A/N: All right, Guys. This is the last chapter of the outtake. Thanks for reading, and thanks for your lovely thoughts. :)
Betad by the lovely Michelle Renker Rhodes.
Most characters belong to S. Meyer. The rest belongs to me.
Outtake: The Future – Part 5
The oath comes from the other side of the door to our walk-in closet, but I've got my maid-of-honor dress over my head, so as soon as my head emerges from the neck hole, I walk over to see what has Edward so aggravated now.
"What's wrong?" I ask.
He's standing on the other side of the door, facing the full length mirror we've got hanging there. Somehow, he's managed to get on his tux shirt, though the shirt remains unbuttoned and open. Now he's attempting to do his tie - one-handed.
It's strange. Rushing out of my shower the other day to find Edward tearing out wainscoting while grunting and groaning every time his injured shoulder moved too much upset me but didn't put me over the edge. The day after, when I arrived home from running errands to find he'd somehow moved half of the furniture in the living room to repaint one of the walls, pissed me off – but it didn't put me over the edge. Last night, when he made love to me like he was trying to fuck me into kingdom come, it sort of rattled me – though it felt fucking amazing – but it didn't put me over the edge.
Watching him struggle to knot his tie one-handed because he's too fucking stubborn or proud or whatever the fuck his deal is – this…this has put me over the god damn edge.
"What the hell is your problem?"
Edward stops, his hand twisted nonsensically over the silky, grey material around his neck. Eyes wide and startled, he takes me in through the mirror. And though I'm mad as hell, I find myself wondering why he looks so bewildered.
Then, Mel comes into the bedroom. Dressed in a dark blue, mid-thigh length, strapless dress she's wearing for Angie's wedding today, she looks absolutely gorgeous…and just as shocked as her Uncle.
"Uh…" – her eyes flash between her uncle and me – "is everything okay here? Are you all right, Aunt Bella?"
"Yes, Mel, I'm fine," I say, though my voice quivers with barely-repressed fury.
"Uh, okay. A few of us were going to go meet at Jake's and head to the church from there, and I'm thinking…now might be a good time for me to go."
I'm puzzled, but then…
My mind replays my words, and with a startled gasp, I realize that I didn't just say, "What the hell is your problem?" to her uncle. What I screamed at the top of my lungs was,
"Maldita sea, what the fuck is your motherfucking problem?"
"All right," I say to Mel, feeling my face flush crimson. "We'll meet you at the church. Don't be late. And…you look so beautiful, Princesa."
"I won't be late, and you look beautiful too, Aunt Bella."
She smiles tenderly at me before giving her uncle a withering glance. "Good luck, Dude."
As soon as we hear the front door close behind Mel, Edward and I turn and face each other, and oh, it's on.
"I've had it with you this week! What the hell is your problem?"
He digs an angry finger into his chest. "What's my problem? What's my problem? You're the one who's spent the past week yelling and screaming all over the place like a maniac!"
"Like a maniac? You're calling me a maniac? Pero mira que cojones tiene este hijo e-'"
He points his finger at me. "Hey, hey, hey, cut it with the Spanish. If I can't understand it, I can't defend myself!"
I scowl at him. "Who's been acting like a jack-ass, sulking and brooding and glaring at everyone since he got home from the hospital?" I throw up my hands in exasperation. "You took a serious fall! You should be fucking grateful you didn't kill yourself! So you can't go back to work for a few months, so what? We will be okay! We can afford it, Edward! You don't always have to be the male alpha provider! Jesus, if I would've wanted such a blatant display of macho bullshit all the time, I would've married Eli!"
What the fuck am I saying?
I'm totally ready to blame the pregnancy hormones – but then I remember that Edward doesn't know about the pregnancy.
Meanwhile, Edward is absolutely glowering my way, his brow raised high, square jaw clenched tight.
"Don't even," I say preemptively, holding a hand out, palm up before he can turn this argument around to be about someone who hasn't been even been in our lives for years now. "You know what I mean," I hiss.
"What do you mean?" he says through gritted teeth.
"I mean, ask for god damn help when you need it!"
I stalk over to him and reach up for the tie around his neck, pulling both ends tightly and causing his head to jerk forward. He winces, and for a fraction of a second, I feel horrible because I've probably hurt his shoulder, but then I remember that he's been friggin' painting and tearing out wainscoting and fucking me hard-core with that injured shoulder; he better not even complain about a little tug. So I furiously knot his tie, hearing him grunt again when I fasten it a bit too snugly around his neck.
"Thank you…so much," he smirks once I'm done, his voice dripping sarcasm.
I glare at him, exhaling heavily through my nostrils and then turn around before the pregnancy hormones make me do something even dumber than mention my ex-boyfriend - like punch him in the face.
But Edward wraps his good arm around my waist and holds me back, pulling my unwilling and stiff body against his exposed, half-bandaged chest, holding me there while I fight to get loose.
"Get off! Get off!"
This struggle continues for about a full minute.
"Are you done?" he asks once I've obviously tired myself. His voice is much calmer and composed than it was just a couple of minutes ago.
I shrug peevishly, too exhausted to do much else.
He sighs. My up do has my neck exposed, so I feel his warm breath all over the nape of my neck and my shoulders. And when he places a soft, warm, lingering kiss just behind my ear before resting his jaw between my neck and shoulder, I'm a goner.
He swallows thickly right before taking a deep breath. When he speaks, his voice is low and shaky.
"While I was falling, in those couple of seconds or so before I hit the safety net, all I could think of was you and Mel and how I'd be leaving you a widow before you were even thirty, and Mel would be fatherless…again."
"Edward…" I try to turn around, but he holds me tightly in place.
"I know this is all my own fault, Bella. 'Course I know that, and I know how close I came to leaving you both alone, and I can't forgive myself for that," he says thickly.
"But you're okay," I whisper.
He continues as if he hadn't heard me. "I thought to myself, at least when Jasper died, he took Alice. She didn't have to live without him. But then I thought of Mel and how at least she'd have you now. It was all just so…fucked up."
He lets out a long, ragged breath, and I take advantage of his loosening arm around my waist. When I turn around, he drops his head, but I see the pained expression he tries to hide.
"Edward…" I force myself into his line of vision so he has to look at me.
"I'm sorry, Bella. I'm sorry I was so careless, and I'm sorry I've been such a jack-ass here at home for the past few days. It hasn't been you or Mel or anyone else I've been upset with. I'm just pissed off at myself, and I've been trying to work through it without...craving a drink."
I wrap my arms around his neck, this time being careful with his injured shoulder.
"You've been craving?"
"A bit." He gives me a rueful smile full of self-disgust, and it breaks my heart.
"Babe…it's nothing to be ashamed of. It's a disease, my love; one you've had under control, and when you do need help, that's what Carlisle is there for…and it's what I'm here for. Talk to me, Edward. I will never think less of you. You know that by now."
He draws in a deep breath, closing his eyes and resting his forehead on mine. "You're right. I do know that. I guess I just needed a reminder."
"Then here's your reminder: I love you, Edward. You're my man, and you're brave and strong and have more will-power than anyone I've ever met." I sigh and rest my head on his unyielding chest, listening to his quickly-beating heart. "And you're safe. That's all I care about."
He snorts. "Are you sure? Because you sounded pretty…pissed off to say the least."
I pull away and smile sheepishly. "I was pretty pissed off, and I apologize for my language. But as long as you promise to be much more careful with yourself from now on, we can put it all behind us."
"I promise," he says. "I don't want to leave you or Mel anytime soon."
I almost say it then: You wouldn't be leaving just the two of us.
But for some reason, the words just don't come.
Meanwhile, Edward breathes in deeply, his chest expanding with relief. He grins, all obvious tension gone. His good shoulder is firm and squared. He pulls me against him with his good arm, kissing the top of my head.
"I love you, Bella."
"Love you too."
He turns and walks out of the bedroom whistling and saying something about checking to see if Rose and Emmett are going to meet us there or here at our place, and I walk into the closet and stand in front of my shoe shelf, staring at the matching lavender pumps I'll be wearing tonight and trying desperately to keep the threatening tears from falling.
Though for the life of me, I can't understand why the hell they're still threatening. We cleared things up. He's sorry; I'm sorry.
Then why the heck can't I just get myself to tell him I'm pregnant?
My cowardice makes me want to cry, and God, I'm not going to be able to stand myself if I'm such a sniffling, bumbling, cowardly and indecisive idiot for the next nine months.
When I hear Edward walk back into the bedroom, I suck in the threatening tears, pushing them back while I reach for the shoes and drop them to the floor.
Then I feel him wrap me in his arm again, only this time there's a burning excitement in his touch.
His palm rests firmly on my flat stomach. "Is there something you want to tell me?" he breathes.
I gasp and turn around, meeting his bewildered gaze with a startled one of my own.
"How do you know?"
He breathes out through narrowed lips, closing his eyes momentarily as if regardless of what he just asked, he wasn't really sure until I confirmed it. His Adam's apple bobs up and down.
"There was one more thing I thought of while I was falling." He pauses. "I regretted so badly that I'd never given you a baby. I regretted that I'd never see a tiny kid with your eyes and my hair, a dancing, little girl or a know-it-all boy. I was thinking of all that now when I went into the kitchen and…" he chuckles impishly, "and that got me thinking that I wanted to try making a baby with you right now, before we left for the wedding. And that got me thinking about your period…which reminded me that you were due for your period last week…and then I got a flash of that strange look you gave me in the hospital…and I remembered…you haven't had your period."
I can't help chuckling at his convoluted – yet effective – thought process.
"You keep track of my period?"
"Of course I do. Don't all husbands?"
I shrug. "I don't really know."
"Well they should. Otherwise, how will they know why their wives are acting like-"
He shakes his head quickly, reaching out to cradle my head in between his strong hands.
"Never mind that. The question is, why didn't you tell me?"
"You fell of a scaffold!" I say, and now the tears do start falling. "And then you were hurt and cranky, and…it never seemed like the right time. I was going to tell you tonight, and then I felt guilty about that because tonight is Angie's night, and I didn't want to steal her thunder."
He grins at me, his eyes full of an emotion I've never seen on his face.
"Bella, yeah, tonight is Angie and Ben's night, but I couldn't care less right now about stealing their thunder. This here is our thunder."
"So you're happy?" I'm bawling and smiling all at once, and Edward breaks out into the most exuberant peals of laughter I've ever heard from him. He pulls me into his arms, holding me tight while laughing.
"God, I can't even describe to you how I feel. I'm not wordy; you know that, so I suppose 'happy' 'll have to do, but I can't believe you've been wondering-" – his head jerks back – "wait, how long have you known that you're pregnant?"
"Since the day of your accident," I confess.
He shakes his head ruefully. "I can't believe I've had you worrying about me, taking care of my self-pitying ass since the moment you found out you were…we were...God, I should've been taking care of you! You should've been thrilled and excited, not dealing with your jerk of a husband."
"Hey, hey, hey," I grin, "that's my jerk of a husband you're talking about. And I was thrilled and excited," I assure him. "And I knew that…eventually…you'd be happy too. I just wasn't sure how you'd feel at first. That's part of the reason I didn't tell you right away."
"Oh Baby…" His words come out shaky, but his eyes…my God, they're practically glowing. "I'm sorry I messed this up."
"You haven't messed up anything. But are you sure you're happy?"
He gazes at me with so much adoration it makes me feel flushed. Then he drops to his knees, and when he presses the palm of his good hand against my stomach, I gasp.
"Thank you," he murmurs reverently, looking up at me through long, dark lashes. "Thank you for giving me a life I never imagined for myself…or for Mel. Thank you for putting up with me when I get stupid. And thank you…" – he kisses my stomach – "for our…baby." When he wraps his arm around my waist, pulling me against him and resting his head on my stomach, I release a few, uneven breaths while silent tears of joy stream down my face, and Edward murmurs, "our baby…our baby…" over and over.
He looks up and, seeing my crying, quickly gets back to his feet.
"Don't mind me." I chuckle through my tears. "I think I'm going to be a blubbering mess for the next eight months or so."
He chuckles in return, wiping away my tears with the pads of his fingers.
"So you're not worried about your genes…or DNA…or…the alcoholism and how it may affect the baby?"
He sighs, curling his good hand around my waist. "I mean, it's something we have to be aware of, but…Bella, these past few years with you, keeping myself sober, I feel like a completely different man from the one you first met in your studio that night. The alcoholism…the temptation will always be there, but that other life…that feels like a nightmare from long ago. We'll be there for our children, Bella, no matter what."
I'm so full of relief that I start crying – again.
He studies me, smiling tenderly. "You know what?"
"I'm starting to think this accident was somehow a blessing in disguise because now I get to be home for the next couple of months and take care of you."
I raise a brow and let my eyes fall to his bandaged shoulder. "Well, I don't know about calling it a blessing in disguise. How about we take care of each other?"
He snickers, holding my gaze. "Yeah, okay, but I just want you to know one thing, Bella: I'll always take care of you…of you and Mel…and little Junior or Juniorette here," he says, patting my stomach.
They're just words, promises he's made and kept so many times in the past few years, but now, they're said with a new fervency, a new determination.
He takes my hand in his and kisses my knuckles. "Now if we don't want to die tonight, we'd better get to that church nice and early, or Angie will choke the shit out of us."
"She will," I agree.
He threads his fingers through mine and breathes deeply. "Isabella Maria Cullen, I'm ready for the rest of our lives. Are you?"
"With you," I smile, "always."
A/N: Thank you so much for joining me in this little glimpse into the lives of Constructionward and his Dancerella. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. :)
"Maldita sea, what the fuck is your motherfucking problem?" – "God damn it, what the fuck…"
"Pero mira que cojones tiene este hijo e-'" – "Take a look at the balls on this son of a-"
For those of you reading TAoI, updates will resume in the new year.
Link to 'Stories by PattyRose' is on my profile page.