I sat in the house, stunned. So much had happened. I’d been so worried about Charlie, I hadn’t thought of much else. Even when Edward told me he’d ended it with Tanya, I hadn’t really believed it. It was pretty hard not to believe it now; after the fight that had just occurred.
Rosalie appeared at the top of the stairs. She glanced toward Tanya and Edward’s room where I could hear Tanya throwing things around and yelling at James. Rosalie shook her head and walked down the stairs. “Charlie fell asleep while I was feeding him so I put him in his crib. Is that all right?”
“Yeah, on his back, right?” I asked her.
She smiled. “Yes, on his back. And then Elizabeth said it was her nap time. I’ve never seen a kid ask for a nap before.” Rosalie laughed.
I looked at my phone. It was nearly one in the afternoon. “Yeah, it is her nap time and she really does love sleep.” I smiled at her. “Thanks for watching her last night and then again today.”
Alice and Jasper were having a conversation behind me. “Did you know?” Alice asked Jasper. I turned to hear his answer.
“No. I mean, ugh, I suspected that things weren’t quite right, and everyone knows I didn’t like her. I knew Edward hadn’t had sex in over a year. That should have sent up flags all on its own. Honestly though, I never thought there was any doubt as to Charlie’s paternity. He was conceived during the time they were hot and heavy together, even if that time period was only like three months.”
“Do you think Charlie is his?” I asked, butting into their conversation, though it didn’t seem they minded.
“I don’t really know. I think Charlie looks like Edward, but then again, James kind of looks like Edward.”
“That’s not true!” Alice said. “Edward is so…well, um, he’s not like James, but yeah, I guess I can kinda see what you mean.”
If I hadn’t been so worried about Edward and the slamming around going on upstairs, it would have been cute the way Alice backpedaled around Jasper. If he didn’t know that she had a thing for him, he was blind. Then again, I didn’t think she had a clue how much he liked her either. When everything settled down, she and I had to have a long talk.
“I’m going to go talk to Edward,” I said, following the path he’d made earlier. He wasn’t in the kitchen, so I ventured outside. It didn’t take long to find him in the garden. His head was in his hands and I could tell he was crying. I sat down next to him but didn’t say a thing. He didn’t move. After what felt like forever, he turned to look at me. His eyes were red-rimmed, tears on his face. “I don’t want to lose my son,” he said, his voice breaking. I opened my arms and he pulled me to him so tightly it was hard to breathe. He just held me, hugging me. “I can’t lose him. I love him so much.” He sobbed into my shoulder.
“I understand,” I said. “I love him too and he’s not even mine.”
Edward stiffened up and I was afraid I’d said something wrong. He pulled back and looked at me. “You love him like he’s your own, don’t you?”
I nodded. There was a difference between how I felt about Charlie and Elizabeth. She was mine and mine alone. I was responsible for her. With Charlie, I’d tried to keep walls up so that I didn’t get too attached, because I knew someday he’d no longer need me. Even with those walls I’d fallen in love with the little guy. I worried about him as much, if not more, than Elizabeth. I truly did love him. “Yes. I love him because he’s such a wonderful baby and because I think he loves me.”
Edward sniffed and sat up straighter. “I love him even if he’s not my biological son. I don’t care if he is. I want him. I want to raise him and love him and I don’t want Tanya to have anything to do with him.”
“I don’t think Tanya would agree to that,” I said honestly. “It’s not that she cares about him, obviously, she just cares about her image.”
Edward looked up. “Yes...yes, that’s all she cares about,” he agreed and took a deep breath. “I think that I need to go make a deal with the devil herself,” Edward said and stood.
He was walking with a purpose, and I had to nearly jog to keep up. He burst into the living room through the sliding glass doors, making Alice and Jasper jump. Rosalie and Emmett were both gone but came back in from the kitchen. Emmett was holding a sandwich. I’d have laughed if everything wasn’t so serious.
“I need you to do your best work, Jasper!” Edward said quickly. “We need the best spin on this Tanya thing.”
“What!” Alice shouted. “Edward, I know you’re a good guy, but come on. She doesn’t deserve your kindness. She doesn’t care about anyone but herself.”
“I know,” Edward said, his eyes alive. “That’s why I need the best story, the best spin so that I can trade it to her for Charlie.”
“For Charlie?” Jasper asked.
“Yes, I want full custody of Charlie.”
“Even if he’s not yours?” Jasper asked; eyebrows raised.
“He’s mine, even if he’s not biologically.”
Alice and I exchanged smiles. It was good to see this side of Edward. Jasper sat down to work, with Edward next to him. “She’s sure not making this easy,” Jasper muttered more than once.
They shook their heads after about half an hour. “This is about as good as it can get,” Jasper said. “I mean, there are pics of her and James. There’s no denying that.”
Edward grabbed the laptop and walked up the stairs. I heard him knock and Tanya throw the door open. “What do you want?” she yelled, and I heard Charlie start to cry. Edward looked down into the living room at me. I nodded and headed up the stairs, walking past him and toward Charlie’s room. He probably was hungry and just wanted some cuddle time. He’d only been home from the hospital for a few hours.Being upstairs did put me in close enough proximity to hear Edward and Tanya’s entire conversation.
“I’m not here to fight,” Edward said, calm and cool. “I’ve actually come to make you a deal.”
“What sort of deal?” Tanya asked in a very polite voice. I still would never get over how quickly that woman could change her emotions.
“Jasper and I prepared something for the press. I’m willing to tell them that you and I had ended our relationship before you slept with James and I’m also willing to say that you asked for updates about Charlie when I left.”
“I’ll still look like a slut,” she huffed.
“It’s the best I can do,” Edward responded.
I wanted to see what was going on, so I looked out through the crack in Charlie’s door as I nursed him. I hated spying, but I wanted to know what was happening.
“So what is it you want?” Tanya asked, hands on her hips.
“Charlie. I want sole custody of Charlie.”
“You want me to give up all rights? What would the press think?”
Edward snorted and shook his head. “That’s all you ever think about, and yeah, you might take a bit of a hit for it, but what are you going to do, bring him on set with you? It will look worse if you always have him with a nanny. We can tell the press that we are splitting and that you want to do what’s best for him, and that’s keep him in a stable environment. Of course, you can come visit him whenever you want. I’d never keep Charlie from his mother.”
“I… I don’t know,” Tanya said.
“It would be worse if it all came out about his paternity.” Tanya’s eyes got wide. “Right now we could play it off as one transgression, one slip after I ended it with you. No one would ever know about the past, but if you don’t agree to this, I’m going to tell the press everything. I’ll tell them the reason I ended it with you was because I knew you were cheating with James, that I wondered if I was the father of Charlie. I’ll tell them about how you left him after he was born and about how you wouldn’t nurse him when he was sick and dying.”
“You wouldn’t!” Tanya screamed, making Charlie jump.
“No, the old me wouldn’t. The new me would. I’m doing what’s best for my son.”
“Even if he’s not yours?” she asked.
“Oh, he’s mine. One hundred percent mine. He might not be mine biologically, but he’s my son.”
“May I have a word,” I heard James’s voice say from inside of the room.
Tanya disappeared, and Edward turned around. I could see that he was shaking. I opened the door, forgetting I was nursing Charlie and smiled at him. I didn’t know if it was my smile or seeing me nursing Charlie, but he visibly relaxed.
Tanya and James came back to the door. Tanya glared at me, but I didn’t move. “Yeah, you’re an idiot if you ain't tapping that fine piece of ass,” James said to Edward, while still staring at me.
“She’s not a piece of ass, she’s a… oh fuck it, I’m not talking to you about Bella. Are you taking the deal or not?” Edward asked Tanya.
“Yeah, it’s a deal,” Tanya said. “You know I never wanted a kid in the first place.”
“And what about you?” Edward growled at James. “Will you sign off just in case he is yours?”
“I never wanted a kid either,” James said. “Where is the paper. I’ll sign. Just don’t try coming after me for child support or some shit.”
“That’s the point,” Jasper said, coming up the stairs. “No one will ask you for anything. Either of you. And you can’t ask for anything in return. You have no parental rights. If Edward wants to let you see Charlie, that’s on him, but you can’t demand visitation or make any decisions for him.” Jasper had a form in his hand.
“You drew it up already?” Edward said, shocked.
“It’s amazing what is available online,” Jasper said. He glanced my way and did a double take. I guess I should have covered myself, but you couldn’t see anything with Charlie nursing.
Jasper handed the papers to James, who looked at them. “You have to sign a bunch of copies because I don’t have the kind that have the carbon paper, but they are still legal if they are notarized and Emmett is a notary.”
I looked to see Emmett standing at the bottom of the stairs.
“Just come on down and we can get it all taken care of. I’ll release the statement to the press,” Jasper continued. “Of course, if either of you double cross us and try to change your minds on the termination of parental rights, all bets are off and we will paint you to be the whore you really are.”
“I get it,” Tanya said, pushing her way past Jasper and down the stairs. “I’ll sign and be gone. I was supposed to leave on Monday for filming, I’ll just go this afternoon. I packed some things. Could you get someone to pack up the rest and put them in storage?”
“Absolutely,” Jasper said, following her. Edward and James followed them both down the stairs. I placed Charlie in his crib and joined everyone in the living room.
Tanya signed the papers and then James did as well. Emmett notarized them and gave Tanya and James each a copy.
“Is there anything else in my house you want?” Edward asked.
“Oh, now it’s your house? What happened to it being our house?” Tanya spat.
“You fucked someone else is what happened, and yeah it’s my house. I put down the down payment and I’ve made all the payments. You’re really gonna fight me on that?”
“No,” she said, looking down. “I have enough money to buy my own house. I don’t need anything from you. I just want my clothes and stuff.”
“You got it,” Edward replied. “Like Jasper said, we’ll have it all boxed up and sent to wherever you want.”
“I suppose you want this back,” Tanya said, pulling off her engagement ring.
“No. You picked it out, you should keep it.”
Tanya rolled her eyes and put it in her pocket. “I’m sure I can trade it in for a nice pair of earrings.”
“I don’t care what you do, as long as it has nothing to do with me or Charlie and you do it a long way from here.”
She went back upstairs, grabbed a suitcase and was at the front door in minutes. “I’ll see you around Edward,” she said, preparing to leave. Edward didn’t acknowledge her. He turned his back and left the room. She looked right at me. “Take care of my son. Don’t let him hate me.”
“That’s up to you. Edward said you can see him.”
She laughed. “We both know that’s not going to happen. You wanted to be me, well, it looks like you’re about to get your chance. It’s not as easy as you think. Good luck, Bella.”
And with that she was gone. I didn’t really believe she was gone for good. She’d want to see Charlie again at some point. He’d grow up and become a cute toddler or a precocious four year old that she’d think would make a great photo shoot. But for now, Charlie was safe with Edward where he could be loved and supported.
That afternoon was a whirlwind. Jasper released the press statements. I was worried about Edward’s deal with Tanya because the press really wasn’t buying that it was a one-time thing. I was shocked at how quickly they turned on her. She went from “America’s Sweetheart” to “Lady is the Tramp” and “Mommy Dearest” in twenty-four hours.
Emmett and Rosalie made lunch for us. It was just burgers, but somehow when we all sat down on the back patio, things seemed like they were going to be all right. No one brought up the fact that Charlie might not be Edward’s. We just laughed and had a good time.
We still had to monitor Charlie closely. He seemed less congested and he was able to nurse better, which filled his tummy more so he slept a bit longer. He was still up more often than normal, but I didn’t mind. I was nursing him when I could hear Alice and Jasper putting Elizabeth down for the night. They were singing her a song. It was adorable. I just wished those two could see how right they were for each other. I knew there was an age difference, but it wasn’t that big.
“Don’t they make a cute couple?” Edward said, opening the door to Charlie’s room slowly just as I was lying him down in his crib.
“I don’t think they know they are a couple,” I giggled. “It’s amazing how people can’t see what’s right in front of their face.”
Edward stepped closer to me. “Sometimes people can see it, but they just can’t do anything about it.” He looked into my eyes. “Until now.”
His head started to lower and I closed my eyes. I felt his lips brush against mine, just a whisper at first, soft velvet on my own warm flesh. It was over in an instant, and I nearly opened my eyes, but his lips were back for more. Again they teased, as lightly as butterfly wings before he pressed them deeply on to my own. A soft moan escaped from my throat, causing Edward to do the same. His hands moved to my shoulders, then slowly down my back. When they reached my ass, I gasped and he used that opportunity to allow his tongue to explore my mouth. The moment his tongue touched mine his hands squeezed my ass and pulled me closer to him. I could feel his need pressing against my stomach.
Our tongues moved, exploring each other. My heart beat like a hummingbird trying to fly straight from my chest. When he broke the kiss to give me a much needed breath, his lips were back on my body instantly. He kissed my jaw and then down to my neck. His fingers kneaded the flesh of my bottom while his mouth moved toward my breasts. My hands were in his hair, holding him to me. Our mouths and bodies so urgent for each other. He held me tightly to him as his lips kissed the swells of my breasts. His chin pushed at the material of my top, trying to lower it while his fingers went from kneading my ass to my waistband. His fingers moved and my pants became undone, my zipper lowered. He was tugging them over my hips when his mouth sucked hard on my neck. I knew I’d have a mark. “You’re so sexy. I need to fuck you now.” To me his words were hot, a turn on, but the moment he spoke them, it was as if he’d been hit in the face with a bucket of cold water.
“Fuck...what am I doing?” He backed away from me, looking from my neck to Charlie’s crib. “I was going to throw you on the ground and fuck you right here.” He shook his head. My body was still purring with need. I was about to suggest running across the hall to my room or down the hall to his, but he continued speaking. “I can’t do this...it’s just not right.” I felt the lump in my throat. What wasn’t right? He’d just said he was attracted to me. He looked back in my eyes. “As much as I want you, and fuck I do want you, it can’t be like this. You deserve so much more. We haven’t even been on a date.”
“Edward, I don’t need that. I want you as much as you want me.”
“Of course you need that. You’re not just some fuck, you’re...well, you’re Bella, the woman I’ve been fantasizing about for…uh...probably since the first day I met you. You’re the woman my son loves. I can’t just throw you down and have my way with you.”
“Oh yes you can,” I panted, giggling. He smirked but shook his head as if to clear the fog.
“Want to go on a walk?” he asked, pulling on my hand.
A few minutes later we found ourselves in the garden out back, my hand still in his. We walked silently for a while until we came to a low garden bench. We sat there for another moment before Edward spoke. “I can’t really date you, not yet.”
I nodded, though it wasn’t what I wanted to hear.
“It’s not just that my career would take a hit, they’d tear you up. Right now they all hate Tanya, but if a new woman emerged, they’d turn that on you. She’d flip it around saying it was why she’d left, that I’d moved in a mistress and that was why she did what she did.”
Again I nodded. “You’ve really thought about this, haven’t you?”
He pursed his lips. “Yes. I’ve wanted out of my relationship with Tanya for a while, and even though it’s probably wrong, I wanted one with you since nearly the day I met you.”
I couldn’t help the smile that came to my lips. “Me too.”
He sighed as if a weight was lifted from him. “I know to the world it looks sudden, like you’re a rebound. To them it would look like I just ended my engagement yesterday and now I’m moving on. But for me, it’s been over emotionally for a long time.”
“I understand.” I did truly understand what he was saying, even the part about what the press would say. “It’s just not possible for us to have a relationship.”
“I’m not saying that at all,” Edward said suddenly. “It is possible, and I want one, if you do, it’s just going to take a bit of time before we can make it public.”
“I can wait,” I said, folding my hands together to keep from reaching out and touching him.
He laughed. “I can’t.” His hand covered mine. “Not after that kiss we just shared, but I can wait to make it public.” He squeezed my hand. “Bella, what if we dated in private? Just for a little while.”
“How would we do that?” I giggled.
“Well, we can do things like this, or watch movies...just let me handle that. What I want to know is, do you want to date me?”
“Of course I do!” I exclaimed. “I don’t need to though. I’d have been okay with the other...uh…you know, the throwing me on the floor part.”
“Please don’t tempt me,” he laughed.
We sat and talked for a while before heading back to the house. At the door to my room Edward stopped and lowered his head. He brushed his lips against mine. The kiss deepened and before long, I was panting for air, heart racing. He pulled back and looked down at me. “Bella, I’m begging you to get in your room and lock the door before I ruin everything by taking you right here in the hallway against the wall.”
I wanted him to so badly, but I knew he wanted it to be special and not merely a fling. It was important to me too. I opened the door and slipped inside. For ten minutes after he left, I stood inside the door, unable to move. Hours later when I heard Charlie cry, Edward was in the room, but we were both in parent mode.
I saw him the next morning before he left for the set. I knew it would be a long day, but he sent me dozens of texts. This wasn’t unusual as we typically texted all day, but this time, we didn’t just talk about Charlie and trivial things. He was a bit flirty. When he asked what I was doing and I responded that I was taking Elizabeth swimming, he sent back “groan.” I responded with a pic of me in my bikini. The emoticons he sent after that had me laughing so hard I had to show Alice. She said it was about time he and I hooked up. I was going to point out the same about her and Jasper, but Emmett came outside just then with this huge bouquet of flowers.
“These are for you,” he said, handing them to me. “Not from me of course,” he quickly added.
I couldn’t help the huge smile on my face. As dumb as it was, they were the first flowers I’d ever received from a guy. Jacob wasn’t really like that, and boys in high school didn’t actually send girls flowers.
The rest of the afternoon I was on cloud nine. Edward didn’t come home until late, but the moment he walked in the door he rushed onto the patio. “Damn!” he said with a laugh. “Did I miss bikini time?”
“Yes, you did,” I answered, coming up behind him. I’d been at the top of the stairs, having just put Charlie down. He spun around and flashed me his amazing smile. I felt my knees go weak as they always did.
“Did you get the flowers?” he asked, looking around.
“Uh huh.” I nodded. “I put them in my room, is that alright?”
He smirked. “Lucky flowers.”
I giggled. “Thank you for them. They are beautiful.” I stood up on my tiptoes and pressed my lips softly to his. I thought it would be a quick kiss, but Edward’s demeanor changed instantly. The joking and silliness were gone. His hands were all over me. One in my hair, the other on the small of my back. He held me to him as his lips moved over mine. He sucked my lower one into his mouth and ran his tongue over my lips. I parted them allowing him to deepen the kiss.
I brought my hands to his waist, then wrapped them around his back, holding onto him, bringing the two of us even closer. I could feel his erection pressing against me and it made me whimper at the thought of it inside of me.
His tongue continued to move with mine, despite the whimper. The hand he’d placed on my lower back slid down over my ass. He cupped my left cheek and pulled me even more tightly to him. There was no mistaking his desire for me as his long shaft pushed against me.
I had no idea how long we would have kissed or how far it would have gone had there not been a soft clearing of a throat. “I, uh… excuse me,” Rosalie said. She’d been sitting in a chair by the window reading. Neither of us had noticed her there.
Edward and I pulled apart quickly. I couldn’t help glance down at his pants to see if his erection was noticeable. I could see it, but I wasn’t sure if she could as he was wearing jeans. “I, um, didn’t see you there, Rosalie,” Edward stammered.
“Obviously,” she giggled. “I need to check on dinner anyway. Carry on.”
When she left the room I let my head rest on Edward’s chest and just laughed. “She got quite a show.”
“Had she not made herself known, she might have gotten even more of one.” It would have been so easy to slip back into kissing him, but we weren’t alone for long. Emmett called from the kitchen saying dinner was ready.
We ate, and afterward I went up to nurse Charlie. It was late and usually after that feeding I went to bed, but Edward knocked at the door.
“Bella, I know it’s late, but I was wondering if you wanted to sit in the hot tub for a bit.”
“That would be heavenly,” I said, removing a sleeping Charlie from my breast and lying him down. Edward kissed my lips softly in the dim light created by Charlie’s night light.
“I’ll see you down there,” he said, slipping from the room. I stood with my back against the wall for a minute, trying to catch my breath. This was really happening. Edward Cullen had just kissed me, repeatedly, and we were going to be in the hot tub together. My heart felt like it was going to beat out of my chest as I slipped on the white bikini I’d thought was too revealing to wear before, but somehow seemed perfect right now.
I grabbed a towel and wrapped it around myself before walking through the house.
Edward was waiting for me at the bottom of the stairs. He was wearing navy blue trunks. He coughed nervously and shifted from foot to foot. I had no idea why he was nervous. I mean, he was Edward Cullen!
“Shall we?” He opened the patio doors. We walked to the hot tub and I dropped my towel. Edward exhaled loudly. “For a minute there, I thought you were naked!”
I couldn’t help but giggle. “And deny you seeing me in my bikini? I thought that was the point of it all.”
He chuckled and climbed into the water. I did the same, letting the warm swirling water move around me. I sat opposite Edward in the hot tub, though I regretted it instantly. Now it would be an obvious move to get closer. I so wanted to be close enough to kiss him.
“Is the water over there warm?” Edward asked with a smirk on his lips.
“Yes,” I responded, wondering why he was asking. Even though it was a large hot tub, with the jets moving, the water would be the same throughout.
“It’s kind of cold over here, mind if I join you?” he asked.
Again I giggled. “Of course.”
Edward moved over to me. “So, did Emmett get to see you in your bikini?”
“Uh huh,” I giggled.
“Lucky bastard. I hate him,” Edward teased.
“Well, it wasn’t this bikini.”
“That is unfair. I think you should have a bikini fashion show for me. A private show.”
I suppressed a giggle. “I suppose we can do that.”
Edward pushed some of my damp hair behind my ear. “You know you’re so beautiful, you could be a model.”
I knew I was blushing and I knew it wasn’t true. I didn’t have the look that most models had but the way he looked at me made me believe him. His fingers stroked my cheek and the corner of my mouth. I turned to kiss them, sucking one of his fingers into my mouth. He groaned loudly and stared into my eyes. “Fuck Bella, you’re killing me.” He moaned when I let his finger slip from between my lips.
His eyes were full of hunger and his mouth sought to feed them. His lips crashed against mine as if there were no tomorrow. I knew they’d be puffy and swollen in the morning, but I didn’t care. I wanted him as much as he wanted me. Our tongues danced, tasting and exploring. My hands went up his back, moving the water. His fingers moved through my hair to my neck. I felt a tugging and then warm water swirled around my breasts. I realized Edward had unfastened my bikini top. His mouth moved to my jaw and then to my neck. His fingers kept working and pulled on the lower tie. The material floated away in the water. I heard myself whimper as I arched my back. Edward growled low and deep as his mouth was still on my neck, licking and sucking. His hands held my ribs, each thumb moving under my breasts. He pulled back and looked down at me. My nipples pulled tightly into dark brown beads pointing skyward.
“Fuck Bella, you’re perfect,” he said, his voice gravely. Edward lifted me slightly so that more of me was out of the water. My back lay on the deck of the pool as he hovered over me momentarily, before lowering his head once again. His hands caressed my breasts while his mouth returned to my neck. He kissed his way across my neck as his fingers lifted and kneaded my sensitive flesh. When his thumbs found my nipples his kisses moved lower. I felt his mouth moving down into the valley of my breasts.
“Edward, oh Edward!” I cried out, lacing my fingers in his hair.
“Baby, I can’t stop,” he growled loudly.
His mouth moved even lower, inches from my nipple when a voice called through the bushes. “Boss? Is that you?”
“Emmett!” Edward shouted, raising his head. I heard Emmett come crashing through the bushes. I lept into Edward’s arms pressing my chest to him to hide my nudity.
“Boss are you o...oh!” he said as soon as he saw us. “I, um, I heard noises and I didn’t... okay, I’ll just go now.”
“Yes, I’m fine, thank you, Emmett,” Edward said through clenched teeth. “Night, Emmett.”
“Night, Boss, uh, night, Bella,” he said quietly. I heard him move through the bushes again.
I burst out laughing. “Well, that was embarrassing.”
“He’s more of a cockblocker than Charlie!” Edward laughed, releasing me. I quickly found my top floating in the water and put it on, though not before Edward got another long look. “They really are spectacular,” he whispered. “I’m sorry for getting carried away. I’d have made love to you right here and you deserve better than concrete.”
I appreciated his romance, but I swore I wouldn’t have minded the concrete. I was also fixated on something he’d said. He’d used the words “make love” rather than “have sex” or “fuck” and it made all the difference to me. My head swam with his words as we dried off and headed into the house. It was late and I knew he had work in the morning.
“Bella, I don’t want this night to end, but I want more for us than just this. Tomorrow, would you go to a movie with me? In the theatre room?” I had to laugh. It was the only kind of date we could have—right now anyway.
“I’d love to. I hope I can get a sitter,” I teased.
He looked at me seriously for a moment and then smiled. “I really had fun tonight. Other than wanting to kill Emmett, it was perfect.” He looked at my lips and brought his to mine in a slow, sensual kiss. “Good night, Bella,” he said, leaving me at my bedroom door.
I watched him walk down the hall to his room before slipping into mine. The aroma from the flowers filled the room and I flopped on the bed, covering my face with my pillow before squealing into it. I’d never been so happy in my life and I never wanted it to end.