Here it is, bitches! The sequel to 'The Workings of Fate'! If you haven't read that one I advise you do before you read this.
I don't. Stephenie does.
Bella mumbled and pulled the bed cover tight under her chin. Her back was to me and the only noise she made in response to anything I said was a manly grunt. I was leaving in a handful of hours and this was not how I wanted us to part.
"Sweetheart, I'm sorry."
"Sorry?" She imitated, flipping over to face me with a face like fury. "How can you be sorry? I told you a thousand times that this is the one thing I did not want you to do yet you went ahead and booked it anyway!"
"If I had the option I would have refused the offer, but this is my job, Love – I couldn't refuse it."
"Yes you can! Twice a year they told you – twice a year you'll have to make those week-long trips somewhere, but this is the fourth in three months! And I've only been here three months! It's not you going away that annoys me, it's what you'll be doing."
It killed me to see the fear in her eyes which were also glazed with unshed tears. I covered her fisted hands with mine and shuffled over to bring us closer. "You have no reason to be scared, Love. I know what I'm doing." I thought my own vote of confidence would have helped, but sadly it didn't.
"You've never done this before, Edward, how do you know what you're doing?"
My reply was cut off by the loud knocking on the bedroom door. "Can I come in?" We don't feel comfortable having locks on bedroom doors, so Cooper was told to knock before entering, and (so far) we've been safe from any accidental oopsies.
"Of course you can, Bud." I hoped that Coop's presence would rid Bella of her mood. He sprinted over and leaped onto the bed between us. Half a chicken sandwich in hand.
"Can we have a Lazy Saturday today?" He tore into his sandwich which dotted crumbs down his pyjamas.
"We don't have the time for one this morning 'cause I need to go to the airport, remember?"
"Oh yeah… that really sucks. Bella are you as jealous as I am? I've wanted to swim with sharks, like, my whole life."
"No. I'm not jealous. I'm going to shower." Cooper watched as Bella got out the bed, grabbed some fresh clothes and went into the en suite without saying another word.
"Did… did I do something wrong?"
I understood that she was annoyed and she had every right to be, but I didn't appreciate her being short to him like that; especially when he looked so upset.
"Of course not, Bud. Bella isn't happy that I'm going away again and so it is nothing that you have done."
"And 'cause you're going to swim with Great Whites?" He chewed on another bite of his sandwich.
"Yes, because of that. I don't think you'd like it either if I worked with something you were very scared of."
"But I'm not afraid of anything, Padre, so you can do what you want."
I chuckled. "You know what I mean, Coop."
"Promise me you won't do anything stupid; you won't stick your arm out the cage or try and touch them or…"
"Sweetheart," I took a hold of her shaking hands. "We're tagging them, so I can't promise you that, but I can promise you that I will be careful. I know what I'm doing."
After some consideration it seemed Bella's fuse had died and she was no longer as angry. "I'm sorry," her lips pouted – she laid her cheek upon my shoulder. "I don't know what's got into me. I love you and we're going to miss you so much."
I brushed my lips with hers to save the moment until I returned in twelve days. "I love you, too. Keep yourselves safe and I'll ring when I arrive in Gansbaai."
"Cooper! Dad is leaving now!" Bella called down the hallway.
"Waait! I can't move or else the Weeping Angel will get me!"
We stood around for a few minutes, reminding Cooper that he had to hurry or else I'd miss my flight, and he soon came running, dressed as the Doctor with a black suit, long, brown trench coat and white Converse with a toy sonic screwdriver in his left hand.
"Have fun playing with the sharks, Padre – take lots of pictures of their teeth!" Bella shivered, but Cooper didn't notice that and carried on talking. "Sometimes they can get their heads stuck in the bars of the cage and if that happens definitely take a picture of that! Oh! Great Whites can get to 13ft long which is, like, double the length of Uncle Emmett! See if a shark has opened its mouth fully? You could easily slide inside it."
Bella covered her mouth with her right hand, like she was trying not to be sick. I took her left to steady her balance.
"Do you want to know more, Padre?"
"Thanks, Bud, but I have to get going now." I crouched down to his level. "You be good for Bella when I'm gone and help with all the pets, okay?"
"Aye." He said with a proud smile. "I'm being the 10th Doctor today and he is actually from Scotland, so I'm learning some Scottish words."
"Excellent idea, Coop. I'll see you in two weeks okay? Love you, Bud."
"Love you too, Dad."
"You grab some fresh papers and bedding and I'll start to empty the hutch, right?" Coop was cuddling Paul the guinea pig to his chest and tickled him between his ears. He didn't listen to a word I said. "Cooper, I'm talking to you." I don't know where my short temper came from, but no matter how calm I got it would lash out without warning.
"Aw, haud yer wheesht; I'm playing with Paul."
He looked from Paul to me and then broke out in a childish grin, "it's another Scottish phrase I've learnt! It's means 'be quiet'/'shut up'/'hold your tongue'."
"Well I don't appreciate you telling me to shut up, so please put Paul in the run with Gary and help me clean out your pets."
Coop frowned and pouted his lips. "Are you sad that Padre has gone 'cause you're not being very nice today."
And just like that, my mood evaporated and I suddenly felt as guilty as sin. "I'm sorry, Coop; I don't mean to be moody. Can you forgive me?"
When he didn't answer and turned away to put Paul in the run I was certain that he wouldn't forgive me and that I had put a dent in our friendship, but then he ran at me for a hug and I knew I was only being silly. "Yes, I forgive you, Bella. But only if we can have ice cream after dinner…" His smile looked wicked and mischievous.
"Is that not what we always do?" Whenever Edward is away we always do things that he doesn't often allow. Like eating ice cream after having dinner, or 'flying' down aisles on a shopping cart wearing a superhero cape. We go wild!
"Well, yeah, but maybe you don't want to…"
Ooh this boy, how I love him. "I can't say no to ice cream, Coop. Especially when it's our secret after-dinner ice cream."
"Yaaay! And what are we having for dinner? Tacos?!"
"Yeah, we can have tacos if you want. But first we need to clean out this hutch – it's starting to smell."
"The eggs for the soufflés – where, where did it all come from?" Cooper spoke to the cardboard cut-out of a Dalek. He was playing a game where the Doctor was speaking to a lady called Oswin, but she was hidden somewhere and he went to find her. They spoke about making soufflés, but Oswin needed eggs. Turns out, she was a Dalek all along, yet she didn't remember being turned.
"I am human; I am not a Dalek… I am human… I am not Dalek…" His voice was soft, imitating that of a young lady, but as his line progressed his voice became strangled to imitate a Dalek.
I sat on the couch with Flash curled up beside me. We watched Cooper's playing in amusement; how he jumped back and forth between characters.
"Eggs…" He croaked.
"It wasn't real. It was never real." Said the Doctor.
He subtly brought the cut-out closer before jumping back into the character of the Doctor. "No-no.. Oswin, Oswin…"
"Oswin, Oswin!" Coop backed up with his hands up to shield.
"Ex…" He was quiet for a minute. "Why do they hate you…so much? Hate you, so much…"
The Doctor relaxed and stepped closer to Oswin/Dalek… whoever Coop pretended it was. "I fought them. Many, many times."
"I have grown… stronger in fear… of… you…" His croaking voice drawled on, like the character had become weak.
The next thing I recall, he was ducking and dodging something invisible as he ran around the living room. Flash, noting the excitement, barked and joined in with the running. Coop took out his sonic screwdriver and 'bzzz'ed it against the door handles to magically open it. Not even ten seconds later they both trotted back into the room and Coop ended his performance with a theatrical bow.
I clapped – of course. "Well done, Sweetheart; that was very good."
"Thanks. I didn't remember how it ended on TV, so I just made it up and the Doctor likes to run a lot, so, y'know."
"Well I think it ended perfectly."
"Oh!" He put the tip of his finger to his lips. "If I was saying it how the 10th Doctor (the Scottish one) would say it, it would have been 'a dinnae ken how it ended'."
"Is that right? Wow, you've learnt a lot of new sayings."
"Aye," he bounced on the couch, "I looked for it on the internet – like what I did with Italian phrases. They say 'pure' instead of 'really' "I pure liked that movie" and…oh, what was it again…Um… yeah! If you say 'dinnae fash yersel' it means 'don't worry'. And 'small' is 'wee'."
I couldn't help but wonder how he remembers all of that – I had already forgotten what he had said first. But I didn't have time to dwell on that, because all of a sudden a strange wave of nausea flowed through my throat. I couldn't tell if I was going to vomit or if it was only the feeling, but I ran to the nearest toilet anyway.
Thank God I did, because I was seeing my lunch the second my head was bowed.
"Are you okay, Bella?" A tiny voice was heard coming from behind me.
I nodded, "I'm fine, Coop."
"Are you sure? I can ring Grandpa if you want?"
"Honestly, I'm fine – you don't need to phone Grandpa. But can you get me some water?"
The second he ran off, I threw up again.
"I'm sorry I didn't make you tacos, Coop."
"It's okay. I prefer pizza anyway!" He happily took a bite from his meat feast. Not only did my stomach feel weak and queasy, but it was also something Edward doesn't indulge on often (if ever), so I ordered one for Coop to enjoy.
We went back to watching Harry Potter in silence.
"Are you still feeling ill, Bella?"
I had to think about my answer. "A little bit, but I'll be okay."
"Maybe you have a creature inside you! Like a little Adipose!" He put down his plate of pizza slices and grabbed the sonic screwdriver. "Lemme see…" I played along and leant back to give Coop the space to 'bzz' the toy against my legs, stomach, arms and head. "Nope, I don't see anything…"
"Thanks Doctor, but it's probably a bug I've caught from work."
"Right, Doctor Who, it's time for bed." Harry Potter had come to a beautiful, imaginary end and it was two hours past Cooper's usually bed time.
"Bella, seriously? He's called the Doctor, not Doctor Who!"
I rolled my eyes. "Oh, I'm sorry. Either way, it's bed time." I pushed his tiny, pyjama-clad butt up the stairs and steered his shoulders to his room.
"Why hasn't Padre rang yet?" He asked as he climbed into bed and settled the covers over his knees.
"It takes a long time to get to South Africa, and he had to stop off in two other countries, so it'll probably be tomorrow before he calls us."
"Oh yeah, I tacked where he'll be on my wall map. See!" Squinting my eyes, I noticed the red tack sticking out from the coast of South Africa.
"Exactly. But don't worry; you will definitely get to talk to him when he phones, okay?"
"Okay. Oh! And I was going to say earlier – you know how you feel ill?" My queasiness had gone, but I nodded and allowed him to carry on anyway. "I was thinking how cool it would be if it turned out you were having a baby!"
Everything came to a sudden halt.
So what do you think? Excited? I AM!
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