It had been a whirlwind of a day. I couldn’t believe it when Edward had asked me to be a full time wet nurse for Charlie. He’d wanted me to take a thousand dollars a day, and maybe I should have since this job would likely only last a few months, but it seemed terrible to take advantage of him just because he was willing to do anything for his son. He was paying me five hundred a day, which was still a ridiculous amount of money. I was making about a weeks salary a day now. I’d be able to do so much with it. I liked helping Charlie too. I’d only really just met him, but he was the sweetest baby and made me miss when Elizabeth was this age.
Things got strange when Edward was showing me the house. Jasper, Edward’s agent had come in shouting, and it didn’t take me long to realize that the problem was that Edward had been seen with me. Apparently the news thought he and I might be doing something scandalous.
I’d heard what his agent had said. He’d said “Tell me this wasn’t about a piece of ass? Tell me you didn’t drive into the valley for a piece of ass!”
Edward had said that I wasn’t a piece of ass, but somehow his saying that stung too. In fact when I was leaving with Charlie, Edward had told Jasper that he’d never fuck me. I knew he had Tanya and it wasn’t like I actually thought someone like Edward Cullen would want me, but he didn’t have to be so emphatic about it.
On the bright side, Charlie had latched on with only two tries this time and his sucking wasn’t as hard. It was as I’d predicted. It was more of a comfort thing and when the warm milk hit his belly, he was out like a light.
I’d felt the vibration come from his diaper and knew that if I didn’t change him before putting him down, he’d be back up in no time. I was just finishing changing him when Edward knocked at the door. I checked to make sure that I was covered, then whispered for him to come in.
When I heard the words we have to talk for the second time in only a few hours, my first thought was that he’d changed his mind. Of course I would have been upset about the money, but more so about Charlie. I knew he needed me and I was already getting attached.
“I’m sure you overheard Jasper about the paparazzi. He’s concerned about what it will look like if you leave here now. It might look like you spent the night.”
“I’m sorry,” I responded, not sure what more to say.
I tried to keep the expression on my face blank. I knew he was right and it would cause a scandal if it looked like he was having an affair. It was the first time it popped into my head that I’d yet to see Tanya.
“Don’t be sorry. It’s not your fault. I should have known better than to go see you at your work and what it might look like.” His puppy dog eyes when he apologized melted me and I doubted if there was any way anyone could ever actually stay angry with him. He looked nervous all of the sudden. “Thanks for coming over today. I was wondering how long you could stay.” He paused a moment, but not long enough for me to respond. “If you can stay, Jasper wants to move your car into a garage, and if you can’t, would you please let me have my driver take you home in a tinted vehicle?” His face was red. “I feel awful and I know we didn’t do anything wrong, but the press will eat us both alive.”
It wasn’t that I’d mind staying, but I’d left so early with just a note to Alice that I’d be right back. I’d been gone for over two hours. Additionally, I hadn’t seen Elizabeth in a day and I missed her. “It’s not that I don’t want to stay, but my daughter…”
His eyes widened. “Where is she now? Is she at your house?”
I nodded. “Yes, she’s with my sister, Alice.”
“Your name was in the paper and it won’t take the press long to camp out at your house, if they aren’t there already.”
My heart raced. “But they wouldn’t hurt her, would they?”
He shook his head. “No, but they might scare her or your sister.”
I was already at the door heading down the hall. “I left my phone in my purse. I need to call Alice.”
When I got to my purse and grabbed my phone my heart was in my throat. I had thirty-seven missed calls, fourteen of them were from Alice. I didn’t recognize the other numbers. Just as I was about to dial her back, my phone rang.
“Hello?” I said after pressing the green button.
“Is this Bella Swan? This is Felix Vampiro from Inside Scoop Magazine. I’d like to interview you about your relationship with Edward Cullen. What was in the bag? I’ll offer you …”
Edward took the phone from me and pressed the red button. I looked at him in shock. “That guy is just like his name says, a vampire. He’d suck you dry for information and would take anything you said and twist it around. Please, I’m begging you, don’t speak to the press.”
I nodded. My phone rang again. Edward shook his head. “Just… ugh… you’re going to need a new number. I’m so sorry.”
Before another call could come through, I pressed the call back for Alice’s phone. She answered on the first ring.
“Bella! Where are you? Do you have any idea what’s going on? Your picture is in the paper! Are you okay?”
She’d given me no time to answer between questions, so I just answered the last one. “I’m okay,” I said, but the call waiting beeped through.
“What, I couldn’t hear you?” she said as it beeped again.
I waited for the phone to say that I’d missed that call and tried talking again. “I said I was fine, that I....” Again the call waiting went off.
“Bella, are you there?” she asked.
“Yeah, I.. oh hang on, I’ve got to ignore this call.” I pressed a button and lost both calls. Before I could call her back, my phone started to ring again.
Edward scowled and took my phone from me. He looked at the screen and tapped his own. Then he turned my phone off and handed me his phone. “You can call your sister with this.”
It was ringing. “Hello?” she answered.
“It’s me. Sorry, my phone is going nuts.”
“I bet! Bella… did you really meet Edward Cullen last night?”
“Uh, yeah. He came in to O’Malley’s to pick up something.”
“The paper said you’d made him soup. Was there really soup in your bag? I thought you used that for your breast milk… oh… OH!” It was like I heard the light bulb click. “You’re selling your milk to baby Tanward!”
Edward and Tanya were often referred to in the media as ‘Tanward.’ The nickname had never bothered me before, but the use of it now got under my skin for some reason. “His name is Charlie,” I corrected. “And yes, the milk is for him, but you can’t say a word. He asked me not to tell anyone and now I think it’s pretty clear why.”
“Wait… you’ve talked to Edward Cullen! You’ve seen him in person besides the restaurant?” Her voice was high pitched and it was hard not to smile.
“Yes, I’ve seen him. He’s standing in front of me.” I couldn’t help roll my eyes at Edward who smirked back at me. “In fact, it’s his phone I’m calling from.”
“Oh! My! God! I have Edward Cullen’s phone number! This is so cool. Wait, he can’t hear me right? I don’t want him to think I’m a dork!”
I laughed. “Too late. You’re not exactly being quiet.”
She laughed back but then was quiet. “Seriously though Bella. I’m not sure what to do. Elizabeth woke up early this morning. It must have been right after you left. She was fussing for you so I took her to the park to distract her. I figured you’d be back so we headed back home. The place was surrounded by reporters. There were cameras everywhere. I figured that there’d been some sort of arrest or fight or something. I asked one of the reporters what was going on. She asked if I lived in the building and if I knew if Bella Swan really lived there.”
“What did you say?” I exclaimed.
“I played dumb. Then she asked me if I’d ever seen Edward Cullen in the building. At first I thought she was insane, so I picked up my phone to call you and I had a few texts from friends who’d seen your picture in the paper. I looked it up on the phone and there you were, with Edward! Anyway, I brought her back to the park. I can’t go home.”
Edward motioned for the phone. “May I?” he whispered.
“Hold on, Edward wants to talk to you,” I said handing him the phone.
“He what?” I heard Alice yelp before Edward spoke.
“Hi Alice, it’s Edward Cullen. I’m sorry that this happened to you.”
“Oh, it’s no trouble,” Alice said in what I could tell was a forced calm voice.
“Well that’s kind of you to say, but it is quite a mess. I don’t want you and Elizabeth to go back to the apartment. Can you come here? I’d like to send a car for you.”
“Uh, sure,” she answered, no doubt in shock.
“What is the name of the park?” he asked.
“Kopps Park. It’s right by our apartment.”
Edward nodded. “Alright. Where in the park?”
“Uh, we’re walking around, but um, by the playground.”
“Good, stay put. I’m going to send Emmett. He’s my driver and bodyguard. He’s tall and kind of big, but he’s a good guy. He will be driving a black Lincoln Navigator. Wait for him. If anyone else approaches you, pretend you don’t speak English. And call this number if you need anything.”
“Okay,” she said, sounding breathless. “Wait, what’s his name again?”
“Emmett,” Edward repeated.
“Thanks,” she said before hanging up.
Edward looked at me. “I’m so sorry for this. I didn’t mean to drag you and your family into this.”
“It’s alright. It’s not really your fault,” I assured him.
“Let’s just get them safe,” he said pushing a button on his phone. “Emmett, I need you to run an errand.”
“Sure thing boss. More soup?” I could tell he was teasing Edward and the look on Edward’s face told me they were friends and he liked it.
“Not this time. I need you to pick up a woman and a baby.”
“What the hell? As if the soup wasn’t weird, now you want me to go out and find a woman and a baby?”
Edward and I looked at each other and burst out laughing. “Not just any woman and baby. You need to go to Kopps Park and pick up Alice Swan and Elizabeth. They are by the playground.”
“Wait, he needs to get my car seat,” I interrupted.
“Who was that?” Emmett asked.
“Just meet us out front. I’ll explain.”
After moving my carseat over and giving Emmett a description of Alice, I gave my keys to Edward who moved it into a garage. Apparently sometimes helicopters flew over. This was a whole new world to me.
As we walked back into the house Edward stopped me by grabbing my hand. When I turned to face him I saw there were tears in his eyes. “I’m really sorry about this, but I’m not sorry that you’re here feeding Charlie.”
I couldn’t help but smile at his words. “I’m glad I’m here. And don’t worry about the rest. Keeping Charlie nourished is what’s important.”
He looked at me. Just stared for a moment. “We’re lucky that you came into our lives Bella Swan, and after all this mess, I wouldn’t blame you if you wanted to renegotiate your salary.”
I had to laugh at his comment. I hadn’t even told Alice about it yet, but somehow I didn’t think she’d mind. One thing I knew for sure, my life was never going to be the same.