Contest entry for the Happily Ever After TwiFic Contest

Title: Thanks to My Brother, the Bear

Pairing: Edward and Bella

Rating: M/NC-17

Summary: Edward Cullen found the love of his life six years ago at summer camp, but after losing contact with her, he doesn't know where to begin the search for his lost love. That is until Emmett shows up with a couple of surprises of his own.

Disclaimer:All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.


Thanks to My Brother, the Bear

EPOV

"Honey, I'm home," Emmett called out as he entered the house. Always the prankster, I snickered as I watched my mother dust off her hands and head around the corner to greet him. She gasped and threw her hand over her mouth. What did Emmett do this time? I wondered as I sat still at the island waiting for him to enter. I would find out soon enough. What confused me though was the other voice I heard, it sounded so familiar and female. I chuckled; Emmett must have brought home a stray along the way. I should have known.

I didn't expect what happened next; Emmett rounded the corner, picking me up off the stool and giving me the biggest bear hug known to man.

"Little brother, how's it hanging?" He asked; chuckling at his antics.

"A little to the left," I replied; this was a male greeting that was often passed around by us boys.

"That's enough boys," Esme scolded, she didn't like to hear that greeting between the two of us, and especially around women.

"So, would you like to hear the news to, or should I wait for Dad?"

"Have you told Mom?"

He nodded.

"Well, lay it on me, big man," I often called Emmett that because he was older and bigger than I was. Emmett was huge; he looked like a linebacker, and I never understood where he got that from, since both of our parents were small like me. I was more like Carlisle; lean, tall, lanky, but still built. I had hair like my mother, Esme. Emmett didn't have either one of their hair colors. It was very confusing, but he was my brother, nevertheless.

"Man, I got married in Vegas," he replied. I laughed; leave it to Emmett to go to Vegas, and get married.

"Well, when do I get to meet the lucky girl?"

"She's here, Bella, come and meet my brother," he yelled out.

I was knocked down when she walked in. It was Bella, my Bella. She gasped and clapped her hand over her mouth.

"You guys know each other?" Emmett questioned.

"Yeah," she replied.

It all flashed before my eyes; the summer we spent at Lake Crescent. Bella and I were camp counselors. She was from Phoenix, and I was from Washington. We were sixteen at the time and we spent the summer working together helping the campers. She was always so kindhearted and loving with the children.

We bonded; I fell in love with her.

For the three months we were at the camp, we talked and got to know one another. I would never forget her, and we had made arrangements when we left to keep in touch, but something happened. Every time I tried to reach her, the phone was disconnected. I told Emmett everything about her, how amazing she was, and how one day I wanted to marry her. I told him what she looked like—smelled like—felt like—under my hands and, God help me, I told him about us sneaking off and having sex every chance we got.

She was my first as I was hers.

When we parted that summer, it broke my heart. When I couldn't reach her, I went back to camp every year looking for her, but she never showed. I never told Esme or Carlisle about Bella and all the time we had spent together. I didn't want to hear that I was too young and that I didn't know what love was. I knew; I knew within three months of meeting her. I told her to when we parted ways.

"I love you, Bella, and I will see you again. I promise; even if I have to move heaven and hell," I said with tears streaming down my eyes. I wasn't embarrassed to cry. It was something that just happened that day.

"I love you, too, Edward. Never forget me please," she begged. I engulfed her in a big hug and held on for as long as I could.

I watched as she pulled away from the camp—crying, looking out the window of the big yellow bus that brought us together. She blew me a kiss before the bus rolled out of sight.

I had been looking for her for six years.

Her family had moved around a lot, and, the last I heard, she and her family were in Florida. I was trying to get a ticket to Jacksonville to see her, but going there would have been futile.

"I thought you were in Florida," I stated, letting her know that I had been looking for her just as I had promised all those years ago.

"I ran into some trouble; we moved a lot. My father died, and my mother remarried. I've been in Vegas for the past year."

I didn't say anything else. It had been six years, and people change, but I knew Bella. I knew everything about her, and she was holding something back. She had talked about going to the University of Washington, which I had also been thinking about. What was she really doing in Vegas? Knowing Emmett, I had a pretty good idea where he found her; the strip clubs.

I also knew why she didn't know Emmett was my brother. His last name was McCarty, Esme's maiden name, to carry on the family name.

I remained quiet all through dinner, and didn't say anything more than a short answer when asked a question directly. Emmett gave me a weird look like I was hiding something as Bella glanced at me with barely veiled panic. Yeah, she was hiding something, and I wanted to know what it was. Emmett would shit a brick if he learned that I had slept with his wife before, and would probably kill me if he knew she was the love of my life.

I finally left my parents' house and headed back to my own home. I was never alone with Bella while she was at the house, and I desperately wanted to know her secret. I knew she would tell me if I got her alone.

I awoke the next morning to someone banging on my door. Once I was downstairs, I whipped the door open to find Bella standing there.

"I have to talk to you," she stated while wringing her hands.

After a sleepless night of making elaborate plans to get her alone, I was relieved to see her at my door.

"Sure, come on in. Do you want some coffee?"

"No thanks, this won't take too long. Can I please sit; I won't be able to tell you everything if we are pacing the kitchen." I nodded, and led her toward the living room so she could sit down.

"I want you to wait until I have told you everything before you blow up or have a fit, okay?" I nodded; it was the least I could do for her, she was still my everything.

"Okay, remember what happened between us before we left camp," I nodded; we had sex the night before we parted ways, and God, I could still remember it vividly. In fact, I was getting hard just thinking about the last time we were together. I broke away from my musing when she continued to talk.

"Damn, this is hard—" she pulled at her hair "—first of all; I didn't know that Emmett was your brother." I nodded, because I figured as much with the name difference and all. How would either one of them know who each other was?

"Well, I have a six year old son," she trailed off.

What? A six year old son? What the hell? Holy shit! We didn't use protection. Could it … is he mine?

"When I met Emmett, my son was traveling with my parents, he still is. In a moment of weakness, I got to talking to him about how hard my life is. Emmett's just so caring and understanding. He didn't judge me for stripping, and, when he offered to take care of us, I jumped at the opportunity. I mean, I hated my job. Men were constantly touching me."

She shuddered as she said this. "My boss wanted to start prostituting us out, and I knew I couldn't do that. So, when he offered, I grabbed at the chance."

I could just see Emmett getting into a long conversation with a stripper. It was who he was. If he thought someone was down or something was wrong, he would step in to be a protector and provider. Those were the things I loved the most about him.

But, what about her son?

"I tried to find you, but my resources were limited. I was just struggling to get by. The reason my parents have Anthony is because I needed the extra money to make it through the winter. I've been thinking about enrolling in college, now that I finally have my high school diploma, but I didn't want to have student loans."

I held up my hand stopping her for a moment. I was missing something.

"You didn't finish high school? Why?"

She huffed a little. "I was put on strict bed rest during my fifth month. My blood pressure was too high, and they were afraid that I could experience a placenta abruption. I had only been in school for a couple weeks before I was put on bed rest and couldn't go back.

"By the time I had Anthony, school was almost over; so, I didn't go back. When the following year came around, I was prepared to repeat my junior year, but my father got sick, and my mother had to get a job to provide for all of us. I stayed home to take care of my father and raise Anthony."

She broke down sobbing, I rushed to her side pulling her close and rubbing her back as she cried.

"When my father died, Mom couldn't bring herself to work anymore. So, I had to get a job, and she watched Anthony for me. It was so hard to get by, but, luckily, we finally caught a break.

"My mother remarried six months ago. His name is Phil Dwyer; he is a good man, but has to travel a lot because he is a minor league baseball player. We followed him to Vegas, and I got a job. With the hours and the money I made dancing, I was able to take better care of Anthony and get my diploma."

"Is Anthony mine?"

She looked at her hands in her lap and nodded.

Emotions flowed over me in waves. I looked at her, and, although I understood she didn't have the resources to find me, I couldn't help but feel the bitterness that I'd been not only deprived of her, but also my son.

"Please don't say anything to Emmett. I will tell him," she pleaded.

"It's not that I don't believe you, because I remember that night well and know we didn't use protection, but I want a paternity test, and I want to see him."

Bella dropped to her knees in front of me with the saddest brown eyes I had ever seen. "Please, don't take him from me. He is all that I have left of the person I loved. Please, don't take him," she begged.

I could hear the panic in her voice and didn't even know if she realized what she had just said. I felt horrible.

"Shh, it's all right, baby. I won't take him from you. I just want to make sure he is mine, and provide for him as I should have been doing all along. Please, baby, believe me," I begged.

She finally nodded and wiped the tears from her face. I was completely heartbroken. I wanted to wrap her in my arms and tell her I still loved her after all these years, tell her I wanted to be with her, and that we would be a family.

However, I couldn't. She had married my brother, and I still didn't know how to feel about that.

She finally stood, and straightened her clothes.

"I have to go Edward; Emmett is probably worried about me. I told him I was heading to the store. I got your home number from Emmett's phone. Then, I used his laptop to look up your address. I deleted everything I did on his laptop so he wouldn't know I came to see you. He knows nothing about our past."

I nodded, understanding how delicate this situation was. I hated keeping things from Emmett, but I knew I had to for the time being. I don't know how long I would be able to keep quiet.

Emmett knew plenty from my side of things, but I wasn't sure of his feelings for Bella. Did he marry her to help her or did he actually like her? Was he in love with her? Did she love him?

The thought sent a pain through my stomach. I looked at her face and wanted so much to kiss her the way I would have so many years ago, but stopped myself. I knew I would accept whatever she wanted, even if it was Emmett. I wouldn't stand in his way. If they both were happy together, I would have to deal the best way I knew how. .

Bella reached for the door handle and looked back at me over her shoulder.

"Anthony will be here at the end of the summer. We can have the testing done then, if you are still interested."

I nodded, watching as she walked out my door, unable to hold back the fear that I would never see her again.

~TTMBTB~

I didn't talk to Bella again over the summer. In fact, I avoided her all together. It was getting harder and harder sitting through family dinners watching the love of my life all wrapped around my brother, my best friend, and partner in crime.

I shook my head, thinking I must be a masochist because I was headed toward my parents' house for another family dinner.

What if I had been in Vegas? I would have been with Emmett had it not been for my stupid, bitch of a boss. I worked for Hale Automotive, and, even though Rosalie Hale's old man ran the company, she was in charge of the workers.

I had asked for the time off a month in advance, but, because the employee she was fucking wanted to take her away for some kind of anniversary, I couldn't go. I had to stay and cover his shift.

She was naïve in thinking that Royce was something special. I had experienced something special, and knew what it looked like. I could have ruined her plans and told her all about Royce; how he was going behind her back and hooking up with other women. I had seen him a couple of times with the women around town. He was cheating on her, and, because his father was friends with Rose's father, they thought the world of him. Rose was just as smitten as her parents were. Delusional is what I called them. I could have ruined it, but I didn't. I stayed and covered his ass.

I had just pulled up to my parents' house, and was making my way into the house when I heard the giggles of a young child. I froze. I couldn't move or even breathe. My parents didn't know anyone with a child, so, I knew it was him.

Anthony.

I raked my hand through my hair and finally was able to move from the spot at the front door. When I rounded the corner into the kitchen, I stopped dead in my tracks.

Bella had her back to me with Anthony riding on her hip. He looked right at me and our eyes locked on one another's. He had my eyes, and my hair, and when he smiled at me, it was exactly like mine. He waved at me, and I timidly waved back, shocked at the sight before me. I had held a small kernel of doubt, but when I saw him; I knew he was mine. It was never about mistrusting her; she wouldn't do that, she wasn't that type of person.

Bella must have caught the movement out of the side of her eyes, and turned her head to look over her shoulder. She lightly smiled and turned around slowly walking over to me.

"Anthony, I'd like you to meet Edward. He's Emmett's brother," she said; looking between Anthony and me.

"Puh-puh-pleased to meet you," he said, holding out his little hand for me to take.

When I took his hand and shook it, a tiny jolt of electricity shocked me. I didn't say anything, I wondered if that came from his mother. We had that kind of electricity when we touched too, but her electricity was always stronger. It was like we as connected.

"He stutters when he first meets someone, and when he is really excited," Bella explained. I hoped everything with him was okay. Surely, she'd have told me if it wasn't.

"It's a pleasure to meet you, Anthony," I replied. I looked over their shoulder to see my mother looking at me with her eyes narrowed.

I sat through dinner with my mother giving me strange looks the whole time. Emmett was enjoying his time with Anthony, and Bella was biting her lip. She did that when she was nervous. I knew why she didn't know Emmett was my brother, but watching them interact was killing me inside. That should have been me, interacting with Anthony, and acting like a family. I finally pushed my plate away, not being able to eat another bite.

When dinner was over, Emmett, Bella, and Anthony left to spend time with her mother before she left to rejoin her husband in California, where he was playing his next game. She had decided to drop Anthony off two weeks early. I didn't complain, and Bella looked to be excited that he was here.

After everyone had left, I bid my father goodbye and was headed to find where my mother had disappeared to; when I turned the corner, I saw the attic door pulled down with the ladder hanging out. I climbed the ladder and called out to her. When she answered, she was sitting at the back of the attic, looking at the old picture albums.

"How do you know Bella?"

Esme Cullen had just figured out the mystery. She had seen the same things I did. He looked and acted just like me. Given we had already admitted to knowing each other, Esme had figured out he was mine.

"We were counselors at camp together in 2006." I didn't offer her any more information than that.

"Did you; were you intimate with her, Edward? And, don't you dare lie to me because I think I know the answer," she stated.

I nodded. I could have vocally said yes, but she was on the right track. Admitting I had sex with a woman to my mother was hard. Who wants to talk about your sex life with your mom?

"I knew it! Carlisle told me I was crazy and was seeing things I wanted to see."

I remained quiet, letting her figure everything out for herself.

"She's the girl you've been looking for?" She asked in disbelief.

Once again, I nodded.

"Oh, my God, this is terrible; you've loved that girl since the summer you came home."

I nodded again. It was easy to let Esme figure everything out on her own.

"What are you going to do, Edward?" Esme asked gently. She knew things were delicate because of Emmett.

"I don't really know, Mom."

I placed my head in my hands. "She's married to Emmett. I won't stand in her way, but I do want a paternity test for Anthony."

"You don't need one. He's yours. I can tell. He has a lot of your mannerisms. He has your hair and eyes. The stuttering thing—" she shook her head "—you used to do the same thing. He's yours." Esme broke down and started crying.

I pulled her close and tried to comfort her as much as possible. It wasn't long before her tears dried, and she righted herself. She brushed her hair out of her eyes and looked over to me.

"I don't know why your brother married her, but, one thing I do know is, he would do it out of kindness and not love. He would do it to save someone. You know Emmett; he would never intentionally hurt a fly. He had to have felt something to marry her. I don't think its love with the way she still looks at you. Emmett is more like a brother figure; sit back and watch the way they behave. I would bet they haven't even consummated the marriage yet."

"Mom, that's enough," I said; jumping up and pacing the floor, pulling at my hair. I didn't want to think of Emmett and Bella being together that way. A growl slipped out of my lips, I couldn't help it. I was in love with her. Hell, I never stopped loving her.

"Your brother wouldn't push her," she said, pleading to understand her point.

I didn't want to talk about this, but Mom did have a point. Did Emmett have sex with women? Yes, more than me; hell I'd only been with Bella. I wasn't interested in finding others to occupy my time. It would have been a waste.

Did I want to have sex? Hell, yeah! All the time; I was getting tired of using my hand, and the Fleshlight that Emmett got me for Christmas wasn't working for me anymore. I knew enough about Emmett to see what Mom was saying, he would never force someone to be with him if they didn't want to.

My question was; did Bella want to be with him? That's what worried me when I would see them around one another. I knew Mom was right, but I didn't want to talk about it. The first thing I had to do was make sure that Anthony was mine. I bid my mother goodbye and descended the steps heading home.

~TTMBTB~

A couple of weeks passed before Bella called me to tell me that she had setup the paternity test for two weeks later and that it would take four to six weeks to get the results back. She'd told me they would meet me there. So, I stood at the doctor's office she had chosen, waiting for Anthony and her to arrive.

I paced back and forth; watching the clock. I was never one to be late, and Bella loved to run late. That was something that drove me crazy that entire summer we were together.

Rosalie saw me as she walked by and stopped to talk to me. "I guess you heard the news?" She asked, pulling at the hem of her shirt.

Royce had made a minor mistake while cheating on Rose and got a girl pregnant.

"Yeah, I heard," I said looking back at my watch wondering what was keeping Bella.

"Is your brother seeing anyone?" Rosalie asked timidly.

I'd known Rose all my life. She was attractive, but her attitude turned me off. I never saw her as anything more than a drama queen and a royal pain in the ass. I had always tried to ignore her, but Emmett had always had a thing for her.

"He got married six months ago," I stated; watching the streets for any sign of Bella.

"That sucks! Who is the lucky girl?" I finally looked up at Rose.

"Bella Swan, she's not from around here."

"Well, tell him I said hi and to uh …" she looked away, but turned back and finished her thought "… give me a call." She smiled a small thoughtful smile and walked away leaving me standing there.

Even though he was married, she still wanted him to call her. That seemed a little wrong to me. I shook the thoughts from my head, and looked up to see a pissed off Bella. I wondered what would have her looking so pissed. Did she hear Rose's comments? I would have to ask her later.

"Who was that?" She asked; pointing in the direction that Rosalie was walking.

"That is my boss, the resident bitch," I replied, smirking at her.

"What did she want?" She asked. She wanted to play twenty questions.

"Well, she was telling me about her tragic love life, which, by the way, I could give two shits about."

"Edward!" Bella scolded. Oh, shit, I forgot about Anthony standing beside her.

"Sorry, buddy, don't ever say that word," I said to him before reaching down and rubbing his unruly hair.

"Let's get this done," Bella huffed, heading into the doctor's office with me right on her fine tail.

Once all the paperwork was signed, and we were ready to go, the nurse came along calling us to the back. They swabbed my mouth and Anthony's. She told us when the results would be back.

Esme and Carlisle had given me the money to pay for the test, even though my mother thought it was pointless. Carlisle made her understand that if, I ever wanted to give Anthony my last name, and pay child support; I would have to get the test done anyway.

As I was finishing with the payment, Bella and Anthony slipped out the front door. I caught up to them as they walked down the street in front of me.

"Wait up," I called out to her. She stopped and spun around looking at me.

"Do you guys want to get ice cream or something?" I asked, raking my hands through my hair nervously, begging them with my eyes to agree.

"Yeah!" Anthony said right away, bouncing up and down. Typical kid, I guess, always wanting ice cream.

"How about we get ice cream and then go to the park? If you have time, of course," Bella asked; smiling down at Anthony, who was giving her puppy dog eyes.

"I took today off so we could get this done," I said as I looked at Anthony and then back at Bella.

We'd started to walk down the street when Anthony reached over grabbed my hand, and led me down the street to the local ice cream parlor. It was exciting to see Anthony so accepting of me. I was nervous; I wanted a father son relationship with him, of course, but, I figured it would take time, and I was more than willing to make it happen.

"So, Anthony; what is your favorite flavor of ice cream?" I asked; looking over the selection in the case. I saw that he wasn't quite tall enough to see into the case, so I picked him up to help him look. He sucked his bottom lip into his mouth, biting on it. That was the first thing I had noticed about Bella in him. I'm not saying there weren't other attributes, but this was the first one that stood out to me.

"Chocolate and vanilla," Anthony answered. I nodded to the girl behind the counter, letting her know to go ahead and fill his order.

"Cup or cone?" she asked. I looked over at Anthony and back toward Bella. She mouthed the word 'cup', and I nodded.

"Make that two cups of chocolate and vanilla," I told the girl.

"Yeah, put sprinkles on it," Anthony yelled as the girl walked away.

"Anthony, don't yell. She will be back to ask you if there is anything else you need," Bella scolded him.

I snickered, and she gave me the stink eye, telling me under her breath do not undermine her. I nodded, hoping this would put me back in her good graces.

The girl did what we wanted, and, when I paid, the cashier said something I wouldn't know how to explain to Anthony.

"Cute kid, he sure does look just like his father," she said, winking at me. It wasn't the wink that bothered me. I was used to women flirting with me. I didn't really care; there was only one woman in the world for me. I didn't know how to respond to the comment about him looking just like me. I knew he did, I didn't know how much Bella had told him, and there was still Emmett to consider. I looked over at her, and she was pissed. I was somewhat scared of her at the moment. I gently tugged on her shirt pulling her out of the ice cream parlor.

I think if she'd had a moment alone with the poor girl, she would have smacked her for good measure. I just didn't know if the pissed look came from saying something in front of Anthony, or if she was mad that the girl was flirting with me.

As we walked to the park down the street, Bella's facial expressions changed from anger to sadness, and, by the time, we reached the park Bella was crying. I was still holding Anthony in my arms and unconsciously reached down and grabbed Bella's hand as she was juggling the ice creams in the other. It was a good thing she didn't order anything for herself.

I found the closest bench and set Anthony down, grabbing the cups from Bella's hands. It was almost like she spaced out for a minute. Once Anthony was situated and eating, I pulled Bella close to me, wrapping my arms around her. I couldn't help it. I hated to see her cry.

We sat and ate our ice cream, and, when Anthony was done, he took off toward the swings. When he was out of earshot, I turned to Bella. I needed to find out what had her so upset.

"Honey, why are you so upset?" I asked, gently, rubbing her hand with my thumb.

"That woman made me mad back there. She was flirting with you, and, just like before, you didn't acknowledge her flirting, but I felt so jealous. I'm married, and you're not my husband; I don't even know why I'm jealous."

I loved that Bella was being honest about the way she felt. It was just a matter of getting her away from things for her to open up.

"Baby, you have no reason to be jealous. You're the only woman I've ever wanted."

I wanted to slap my hand over my mouth and take it back. She is my brother's wife and off limits to me. I couldn't help the way I felt about her and Anthony, since he was probably mine; it definitely makes this a more difficult situation.

"Don't say that, Edward. I couldn't have been the only woman you've ever wanted," she said, raising her eyebrow.

"It's the truth," I replied.

"I don't know what to do. I mean, I loved you back when we left camp. I can feel those emotions now, but I'm now married to Emmett. What if he loves me? What if I love him? I can't hurt him; he has been good to Anthony and me. I just don't know. I want to be with you so bad it hurts, but this all happened so suddenly. Now, I have to face all these emotions, and figure out what is best for Anthony and me. I don't even know what I want anymore."

I nodded and didn't say anything else. She needed time to figure out her feelings for me, and time to decide what was best for her and my son. She broke down, crying harder than before.

I rubbed Bella's back, trying to comfort her as much as possible and kept an eye on Anthony. Some might think I should be mad at Bella for hiding my son from me, but I couldn't. I was just happy to have her back in my life.

I would have eventually found her, although I'm not sure how old Anthony would have been by then. I was thankful I was getting this time. Bella was a wonderful mother, and I was happy she kept our son, despite the many reasons why she could've gotten rid of him.

We sat in contemplative silence until Bella decided it was time for her and Anthony to head home. I offered to drive them home, but Bella declined. I watched her pull away in a cab heading home, to my brother. I allowed her to do this because I didn't know how to explain it to Emmett. Plus, Bella needed to choose what was best for her, so I would have to wait.

Once the results were back, I knew we would have to tell Emmett. There was no way of keeping this from him. Hell, it was tearing me apart inside not being able to share my joy about finally finding Bella and, more importantly, about Anthony. He was my best friend, and I had always shared everything with him, but this would hurt him. He had to know I was still in love with her.

A part of me hated him knowing; he had what I never could.

~TTMBTB~

It seemed like it took forever to get the results back about paternity, but they finally came. I woke up late Saturday morning, and, after getting my mail, and my paper, I made myself a cup of coffee. When I looked at my mail, I saw the results were there, just mixed in between the junk mail and the electric bill; like it was nothing out of the ordinary. I started to open it, but was somewhat scared to look. I took a deep breath and ripped the envelope open, not wanting to waste any more time.

I was drawn to the bottom line; it would appear that I was 99.992% Anthony's father. I smiled. I knew he was mine, but, having it confirmed made me a little happier. Bella and I had a child together, but then, the sadness finally came out to play when I remembered she wasn't mine.

I was standing numb at the island in the kitchen when I heard a loud banging at the door. I didn't know who would be showing up this early on Saturday, but whoever it was sounded, like they were going to rip it from its hinges any moment.

"Hold your horses," I hollered out as I made my way toward the door. I swung it open and there stood a livid Emmett. A burst of white-hot light hit me, and as I felt myself falling, a thought crossed my mind; he knew.

I woke up on my couch with something cold covering my face. I just barely looked up to find Emmett pacing the floor in my living room. I groaned because the pain was invading my system. He must have knocked me out with his punch to my face.

"Tell me one thing?" Emmett asked.

I nodded my head.

"Did you know she was pregnant?"

"No," I replied.

"When did you learn she had a child?"

"The day after you brought her home," I stated.

"Why didn't you tell me?"

"I didn't ever know she was pregnant, and then, when she showed up with you, I was waiting for the paternity results. Plus, Bella wanted to keep it secret."

He laughed bitterly and sat down in the chair across from the couch. "Do you know I have listened to you for the past six years? I have listened to you talk about her, and that you loved her for six years. I knew you were trying to find her, but was unsuccessful. When I walked up into that club in Vegas, I didn't even know it was her, until I started talking to her and asked her about her life. She opened right up like a book, but she left out how she got pregnant.

"So, I listened to her and watched the different things going on around the club. The guy she was working for was a piece of work, slimy ass sucker. Anyway, she showed me a picture of her kid, and he reminded me of you. But, I still hadn't put two and two together yet. I didn't want to throw money at her. I was worried Mr. Slimy Fucker would try to take it from her if he saw our transaction. So, I asked her to marry me. She hesitated for the majority of the night. Then, before closing, she finally said she would. I asked her where she was staying and if she had a house. Do you know she was living out of a hotel room? So, she packed her stuff and went to my hotel. We got married the next day."

I hated to think about what happened that night in his hotel room. I didn't even want to know.

"You know it wasn't until the following day that I figured out who she was. When I asked her about Anthony's father, and if he was in the picture, I wanted to know what I was getting myself into. She never once mentioned your name. She told me the father wasn't around and wasn't a problem. We were playing twenty questions getting to know one another. I asked her what she did during the summers when she was younger. When she mentioned being a camp counselor at Lake Crescent, that's when it dawned on me. Her stories matched the information you had given me. When I asked her if she knew Edward Cullen, her face went into complete shock and then she nodded. I was going to get the marriage annulled in Vegas before I left. I was going to come home and bring her with me.

"But I got to thinking. She had a hard life. She had a son to take care of and what if you didn't want to be a part of that? What if I got it annulled and she stayed in Vegas with that scum? So, I didn't, just in case your feelings changed after you found out about Anthony."

"They wouldn't have changed," I stated.

"I briefly wondered if you had known about Anthony and had left that out when you talked to me. You were young and dumb; so I could understand if you didn't want to say anything. But, you could have told me. I know that would have been out of character for you, but weirder things have happened. I wondered if you left it out because you were afraid of what Mom and Dad would think. Then, I wondered if you had just been an asshole to her, and left her to deal with it on her own. That's why I punched you when I first came in; sorry about that. I thought for some reason you knew about the child, but weren't taking care of him. I would, because that is what family does. We take care of our own."

I couldn't believe Emmett had found her for me, and, just in case I wasn't living up to my obligations, Emmett would gladly step in to make sure they were taken care of.

"Do you want to be with her? Emmett asked, looking me dead in the eyes.

"Yes," I replied without any hesitation.

"Are you going to support the both of them?"

"Of course, I wouldn't have it any other way, but we have one minor problem; what does Bella want in all this?"

"Good, she will come around. We haven't, you know…" Emmett trailed off, and I knew what he meant.

"Why? Why did you do all this for me?"

"Because you're my brother, and I knew you were looking for her. I knew she was the one. I will stay married to her only if you don't have the balls to take care of her, but, as long as you take care of them," He shrugged and looked to me, smiling.

"We could have our marriage annulled," Emmett stated.

She could be mine without me having to hurt her, or my brother. I smiled, and Emmett apologized about knocking me out again, and then left.

I wondered what Bella wanted to do.

~TTMBTB~

I hadn't been able to see Bella or Anthony because work kept me very busy. Bella didn't have a vehicle; Emmett often allowed her to use his, but he didn't have the means to afford another vehicle. We weren't rich, but we both made enough to live comfortably. That's what made Emmett's sacrifice so special to me. Even though he couldn't afford all the finer things in life, he was content to share what little he had. That was my wonderful brother.

Esme and Carlisle were excited to learn that Anthony was their biological grandchild and not one that was just married into the family. They would have loved him no matter what, but something about him being biologically theirs made a big difference.

I was falling into the swing of being a daddy. I mean, it was a learning experience whether I started it when he was an infant, or now. It didn't really matter to me either way.

We were sitting at the park when Anthony asked a question that stunned me.

"The other day that lady at the ice cream shop said something about me looking like my father. When I asked Julie at school, she said that the lady must have thought you were my daddy. Are you my daddy?" Anthony asked and I sighed; another trait of Bella's, always perceptive, never missing anything. She often times waited to spring things on you when you least expected it, which was usually after letting it run around in her brain for a while.

I looked at Bella, begging her to do something, anything. We hadn't discussed telling Anthony yet. Hell, we hadn't even discussed the fact that Emmett came to my house questioning my intentions with her and Anthony. Bella looked me right in the eyes, and nodded her head, giving me permission to say what I wanted.

"Well—"I rubbed my head wondering what to say "—you do know I knew your mommy six years ago. Right?" I asked, and he nodded.

"Well," I said and then Bella touched my arm, getting my attention.

"You don't have to go into detail, and you don't have to explain every little thing," Bella whispered in my ear. I nodded looking back over to Anthony.

"Yes, Anthony, I am your daddy, and you do look a lot like me," I said. There was no trying to think of a different way to say it. It was the truth.

"Does that mean that Esme and Carlisle are my grandparents?" he asked, and I could see the excitement in his eyes.

"Yes, what would you like to call them?"

"Hmm, well I call mommy's mom, Nana. Grandpa Charlie isn't alive anymore." I watched as he lowered his head, and bit his lip.

"Why don't you call Esme, grandma, and Carlisle, granddaddy?" Bella suggested.

"What do I call you?" Anthony asked; looking right at me.

"It doesn't matter to me, buddy; you can call me Daddy, or Edward," I replied, smiling.

It didn't matter what he wanted to call me. I was an easygoing guy; would I have liked for him to call me Daddy? Of course, but I would take whatever he and Bella were willing to give.

"And Emmett?" Anthony asked; he was so cute asking all his questions. He needed something to call everyone.

"Well, Emmett is Edward's brother, so he would be your uncle," Bella stated.

"Julie said that my daddy should be married to my mommy, but, you're married to my uncle." Anthony's eyebrows scrunched up in the middle, just like Bella's when she was trying to understand something.

"Yes, well," Bella stated, but I wanted to let Anthony and her know that I did want to be with them.

"It's complicated Anthony; your Uncle Emmett loves his family with all his heart. When he found your mommy, he knew that she was very special to me, so he married her to bring her home, and to take care of you guys in case I couldn't."

Anthony nodded his head. I knew he still had questions, and we couldn't get through all of them today.

"Anthony, why don't you go play on the swings," Bella stated.

Once Anthony scooted off to the swings, she looked at me raising her eyebrow.

"Talk," she stated and looked rather pissed.

"I have looked for you for six years, Bella; you have to understand that Emmett has heard about you constantly. He knew the general description of you, where you were from, and who your parents were." I sighed, pulling at my hair; I didn't know how she was going to respond, and I wished I had kept my big mouth shut, and had waited for us to be alone to talk about everything.

"Like I told Anthony, Emmett loves his family with all his heart and is the best brother in the world. The odds of him finding you in Vegas were slim, considering I thought you were still in Florida. Then he got to talking to you, and everything I had ever told him matched up. He knew you were the girl I had been searching for. He saw that you were in a potentially bad situation, and, when you talked about having a son who was six, well, he did the math." I blushed as I remembered being drunk and telling Emmett about the first night that Bella and I had been together.

"He won't sleep with me, and now I know why," she mused.

"I know he told me. He sees you as his sister. He married you to get you out of that mess in Vegas. He didn't like the looks of your boss, and he wanted to save you and Anthony. Like I said, Emmett has a big heart."

"He's a good man," she stated, looking over at Anthony on the swings playing with a little girl.

"Do you have any feelings for Emmett?"

She looked at me with an odd expression on her face, and for a moment, I was afraid she did.

"He saved me, and I would have been a good wife to him, but I don't love him. If that's what you mean, but I also don't want to hurt him by—" she sighed, and was picking at her nails "—by basically dumping him to be with you."

I was so relieved. I knew what I wanted, but I needed to be sure she wanted the same things.

"Maybe we could get away from everything and make sure being together is what you want. Would you like to go to dinner tonight? Just you and me? I'm sure my mom or even Emmett would watch Anthony for you."

She sighed, "Yes, what time do you want to go?"

"I'll pick you up at seven, nothing fancy."

"I'll get Emmett to watch him, since you will be picking me up from there. My God, this is such a messed up situation."

I nodded and sighed; we sat in silence watching Anthony play with the other children in the park. When he was done playing, I drove them to Emmett's and dropped them off.

At seven sharp, I knocked on Emmett's door, Emmett and Anthony opened the door, grinning. I knew they had something up their sleeves. Anthony had a lot of Emmett in him, too; it must have come from my parents somehow.

"So, you're here to take my wife on a date?" He said, snickering.

"Yes, is she ready?" I asked, laughing at the absurdity of that statement.

Emmett looked down at Anthony; "Is your mother ready?"

He nodded with a huge smile on his face.

"Come on in. We want to know what your intentions are with his mother, and my wife," Emmett said as they both motioned to the dining room chair sitting in the middle of the living room. I had a feeling I was going to be interrogated by my son and my brother.

"Have a seat, Dad," Anthony said, giving me a silly grin, and I smiled back. It was the first time he had called me dad.

"Yes, Edward, have a seat, like little man said," Emmett said while taking a seat across from me on the couch.

Once Anthony was beside him, the questions started.

"So, where are you taking our girl?" Emmett asked with his arms folded over his huge chest.

"We will be dining at Bella Italia in Port Angeles tonight."

"What time will you have her home?"

"Does she have a curfew?" I asked, confused; Bella wasn't a teenager so why would she have a curfew.

At Emmett's cocked brow, I quickly answered, "I will have her home before midnight."

"Why didn't you bring her flowers? Julie said the man should bring flowers." Anthony asked. I needed to find Julie girl and tell her to stop putting ideas in my son's head.

"I didn't bring flowers because I really didn't consider this to be a typical date. I have things I need to discuss with Bella, which I will not be repeating to either of you." I gave them both a pointed look.

I wasn't going to tell them the details where things were going with us.

Bella walked down the stairs at that moment, "What are you guys up to?" She asked with her hands on her hips, looking over the situation in the living room with a smirk.

I didn't even listen to what they were saying. For the first time since she had entered my parents' house months ago, I finally really looked at her. I mean really looked at her.

She was beautiful; her long brown hair cascaded down the front of her shoulders. The tight jeans she wore hugged every inch of her lower body; I had to discreetly readjust myself. She was built better than she was when we were teenagers, slim, but with curves in places I couldn't help but want to explore.

I don't know how to describe women's clothing, but the shirt was flowing down her body, calling attention to her ample breasts, one of the aforementioned places I was interested in.

The shirt was royal blue and made her pale skin sparkle. I had to find out how she was sparkling. Her feet were clad in high heels, which made her appear taller than she really was. Height was one of the many things that hadn't changed about her, and I loved the fact that I could look down at her. Bella was beautiful at sixteen, but she was absolutely gorgeous at twenty-two.

She walked over to me, and I tried to reel in my tongue that was dragging on the floor. I bet I looked like one of those cartoon wolves with his tongue on the floor panting over a pretty woman. She was the only woman I had ever had sex with, and something about her body was calling to me.

I wanted her, wanted everything with her. A family, a house with two point five kids, and a dog named Jake. She reached out and acted as if she was lifting my chin off the ground. It wasn't until that moment that I noticed that the other men in the house were silent too. I looked over at them.

I was quite shocked by Emmett's expression; surely, he had seen her naked. When I thought about that, I groaned and pulled at my hair. I had never thought about how much he had potentially seen of her body. I was still struggling to process the fact that he had potentially slept with her, but, after both of them claiming that they hadn't, I had to believe it. I would have to ask him just how much he had seen.

"Well, what do you think boys?" Bella asked, spinning around in front of us.

"Gorgeous," was my response.

"Beautiful," Emmett said.

"Pretty," Anthony replied.

Apparently, Bella could turn all of our heads. I had to smile. Bella had no confidence when she was younger, but the woman in front of me exuded it. Another change from the girl I once knew.

"Shall we," I held out my hand to her, ready to get this show on the road.

I needed her alone, but that wasn't going to happen if I stood there gawking at her. She put her hand in mine, and I led her toward the door. Bella stopped and kissed Anthony on the head, reminding him to be good before letting me help her put her jacket on.

When we headed outside, I moved ahead to open her car door.

"Your chariot awaits, my lady," I said as she walked by me, getting into the car.

"Thank you, kind sir," she replied, giggling.

I rounded the car, climbed in, and pulled out of Emmett's driveway toward Port Angeles. This was a perfect opportunity to talk about us, or the potential of us. There was no one around to listen, and we were all alone.

"Emmett told me he would get the marriage annulled, if you wanted," I said looking out the corner of my eyes, trying to judge her reaction.

"Yeah, he said something like that to me the other day. Anthony was with your mother, and Emmett pulled me to the side. This was right after he learned about the paternity results. Did he punch you? He said he did, but I don't see the marks."

"Yeah, he punched me, and the only reason you don't see the marks were because he immediately put an ice pack on it. So, it didn't bruise or even swell that much."

"I was pissed when he said he punched you after thinking that you had ditched us somehow. He said he didn't even give you a chance to respond, and that he was sorry about it. He said he apologized, did he?" I nodded.

"Well, at least he's a man of his word, which I already knew."

She sat there while I thought about how to get everything out in the open. I couldn't even wait until we got to the restaurant. I had to declare myself.

"Bella, I still love you, I'm in love with you. I want you to get your marriage to Emmett annulled and be with me. Please tell me you can see us as a family. I want that more than anything in the world. I wanted it before I knew about Anthony when I was looking for you, but, now that he's here, I want it even more."

"Edward, I don't know. Is there some way we could date or something before we make any decisions? I do want to get my marriage to Emmett annulled and have already told him as much."

"We can do that, but I want you to know I want forever with you. I always have."

I reached down and brought her hand to my mouth, placing kisses on it. The zing I'd felt before when I touched her was still there, but stronger and more arousing than ever. I tried not to look at her, but I wanted to let her know just how much she affected me. I smiled over at her, sent her a look of promise, and wished I could see the same in her eyes, instead of the uncertainty that I saw.

I didn't let go of her hand, but we were silent for the rest of the ride, and, once we were at the restaurant, we talked about the things we liked now, and marveled at how much we had changed since camp.

Once dinner was over, we walked down to the local bookstore. Bella fell in love with a number of books, but she wouldn't let me buy them for her. I made a mental note of the titles so I could buy them for her birthday or Christmas gifts.

Before we knew it, our night was over, and we had pulled into Emmett's driveway. I opened her door and walked her up the steps.

"I had fun tonight," she stated, licking her lips.

"Yeah, I enjoyed it. Would you like to go out next Friday night? We can take Anthony if you want?"

"I'd like that," she stated.

She was getting ready to open the door to the house, when I grabbed her arm. I gently pulled her against my body, and leaned down, kissing her sweet lips. Oh, how I missed them, and, in that moment, I knew that forever wouldn't be long enough.

We pulled back from the kiss, both of us flushed and wanting; judging by the look in her eyes, and the panting she was doing, we both wanted each other, but it wouldn't be tonight.

"Goodnight, Bella," I said; pushing her hair behind her ear.

"Goodnight, Edward."

She opened the door and walked in, giving me one last smile before shutting the door behind her. I stood there for a little while, tasting her on my lips. It wasn't until my phone vibrated that I was pulled out of my head.

"Hello," I said into the receiver.

"How long are you going to stand outside my door licking your lips?" Emmett asked. I turned on my heels heading toward my car.

I laughed, embarrassed to have been caught. "I guess I'll be leaving now."

"I take it things went well, and she told you about us getting the marriage annulled."

"Yeah, we talked and are now dating. Doesn't it seem rather funny I'm dating your wife?" I snickered because it was an extremely fucked up situation.

"Thank God I did this for you. If it had been the girl of my dreams and I found out you were dating her, I would have your balls on my mantle, just saying, of course."

"Yeah, it wasn't settling well in my stomach that you two were potentially bumping uglies either. Hey, that reminds me, how much of her body have you seen?"

"Why? Are you jealous that I've seen more than you now?"

"Yes and no, hell I don't even want to think about it. I know she was a stripper. How much skin did you see?"

"Well …" I could see Emmett running his hand over his face.

"It was a topless bar, after all, but, somehow; I didn't really see her tits. I mean, I know she was topless, and I know she has a little tattoo on her inner thigh." I cut Emmett off right there.

"Where, what, and when?" I roared.

"I take it you didn't know about the tattoo then; well she has one on her back, too."

Shit, what had she done? It didn't matter, I loved her no matter what, who cared if she had a couple of tattoos. I had a tattoo, too, but she didn't know about it, either. Only Emmett knew, and it was her name, Bella, across my heart.

"Tell me what she has," I said, wanting to know what the tattoos were.

"She has your name tattooed on her back," he whispered.

"She doesn't want me to know about it, does she?"

"No, that's why I am whispering, but I know you have her name tattooed across your heart, so I guess you're even. Back to the original question, her nipples were covered with pasties and her you know what was covered with a tiny thong. So, I know your girl's average cup size and that she has a couple of tats, but, other than that, nothing else."

"Thank you for being honest, and, if I had found out you had seen even the smallest amount of nipple or you know, I might've had to poke your eyes out." I laughed, not letting on how serious I was.

Emmett laughed, too, but then turned serious. "Hurt her and you're dead to me,"

"I know, Emmett, and I won't; I didn't the last time." I stated.

His response made me feel guilty. "Well, not purposely, but she did get hurt."

After getting off the phone with Emmett, I headed home to sleep alone in my bed once again.

~TTMBTB~

Bella and I had a standing date for every Friday. Sometimes, my mom would take Anthony, sometimes Emmett did, and sometimes he came with us. Once the papers were approved, and the Annulment had gone through and it was as if a weight had been lifted off my shoulders.

Emmett was a free agent again, so, he was back in the dating scene. There were a couple of times that he would have a hot date and would be heading out to pick up his date as I was showing up at the house.

It was a little strange going to my brother's house to pick up my girlfriend; the fact that she was also his ex-wife became the talk of the town. Rosalie was the main one that gave us the most hell. Well, she wasn't the main one, per se, but she was the closest to me.

Bella was still living with Emmett, and, when some of the women he was dating found out about this, they would cancel on him. All of this was because of Rose's big mouth. Her mother was the judge that handled the Annulment for Emmett and Bella. She was also the one who informed the ice queen. I wasn't exactly happy about the fact that Rosalie's mother shared information because the case should have been confidential. However, in this small town, news traveled faster than the local sheriff on a high speed chase. Of course, living in a town with a population the size of an ant, it was bound to happen sooner or later.

The boys picked on me at the shop. They would ask how it was getting my brother's sloppy seconds. I didn't give into their rousing. I just shrugged it off. I knew the truth about my girl, Emmett knew, and that was all that mattered to me.

Bella had gotten a job at Olympic Outfitters' for the Newton's. The Newton's were good people, but their son, Mike, was a dipshit. He made Bella's life harder for no reason. She had the hardest time out of the three of us. She often fired back at the people who teased her about the situation.

I would tell Bella not to fight or comment back to Mike, or his loud-mouthed girlfriend, Jessica Stanley, but she wouldn't listen and kept protesting her innocence. I didn't give a damn what people thought about me, and I was sure the world didn't give two shits what the little blabbermouth Stanley thought either. Hell, she was just jealous; she had wanted me for years, and I never paid her any attention. I could have had her three ways to Sunday, but she was never my Bella.

Hell, Emmett spent three days in jail because he had punched Royce King in the face, and, Royce, being the dick he was, had pressed charges. I think Emmett had a secret crush on Rosalie, and I thought that was one of the reasons he punched Royce. Rosalie was so impressed that Emmett had stood up for her against Royce that she bailed him out. Emmett and she started dating right after that, and things were falling into place for Emmett, finally.

It was right before school ended, and Mom had asked Bella if she could take Anthony with her and Dad to the island they owned off the coast of Brazil. That was when I had to tell Bella how well-endowed, our family was. She was shocked that Emmett and I, from an early age, had declined the money. She was even more shocked to learn that Anthony now had his own little trust growing interest for when he was older. She tried to protest, telling us he would be fine and wanted for nothing, but that wasn't going to happen with Esme and Carlisle. They let us make our own decisions, but family, security, and health were never questioned. Family was needed to help you through this world; security provided you with options, and health meant you lived longer. Once Esme told her the rules of our arrangements, Bella caved.

She had agreed for Anthony to go with Esme and Carlisle, and we planned two weeks of us being alone at my house; a sort of trial period to see if she wanted to move our relationship forward. No more pickups from Emmett's, no more weekly interrogations from my son and brother, and I desperately needed alone time with Bella.

Once Anthony and my parents were on their way, Bella came home with me. The drive was relatively quiet, and I didn't know what the next two weeks could hold for the both of us. We hadn't done much more than kiss during our time together, and I wanted to proceed a little further.

This was one of the main reasons for spending time alone, to talk about increasing our interaction with one another. I needed to know where she stood, and when she potentially wanted to move on from Emmett's place.

"I need to move out of Emmett's," she stated. I nodded; this was something that needed to happen sooner rather than later.

"You can live at my house if you want to. No pressure; you know I want you and Anthony here with me." I shrugged.

I would do whatever she wanted to do.

"I don't know, Edward," she replied, biting her lip. I reached over and gently removed her lip from her teeth.

"Don't do that, Bella," I scolded her. I hated seeing her tear up her lip like that, but something about her doing it would make me think about her sucking me off. So, she had to stop that.

"Just think about it, Bella, why don't we see how the next two weeks go; if you can't see yourself here, then decline my offer. If you can see yourself staying, then stay." I reached over, grabbed her hand, and placed kisses on the back of it.

"Okay, I can do that," she said, smiling and then she bit her damn lip again. I groaned. She was setting me on fire, and she didn't even realize it.

I was hoping that the next two weeks would be the turning point in our relationship. Once at the house, I gave Bella the tour.

"Where am I sleeping?" she asked; once again, biting her beautiful lip. This caused me, once again, to groan and remove her lip from her teeth. Just as I placed my finger on her lips, she reached out and sucked it into her mouth. I watched with rapt attention, getting lost in my thoughts, about her lips wrapped around my cock. She let go of my finger; I had to stop thinking like that. I shook my head trying to clear the fog.

I rubbed my hands on the back of my neck, "I didn't want to assume you would stay in my room. However, please know that you are welcome there anytime. So, I fixed the guest room for you." I winked at her.

"I wouldn't mind staying in your room," she said, blushing. "In fact, I wouldn't mind coming in your room," she said, winking at me. Did she? Did she just talk about coming in my room? Oh shit, mind back in the gutter. I watched her ass walk away from me.

"Are you coming?" she asked, spinning around, looking at me, the blush was still there.

"You bet," I replied.

Oh, how I loved her blush, it ran all the way down her chest; hell, I had to stop these thoughts. I was taking things slow, letting her dictate everything. This was one department both Bella and I were extremely shy about, and I never understood that. I was quite shocked we ever had sex. We didn't talk about it, although, sometimes our emotions would run away with us. However, actually talking about other stuff was so much easier than talking about sex.

She had been more playful about sex in the last little while than she, or I had been before.

She placed her hands on my chest, and stood on her tippy toes to kiss me. I helped her out some and leaned down.

"We need to talk about something else, Edward, so, why don't I make dinner, and then we can talk."

I nodded.

We picked out what to eat and, thank God, I'd gone to the store the day before to gather the things I needed to make lasagna. My idea of making lasagna was to buy the already made stuff and throw it into the oven, but Bella didn't like frozen food, and fussed about all the frozen dinners she saw in the freezer.

I chuckled as she talked. She was a typical woman. She sounded like my mother. That was one of the reasons why we had to go to family dinners. Mom wanted Emmett and me eating something besides frozen meals. She often complained about us getting too much MSG. I never understood why she complained. I did eat other things. I often ate take out, and McDonalds was just down the road.

Bella rolled her eyes when I pulled the frozen loaf of garlic bread out and handed it to her.

"You have got to be kidding me," she huffed, taking the bread from my hand with a dirty look. "Do you even know how to cook?" she asked.

"Yes, I do." I said defensively, "All you have to do is read the instructions on the back of these things and boom, dinner is served."

"Oh my God, if Anthony and I come to live with you, there will be no more of this." She motioned to the freezer items "Home cooked dinners and there will be more in the refrigerator than the freezer."

I walked behind her and wrapped my arms around her waist. "Hmm, I could get used to having a woman cook for me all the time," I cooed into her hair, my nose buried in the tresses, inhaling the scent of strawberries. I loved the shampoo she used. It made her smell so delectable

"I wouldn't mind having a man enjoy what I cook for him. Emmett does, but he needs to find his happily ever after. I feel like I am keeping him from finding it."

I didn't say anything, allowing her to process her own thoughts and feelings about things.

"So, what are we drinking with this, or is everything to drink in this house frozen?" she asked; looking over her shoulder at me.

I snickered. Usually I only kept water here. If I wanted soda, I usually just picked up something from the local gas station, but I did pick up wine to go with the lasagna.

"I have a bottle of wine for tonight, and this is gourmet dining for me, sweetheart. I live as simple as possible. You know this."

"Living simple is perfectly fine by me, but you can have a homemade meal and still be considered simple." She leaned up; kissing me on the nose.

I watched as she walked away, God, I hated to see her go, but I loved to watch her leave.

I was happy I had wine glasses in the house and grabbed two, pouring the wine. She would be impressed. I walked into the living room with our glasses and sat beside her on the couch.

"What do you want to talk about?" I asked her as I handed her a glass.

"Well, this is going to be a difficult conversation for us. It always has been, but we need to be different this time around because we didn't discuss it the last time and now, we have a child," she stated, and I about choked on my wine. I knew she was right, but I didn't have the courage to talk to her about things.

"I'll try," I stated; letting her know that I'd do anything she wanted.

"Okay—" she pulled her hair back, pulling it into a ponytail and sighed "—this is hard for me, too, but we have to be proactive this time around. It's not that I regret having Anthony, but we have to get this out there. So, I will start; I am on the pill. I have been since the moment Anthony was born. I haven't been with anyone since you and I were together.

"It's not that I never thought about moving on because I did, but I just never had the urge. Being a fulltime mom and taking care of my sick father became my focus. After my father passed, I was busy being a fulltime mother caring for both my own mother and my son. My mother is good, but she can't always do the things she should."

She must have blown out the breath she was holding because it all came out fast; I am pleased that she hadn't dated anyone else since we had been together.

"Okay, well my history isn't much different than yours. I haven't been with anyone since you. I never saw the point. Yes, women flirt with me, but they were never you."

She stopped me with a kiss that was so passionate and needy. When she opened her mouth, and she touched her tongue to mine, I was in heaven. The kiss was so good that I pulled her little body closer to mine.

I was overwhelmed by the feelings I had. I held her body closer, wrapping my arms around her back. I threaded my hand up into her hair and pulled it down from her ponytail.

When she pulled back from the kiss, breathless, I took advantage of the situation and ran my fingers into her hair. Then, I pulled her head to the side so I could kiss her neck. When she moaned, I thought I had won the lottery. I was already turned on from the kiss, but her whimpers and the low noises in her throat made me harder than I think I'd ever been.

While still sitting on the couch, I pulled her body over to straddle my lap. Our lips never lost contact, and when she started to move back and forth on the top of me, I about exploded in my jeans. I couldn't take it; needing more friction, I bucked my hips up into her body as she moved. She moaned deep in her throat every time my erection rubbed up against her, slowly causing me to come unglued.

I watched her, never closing my eyes, wanting to see what I did to her, and then, I about died when her eyes rolled back in her head. She rocked against me in a rhythm that was slow and steady. She held her breath and sped up the motion of her hips, pushing into me a bit harder. She threw back her head and called out my name before her body started trembling.

I came instantly, flooding my pants. When she finally stopped moving, she fell limp against me and buried her face into the side of my neck, kissing the erratic pulse point.

"I'm so sorry," she whispered.

"Why are you sorry, my dear? You have nothing to be sorry for, it felt amazing." I laughed a little, pushing her hair away from her face. I'd wanted to go slower, but I lost control when she touched me, and I told her as such.

"I didn't mind, in fact, I kind of enjoyed it," she said, giggling.

"I'm glad you liked it. Did you, you know?" I said, feeling my face heating up. How the hell are you supposed to ask a woman if she came or not; it's not like I had that much experience at recognizing the signs. The few times Bella and I were able to sneak away at camp had resulted in us having sex, never dry humping, and I could tell then.

"Yes, did you?" she asked, timidly.

"Yes, in fact, I need to go clean up. I kind of have a mess in my pants, and it doesn't feel all that great," I said, wishing I could take back some of the words I had said, but I did need to get up.

She giggled and climbed off my lap, heading toward the kitchen to check on our dinner. I headed straight to my room, washing and changing before heading back downstairs. When I walked into the kitchen, dinner was ready, and Bella had set the dining room table up for us to eat.

Everything tasted good, and Bella didn't mind eating the premade lasagna, but she said her homemade version was so much better. I would have to try it sometime soon. After dinner, we both cleaned up the kitchen and headed toward the living room.

We slept together that night and I relished in having her body all curled up next to mine. That night, as I drifted off to sleep, I realized that my house finally felt like a home.

The rest of the week went by quickly, and things were working out great. We talked and lounged; we worked together like a normal couple would. We still hadn't had sex yet, but we were getting extremely close. Nothing had ventured into us being naked yet, but dry humping seemed to have an extreme appeal to both of us during the first week. I was still reeling from the feelings of falling asleep curled around her body. I could wait for sex; I had forever to be with her.

It wasn't until the second week that things changed for the better. I was lying back in my bed, waiting for Bella to get out of the bathroom, our nighttime ritual for the past week. She was taking longer than normal.

When the door finally opened, I looked over and Bella was standing there in the smallest blue nightie I had ever seen. It was completely sheer, and I could see her breasts highlighted by the translucent fabric.

My dick hardened instantly, and I gulped. I didn't know how I was going to make it through the night sleeping next to her looking like sin. I looked up and down her body, trying to memorize every curve. I shoved my hand into my mouth, biting on my knuckles. When I looked down, I could see matching little blue panties through the sheer fabric. I was so fucked. There was no way in hell I would be able to behave with her looking like that damn sexy. .

She walked over to my side of the bed, and I noticed the blush that ran all the way down her chest, and halfway down her stomach. I followed it down, taking in every inch of her lovely form. She reached down and grabbed my hand, running it along the skin that was showing.

"My God, Bella, you're so gorgeous. If I touch you now, I won't be able to stop."

"I'm ready Edward, I want you. I want this," she purred.

That was all it took. I stood looking down into those beautiful brown eyes, kissing her as I lifted her onto the bed in front of me. I was harder than a rock, and wanted what she was offering.

She reached for the hem of my shirt and pulled it over my head, seeing me shirtless for the first time. When she saw my tattoo, she gasped. She looked up into my eyes and pressed her lips against it.

"When did you do this?" she asked; biting her lip.

"As soon as I turned eighteen, I couldn't wait to get it done. I had wanted it from the moment I left camp, but my parents wouldn't sign for me to get it done."

"I have something to show you, actually two things," she said, pushing herself up off my chest kneeling up and turning around. I saw my name tattooed on her shoulder blade. It, too, was in a heart. I reached out and touched it; letting my fingers slide across my name.

"I have one more."

She sat back against the headboard opposite me and spread her legs, making my mouth go dry. I moved over and kneeled between her knees looking at the tattoo. I had already caught glimpses of this one, on her inner thigh. She hadn't shown me on purpose, but when she wore shorts, and would bend over, it was obvious.

I looked up into her eyes and reached for her. I rubbed my fingers over the tattoo; it was two butterflies intertwined. Both of our names scribbled under them and the date we first meet, and just off to the side was Anthony's name, and the date he was born.

"When?"

"The moment I turned eighteen, like you, my parents wouldn't allow me to. So, I had to wait also."

I nodded.

As I ran my fingers over her tattoo, I remembered where I was sitting and where I was touching her. I slowly trailed my fingers higher and higher, I reached the top of the little blue panties and slowly pulled them down her legs. After discarding them on the floor, I picked up the trail that lead to one place I wanted to be the most. I slipped my fingers through her lips, heading straight for the little nub that would drive her crazy. I rubbed around in circles and listened to her moans above me. I replaced my index finger with my thumbs, and, while adding pressure to her clit, I slipped two fingers inside of her core.

"Oh, God! Edward, please," she moaned as I worked in and out of her body. I was searching for one spot, the spot that would drive her mad, and the spot that would guarantee a big orgasm for her.

"Right there baby, don't stop," she panted above me when I found the spot I was looking for, and, within a matter of minutes, she was thrashing around me, coming as I placed my lips around her left nipple.

I slowed my movements, allowing her body to settle from her climax. I wasn't done with her yet, and knew she would still be sensitive to my touch.

I pulled away from her nipple and kissed my way down her body. I didn't stop until my head was right between her legs again. I leaned down, capturing her clit into my mouth; allowing my tongue to flicker back and forth across it while returning my fingers to her core. I nipped, sucked, and bit her clit, causing her whole body to shake, and, when she was close again, I backed off, not allowing her to come again. I did this one more time before she let me know she didn't like it.

"Stop teasing me, either suck me, or fuck me. Do something; you're killing me here," she cried out above me. I smirked and hit her with everything I had. I added another finger to make her feel fuller. I sucked her clit into my mouth, not letting go of it at all, and used my tongue to flick and suck until she was shaking above me. I held her hips down with my arm, preventing her from moving as she tried to buck into my face. I knew she was close, and I was going to give her another one before I had her. I slipped my fingers down until I could feel her tight hole and lightly added pressure there until she exploded in my mouth.

"Holy shit," she screamed as she pulsed around me.

I pulled away and pulled her body down further on the bed, getting her into position for me finally have her again after all these years. I leaned down, kissing her and brushed the hair away from her face, pushing it behind her ear.

I pulled back to look at her. God, she was absolutely, beautiful. I trailed my hands down her body until I was at her core again. I grabbed my cock, and stroked it a couple of times. I looked down between us and got a wicked idea to rub my cock along her folds before entering her. While doing this, I was rewarded with moans and groans from Bella, and I would be doing this again soon. I couldn't wait any longer to be inside of her. I lined it up and pushed into her warmth. I stilled no sooner than I was inside of her, not wanting to come too quickly. I held my breath and counted to twenty before I started moving within her warmth. It was slowly torturous, but so heavenly good.

"God, baby I've missed you," I moaned while working in and out of her slowly. I opened my closed eyes, looking right into the chocolate orbs I loved so much.

"I've missed you too," she moaned while running her hands up and down my back, pulling my body impossibly closer to hers.

I lifted her legs, so I could get closer to her body. It allowed me to sink deeper into her depths. I couldn't take the slow thrusts any longer, so I picked up the speed thrusting hard and deep into her, and watched as, each time I did, she gasped. I watched as her hand snake between us and rub her clit as I thrust deep and hard into her body.

"Oh God, Edward, just fuck me," she moaned and I gladly obliged, picking up my pace and thrusting into her.

"That's it baby, harder," she groaned, continuing to work her clit.

As I watched my body slide in and out of her, I felt the coil tighten in my own body, and knew that just a couple of more strong thrusts and I would be done.

"Edward," she screamed as her walls squeezed me, milking me for everything I had.

I exploded, chanting her name over and over until the euphoria of climaxing finally wore off. I pulled my body from hers and collapsed beside her.

"Wow," she sighed.

"Yeah, it was definitely a wow for me, too, baby," I replied.

After we had both calmed from the amazing moment we shared, I pulled her into my arms. I wanted her in my arms forever.

"Bella, I love you, and I love Anthony and I want you both here in my life. I want us to be a family. Please tell me you feel the same.

"You are my soul mate. I knew it from the moment we connected at camp."

"Live with me Bella. Stay with me forever."

"Forever," she whispered.

She closed her eyes and kissed me.

"I like the sound of that."

I rolled over and kissed her with every ounce of happiness I felt and leaned back to look into her eyes.

"Marry me."

"Yes," she said.

And I got my happily ever after all, thanks to my brother, the bear.

~The End~


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