Edward's father held Cameron on his lap and wouldn't take his eyes off him. It was as if he was trying to memorize every tiny detail. He kept his voice soft and low as he spoke to him. He wasn't talking baby talk, but Cam liked how he spoke, judging by his little bursts of bouncing and squeaks.
I had invited Ed over for breakfast because I wanted to get to know him better. Edward had described a monster—not the sad, lonely man who sat before me, holding my son as though he was the most precious thing in the world.
"Does Edward speak of his mother often?" Ed asked cautiously.
"What he remembers, I guess," I said honestly.
"They have her eyes." He nodded at Cam. "Edward was very close to Elizabeth. She adored him… he was her baby."
"Then you had Alice."
Something flashed in Ed's eyes.
"She had complications with Edward—her heart. We decided he would be our last. Then she became pregnant with Alice. She was too damned stubborn to listen. The doctors said if she carried Alice, both their lives would be in danger."
"If your Elizabeth knew how you felt about Alice and how you've treated her, I'm sure she'd be disappointed," I said, watching the guilt wash over him.
"I'm more upset with myself than I am with my wife or Alice."
He held Cameron up and a little closer to him. Cam's hands came up, squashing his grandfather's cheeks together. If Edward was here, I'm positive he wouldn't believe this scene.
"He's a good baby," Ed commented.
"I'd say we're pretty blessed," I said with a smile as I poured us some coffee.
"What is Edward like with him? What is he like with Emma?" Ed asked quietly.
"He's a great dad," I started. "He hangs out with the kids on his days off… plans little things for them to do, like the market. He carpools with some of Emma's friends' parents. He loves those kids rolling around in chaos—he lives for it, actually," I finished, missing the man I loved.
"Before he left, he was miserable. I saw it and I let it happen," Ed told me. "Tanya was a leech and I just didn't want to acknowledge it. Her family was a lot like Elizabeth's—political and powerful."
I watched him for a minute; if Edward was here to witness the man I was seeing, would he be able to forgive him? I truly felt that there had been a miscommunication between these two men. There was pain and resentment, but there had to be a way to fix it.
Cam pulled Ed's face down, giving him a very sloppy kiss. Ed looked defeated when Cam giggled at his own actions.
"Who are you, Bella Swan?" he asked curiously, trying to pull himself together.
"I'm no kid of a politician," I responded.
"The press has deemed you a socialite, have they not?"
"My dad was a police chief in a small town in Washington. I went to private schools growing up, after my mom married Phil. My mom moved us here so I didn't grow up a punk. When my mom got sick, I rebelled. My dad is the one who's been with me through everything. He is a simple man and never lived an extravagant life. I'm not a socialite," I said calmly.
"You grew up here and in…?"
"Forks," I answered. "Population nine hundred eighty-one. I also lived in Seattle before my parents got divorced and obviously Phil's job is there."
"I'm sorry about your mother," he murmured quietly.
"I'm sorry about your wife. I got to say goodbye to my mom. That is one thing I'm grateful for."
"I wished my boys could have said goodbye. I should have done more for them," he admitted.
Emma walked into the kitchen, rubbing her eyes. "When's Daddy coming home?" she asked, before pausing to look at Ed.
"He called last night and said things should be wrapping up soon," I explained.
"You're Mommy's guest," she said. "What are you doing here in our house?"
"Emma, I have something to tell you," I said, kneeling in front of her.
She frowned, but kept her eyes on mine.
"What, Mom?" she asked carefully.
"Anthony is Daddy's father," I told her.
Emma's head snapped up to look at him, her eyes filled with scrutiny. I only wished I knew what she was thinking.
"Daddy said his name was the same as his daddy—that's why he didn't want Cam having the same name. He said too many Edwards…" she trailed off. "You lied," she accused Ed, the expression on her face serious. To Emma, telling a lie was a serious crime.
"I did lie," Ed said with a nod. "I didn't want you knowing who I was."
Her serious face quickly grew into a sneer.
"My pappy and Pop never lie."
"Since Daddy isn't here, Ed didn't want us to worry about him being here," I explained.
"Because we never met him?" she asked as her eyes bored into mine.
Emma wrapped her arms around me and I lifted her to sit her on the counter next to where Ed and Cam were sitting.
"Yes. Now to formally introduce you, this is Edward's dad, Ed," I said.
"Daddy does look like you," she mused.
"So I've been told," Ed answered lightly.
"Uncle Carlisle and Uncle Emmett don't though," she said honestly.
She didn't mention Alice, but I supposed it was because Alice was still a sore spot for her. Emma had been so baffled and frightened by her behavior.
"They look like their mother," Ed told her.
Emma wanted to say something, but I knew she was holding back on the topic of Elizabeth Cullen. She knew my mother was gone and that Edward's was too. She'd ask me questions about my mom because she knew I'd talk about her, but Edward didn't like to talk about his mom like I spoke about my own. she had asked me what happened to Edward's mom, I told her.
Situations like this were when Emma's true personality would shine. She was very observant and would do her best not to upset people, especially when she could sense that they were in pain. She knew from that first day at the airport that Edward was hurt and she'd been protective of him as much as he was of her.
"I think I might look like my real dad," she said.
I was thrown by that.
"I think you look like your mother," Ed insisted. "You have her hair and eyes."
She looked at me for a minute before nodding. "Daddy says me and Mommy are the prettiest girls in the whole wide world."
"I think he might be right," Ed agreed. "Your daddy always loved the prettiest things."
This perked her up a bit, but her comment about looking like her real father bothered me. This was something she'd obviously thought about. She'd thought about it and said nothing about it until now.
I made breakfast as Emma interrogated Ed. It had been almost impossible to get in touch with Edward. He'd been texting me almost as if he was hiding something. When I called, he kept it short and Emmett would interrupt. I didn't want to tell him his dad was here over the phone.
After we ate, I had Emma go get ready for the day. Ed got Cam out of his highchair and held him on his lap.
"If you don't mind me asking, what is the story with her father?" he asked curiously.
His question set me on alert. This could be what Edward meant by 'agenda'. Ed noticed my reluctance and sighed.
"I was a stupid kid that was hurting and he was a newlywed creep," I said, leaving it at that. "We both are living the consequences of what happened."
"So he knows about her?"
"Not until a few years ago. Our daughters were playing in a park together and looked almost identical. He was pissed."
"With you now being in the news, aren't you afraid he'll try something?"
I sighed, running my hand through my hair. Truth was all of us close to the situation were terrified.
"Over the last few years he has made a name for himself. His wife would make a spectacle of him if she were to find out."
"Do they have a family name?"
"If you're asking if they have some kind of title or public notoriety, then the answer is no. He lived an upper-middle class life, but she was working class. Her dad worked in a lumbering mill, her mom, a medical receptionist. They were high school sweethearts," I explained.
Ed nodded, but I could see what looked like genuine concern on his face. I'd bet the main concern he had was for Emma.
"What is being done for him to sign away his rights?"
"Nothing right now," I said slowly.
"Edward knows better," he said with a frown. "This thing with her birth father needs to be squashed now. You both are giving this man time to strategize and come after you. Yes, he's the girl's father, but I am sure you are valid in your reasons to keep him away."
"Emma has always been my number one priority and I won't have someone use her to make themselves look victimized. I was seventeen and had a one-night stand and it turned out he was married. I left expecting to never think about him again and three months later, I found out the asshole left me with a parting gift. I love Emma—she and Cameron are my life—but I won't have these innocent souls paying for something dumb I did in an act of rebellion," I said, huffing out a breath.
I really tried to remain vague with details with this man because I had no idea if he was trying to gain my trust just to destroy me, to get his son as far away from here as possible. He seemed genuine, but he could be some gifted liar.
"Once Edward is back, I'd like to speak to him."
"About what?" I asked, confused.
"This situation needs to be nipped quickly. Emma needs to be protected," he said.
"I'm sure Edward has Garrett working on it." I tried to assure us both.
"Edward is brilliant, but he is also very invested with the three of you. Being too invested can make people impulsive and my son has a history of acting before really analyzing the issue for what it is," he explained. "For all you know, Bella, Edward could be dealing with this right now."
"He wouldn't…" I trailed off.
"Just like he didn't hire a round-the-clock security team to watch you and the children?" Ed questioned knowingly.
I took Cam from him and held my son. I really didn't know what Edward was off doing. He'd been distant since he left and I had no idea why he'd been gone for so long. A few days had been his promise.
"I-" I started to speak, only to be cut off by the door slamming open with a deafening bang.
"What the fuck is he doing here?" Edward roared.
A/N: Thoughts? This was beta'd by the Dolphin62598 and Astro2009, huge thanks to them for their help! Thanks for reading!