Title: Ropin' A Sitter
Word Count: 9311
Prompts used: 2 songs and 2 pictures
EPOV: Blake Shelton - She Wouldn't Be Gone.
BPOV: Jana Kramer - "Why Ya Wanna.
Pictures: 15 and 26
Summary: Edward Swan needs a new sitter for his son Charlie. Miss Tanya at the rodeo promises to rustle up someone—and send them his way. At his ranch, he is busy trying to get things done, when in walks the long sexy legs of—Doc Cullen's daughter? Now what will he do? AH/M
Disclaimer: All the Twilight stuff belongs to Stephenie Meyer. No copyright infringement is intended.
"Next up for the three year old division of mutton busting is Charlie Swan. This is Charlie's first time competing in the event. He will be on Blue. All the sheep are provided to the Cheney Family Rodeo by Whitlock Farms."
The crowd claps and I keep my eyes firmly on my son. My buddy Ben is helping him rope up so I could be inside the arena when he is out of the chute. The gate opens and I clap and cheer him on. I'm right there as Blue bounces him off just before the buzzer sounds. I know he just missed the eight second ride he needed, but I am so proud of my little man.
"Nice time, young man. You gave it a good run and pulled out a nice time of six point four-two seconds," the announcer says.
"Well done, Charlie," I say picking him up.
"Did you see me, Dad?" I nod my head at him
"I did, son. You did great." I walk out of the arena with him walking beside me.
"Charlie has slid into second place in his division. That was a nice ride there, young man," the announcer states.
I rub Charlie's head, giving him a smile as we watch the others taking their rides. I'm pleased that Charlie keeps his second place; I know he will be really proud of the red ribbon he will get.
"We have a little time before I am up, what would like to watch?"
"The horses and ropes, chasin' little cows."
I chuckle, nodding my head and taking him over to where the team ropes are already competing. I pick Charlie up, placing him on the fence rung and standing behind him.
"Next up is Jasper Whitlock and Isabella Cullen," the announcer says.
The crowd cheers. I watch them both nod readiness to the chute worker. As soon as the gate snaps open, the calf comes barreling out. Isabella is fast and ropes the horns before they are more than twelve feet out of the chute. I watch as Jasper easily ropes the back feet. The judges drop their flags and the crowd goes wild.
"Well, ladies and gentlemen, the timer says Cullen and Whitlock just roped that calf in five point six four seconds. That is a good enough score to put them in the lead."
I clap along with the rest of the crowd. We watch a few more of the team ropers, but none knock Cullen and Whitlock out of first. It doesn't take too long until it's time to head to the back chutes. I still have the bull riding competition; I already competed in the bareback and saddle bronc competitions. I finished second in the bareback and third in the saddle bronc categories today.
"Hi, Edward. Hey there, Charlie."
I look around and smile. "Miss Tanya." I tip my hat, as I speak to her.
"Edward, we went to school together—for the love of God drop the Miss or I'm gonna have to start bitch slapping you."
I chuckle, shaking my head. "I'm teaching my son how to speak to a lady and be a gentleman."
Tanya rolls her eyes. "How are things going?"
I shake my head at her. "Not good. I still need a sitter for Charlie," I say with a sigh.
"I may know someone; they're great with kids and are looking for a job. I'll send them over your way on Monday."
I nod my head at her. "Who is ..." I start to ask.
I'm cut off by the announcer. "The bull riding competition is about to begin. All riders report behind the chutes."
"Go on, Edward, and I'll talk to you later. Besides, I have this lovely little gentleman to keep me company until then. Shall we go and get a seat to watch daddy, Charlie?"
I chuckle as Charlie smiles up at her, nodding his head.
"Thank you, Miss Tanya," I say, as I wave, walking backwards.
I chuckle as I jog over to where I need to be.
I watch each person, as well each of the bulls they drew. When it's my turn, I do a silent prayer. As the gate opens, the bull is off. He jolts and turns one way and then the next. He is jumping and throwing his head back as his back legs kick the air behind him. I keep my grip on him, while continuing to spur him for more reaction. As the buzzer sounds, I let out a big yeehaw. Grabbing my rope, I give a tug to release my hand. I land on my feet as he bucks. I see the bull coming back my way, so I leap over the fence. The bull looks at me and snorts at me, I chuckle as he meanders his way to the exit gate.
I help a few of the other guys rope up knowing Charlie is safe with Tanya. Well this is pretty much small town life, and even with the other new comers here, everyone watches out for each other. I know Charlie is pretty much mothered by all the women around here. None were happy when Leah up a left us—moving to L.A. with her boy toy.
It wasn't because she left me—they knew Leah and I weren't getting along. We were well down the path of splitting up as it was. Hell, we hadn't had sex in almost a year. Then we went to Emmett and Rose's wedding. That night was a mistake, which I cannot bring myself to regret.
With all of the alcohol we drank that night, we ended up having drunken sex. It was a few weeks later that Leah found out she was pregnant with Charlie. She freaked out. I had known Leah for thirty years—all my life—and I had never seen her break down the way she did when she took that test and it was positive.
After several fights she agreed to have the baby as long as I give her a quick divorce and allowed her to sign away all of her parental rights without making her feel guilty. Leah spent her pregnancy as a surrogate mother. I knew watching her, it was the end of us; there was no use in trying to salvage anything.
I was sad and hurt—she was my childhood sweetheart. We had been friends since we were in diapers. A couple since we turned sixteen. We split up when Leah and I were nineteen and she went to college for five years. She came back and we ended up together again. When we turned twenty-five, we were married.
Leah left me three years ago—a week after Charlie was born. So here I am thirty-four with a three year old, and no other women in my sights. I'm pretty much happy with it being just me and Charlie—he is my whole world, and I think he always will be.
After we're all done with the bull riding event, I'm in first place. I head around the arena looking for Tanya and Charlie. I look around but don't see them near the fence. I take a quick look around the different stalls and trailers—I know sometimes they take a gander at the horses.
"Belts come and get some belts," I hear my son say loudly. I chuckle and I follow the sounds. I see him standing with the doc's daughter.
"Charlie, what are you doing over here? Hop on down now. Ya don't wanna cause Miss Cullen here no problems," I say looking at Miss Cullen.
I try hard not to drool at the sight of her. Every darn time I see her she seems more beautiful. One thing is for certain, as she ages she is turning into one sexy woman. I'm sure glad the doc's got a few guns—he's gonna need them soon—to keep the boys away from her. Right now, she only eighteen and, heck, she's even giving me impure thoughts.
"Hello, Mr. Swan, Charlie here has been helping me. Tanya had to help deal with a problem. Brace yourself, there was a serious moment around here now—you're really not gonna believe what happened."
I start to feel worried at how serious she's acting.
"Jessica has ran out of ... chili, and she doesn't know how she's gonna feed the rest of these people."
I chuckle looking around at all the food stalls around us, and then back to her as she laughs.
"Charlie was able to get some of Mrs. Stanley's famous chili before she ran out," I say as I wipe my forehead.
"Thank God for that—I was about to get really worried," she chuckles.
I watch her and can't help but smile at her. "That one there is ten dollars, sir, and handmade by me." I watch her as she talks to the customer and lets Charlie take the money as she hands over the bag with the belt inside.
"Well, Charlie, are you gonna say thank you and bye to Miss Cullen?"
Charlie looks at me and pouts but I hold out my hand for him to come to me.
"Thank you for all your help and keeping me company, Charlie. I'll see you again soon."
Charlie nods his head. "Bye, Bell."
I frown. "Charlie, now don't go and be rude ..."
"No, Mr. Swan, my friends all call me Bella. I told Charlie here that he could call me that—I'm sorry if I did something wrong by okaying that."
I close my eyes before opening them again. "No, ma'am, Miss Cullen. I apologize, I thought he was talking about the bell you have as a necklace," I say looking at the bell that sits between her breasts.
"Oh this, isn't it cute? Charlie made it for me when we were sitting here—it's the best necklace I've ever gotten."
I nod my head and tilt my hat. "Well thank you, ma'am. Come on, Charlie, it's getting late—we gotta get our stuff and head home."
Charlie gives Bella a kiss before taking my hand.
"Did you have a good day, Charlie?"
Charlie turns his head to look at me, nodding his head. "Yes, the rodeo is great."
"You're right, the rodeo is great," I say with a smile as we keep walking home along the quiet road.
Charlie and I have been up since the crack of dawn checking on the stables. I'm usually out here to help with the cleaning and the upkeep of the horse stalls, but I've had to leave it to the guys I employ part-time. Sadly, Charlie's sitter, Mrs. Cope, passed away a week ago. I still haven't found a replacement yet.
I sigh as I notice that Charlie's getting bored. I know I need to fix up my truck today so I sit him in the back before I slide under the frame.
"Hello, Mr. Swan?" I hear a sweet voice say.
I move by head and I can see a long pair of bare legs—sexy legs—clearly legs of a toned woman. As I move my head further out I see the bottom of her shorts, yeah gotta love Daisy Dukes. My eyes slowly travel up her body, and I almost gasp as her red checked shirt is tied up under the bottom of her breasts. As I move my eyes to her face, I'm slightly embarrassed, because there stands Miss Cullen looking down at me. I spring up and bang my head on the bottom of my truck.
"Oh shoot, Mr. Swan, are you all right?" I feel Bella touch my head as she kneels next to me.
I pull away from her and crawl out.
"Miss Cullen, I apologize—can I help you with something?" I ask as I stand up.
I watch as her face lights up and she smiles at me. "Tanya said you were looking for a sitter for Charlie here," she says, as she looks Charlie's way, smiling at him.
He smiles at her and puts arms out to give her a hug. I watch her hug my son and I scan her body again. I feel myself getting hard, and right now I am in my jeans and t-shirt—there's no way I can hide it, so I move in between her and Charlie, picking him up.
"Lauren!" I holler, taking him around the truck.
I place Charlie on the ground as I look at Lauren, who is the same age as Miss Cullen—but fuck, I never had a reaction to her like I have Miss Cullen. "Can you watch Charlie for a bit? Play a game with him while I speak to Miss Cullen?"
Lauren looks at me and then at Miss Cullen. "Oh, hey, Bella. Yep, I can watch Charlie. Come on, Charlie, let's go play catch." Charlie runs over to Lauren and I look back at Miss Cullen.
"Follow me," is all I say as I walk in front of her. I move inside the house and go into the kitchen and offer her a chair at the table. "Would ya like some sweet tea, Miss Cullen?"
"Thank you, yes please, Mr. Swan."
I smile lightly at her impeccable manners; of course her parents are great people. I put a glass in front of her and sit on the other side of the table.
"Miss Cullen, Charlie is my whole life—so I need to make sure the person who is watching him is able to handle everything and keep him safe. Lauren and Taylor have been good enough to come here more and help me with the stables until I could find someone. I'm looking for someone four days a week from eight to six. I'll be popping in every now and then but will be working mainly in the stables. I would also need someone to watch Charlie one weekend a month."
She nods her head the whole time I'm speaking.
"Have you watched a child before?"
"Yes, I've done some babysitting for Rose and Emmett, Kate and Garrett, and a few others—but they are the main ones."
I nod my head at her. "I'm sure that you're eighteen by now, and I know that you graduated—are you not planning on going to college?"
She shakes her head. "No, Mr. Swan, I'm happy here. There is nothing I can learn at college that I don't already know, and what I can learn—I wouldn't ever need here. I'm just a good old small town, country girl. When people asked what I wanted to be when I was older my answer has and will always be—happy. So—no, college isn't for me."
I swallow at her answer; she looks like she really means what she says. "Can you start today?" I ask, knowing that my son already likes her and she seems to be the best person right now. Her face lights up and she nods her head at me.
I hold my hand up to her. "But there is one thing; we need to talk about the dress code around here. I would like you to come to work dressed more—appropriate. I feel you're showing far too much flesh and would like you to cover yourself up more."
Bella looks down at her clothes and looks at me a little confused before nodding her head. "I have a summer dress in my bag by my bicycle."
I nod my head at her. "That would make me feel better. Thank you, Miss Cullen."
Bella looks back at me. "Mr. Swan, could—I mean would you please call me Bella? I'm too young to be called Miss Cullen all the time."
I nod my head at her knowing that she is very young—far too young for me. "That's fine, Bella, and it's Edward—all the staff call me that."
I motion for the door and watch her head out as I follow her out to get Charlie.
"Charlie? Lauren?" I call out.
Charlie comes running toward me and Lauren smiles before heading back to the stables.
"Charlie, Bella here is going to start watching you when I need to work. Is that okay?"
Charlie smiles at me, nodding his head and giving me a hug.
"Bell," Charlie shouts wiggling out of my arms. I turn and my eyes pop open seeing Bella in a brown dress that has small white dots on it—it covers her body and stops just above her knees. To my dismay, she looks even sexier than she did wearing the shorts and shirt. I roll my eyes closed, holding back my groan.
"Charlie eats lunch at one. For this week, you can choose what you do with Charlie. Over the weekend, I'll work out a plan for him for next week. I'll be around if you need me."
I walk away quickly before I can go all caveman and drag her to my bed. I tend to my horse Twilight before taking him out to the field to work with some of the other stock. After doing my checks on everything, I head back in. I need to work with Charlie's horse, a yearling we named New Moon. Going into the paddock where New Moon is, I get off Twilight and let him mosey around. As I'm walking him over to New Moon, I pull the ten foot rope from my shoulder. I clip the end to his bridle and start leading him through some paces.
After working with him for about thirty minutes, I glance up and see Charlie and Bella coming my way. I smile as I hear Charlie telling Bella about New Moon. I set him free and walk over to the fence where Bella and Charlie are standing.
"Mr. Swan, I have a question, may I speak to you privately for a moment?"
I frown, looking at Bella but nod my head. "Charlie, you stay right here and watch New Moon for me, okay?"
Charlie nods his head, but his eyes never leaves New Moon as the horse trots around the paddock with Twilight. I move about twenty feet down the fence and Bella moves to follow.
I hold up my hand, "Edward, please."
"Yes sir, Edward. I was wondering since it is really warm today if I could take Charlie out on his bike, and maybe over to my house for a swim in the pool. I haven't said anything to him just in case you didn't like the idea."
I look at her as images of her in a bikini pop into my head. I close my eyes, hoping to get the images to stop. "That sounds fine; just make sure he's not out in the sun too long. I'm paying you to watch my son not sunbathe and get your tan."
Bella nods her head. "Yes, I know that, and I won't be sunbathing—I was planning to teach your son how to swim."
I look at her and it seems as if I have brought out the angry kitten in her—fuck that turns me on even more.
I turn away from her because I feel myself losing control. "Charlie," I holler out. "Bella wants to take you out on your bike. After that she wants to take you to her house for a swim in the pool, would you like that?" Charlie's face lights up as he runs over to us.
"Please can we go, Daddy?"
I nod my head at him. "Yes, Charlie, you can go with Bella, but you mind her and do what she says."
"Okay," he says with a huge grin.
"Make sure he has a helmet on. I hope you have one too?"
Bella again nods her head before taking Charlie's hand to take him back towards the house. I watch as she turns back and looks at me over her shoulder. "Oh and, Edward ... your lunch is on the table."
Before I can think straight enough to say anything, she has walked into the house.
Bella has been working for me for a month now, and I'm still lusting after her. It's strange to me, but I have actually begun to develop feelings for her. Not understanding how this started, I'm angry with myself. I feel like a perverted, dirty old man. God help me, she is not only beautiful, but intelligent too.
Emmett has noted my bad moods and is convinced that I need a guys' night out. He finally convinced me that it's a good idea, and Rose is watching Charlie overnight for me. We head out to the pub; when we get there the place is pretty packed already.
"Beer," I say to Emmett and he nods his head.
I head for the bar to get our drinks. I turn around, looking out at the dance floor. As I'm checking to see who all is here, my eyes freeze on the back of a woman on the floor. I scan up her body as she dances and I feel myself getting hard. This is such a strange reaction for me, over the past year only Bella has caused that reaction in me—maybe I just really need to get laid.
I put down my beer as Emmett moves to stand beside me.
"Oh, has Eddie boy got his eye on someone already?"
I don't look Emmett's way but keep my focus on my prey. I give myself a little pep talk and begin to move towards her.
"Hey there, darling, would you mind if I dance with you?" I watch her freeze and turn around to face me. The grin that I had falls as I look into Bella's eyes.
"Sure, I'll dance with you, Edward." Bella smiles at me as she holds out her hand for me to take. I swallow before taking her hand.
"Aren't you a little young to be in here?"
Bella laughs, shaking her head. "If I'm too young then you must be too old, but I'd say we're both just the right age."
Bella looks at me and frowns. "Come on, Edward, you asked me to dance with you, and now you feel very stiff."
You have no idea how stiff I am. "It's been a while."
Again, Bella laughs. "Dancing is like riding a bike, once you learn it, it sticks with you. I think this song is too slow for you. How about we get them to kick things up?"
I watch as Bella turns her head and whistles over to the band, the lead singer looks at her, and she pumps her thumb in the air a couple of times.
"Guys, let take this up to a faster beat, and show these nice folks how us cowboys and girls really dance."
The band nods their heads and start with a faster beat song. Bella stands next to me and I shake my head and chuckle but begin dancing long with her. It only takes a few seconds before I start spinning her around; as she laughs, I can't stop the smile that comes over my face. As the song comes to an end, I pull her toward me and hold her against my chest. I have to fight every part of me that so desperately wants to kiss her. I know if I did that, at the end of the day, it will be my heart that would be broken. I can't do that again, there is no way I want that pain again.
"Have a nice night, Bella." I don't look at her; I just walk back to Emmett.
"It looks like you had fun with little Bella there."
I growl at him. "I didn't know it was her. If I'd known, there's no way I'd have asked her to dance with me. For the record, I know she's a fucking kid—so save your breath."
Emmett holds up his hands, looking at me in shock. "No, Edward, she's—I was just saying that you had fun with her. I haven't seen you look that cheerful in God knows how long. Little Bella may be young in age but, by fuck, she's no kid—shit, she is one hell of a T-I-W-L-T-F-B-R-W-R-M-B-O-F-I!"
I look at him strangely. "What?"
"Man, she's a: Teen I would like to fuck but Rose would rip my balls off for it!"
I look at him, but as his face is so serious, I can't help but laugh. "You better hope the Doc doesn't hear you talk about her like that or he'll shoot your ass."
"So, do you think Bella's a T-I-T-F?"
I look at him, shaking my head; I stop and grip my hair. "I don't know, Emmett, but I can't go down that road. She's a teenager who hasn't chosen her path. What happens in a year when she's bored with my old ass? Or sick of playing mom to Charlie? She'll be able to walk away like I was nothing, leaving me broken and what about Charlie—what the hell would that do to him. I'm not going down that road—not for her—not for anyone."
Emmett shakes his head and starts to drink his beer again. I can't stop myself from watching Bella as she flirts and dances with two guys that are in the group she's with.
"See, Emmett," I say, turning my head away from her. "Bella's a fucking tease, and don't even get me started on how she looks after Charlie."
Emmett looks at me. "I thought you said she did a good job?"
I shake my head at him. "Fuck, no! Bella takes Charlie to her parents' home so she can pretend to teach him to swim when she's really sunbathing. Then there's her clothes—the girl, doesn't leave much to the imagination—she flirts with me non-stop. The looks, the smiles, the batting of her eyes—fuck the girl can't take the hint that I am not interested in her."
I look at Emmett and see his eyes widening as he looks behind me. I turn around to see Bella standing there. I know by the look on her face that she heard what I said.
"I brought you both a drink. It's a cocktail that I made up—I'll just leave it here for you." Bella quickly puts down the glasses and almost runs away from us.
I sigh, rubbing my face.
"Well, I think you may have just given her a big clue."
I roll my eyes at him and look around for Bella. I notice that she's back with the friends that she's been with all night. As I look closer, I notice that they're all paired off, except her. The two guys I saw her dance with are kissing each other. I shake my head knowing that what she heard was for the best—for me. Hopefully now she'll stop looking so damn sexy whenever she's near me. At the end of the night, Emmett drops me off before heading home. I lay in bed thinking about the dance that I had with her.
The weekend has come and gone; Bella and Charlie have gone out on Bella's horse to a nearby meadow for a picnic. I have worked all day on my farm, and now I'm heading for the shower. It's a great chance for me to have a nice long shower without worrying about Charlie. I feel the hot water running down my back, and my mind goes to Bella dancing with me.
I try to shake it out, but I end up having the image of Bella removing her clothes in my head. My cock springs to life and as she seductively twirls as her clothes come off. My right hand moves to the velvety skin of my hard shaft. As Bella moves erotically, my hand pulls and slides along my cock. As I continue to stroke myself, I watch the way she moves for me. I feel the tightening in my stomach and the tingling starts in my legs. As I stroke with my right hand, and caress my balls with my left, I moan out her name as my release shudders through my body.
I hear a gasp and open my eyes. Look out the glass shower door, I see Bella and her face goes red. "I—I'm sorry. I'll just be go help Charlie—um—go back to whatever you were doing." Bella closes her eyes and slaps her hand over her face as she walks back out of the room, closing the door behind her.
I grab the towel and start drying off. All I can do is hope beyond all hope that she didn't hear me scream her name as I came. I dress quickly and head downstairs, finding Bella in the kitchen.
"Hey, I thought I would make some dinner for you. Charlie fell asleep—he's pretty tired—I changed him into his pajamas and he's in his bed."
I watch her walk around my kitchen, talking to me as she's throwing things into a pan.
"Spaghetti and meatballs sound good?"
I nod my head at her and she smiles at me, biting her lip. It seems to take her no time to make dinner. She sits across from me as we eat. It's not until dinner is over that I realize I just more or less had a date with Bella—I frown, putting down my fork.
"Bella, look, you're a lovely girl but we can't happen. We won't happen. You're just a kid. You need to think about yourself. I'm a grown-up—I have so much more to think about than if my ass looks big in a pair of shorts." I try not to frown at how much of an ass I'm being, but I can't do this dance with her.
"You know what, I've taken your mood swings since I started to work for you, and it's been two months now. If you keep doing this shit to me then I won't come back. As much as I love Charlie and love spending time with him—I won't allow you to treat me like I'm something to step on. You better change the way you've been treating me because it's unfair." Bella places her plate in the sink and walks out of the door.
The next month seems to go really fast, and I am able to hold my tongue when Bella is around. It still pisses me off that the more time I spend with her and get to know her, the stronger my feelings become for her. I never felt what I feel for her—not even with Leah. It scares me more because she's sixteen years younger than me. I know that when she walks away from me, I won't be able to move on. Being an ass and pushing her away is the only way I can keep my heart safe—it's what I need to do.
I look out the window and see Bella riding up. I frown, seeing her face—she's been crying.
"Bella, is everything all right?"
Bella looks at me and starts to cry, shaking her head.
"Bella, what the hell happened?" I ask worriedly.
"Mr. Darcy is dead."
I look at her and my heart hurts seeing her so upset. I pull her towards me in a hug; as I hold her, I don't want to let her go. I start to feel angry with myself and release Bella a little, shaking my head.
"You're crying over an old horse?"
She glares at me. "That horse has been a part of this town for years. He was the first horse I ever rode."
I let out a sigh as I start to hate myself. "Look, you've got to pull yourself together. Charlie will be down in a few minutes. The last thing he needs to see is you crying all over the place."
Bella nods her head and walks away from me. "I'll go and clean myself up."
I watch her walk away from me and all I want to do is comfort her. I repeat to myself that this is for the best for me and Charlie.
The day goes by quickly and I get calls from nearly everyone telling me about Mr. Darcy passing away. Bella is thankfully able to hold it together until she puts Charlie to bed. I walk in the kitchen and hear her crying again. Every part of my body wants to move to her—hold her and comfort her until she's able to stop. I know that I can't, so I stay in the background just watching her.
When Bella's done with the cleaning up, she turns and jumps a little, seeing me standing in the doorway.
"Sorry—I didn't see you there." Bella takes a deep breath calming herself.
"See you on Thursday unless you're attending Town Fest?"
I nod my head at Bella. "Yes, Charlie and I will be there, but I'm not sure if we'll see you. There are a lot of people that we haven't seen in a bit that I wanted to talk to."
Bella nods her head at me. "Okay, Thursday it is."
Bella walks past me and I grip the doorway to stop myself from pulling her towards me.
The next day, I smile as Charlie chooses to dress the same way I am, including the boots and hat. We talk as we walk along the road heading into town.
"Can I sit with Bella?"
I look at him, shaking my head. "Sorry, son, but I'm not sure we'll have time for you to sit with Bella."
I feel my heart sink as Charlie looks sad about not seeing her. It doesn't take us long to get into town.
"Charlie, make sure you stay close to me all right, buddy?"
Charlie looks up at me and smiles. "Okay, Daddy."
We've only been here an hour and I've already hid five times from Bella. In doing so, I ended up in Angela's trap. Angela just happens to be the biggest, man-eater our town has. No man between sixteen and sixty is safe from her.
"Well, hello there, Eddie. You seem really happy to see me."
I force down the sick feeling she gives me as she eyes my crotch. "Nope, that's just my gun," I say moving away.
Angela licks her lips. "You can call it whatever you want, sexy, and I have a holster you can stick your gun into."
I close my eyes as I cover Charlie's ears. "Bye," I say before picking Charlie up a running away from Angela.
After a bit, I'm able to keep hiding from both Bella and Angela. Charlie and I are eating lunch when Emmett walks over to us.
"Edward, I hate to ask you—knowing that you're spending time with Charlie. But I need some help—just for an hour tops?"
I pull at my hair, looking at Charlie, and see Bella walking in, so I motion for her. "Bella, could you watch Charlie for an hour, please?"
She looks at me then Charlie and nods her head.
Without thinking, I squeeze and rub her arm. "Thank you."
"Charlie, I need to help Emmett out for a bit, but Bella said she'll sit with you, okay?"
Charlie looks up from his ice cream and gives me a muffled okay before going back to his dessert.
It takes an hour and a half for me to help Emmett. When we arrive back in town, I frown, seeing most people seem to be on edge.
I walk over to where I see Bella and Charlie sitting. I frown, seeing that Bella is in a short t-shirt and jean shorts that barely cover her ass. I look around, seeing other guys looking at her way to closely—closer than they should be. I fucking hate it. I hate the feeling of wanting to fight for her—it will only cause her to laugh in my face.
"Bella," I yell.
Bella looks at me and jumps up.
"I thought we had a talk about your dressing like this in front of Charlie?"
Bella goes to talk but I cut her off.
"I don't want him to think this is appropriate attire for a girl."
Bella holds up her hand. "I'm done," is all she says before moving over to Charlie and giving him a hug. "My father needs to talk to you—there was an accident."
My eyes widen as I look at Charlie, seeing he has a few scrapes on him. I move to him and pick him up. "What happened? I thought you were watching him?" I yell looking back at Bella.
"Ah, Edward, you're back." I turn and see Carlisle, the town doctor and Bella's father, coming my way.
"Charlie's fine, just a few scrapes. Bella had him pretty much covered, so she got the worse of it."
I turn to look at Bella, who is picking up her dress that she was wearing when I left. I notice it has a lot of rips in it. My eyes go to Bella, and I notice a very large bruise and a few cuts on different parts of her body.
I look back to Carlisle. "What happened?"
Carlisle sits down and pats the chair next to him for me to sit.
"We're not sure of everything. The animals were being transferred from the Whitlock's to the Banner's. They were passing through town—and well, you know how folks like to watch?"
I nod my head.
"Charlie and Bell were over by the park as they came through. Not sure from where, but a gun was fired. It spooked a horse and some other animals. I still don't know why but they bolted, heading straight for Bella and Charlie. We all ran toward them but, off course, the horse reached them first. When all was clear, we only saw Bella laying there in a ball. It wasn't until I reached her and made her loosen her grip that I saw she had covered Charlie completely. He has a few scrapes from when they first fell to the ground, and he may be upset about this. But other than that, your son and my daughter are two very lucky people. I'm glad the only thing that didn't come out of this was Bella's dress. But I am sure she'll make herself another one."
I swallow as I look at him. I feel guilty at the harsh words I said to Bella, who slipped away while I talked to Carlisle. I carry Charlie all the way home. That night, I take extra time bathing and putting Charlie to bed, knowing that I came so close to losing him today.
The whole night is full of nightmares about Bella leaving me. No matter how fast I drive or where I look, I can't find her. All I can hear is her voice saying again "I'm done."
When I get up, I decide that I need to apologize for my sharp words. I run through my words a few times before I hear a knock at my door. I open the door and am shocked to see Alice standing there.
"Hey, Alice. Why are you here so early? If it's about yesterday—don't worry, it wasn't Jasper's or your fault, unless you're the one that fired the gun, that is."
Alice smiles at me. "I would still like to say that we're sorry, but I'm glad that Charlie wasn't badly hurt. However, that's not the reason I'm here."
I frown at her.
"Jasper feels that it's his job to say sorry, so he'll do that himself," Alice clarifies.
"Then why are you here?"
I watch her face fall a little. "Bella said that you needed another babysitter. Since she was stopping so quickly she asked me if I could watch Charlie until you found someone else. As you know, I have my own little one Charlie's age so I jumped at the chance. I think they'll make fine playmates."
I feel my heart sink, remembering Bella's words after I yelled at her. Those same words I heard her say all night long.
"Charlie's not up yet or had any breakfast."
Alice points behind her and I see her son asleep in her car. "I thought today we could come here, and tomorrow we can come pick him up when he's ready. Would that work for you?"
I nod my head, and after collecting her child, I move out of the way to allow Alice in.
I've been riding my bike for hours. I can't make my head stop reliving everything that has happened these last few months.
It all started when Tanya left me to watch Charlie Swan, while she sorted out the chili emergency. Charlie is the sweetest boy ever, and his father is the sexiest man alive. God that man makes everyone fall in lust at first sight.
Charlie was helping me sell some belts when Edward walked over to us. I felt his eyes scan by body and the way he looked at me made my panties wet. We talked for a bit. When it was time for them to leave, I watched as he walked away with his son. The sight made my heart leap.
My girlfriends thought I was crazy that I would rather see him doing father and son stuff then see him with his shirt off. Maybe I'm odd but who cares if I like seeing Edward being a great dad—not to mention cowboy.
After he left, I found Tanya again who said that she was looking for Alice because Edward needed a new sitter for Charlie. I jumped at the chance, telling Tanya that I was looking for a job and would do it. She caved when I said I want to make my own money and was sick of asking Mom and Dad for handouts. That's how I found myself working for Edward, and by God, did he confuse me. Sometimes he would look at me like I was his last life line, and other times like he hated me.
I won't say that he didn't hurt me with his words, because he did. One of the biggest blows came the night he danced with me at the bar. I was so embarrassed when he noticed that I liked him so much. After hearing what he thought, I came to the conclusion that I was seeing things when I thought he wanted me. I gave myself a good pep-talk that weekend and decided to just be the best sitter for Charlie I could be.
My pep-talk only lasted a day, because the next day I walked in on him giving himself some self-love—when he came he screamed my name. At first, I thought he saw me, but his eyes were closed and he looked so happy. I quickly hid my eyes, making my way back out. That night, we shared a dinner and were joking and laughing. Then suddenly, out of nowhere, he turned into a complete asshole. I told him then and there, I wasn't taking it any more. I told him if he treated me like that again, I was gone. It only lasted a few weeks. No big surprise there.
Emmett needed help and Edward asked me to watch Charlie, which I did. There was an accident and a horse charged at Charlie and me. Thankfully, Charlie was okay but my dress was ruined and I had nothing else to wear with me, so Jess loaned me some shorts and a t-shirt. I didn't really have a choice but to put them on.
As Charlie didn't like my dad's office, we sat outside. When Edward came back, he was so angry and started to yell at me. I was still shaken up over what happened but he spoke to me like I was nothing but a dirty whore. Hell, even whores should be showed respect when they're not doing anything wrong. I had enough, and I told him so. That night, I went to see Alice and Jasper. After telling them a thousand times that I was fine, I asked her about looking after Charlie.
That was three weeks ago, and I haven't spoken to him. Sadly, it's not the last time I saw him. He seems to be everywhere I look. How can one mend a broken heart—or get over a crush—if he's everywhere I look? I'm grateful that Alice allows me to come to her place and I get a chance to spend some time with Charlie. Sometimes, she meets me at our little café in town, and I get to have lunch with Alice, her son, John, and Charlie.
I sigh as I walk into the café. I sit at our usual table. I order everyone's food. It doesn't take long for it to be set down in front of me. I close my eyes, trying so hard to stop my thoughts or running back to him. Did I give up too soon? I know I need to face the fact that even if he did want me, he's not going to do anything about it.
My eyes open and I see Charlie sit down in front of me and I smile at him.
"Hey, Charlie, your lunch is right here ready for you, just like you like it," I say, passing it to him. I frown since I've not heard or seen Alice. "Charlie, where is—" my voice drops off as my eyes land on Edward.
"John's not well today—he has a high fever. Doc said to keep Charlie at home to help save him from getting sick."
I nod my head at him. "You should eat this food then, it's been paid for, and Charlie's already eating his." I stand up and Edward's hand shoots out, touching my arm. I close my eyes, trying hard to fight the feelings that it brings up inside of me.
"Bella, please stay."
I look into his eyes, wishing that I didn't; it made me sit back down.
"How have you been?"
I shrug my shoulders; not like I can tell him that I've been crying over losing him, not that he was ever mine.
"I'm fine," I say, keeping my eyes on my sandwich, knowing I can't look at him.
I hear him sigh. "I've wanted to thank you for saving Charlie and to say that I am ..."
I stand up quickly and he stops talking. "I need to go—I'm sorry. I'll see ya later, Charlie. I love ya, buddy."
My eyes glance to Edward, seeing that he's in one of my favorite t-shirts. Before he can talk, I run out of the café. I grab my bicycle and just keep riding. I know that I need to do something because right now I feel like I'm dead inside. I have no idea how I'll cope if he finds someone else.
I sit in the meadow and cry my eyes out. It's not until I have no more tears that I realize that I need to get away for a bit. This whole hiding out isn't working, and just maybe, if I don't see him too much, I can move on.
Once I come to my decision, I feel the weight being lifted—however, all I feel is sadder. I say my goodbyes to my friends and parents. The hardest was saying bye to Charlie.
Today, I'm heading to catch my bus. I asked everyone to stay away, afraid I may not get on the bus if anyone is there. I frown as my cell buzzes while I sit waiting for my bus to get loaded. I have a text from Tanya saying Edward was looking for me, and I need to call him because it looks like he is losing his mind. After that, I get one from Alice saying Edward was on his way to me. I take a few deep breaths before heading outside. I notice his truck and lean against the front, waiting for him to come back.
I frown at how sad Charlie is today. "Come on, son, what's up? You know you can tell me anything?"
He looks up at me with the saddest eyes. "I want Bella! I want her to be my mommy."
I hug Charlie to me, feeling my heart going crazy—not only hearing him asking for Bella but calling her Mommy.
"You'll see her tomorrow when you go for lunch."
Charlie shakes his head with tears streaming down his face. "No she's leaving I won't see her no more!" he cries out loudly.
I start to feel panicky. I call Doc's office and am told that he's off today because Bella was leaving. I try Bella's cell next but it goes to voicemail.
I grip my hair and call Emmett. "She's gone, Emmett. She's really left this time. I've lost her. Emmett, you need to help me. I can't ..." I drop to my knees as I feel tears roll down my face. It doesn't take long for Emmett and Rose to turn up. I quickly explain what happened.
"I don't get why she left ..." I stop talking and glare at Rose as she laughs.
"Come on, the girl's got it bad for you. These last few months you've been playing with her feelings. You were more concerned about protecting your heart from her that you broke hers time and time again. She left so she can move on from you—she's tired of fighting for you."
"Can you watch Charlie for me?" I look to Emmett, who nods his head.
"Sure. Where are you going?"
I grab my keys, looking back and crossing my fingers. "I'm gonna find her and beg her for another chance. I love her so fucking much I can't—I won't lose her."
I drive to every place I know she goes, and no one has seen her today. Tanya says she'll call Bella to let her know I'm looking for her.
I head towards Alice's hoping that she'll know where she's going and when. My heart breaks hearing that she left a few hours ago to get her stuff and catch her bus. I race down that highway, the whole time praying that I will reach her in time.
I pull up to the bus depot. I first look inside the bus before heading inside the depot. I begin to feel dead inside 'cause I'm not finding her. I know I must be too late. I've missed her. I head back out to my truck and stop dead as I see Bella standing in front of it with her fingers looped in her waistband.
"Tanya and Alice said you wanted to see me."
I move quickly to her. I place my hand against her cheek, but Bella uses both her hands to push mine way.
"Please don't," I beg. I lean my forehead against hers. I know I need to beg and grovel, so I drop to my knees.
I'm eye level with her breasts. "God, you're so small," I say, unable to look away.
"Edward, what are you doing? I thought you wanted to talk to me before I left?"
My eyes go to hers. "I have come to talk and I hope you won't leave after I say what I need to say."
Bella shakes her head and I place my fingers over her mouth to stop her from interrupting me.
"Please, let me say this?" I beg.
Bella nods her head at me.
"I've had fantasies about you since you were seventeen. When you came to work for me, it changed things for me. I began to feel something for you, and I hated it. It felt so right but everything I knew told me I shouldn't feel that way for you. Why would you want some guy sixteen years older than you—a guy that comes with a past, a failed marriage and a kid?
"I don't have any feelings for Leah; she's a part of my past and was merely the woman that carried Charlie for me. When I look back, I can't remember how I felt. I know what I feel for you is so much more than anything I felt for Leah.
"I'm ashamed to say I was selfish. I thought about how I would be hurt if you turned me down. How I would die if we dated and you moved on or got sick of me. So I pushed you away when I should've given you everything you wanted. I would feel angry when other guys looked at you. It made me feel that thinking you would leave me was right.
"When you stopped watching Charlie, I knew then that I really messed up. But I thought I'd already ruined my chances. I'm sorry that I kept showing up places I knew you would be—but I had to see you. I wanted you to come back. When I was told you were leaving, it felt like I died inside," I say, giving up holding back my tears.
I feel Bella's hands thread in my hair after she removes my hat. She tugs on the back, making me look up at her.
"So I drove here like a bat out of hell to beg you on my knees to give me a chance for us to be a couple. I can't promise that I won't hurt you again, because I'm an asshole. I want to spend eternity with you and that's a long time for me not to mess up a time or two. I can promise to be open and honest with you and to love you with every beat of my heart."
I grab Bella's hands, placing one hand over her heart and one over mine.
"Can you feel that?"
I look at her and see that she's crying.
"Baby, our hearts beat as one—we are meant to be. Please, please, give me a chance to show you how great a couple we can be?" I watch as Bella closes her eyes and I feel as if I've lost. I drop my hand down to her hip, as I place a soft kiss on her bare stomach.
"If you still want to go, I want you to know—I will be here waiting for you, no matter how long you are ..."
Before I can finish what I'm saying, I feel Bella's lips on mine. I pull her toward me and stand up, picking her up along the way. I pull back, looking into her eyes.
"If you mess up, I swear I'll ram a bull's horn up your ass."
I chuckle. "That almost happened to me; it really hurt—so I will be on my best behavior. Does this mean you're coming home with me?"
Bella chuckles and shakes her head. "No, you're going to your home, and I'm going to mine. You're taking me out for two dates: one with you and me, and the second with Charlie."
I nod my head. "Yes, ma'am." Before she can speak again, I pull her close to me and begin kissing her again. I know that I won't mess this up and push her away again—no matter how scared I am of the consequences. After all, John Wayne once said: "Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway."