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Chapter 19

Jacob heads towards the door with his pack over his shoulder.

"Hey" Bella greets him walking in.

"Hey…been out all night?

"Sort of, yeah" Bella nods, ready to drop, she is so tired, and then she had to swim to the bank with Edward. They lay out on the grass for an hour together, just talking again, drying off.


"Jake, please" Bella doesn't want to do this now with him.

"Fair enough"

"Where are you going?" She notices his things.

"Camping with a bunch of buddies"

"Oh, I didn't know, the week?"

"Yeah" He nods looking at her. "You look nice"

"Please" Bella rolls her eyes. "I am a holy mess right now"

"Well, it is a pretty mess"

"Why do you say such sweet things to me?"

Jacob just looks at her, he smiles a bit. "I'll see you in a week" He leans in and presses a kiss to her cheek. "Don't get into trouble, okay?"

"I won't" Bella smiles watching him head out the way she just came in.

Bella stands in the shower and smiles as she washes her hair and self. She really had a good time with Edward. Part of her hopes that they can continue on like this and fix their broken friendship, and she can fix her broken self. He is so amazing, everything is just right with him. She knows she puts everything about him into one basket…all her eggs in one basket, but he has been there, since she was little, he is just part of her now. They just seem to share something, it is personal and natural.

Wrapping a towel around his middle he steps from the glass shower panes. "Charlotte"

"Where were you last night?" She looks at him, he looks so handsome. His hair is slicked back and facial hair looks entirely too perfect.

"Oh, um"

"Do you want to end this now?"

"End what, us?"

"Yes us"

"What, no" Edward looks at her confused. If this is about Bella, and he knows it is, they are just friends.

"Were you with her?"

"She is going through something"

"So the answer is yes"

"Charlotte, I love you"

"Do you?" She has her arms folded over her chest. "Sometimes I think you love her"

"I do love her" He notices the look on her face. "But not the way I love you"

"I'm sorry, I'm just" She shakes her head. "I…"

He steps forward and pulls her close. "It's okay" He kisses her mouth lightly. "It'll be fine"

Sue moves around. "I need your help"


"You know the party?"

"Tonight, yeah" Bella chews a muffin.

"Jules is sick; I need your help to serve"

"Oh" She says, her mouth still in the 'o' shape.

"Can you?"

"Um, sure, yeah" Jake is off camping for the next few days, and Edward, well…she hasn't seen him around much since the other night. That is normal; she has been staying in this part of the house to avoid seeing Mr. Masen.

"Oh thank you so much sweetie" Sue grabs her face and kisses the woman she hasn't seen in ages, the woman that feels much like a daughter to her.

Charlotte adjusts Edward's tie and smiles brushing her hands down his chest. "You look handsome as ever"

Edward gives her a grin. "That dress is really amazing"

"I knew you would like it"

"Shall we join the party?" He offers her his arm.

She feels anxious doing this, the only thing that is holding her together, and it is not Edward, but it is the fact that Edward Masen Sr. will be in plenty company, his wife, friends and his son, so his behavior towards her would be respectable…to say the least.

Bella dresses in a white crisp blouse and a black knee length skirt, with flat black shoes. Her hair is pulled back into a tight bun.

"You look great" Sue comments to Bella, and the rest of the staff lined up for tonight. It must go off with utter perfection really. There will not be mistakes and she knows that everyone is aware of that. Clasping her hands together she recites direction and instruction for everyone.

Edward mingles when he and Charlotte come down, but Charlotte is quickly pulled away from him by his mother who is over the moon to show off the young girl to her friends. Looking around he spots his father and feels rage. His father greets him by lifting his glass to him and smirking. Edward simply turns away.

Bella smiles holding a small tray of canapés.


"And you" She grins at him unable to help it.

"Well this is a sight I have never seen" He says of her outfit as a server taking an item from her tray.

"I moonlight sometimes"

"Very nice" Edward smiles before chewing.

Bella arches her eyebrows at him. She looks around the room and spots Mr. Masen, looking at him for a moment she looks back to Edward. Forcing a smile she licks her lips quickly.

Glancing over his shoulder he looks back to her. "Ignore him"

"I have to make my rounds" She mutters walks by him.

Edward stands with his mother and Charlotte, she Esme Masen is droning on about how amazing he is, and how wonderful Charlotte is, and how prefect they are together.

"So Edward will you and Charlotte be starting a family very soon after the wedding in a few months?"

Edward can't even fathom the idea of having children right now. He is not even 30. "Um" He looks to Charlotte for some sort of support.

"Not right away, no, but children are in the future" She looks at Edward and smiles.

"Oh grandchildren, I want to be in that club" Esme smiles. "But not for a few years, I am too young still" She laughs.

"How is the wedding planning going Esme?"

"Oh, I think I am having more fun than Charlotte here" Esme looks at Charlotte.

"No, it is so much fun" Charlotte insists. Esme is amazing and attentive; Edward must get those qualities from her. Her parents are flying down in a few weeks; she needs to have a dress fitting and wants her mother there, as well as Esme. It will be good fun.

"Excuse me" Edward says kissing Charlotte on her cheek before walking across the room.

Bella is standing at a large window which overlooks much of the Masen grounds. The moon is almost full. Her arms are crossed beneath her breasts. Sighing softly she looks to the side at him. "What are you doing out here?"

"I just took another image of you I will draw later"

Looking away from him she looks back out across the window.

"Shouldn't you be in there?" He throws his thumb behind him making reference to the room.

"Shouldn't you?" She questions right back.

"Yeah" Edward laughs. "I probably should" Coming over he takes a seat in the large window seat. She is still standing looking out, his back to the glass and view he looks forward, glancing up at her for a second or two.

"So why are you out here?"

"Why are you?" He would love to know why she is out here and not in there.

"Edward" Bella says his name because he is irritating her so.

Smiling he glances at her reaching up he takes her wrist, which is crossed beneath her breast and pulls it lightly, telling her to sit with him.

Turning Bella sits down next to him and crosses her legs at the knee. "I felt like I couldn't breathe"

"I think we were feeling the same thing" Edward admits to why he is out here.

Glancing at him she smiles and leans over resting her head on his shoulder.

Edward takes his hand and reaches over to smooth down the side of her face once.

"Where is my drawing?"


"Oh" She knows why, but hates that is seems like their innocent friendship is like an illicit affair.

Edward sighs softly. He needs to get back.

Turning her head after she lifts it from his shoulder she looks at him. "Meet me tonight?"

Edward presses his forehead against hers firmly and sighs out. "Bella" He scolds her like he has done many times before.

"I just want to feel free again" She whispers her breath his warm.

Her warm breath floods his senses and he shuts his eyes tightly. If anyone comes from that door right now, all hell would break loose.

"Please?" She whispers letting her nose touch his lightly.

"Okay" Edward whispers right back before pulling back and looking at her. "2" He tells her.

"Yes" Bella nods quickly watching him stand.

Bella walks to the lake, through the long grass. Her arms wrap around her body, she is worried he won't be there. She needs this, so much time passed without him and she wants it all back.

Edward is sitting with his feet in the water on the bank holding his sketch pad.

"Stranger" She greets with a smile. He looks nice in the moonlight.

He just gives her a smile as she sits next to him, crossing her legs so they don't go into the water.

"What are you drawing?"

"Nothing, just waiting for you" He smiles rocking into her causing her to laugh.

"Ow" She whines with a smile.

"It didn't hurt baby"

"Do you know how many times you have called me that growing up?"

"I imagine a lot"

"A lot" Bella confirms.

"Well you aren't a baby anymore" Edward points out.

"No" Her voice is soft. "I'm not"

"Sometimes, when a man calls a woman baby it is a term of endearment"

"Are we gonna do this dad, have the sex talk?" Bella can't help but laugh due to the look on his face.

"Do you want the sex talk?" He leers at her.

"No, I don't need to have the sex talk"

"I asked if you wanted it"

"Stop it" Bella tells him turning away.

"I'm sorry" Edward says honestly to her. She is right, he has been right with the distance. "Are you going to let me draw you now?"

"I didn't know you wanted to again"

"I always want to" Edward informs her gently.

"Jacob went camping I see" Edward mutters glancing at her. She is lying against the tree, with her head turned to the side, and eyes cast down. Her left hand is lightly thrown/resting over her abdomen, and legs outstretched crossing at the ankles.


"Are you seeing anyone Bella?"


"Is it because of my father?"

"It is because of me" Bella answers not really wanting to answer. "I did meet someone"

"Oh yeah?"

"Yeah, he was, he is a great guy, we"

"Did you sleep with him?" Edward doesn't look at her but he is not drawing either.

Bella lifts her head and looks at his bent one. "Yes"

Edward lifts his head and looks at her, meeting her eyes, and there is a shared something for a fleeting moment. "Do you feel free now?"

"With you, I always feel free"

Edward rests his sketch pad down and crawls over to her; before he gets to her she straightens up and looks at him with wide eyes.

"Go back over there" She tells him gently.

"You have always wanted this" Edward's face is inches from hers. His forehead hovers against hers lightly. 'Do I want this…it doesn't matter what I want, never has, it is always what I should be doing' Edward runs through his head.

"Be fair" She places her hands on his shoulders.

"To whom?" He feels like his privileged life has been the most unfair of all.

"Yourself, Charlotte, me" She shuts her eyes and presses a kiss to his mouth lightly before pulling back. 'What was that?'

Edward sits back and looks at her. "You're right"

"I really" She smiles, her fingers touch her lips and she stares at him. "We should get back to the house and to bed"

"What is his name?"

"Whose name?" Bella moves a bit so that she is sitting with her legs crossed.

"The great guys?"


Edward doesn't know what he feels about that. He should be happy, would his happy be a fake happy like hers is for him, with Charlotte. He doesn't know.