Milk Money Chapter 14
The Oscars had been an emotional rollercoaster for me. The morning of, the house had turned into a circus with a dozen people buzzing all around. I tried to get away before anyone noticed me, but I wasn’t that lucky. I’d never been into fashion, hair or makeup. Alice was into that enough for the both of us.
For the most part they didn’t notice me. Tanya’s stylist had complimented my hair color and suggested it would look good on her. When I told Alice and Esme later they agreed, but somehow I didn’t think Tanya would ever go for it. I left out the part where Tanya had said that Edward would never cheat, but if he did, it wouldn’t be with me.
Ironically, it was a happy memory for me. At first I’d been embarrassed and sad, but after Edward’s words, I felt spectacular. He’d said that if there was nothing standing in his way he would want to be with me. I’d been about to tell him the same thing when Charlie started to fuss.
I have no idea what came over me when I allowed Edward to see my bare breast just before bringing Charlie to my nipple. I’d never really been all that proud of my body, and any woman who nurses has to be a little self conscious of how she looks after, but it just seemed so natural. It turns out I needn’t have worried, he clearly liked what he saw. From the giant bulge in his pants, and his comment about needing a long soapy shower, I was more than positive he was attracted to me. The problem was, it couldn’t go anywhere. He was with Tanya, and as much as he didn’t seem to like it, he never mentioned leaving her.
He was on my mind all day, but with Alice getting ready for the Oscars I was at least a bit distracted. She looked beautiful. The stylist and clothing designer both thought so and the look on Jasper’s face was priceless.
Tanya was beautiful and Edward looked so good it made it hard for me to breathe. I kept thinking about what he’d said about throwing me onto his bed and making love to me for a week.
Emmett, Esme and I had begun to play a game of cards while waiting for the pre Oscar show to start on television. In all honesty, I’d never watched one before. I did like movies, but I’d never been that into the awards shows. Alice, on the other hand, had always watched, but for the dresses and hair styles. I was so excited that she’d actually get to go and see it all in person.
Edward stopped by on his way out to get Emmett. I wanted to tell him how nice he looked, but I was afraid to speak. He looked at me and I had to wonder what he was thinking. I felt like I was dressed in rags compared to what Tanya and Alice were wearing.
They left the house and Esme and I turned to watch the show. Elizabeth was playing on the carpet with some of her toys. Some celebrities had already arrived. I was shocked that they showed Alice and Jasper on the screen. One of the women from the entertainment news channel made a comment about how beautiful Alice’s dress was. I couldn’t stop staring at Jasper, who couldn’t stop staring at her.
“It’s so obvious, I have no idea how she doesn’t see it,” I said to Esme.
Esme laughed. “It’s easier to see from the outside. It’s amazing how often people miss what’s right under their noses.”
It wasn’t long before Edward and Tanya hit the red carpet. She had her arm linked through his and they looked like the perfect couple. Both of them were all smiles. “And here are Tanya Denali and Edward Cullen,” the female host said. “She looks amazing don’t you think?”
“Oh, yes,” the other woman responded. “You can barely tell that she just gave birth.”
I turned to Esme as they zoomed in on their two faces. “They do look so happy.”
Esme snort laughed. “No, it’s all an act. Look at Edward’s face. You can see his canine teeth.”
“So,” I responded.
“That’s his fake smile. He’d give it to Mom and Dad when he got something he didn’t want for his birthday but didn’t want to hurt their feelings. He’s trying too hard. I always said he looked scary. It’s his vampire face.”
I burst out laughing. “He should see if he can play one in a movie,” I laughed. “Can you imagine? Edward Cullen as a vampire!”
We both burst into laughter and then they were off the screen, the camera moving to another couple. We were still talking and approving or making fun of other outfits when Emmett returned. “I brought food!” he boomed when he entered the house with a large pizza.
We ate and watched the show. Every so often they’d scan the crowd and I’d search for Edward and Tanya or Alice and Jasper.
“Oh, God,” Esme gasped grabbing the remote. She hit the back button, then play and froze the screen on a couple. The man was very attractive. He had blonde hair, blue eyes and a chiseled face. He looked to be in his late thirties, early forties. The girl next to him was a lot younger, probably his daugher. She had her dark hair piled on her head and alabaster skin. She was gorgeous.
“Who’s that?” I asked.
“My ex-husband,” she said still staring at the screen. “And our nanny.”
“She looks so young!” I exclaimed.
“She is young. She’s nineteen,” Esme said shaking her head and pushing play again, letting it go to commercial.
“Can’t blame him. Men always want to fuck the nanny,” Emmett teased.
My eyes go wide and Esme shouted. “Emmett!”
He laughed. “What? How bout it Bella? One night, just the two of us? I bet you’re into some kinky shit too. You and me, some plastic sheets and baby oil?” I punched his arm. “Okay, I was just kidding. Well, unless you’re into it, in which case the offer stands.”
We continued to make silly comments right up until Edward’s category was called. Charlie had woken and I was nursing him when Edward appeared on screen. I thought he looked so handsome on camera. I tried to be happy for him when Tanya leaned over and gave him a good luck kiss, but I couldn’t help the jealousy. A moment later the jealousy was gone when he smiled. It was a bit too big. It was that same smile Esme had pointed out earlier. “That smile?” I asked.
“That’s the one,” Esme said.
We were all shocked when they called his name. “Oh, I don’t think he has a speech prepared,” Esme said.
He took the stage and we were all glued to the tv.
“Sorry, I’m just a little overwhelmed. Chalk it up to being a new dad and lack of sleep.” The audience laughed, and I smiled. “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.” The camera cut to a shot of Jasper. You could see Alice sitting next to him on one side and someone I didn’t recognize on the other. The camera was back on Edward. “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.”
We just sat there in silence as the music played and Edward left the stage. The room was spinning. Had he just said what I thought he said?
“Holy shit! He just dedicated his Oscar to Charlie and you!” Emmett shouted.
I shook my head. “N..no, that can’t be,” I stammered.
“Yeah, he must have meant Tanya,” Emmett said sarcastically. “Everyone around here knows how close she is to Charlie.”
“Could he have meant me?” I asked Esme.
She smiled. “We are all blessed to have you in our lives. Edward realizes just how special you are. And yes, I do believe that he just dedicated his award to you and Charlie.”
My head was still spinning when Tanya’s award came up. She didn’t win, and I felt bad that a little part of me was happy.
“I’m glad Tanya didn’t win, but I heard that she’s just as bad,” Emmett said pointing at the screen.
“Who, ?” Esme asked. “I sure hope not. She’s the one co-starring in the television show with Edward.”
“Well I heard they call her the ice princess on sets,” Emmett retorted. “And why is she going to be in a television show? She’s a big star.”
“So’s Edward!” I said a bit too quickly.
“Lots of film actors take some time to do television. Look at Charlie Sheen or Kiefer Sutherland.”
“Yeah, I guess,” Emmett said, “I just hope Edward’s life isn’t hell at work dealing with her.”
We stayed up playing cards after the awards were over. I’d put Charlie and Elizabeth to bed. Esme had told me that there were always after parties that would go to the wee hours of the morning. As much as I wanted to stay up and ask Alice how her night went, or congratulate Edward on his award, I decided to turn in.
I woke to find Elizabeth not in her crib. I wasn’t worried. I figured either Edward or Alice had her. I found her and Edward making pancakes in the kitchen. The two of them looked adorable. Both were in their pajamas, both with tousled hair, and I just wanted to hug and kiss them both.
It was a bit odd when Jasper showed up still in his tuxedo, but that was soon forgotten as we all sat down to eat. I wanted to hear all about the Oscars and we were just starting to share stories when Tanya walked in. She grumbled as she headed for coffee. She was complaining about Charlie crying and everyone just stared at her. When she said “Call me a bitch,” no one would have dared, even though it was exactly what she was thinking.
There was one person who dared. One person who had no clue what the word meant. She was just repeating, so when Elizabeth’s “Bitch,” rang out through the kitchen, everyone, with the exception of Tanya burst out laughing. She turned back to fix her coffee.
“Oh, Edward, I assume the network is going to want to do a promo shot for the show with you and Rosalie. I mean, with you both winning, that’s going to look amazing for the show,” Jasper said.
Edward nodded and Tanya made some sort of growling noise and stomped from the kitchen.
“What’s her problem?” Alice asked after she left.
“Rosalie’s her rival,” I explained, repeating some of what Esme and Emmett had told me while we were watching the Oscars.
“Well she better get used to them working together,” Jasper said. I felt a pang of jealousy knowing Edward would be spending so much time with her.
“I heard that she was an ice princess,” Emmett said to Jasper repeating what he’d said last night.
“I heard she was a lesbian,” Jasper responded, making me feel better and then guilty for feeling jealous at all.
“I don’t care,” Edward chimed in. “I know she’s a good actress and I really don’t care how she is off the set. My goal is to continue with my career while staying close to Charlie.”
We didn’t see Tanya for the rest of the day as she slept and recovered from the Oscars. In fact, I didn’t see her much the rest of the week. Edward had spent one afternoon doing a photo shoot with Rosalie Hale, but other than that he spent most of his time with Charlie and me.
We had a routine down. I’d nurse Charlie right after dinner, and Edward would give him a bottle before bed. That gave me time to spend with Elizabeth, giving her a bath and putting her to bed. It also gave me a bit of time to myself. I’d nurse Charlie once before I went to bed usually around eleven. He generally woke up at three in the morning and then again at six. Edward and I rotated who took the feeding during the night. Sometimes Edward took the six a.m. feeding, giving him pumped milk from a bottle. It let me sleep in, which was nice.
The days were different. Sometimes we hung around inside, sometimes we played in the yard. We even went to the park once, but it was a paparazzi nightmare.
All too soon Edward’s paternity leave was over. On the first day he was due on set, I’d taken the night feeding and I was also nursing Charlie at six so he could get ready. I didn’t think I’d see him before he headed off to the set, but he stopped in Charlie’s room on his way out the door. It was barely light, but I could see that he looked amazing.
“You look really good,” I whispered as Charlie nursed at my breast, the blanket covering most of him.
“You look better,” he said and gave me his signature smirk. It got me every time and butterflies erupted in my stomach.
He had a small box in his hand which he set down on the dresser. “I uh, I got you a new phone. I put in all the numbers you might need. You know that you can call anytime. I’ll have my phone, and if it’s an emergency call Jasper. He will know how to get ahold of me.”
“You didn’t have to do that,” I responded.
“I wanted to. I just want to be in constant contact.”
I bit my lower lip as he stared into his eyes. The butterflies were back and got even worse when he stepped closer, reached down and moved the blanket a bit to see Charlie. “I wish I could stay here with you all day,” he whispered. I wasn’t sure if he was talking to me or Charlie. He leaned down and kissed Charlie on the head. I could feel his breath for a moment on my breast. He straightened up a bit then leaned over and kissed me on the forehead. “Have a good day. I’ll be thinking about you.”
My head was swimming the rest of the time Charlie nursed. I changed him and took him and lay him back down in his crib. I went to the dresser and picked up the box. It was the brand new Samsung. I smiled when I opened the contacts and I saw Edward’s number in there first.
I’d just finished showering when I heard the phone ding. “Just checking to make sure it works. Hope you’re having a good day.” I couldn’t help but smile. The texts continued all day. He was checking on Charlie and me. He even asked how Elizabeth was. I said she was good, but in truth, she missed him terribly. I didn’t want to tell him that she’d spent the better part of an hour looking around the house for him saying, “tittle, tittle.” I figured he was missing home enough, I didn’t have to add to it.
He was tired when he got home but he still spent time with Charlie and even a bit with Elizabeth. Over the next few weeks we settled into a new routine and although he was gone all day, we texted and he would call me on breaks. School was in full swing for me, but I had a lot more time to devote to my classes since I was no longer working at the pub. Alice watched both kids while I went to class. I planned on taking two classes the following semester. I had the money for it and the workload would still be manageable.
Jasper came by a few times each week, which surprised me since Edward wasn’t there for some of his visits. He’d have some excuse as to why he needed to come over, but would end up hanging out with Alice for hours. Tanya was there most of the time, yet I never saw her. She’d walk past me in the living room while I was holding Charlie or playing with Elizabeth and not even acknowledge us. She stayed in her room most of the time. Her personal trainer came over every day as did her publicist, James. They never stayed around long which was fine with me.
Occasionally she’d act interested in us, but it was always when someone had a camera. I never went too far away as she would hand Charlie back to me immediately after the photos were taken.
Edward and I had a few moments that gave me butterflies in my stomach, but mostly we just settled into a comfortable friendship. Sometimes we’d eat dinner together when he’d get home from the set. One afternoon he had off and he scheduled a doctor’s appointment for Charlie. The doctor confirmed that Charlie was doing very well. At five weeks old he was in the tenth percentile, but steadily gaining ground. He’d put on just over two pounds in the four weeks I’d nursed him. The doctor was impressed.
Edward was in the best mood after that. We decided to stop off and get ice cream to celebrate. It was just a little ice cream shoppe and we sat in a booth. Charlie sat in his little carrier on the table while we each ordered a hot fudge sundae. It was delicious. Edward even gave me his cherry.
So life was good. I had more money in the bank than I’d had in my life. Elizabeth was living in a beautiful home with all of the luxuries of a princess. I was doing well in school and Edward and I were becoming close friends. I had everything I wanted, well, almost everything.