Milk Money Chapter 13
Charlie had woken twice during the night, and twice Bella had come in to nurse him. We’d had casual conversation each time, but nothing like the one we’d had right before I’d gone to bed. I don’t know why I’d opened up to her like that. She was just so easy to talk to. I knew we’d bonded over Charlie, but there was more to it. I liked who she was, and I liked who I was when I was with her.
The day started normally. Charlie was pretty much on a routine now. Bella pumped while she nursed during the day most times and I fed him at least one bottle a day. We also had a few ounces stored in the fridge just in case we might need then for some reason. He was almost two weeks old now, and had grown so much. The doctor said he was back to his original birth weight, and was steadily gaining.
I’d eaten breakfast, worked out, and had chased Elizabeth around the house. It was at noon that the chaos began. First the doorbell rang and a minute later what felt like one hundred people walked into my house.
“Oh Edward!” Zafrina, Tanya’s designer bubbled, rushing up to me, kissing both cheeks. Several women followed behind her carrying bags and boxes. “I have the most amazing tux for you today. It will compliment your fiance’s dress perfectly.”
“Speaking of your fiance, where is the little vixen?” Alistair asked looking around. He had his own crew behind him as well. “Have you worn her out? I knew I should have tried harder to get you on our team.” He was Tanya’s stylist, and mine too, though I didn’t require much, just a hair cut occasionally. He was openly gay and often liked to flirt with me. I chuckled at his comment.
“Here I am!” Tanya sang from the top of the stairs, needing to make a grand entrance. She was wearing a silk robe with high heel slippers, adorned with the little fuzzy strip over the toes and all. She couldn’t have looked more like a diva if she’d tried.
“Darling!” Zafrina cried and ran to her in an obnoxious display of over acting. They hugged and kissed like they’d not seen each other in years.
“You’re glowing,” Alistair commented. “Motherhood suits you.” I tried to suppress an eye roll. “So where is the little prince?”
“Uh… I’m… “ Tanya floundered. I should have let her go and look stupid for not even knowing where her son was. She hadn’t seen him all day, nor did she care to.
“He’s right here,” Bella said from the couch where she’d been sitting. She stood with him and brought him closer.
“He’s so precious,” Zafrina said, scooping him from her arms. “I just can’t wait to make little clothes for you. Are you sure he can’t attend tonight? It would be just darling to have a matching tuxedos, wouldn’t it?” She looked at me.
“No, he can’t go. It is too long and he is too young. It would make no sense to bring an infant.” I couldn’t believe she was even suggesting it. Who brought a newborn to the Oscars?
While the others crowded around Zafrina to coo at Charlie, Alistar turned his attention back to Bella. “I must know, who does your color?”
In his defense, Bella’s hair, while naturally beautiful, was stunning in the light. She was under one of the skylights and the sun made her hair shine, the copper in it sparkling.
“My color?” Bella asked, looking down. She’d been wearing a pair of navy blue leggings and a button up white tunic.
“Yes! Who is your stylist?” he asked, moving closer and running his fingers through her hair. “These highlights are magnificent! They look natural!”
“They are natural,” she responded quietly.
He chuckled. “Next you’ll tell me your breast are too!” Bella’s cheeks flooded with color. “Tanya, darling, I think this color would look simply divine on you! What do you think?” He stood looking from one woman to the other. “Well, not if you’re in the same movie of course. Are you in the movie Tanya’s shooting next month?”
“No… I’m not….” Bella started to say before she was interrupted by a tiny voice.
“Mama?” Elizabeth called from behind the couch. My heart melted. She must be terrified of all of the people, especially the man with spiky white hair wearing a pink suit who was touching her mother’s hair. Without thinking I moved through the gathering of people and scooped Elizabeth up.
Everyone stared at me for a moment then one of Zafrina’s helpers cried out. “Oh, it’s Souper Girl! I just think that you and your daughter are so beautiful! I loved the photos of the four of you.”
Everyone in the room was smiling, with the exception of Tanya. “Yes, we are so lucky to have Brenda to help out,” she said.
“Bella,” I corrected.
Tanya ignored the correction and took Charlie from Zafrina. I’m sure she planned on getting everyone to look at her and Charlie, and they did, only it wasn’t what she’d expected. She had no idea how to hold him and he started screaming. “Edward, do something. Where is his plug?” she cried out exasperated. Everyone started to laugh thinking she was kidding. Bella leaned down and picked up the pacifier from the table. It wouldn’t hold him off for long as he was likely hungry. Tanya didn’t even wait to see if it worked, she just shoved him into Bella’s arms.
Instantly he stopped crying and turned his face toward her chest snuggling in. The others in the room probably didn’t notice, but I did. It spoke volumes. My son knew who the woman was who loved and cared for him. I needed a minute away from this fiasco.
“It must be lunch and nap time,” I said heading for the stairs, Elizabeth still in my arms.
“No nap! Tittle!” Elizabeth protested.
“Tickle, huh?” I laughed, lifting her up so that her bare tummy was in front of my face. I blew raspberries on it making her giggle loudly.
“Oh my God, they are so adorable,” someone said behind us as Bella and I walked up the stairs with the kids.
“They make a cute little foursome. Aren’t you worried?” Zafrina said.
Tanya laughed. “Worried about what? Edward? Come on, he’d never cheat and if he did, it sure as hell wouldn’t be with the help!”
I’d heard Tanya’s response and I was sure Bella had too, judging by the way her spine stiffened as she walked up the stairs in front of me. We didn’t say anything at the top of the hall or when she put Elizabeth down in her room and turned to take Charlie. I could see her eyes were red rimmed and watery. I didn’t blame her for being upset. Instead of handing him to her, I set Charlie in his bed and thankfully he didn’t start to cry.
“She’s half right,” I said, taking Bella’s chin in my hand so she’d look up at me. “I wouldn’t cheat. It’s just not the kind of man that I am, but the other half, about it not being you? She couldn’t be more wrong. I find myself so fucking attracted to you all the time. If she and I weren’t engaged, if we didn’t have Charlie, I’d throw you onto the nearest bed and make love to you until you couldn’t walk. Your feet wouldn’t touch the floor for a week as I explored and ravished every inch of your body.”
“Really?” she asked, her tongue poking out and licking her lips. I wanted so badly to kiss her. I couldn’t though. Not even because of Tanya and I, but because of Bella. I couldn’t just use her like that. She deserved a man better than me. She deserved someone who could give her everything, the sun, the moon, and the stars. I’d just be a fuck. But damn, what a fuck it would be and I knew I’d never get enough.
“Yes, really. It’s everything about you. It’s how you smile and laugh, how you walk. Seeing you in a swimsuit just about kills me and when you nurse Charlie, I think I’m going to pass out sometimes.” She smiled. “I swear to you, if nothing were in my way, I’d.. well I’d…” And that was when Charlie decided he could wait no longer. With a loud cry, he ended the moment. Bella, still smiling moved past me to him. She picked him up and sat in the rocking chair. I watched as she slowly unbuttoned her blouse. “You should look away. You really should,” the voice in my head said to me. I didn’t. I just stared as Bella’s pale yellow bra came into view. She seemed to exhale before unfastening it at the top corner and then, then the fabric fell revealing the most perfect breast I’d ever seen. It was full, just as I knew it would be and her nipple, darker than I’d imagined for her pale skin was in the center. Perfect. It was an image that I knew I’d be jerking off to later today, and tonight, and probably every day for the rest of my life. All too soon Charlie turned his head and latched on, obstructing my view. I couldn’t blame the kid, it was what I wanted to do.
Her eyes raised to meet mine. She looked at me staring at her. Her eyes flitted down to my very obvious erection, then back up to my face. I was trying to think of something to say, anything. She looked like she wanted to say something too, but I never found out what because I heard Alistair calling from the living room. “Edward! Are you coming back down? We have less than four hours until the limo gets here. We need to hurry!”
I stepped to the doorway and shouted down the hall. “I need to take a shower first!” Then grumbled under my breath. “A very long, soapy shower.” I heard a giggle behind me as I left and went to my room.
The shower helped relieve the build up, and as predicted, Bella’s breast was the catalyst for my orgasm. I toweled off and dressed in just a white undershirt and boxers before grabbing a robe. I didn’t bother with real clothes as I knew that the moment I got downstairs, I’d be a Ken doll anyway. I should have headed straight down, but I couldn’t resist temptation and peeked in Charlie’s room to see Bella one more time. To my disappointment, she wasn’t in there, though Charlie was asleep in his bassinet.
The moment I hit the livingroom I was swept up in the insanity of getting ready for the Oscars. I looked around for Bella but she wasn’t there. My hair was done, undone and redone until Alistair was satisfied. “Now go to Zafrina to get dressed,” he instructed. He looked over my shoulder. “There’s your beautiful girl!”
I turned around, and for some dumb reason, I expected Bella. It was Tanya of course. “Zafrina just did some last minute alterations. I lost another two pounds. Hopefully I barely look like I had that kid.”
I scowled, but Tanya didn’t notice. She was off to get her hair and makeup done by Alistair and his team. Just as I headed towards Zafrina to put my tux on, I saw Esme walk by with Charlie in her arms. She waved to me and headed toward the guest suite where I assumed she was helping Alice get ready. Bella was probably there too. I had no doubt with Alice’s natural beauty and the makeup of my sister, she’d be stunning.
I was right. At four o’clock I stood in my tuxedo waiting for Tanya to put on her final touches when Jasper showed up at the door. He looked like a teenager going on his first date, nervous as hell and with flowers in his hand. “Is she ready?” he asked, looking at Tanya in the middle of the living room being primped by four different people.
“Well, she didn’t have a team, but I can go and see,” I offered. It turned out I didn’t need to because just then Alice came from the other room. I thought she looked amazing, but her appearance hit Jasper on a whole new level. She wore a lavender gown with silver shoes. It was tied at each shoulder with ribbons of fabric hanging down. The bottom portion was frayed and looked almost as if it had feathers attached. It was so unique and made her look even more beautiful than she was.
Jasper held out the bouquet of flowers for her. “I.. I just thought… and wow, you look stunning.”
Bella and Esme had entered the room behind her and both giggled at Jasper’s loss of words. Zafrina wasn’t speechless though. “Oh. My. God!” she exclaimed running over to Alice. “Your dress is simply brilliant. It’s simple, yet elegant. It has a hint of retro but still modern and chic. Who designed this?”
“I did,” Alice said proudly.
“Well you have some talent,” Zafrina complimented. “You’ll be the second best dressed woman there,” she laughed. Tanya beamed, of course not wanting to be outdone, and especially not by ‘the help.’
Alice took the flowers from Jasper, with a blush on her cheeks. Alice handed Esme the flowers who said she’d put them in water. She, Bella and Charlie disappeared as Jasper and Alice headed for the door. Jasper insisted on driving his own car. Emmett would be taking Tanya and I.
“See you there,” Jasper said following Alice out. In less than ten minutes Tanya was ready too. She was wearing a gold dress with a high waist. There was a ribbon for a belt and it did look good on her, covering up any evidence that she’d ever had a child. Her hair was piled on top of her head in a loose updo, with many curls hanging loose. Her fans would love it, she looked regal.
Just as we were walking out to take a few photos before leaving, I remembered my watch. These things were so boring, but if you were caught on television checking your phone to see what time it was, it would be in the paper the next day for sure. I ran back upstairs and grabbed mine. As I was heading out the front door I heard laughter. I knew it was Bella’s. “You are such a cheater!” she giggled.
The sound was coming from the den. I peeked my head in to see what was going on. The sight before me was perfect. Bella was sitting on the couch, legs tucked up underneath her, holding some playing cards in her hand. Charlie was asleep in his swing and Elizabeth was playing with some toys on the floor. Emmett was sitting across from Bella holding cards too. “How am I cheating?” he asked with a laugh.
“You pretended to check on Charlie so you could see my cards!” she exclaimed giggling.
Emmett was about to respond when he saw me. “Sorry Boss, time to go?”
I nodded. “Yeah, in a minute. We’re just taking a picture or two,” I responded.
Emmett chuckled. “That means a hundred, but I’ll go start the car.” We’d rented a limo, but I preferred to have Emmett drive than a hired driver. He turned to Bella. “I’ll be back in an hour Bells. I don’t have to stay as a bodyguard. The security is really tight at these things.”
“No rush,” Bella, or Bells, as he’d called her, replied. “Esme is making popcorn and we’re going to watch the red carpet part.” She turned to look and stood up. She walked toward me and my heartbeat quickened. “You look very handsome,” she said, straightening my tie. “The suit brings out your eyes.”
I smiled, loving her touch on me. “Thank you.”
“Edward!” Tanya called from the front door. “Come take some pictures.”
I turned from the room, wishing I was staying there. Popcorn and playing cards with Bella seemed much more fun than going to the Oscars. I’d been nominated, and so had Tanya. I didn’t really think I’d win, but it was in poor taste not to show up for an award just because you didn’t think you had a chance.
Tanya talked about her hair and what other people would look like, hoping that one of her rivals tripped on the red carpet. The evening went by in a blur. Emmett dropped us off and we walked the red carpet, neither of us tripping.
We posed for pictures and went inside. The evening drug by for me. Each award and commercial break seeming to take forever. I kept picturing Bella on the couch watching it on tv. She, Emmett and Esme would be laughing and eating popcorn. Charlie had probably woken up and eaten again.
I was barely paying attention when they called my name for winning my category. I looked up and smiled, knowing the cameras were on me. Tanya chose that time to lean over and give me a kiss for good luck. It took everything I had not to roll my eyes at her. I wasn’t shocked at her attempt at the spotlight, what I was shocked at was when my name was called. I just sat there for a moment, motionless. Tanya poked me and I stood to accept the award. I walked toward the podium not having a clue what to say. I knew that I had to say something. I looked out over the crowd and took a deep breath.
“Sorry, I’m just a little overwhelmed. Chalk it up to being a new dad and lack of sleep.” There was a chuckle from the audience. “I’ll keep it brief. I’d like to thank all of the people who helped make the movie, and the co-stars of Landslide. I’d like to thank my agent, Jasper Whitlock who seems to get me all the best parts.” I took a deep breath. “I’d like to dedicate this award to my son, Charlie, and the woman who loves him as much as I do. I’m blessed to have you both in my life.”
I went back to my seat and Tanya smiled at me. I wondered if she thought I dedicated my award to her. I wasn’t about to ask. Time stood still again as we moved through more awards. Eventually, Tanya’s category came up, ‘Best supporting Actress in a Comedy’. She had a smile plastered on her face when they announced the nominees and kept it there when they announced Rosalie Hale as the winner. Tanya hated her, but she couldn’t let the press know. It didn’t go with her image.
It seemed like a year later when I walked in through the doors of the house. The entire house was quite. Hell it was nearly two am. Tanya and I had gone to a few after parties. It wasn’t that I wanted to go, but Jasper said it would be good for my image. He and Alice joined us. She was completely star struck at the event. It was fun watching her amazement at things I’d been taking for granted.
I hoped Bella would be up nursing Charlie, but he was asleep and so was she. I climbed into bed with visions of Bella in my head and fell into a restless sleep.
When I woke, Charlie was still asleep. I must have slept through an early morning feeding. I peeked in on Elizabeth and she was playing in her crib that had just come in two nights earlier. She saw me and jumped up with her arms in the air. I couldn’t help but to smile.
I picked her up and quietly opened the door to Bella’s room. She looked like an angel sleeping on her pillow with her mahogany hair covering part of her face making the bit that was visible seem like a forbidden treasure. “Let’s let Mommy sleep,” I whispered to Elizabeth, before closing the door.
I took her downstairs and began making breakfast. I had no idea what to make her, so I went with pancakes like she’d had the other day. I held her on one hip while I got out the stuff to make the pancakes. She seemed so excited to be up with me, I couldn’t resist letting her help mix the batter.
I’d just turned on the pan when I saw the door to the kitchen swing open. I’d expected Bella, so I was shocked when I saw Jasper walking through the room, shoes in hand, wearing a tuxedo.
“Jasper?” I asked quietly, but he jumped a mile.
“Jesus Fuck!” he shouted, whipping around. “What the hell are you doing here?”
“Watch your mouth!” I hissed wishing I had my hands free so I could cover Elizabeth’s ears. “And what am I doing here? I live here and I’m making pancakes.” I stared at him with raised eyebrows. “What are you doing?”
“Well, I uh, I’d um… there was an after party and I went, and then an after, after party.”
I was about to ask him what any of that had to do with him walking through my kitchen at seven in the morning with his shoes in his hand when the kitchen door opened again. This time it was Bella.
“There’s my sweet angel!” she said smiling at Elizabeth. Elizabeth smiled back at her mother and kicked her little feet. Bella took her from me and gave her a big kiss.
Bella noticed Jasper and quirked an eyebrow. “Good morning Jasper. You’re here awfully early.”
He looked flustered, something I’d rarely seen from Jasper. Again he was saved from answering by Charlie this time. His cries came through the baby monitor Bella had set down on the kitchen table when she walked into the room.
“I’ll get him,” Jasper said and sprinted from the room. It was the strangest thing, but I didn’t have time to dwell on it long because Bella and Elizabeth had moved over to the batter and were getting ready to put some in the pan. I opened the fridge and took out some fresh strawberries and a bowl of whipping cream my cook must have made yesterday.
Walking over to Elizabeth, who was still in Bella’s arms watching her make the pancakes, I took her little hand and dipped a finger into the whipped cream. Elizabeth giggled and sucked on her finger. “Want a taste?” I asked Bella.
“Sure,” she said with a giggle. She had the spatula in one hand and Elizabeth in the other. It just seemed so natural, so I dipped my finger into the whipped cream and offered it to her. A moment later my finger was engulfed in the warm wetness of her mouth as she sucked the whipped cream from me. We both moaned at the same time, her from the taste and me from the feel of her mouth and tongue. I couldn’t help but wonder what they would feel like on my cock, then wondered if she even gave blow jobs. I was so hard that I could barely think.
I pulled my finger from her mouth and turned. My thoughts were so inappropriate. She was holding her daughter, for fuck’s sake. While I was standing there facing the fridge, praying for my erection to go away, Jasper came back in the kitchen with Charlie. That changed the climate and helped me calm down.
Bella took Charlie to nurse him and Jasper and I finished breakfast. I didn’t ask him any more about why he was here, and he didn’t ask me about why I’d had a boner when he’d walked in the kitchen. The awkwardness increased when a few minutes after Bella left, Alice entered the kitchen. She seemed shocked to find Jasper there. What I wasn’t sure of was whether she was shocked he was here, or shocked he was still here.
All of the tension disappeared when Bella returned and we sat down to eat like two normal couples, which was ironic because nothing about this situation was normal and neither set of us were really a couple. Still, we talked and laughed as Bella asked all about our night at the Oscars.
“I didn’t even get to congratulate you on winning,” she said with a huge smile.
“Thanks. I didn’t think I had a chance, which is why I didn’t have a speech prepared.”
“Your speech was perfect,” Alice chimed in. “Didn’t you think so Bella?”
I wanted to know what she thought, I’d dedicated my Oscar to her and Charlie last night, though the rest of the world thought the woman I’d referenced was Tanya. She never answered because that was exactly when Tanya walked in the kitchen. She looked at the five of us all sitting around the table and rolled her eyes. “Did someone make coffee? I can’t believe I’m awake, but that fucking kid woke me up with his screaming. Doesn’t he know the Oscars were last night?”
She headed for the coffee pot, but when she realized that the room had gone deadly silent she turned around with her hands on her hips. “I don’t care what you think. Go ahead and call me a bitch.”
“Bitch,” came the little angel voice, clear as a bell. Elizabeth smiled after voicing her opinion and popped another piece of pancake in her mouth. “Bitch,” she said one final time before the rest of us, with the exception of Tanya, burst into laughter.