Milk Money Chapter 12
Things couldn’t have been better and then it seems things couldn’t have gotten worse. One moment I was feeding Charlie and the next thing I knew, Edward was staring at me like I was a centerfold and he was a thirteen year old boy who’d found his father’s porn collection. I figured I was reading a lot into what I thought the look on his face meant. I didn’t even have time to ask him about it because Tanya had come home. Edward had left me with Charlie and Elizabeth. It wasn’t an issue until we got to the top of the stairs. He’d come and helped us down. His face had been all smiles, but Tanya was glaring at me.
At first I wondered if she could tell how I felt for Edward, but when she spoke she made it very clear that any thoughts she had of me were negative. It wasn’t that I wanted her to be threatened by me, after all she was Edward’s fiance and Charlie’s mother and they both loved her and needed her, but she didn’t have to dismiss me so quickly.
I’d taken Elizabeth from the room to give them some privacy. I was just around the corner when Tanya made the comment about me needing plastic surgery after I was done nursing. I felt the humiliation set in until I’d turned around to pick up the doll that Elizabeth had dropped.
“They are not. They are spectacular!” I couldn’t stop the smile that spread across my face. Then he went further to make my day. After she’d accused him of sleeping with me, similar to what Jasper had done, he responded, “No I’m not! Bella isn’t like that. She’s sweet and smart and she’d never just have a fling with someone.”
It meant a lot to me that he didn’t think I was that type of girl. I also couldn’t help but feel flattered that he said the reason he hadn’t slept with me was because I wouldn’t want to, not because he didn’t want to.
I didn’t see Tanya the rest of that day. I did see Edward when he came in for Charlie’s night feedings. I told him it wasn’t necessary, but he insisted.
In the morning, Alice had been sitting next to the pool with me while the children napped when Jasper came over. “I just wanted to make sure everything was set for the Oscars tomorrow,” he said.
“I just need my ticket,” Alice responded sitting up. I don’t think Alice noticed, but Jasper swallowed hard when she stood and walked over to him.
“I was just going to bring them tomorrow night. It’s really more of an invitation.”
Alice looked confused. “What do you mean?”
Alice and I had been talking earlier about what she should wear. She had chosen a cute black dress, though she said it wouldn’t matter sitting in the balcony, but it was still fun to dress up.
“I was going to pick you up around four. That will give us enough time to get there and in. I don’t expect much fan fare when we arrive, but you never know.”
Alice’s jaw was nearly on the floor. “Wait...you mean I’m going to the Oscars with you?”
Now it was Jasper’s turn to look confused. It was quite adorable from where I was sitting. “That was the bet right? You beat me at something and I take you to the Oscars.”
That wasn’t quite the bet, but I sure as hell wasn’t going to point that out. It was obvious that my little sister had the hots for Jasper. It was true that he was much too old for her, but still, she could have fun.
“I… I thought I was just getting a seat in the balcony or something.”
Jasper’s face fell for a minute. “Uh… well, I suppose I can see if, uh…”
“She’d love to go with you though, wouldn’t you Alice?” I felt the need to intervene before this went down hill.
“I would love to go with you,” Alice said, slightly more composed. “I’ll be ready by four.”
“Good. It’s a date. See you tomorrow.”
It was a figure of speech, but I had to wonder if it was a date. Alice waited for him to walk back in the house and turn to me before squealing. “OH MY GOD!!!!!”
I started to laugh. “I know, I know.”
Then the color drained from her face. “What am I going to wear?”
“I thought you were going to wear that black dress.”
“That was when I was in the balcony. I’m going to be arriving with Jasper. He might even be shown on television. Do you think he will be sitting near Edward?”
I had no idea, but I could see her point. “Well, Edward gave me that money for the milk, and he will be paying us tomorrow anyway. Let’s go shopping and see what we can get.”
“I wish I had time to design a dress. Damn, maybe I still can. Let’s go fabric shopping. I have all day today and most of tomorrow. I want to make something amazing!”
We went out shopping and Emmett drove. It was odd to be in the store with a bodyguard, but people didn’t seem to pay us any attention. We’d brought Elizabeth along with us and Emmett seemed to enjoy himself amusing her, or perhaps she was amusing him. It was really hard to tell with the two of them.
I’d promised Edward before I left him with two bags of pumped milk that if it seemed dangerous at all, I’d just go right home.
Alice bought enough fabric to make dresses for ten people, but she was happy and we headed home.
I was worried about Edward and Charlie most of the time we were gone. I was afraid I’d come home to screaming. There was screaming when I got home, but it wasn’t from Charlie.
“Why the fuck would I want to feed him? Don’t you pay those two bitches to feed him. Besides, I know what happens after. He just throws up all over the place.”
Tanya’s voice was recognizable and loud enough for us to hear from the foyer.
“He’s not like that anymore,” Edward said softly. I assumed he was holding Charlie in his arms. “He does well with breastmilk. This is breastmilk.”
“Oh my God! That is disgusting. It’s bad enough she squirts her milk into his mouth, but now she’s bottling it? I’m going to go lay by the pool and get a bit of color for tomorrow. Don’t spend too much time doing stupid stuff like feeding him. Make sure you get out there to touch up your tan too.”
I think I would have stormed in there and ripped her head off but Alice was about to beat me to it. She took two steps and I was right behind her when I felt a strong hand on my shoulder. Emmett. He must have grabbed Alice too because she spun around.
“Let me go! I’m going to kick her ass. Who the fuck is she calling a bitch?”
“Calm down Bumblebee,” Emmett said, but he wasn’t laughing. “Think this through. You go in there and yell and shout. In the end, you’re fired and both of you are out of here. As much as Edward likes you, she seems to run this place so if she wants you gone, you’d be gone.”
His words calmed me some, and it appeared to calm Alice as well. I had no idea why Edward put up with her. “If you leave, that leaves Edward alone to care for Charlie. Nothing you say will ever change her anyway.”
As pissed as I was, Emmett was right. Alice and I stood there for a minute, Elizabeth was still asleep in my arms. How she slept through that I wasn’t sure, but the car ride had lulled her to sleep and it was right in the middle of her afternoon nap. After we didn’t hear anything for a while, Alice, Emmett and I walked into the living room. Edward was on the couch feeding Charlie. He looked upset and I could tell he’d been crying. I understood. It must be terrible to be in love with someone who was acting like that.
We just walked on past and headed to Alice’s suite. I’d lay Elizabeth down there. Emmett stayed behind to talk to Edward.
I spent most of the rest of the day helping Alice with her dress. Although I wasn’t her body type, she still used me to hem and make other adjustments. I saw Edward a few more times that afternoon when I fed Charlie, but no sign of Tanya. She wasn’t at dinner either.
The only time I saw Tanya that day was when I was heading to bed. Edward, Emmett and I had spent a few hours after dinner in Alice’s suite watching her work and just hanging out. Emmett kept cracking jokes and telling funny stories about Edward. I can’t remember when I’d laughed so hard. It was good to see Edward in a good mood again as he was laughing along too. It was such a good night, I wish I could have frozen time right there.
But of course I couldn’t freeze time and when it got late, Edward took Charlie up to bed and Emmett left. I stayed as the “mannequin” letting her make final adjustments. I’d just finished helping Alice with her dress and was walking up the stairs to bed. Tanya was standing at the top of the stairs.
“Hi,” I said, not knowing what else to say.
She rolled her eyes. “Brenda is it? I just wanted to remind you of your place here.”
I knew I wore a confused scowl on my face when I responded. “It’s Bella, and my place?”
She put her hands on her hips. “Look. Just do your job. Take care of Charlie and keep your mouth shut about anything you see or hear in this house.”
“Oh, I’d never say anything. Edward’s been nothing but kind to me. He offered me this job and then my sister hers. He helped us get our things here and really made me feel like I was at home. He’s a wonderful man.”
Her eyes narrowed. “Yes he is. Now he’s going to show me just how wonderful by making love to me all night long.” She turned and walked the few feet to the master suite. She stood in the doorway then turned to me. I knew my mouth was still hanging open. “Do you think you can keep that little thing quiet all night? I want to get some sleep, so do your job. If he starts crying, stuff one of your boobs in his mouth. That should shut him up. I want some quality time with Edward.”
After her short monologue she closed the bedroom door. It wasn’t ten seconds later I heard Barry White music on in the background. The tears were streaming down my face and I tried to tell myself that it was because she’d insulted me, but deep down I knew it was because the thought of Edward with her bothered me. I heard Tanya giggle and I couldn’t take anymore. I walked down the hall towards my room. Maybe if I got a good night’s sleep, it would put things in perspective.
I stopped and peeked in on Elizabeth and then I went in to check on Charlie. The moonlight shown in through the slit in his curtains giving the room a bluish glow. I walked to the crib and saw him sleeping there. I sniffed softly remembering that he was the reason I was here and not Edward.
I nearly jumped out of my skin when I heard Edward whisper from behind me, “Is everything alright?”
I spun around to see him sitting in the rocking chair. His hair was messed up as if he’d been running his hands through it. “Oh God, you scared me nearly to death!”
“I’m sorry,” he said standing up and moving over to me. “It just seemed like you were upset.” He looked at me closely, his eyes spotting the tears on my cheeks. “Why have you been crying Bella?”
I had no idea what to say. I couldn’t tell him the truth, but I also didn’t want to lie to him. “I was just upset about something I’d heard, but now I’m fine.”
“You don’t look fine, but you don’t have to talk about it. Just know that I’m here for you. I really care about you.”
His words touched me and I believed them to be genuine. I looked up at him and he brushed the tear from my cheek. My heart raced at his touch. I knew it was wrong to be feeling what I was, but I couldn’t help it.
“Bella,” he whispered, lowering his head slightly.
“Edward,” I responded, though barely any sound came from my dry throat.
I closed my eyes not daring to breath. “God you’re beautiful,” he whispered, rubbing the pad of his thumb over my lips.
Time froze, the two of us standing there, in the moonlight, staring into each other’s eyes. His mouth was inches from mine. I could feel his warm breath coming in small puffs of air.
He moved just half an inch closer to me. I closed my eyes, not knowing what would happen next. I waited for his lips to touch mine, or for him to pull away. He did neither.
“Fuck,” he hissed as if in pain. He let out a sigh as if deflating. He leaned forward, his forehead rested on mine. “Why couldn’t you be her,” he murmured.
We stayed like that for at least a full minute, our foreheads pressed together. What did he mean? Why couldn’t I be who? Tanya? My mind raced with a million thoughts, but mostly I enjoyed the moment, the tenderness of being so close to him.
It was movement from Charlie that eventually broke us apart. I could see that Edward’s eyes were red-rimmed. I didn’t need to ask him if he was alright, I knew he wasn’t.
“So why aren’t you in your room?” I asked him.
I thought back to a few minutes ago when Tanya had gone into their room. Had she just been pretending he was there? Well she was an actress, I could see how easily she could have fooled me.
“I was earlier, but then I saw that Tanya was in there. I didn’t know what to do.”
“I’m sorry,” I responded, not knowing what else to say.
“It’s not your fault. It’s been like this for a while now.” He took a breath and exhaled slowly. “Charlie wasn’t planned.”
I nodded, “Neither was Elizabeth, but I wouldn’t change what happened for anything.”
“That’s how I feel. Tanya didn’t want to have him, but I thought that she’d change her mind while she was pregnant, fall in love with him you know?” He shook his head and looked down. “That didn’t happen. She just kept getting more and more upset about how he was ruining her body. I just thought she was getting sexier and sexier. I mean her…”
He stopped talking and I watched a blush creep up his cheeks. “Her what?” I asked prompting.
He looked away for a moment. “Her body got all curvy and her...her breasts got larger.” I giggled making him look back at me. “I guess you could tell I’m a breast man.”
Now it was my turn to blush.
“Anyway,” he said getting serious again. “She didn’t like being pregnant but I still held out hope that when he was born, when she saw him, she’d fall in love with him. I know I did. But that just didn’t happen. She literally wants nothing to do with him.”
“I’m so sorry,” I whispered. I had no idea what to say.
“The thing is, I thought I was in love with her when we conceived him, but now, I can’t even stand to be in the same room with her.”
My jaw dropped. His words were harsh. “So what are you going to do?”
He pursed his lips. “I don’t know. It’s so complicated. Not only do we have Charlie, but we also are a public couple. Breaking up would have an affect on my career. If I left her when she was pregnant, I’d have been a dirt bag, now that the baby is born, it would be even worse.” He shrugged his shoulders. “I guess I need to just hang in there. Maybe it’s just postpartum depression. Tomorrow is the Oscars, we have to make a good public show. It shouldn’t be too hard, we’re both actors after all.”
He smiled and I smiled back. “Are you sure you don’t want to come? I could get a sitter for the kids. I’m sure I could get you tickets.”
It was sweet of him to offer, but I had no desire to go to the Oscars, and I certainly didn’t want to tag along and watch them in loving supercouple mode. “That is really sweet of you, but I’m fine staying home. I don’t want to mess up Charlie’s routine and Elizabeth is just adjusting to being here. I don’t want to change anything just yet.”
He nodded. “Well, I suppose I should get some sleep.”
I thought with his statement that he meant that he was going to go in his room, but he surprised me by laying down in the bed in Charlie’s room.
“Good night, Edward,” I said from the doorway.
“Good night, Bella,” he whispered.”I’ll see you in the morning.”
I giggled. “If you’re a deep sleeper. Otherwise, I’ll see you in about two hours.”
I walked to my bedroom in a daze. What had just happened? I’d been upset that Edward was making love to Tanya and in the end, he and I had had a heart to heart. Edward showed more of himself to me every day, and every day I fell a bit more for him.
As my head hit the pillow I thought back to how comfortable it felt when his forehead was pressed to mine. I exhaled. If only he could have read my thoughts. He’d know that he deserved better than Tanya. He deserved...me.