As always, thank you so very much for sharing your thoughts with me. I got some replies out this time around, but if I missed you, I apologize.
Huge thanks to this fabulous group of ladies, who always make these chapters better: LyricalKris, lellabeth, sophiacorgi, twilightladies, and twilly.
SM owns all things Twilight. Everything else is mine, including any mistakes.
This chapter is pretty long, and based on reviews, I guess I should issue a standing tissue warning. *hugs* See you at the bottom.
Chapter 20 - Baby Steps
I can hardly comprehend that my baby girl is a year old.
Tears gather in my eyes at the sight of Layla in her pretty dress, and I stop walking for a moment, squeezing Edward's warm hand. He swings around to face me, blocking my view of Layla and her parents and closing his arms around me. Pulling me in to him, he presses a kiss to my forehead and murmurs against it, "I'm right here with you, Bella."
With brief eye contact and a small nod, I step back as he releases me. Resuming our path, we watch as Layla takes two steps and then falls again. I giggle as she plants her hands on the ground and pops her little bloomer-covered bottom into the air before straightening up to try again. Edward takes my hand back into his own with a soft chuckle.
"She's a determined little thing," he says.
A big smile breaks out across my face, and even though the tears are still threatening to fall, pride pushes almost every other emotion away for a brief moment.
When Esme and Carlisle spot us, they stand from the picnic table that's perched underneath a small pavillion. It's just the five of us. They're having Layla's big party this afternoon at their house. We all agreed it would be too overwhelming if we attended that, so we decided to meet up this morning instead.
"Hi, sweetheart," Esme says, walking right up to me and engulfing me in a hug. My eyes find Layla again over her shoulder immediately. "I'm so glad you could both make it." She moves to hug Edward as well.
"Thank you so much for inviting us."
Carlisle stands back a couple of feet because Layla is now clinging to his leg.
"She's such a daddy's girl these days," Esme says with a light laugh.
Shifting closer to Edward, I slide my hand up his arm and squeeze his bicep in comfort. It's obvious it's something she's used to saying, and she shouldn't have to censor herself. We've prepared for this. We know they're her mommy and daddy, but it's still difficult. I got a pang in my chest when she said that, so I can only imagine how Edward feels.
He lays his hand on top of mine, signaling that he's okay, so I let go. Not three seconds later, his hand is back in mine, and our fingers are tightly entwined as we watch Carlisle pick Layla up and bring her closer to us.
She babbles in her sweet voice and sticks her hand into her mouth, bringing it out covered in drool. It drips down her chin, and Esme is there to wipe it away so it doesn't fall onto her soft blue dress. Layla hides her face in Carlisle's neck for a second and then kicks her legs, bouncing on his arm.
"It's okay, baby girl. I've got you," he coos to her, patting her back. Layla lifts her head and leans toward his face, planting a very wet, open-mouthed kiss on his lips. He laughs, wiping his mouth. "Thank you, sweet girl." Turning her around, he holds her around the middle with her back against his chest, supporting her bottom with his other arm. "Layla, this is Bella and Edward. Can you say hi?"
Esme rushes forward to take the presents from my hand, and I wave at Layla. "Hi."
Edward clears his throat. "Hi, Layla."
At the sound of her name, her eyes dart to him, and I turn my head to see his face light up in the kind of smile that melts my insides.
She continues to stare at him for a moment before looking down at the ground and kicking her legs again. Carlisle puts her down on her feet, and she tries a few more wobbly steps while we watch in awe.
We've seen countless pictures and videos, but seeing her in person… This little girl that we made is so unbelievably beautiful. The wispy strands of her strawberry hair are pulled to the side with a tiny blue bow on top of her head. She has my full lips, but it's hard to tell whose nose she has yet. Her eyes are shaped like mine, but they look lighter than my dark brown. And her sweet smile pushes into cherubic cheeks, pink with the exertion of trying to walk and falling again and again.
"She just took her first steps two days ago. We thought it would be a nice surprise," Esme says with a hopeful glance at us.
"It's amazing," I tell her, my eyes never leaving Layla as she gives up and sits on the edge of the blanket that's spread out and picks at blades of grass.
I knew not to expect her to come to me and act like I'm her long lost mother, but the irrational side of me wanted that. Irrational being the key word. She doesn't know me. She barely even looked at me, and it hurts more than I thought it would.
Esme gives me a warm smile and inclines her head when I glance at her, so I slowly move to the blanket and sit down cross-legged in front of Layla. When her big eyes focus on my face, allowing me a good, up-close look at them, my breath is stolen right from my lungs. Long, thick lashes frame light brown eyes with a ring of sage green around the edges. They're full of flecks of different shades of brown and green, and I think they're the most gorgeous eyes I've ever seen. Even more so than Edward's, and that's saying something.
Layla whines and looks away from me, so Esme moves in closer and sits beside her so she'll be comfortable.
"Hi, Layla," I say quietly. "Happy birthday."
She looks at me again when I say her name but goes right back to the grass.
"Do you like grass?"
"Aa!" she responds excitedly, pointing at the lush green grass next to her.
I put my hand down, closing it around as much as I can, and then I rip it up and toss the blades into the air. Her wide eyes follow the movement before her face breaks out in a huge drooly smile. She tries to clap, but it's obvious she's still learning to do it correctly. Still, it fills my heart to bursting that I made her so happy.
Glancing back at Edward over my shoulder, I see that his beaming smile matches my own. I wave him over, and he sits on the ground beside me, not caring if his dark jeans get grass stains. We take turns ripping the grass up and throwing it as high as we can. Layla watches again and again, smiling and then giggling when small pieces land on the skirt of her dress.
I never knew being the cause of my daughter's giggle could feel like the single most rewarding experience of my life in that moment. And judging by the look of wonder on Edward's face, he feels the same.
When Layla grows bored of our grass game, we decide to give her our presents. Edward and I help her rip the paper off the toy first. Edward wrestles with the packaging, barely containing a curse word in his frustration to get the thing loose from its box, and I stifle a laugh. When he gives the ball to Layla, she grasps it in her tiny hands and tries to stand up with it, succeeding momentarily. She lands hard on her butt but doesn't cry. Leaning forward, I pull the tab on the battery case and push one of the buttons. Her eyes light up as the ball begins to play music and shake lightly. If it was on the ground, it would roll around on its own.
When we show her the book, she slaps each page after our voices from the recording start, and we laugh every time. Esme and Carlisle simply sit back and watch her with adoring smiles, sometimes glancing at us and smiling even wider. It feels like encouragement, and it means the world that they're letting us have these precious moments with her.
They also take a ton of pictures, which I know they'll share with us, and I couldn't be more grateful.
Once we've gone through the book, I place it in front of her on the blanket. Her chubby hands push it back at me, hitting me in the legs, so we go through it again. The toy is rolling around on the blanket and singing songs, but all she wants is Goodnight Moon. Over and over again.
"She loves books," Carlisle offers.
My perma-smile grows even wider. I've always loved books too.
After the fifth time through, Layla pushes up to her feet and takes a step toward the ball, which has almost rolled off the blanket on the other side now. She must decide crawling will be faster, dropping down onto her hands and moving toward it.
"She's so big. I just can't believe it," I say, watching her slap at the ball and smile when it rolls toward her.
"Would you like to hold her?" Esme asks.
"Could I?" I breathe out.
"Of course, sweetheart."
We wait until Layla's lost interest in the toy. Esme picks her up and brings her back over to us, settling back down on the blanket.
"Do you wanna go see Bella?" she asks Layla, holding her toward me.
I put my arms out for her, but she doesn't come right away, curling her body toward Esme a bit more. The rejection stings, but I try not to let it show on my face, clapping my hands together lightly and opening my arms again.
Tentatively, Layla begins to turn, lifting her arms toward me and finally falling away from Esme, right into my arms.
Settling her on my lap, I note how solid her little body is in contrast to the first time I held her. Less than a day old and barely over five pounds, she'd been so light, I'd felt like she might break at any second. I splay my hands across her back as her chubby fingers play with the ends of my hair, and a million emotions rush through me: relief, gratitude, hope, contentment, fear, a tinge of regret, but the most prominent, by far, is love.
"Mamamama," Layla says as she fiddles with a button on my shirt. My eyes dart to Esme.
She gives me a warm, if not sympathetic smile. "She's been saying 'mama' for a while now. 'Dada' too, but sometimes it's just babbling, learning her different consonant sounds."
With a small smile and nod to Esme, I return my gaze to Layla just as she looks up at me with those big gorgeous eyes. "Mamamama."
My eyes sting, but I hold it together. Edward's warm hand presses against my back, then rubs up and down lightly, and I glance at him with a grateful smile.
"Do you wanna go see Edward, sweet girl?" I ask Layla, handing her off to him.
His eyes turn glassy as he stares at her. She looks off into the distance and babbles, pointing at something, but we don't know what.
"What do you see, Layla?" Edward murmurs to her, curling himself down into her line of vision. "Oh, do you see the kite?"
Looking skyward, I see a purple butterfly kite soaring through the air.
"Adah!" she exclaims, still pointing.
"It's pretty, huh?" He turns his eyes back to her. "Just like you," he adds, touching the end of her nose with his index finger.
A tear spills down my cheek, watching him smile at her in awe.
This is killing me, but at the same time, it's the most precious gift. That's what Esme and Carlisle call Layla too: a precious gift. And she absolutely is. To us. To them. To this world.
When Layla becomes fussy and cranky, Esme regretfully informs us that it's her nap time. "She'll need to sleep for a couple of hours before the party starts, or she'll be a nightmare," she tells us with a laugh.
A nightmare. I can't even imagine it. But then I've never really been around babies. Layla seems fairly mellow for the most part, but I can see how tired she is now, her patience with everything growing thin.
"I can't thank you enough for letting us see her," I tell Esme over her shoulder as we hug.
"Oh, Bella. We can't thank the two of you enough for this amazing gift you've given us. She's our whole world."
Wiping the tear that streaks down my cheek, I nod and sniffle. "I know." My smile is filled with gratitude and love for this amazing woman and her husband. "I can see it."
I step back and see Edward and Carlisle in a one-armed embrace, with a wiggling Layla perched on Carlisle's hip. She places her hand on Edward's shoulder, and he takes hold of it as he steps back, kissing the back of it. She gives him the sweetest smile, which he returns and then tickles her side, causing her to squeal and giggle.
I could watch him with her forever.
"Can you say bye-bye to Edward?"
"Buh… bee," she says, waving toward herself instead of him.
Edward lets out a deep laugh and says, "Bye-bye, sweet girl. Happy birthday."
Carlisle steps closer to me, and I suck in a breath, nowhere near ready to say goodbye to her.
I know I have to, though.
Carlisle gives me a sympathetic smile, no doubt seeing the tear tracks on my cheeks and more tears gathering in my eyes, blurring my vision. He holds her out to me, indicating that I should take her, and she willingly falls into my arms right away this time.
I hug her to me like she's the only thing holding me to this earth. She lays her head against my shoulder, sucking on two fingers. I know it's mostly because she's tired, but I take comfort in the fact that she's so comfortable with me already. Edward steps over and hugs us both, sandwiching her between us, but he doesn't linger long, most likely not wanting to worry Esme and Carlisle.
I stroke my hand down the back of her head, twirling a finger in a soft strawberry curl at her neck. "I will miss you so, so much, baby girl. I'm so happy we got to see you." She lets out a soft whine, and I sniffle and bounce her lightly. Edward pats her back. "We love you so much." I squeeze her one last time and then hand her off to Esme.
Layla snuggles right in to her, clearly ready for her nap.
"It was so great to see you guys," Edward says. "Thank you again."
I nod, adding, "She's so happy. Thank you." Overcome with gratitude, I rest both of my hands over my heart, and Esme shifts Layla to one arm, laying one hand on top of mine briefly, smiling, her eyes shimmering.
We all just stand there another moment. Edward and I don't want to leave, and I can see in their eyes that Carlisle and Esme don't want to make us. Layla's eyelids flutter closed, her long eyelashes dusting rosy cheeks, head against Esme's shoulder.
"We should go," I say, turning to Edward. He's still watching her. "Edward?"
"Oh." He clears his throat. "Yeah. We'll let you guys get her home. Thank you again."
"Bye." I wave.
"See you soon," Carlisle says, filling our empty hearts back up with hope for a future visit.
When we booked our trip, we didn't know exactly when we'd be meeting up with the Platts, so we're staying one more night and flying out tomorrow morning.
A somber mood settles over us as we return to the car, and we drive back to the hotel in silence, except for a quick stop at Taco Bell for some lunch.
Edward orders a Mexican pizza with sour cream on the side for me without my having to ask for it, and I smile and thank him, my heart fluttering at his thoughtfulness. It's a small thing, but the fact that he remembers something like that means a lot to me. It's something the old Edward, the Edward he was when we were together, wouldn't have cared about enough to remember after all this time.
Sipping my Pepsi on the drive back, I sneak sideways glances at his handsome profile. Being near him again is a healing salve on the pulsing wound in my chest. Part of me wishes I could've stuck it out and stayed in Durham, been with him, but the realistic part of me knows I wasn't even close to being in the right frame of mind to try to build a relationship with him back then.
Am I now? I don't know, but I guess it's moot since I've put so much distance between us.
I know I've come a long way in healing, though. And I can see that Edward has matured a lot through his own work on himself. He was already well on his way during the last half of my pregnancy. Once he made up his mind about the adoption, he was so supportive, and I definitely carry guilt about leaving him at his most vulnerable—a ton of guilt. I know I set him back in a lot of ways, but at the time, I just didn't see any other way to survive it.
Edward and I both stay lost in our thoughts as we enter the hotel and trudge to my room. We kick off our shoes, sit on the floor with our backs against the bed, and eat in silence.
Sharing a bag of cinnamon twists, our fingers sometimes touch when we reach for one at the same time, sending tingles rushing up my arm. My mind goes back to the way he held me last night, the way my lips gravitated to his skin almost without conscious thought from me. It was probably good that he put a stop to it. I practically attacked him, and he's probably gotten over me by now. It's been almost a year since we last saw each other, after all. And even though we still talk, the subject of us doesn't really come up anymore. Because there is no us.
My brows furrow as my thoughts continue to swirl, and I stare, unblinking, at the silver handle on the dresser drawer in my direct eyeline. I haven't even processed the whole visit with Layla and the fact that it's over already. It might as well have been thirty seconds long for how quickly it seems to have passed. But the memories of her bright eyes, her pink-stained cheeks, her strawberry hair, the way she smiled and giggled… they'll stay with me forever.
"You okay?" Edward whispers to me after the bag of cinnamon twists is long gone and my gaze stays fixed on that stupid handle, my cinnamon-and-sugar-coated fingers resting in my lap.
I shake my head, because I'm not. "Not right now, but I will be."
His arm slides behind me, curling me toward him, and he kisses the top of my head. "Yeah. You will be. You've always been strong."
"You are too, Edward. We'll be okay."
He hums and squeezes my shoulder. "What do you want to do for the rest of the day?"
Pulling back, I look up into his eyes. "I think I need some time to… decompress. Maybe a nap? But then we can hang out if you want to."
"A nap does sound like a good idea. I feel drained."
Edward picks up my left hand, the one closest to him. "You might wanna take care of this," he says with a chuckle.
Without thinking, I begin licking and sucking the cinnamon and sugar off my fingers but stop abruptly when Edward groans. He shoots up from the floor, mumbling about using my bathroom.
Shit. I just made things awkward. Again.
Embarrassed and mentally exhausted, I cover my face with my hands and lay my head back against the end of the bed, propping my elbows on my bent knees. My bottled up emotions choose that moment to surge up and overflow, and when Edward emerges from the bathroom, he rushes over to me, pulling me up from the floor and wrapping his arms around me. Tears pour out of my eyes as I grip the front of his shirt. "I'm sorry," I whisper over and over to him.
"Bella, shh, shh, shh." He walks me backward and settles me onto the bed, crouching down in front of me and grasping my hands. "It's okay. Why don't you lie down and sleep for a bit? We can talk later."
I nod, but when he stands up, my grip only tightens on his hands.
"Would you… stay with me? Just hold me? Please?" I need him so much right now. Always.
Edward's gaze is intense on me as he nods and moves onto the bed. We settle in under the covers, and he gathers me in his arms again. Burying my face in his chest, I feel like I belong here, in his arms—like his arms belong around me, and I let out a strangled whimper at the thought, only making him squeeze me tighter. He presses a soft kiss to my temple and then a moment later, one to my cheek. Our faces make a slow slide against each other's, his downward and mine upward, until we're looking into each other's eyes, breathing each other's breaths.
"Bella…" That one word, my name, falling from his lips, is so full of pain and longing, that I would do anything to ease it for him.
I've missed him so much.
Closing the small space between us, I brush my lips over his, closing my eyes against the rush of tingles that races down my spine. He's always had this effect on me. Only him.
I hear his sharp intake of breath, but it takes me a moment to realize he's pulled away because I'm lost in that feeling of floating and falling all at once.
Edward's eyes are squeezed shut, and I reach a hand up to sweep a lock of hair off his forehead.
"Please," he says. "Don't."
My brows pull together, and I drop my hand. "I'm sorry. I thought—"
"Maybe we should just sleep."
I nod against his chest as he pulls me closer, soothing some of the sting of his rejection. "Okay."
What was I thinking, trying to kiss him? He's being smart. We shouldn't do something born of comfort-seeking. But for me, that's not all it was. Or is. I still love him—so much it hurts.
I've never stopped.
Edward's breathing evens out, and his grip loosens, but I'm still wide awake, lost in my head.
Minutes later, his arms tighten around me again, and he slurs out, "Mmm, coconuts. Love youuu," trailing off and puffing breaths onto the top of my head again.
My heart thumps against my ribs. It's been so long since I've heard him talk in his sleep, and it's so endearing. I feel like I shouldn't read too much into it, but is it possible he still has feelings for me? Still loves me? Or is he just being a good, supportive friend?
Resolving to be the grown-up I've been striving to be, I decide we'll talk about it when we wake up. Right now, my chaotic mind is in dire need of some rest.
Once I finally drift off, I sleep like a rock. As I wake, I realize Edward is on his back, and I'm lying half on top of him, basically wrapped around him like an overly-friendly octopus. I start to pull away, but his arm that's still around my back tightens its hold.
"Mm. Don't go." His voice is gravelly with sleep and so motherfucking sexy.
The late afternoon sun is streaming through the space between the curtains. We've been out for a while. "Are you awake?" I whisper.
"Mm." His eyes stay closed.
A smile curves my lips, and I go for that lock of hair on his forehead again, pushing it back into the riot on top of his head and scratching his scalp lightly. He lets out a contented sound in the back of his throat. He's always loved that.
Once I've made a circuit on his head a few times, his warm hand wraps around my wrist, and I suddenly find myself staring into his light green eyes.
Edward clears his throat. "You've been saying that a lot today."
"What are you sorry for?"
"For…" My eyes dip down to his chin as I gather my thoughts. "...a lot of things. For making things awkward between us. Several times," I add with an eyebrow lift. "For trying to kiss you. For being selfish. For putting this… this distance between us. For—"
"Are you really? For the distance?"
Nodding, I bring my gaze back to his eyes. "Yes. I've missed you so much. I still believe I needed time and space, but I wish I'd figured out a different way to get it. We were both so broken, and you'd been there for me, and then I just left you. How can you even want to be near me?"
"Well... because I…" His eyes look up at the ceiling for a moment and then shift back to me. "Look, you know how angry I was when you first decided to stay in Washington. I was hurt and pissed off, and I didn't handle it well. It was selfish of you. But Bella, everyone has to be selfish sometimes. I've been plenty selfish in the past, as you know all too well." He shakes his head, absently playing with my fingers on his chest, warming my insides. "I wish there'd been a different way too, but looking back on it now, I don't know that we would have made it as a couple if you'd stayed. We had a lot of work to do in that department, and we'd suffered a major loss, even though it was a choice we made. Like you once told me, it's likely that resentment would have built up between us with everything being so raw."
Nodding, I give him a small smile. Seems therapy has given him perspective on things, as it has for me. I'm not perfect, and neither were my actions, but I can ask for forgiveness. "Does that mean you accept my apology?"
"No." My heart plummets but returns to my chest with his next words. "Like I told you, there's nothing to be sorry for."
"Shut it, woman." Edward jostles me in his arm. "I'm telling you it's okay. I get it now. It took me a while, but I understand. Does the distance suck? Fuck yes, it does. But you did what you felt you had to do. It's in the past. It's time to move on."
"Right. Move on." I swallow against the dryness in my throat. "Does that mean you've, uh… met someone?" It would make sense, considering he's pushed me away both times my lips have touched him.
His thick eyebrows furrow, and he shakes his head. "No. That's not what I meant. I just meant I hope we can move on from the hurt we caused each other."
Relieved, I nod at him. "I agree. I didn't know how to bring it up before without sounding condescending, but I forgave you for everything a while back. It felt really good to let go of it."
Edward's long arm squeezes me. "Good. That's a relief to hear. I'd keep apologizing forever, though, if I needed to."
"I think there's been enough apologizing between us."
"Yeah, let's hope so." He lets out a soft laugh, and I join him.
My thoughts circle back around, and my eyebrows dip. "Can I ask you something?"
"When I kissed you…" I gulp down the golf ball in my throat. "...did you... feel anything?"
His eyebrows climb his forehead. "Are you seriously asking me that?"
My cheeks heat, and I hide my face from him as best I can being this close to him. "Never mind."
"Bella." He gets his finger under my chin and lifts my face toward him. "Are you asking me if I still have feelings for you?"
My nod pushes down on his finger, but he doesn't move it.
"Have I really been that subtle?" he asks with a sexy-as-all-hell smirk.
I raise an eyebrow at him. "Staring at my boobs doesn't equate to feelings."
Edward laughs a real, heartfelt laugh, head thrown back on the pillow, and it makes me smile. "You stupid, beautiful girl."
"Hey now." I poke him in the side.
"The real question is, do you still have feelings for me? You've seemed pretty detached the last several times we've talked, and it's been hard to get a read on you here, to be honest."
There's hope in his eyes, and I guess that answers my question. "Self-preservation," I reply. "Even after all this time, though, I can't see myself with anyone else." I shrug. "I think our connection deepened a lot during the last half of my pregnancy, and I fell in love with you even harder than I already was. Keeping you at arm's length wasn't easy."
Edward's mouth tilts in a half-smile. "And now?"
"If you're asking if I still love you, then you haven't been paying attention."
He digs his fingers into the flesh at my waist, making me squeal. "Stop teasing me, and say it, woman."
I realize I need to be first. I need to take that step toward him, stop guarding myself so much and open up. He deserves that from me, after everything.
After catching my breath from his tickle attack, I slide my palm down his cheek, holding his gaze. "I love you, Edward. Still. Always. I don't know how to not love you."
He exhales a heavy breath through pursed lips and swallows hard, blinking rapidly. After a long pause, he finally says, "Ditto."
"Wha—" I jump on him, sitting up and tickling his ribs. "You did not just Ghost me." He'd bitched and moaned when I wanted to watch it back when we were together, whining about chick flicks and tears, but he'd actually ended up enjoying it, even for a lame-ass nineties movie, as he'd called it.
"Hey," he replies, laughing, squirming, and batting at my hands. "Patrick Swayze was no dummy. That's how he got Demi to believe Whoopi. If he'd always just said, 'I love you too'," he says in a lame voice with air quotes, "she would've kicked Whoopi out, and the movie would've been over."
I stop my assault, resting my hands on my thighs… which are straddling him. Oh, shit. "Okay, you may have a point, but still." I point at him. "Rude."
Edward lifts his hands toward me, and I automatically throw my arms up to block him, thinking he's going to tickle me again. He laughs and gets a hold of my upper arms, pulling me down onto his chest. His fingers toy with a lock of my hair. "Of course I love you, Bella," he murmurs against the top of my head. "I don't think I know how not to, either."
My overloaded emotions spill over again, the tears slipping out of my eyes. The relief between us is palpable, but there are still so many unanswered questions.
Edward kisses the top of my head and then tells me he needs to get up to pee.
"Me too," I say with a laugh.
"Ladies first." He winks at me, and I smile. I love seeing this side of him again after how uncomfortable he seemed around me yesterday.
Awkwardly, I slide off of him and stand up, but before I step away, Edward pulls me back by the hand. I stumble a bit but steady myself just in time, bracing my hand on his shoulder and coming face to face with him.
"Do it again," he says in his most dangerously sexy voice, his eyes saying I dare you. "Kiss me again."
My breath whooshes out of me, and I swallow hard, blinking at him, but there's no real hesitation. It feels like I've been waiting a thousand years to kiss him again.
I keep my searching eyes locked on his accepting ones as I move my face down toward him, closing them just before our mouths meet. The instant my lips touch his, that feeling takes over me again, little sparks igniting between us. It's chaste, reacquainting, lips fitted between lips, a few slow pulls and firm reuniting.
Pulling back, I leave my eyes closed for a moment and get my bearings before I walk away. Stopping at the doorway to the bathroom, I look back at Edward, lying there on the bed. He's propped his hands behind his head, and he looks totally relaxed at this moment. His gorgeous eyes pin me there, and a breathtaking smile graces his face. And I know… Some way, somehow, everything's going to be all right.
Progress. :) Thank you so much for reading! xoxo