Word Prompt: Arrow
My palms felt sweaty as the door squeaked open and I was hit with a blast of cold air. The sun was fading pretty fast and it was steadily approaching dinner time.
The cabin we were staying in was pretty well secluded from any other residence and even the main roads were quite a few minutes by car up the road. Edward's Volvo was still exactly where it had been parked the day before and it didn't look like he was inside of it. As I scanned the front area, I noticed a bench towards the side of the cabin that I hadn't seen the day prior.
On it, sat Edward with his head in his hands. His shoulders were still so I was pretty sure he wasn't crying, but he also wasn't moving as I approached him.
"Edward," I called out only a few steps behind him and his body swung up and around towards me. His eyes were red, his cheeks pink from the cold, and his eyes...his eyes were hallow. The look of utter devestation had been painted on his once cheerful expression and, as if it was possible, he looked like he had aged a decade in a matter of hours.
I said his name again, though it came out in a broken whisper as tears threatened to fall from my own eyes. As I walked towards him I hoped that he wouldn't push me away because I wasn't sure I could handle that, though I would if he needed to be alone still.
He wasn't angry or mad, that much I could tell, but he also looked so broken. I hated his parents, I hated them.
When I touched his hand it was as cold as ice so I pulled on it to get him to stand. "You're freezing," I said, "Come inside, please."
He didn't say anything, but nodded his head and followed me through the door. I immediately walked to the thermostat and turned the heat on before grabbing a blanket and wrapping it around him as he sat down on the couch. I fumbled with the fireplace to get it going so that I could warm the large open space as quickly as possible.
My mind wracked back and forth on what to do. Was he in shock? Is that why he wasn't speaking? Or, was it something else? I didn't know.
Once the fire started to roar, I walked over to the couch and wrapped my body around his. It was slightly awkward since he was so much taller than I was and his clothes were still so cold, but I pushed my discomfort aside and just held him.
Though it took a minute or two for him to respond, once his arms were around me I knew we would be okay. I didn't know how I knew, I just knew.
Time seemed to stand still as we sat together, Edward eventually pulling me onto his lap and wrapping the blanket around us both after pulling off his hoodie. As I snuggled into his chest and let him hold me close, I decided now was as good as any to try and talk.
"Will you talk to me?" I asked quietly with my face in the crook of his neck.
"About what?" he surprised me with a response. I looked up and noticed that his face was basically back to normal. His eyes were still a little red, but the normal color had returned to his cheeks and his lips weren't as dry. His eyes also seemed to light up a little more than before, but I could still see the hurt behind them.
"Anything," I replied. I wanted to ask him about his phone call, of course, but I knew that would come in time. I just wanted to get him talking, the subject didn't really matter right then.
"I love you," he said as I felt the warmth of his lips hit my forehead. One those three little words had been spoken a sutle peace took the arrow that had been lodged in my stomach since this afternoon out.
"I love you, too," I whispered back as I melted just that much closer to his body. He pulled me in close for a tight hug before relaxing after a second.
"I hadn't realized how late it had gotten," Edward told me. "I lost track of time so I'm sorry if I worried you. When I got off the phone with my uncle, I called my mom. It wasn't my intention to sit outside for so long."
"It's okay," I told him, and it was. Did it hurt just a little that he hadn't raced to me for comfort? Yes. But I should have expected him to try and work it out in his head first because that is how he always was. Edward was the protector and I knew how much he hated appearing weak in front of me. "Do you want to talk about it?"
"I'm not sure I'll ever want to talk about it," he rushed out quickly before he caught his own tongue. I looked up in confusion as I watched him take in what he just said. "I'm sorry, that came out wrong. I mean, I will, but I don't really want to."
"Then don't," I told him again, but he shook his head before I was even done speaking.
"You deserve to know, you should know," He muttered but it almost sounded like a pep talk to himself more than it was for me. "But first, do you think we can make a sandwich or something?"
"Of course!" I replied with way more enthusiam than was necessary. "How about you talk while I cook?"
"Sounds good," he chuckled as I rose from his lap and walked towards the kitchen. My stomach had started growling too so I was more than happy for the change in atmosphere.
Thankfully, I had already planned a pretty easy dinner meal for the night anyway so instead of sandwiches I worked on the stuff to make fajitas. They'd be far more filling than a sandwich and I pulled out more chicken than I originally planned on since Edward had skipped lunch and I knew he was probably starving.
Normally, Edward would help me cut stuff up as I cooked, but this time I handed him a beer and pointed at the bar stool. He almost looked like he was going to protest, but didn't in the end.
I wasn't sure how he went from basically catatonic to alive and alert so quickly, but I had a feeling Edward was throwing up a front for my sake. Part of me was thankful, the other part not so much.
"So, tell me what you want okay?" I prompted and he nodded. "If it's too much, I'll understand."
"Well, I called my uncle and he basically gave me the run around for the first thirty minutes of the conversation. All he would tell me was that I really shouldn't be around Marcus right now, that Elizabeth wasn't making a wise choice, and that he really didn't want to tell me why. Of course, I wasn't actually going to accept that so I told him to tell me now or I was just going to call my mother. When that didn't phase him, I told him I'd call my father and he broke," Edward explained factually and with more emotion in his voice than I expected.
"In that moment, I didn't know why involving my dad would matter, but it broke a flood gate with my uncle so it worked. Part of me wished I hadn't though." When I heard him sigh, I turned away from the peppers I was cutting to smile at him. He took a few swigs of his beer before continuing. "Apparently, the secretary wasn't the first affair my father had. That alone shouldn't shock me, but it kind of did. And then I realized why it was so relevent when my uncle explained that my mother first caught my father having an affair with Di, Marcus' wife. Her death always struck me as odd, not so much how she died, but how badly it bothered my dad and now that I know that, I guess that makes sense. The affair happened before I was born, but I'm sure things happened after I was born."
I nodded my response as I glanced back at him waiting for him to continue. "When my mom first found out she freaked, as my uncle explains it. She initially wanted a divorce, but my dad talked her out of it. Either way, their marriage went on. About a year before I was born, my mom caught my dad again with Di. She was married to Marcus by that point, and my mom was so angry she called Marcus up to tell him the truth. My parents seperated for a little over a month before my dad talked my mom back into staying. By the time that happened, she had started her own affair with Marcus. My dad eventually found out and then turned the tables on her and said he wanted out."
As Edward talked certain puzzle pieces began to click in my head. Of course, that didn't explain Elizabeth's whole 'good wife' line to me in my dorm room, but that could have also been a front. Edward always said his parents cared more about what others thought than they should, so it would make sense for her to be far less than she appeared. It did beg the question of why she'd bother leaving Edward Sr. now. Obviously, cheating wasn't something new for him, or her I guess, maybe she had finally had enough.
Edward paused to take a few more sips of his beer and I could tell he was getting uncomfortable. Despite cooking I had been following along pretty decently until I satrted thinking about a calendar. If Elizabeth was having an affair with Marcus about a year before Edward was born and that affair didn't end until...I gasped and whipped myself around.
"You obviously see where this is going," Edward rambled as he finished his beer off and stood up to grab another. "Obviously, their timeframe calls a lot of things into question. As my uncle explains it, no one actually knows. My mom never had me tested, my father threatened Marcus within an inch of his life if he told anyone, but his affair with Di never ended and my mother knew it the entire time. When she died, Marcus disappeared for a while, but showed back up a few years later. He never remarried and he still spoke to my parents, but I didn't see him as much. But now he's dating my mother, so there's that."
The sarcasm in his voice wasn't lost on me as he tipped his beer up for more than a few seconds.
"Slow down there," I told him as I grabbed the beer and pushed it down the counter. "So basically, your father may not actually be your father, but no one took it upon themselves to figure it out?"
"Yup. It's why my father fought me on the money, but the way my uncle explained it my own mother threatened to reveal the truth about everything if he didn't drop the case. And there is nothing more that Sr. hates than to appear less than perfect. So he did. But, my uncle fears that once my dad gets wind of what my mom is up to that he'll come back after me," he explained. "At this point, I don't think he cares about either one of us enough to stop if he tries again."
"Would he win?" I asked.
"I don't think so, but my grandmother left me that money under the assumption that I was his child. If I'm not, I don't know," he said as his eyes averted from me. "My dad, of course, would know the laws better than me. I'm sure there would be room to argue the case."
"Do you want to find out?" I asked, though by this time I was back to cooking to ensure our food wasn't burnt.
"I don't know. One one hand, yes because I feel like I deserve to know the truth. But, I don't know of any good that could come of it. If my dad is my dad than I have grown up with his hatred for nothing. If it's Marcus, than I was actually abanoned by my real dad and left in place of someone who never really treated me like a son," Edward reasoned sadly as I nodded. "At this point, what's the point?"
"You know I'll support you either way, right?" I figured I was stating the obvious, but it needed to be said, "Whatever happens, it doesn't change us."
"You know, that is what I was thinking about outside for so long," He told me as he walked behind me to grab plates to dish out our food. "After everything we've gone through, after all the drama at school, to the issues at your parents house with what's his name, and now to this, I had no clue how to walk in here and tell you this. I feel like everytime I turn around it's something, and it's never us, but it's effecting you or me which effects us. You have brought this peace to my life that I didn't even know existed," he said very seriously as his fingertips came up to brush my face, "But somehow, I feel like all I've brought you is problems."
I gasped at his confession and my eyes snapped to his. "You have brought me so much more than problems, Edward. You..."" I stopped and tried to consider how to word my next thought.
"Bella," he interrupted, "I know you love me, I have no doubt in my mind that that is true, but you can not tell me that I have not honestly brought more drama to your life than there was before. I know that I have and that is the part that kills me."
Irritated with not just the interruption, but also what he said, I snapped, "You can't tell me that I bring you this peace and have me accept it, if you won't. I've found a lot of things in meeting you; some things I only wished to one day find, but these problems, the drama, it's nothing. At the end of the day, you're mine and I'm yours and if we wanted to shut the door to the world we could. The only issue I have is when your problems or my problems start to hurt us, because from where I sit, I think we're doing just fine."
Edward opened his mouth to talk, but I shook my head to stop him. I hated to admit that I was getting mad, but I was...I couldn't believe those words, as hard as they were for him to admit to, actually came out of his mouth. "Do you not think I would fight through anything with you? That I don't sit and wonder exactly what to say to you because I've never been through the things you're going through, but I want so desperately to help you through it? That everyday I wake up and want to see your face or hear your voice or feel your lips on mine because that makes me happy? That being near you, being able to touch you, and talk to you is what brightens my day? That I can go to a party and know that, even if we're not right next to each other, I can still be myself because you're not judging or smothering me? At what point, do you think you're not worth everything I feel and give you because the Edward I know, the Edward I fell so madly and deeply in love with knows that," I ranted as Edward just stood there and took everything in that I said. A few times he showed a reaction, but he stayed quiet and listened.
"You are..." I started and took a breath before looking him dead in the eyes. "You are the other half of me that was put on this planet for me to find. And there is not a single day since we've been together, that I've questioned that. Do not make me question it now. Your parents, your family even has it's issues. Mine aren't perfect either, but they're not us. I've told you this before and it's even truer now. I am not your mom and you are certainly neither of those men. You are an amazing leader, an amazing friend and cousin, an amazing student, you're compassionate, and empathetic, and you make this world a better place just by being in it. You can not let this taint what is inside of you because if you do it will eat at you, and frankly, I will not sit by and let that happen. I won't, because above all, to me, you're just Edward, my simply amazing boyfriend who rocks in every way shape and form that I need him to. And this certainly isn't going to take him away from me."
We both stood there motionless for a few seconds once the sounds stopped coming from my mouth. I wasn't sure if Edward wanted to scream at me or accept what I had just said, but his face gave nothing away.
The food on the stove was going to get cold if I didn't do something, so instead I turned away from him to start dishing everything onto the plates he had set down. If he wasn't ready to talk yet that was fine, he could mule over everything I had just said for as long as he wanted to, but we both needed to eat.
As I walked to the table, I realized he had moved to the refrigerator and was pulling out stuff for each of us to drink. Obviously, that was a good sign.
When he came to sit down at the table, he moved his plate from directly in front of me to directly next to me instead.
"I do accept everything you give me," he said quietly as he opened up a can of pop. "I accept it and cherish it, Bella. I cherish you."
"Then stop waiting for the other shoe to drop," I told him. "It's not going to."
"I know," he agreed.
"Do you truly believe it?" I questioned with a serious look.
"Yes, I believe it, I honestly believe it," he told me and I nodded my acceptance.
Not only would it do neither one of us any good to keep talking about it, but there came a line between talking and nagging, and I hated nagging.
"You said you called your mom?" I said, letting it hang in the air.
"Yeah, I basically told her that our dinner was cancelled, I had talked to my uncle, that I knew the truth, and then I hung up and turned my phone off," he explained. "I don't know when I'll be ready to talk to her again, but it's not right now."
"That isn't such a bad idea," I agreed with him. "How about your aunt and uncle?"
"I'm torn on that one. I want to be angry with them for not telling me sooner, even in the past few years, but I also know they were trying to protect me. I give them each points for admitting it all once confronted, but I expect New Years to be a little uncomfortable," he answered.
"We can skip," I offered, but he shook his head no.
"No, I can cut off my parents without a care in the world, but I can't do that to my aunt. Even if I'm not overly thrilled with her, she deserves better," he reasoned, which I gladly accepted.
I knew my Edward was in there somewhere. His comment about Esme just confirmed that his momentarly loss of sanity wasn't permanent.
"Why do you have such a goofy grin on your face?" he asked a second later, but I just shook my head with a smug grin. "Oh, so you wanna play that game?"
When he pushed his plate further onto the table, I bolted for the back bedroom.
Edward being more athletic and definitely faster meant he was hot on my heels after merely a second and had me pinned to the ground even faster. I was laughing and giggling as his hands tickled my stomach until I basically screamed enough.
I was gasping to catch my breath and he was still laughing when his lips met mine as he laid over top of me on the floor.
"Do you want to?" he hinted with his eyes on the bedroom door.
"Tell me, is there ever a time I don't want to?" I replied with a smirk.
"Not in recent memory, but I do remember a time when you told me you didn't actually feel anything from sex," he teased me as my eyebrow shot up at him.
"Yes, well, you've cured me of that so that hasn't really been a problem as of late," I reminded him. As the bedroom door shut behind us, only moments later, I knew things weren't necessarily exactly where they were before, but I also knew they'd get there. And I had faith in Edward that it wouldn't take him long to fix it.
This chapter was sorta all over the place, my apologizes, but now I have to sleep since my kids will be up in about 3 hours. Go me!