Wow, uhm, long time no see…

Let me start off with an apology. I do know that this update is like, a million years late and I am so sorry for that. School this year is kicking my ass. It seems as though every professor has a personal vendetta against me and are plotting behind my back to make sure I have absolutely no free time.

Anyway, no more excuses! I have an update for you guys, finally. Hopefully no one's too upset with me! And to my guest reviewer who's tried to kick my butt into gear a few times since the last update, I hope you enjoy this!(:


"So." Rosalie starts conspiratorially with a meaningful glance at Esme, who suddenly doesn't seem so interested in her copy of Cosmo. Why Esme reads Cosmo, I don't want to know. "You and Edward seemed pretty cozy cleaning up mud last night."

I tense and shift my weight, causing the stout woman brushing blue on my toenails to squeeze my foot tighter and mutter a snide 'hold still, please.'

"Yes, I suppose we did." I answer noncommittally, hoping that will be the end of it. Rose, Esme and I made it all morning without talking about Edward, and I'd like that particular trend to continue. I kept quiet while they complained about their husbands, and didn't throw in my two cents when they discussed my lack-luster love life. "What can I say, mud brings people together." I flip my magazine page a bit too roughly, and Rose senses my weakness.

"How are you and Edward, hm?" I look up and find her smirking at me knowingly. Shit. She knows. How the hell can she possibly know? I didn't even know until last night. "How's the whole, we're just friends thing workin' out for you?" she adds air quotes and an eye-roll for emphasis.

"It's working out just fine, thank you for asking." I use my best mom-voice and warn her with my eyes to drop it. Of course, Rose being Rose, she doesn't.

"That's interesting, because what I heard last night would not be placed in the 'just friends' category."

"What? What did you hear?" Esme drops all pretenses of reading a magazine and practically sprints over to the chair in between Rose and I. "I knew something was different with you. I may be getting older, but I'm not blind."

"She didn't hear anything because there was nothing to hear." I force out, panicking internally. It's not that I don't want to tell them what's going on. Rose is my best friend; more like a sister than a friend, and Esme has been a second mother since the day Edward brought me over to introduce us. I do want them to know and I do want their opinions. But the thing is; I don't know what to tell them. If I tell them the truth- that we're trying to work things out- they'll be peppering me with questions for the rest of the day that I won't know how to answer.

Esme doesn't look convinced but decides not to press, probably remembering the last time I visited them and she pushed too hard. "Well, I think that what Edward and Bella do on their own time is their business and their business only."

"Bullshit." Rose demands, smacking her free hand on the manicurist's table. "I'm pregnant, and I want to know what's going on."

I snort. "What does being pregnant have to do with Edward and I's relati… er- friendship?"

She glares at me. If looks could kill, I wouldn't be breathing. "I haven't had sex in three months, Bella. Three months!" the woman painting her nails looks terrified. Needless to say, I don't think we'll be invited back to Happy Nails anytime soon. "Do you know what it's like to be on a three month dry spell? Who am I kidding, of course you do."

The fuck? "Hey, just because-"

"I need something, B, give me something! I'm living vicariously through you right now, and I need some kind of juicy gossip. Please, I'm begging you."

"Fine." I lock my jaw and glare at her, "We admitted to still having… lingering feelings."

She waits a few moments for me to continue, and exhales loudly when I don't. "Feelings? I just admitted to being loveless for months, and all you admit to is feelings?"

"Lingering feelings." Esme reminds her, piping up from her returned place by the counter. "Are you… are you two together?" she asks hesitantly.

"We're… going to try." I hardly hear the tail end of my admission due to the two squealing teenagers that have sprouted from my cool and collected ex mother-in-law and my eight month pregnant ex sister-in-law.

"Oh," Esme fans herself and blinks back tears, "You have no idea how happy I am! I always knew you two were meant to be. I knew it back when you were in high school, and I know it now!"

"Congrats girl." Rose adds, smiling and winking at me. "About time you two figured it out."

"I just- I just need him. I can admit that now." I tell Rose honestly, who's been informing me of my feelings for Edward ever since we divorced.

"I've been trying to get that through your thick skull for what seems like ages." She teases, reaching across the chair between us to hold my hand. "I really am happy for you two."

I squeeze her hand and grin, finally relaxing into my chair. I guess not telling her was eating away at me more than I realized. "You guys can't tell anyone."

"What about-"

"Especially not Emmett." I shoot down Rose's argument before she can finish. "If you tell him, the while world will know by morning."

Esme nods in agreement. "I love my son to death, but he was born with quite a big mouth." She smiles and faces me, "What happened now? Have you told Masen?"

I start shaking my head, "Honestly at this point I wouldn't even know what to tell him. Edward and I… well we planned to talk after this weekend- about us- once we were home and alone, but that just kind of went out the window last night. He and I still need to talk things out and then we'll tell Mase. And then hopefully…" I trail off. Hopefully everything will work out.

As much as I feel this is right, I can't help having my doubts. We didn't work out two years ago, why would we be able to make a grown-up relationship work now?

"Stop it. Stop it right now." Esme tells me firmly, patting my knee. "I can see those wheels turning in your pretty little head. You're second guessing yourself, aren't you?"

"I wasn't-"

"Yes you were, dear. Mothers always know; I'm sure you've figured that out by now."

"What's up, B? You do want this to work, don't you?" Rose asks, blowing on the fresh polish on her nails.

"Of course I do! I just… need to talk to Edward." As soon as humanly possible.

There's a short pause and I take the chance to steer the subject away from Edward and I. "So Esme, Edward tells me your women's shelter is doing well." Her eyes light up and she proceeds to tell us all about one of her anonymous donors who gave the shelter enough money to buy brand new, much needed, furniture for the women. We talk about the charity, among other things, for the next half-hour or so until our mani-pedi's are done, then we hobble together on our heels to Esme's car, giggling, and spend the hour drive back to the house talking about anything and everything except Edward and I, much to my pleasure.

By the time we pull into The Cullen's large expanse of a driveway, the boys have already gotten home and are in the front yard tossing the football around. I can't stop the smile from spreading across my face when I spot Masen grabbing the football from a distracted Emmett's hands and throwing it at Edward, who's too busy watching our car pull up to see it. It hits him square between the legs, and his face scrunches up as he falls to his knees in the grass.

Rose snorts out a laugh and Esme shakes her head in amusement. "Boys."

Masen, not knowing what he did or not caring- I'm not sure which- ignores Edward and comes running to the side of the car to open my door. "Hi Momma! Did you have fun with Grammy and Aunt Rosie? I had fun in the speedboat- well, it's kind of a speedboat, but without the speed part, 'cuz it doesn't go very fast- and I caught a fish and it's really big! Like this-" he holds his hands as far apart from each other as he can stretch them, hopping up and down in excitement, "-and Daddy says we can put it on the grill-thingy and have it for dinner! Isn't that so cool?"

Wow. My baby, the speed talker.

I can't confess to having more than half of what he said; something about fish and a not-so-speed boat- so I just nod my head and give him a hug, agreeing that it is, in fact, so cool.

Masen smiles brilliantly and moves on t relay his 'so cool' story to his grandma Esme and Rose, giving me a moment to grab my purse and make my way over to the lawn where Edward is still kneeling on the grass rubbing his thighs.

Emmett's busting up laughing on the porch and Carlisle has gone to help Esme with some groceries we picked up on the way back.

"Hey Bean." Edward tries to smile up at me.

I smile and, upon seeing how much pain he's in, run a hand through his hair in what I hope is a soothing gesture. "Hi. The boys took quite a hit there."

He groans, nodding slowly. "I think we've got a future quarterback on our hands, Bean. He can throw a football."

"You gonna be alright Doctor?" I squat down and can't stop myself from kissing his cheek. It's slightly pink and cold from the chill air, but it's soft and Edward nonetheless.

He hums, "I missed you today." Is it just me or did his cheeks turn a shade pinker?

"I'm easy to miss." I tease, helping him to his feet. "I- uh, well, I really missed you too." Now I'm blushing. Awkward much, Bella?

"What do you say we put Mase to bed early tonight and have some time… just us?"

"I think that's the best idea I've heard all day." I laugh. He grabs my hand and we stroll together toward the house. "Think we can get him in bed by nine?"

"If he lasts that long." We watch as Mase bounces up and down the porch stairs singing about how today was the 'best day ever.' "I have a feeling he's going to crash soon."

"Come on baby," I let go of Edward's hand reluctantly to grab Masen's quickly before he slips down the steps. "Be careful."

"Swing me!" He giggles, not caring that he almost fell four feet onto his face. "Swing me!" he grabs hold of one of Edward's hands and grips mine tighter, lifting his feet off the ground. "Pleeeeeze!"

Edward catches my eyes and winks. Together we raise our arms, and Masen squeals as he swings up into the air. "Higher! Higher!" he squeals. I break out laughing and we swing him higher. We set him down gently once we get in the house and Masen falls on the floor, still giggling. "More!"

"More?" Edward asks, feigning shock as I shut the heavy mahogany door. "More? Come here!" Edward grabs Mase and throws him up into the air and catching him in his arms.

I'm afraid Masen's going to pass out with how much he's chortling and screaming to go 'higher,' so I gently suggest that they- namely Edward- stop acting like barbarians and go take showers.

"But mama-"

"Masen, honey, I love you but you smell like a sardine can. Go wash up and then maybe if you ask nicely, grandma Esme will let you cook your fish for dinner." He grumbles in disappointment, but its short lived. He skips up the stairs in the foyer telling us that his fish is going to make the best dinner ever.

Edward and I watch until he's out of sight. "You're going to drop him one of these days." I turn to face him and reach out for his hand. "He's getting older and, well let's face, you aren't getting any younger."

"Oho is that so?" He wraps his arms around my waist and pulls me roughly into his chest. His hard. Toned. Chest. "Are you saying I'm an old man?" His voice is serious, but his face is anything but.

I forgot how much I loved his smile. The smile that's just for me. My smile.

"Well you know…" He doesn't let me finish. He grabs me around my thighs and swings me over his shoulder. "Edward!"

"Twenty six is not old, love." I giggle when he sets me down on my feet. "Say it, Bean." His hands go to the curve between my waist and rib-cage. "You got to say it."

"You wouldn't dare." I challenge, narrowing my eyes.

His fingers dig into my sides, "Last chance." He smiles when I purse my lips defiantly and wiggles his fingers around, tickling the hell out of me.

"Fuck!" I yell, trying to get away from him, "Edward!" I'm squealing and laughing and squirming trying to stop the torture, but at the same time, I love the way he's acting. Happy and carefree- I've missed it.

"Say it, Bella!" He chuckles, still tickling my sides.

"Fine! Fine! You're not old. You're a very spry young whippersnapper." I have tears in my eyes by the time he stops and my breathing is ragged and uneven.

"Whippersnapper, huh?" He smiles against my hair. I nod my head, sighing into his chest.

"Yeah. A spry one at that."

"Bean-"

"Momma! Dadduh!" We hear Masen call from a room upstairs; most likely the guest bathroom. "I want a bath today!" We've been trying to wean him off baths in favor of showers, but my boys' a stubborn one. I try to be stern with him since he is getting older, but on the inside I'm just basking in the fact that he doesn't think he's too old yet, and still needs my help with something. So who am I to say 'no'?

"Tonight?" He asks hopefully, releasing me from his embrace.

"Tonight." I promise. "Now let's go bathe our kid. He smells." I sniff the air, "And so do you, babe; you're next."

He laughs, "Are you going to bathe me too?" Oh how I wish.

Edward and I had been so caught up in our little moment, that we didn't notice the audience watching quietly from the kitchen with satisfied smiles on their faces.


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