Happy Friday everyone! Whoop! Hope you all have wonderful plans for the weekend.


"This is so wonderful." Esme sighs, leaning against the door frame. "I just love having the family all together for once." Rose and I join her, watching our guys tossing an old football back and forth with Masen in the Cullen's giant backyard. The rain had let up, not completely stopping, but just enough to where I would allow Mase outside with a heavy jacket and rain boots.

"Soon they'll have a little girl running around at their feet." Rose beams, running a hand over her protruding stomach.

"How long, now?" Esme wonders aloud, her hand joining Rose's. Not wanting to be left out, I place my own hand on her giant belly, feeling a little kick under my palm.

"A little over a month." Her grin widens. "We can't wait. I just… I want her to be here so bad. I want to hold her in my arms, you know?" A particularly hard kick comes and Rose winces. "And I'm a little tired of being a human punching bag."

"You're gonna be so loved, little kicker." I giggle, feeling another punch.

"Fuck, stop hitting mommy, baby girl. It's not nice." She flops down into a chair, rubbing her forehead. "I don't remember, was Mase like this with you?"

"My boy was a little angel in the womb. An occasional tap, just to let us know he was there." I smile smugly and flutter my eyelashes as she grabs the nearest object to throw at me. It's a spoon. A wooden spoon. That hits its mark on my forehead.

Bitch.

"We have a code red." Edward shouts, his voice muffled through the sliding glass door. He throws open the glass door with one hand, holding Mase with the other, and hardly spares us a glance as he races through the kitchen leaving dirty mud-prints on the tile. Mase is in his arms clutching his hand, giggling through his tears. "Code red!" Edward shouts again, disappearing down the hall as quick as he appeared.

"He is one strange man." Rose comments, shaking her head at the muddy footprints that continue on trough the kitchen and onto Esme's cream colored carpet.

"Edward!" Esme shouts, eyeing the spots. "I swear if he wasn't my son I would smack that boy so hard."

"Code red!" Edward's voice is distant, coming from the bathroom.

"Es, I'll clean this up." I motion to the carpet. Thanks Edward.

"Nonsense, you go check on your boys." She grins. "Take this, though, and give him a good whacking." She throws me a spatula. I take it gladly.

"Code red!" Edward yells for the thousandth time; Masen giggles loudly.

I push open the half-shut door and take in the scene around me. "What is going on in here?"

"Code red, mamma." Masen sniffles, holding up his palm. "I falled down." He fidgets on the counter as Edward rubs his miniscule cut under the water.

Edward winks and I laugh, searching around in the cabinets for a Band-Aid. Finding two boxes I hold them up, "Superman or Captain America." I cock an eyebrow, already knowing the answer.

"What do you think, momma?" Masen does his best to roll his eyes like a brat, but ends up blinking before his three-sixty is complete.

"Superman?" I snicker.

"No!" He shouts, crossing his arm. "Only Captain America can heal a code red."

"Yeah, Bean. Everyone knows that." Edward adds. It's then that I remember the spatula in my hand. I don't hesitate to use it.

"Ow! Bella, what the fuck?" he clutches the back of his head.

"Dadduh said a bad word!" Masen squeals.

"That was from Esme." I tell him, "She's not too happy about the size eleven footprints on her freshly cleaned carpet."

"Jesus Christ. Did you have to use so much force?"

Wimp. I barely hit him.

He just shakes his head when I tell him as much. "Bean, I don't think you realize how strong you are."

"Take it like a man." I grumble, ruffling his hair. His unbelievably sexy soft hair.

"Dadduh, it's still bleeding!" Masen cries, picking at his cut.

"Buddy, that's what happens when you poke at it. Stop touching it." Edward sighs, washing it off again.

"Here," I peel off the sticky on the bandage and stick it over his boo-boo. "You all better?"

"Uh-huh."

"Why don't you stay inside now? It's getting colder out." I suggest, unzipping his damp jacket.

"Okay, momma." He squirms until I lift him up off the counter. The minute his feet hit the floor, he's racing off down toward the kitchen yelling about how he 'almost died' and was in a 'code red sitiation.'

"Code red? Were the theatrics really necessary?" I cross my arms, leaning against the doorframe and watch Doctor Cullen cleaning up after his patient. I have to admit, seeing him act all doctor-y does stuff to my womanly bits.

He shrugs, like it's no big deal. "He stopped crying, didn't he?"

"You're kind of amazing you know that?" It's what I was thinking, watching him. I didn't mean to say it. I really didn't mean to say it, but it just came out.

He smiles. "I could say the same about you."

"I'm serious. You'd do anything for him… I can't even begin to tell you how…"

"I know." He leans against the sink opposite me, mirroring my position. "I feel the same way when I watch you interact with him. Melts my heart, it does."

"Okay, Yoda." I snort. "Now come on." I tug on his sleeve. "We have a code mud to clean up."

How come no one's ever told me how hard it is to get mud out of white carpet? I've been on my hands and knees scrubbing the same spot for the past ten minutes. Edward's not much help- all he's been doing is smearing everything around.

"This fucking sucks." He breathes out, thumping down on his back.

"Hey, hey! Get scrubbing." I throw a rag at him.

"Bella-" he curls into a little ball facing me, using his whiny voice.

It's adorable, but I don't intend to let him know I think that. "This is your mess."

"But, Bean," He drawls out. "I'm tired." Oh for the love of god! He's a six foot, hundred and eighty pound baby.

"Just scrub, Edward. Please, before I have to kill you."

We work in silence, him no doubt sensing my non-playful mood.

"So Emmett and I were talking." He says quietly, conscious of the faint voices coming from the kitchen.

"Yeah?"

"Yeah." He trails off, eyeing me. "He's nervous… about the baby."

I stop working for a moment, watching the muscles in his arm flex as he wipes the floor. "What do you mean? He always seems so excited…"

"Oh, no don't worry, he is excited. Very excited." He sits up on his knees, "Don't get me wrong, he's over the moon. He's just… afraid."

We sit back in silence, thinking. "Did he say why he was afraid?"

He grimaces, hesitating. "Because of us."

"Us?" I ask in surprise.

"Us. He worries that the baby will change how he and Rose act around each other. I mean, we aren't the best models." He chuckles, though I can tell it's forced.

"He's afraid they'll divorce?" I ask, shocked.

"Not divorce… just…" He sighs, running a hand through his hair. What I wouldn't give to be that hand in this moment. "You know how they are. They're very passionate people. He's afraid that'll change. That they'll be tired all the time, and won't have their private moments anymore." He trails off.

"What did you tell him?"

"Nothing, really. I didn't know what to say." He hunches over and continues cleaning. "I just told him not to worry- that his daughter will be the best thing that's ever happened to him. Just like Masen."

"Ain't that the truth." I nod, knowing that Masen became the bright spot in my life the minute he wrapped his little hand around my pinkie finger.

"I remember feeling like that. Scared… nervous."

"We both were." I admit.

Another moment of silence. "This is killing me." He whispers.

"What is?" I ask, absentmindedly, scrubbing and scraping. I feel his eyes no me, but don't dare look back. "Hard labor?" I joke.

His tone is the complete opposite of mine. "You. Me. Having you right there, so close, but never close enough."

I thought we were done talking about this for now! "Edward-"

"I know we agreed not to breathe another word about this until after this weekend, but I can't help it. I feel like every moment I don't say something, is just another moment someone can come and sweep you away from me. Like Jake." He adds, the displeasure clear in his voice.

My hand stills and I drop my rag, letting out a deep breath. His eyes are boring into mine when I finally do turn back to look at him. He's watching me intently, a thousand and one emotions burning in his eyes. It's almost as if… he's waiting for me. To leave, to agree, to slap him… I don't know which. But he's waiting for something.

"I just don't understand why now."

"Why now, what?"

"Why are you doing this now? Why not last month? Or the month before that? Or last year? Or the day I left? What changed that made you want this now?" my voice is barely above a whisper- It's a wonder he can ever hear me.

"There are so many reasons why now. You're dating again." He tells me, in a slightly accusatory tone.

Jake. "I went on one date. That's hardly considered dating." I defend. "And that's not an excuse. You want me again just because you don't want anyone else to have me?" I tilt my head, daring him to let that be the reason.

"Yes, Bella. That's one of my reasons. I'm a selfish fucker, I'll admit it. I took you for granted, figured- hey you'll always be there. Until I started thinking that maybe you wouldn't be. You're the perfect woman, Bella. You're beautiful, you're smart, and you're funny. You're cute as shit, even when you're making a complete ass of yourself. Of course someone's going to claim you- who in their right mind wouldn't? I don't know how I didn't see that before. I mean of course I saw it I just… I didn't realize how good I had it until I thought about not having it. You. His admission shocks me. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but that sure wasn't it.

Fuck, I need time to analyze. "Why else?"

"Because I've started dating again too. And no matter how many girls I meet, they never compare to you. Because I do that. I compare everyone to you, and I've finally got it through my thick-ass skull that no one will ever measure up."

"Why-"

"Why else?" He finishes for me. "Because I was going through my closet the other day, trying to get rid of some old shit. Did you know I kept a shoebox full of stuff from our past? Our ticket stubs from the first move we saw together. The bracelets we made with your little neighbor that one time you babysat her. All the notes we passed during Biology. Pictures- hundreds of pictures of the two of us."

"Edward-"

"And I cried. I sobbed like a fucking baby, because in all those pictures we were laughing, and smiling. And I realized I had never been as happy as I was when we were together." He chuckles, rubbing a stray tear away from his eyes. "Our wedding pictures were in there too. And we still looked so happy." His shoulders slump in defeat. "What happened to us?"

By now, I'm sniffling like there's no tomorrow, and he's got his head in his hands, his shoulders shaking. "What happened to us?" He repeats, his voice thick in longing; in confusion.

Life happened. I think it, but I don't say it.

"I'm sorry, Bean. I'm so fucking sorry." He whispers, crawling over to me. His arms wrap around my waist while mine go around his neck. And we sit. We sit, curled up in each other for what seems like hours, just rocking back and forth while he whispers how sorry he is- how he wishes he could change it all. Fight for me; for us.

I'm sorry too. It's not all your fault. Again, I think it but I don't say it. To be quite frank I don't know if he would even be able to understand me if I said it at this point. I'd probably just sound like Chewbacca from Star Wars.

"I don't want to lose you. Ever, Bella. I lost you once, I can't do it again. I won't survive it again."

I take a deep breath to calm myself. "You're not losing me, Edward."

"I love you so much, Bean." He pulls back to look me in the eye. I try so hard, but I can't stop the fresh onslaught of tears. "I love you so much, and I know I shouldn't say it. You aren't ready, and I'm sorry. But I need to get it out. I need you to know that you have me, in any way you need me. But I won't play defense anymore. I love you, I need you, and I'm going to fight for you. Like I should have done two years ago."

"Edward," I cry, reaching out to touch his face. His hand closes over mine against his cheek. We stare into each other's eyes, trying to memorize this moment. He's so beautiful. And not just on the outside; material looks. No, he's beautiful inside too, even more so.

And I walked away. Two years ago I walked away from the love of my life. Granted, it wasn't just me. Edward went along with it.

We made a mistake. A big, fat mistake.

I run my hand across his cheek. I've never seen him look so… lost. Broken. But he is. Lost and broken. That's as clear as day, given away by the subtle droop of his mouth, the lack of shine in his eyes. The warmth and… love radiating out from every square inch of him.

He said it.

He loves me. But I won't play defense anymore. He's going to fight for me. What does that even mean?

He loves me.

"Say something. Please." He begs, clasping my hands in his.

"I don't know what to say." I whisper, vaguely registering Emmett's booming laugh from somewhere in the kitchen. He loves me. But we're not alone here. We're in his parents' house surrounded by his family. Our family. Our five year old son. This isn't the time or the place to be discussing this. "We can't do this, Edward. Not now. Not here."

I try to pull away from him but he holds me steady, his hands reaching up to hold my head in place right in front of his. So close I can feel his warm breath wash across my parted lips. "Why not now?" he whispers, staring intensely at me for my answer. "Why not here?" One of his hands drops from my face to rest on the small of my back. "It's be fitting, don't you think? Forks is where it all began… you and me. It'd be right for it to start here again." His thumb traces down the side of my face with a feather-light touch. "I want it to start here again."

"I don't think…" I trail off shaking my head, having absolutely no idea what to say.

"Just tell me one thing, Bella. Could you ever love me again?"

Could I see myself loving this man again? My high school sweetheart; the father of the most important little man in my life. The man who's loved me at my absolute best and absolute worst. The man whose perfect lips are slowly turning down every second he waits in silence for my answer. An answer I don't know how to give.

His question; it's a trick question really. Because I don't know I ever stopped loving this man.

"I'm terrified, Edward." How long was I lost in thought? "I'm terrified because when I close my eyes I can see us together. It's so easy to see… you and me and Mase." I close my eyes, and I truly can picture it. "I can see it and I want it so bad!" I hiss, "But what if it doesn't work out that way?"

"What if it does?" He stops me and pushes a strand of unruly hair out of my face. "I can see it too, Bean. And let me tell you, I really like what I see." I look up from my lap to see him smiling, and I can't help but smile too. I bump his shoulder with mine and sigh. "The way it was always supposed to be."

I sigh, "I just can't help but remember how alone I felt when Mase was little and you were gone all the time. I don't ever want to feel like that again."

"I can't promise that I'll never be gone. Sometimes… I'm on call and I have to leave at two in the morning for a surgery. Sometimes I work fifteen hour shifts and don't make it home until midnight. But I can promise you that it'll be nothing like before. No more Residency Bean, I'm done with all that. It's you and me and Mase, not me and my job."

"God Edward, you were never there." I cry

"I know. I know I wasn't, but you have to understand that it wasn't by choice. I literally had no choice. You think I wanted to be hanging around a bunch of old men instead of home with the girl I loved and my newborn? I didn't have a choice." I can see his temper rising, and the last thing I want to do is fight. Or make him think that I blame him.

Because I don't blame him, not really. At least; not anymore.

"I know it's not your fault." I assure him with a hand through his hair. God I love his hair. "I never blamed you.." he shoots me an incredulous look. "Okay," I relent, "I used to blame you. But I was just so frustrated and angry and stupid. I understand though, you know? At least now I do. It was your job; something you had to do. Something you worked your whole life for."

We sit in silence again, holding hands and just thinking. Our time together really was the best years of my life. Sometimes I would just watch him and wonder if everything was a dream; it was just too good to be true. We had our fights sure, but they were few and far between and really didn't feel like fights because our make-up sex was always so good.

I really miss the make-up sex.

"You never answered me." His voice is soft and his eyes are pensive as they roam my face. I wonder how long he's been watching me. "Can you? Love me again? Give me another chance, let me prove we can work this time."

"Edward," I sigh, maybe I'll regret this later tonight when I'm lying in Esme's guest bedroom and replaying the evening through my mind. Maybe I'll regret what I'm about to say, but looking at Edward now, I don't see how I could. "Yes, Edward."

Maybe, just maybe, I never stopped.


Soooooo... *hides behind laptop* kind of a rocky chapter here, lots of stuff going on. What do you think?

Thanks for all the reviews last chapter, keep them coming! I love hearing what you guys have to say.