AN: I do not own Twilight.
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I held my breath, hoping Rosalie would just let it drop, but I wasn't that lucky.
"What are you doing here? You heard Bella was dating Edward Cullen, so you just had to worm your way in to see what you could get?"
I gasped, and turned to face my mother. She was livid.
"How dare you. You don't even know me."
Rosalie laughed. "I know enough, Renee. I know that almost two years ago a little girl in shambles found her way into my life, and I've watched her blossom and grow into such a wonderful, amazing woman. I know that she didn't feel deserving of the love and friendships she'd been offered, and that's because of you."
"I love my daughter! You have no idea what you're talking about."
Rosalie scoffed. "I'll be damned if you do anything to mess up her relationship with Edward. She's happy."
"Rosalie," I said softly, grabbing at her arm. "Stop."
She shook her head at me. "No. Bella, I understand that she's your mother, but I'll be damned…"
I turned to my mom. "Mom, can you give me and Rosalie a moment?"
I was spinning. I'd never seen Rosalie so upset, and it bothered me. I knew she cared about me, a lot, but she was going absolutely ballistic on my mom. It was insane.
My mom looked like she didn't want to leave, but finally, nodded and spun around, leaving the room.
"Rosalie, you can't just attack my mother! She hasn't started anything, I swear."
She did not look convinced.
"Bella, isn't it just a little strange that she shows up now? I mean, come on! I just don't want you falling for her shit. You're not her mother—she's not your responsibility to save anymore, not ever, actually. The whole dynamic between you two is fucked up. You need to live your life."
I understood that, and honestly, I agreed with her. "Look, I'm not letting her do anything. I'm moving in with Edward no matter what anyone says. If it's a mistake, oh well. It's my mistake to make. I'm not going to let anyone influence me on this."
She took a deep breath. "Good. That's all I'm saying. I want you to do what's best for you."
I smiled and hugged her around the waist. "I am. Just like we talked about earlier—I'm young and in love and I just want to live."
She ruffled my hair. "That's my girl. Now, does this mean I have to hang out with your mother all day?"
I laughed. "Yeah… I'm afraid we're stuck with her. I don't know what else to do."
She rolled her eyes. "Do I have to be nice?"
"Ugh. Yes, please. I was all excited about this, and now it's a huge clusterfuck."
"We'll manage. I promise. I'll shut my mouth, or at least try."
"Thank you. Thank you for everything. I know I've been a shitty employee lately."
Her laugh filled the room. "You're always a shitty employee. Don't worry about it."
I started to argue, but she was right.
"Mom," I called out. "You can come back."
She walked back into the room slowly, her face drawn and sad. It gutted me. She was a horrible mother, but she really wasn't a bad person. She was insecure and lonely and so deeply sad. Now that I had Edward, I knew what her problem was. She was just looking for someone to make her whole again.
"Can we all just start over again? Mom, this is my boss, landlord, and best friend, Rosalie. Rose, this is my mom, Renee."
Rosalie pressed her lips into a tight line and tried to make it look like a smile as she held her hand out to my mother. "Nice to meet you."
My mom shook her hand, smiled and answered. "It's nice to meet you, as well. I really hope you'll give me a chance, Rosalie. You're very important to my daughter, and I want you to know that I do appreciate what you've done for her."
Rose smiled over at me. "I haven't done much. She works and pays me rent. I don't do her any favors. She's a very responsible and smart woman."
"She always has been," my mother gushed. "I guess if anything, she learned that from taking care of me all these years." She took a deep breath. "All I ever wanted was better for her."
"Well, she has it. She's got a great future ahead of her."
It felt weird listening to them talk about me, so I decided to stop their conversation before I had a stroke.
"Okay, she is in the room, and she is sick of listening to you guys talk about her like she's dead, so can we get some food and then get started on this apartment? I need to move in with my fuck-hot boyfriend as soon as possible. Seriously. I need to be there."
Rosalie grabbed her phone from the pocket of her purse and started dialing. "How's Chinese?"
My mom looked over and we both laughed. "Oh, this is a cute little trio," my mom chirped. "Chinese is perfect."
An hour later, the three of us were sprawled across my living room floor, fat and full from too much Orange Chicken and Chow Mein, and digging through my old shoebox full of old pictures.
"Bella, did you ever have front teeth? These pictures span like… years, and you never have your two front teeth."
I groaned. "I lost my front teeth in first grade, and it took almost the whole year for them to come back. Then, when I was in third grade, I fell out of the bathroom window when I had to crawl in to unlock the door because my mom lost the keys to the house. Knocked both of them out on the soap dish in the bathtub.
They both roared with laughter. "It's not funny, assholes. Anyway, who cares? I was still pretty damn cute."
"Yes you were," Rosalie said, kissing the top of my head. "You and Edward will make the cutest babies on the planet. With your pretty skin and those green eyes of his… even your little nose. They will be gorgeous."
"Oh, grandbabies!" my mother howled. "I never thought I'd say this, but I can't wait to be a grandmother!"
She was drunk, or near to it. We'd polished off two bottles of the cheap crap wine I had in the cupboard, and they were seriously getting on my last nerve.
"I'm not having babies yet. Don't trip."
"But, Bella! Babies are wonderful."
"Jesus," I huffed. "I'll be right back. I need to call my future baby daddy. It's getting late and he's sent me fifty text messages already."
I got up and went into the kitchen, not that it gave me very much privacy. It was literally five steps away.
He picked up on the first ring. "How are you, sweet girl? Are you ready for me to bring you home?"
My heart pitter-pattered in my chest. The way he said home made me soar.
"Um… how disappointed would you be if I stayed here tonight?"
He was quiet for a moment, and I worried he was pissed.
Sighing, I sat on the counter and banged my head against the cupboard. "My mom showed up."
"Mmm," I hummed. "She's drunk. So is Rosalie. We're sort of having a weird ritual bonding thing. I'm freaked out."
He laughed. "You want me to come save you? Are you okay?"
I smiled at his concern. "I'm fine. Now. It was touch and go earlier, but it's entertaining watching them be drunk old ladies." I peeked in at them, and watched as they giggled at the pictures. "I miss you."
He groaned. "I want to come get you. I miss you like crazy. I was shitting my pants thinking you changed your mind."
I laughed. "Not going to happen. I love you and I want this. I'm ready, Edward. I think…" I hesitated. "I think I need this, though. I kind of like my mom right now, and maybe one more night in my own place will be good."
"I understand, baby. You do whatever you need to do. I'll be here and ready for you whenever you want. If you need me to come rescue you, I will."
I giggled. "I know. Thank you for being so patient."
His chuckle sent chills up my spine. "You're lucky I love you. I'm not patient when it comes to you, baby. I'm going to be fucking miserable."
"Ahh. Dream of me. I'll be dreaming of you, too."
He groaned and I knew it was time for me to get off the damn phone. I was a second away from ditching the old broads and climbing out the window to go to him.
"I love you."
"Love you, too, Bella. Tomorrow, right?"
I closed my eyes and smiled. "Yes, tomorrow."
There was silence for a moment, but neither of us wanted to hang up. I let out a little laugh. "I don't want to hang up."
"I don't either," he admitted. "I want to come over, but I don't want to intrude."
I smiled. "Just come. I'm not even going to pretend I don't want you here. Come save me from them."
"I'll be there in twenty."
I could hear the smile and relief in his voice, and that made me happy. We were ridiculous and stupid in love and who cared? For once in my life, I was going all the way.
I clicked the phone off and strolled into the living room. "Edward's coming over. Will you two behave yourselves?"
I was talking more to my mother than to Rosalie, but I didn't want to be a complete bitch and call her out. It was finally calming down, and I didn't want to stir things up again. It was unnecessary. She pretty much had her ass handed to her by Rosalie, and she was actually behaving like a decent human being. I wanted things to be peaceful.
"Oh!" my mom exclaimed. "I can't meet him looking like this. What will he think?"
I rolled my eyes. "He won't care, probably. You look fine. What are you going to do?"
She stood and wiped her hands on her slacks. "I just need to freshen up. You never know, this could be the first time I meet my future son-in-law. I don't want him to think I'm a slob."
That was hilarious. I was the slob and he was mad about me. My mother was never a slob. She was always dressed to the nines and primped within an inch of her life. She probably had more hairspray in her hair than half the city. In fact, she was the only person I knew that wore hairspray.
"Mom, you look fine. Look at me—I'm in my pajamas. He won't care, I promise. Besides, he's not coming to see you anyway. He's coming for me. We miss each other, so he's just coming to say hi, or whatever."
She clasped her hands over her heart and batted her cakey eyelashes. "That is just the most romantic thing I've ever heard." She turned to Rosalie. "Are they always like this?"
Rose gave me a warm smile and nodded. "Always. They are pretty much perfect, like I said."
I'd had enough. "I'm going to pick up a little. I hate it when he sees my house look like this."
Rosalie jumped into action with me, while my mother headed into the bathroom to make friends with her Mary Kay collection.
"I hope she doesn't say anything stupid," I mumbled, pulling a trash bag out of the cupboard. "She says the stupidest things sometimes."
Rosalie laughed. "Like mother, like daughter."
I huffed. "I don't even know why he's coming. This is pretty dumb. I'm not ready for him to meet Renee yet."
She waved me off. "It'll be fine, Bella. I'm here if you need me to shut her up. I think it's sweet that you two can't be apart."
Sweet or psychotic. I wasn't sure which was more correct. I just knew that I fell in love with his arms around me while I slept, and even one night was going to be torture.
"What am I going to do if this lasts? He travels all the time for games! I will be miserable. Shit," I snapped. "I didn't think this through. There's so much to deal with."
She grabbed me by the shoulders. "Calm down, would you? I know you, Bella, and you're going to freak out and second guess everything. I can just imagine the melt down you're going to have the first time you have to take an actual dump in his toilet. Your head is going to explode."
My eyes widened. "Oh my God! He's going to know I poop!"
She groaned. "See? Chill out. Everything is new and it's going to be a learning and growing experience for both of you. You need to just roll with it. I understand your neurotic thoughts. I've gotten used to them. This is why I am begging you to just stop and think. Don't stress on things you can't change. Okay?"
I hung my head. "Like my mother."
"Yes. Like your mother. She might embarrass you, and you might want to run and hide, but she's your mom. You can't get away from this now. She's here. Get it over with and you're done with it. You'll never have to introduce her to him again. He'll already know her, and it's done."
My shoulders sagged with relief. "I really hit the jackpot when I met you, Mrs. McCarty. That husband of yours is really freaking lucky."
She laughed and kissed the top of my head. "You bet your sweet ass he is. Now, see? I married the dumb bastard even after meeting his mother—and let me tell you, that old bag of crazy hates my guts!"
That seemed unbelievable to me. How could anyone hate Rosalie? "Well, I think you're the bee's knees," I said with a smile.
"All right, smart ass. Now, come on. Your apartment smells like public transportation. Let's get this cleaned up."
It only took us a few minutes to clean up, and before I knew it, the rumble of Edward's truck was out front, and my nerves hit the roof.
I ran to the door, breathed deeply, and muttered softly. "It's make it or break it time, Cullen. If you can survive Renee Bradford-Swan-Black-Connelly-Dwyer, you are definitely the man of my dreams."
I swung the door open, and waited for him to walk up to meet me. He looked adorable, and I could see that he'd been ready for bed before he decided to come over. He wore navy blue basketball shorts, a thin white t-shirt, sneakers, and a blue ball cap, backwards.
"Holy Mary Mother of all that is hot and fuckable," I whispered to myself.
Yeah, I was really glad he showed up. I was in such deep shit with him. I was officially a clingy, pathetic girl, and I wasn't even ashamed.
"Hey, baby," he said, holding out a bundle of flowers as he approached. "Damn I missed you."
I grabbed the beautiful flowers and flung myself at him, wrapping my legs around him and my arms around his neck.
"You have to stop being so perfect. I can't handle it."
He chuckled and then pressed his lips to mine. "I'm far from perfect, but if you think so, I like it."
"I do," I said, running my fingers through the hair peeking out from underneath his cap. "And I really like you in a hat. Very sexy."
He closed his eyes and smiled a lazy smile. "This was a stupid idea, you know that? It's really gonna suck going home alone."
I leaned my forehead against his and sighed. "I know. I think it's going to be okay, though. We can't get too used to sleeping in the same bed. I might die in the night when you're away. I'm going to be so lonely."
Yes, I went there. Whatever. It was the truth, and I knew he wouldn't think any differently of me for admitting that I was so attached. He seemed to be just as needy, so we were both pathetic.
"Are you going to let him in?"
I groaned. "You love me for reals, right?"
"Good, because behind me is the most annoying woman you will ever meet. If you think I'm crazy, you are in for a surprise."
"We're coming! Give me a minute!"
I loosened my grip on him and slid down. "Come on, handsome. It's time to meet Renee."
I grabbed his hand and pulled him behind me, dreading the moment my mom decided to open her mouth. Hopefully, she's just be speechless once she got a good look at him, just like I was at first. He had that effect.
Of course, she was waiting in the doorway like a kid on Christmas, and I just wanted to crawl into a hole. On the bright side, at least I only had to introduce him to one parent because Charlie Swan wasn't worth two cents in my book, and if I had it my way, I'd never see him again, anyway.
"Mom," I said, pulling Edward forward, "This is Edward Cullen. My boyfriend. Edward, this is Renee, my mom."
He held his hand out. "Nice to meet you… "
"Just call her Renee. You'll forget her last name if you try to keep track. She could meet husband number five tomorrow, and you'd have to relearn her name all over again."
My mom smacked my shoulder. "Bella! Stop being so sarcastic. I'm so glad to finally meet you, Edward. I've heard lots of good things about you."
He looked over at me and raised an eyebrow. "What? You're perfect, I told you."
He laughed. "Well, I'm glad she had all good things to say about me."
Renee giggled and the tell-tale blush started to sprout on her cheeks. Fucking hell… she was going to throw on the flirts.
"So I hear you've asked my daughter to move in. It seems a little rushed. What are your plans? Are you planning on proposing soon?"
"Mother!" I roared. "Shut it down. For the love of…"
Edward's voice interrupted me. "I realize you're just looking out for the best interests of your daughter, Renee," he said, and Rosalie scoffed. I threw her a dirty look. "It is fast, I realize, but I think when it feels right, you should go with it. I put off talking to Bella for almost a year and I just can't let another minute pass without spending it with her."
"Oh," my mom swooned. "That is just the loveliest thing I've ever heard. "I am truly happy for you both, I just don't want to see my angel's heart get broken. She doesn't have very much experience with dating, and I don't want her getting in too deep."
If there was a look for you are the biggest fucking bitch on the planet and I hope you turn into a poisonous mushroom, then I gave it to her. I wanted to punch her.
"He knows perfectly well how lame I am, mother, but he's such a gem that he overlooks the fact that I'm a loser and loves me anyway. Aren't you glad someone felt sorry for me and scooped me up?" I snapped.
"That's not what I meant," she said quickly.
"Whatever," I grumbled.
She grabbed my shoulder. "Sweetheart, all I meant was… never mind. I'm truly happy for you. I told you this earlier."
I didn't want to argue. She was a moron, and the more I was around her and listened to her talk, the more I realized that I made the best decision ever to move across the country from her.
"So you did," I said. "So can you drop it? This is really not your business anyway."
She pressed her lips together, obviously pissed. "Yes, well, I'm your mother. Whatever you do with your life is my business, and I have every right to ask questions of a man that asks my daughter to move in after what? A few weeks' time? You've always been impulsive, Bella."
"Because I didn't have a parent to show me how to become an adult! Don't patronize me, and don't treat me like I'm some kind of idiot. I'm doing the best I can, and I'm fucking happy. Back off and let me live, would you?"
Tears. I'd reduced my mother to tears. "I'll just be in the other room," she said softly before walking away.
I hung my head. "Shit, shit."
I looked up at Edward, expecting him to be mortified by my temper tantrum, but the look on his face was full of compassion and worry, instead.
"I'm so sorry I acted like that," I cried. "God! She just brings out the worst in me. She didn't deserve that."
He pulled me into a hug and I let the tears come. I felt Rosalie's hand on my back, soothing me like my mother never had. That was the whole thing. She'd never wiped my snotty nose, held a pack of ice against bumps on my head, or sat with me while I explained bad days. She carted me around from place to place, searching for her happiness.
For the first time ever, I was completely happy. I'd been content, I'd coped, I'd known fleeting fun, but never, ever, had I felt so wanted and adored and just fucking alive.
Her voice was soft and timid, and again, I reminded myself. She was who she was. She was selfish and immature and flaky, but that was her problem. Forever she would be my mother. I didn't want to bring the negative bullshit between us into my relationship with Edward. I was sick of carrying it around.
"Mom, not now. I'm sorry I yelled, but I think it's better if we just talk in the morning if you don't mind."
"I think it's time for me to leave," she said in a flat voice. "I truly came to spend time with you, not cause you to be upset."
I sighed and looked up at Edward, like he'd know what to do. I was sure his family was normal and I knew they were tight-knit, so I felt so embarrassed acting like a raving bitch.
"Don't leave, Mom. We'll talk in the morning."
"Do you want me to stay?" Edward asked.
I smiled. "There's nowhere to sleep, but thank you for wanting to."
I meant more. I was glad he still wanted to stay with me.
"Okay. How about I come take you ladies to breakfast tomorrow."
I nodded. "Mom, would you like to have breakfast with me and Edward in the morning?"
She smiled through tears and nodded. "I'd love to. A fresh start?"
I nodded. It seemed like I was constantly giving her a fresh start. This time, however, it was the last time I gave her the chance. I had something more important—the most important thing—at stake.
Thank you everyone for reading! I appreciate it so much! I'll try to get another chapter out this week, but I'm not promising one. I have to finish my Fandom for Oklahoma outtake (see the link below to donate!) and work on my Lesson for Smut University.
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