with it that way."
No, I wasn't, but everyone eventually moved on…and I never did. I've thought about you every day since you left."
"Oh, Ed…" Bella leaned over and kissed my cheek.
"Thanks," I took a breath and let it out slowly. I gazed back down at Anthony. He was awake now and staring up at me. "Hey," I said quietly to him. He smiled. "He's a real flirt,"
"Yeah, just like his fa-" Bella stopped midsentence and started coughing lightly. "Never mind," she waved it off. I glanced at her to make sure she was ok before I placed Anthony back in her arms.
"I'm going to finish my run. Can I call you? I'd like to see you again."
"Yeah, there's a notepad in the bottom basket can you grab it?" I bent down and grabbed said pad and a pen. I wrote down the numbers Bella dictated to me and stuffed the paper in my pocket.
"I'll call you next week," I promised.
"I'll be counting the minutes,"
I smiled genuinely and leaned down to place a kiss on her forehead and carefully ran my finger down Anthony's arm. His little fingers wrapped around it and wouldn't let go. "He's strong, too."
"More than he knows." Bella carefully pulled my finger free as Anthony yawned hugely in her arms and started drifting back to sleep.
"Congratulations, you're a perfect mother." Bella chuckled and dropped her eyes to her son to trace his face for a moment. "I'll see you next week," And smiled at her one last time before taking off at a light jog. I turned to wave and she waved back from her position on the bench, but the careful expression was back on her face. The new, different Bella, the mature, parent Bella. This was going to take some getting used to.
But she was back and that was all that mattered. When I finished my run I was getting in the car and going home. I had earned the right to not only give my parents a piece of my mind but to tell them off as well. And that was exactly what I was going to do.