Chapter 22

 

Bella

 

Life was perfect! Edward and I spent every night in bed together and woke up in each other’s arms. He was an excellent lover, but he was an amazing boyfriend too. He took me out to fancy restaurants, popular clubs, but he also just took me for walks on the beach, and when the paparazzi became too much, we spent time together in the house.

The fall semester was ending. I’d known Edward five months. In some ways, it felt like I’d just met him, but in others, it felt like I’d known him all my life. I was getting used to Emmett driving me around. It really was for the best because I was often approached and asked for an autograph. More often I was approached and asked to give Edward letters. I found it odd that most of them were love letters to him. Seriously, women had no shame.
 

On the last day before break, Emmett was walking me back to the car when I saw him, just standing there leaning against a tree. Jake. He looked at me and smiled. My heart raced, and not in the way that it did when Edward smiled at me. What was he doing back on campus? I turned back to look, to make sure I hadn’t imagined him and he was gone. The entire ride home my stomach was in knots.
 

The first day of winter break, I lazed around the house; well, as much as you could with a toddler and a newborn. I tried to keep my mind from Jake. Maybe I had just imagined it. I’d been thinking a lot about him, and how Elizabeth was finally getting the father figure she deserved with Edward. The two of them spent a lot of time together just playing around. He’d commented a few times that he couldn’t wait until Charlie was at the fun age like Elizabeth. I felt like we were really all one happy family. The thought of Jake being involved would ruin my perfect little world.
 

Edward was still shooting his show, so on the second day of break, I asked Emmett to take me out Christmas shopping. I was excited to finally have money to buy some things. I already shopped for everyone else online. It was the easiest way to get what they wanted, especially the sewing machine I’d picked out for Alice that had to be shipped from Europe. The one person I couldn’t find anything for was Edward. Everything looked so cheap online. I wanted to get him something special, but what on earth did you get for a guy who already had everything?
 

Emmett offered to drive me to some shops in town. “What should I get Edward?” I asked him as we drove. I’d left the kids at home with Alice.
 

“I don’t know. I got him a case of beer,” Emmett said with a chuckle. “But, if I were you, I’d just tie a bow on myself. You’re all he wants anyway.”
 

That made me giggle, but it did give me an idea. “How about we stop there?” I pointed to a lingerie shop.
 

Emmett smiled. “Yeah… I think I’m getting a raise for giving you this idea.”

I browsed the shop, looking for something I thought he’d like. There were things from sweet pink nighties that a virgin might wear on her wedding night to leather outfits with pieces cut out so that my nipples would be exposed. I blushed just looking at a few.
 

“May I help you?” a tall blonde asked, coming up to me.
 

“I’m just shopping for something for my boyfriend.” I smiled, getting to say those words.
 

She looked over at Emmett and smiled. “Well, what about something like this?” she asked, holding up a pair of men’s thongs. “I bet he’d look hot in these.”
 

“Oh no! I meant something for me to wear… and uh… he’s not my boyfriend.”
 

“Oh, really now?” she asked, moving over to Emmett. “Is there something I can help you with? It’s my job to make sure that my customers are...completely satisfied.”
 

I held in a giggle at the way she was throwing herself at him. He cleared his throat. “I, uh… I’m just here to help her find something for her boyfriend.”
 

She turned back to me as if she’d forgotten I was in the room. “Well, what do you think he’s into?” she asked, pulling a few things from the rack. “We have such a wide range here. She held up the white one I’d been looking at earlier. “We have miss sweet and innocent, or how about a bit of role playing?” She grabbed a wonder woman costume. I felt my eyes widen and Emmett chuckle. “Maybe he’d like something like this.” She held up a blue corset and leather skirt.
 

I was about to say that I didn’t think so when Emmett said, “Add in some thigh highs and boots and he’d be drooling on the floor.”
 

“Wait...what?” I asked, stepping toward the sales woman. “You think Edward would like this?”

“What guy wouldn’t!” Emmett exclaimed.
 

I held onto it, but I still wasn’t sure. Maybe I’d buy more than one and let him choose. I looked over at Emmett who was talking with the saleswoman. She had him backed into a corner, showing him different boots. I felt bad for him, but it did give me a moment to shop alone. I’d just picked up a pretty pink nighty when the hairs on the back of my neck stood up.
 

“Hello, Bells.”
 

I spun around to be face to face with Jake. “Jake!”
 

“Is that for your new loverboy? You sure snagged a rich one this time.”
 

I set the pile of lingerie I’d been looking at on the counter. “What do you want, Jake?”

“Really? After all of this time? That’s how you greet me? Where’s my hug and kiss? It’s almost like you’re not happy to see me.”
 

“Happy to see you? You left me pregnant and alone. What do you want, Jake?” I repeated.
 

“My daughter. You wanted me to step up and be a dad, well, now I’m ready.”


My world started spinning. He wanted to see her? “Why now?”

 

“You seem to have hit the jackpot. I just want my slice of the pie too.”

 

I was about to ask him what he meant, but Emmett came over. “Is everything all right?” he asked, setting some boots and stocking on the pile I already had on the counter.

 

“Yeah, things are fine,” I lied.

 

“Think about it,” Jake said, turned and left the store.

 

“Are you sure you’re all right?” Emmett asked.

 

“I don’t know. Can we just go home?”

 

“Sure,” he said then looked at the pile. “Just wrap this up, okay?”

The saleswoman looked like she was going to burst. Apparently, they worked on commission. I was going to tell her not to box up the boots, but I just wanted to get out of there.

 

Emmett carried it all to the car and we were halfway home before he spoke. “The thing is, I could kick his ass for you, whoever that creep was.”

I had to smile at his words. He was a tough guy through and through. “I could kick that woman at the store’s ass for you,” I retorted. “Man, she was all over you.”

 

“She gave me her number,” Emmett said, holding it up, then tossing it out the window.

 

“Are you serious? You could have called for a good time!”

We both burst out laughing, but when we pulled into the driveway Emmett put his hand over mine. “Bella, I know you don’t want to talk about it, but if you ever need help, promise me you’ll ask for it?”

 

“Sure,” I said, starting to get out of the car. He held his hand over mine.

 

“Promise?”

 

I exhaled. “I promise.”

He let go of my hand and looked me in the eyes. “Good, because I’ll never let anything happen to you.”

 

I smiled and went into the house. I knew he meant well, but this wasn’t a playground bully. This was Jake. If he wanted Elizabeth, there wasn’t a court out there that wouldn’t at least give him partial custody and visitation.

 

I couldn’t really say I forgot about Jake, but when Alice burst into my room to see what I’d gotten, it did take my mind off of it a bit. “Holy hell! Are you doing the twelve days of Christmas with Edward?”

 

I had to laugh. There probably were twelve outfits there. We started sorting through the piles and making outfits. She raised her eyebrows when she saw the Wonder Woman costume. “I...well, the sales woman suggested it. I wasn’t going to get it, but we left in a rush. I wasn’t going to get half of this stuff.”

 

“Why did you leave in a rush?”

 

I bit the inside corner of my cheek. It seemed like if I didn’t say it, it wasn’t real.

“Nothing.”

 

Alice put down the clothes and looked at me. “Bella. Is this the day you’re going to start lying to me?”

 

She was right. I’d told her everything my entire life. Now wasn’t the time to stop.

Besides, I could use her advice. “Jake was there.”

 

I heard her gasp. “Your Jake?”

 

“He’s not my Jake, but yeah, Jake.”

 

“Oh wow. What did he want?”

 

This was one of those times I hated being a girl. The tears sprang to my eyes and I could barely speak because of the lump in my throat. “Elizabeth,” was all I could get out.

 

“What? Are you serious? Why the hell would he want her now? He’s never wanted anything to do with her?”

 

I shrugged my shoulders. I’d been wondering the same thing. There had been a time

when I’d have given anything to have him in her life. I’d wanted her to have a father, and I sure could have used the support financially. Now I just wanted him to go away.

 

“What does Edward say?” Alice asked. The look on my face said it all. “Oh, my God, Bella! You have to tell him. What if this is about him?”

“I’ve thought of that, but how could this be? What could he possibly get from Edward?”

“I don’t know, money?”

“Why would he get money from Edward?” I asked.

“To go away, or maybe even for child support.”

I knew my eyes got wide. “How would he get money from Edward for child support?” I asked.

“Well, it wouldn’t come from Edward, but look at your salary. Say he goes to court and gets half custody. If he made what you make, you’d get a ton of money when you had her. It would work the same way for him.”

“That’s not fair! Where was he when I was eating Ramen soup every day and trying to figure out how I’d buy gas and diapers?”

“I didn’t say it was fair, I just said that might be what he hopes will happen. Who knows with the courts these days. I think you should tell Edward, though.”

“Tomorrow is Christmas Eve. I don’t want to ruin the holiday.” Alice looked at me with raised eyebrows. “Okay, okay, I’ll think about it.”

Jake was on my mind as Alice and I continued to sort the clothes, but we didn’t speak of him.

There was a knock on the door and both Alice and I jumped. “This just came for you,” one of Edward’s housekeepers said. She held out a thin envelope. I was frozen to the spot, unable to move. Alice jumped off the bed and took it.

“Thank you,” she said, closing the door. She looked at the envelope. “Garrett Wolf? Spotlight Photography?”

My heart started beating again. “I’d forgotten that I’d asked for that!” I exclaimed, jumping from the bed. I carefully opened the envelope and pulled out several photographs. They were printed on professional paper.

Alice gasped. “Oh wow! Those are the ones that were in the magazines and on the internet!”

I nodded. “Yes, I contacted the photographer and asked him for copies. It is really our first family portrait. I wanted to give it to Edward for Christmas. I never thought they’d get here in time.”

“You just need a frame. Come on, let’s go shopping!”

Emmett took Alice and me to the mall. We brought the kids after she insisted that Elizabeth needed a photo with Santa. Of course, we had Charlie in the picture too. The line was long, so while Alice and Emmett waited with the kids, I ducked into a little store that did engravings. I found the perfect picture frame and had them engrave just one word on the front. I’d admit that I glanced over my shoulder more than once expecting Jake to show up. He didn’t. Alice and I didn’t mention his name the rest of the afternoon.

I didn’t mention it to Edward either when he came home that evening or on Christmas Eve. We were too busy for anything else, wrapping presents and putting them under the tree. Edward’s housekeepers said they would wrap for him, but he insisted on doing it himself, saying it was bad enough that he hadn’t been the one to go to the store for some of the things for Charlie.

Esme came over, though she wasn’t with the girls. Her ex-husband had them. I held Elizabeth closer thinking that the same thing could happen to me next year. I’d wanted Jake in her life for so long, but now that I had Edward, that we had Edward, Jake was the last thing I wanted. I pushed it from my mind and tried to enjoy the evening. I’d worry about Jake after Christmas.

In the morning, Elizabeth was beyond excited. Between Edward, Alice, and me she was spoiled rotten. She sat in the middle of a pile of torn up paper playing with a doll Edward had gotten her. Charlie was asleep in Alice’s arms. She rocked him gently as she read the instruction manual for her new sewing machine. It looked like a textbook to me. I hoped she liked it.

“I have something for you,” Edward said, “and an extra present for Elizabeth too.”

He handed me a small package. I could tell right away it was a jewelry box, and for a moment the thought of a ring popped into my head. It was a silly, though. We’d only known each other about six months, but in that time I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him.

Carefully, I peeled the tape off the metallic blue paper, revealing a black velvet box. I slowly lifted the lid and gasped when I saw an exquisite necklace. There were four diamonds set in a line that hung from a silver chain. The first diamond was the smallest and they got larger in descending order. It reminded me of Edward, Elizabeth, Charlie, and I.

“One for each of us,” Edward said, confirming my thoughts. “I hope you like it.”

“I love it!” I exclaimed, crawling onto his lap and giving him a big kiss.

“Let me put it on.” He took the box and pulled out the necklace. I lifted my hair and turned away from him for a moment so he could fasten it around my neck. I turned back to him. “It looks perfect.” He ran his finger over the four diamonds that now were nestled in the cleavage of my chest. I put my arms around him and kissed him again.

 

“Do you want to see what I got you?” I asked, pulling back just an inch.

 

He smirked. “I was hoping I was holding what you got me.”

“That is part of the gift,” I said with a giggle.

“Mmmmm the perfect gift. Is it nap time yet?”

“Edward, we just got up!” I wriggled off his lap and reached for the box that contained his gift. “You are nearly impossible to shop for.” I handed him the thin box.

 

I was really glad that I was facing him when he opened the box, because the look on his face was the best gift I’d ever been given. He just stared at it for what felt like forever. His finger reaching into the box and tracing the engraved word “Family.” When he looked up, there were tears in his eyes. “I was wrong. This is the perfect gift.”

His words brought tears to my eyes, and I climbed into his lap again. “I’m glad you like it.”

“I more than like it, Bella. It’s our first picture as a family.” He squeezed me tightly. “Do you know how much I wanted it to just be the four of us that day. I was holding onto a stupid notion that things had to be one way, when everything in me was telling me they should have been another way...this way.” He emphasized his words by holding up the photo. He hugged me again then pulled back, looking at the photo. “How did you get this?”

“I contacted the photographer. He said it was the least he could do after how much money he made on it.”

“I’ll bet.” Edward chuckled.

“He also offered to photograph...uh...any other events we might have.” I didn’t want to say the man had offered to photograph our wedding.

“He did, huh?” Edward asked with a mysterious smile as if he knew what I was talking about. I sure didn’t want to pressure Edward into marriage. He’d just come out of an awful engagement. I decided to change the subject.

“That day was special for another reason too.” I leaned up and kissed him softly. “It was also the first time you kissed me.”

“I know, and I haven’t been able to stop doing it since.” His lips crashed on mine, making me forget everything until there was a cough.

“I guess you like your presents?” Alice said with a smirk. “Maybe you need some alone time?”

“I would like to give him his other gifts.”

“Gifts?” Edward said, his eyebrows raising.

“Yes, it’s a bit of a Christmas event.”

Alice giggled. “Just go on and show him. I’ve got these two. Elizabeth will be in heaven for hours.”

Edward and I walked hand in hand upstairs. We really were lucky to have Alice and the other staff so we could have alone time. I reached under the bed and brought out the boxes, all gift wrapped. Edward’s eyes went wide. “What is all this? I only got you the necklace.”

“Edward, the necklace is more than enough, and what’s in these boxes are more for both of us than just for you.”

That seemed to have his interest piqued. He slowly opened the first box, revealing the light blue sheer nightgown. There was a pair of white thigh high stocking in there as well. “Oh Bella,” Edward moaned. “Is that what’s in all of these boxes?”

I nodded and giggled. “So open them all, and then tell me which one you want to start with!” I thought I was more excited watching him open them than he was, but not much more.

He wasn’t slow after that, tearing open the paper much like Elizabeth had done earlier in the morning. His eyebrows raised at the Wonder Woman costume. “Hey, I wasn’t sure what you’d like, and I kind of picked out a bunch.” It was the truth, but only half of it. I could have told him right there about Jake coming into the shop and threatening me, but I didn’t want to ruin the moment. That and I was a coward. I was afraid of what would happen if Edward found out. I didn’t want to be the cause of any bad publicity for him.

My mind was taken off Jake when Edward opened the next box. It was the one containing the boots, leather skirt, and corset. I was about to tell him that Emmett had picked it out and it was a joke, when he looked up at me, lust in his eyes. “You’d...uh...really wear this?”

“You’d like me to?” I asked, a bit surprised.

“Hell yeah!” he said enthusiastically, forgetting the remaining two presents.

I smiled and took the box into the bathroom. After dressing, I looked at myself in the mirror. The outfit was great, but I needed something. I added some extra eyeliner and this red lipstick that I wasn’t ever bold enough to wear. When I glanced at myself again, I felt sexy. The thigh high black boots were something I’d have never picked out in a million years, yet I loved how they looked on me. There was only about 2 inches of skin showing between the top of the boots and the bottom of the leather skirt. The corset fit perfectly, making my stomach look a lot flatter than it felt. My breasts spilled out of the top, my nipples barely covered.

“Bella?” Edward called from the bed. I opened the bathroom door, and he nearly leaped from the mattress. He’d already undressed himself, and while he’d been hard when I opened the door, when I started to walk across the room, I saw him grow even more, and precome gather on the tip of his cock.

His hands were all over me, touching the fabric of the corset, the leather of the skirt and all of my skin. I kissed him deeply, loving how sexy I felt. Edward picked me up and tossed me onto the bed. He wasn’t rough, but it was the roughest he’d been with me. “Baby, you’re so goddamned hot!” He growled, pushing up my skirt. He didn’t take it off, nor the panties I wore underneath. He simply moved them to the side and slid two fingers into my pussy.

“Fuck!” I cried out.

 

“Yes, I’m going to fuck you,” he hissed, kissing his way from my neck to the top of my breasts. Gently at first, then applying more pressure, Edward kissed and sucked my cleavage. “I love your breasts.”

His words turned me on as much as his mouth. “Mmmmm yes! Edward!” I could barely speak as his mouth and fingers drove me wild.

 

“I need to be inside of you, now.” He pulled his fingers from my body and moved between my legs. His mouth was now on my neck, sucking so hard I wondered if there would be a mark. With a grunt, he slammed into me, burying himself as deep as possible. He didn’t stop though, he pulled back and thrust in again. Over and over he pounded into my body. I ran my fingernails up his back, making marks I was certain, but I didn’t care. I needed him to know I was just as turned on by him as he was by me.

He continued to thrust into me; his mouth now attacking the cleavage that was pushed up from the top of the corset. “Jesus, Bella. You’re so fucking sexy.” His words came out more like grunts.

 

I’d never really felt like one of those sexy women, but dressed in that outfit and the way he was treating me, had me believing him. The more he kissed me, the more he talked to me, the sexier I felt.

 

Even when it was finished, and we lay in each other’s arms, I still felt sexy as hell. “I love you, Bella,” Edward whispered, kissing my head. “Thank you for the most amazing Christmas presents ever. How did I get so lucky to have you in my life?”

 

His words made me feel so close to him. I knew he loved me, and I knew I could tell him about Jake, but I didn’t want to ruin the moment. I’d tell him after Christmas.

 

We made love at night and in the morning. Each time I wore different outfits. And each time was better than the time before. The morning after Christmas, we made love and lay in each others arms until Charlie woke up and cried for his breakfast. “I’ll feed him and meet you for breakfast,” I said before kissing Edward on the lips and getting out of bed.
 

I was so happy but I knew I had to tell Edward what was going on. I’d make time to talk to him and tell him as much as I could. I planned on doing it right after we ate.

 

We were halfway through breakfast when Leah, one of the housekeepers, came into the kitchen. “Miss Swan, there is a man for you at the gate. He says he has a package and you must sign for it.”

“Can’t someone at the gate just sign for it, Leah?” Edward asked, putting down his fork.

 

“The man said no, that it had to be Bella.”

 

“It’s okay,” I said. “I’ll go.” I had an awful feeling in the pit of my stomach.

 

“I’ll go with you you,” Edward said, standing up.

 

“No, I can do this. I’m sure it’s fine.”

 

Edward looked at me funny, and I felt so guilty. I guessed he’d been worried because

Emmett met me halfway down the driveway. “Did you order more sexy clothes?” he asked. He looked a bit flushed. I raised my eyebrows. “Sorry, Boss asked me to walk with you.”

 

“What were you doing? Working out?”

 

“Something like that,” he said sheepishly.

 

I would have asked more questions, but the man standing at the gate made me forget our conversation. “Isabella Swan?” he asked.

 

“Yes?” I nodded.

 

“These are for you. Sign here.”

 

I took the manilla envelope he held out and quickly signed the papers. He turned and left without a word. “What is it?” Emmett asked.

 

I opened the envelope and pulled out the packet of papers. The header on the top said Children’s Court. I could hear my heart beating in my ears. I scanned the page to see

Jacob Black was suing me for full custody of Elizabeth Swan.

 

I pushed the papers back into the envelope and hurried back up to the house. “Just some papers,” I lied. My head was spinning. Jake couldn’t possibly want her. Maybe he wanted money. I’d been putting away most of the money Edward had paid me.  It was a lot, more than I’d need to to finish school and I’d been saving it just for that, but

I was willing to give it all up to get Jake out of my life.

 

I wanted to run. I wanted to hide. I wanted to be as far away from this situation as possible, but I knew that I had to deal with it, and I knew that I shouldn’t try to do it alone. Taking a deep breath I walked into the house. Edward was just coming out of the kitchen holding Charlie in one arm and Elizabeth’s hand with the other. “Bella, what’s wrong?” I guess it was written all over my face.

“We need to talk, Edward.” I’d said that before, but this time my heart was racing.

© 2014-2017 by NJ COLE  and Butterfly Publishing's

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