All normal disclaimers still apply.
Special thanks goes out to Jess, Anna, Roni & IllicitWriter who have helped us shape this into what it is.
Bella heads out of the bedroom to get River. I rub my face before heading to the bathroom to grab a quick shower. By the time I get into the kitchen, River is eating her breakfast.
I sit in the chair next to River's highchair and look right at Bella—who seems to be looking everywhere but at me.
"Bella, you can say no if you want. I don't want to push you into anything you're not ready for."
Bella looks at me, shaking her head. "What? No, that's not it. Just ... well, we need to talk first. There are so many things: your job, Charlie, your parents, the new social worker, and about a million other things."
I stand up, wrapping my arms around her. I'm happy knowing she's not giving me an outright 'no'. The only thing holding her back is her fear of all the things we need to face.
"Okay, how about I ask my mom to babysit tonight, and after we're done with work, we can sit down and talk everything out?"
Bella sighs, turning around and hugging me back.
"That sounds like a great plan."
I smile and kiss her head. While we eat breakfast we talk, but not about anything heavy. When we are finished, I drop River of at day-care and Bella at Alice's shop.
The day seems to drag on slowly. Of course today I would have to spend my lunch hour working. I had another emergency call out. Sadly this one was not a good one, and I had to initiate removal of the children from the home. It is always heart breaking, but between the condition of the family home and mother—I was left with no other choice.
During my visit, I found the house unfit for a child to live in. I gave her very specific directions on calling a family member or the children's father to come take the kids. I always try to give a person a chance, so I told the mother I would give her an hour to have someone there and to start cleaning the premises. I then called Jessica to take photographs and help document the household condition. Things had not improved at all, and the mother wasn't even trying to clean or call anyone. Of course she quickly became insubordinate and things really went downhill from there.
We then called Mrs. Cope, who came out immediately with the county sheriff. With all the issues involved, I felt the children needed to be removed right away. Jessica agreed, and so did Mrs. Cope. Thankfully, Mrs. Cope and I were able to reach the father of the children at work. He was able to leave and take custody of the children, after his ex-wife was arrested.
By the time I arrive back at Bella's, I am tired and more than a little stressed, but I know that Bella and I need to talk out our issues tonight.
I walk in and find Bella cooking away in the kitchen. I wrap my arm around her and kiss her neck. "I missed you today," I mumble as I kiss her neck some more.
Bella turns around to me with a quick kiss and a big smile. "I missed you too. Esme has River, and she said that she would keep her overnight. Jessica said that was fine, and said I did not need to ask her everything before I did it, only keep her informed if she was sick or got hurt."
I help Bella finish making and dishing out our dinner. After we're done eating, we head to the living room to have our talk.
"Edward, I love you, really I do. It's one of the things that I'm sure about. But us living together—it has only been six weeks."
I let out a sigh.
"Please, it's too much—too fast," she starts to cry.
I move off my seat and crouch down in front of her. "Hush, don't get upset. It's okay, I understand." I try not to show how upset I am, but it is clear in my voice.
"If you're here then I will have to tell Jessica. She said it was one of the things that she had to know—if someone moved in. What about your job? I know that you love helping people."
I shake my head at her, standing up and pulling her against my chest. I sit on her seat, and gently pull her onto my lap. "Okay, I think it's time we got everything out on the open."
Bella nods and I start to play with her hair.
"Mrs. Cope, my boss, is already aware of our relationship."
Bella looks at me with worry and fear on her face.
I rub her leg with my other hand, as I begin talking again. "It's fine, really. She wants us to keep it quiet for a few months, until you're off our case load, but she's fine with it, really."
Bella looks at me strangely. "And you think that when she said keep it quiet for a few months, she really meant live together right away?"
I chuckle a little until Bella looks at me giving me quite a convincing bitch brow.
"Edward, if she's asking us to wait, then why not wait?"
"Because I love you, and this past week was hell not seeing you, touching you, and kissing you. I don't want to wake up without you sleeping next to me. I don't want to miss hearing River call for her mama and dada from her room. I want to see both my girls' smiling faces before I go to work, and when I come home."
Bella looks at me with tears in her eyes. She wraps her arms around my neck as she speaks. "I want that too, so much. I'm just scared that we're moving too fast, or that they'll take River away from me if they found out. I also worry that you'll lose your job and hate me. Or, Charlie will scare you away, and I'll never see you again. There's so much in my head saying no—but my heart says yes, just do it."
I move the neck of her top down a little and place a kiss on the skin of her collar bone. Deep down I know that she's right. That we need to wait, but I'm not sure I can. Every part of me is screaming to take care of her and River—it's over taking all other thoughts.
"What about Charlie?" Bella makes a face, before shaking her head as she talks again.
"He wants me to call him dad. I know that he is my father and that he's trying but—I'm just not comfortable with the whole dad thing yet. But when I call him Charlie he looks so hurt by it—it makes me feel guilty." Bella closes her eyes and begins to talk again. "My head hurts," Bella says as she rubs her forehead.
I look and see that she appears stressed and strung out. "We'll face him together. I think we all need to sit down and have a long talk. You don't need to feel guilty about not wanting to call him dad just yet."
Bella leans her head on my shoulder.
"What time are you working tomorrow?" I ask.
Bella closes her eyes and curls herself in my lap. "I'm not. Alice gave me tomorrow off, because I'm working all day Sunday and working late on Christmas Eve."
"Okay, well how about we talk to everyone tomorrow then?"
Bella nods a little, but I know she's still worried about this. I'm not sure how the rest of the family will take us being together, but I'm hoping they will understand.
After we have talked everything through, I help Bella put up the Christmas tree. I still find it hard to believe that there is only four days until Christmas. Once we're all done, I carry Bella to bed, where I make love to her for the whole night.
As we're having breakfast, I notice Bella seems to be lost in thought.
"Everything is going to be all right, Bella."
She looks at me and smiles. "I know, but I was thinking about what you said about us living together. I think it'll be best if we carry on like this, and when Jessica stops coming for visits—then you move in?" Bella makes it sound like a question, and I let out a relieved breath, nodding at her, knowing it's for the best.
"As long as you know that as soon as everything is taken care of, I will be moving in with you, and I plan on taking care of you and River."
Bella smiles at me and walks over to sit on my lap. "Okay, on one condition. I get to take care of you in return."
I kiss her lips three times. "That sounds like a great plan."
Mom comes over and drops off River, and I ask her about coming back at lunch time with Dad and Charlie, so we can get everything out in the open. I hold River on my hip, as we wave bye to her.
"Da-da—toos." I chuckle giving River a kiss, as I walk to the sofa.
"You want to watch cartoons?"
River claps her hands.
I turn on the television and sit her on the sofa, but she grabs for my hand. I sit down beside her and pull her into my lap. "Yes Sweetheart, Daddy will watch them with you."
River gives me a large smile and rests her head on my chest as she watches Tom and Jerry.
Bella, River, and I are sitting together. Shortly after Bella joins us, River begins to cry and chew on the sleeve of her sweater.
"She's cutting a tooth. I'm not sure what to do anymore," Bella says to me, as she rubs River back. "Nothing has worked so far."
I kiss Bella's head before looking down at River. "We can ask Mom and Dad, and see if they know of anything that would help."
The lunch hour comes in quick, and not long after River is put down for her late morning nap, there is a knock on the door.
I open the door to see Mom, Dad, and an upset Charlie behind them. I move out of the way so they can come in.
Bella and Esme make drinks for everyone, while I sit in the living room with Dad and Charlie.
"I don't get why he's here," Charlie grumbles.
Dad turns, speaking quietly to him, and Charlie lets out a breath. Mom and Bella bring in the drinks and Charlie starts off by telling her about how he tried to find her. He always wrote to her, and sent her loads of gifts and cards. It was clear by the look on her face that she didn't receive some of the gifts. The ones she did get, Renee passed off as gifts from her. Charlie doesn't talk about what went down between him and Renee. He only said that the past with Renee was between them, and he wants it known that he never hit her.
Bella doesn't really say much more than what she told me that night at the hotel. It makes me feel as if she went through a lot more at Renee's hands than any of us will ever know.
Before anyone can ask Bella about her childhood, a crying River wakes up. Bella dashes off to get her. As they walk back in, I stand up, going to them.
"Oh baby, is your little mouth still sore?"
River just looks at me before crying more on Bella's shoulder.
"Dad, can you maybe take a look at River? She's teething and having a really hard time."
I look at my dad, as he chuckles a little shaking his head at me. "Sure I can look her over. Come to me, River?" he asks putting his hands out.
River looks up at Dad, giving him a sniffle, and then put her arms out for him to take her. As Dad does his doctor stuff, Mom calls for lunch to be delivered. We all know theres still a lot to talk about.
"She's fine, really fine actually. Her ears have cleared up nicely, and it seems her only issue is her teething. She has a few teeth that are all coming in all at once. There are a few things you can try, but the best may be Baby Orajel—you just rub it on her gums. There are some infant pain relief drops you can use too like Tylenol. Also you can get one of those water filled teething rings, and freeze it—then you let her chew on it."
Bella nods and gives my dad a smile as she picks River up. Bella sits back down on the sofa with River on her lap. I sit down next to her, slipping my arm around her shoulders.
"I take it you're back together, then?"
We turn and look at Charlie, who just looks upset.
I nod at him.
"Why? I mean, you're twenty-six! That's a lot older than her, she is a kid—one that should be in high school, sneaking out going to parties. Having non sexual dates and breaking up with boys—not raising her own baby and setting up home with an older man."
I swallow and look at Bella, feeling a little guilty that she didn't get that life, but I can't let her go. Before I can respond, Bella does in our defense.
"I have never been like that—ever. And not because we moved around a lot, or that I never had many friends—it was just something that I was never wanting. I can still experience many things, like going to a party. Only I won't be going alone—Edward will be with me. As for heartbreak? Well, it may have only been a week, but we—I did kind of break things off with Edward. The whole time we were apart, my heart felt as if it had a large hole in it. I did have a boyfriend—well a sort of boyfriend—ex-boyfriend, before Edward."
Bella looks to me with a sad smile, as I let out a growl over her calling James anything as if they were really a couple. But as I look into Bella's eyes I feel myself calm.
A soft knock on the door breaks my stare with Bella. Mom goes to answer the door, collect and pay for our lunch delivery.
"But I love him, Charlie, I really do. I want him in my life as my boyfriend—my partner."
"I don't like this," Charlie says as he rubs his face.
"You don't have to like it—you only need to accept it."
I turn in shock to see Jessica, who is now standing next to my mom.
"Look, Mr. Swan, I'm going to be blunt here. You cannot make up for sixteen years of Bella's life that you missed. You have to accept that your daughter is not a child. She comes to you now, with her own child. Move on from the past; accept the memories as they are. The past is done and gone. Make new memories with her and your grandchild. Accept her decisions in life, and let her choose her own boyfriend. No one said you have to like it, but it is her choice—so accept it as that. As for Edward—well, he is no danger to your daughter or grandchild. If you keep up this hostility, you will only push her away. Right now that would not be helpful—for her or River."
Charlie, Bella, and I look at Jessica in shock.
"Look, I came here to pass on Steven Grant's number to you," Jessica says as she looks at Bella.
"Steve's job is to help when children have been placed back into the family home. Your situation is a little different, but he thinks he can help you and your dad Charlie out—if you want."
Bella takes the card from her and nods slowly.
"Also have some T-O-Y-S for," she says pointing to River. "It is to help with Christmas from the ... for tots program."
Bella looks down at the bag full of wrapped gifts, before looking back at Jessica. "Thank you."
Jessica shakes her head. "No problem Bella, I just wanted to make sure that you and River have a nice Christmas. Okay, I have something else that I want to go over with you, but it can wait until my next visit—which will be the end of next week."
Bella nods at her again.
"Have a good Christmas Bella, and you too, River."
River looks at Jessica who gives her a little wave.
"Edward, can I have a quick word?"
I swallow and nod at her, and then I follow her out the door.
"Look Jessica, please you can't—I did not mean—fuck just please ... I love her."
Jessica looks at me if I am nuts. "Edward, what you do and who you see during your time off, is your own business. I was coming to see you, and thought I would drop off the number and toys to Bella too. I'm on call on the first of January, but saw that you were on call Christmas Day. I wanted to ask if you would switch with me. I'm planning on getting shit faced on New Year's Eve, so working the next day would not be good."
I shake my head, and then nod. "Yeah that would be okay, and I forgot that I was on call Christmas Day."
Jessica chuckles a little. "Okay, I'd better get going."
She goes to move away, but I catch her arm.
"Wait, what about me and Bella, are you going to tell?"
Jessica looks at me and sighs. "I am good at my job, Edward."
I look at her, feeling a little down, but I can't make her lie for me.
"I'm the one that took you through the ropes and trained you, so therefore I know you're good at your job. You are not the first, nor will you be the last to fall for someone you're not meant to. As far I can see, Bella is a good mom. Could she do with some help? Sure she could—but not because of anything that she's done wrong ... only because of what fate has thrown at her."
She stops and lets out a breath, patting my shoulder.
"You're a good man Edward, but there is no way you're going to make it to the end of the three months without things between you and Bella heating up, or you moving in together. Maybe it's time for you to move on to another project?"
I look at her in confusion and let out a sound along with a questioning look.
"Edward, there are another jobs in the social work department that you can do—maybe something else you always wanted to do?"
I look to the front door and back at Jessica, still not understanding.
"Jesus-H-Christ, Edward! There is a job opening for remedial services worker over at Block-B. You know you always wanted to help troubled kids get back on the right path. If you get the job you'd start in the New Year—the tenth I think is the start date they are looking for. That means that your relationship can start with Bella then. Since you would no longer even be in the building, there would be no repercussions. Think about it, you'd be doing the job you wanted to do all along."
I smile at her and pull her face to mine, giving her a peck on the cheek. "I knew there was a reason I like you."
Jessica rolls her eyes at me and rubs her cheek off on my sleeve. "You kiss me again, and I'll show you the reason why most of our male staff don't like me."
I chuckle with a quick nod.
"I'll drop off the information on your desk on Monday. Have a good night."
As I watch her walk to her car, our food delivery arrives. I pay and take the food inside with me.
We spend the next hour eating, as we talk about Bella's and my relationship. Charlie's not happy, but seems to back off a little. After that Mom starts to make plans for Christmas day.
I will be staying the night and opening gifts with Bella and River. In the afternoon, Bella and River will spend time with Charlie, before they all come over to my parents' house for dinner. Emmett and Rose will be there, and I plan on telling them about Bella and me then. I know Rose already knows that Bella and I have grown real close. She's been giving me the 'I know something' look, but Emmett has yet to spend time with Bella.
That only will leave Alice and Jasper. I am sure that Alice is aware of what happened, and if she is, she has definitely told Jasper about it too.
The days up to Christmas seem to pass at great speed. I have filled out and submitted the job application, and I have an interview on the twenty-eighth. Mrs. Cope was sad to hear that I had applied, but knows that for my life and my current circumstances, it is for the best. Of course, she gave me an outstanding reference.
Jessica is the only other person in the office that is fully aware of what is happening. I know that she likes juicy gossip as much as the next person, but she also knows when to keep things to herself.
Bella and I had gone late night shopping, leaving River with Grandpa Charlie to get the last minute things. Bella and he have had their first meeting with Steven, and it went well. Charlie has backed off a little and is allowing Bella to lead where they're heading. He's still not happy about Bella and I, but is trying hard to accept it. Again, it has only been a few days, but we all seem to be making progress.
I smile as I watch River opening her pile of gifts from Bella and Santa. One thing everyone agreed on was not to buy River things over the amount that Bella had to spend. We all: Mom, Dad, Charlie, and I agreed on a fifty dollar limit for Bella, and sixty for River. It was hard for me to keep to it, because I just want to spoil them both. But at the same time, I don't want to step on Bella's toes. I know she has been saving all year to buy nice things for River, and I don't want her to feel as if she didn't do well enough by her daughter.
"Da-da bay-bee." I look down and take the doll from River.
"That is a pretty baby, does she have a name?" River looks at the doll and then at me.
"Dory," River says decisively, putting Dory the doll into the baby buggy she came with, and opens the next gift.
"Pap-pee," River says, clapping her hands.
"That is a pretty puppy, what will you name her?" Bella asks, smiling at River.
"Dory," River chants, as I chuckle. Dory seems to be the 'in' name. River calls every item that she gets Dory. I smile, remembering how we watched Finding Nemo the other day, and she kept repeating 'Dory' during the movie.
Once River has opened her gifts from Bella and me, I hand Bella a gift from River, and a small box from me. Bella looks a little shy before passing me a gift from both her and River.
The rest of the morning is spent with us playing with River and her new toys. All too soon the time comes when I have to leave her and River at Charlie's.
"I'll be at Mom's, if you need me." I kiss her lips again and hear Charlie clear his throat. I smile at him and nod respectfully, waving as I walk away.
I walk over to my parents' house, seeing Emmett and Rose are already there.
"Hey Eddie, dating our little cousin—that's hot!"
I look at Emmett and roll my eyes at him, as both Mom and Rose slap his head.
"Hey, what was that for? I was being supportive?" Emmett yells as he rubs his head.
"Shut up Emmy, or no sex tonight."
Emmett looks at Rose in shock.
"Merry Christmas, Rose," I say with a smile.
She smiles at me and stands up to give me a hug, before she pulls on my hair. "You hurt that girl, and I will hunt you down," Rose says in my ear.
"Rose, I love them both—I don't plan on hurting them."
She lets me go and gives me a smirk before walking away.
I rub my ear and look at Emmett. "I forgot how scary she can be."
"I know—sexy as fuck, huh?"
I look at Emmett as he looks toward Rose, wiggling his eyebrows suggestively.
"I can't believe that turns you on."
Emmett grins as he looks back at me. "You should see her when I've been a bad boy—I love it."
I shake my head at him. "Too much information, Emmett!"
Before he can say anything else, I join the others. It doesn't take too long before Bella, River, and Charlie join us. We all sit and watch as River opens up the other gifts. Mom and Rose are able to keep the topics of discussion light. I behave myself and make sure that the PDA I share with Bella is PG-rated at most.
Bella and River love the Christmas dinner.
I look around to see Bella carrying a sleeping River.
"I think I should take her home and put her to bed. She's had a long day."
I smile and nod at her.
"So, are you three off now?"
I turn to look at Charlie. His voice was soft and showed no signs of being upset, but I can see in his eyes that he doesn't want this day to end.
"Yeah, I'm going to help Bella get River settled, and then I'll come back over."
Bella and I say our goodbyes, and make our way across the yards.
"Thanks for today. This really has been the best Christmas ever."
I smile at her, and kiss her head.
"Well, look what's going on here! Really, Isabella, shacking up with an older guy?"
Bella and I both turn toward the voice. I see a woman standing there with her hands on her hips, and a guy on each side of her.
"Aren't you going to give your mother a hug and kiss hello?"
I feel Bella begin to shake.
"Say good bye to your friend Bella, James here has been waiting to see his daughter."
I tighten my grip on Bella and River.
"I don't think so, you are not invited here. Leave," I say.
Renee looks at me with a smirk on her face.
"So, is this your new man then, Isabella? How many people are you spreading your legs for nowadays?"
Bella doesn't say anything, just shakes.
"Huh, the whore has no response?"
I grab Bella more and pull her behind me.
"Bella, take River and go back to my mom and dad's," I say, speaking over my shoulder, but not taking my eyes off of the people in front of me.
"If you know what's good for you, you will not move from that spot," Renee shouts. "Really Isabella, look at yourself, you're a disgrace—nothing but a dirty whore. You think he'll stick around when I tell him about how you bedded all of my boyfriends. All of them Isabella, that is tacky—all but my wonderful Phil that is. Or, how about how you got poor James here drunk, and forced yourself on him. I know how you told him you would tell everyone how he raped you if he didn't keep having sex with you. Then you stole our money and ran away with his baby, keeping it away from him?" Renee says, as she looks right at Bella.
I step in front of her to block her view. But Renee carries on talking. "Now give the kid to us. We'll raise her, we know as well as you do that you can't. By God girl, if you don't give us that kid, James will take you to court and you'll never see her again. I'll make sure she forgets you, as she should."
Hearing far more than enough, I cut of her evil speech.
"Listen you evil, malicious bitch, you will never get River—not in a million years. Now you are on private property, so get the fuck off of it before I shoot your asses for trespassing!"
James steps forward.
"I really wouldn't do that if I were you! You've been told to leave," Charlie's loud and demanding voice comes from behind me.
"Hell, yeah! Keep moving forward—give me a reason to beat the shit out of you," Emmett adds.
"Emmett," Carlisle says halfheartedly, before speaking more sternly at the three trespassers. "I believe you have been asked to leave. Just to make sure you know—Bella has us around her now. We help her and River because she is our family. More importantly she has Edward, who loves her and River."
Renee looks at us and begins to laugh. "Oh my dear dumbass child—you're actually stupid enough to be shacking up with your cousin? That's just immoral and wrong—so disgusting—it will never work. And do you know why? Hmm? Well I will tell you why! Washington does not allow first cousins to marry, so all you are to Edward here is a free piece of ass—but you're used to that. Even the state will see it my way, and for what it is—dirty and wrong"
I feel my heart beat so fast. The way she is speaking about us make me feel dirty. "Wait just a minute, I'm adopted," I shout out.
Renee smirks at me, knowing that she has gotten to me. "Clearly you're stupid too, because it doesn't matter. They will have you filling out forms for years. The depravity of the whole thing will do nothing more than help James here get custody of River. I mean, what court would leave a child to be brought up with a dirty whore who is fucking her own cousin?"
I look at Bella, feeling my heart break. "I love you, we will find a way," I whisper. I can see that it is almost as if she's not here with us anymore. I fucking hate that this bitch is making her break like this in front of everyone.
"You really are an evil bitch, but I will not let you hurt my daughter anymore. I've called for a patrol car to come get you off my lawn. You may have hurt her with your words, but there's the difference between you and a good parent. Esme would never allow her past—no matter how much she never wanted to tell it—to keep them apart. She would never allow a simple unpleasant truth be the one thing that stops her child—adopted or not, from being happy."
As the police car comes up and two officers get out. One speaks to Charlie and the other speaks to Renee. I pick Bella up and carry both her and River up to the house.
"Why—why do things keep getting in the way of us being together? Maybe they're all right and this is wrong. But I don't understand that if it's so wrong—why does it feel so right?"
I hold both of them close to me, not saying anything.
"I think there's some stuff we need to tell you."
I look around to see that Charlie and Mom have followed us in.
"Put River down, and once the rest get here; Esme and I have something to talk to you about."
I do what Charlie said, taking some time to help Bella settle herself. When we walk back into the living room, Charlie and Mom are sitting next to each other, and Rose, Emmett and Dad are on the sofa. I sit on the chair and pull Bella onto my lap.
"Edward, how old am I?" Mom asks.
I look at her in confusion. "Um—forty-eight."
She nods her head at me. "How old is Uncle Charlie?"
Again she nods her head at me. "What are our birth months?"
I look at her and roll my eyes. "Uncle Charlie just turned Forty-nine at the end of October, and you'll be turning forty-nine at the beginning of March."
Bella gasps, and I turn to look at her.
"What?" I ask, as she looks at me then to my mom and back at me.
"Edward, that is only four full months and some days between them," Bella says.
I turn to look at my mom. "I'm not a Swan by blood," my mom says as she pats Charlie's hand.
"They adopted you?"
She shakes her head at me. "No, they weren't allowed to. It is a strange situation. They were allowed to be my legal guardians, but were not seen as healthy enough to adopt me. But to me, they were my parents. I lived a few doors down from them, all my life. My father had a quick temper, and my mother always forgave him. When I started school, I became friends with Charlie. I was surprised to learn he lived only a few doors down from me. Soon I was at his house more than my own. My mom allowed me to sleep over to save me from my father. My father didn't care as long as his dinner and beer was on the table. Anyway, our dad—" she motions between her and Charlie, "was a police officer. When I was eight my biological father broke my arm. I have never seen our dad as mad as he was that day," Mom says as she looks at Charlie, who squeezes her hand and nods encouragingly.
"He made sure my father was put in prison, and the court took away his rights. Mom and I were free, but it didn't last long. She was killed in a car accident. She had a will leaving guardianship of me to the Swans in the event something happened to her. I was eleven at the time. So they had a hand in raising me from when I was six, and took complete care of me from the age of eleven. They tried to legally adopt me, but mom was too sick to be considered a candidate. Charlie is my brother, and your uncle in our eyes—but there is no legal or biological bond between us."
Charlie kisses my mom's temple, looking sad. "I always seem to forget that they never got to adopt you. You know that they loved you as their daughter, right?"
My mother nods, and I can tell she is holding back a sob.
Charlie looks at me then Bella. "Renee's wrong, and she is aware of that, since she knows Esme's story. What she said was to hurt you Bella. You and Edward are not doing anything wrong by being together. Truthfully I think he's a little old for you, but that does not make it wrong. We will fight her, James, and Phil together, as a family. We are family, and that means we stick together."
We continue talking, making decisions and plans about what to do. One thing is for sure—there is no way Bella can live here alone. It is decided that I will move in, and Charlie's working on getting a restraining order against Renee, James, and Phil. By the time they all leave, Bella is feeling a bit better.
Because we all heard the way Renee spoke to Bella, it showed us all the way a mom shouldn't speak to their child—but I think what has shocked us the most, and set me completely on edge, was that Bella was not at all surprised by the hatefulness.
That night, I held Bella as close to me as I could. I knew, deep inside, that we were about to be in the fight of our lives.
A/N: We want to mention that Diamond Doll's Kitty Cave, Underground Fight for Love, and Bases Loaded (by JessAndTAT) are all three up for TwiFanFiction Rec's for the month of March. You can go vote by visiting: twifanfictionrecs DOT com 2013 / 04 / 01 / vote-for-your-top-ten-completed-fics-march-2013 / -be sure to remove the spaces and replace the DOT with an actual period. If you don't vote for us, go vote for one of the AWESOME fics that are there. You can vote once every 24 hours.
So what were your thoughts after this chapter? Renee is a piece of work isn't she? I love that we are writing a likeable Jessica, that doesn't happen often. Anything specific you'd like to see happen, well besides Renee meeting an untimely torturous death. What did you think of Esme's sad childhood story? Seems to be pretty clear why they were proud of Edward being a social worker. Looking forward to your thoughts on this story as it continues. XOXO, Nikky & Kasi~