A/N: Please read the information I posted in the Dish section about bipolar divorce. I still have people telling me that Edward's behavior is not realistic or that people with mental disorders don't cheat. If a person in their regular mind can cheat on their spouse, I don't know why it's hard to believe a bipolar person can do the same. It's like deja vu with these two. Will they ever learn? Chapter song has been added the Playlist.
It could all be so simple
But you'd rather make it hard
Loving you is like a battle
And we both end up with scars
Tell me, who I have to be
To get some reciprocity
No one loves you more than me
And no one ever will
Is this just a silly game
That forces you to act this way
Forces you to scream my name
Then pretend that you can't stay
Tell me, who I have to be
To get some reciprocity
No one loves you more than me
And no one ever will
After spending almost four hours trying on dresses in Alice’s boutique, I wanted to scream. Giles and his publishing house were throwing me a small party to celebrate the beginning of my first ever book tour. I was very excited but also a little scared of going out on the road. When I'd signed up for it, I hadn’t expected to be pregnant again or in the middle of a divorce.
“You are still working those mom boobs,” Alice said, putting her little hands all over my cleavage. “How is they hold up so well when my nephew is always eating?”
I grumbled, pushing her away. “Can I just take the yellow one and go now? You told me this would only be an hour.”
Bree giggled from her perch in the corner. “She crossed her fingers behind her back, so it did not count.”
“Judas! You should have warned me.”
Both Bree and Alice laughed at my expense. I collapsed on to a nearby light pink, floral settee and took out my bag of emergency snacks. Lately, I had been craving marshmallows, so I kept a bag of various snack foods with marshmallow as well as the regular kind.
Alice screeched and rushed over. “You’re going to ruin the silk, Bella!”
I shrugged. “If I do mess it up, you can bill me. Calm down.”
“You have to let her eat, Ali. She is providing nourishment for herself and two babies. My Biology book says…” Bree was always quoting her science and medical literature. It made me proud, because it showed just how far she’d come in the last few months.
“I know. I know,” Alice said, interrupting. “I just get carried away.”
Fortunately, she and Bree agreed that the yellow gown would be great, and then I was allowed to put back on my street clothes. By that time, I was more than a little cranky and ready for a nap. Di was in town for the week, so my little lamb was busy being spoiled by she and Esme.
“Are you done, babydoll?” I turned around to see Edward standing in the doorway looking incredibly handsome in one of his ubiquitous tailored Gucci suits. The slight stubble on his chin only added to the allure.
“Why do you care?”
He pinched the bridge of his nose, a sign meaning he was exasperated. “I care because I want to take you out to dinner tonight.”
“It’s too bad that we don’t always get what we want. I’m sure you can find a suitable replacement. Besides, I’m not really hungry.” I argued feebly. Of course my stomach chose that moment to growl. My future little girls were already Team Edward.
“Damn it, Bella, you need to eat! I’m not in the mood to play these fucking games with you. We’re going to get in the motherfucking Phantom, and I’m going to feed you!”
Bree shook her head, looking at Edward. “You never learn, do you?”
“What is that supposed to…?”
I cut him off before he could ask. “She means you never learn that it’s not good to boss me around or demand I do something. Take your dinner and shove it up your ass. I’m perfectly capable of feeding myself and my babies. Go do whatever it is you do these days and leave me in peace!”
“Please, can you two try to get along?” Alice begged. “I hate seeing you at each others throats all the time.”
“Jane should be out front waiting for me. I’ll talk to you guys later,” I said, kissing Bree and Alice each on the cheek.
Edward snarled, the sound doing strange things to my girly parts. “I sent her home. Now, will you please let me take you out to dinner? I promise not to yell anymore or do other stupid shit.”
“Go with him,” Bree said encouragingly. “You might have good time.”
“Okay,” I agreed, pretending not to notice Edward’s smug smile. He was going to wish he'd never asked me out.
“Wonderful!” Alice exclaimed. “I’ll have the dress, lingerie, shoes, and accessories delivered to your house tomorrow evening before the party. We’re going to have so much fun.”
I rolled my eyes and let Edward walk me to the front. The boutique was packed with women and even a few men who were probably buying gifts for Mother’s Day. Alice had decided to have a sale, and so far it was paying off big time. I’d never seen so many customers.
Edward casually shrugged off his jacket, leaving him in a crisp white button down. I was sad to see a few hussies stopped to ogle his ass—not that I could really blame them because he looked good. Still, it made me feel special when he wrapped his arm around my waist until I was tucked right under his strong arm.
“You okay?” he asked quietly, looking down at me.
I nodded. “Thanks. It wasn’t this crowded earlier.”
When we got to the Rolls, he insisted upon opening the door. I let him, even flashing a little leg as I sat down. Edward’s sparkling green eyes danced with mirth as he eyed me up and down. Biting my lip, I watched as a tent formed in his pants—it both repulsed and intrigued me.
“Are you just going to stand there all day leering like a pervert, or are we going to do this dinner thing?” I asked tersely.
Edward mumbled something which sounded like, “Cold shower,” and jogged to the driver’s side.
“Where do you want to go?”
“An acquaintance of ours just opened up a new Moroccan place over in Ballard. Sound good?” he asked, a hopeful gleam in his eyes.
I snorted. “I bet this place has belly dancers, right? You’re so predictable, Edward.”
The car swerved a bit, startling me. “That’s not why I want to go there! Fine, you pick a place.”
“No. Let’s do Moroccan. I’m kinda craving lamb and couscous now.”
Sighing, Edward turned up his sound system. I crossed my arms and let my mind drift. It wasn’t easy being trapped with my soon to be ex-husband in a car where we’d had sex in many times in the past. Just the smell of the leather seats mixed with his aftershave made me dripping wet.
Playing it cool, I crossed my legs. “I bet Gina loves this car.”
“Do you think I let that bitch ride with me?”
“I don’t know,” I mumbled. “You let her ride you, so why not inside of the car?”
He squeezed the steering wheel so hard his knuckles turned ivory white. “I did not fuck that bitch! Yeah, we did other shit...shit that I’m ashamed of, but we didn’t fuck.”
I cringed away from him. “Why are you still lying? I know you fucked her and lots of others.”
“I’m not lying!” he screamed. “Gina wasn’t one of the, uh…”
“Wasn’t one of the whores who let you shove your dick up her ass? Wow. I guess she’s smarter than me.” I knew I had gone too far when he pulled over into a nearby Best Buy parking lot.
“What are you doing?”
“I’m calling Jane to come and get you. I can’t handle your acid tongue right now. My temper is on a very tight leash as it is at this point.”
I turned towards him and stuck my chin out. “What does that mean? Do you want to hit me, Edward?”
Suddenly, he leaned forward and captured my lips. The kiss was rough, possessive, and all consuming. He never asked permission before plunging his tongue deep inside of my mouth and wiping all thought from my head. I wanted to punch him, but my hands began rubbing his crotch instead.
“I don’t want to hit you, babydoll. I want to fuck you.”
Frowning, I pulled away. “We both know that’s not going to happen again. This kiss shouldn’t…”
“I don’t regret a damn thing,” he snapped, backing away and putting the car in gear.
“And that’s your problem right there. You do whatever the hell you want—the whole world be damned.”
The rest of the drive was quiet, except for Tool blaring from Edward’s speakers. He didn’t even look at me, and honestly I was glad. We’d come too close to making a mistake. It was important for us to keep our libidos in check and not succumb to simple lust.
The car dash clock read a little past seven o’clock when we arrived. Before Edward could even stop, a group of eager young valets ran over to the Phantom. He handed the keys to a lanky kid with freckles all over his face.
“Fuck up my car, and I fuck you up,” Edward threatened, lifting his pant leg so that the boy could see the gun he kept in his ankle holster.
The poor kid looked like he wanted to puke. “I’ll take care of it, Sir.”
Edward tried to take my hand as we walked into the restaurant, but I shrugged him off. “Good job scaring that young boy. Why can’t you ever be nice?”
“I plan to leave him a Benjamin for his trouble.”
“Oh, so that makes it okay?”
Edward grabbed his wild hair, tugging it hard. “Fucking hell! I’m sick of arguing with you about every measly little thing. Let’s just eat so I can take your crabby ass home.”
I huffed and let him lead me to a table. The place was nice--all decorated in reds, blues, and gold. There were candles and flowers at every table. The area the waiter led us to was very private and away from the other diners. Edward helped me sit down on my floor cushion before taking his own seat.
A few seconds later, the waiter brought out appetizers and drinks. My mouth watered as I got a whiff of the food. “It smells amazing,” I mumbled, trying to decide what to eat first.
“This,” Edward said, pointing at the plate closest to me, “is chicken bastilla. Here, try it with the ginger dip.”
I leaned forward and ate from his fingers. “Mmm, it’s delicious!”
He went around the table explaining each dish, and sometimes even the history behind it. It was easy to forget Edward was so well traveled and educated because of the way he talked, but every now and again he reminded me.
Soon we were halfway through the main course. “This is the best apricot couscous I’ve had in my life. Angela and I used to go to this cheap place near the U, but it closed when we were seniors. I never really found a replacement.”
He smiled at me warmly. “I’m glad you’re enjoying yourself. The owner isn’t here tonight, but I can call the chef out if you want to meet him.”
“Oh no,” I said, shaking my head. “Let the man work. Um, maybe another time.”
All the chilled mint tea I’d drank began to weigh on my bladder. Edward walked me to the bathroom and stood guard until I was done. Honestly it was completely unnecessary, but he’d been acting super protective every since he found out about the pregnancy.
When we returned, Edward insisted I try his beef kefta and slaw. Letting him feed me felt a little too intimate, so I quickly snatched the fork out of his hand. We were just one slip up away from more unprotected alley sex.
“We should take something home for Di. She probably already ate dinner, but she can warm it up for tomorrow’s lunch.”
Edward nodded. “Already covered. We’ll have a bag waiting for us when we leave.”
I looked up, noticing he had a crooked smile on his face. “One of the things I love about you is your generosity. Most bitches I went out with before didn’t care about anyone else as long as they got theirs.”
Suddenly my appetite vanished. “Can we get the check and go?”
“Why? The dancers are coming out. I thought we could eat dessert while they performed.”
I sighed dramatically and checked my Iphone. “It’s getting late,” I mumbled, making excuses.
“It’s not even nine, babydoll.”
Unfortunately, the show started before I could stand up and leave. The women were all golden-skinned goddesses and had stomachs as flat as a washboard, which made me feel even worse since I was starting to get a little pudgy around the middle.
“Join me,” one of the dances begged, trying to help me up.
“Oh, I shouldn’t,” I answered, feeling my face heat up.
“You definitely should,” Edward said, his voice sounding very gruff.
The woman laughed. “Your husband wants you to do it. Come on, it can be very erotic. Later he’ll be a tiger in bed.”
I wanted to tell her that Edward would not be my husband for much longer, but people were watching. Sighing, I let her lead me to the front. Thankfully a few other diners joined the little show. Edward’s eyes narrowed as he watched the woman put her hands on my hips.
“Pretend you are making love,” the dancer whispered while helping me learn the rhythm.
I locked eyes with Edward and let myself be hypnotized by the incense and the music. My moves mimicked sex, like the kind Edward and I used to have where I’d ride him for hours. Soon, he leaned forward eagerly and watching me as if I’d disappear at any moment.
By the time the show ended, I was sweating a little. The audience clapped and the woman thanked me for participating. She obviously knew Edward, because I saw him nod discreetly at her before she exited the room. I was embarrassed to note my underwear was now wet, and my nipples felt like homing beacons.
“You were beautiful up there, Bella,” Edward murmured, kissing the back of my neck. “Your belly dance will be the only thing in my head when I jack off later.”
I jumped back, startled by his lewdness. “Well, enjoy it because you’ll never have the real thing again.”
My words put Edward in a horrible mood. He yelled at the valet, but did tip the kid as he’d promised. All the way home, he refused to look at me or make conversation. We ran so hot and cold all the time, and I knew some of it was my fault.
When we pulled up to the mansion, Edward ran over to open my door. I tried to take the restaurant bags from him, but he held them out of reach. It wasn’t his night to stay over, so I was a little worried when he stomped inside the house.
Di was in the kitchen drinking a cup of tea and watching television. “Hey, cari! How was your night?”
“It was…fun.” It wasn’t the word that I was looking for, but I didn’t want to piss off Edward any further. “We bought you dinner.”
“That was so sweet of you. I’ve already eaten, but I’ll heat it up tomorrow.”
“Where’s Esme? Did Dante give you any problems? Did Onyx eat?” I asked frantically.
Di smiled and ushered me to the nearest chair. “Carlisle got stuck on an overnight, so Esme went to take him a home cooked meal. Your little angel was perfect. He went to sleep without any problems. Onyx ate all of her food and is fast asleep at the foot of your bed.”
Edward slammed a cabinet, alerting us to his presence. “Where is the damn Tupperware?
“What is wrong with you, bambino? You can ask nicely.”
He apologized to Di before glaring at me. “Sorry. I’m sure you can put this away. I should head back to the fucking Penthouse.”
Di walked over and gave him a kiss on both cheeks. “You always did have a temper. One time you refused to come inside of the house until I let you have a brownie. Esme had her hands full with you.”
“Yeah, well…” Edward muttered.
I yawned so wide my jaw popped. “Goodnight. I guess I’ll see you this weekend.”
“You’ll see me tomorrow, tesoro. I’m going to your book party. Alice already picked out my tux.” Upon hearing this, I vowed to kill my sister-in-law.
“But…but Giles will be there!”
“So,” he said, shrugging. “I don’t give a fuck about that asshole.”
I ground my teeth and counted to ten. “I don’t want the night to end in fistfights and a trip to the emergency room, got it?”
“Yeah. I won’t touch the motherfucker, but if he puts his hands on you all bets are off,” he snarled, getting in my face.
Di tugged on his arm, gently coaxing him away from me. “Come on. I’ll walk you out to your car.”
“Sweet dreams, babydoll,” he said, that cocky smirk on his face.
Angela laughed as I accepted a champagne flute full of sparkling apple cider from a passing waiter. Back in college we had worked at events like this sometimes to earn extra spending money; so it was surreal that we were now actual guests.
“Bella that gown is beautiful. Alice certainly knows what looks best on everyone,” Ang stated, glancing down at her own pink cocktail dress.
I giggled. “She drives me crazy, but the results are always worth the pain.”
The party was a complete success. Giles had booked a room in a nearby Country Club for the event. Esme and her interior design company were responsible for the beautiful decorations, which were sophisticated but also warm and inviting. Overall, it was the best party I’d been to in a long time.
“Bella,” Giles called out, smiling when his eyes met mine. “I’ve been looking all over for you.”
“I’m not hard to find, Atwood. This yellow doesn’t exactly blend in to the scenery.”
He shook hands with Ben and Angela before leading me away to a more private corner. “Are you enjoying the celebration, love?”
I nodded my head, careful not to dislodge any of the flowers that were braided into my hair. “Yes! Thanks for everything. I can’t believe I’m actually going on a book tour. I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was a little girl. Finally, some of my dreams are coming true.”
“Good. I wanted to cheer you up. You’ve been distant.”
All of a sudden, the room chilled. I looked over my shoulder to see Edward seething with anger behind me. “It’s not your fucking job to cheer up my wife. Hasn’t she told you the news yet?”
Giles looked confused. “What news?”
Edward laughed menacingly. “I knocked her up again. She’s pregnant with my twin girls. Put that in your motherfucking pipe and smoke it.”
“Giles,” I said, my eyes pleading with him to understand. “It wasn’t planned. I promise I can still do the tour…”
He placed his hand on my lower back and smiled. “Congratulations. I can tell you enjoy being a mother. I’ll just have to make sure you don’t wear yourself out, love.”
Edward was about to pull out his gun—I saw his hand reach inside of his jacket. Wanting to spare Giles a bullet, I led my almost ex-husband across the room. Several people smiled at us as we passed. In public, we were still a beautiful, happily married couple.
“You need to go,” I whispered as soon as we were away from the crowd.
“It’s not a request, Edward. This is my party, and you are ruining it for me. We are separated. It’s none of your business if I talk to another man, especially if it’s someone that is a part of my professional life. I’m not going to play these games with you,” I vowed.
Edward’s crazed eyes looked almost demonic as his nostrils flared. “How long are you going to make him wait until you fuck him?”
I raised my hand to slap him, but he caught my wrist. I pulled away. “If you don’t leave, I’ll have Felix escort you off the premises. Some of your State Senate colleagues are here tonight, so please, just go home before this gets ugly.”
“All I wanted to do was dance with you. Why can’t you ever give me a fucking break? I’m working my ass off here. I know I fucked up, but you throw it in my face every damn day. Did you read the letters I wrote you? I’m fighting a constant battle, and you’re only making it worse, Bella.”
I kept my eyes downcast. “I said I’d like you to leave now.”
“You’re being a bitch. I created this shit, but you are keeping it going. Let me in or sign the fucking divorce papers and end it, because neither one of us is fucking happy.”
When I finally looked up, he was halfway to the door. I walked back over to Giles and began a conversation with one of my old English professors. Deep inside, I was kicking myself for the way I’d just treated Edward. He had come to support me like everyone else, and I’d purposely ran him away. Would my anger never dissipate?
After dinner, I excused myself and went out to the balcony. Looking down below, I could see my brother and Alice kissing passionately under the stars. Rose and Emmett were also sucking face on the other side of the lawn. I let the tears fall as I watched Esme and Carlisle walk arm in arm among the flowers—I would never know that kind of love again.
“What’s the matter, cara?” Di asked, draping a silk shawl around my shoulders.
I sniffled and wiped my face with the Kleenex she handed me. “I had a fight with Edward. I made him go home, but now I feel bad.”
“From what I’ve seen, all you two do is fight. I know things have been horrible, but I’ve always believed he truly loves you.”
“He says he does, but then why did he cheat? Finding him naked with another woman was bad enough, but seeing him look like he cared about her was even worse. Then…then all the others… I can’t just pretend my heart isn’t broken,” I sobbed.
She began gently petting my hair. “I know it is, honey. I’ve said my peace to Edward. You have to look at it from his side, too, though. He was in a very bad place. His doctor in Chicago sent me some information about mental disorders, and I must admit even I was shocked.”
“That’s why I feel bad, but I did try to help him. At Christmas, I was in the room when he began talking to his dead father. I begged him to get help, but he refused. Now look at us…we’re bringing more babies into this nightmare.”
Di kissed the top of my head. “Every child is a blessing. My ability to have offspring was taken away from me by a monster, but it always brings me joy when someone in my inner circle is pregnant.”
“Oh, Di, I’m being such a selfish cow!”
“No you’re not. But it sounds like you’ve been hanging around Mr. Atwood too much,” she said, pointedly. “I’ve seen the way that man looks at you, and I don’t like it.”
“You sound just like Edward. He always accuses me of being with other men, but he’s still my only lover,” I confessed, feeling slightly embarrassed.
Di hip checked me. “Don’t be shy. I’ve seen and heard many scandalous things in my lifetime. Don’t let this innocent face fool you.”
“Well…I do know I don’t feel the same kind of heat I have with Edward when I’m with Giles but… but I have needs and urges… It was so easy for Edward to hook up with other people, so maybe I would be the same.”
“It’s not a good idea,” Di warned, shaking her head. “You would be doing it out of revenge and end up hating yourself more. I once slept with another man when Marcus and I were having problems, and it made everything more complicated.”
“You did? But you guys are so in love.”
She shrugged. “Every relationship has its rough patch. It was before we were married, but we were seriously dating. In those days Marcus was gone a lot. The Mafia Wars were claiming many of our friends and their families. I resented him for leaving me alone all the time, and he hated that I refused to adjust to his lifestyle.”
“What happened?” I asked, barely able to believe the story.
“The man I slept with was one of the Volturi guards. I knew I'd signed that man’s death warrant the minute I opened my legs, but I was young and full of rage. Marcus caught us in bed together. They went for their guns at the same time, but of course my husband won. I thought for sure that he was going to kill me, too, but he just spat in my face and ran away.”
“Wow. How did you make up after that?”
She took a sip of her wine before answering. “We didn’t speak for months. Marcus still took care of me financially, but he stayed far away from our condo. News about his violence and killing became legendary, even in Chicago. He took out his anger against me on our enemies.
“After awhile, he started following me when I jogged in the park. He never spoke but stayed close enough so I would sense him. One night, I invited him over for dinner. We had a long talk about everything. We just took it one step at a time. Eventually, we got married.” Di and Marcus’ love was beautifully, but I didn’t think the same method would work for me and Edward.
“Have you…since then?”
Thankfully she understood my question. “I’ve only been with Marcus since our wedding day, and he’s also been monogamous.”
“But how can you be sure with men like them? They can lie as easily as blink.”
Di chuckled. “You knew, didn’t you? I think a person can always tell, even if they deny it to themselves. Marcus has always been upfront and honest with me, though.”
She was right. “Yeah. I knew, but I just wanted to stay in our bubble a little while longer.” I admitted sadly. “I thought my love could fix him.”
We talked for a few more minutes, and then Giles took me away so he could introduce me to some book bloggers. I smiled, answered their questions, and posed for a few Instagrams. By the time signed copies of my book were handed out, I was almost asleep on my feet.
Giles noticed and made me sit down at a nearby table. “You must be exhausted, darling. I’m sorry I kept you for so long.”
Dazedly, I started at his lips as he spoke. They were beautiful and full. If I tried, maybe I would be able to give myself to Giles. He seemed to genuinely like me, and we shared the same interests. Plus my vibrators and sex toys weren’t satisfying me lately.
Maybe a hot fling is just what I need. I thought suddenly.
“You look a little flushed, Bella. Should I go get your father-in-law?”
“That’s okay. I just need to go home and get some sleep.”
When Di and I got into the bulletproof Hummer, Jane informed us Edward was at the mansion with Dante. I’d hired a trusted night nanny so all my friends and family could be at the party, but apparently Edward had sent the woman home.
“Ugh!” I yelled, throwing my gold clutch on the warm leather seat. “He cannot keep doing this.”
I was fuming by the time the car pulled into the driveway. Part of me wanted to take a bat and destroy Edward’s precious Phantom, which was parked proudly near the front door. He obviously just didn’t give a damn about my rules.
Di begged me to stay calm before going to her room. Jane said she could stay if I needed her, but I sent her home to Jessica. There were more bodyguards outside around the house if I needed help.
Before confronting Edward, I went to my room to change. I made sure to hang up the dress before slipping on a cream silk nightgown and matching robe. It took all my strength to walk calmly into the study. Edward, dressed in jeans and a light blue v-neck, was sitting on one of the antique leather couches reading a book.
“I think Jane Austin is overrated,” he complained, tossing aside one of my favorite novels.
“So is being Edward Cullen’s wife and fuck toy!”
“Are we still on this shit?”
“What the hell are you doing here?”
He cocked his head to the side and openly stared at my breasts. “I came over to put DC to bed, and then I decided to stay until you returned.”
My patience ran out. “It’s time for you to go home, Edward. I don’t know if you’re drunk, high, or whatever, but I’m so tired of your bullshit.”
“Feisty!” he shouted, smiling widely. “I love it when my little tigress comes out to play. Oh and by the way, I’m completely sober right now.”
I rolled my eyes. “Good for you. I’m sure skank Gina is still awake. If you hurry, you may be able to wet your dick before the night is done. Godspeed.”
“Is that what you think I want?” he asked, rising to his feet.
Edward held my arms behind my back, forcing me to bend over the desk that I’d been leaning on. “I’m fucking sick and tired of your smart mouth! I think you need a spanking.” In a move so quick even I missed it, he managed to remove my yellow thong.
“Let me go,” I pleaded weakly. Truthfully, I wanted him to fuck me--which made me hate myself even more than usual.
“Not until you apologize for tonight.”
“Vaffanculo stronzo!” I yelled—the Italian flowing easily from my mouth.
“Listen to you, tesoro. Fuck, hearing you speak my language turns me on. Can you feel it?” he questioned, pressing his huge erection against my ass.
“I hope it falls off!” Liar!
Edward growled lowly in my ear. “Bad girls need to be punished.”
“What about bad boys? Do they get to do whatever they want without consequences?”
He licked my neck from ear to base. “No. They pay the price, too.”
“Just get it over with so that I can kick your sorry ass out of my house. You disgust me.”
Edward’s hand came down hard on my backside, making me yelp in surprise. I’d expected him to be gentle at first, but I’d angered the beast. The sting felt good against my heated flesh, and I soon found myself craving the pain.
“You hit like a little girl,” I taunted, almost screaming out in pleasure when he struck me again and again. I had to bite down on my lip to keep quiet.
A few minutes later, he began to massage the flesh. “You turn red so easily. Did I hurt you?”
“Babydoll, I’m sorry. I just thought…”
I quickly pulled down my gown. “Go to hell!”
Before he could catch me, I ran to the bedroom, grabbed my Iphone and pressed seven. “I want Mr. Cullen escorted off of my property.”
By the time he made it to me, two guards were in the house. Edward called them “dickhead” and begged me to let him speak. I watched from the door as the men basically shoved him into his car. He gave me one last pleading look before driving away.
“Are you okay, Mrs. Cullen?”
I nodded. “Yes. Thank you.”
Fortunately, my little lamb and Di slept through the whole thing. I sat with Dante for a few minutes and thought about the incident. Basically, I'd overreacted and crushed Edward’s spirit. He hadn’t really hurt me, but I didn’t want him to know he still turned me on.
Pretty soon, I began to get sleepy. I kissed my little lamb’s fat cheeks before walking across the hall to my room. Onyx meowed, licking her paws while I scratched behind her ears. She was such a good pet and a reminder of a past time in my life when I’d had to be strong.
“Why am so weak now?” I asked aloud.
Later I woke up from a very graphic dream, in which Edward had not only spanked me but fucked me hard. I ran to the bathroom and unlocked my chest of toys. Panting, I took out my pearl rabbit vibrator. Then I laid down on the rose-colored chaise lounge.
Two pumps and I was whimpering Edward’s name as the first orgasm hit. When I penetrated myself, I remembered the feel of Edward’s slightly rough hands on my ass. By the time the third wave shook me, I was spent.
Afterwards, I cleaned up and climbed back into bed. It was so hard getting used to sleeping alone, but Dante was growing up and needed to spend more time in his nursery. What good was all the expensive furniture if he never used it? Besides, he was just right across the hall.
Before slumber could claim me, I sent Edward a text message:
I’m sorry about tonight. I’ve been a bitchy brat. FYI, you didn’t hurt me. I hope you got home safe. Maybe we could have lunch together tomorrow? – Bella
This roller coaster is fucking me up more than I already am. I think we need a few days apart. I’ll come over to visit Dante when you’re not there. – Edward
After reading his reply, I cried myself to sleep
We hadn’t spoken for two days, but Jasper called to tell me Edward was holed up in his old club office. I’d driven over to HADES and used my code to get inside of the lair. I’d found Edward half naked sitting in front of an easel painting. After I apologized sincerely, he suggested we begin couple’s counseling again.
Edward and I sat beside each other while Dr. A. gave us a lecture about communication. My stomach had been off the last few days, so I had the wastebasket next to me just in case. Edward’s green eyes followed my movements very closely.
“Bella,” Dr. A. said, bringing me into the conversation. “I know you read the literature on bipolar disorder, but did you really understand?”
“I think so.”
“Then you know that divorce rates among couples where one party suffers from bipolarism are very high. Edward’s emotions are fragile. The medication he is taking helps, but he needs strong family support.”
Edward sighed. “I really do try, babydoll. Sometimes, the things you say make me feel like a worthless piece of shit.”
“Oh, so now I’m supposed to forget everything you’ve done because you’ve been diagnosed?”
Dr. A. held up her hand. “No one is asking you to excuse Edward’s past behavior. He made a conscious decision to cheat and attempt suicide. All I’m saying is there were reasons beyond his control which helped contribute to this mess.”
“I shouldn’t even be here,” I mumbled petulantly.
Dr. A. turned to me. “Why not?”
“Because we’re not even a couple! We’re just…just two people bound together for the sake of our children.”
Edward flinched at my harsh tone. “We’re doing this for DC and our girls. They deserve the best so we can at least try to make amends.”
“Bella, I know you’re feeling a lot of hurt and anger, but selfishness won’t help this situation. Edward can’t heal unless the people he loves are in his corner. Now I’m not saying you’ll get back together and live happily ever after, but this constant fighting has to end. Think of the children,” she pleaded.
“What can I do?” I asked, reaching for his arm.
His whole face brightened. “You’ll really try?”
I placed his hand over my stomach. “Anything for them and our son. I’m tired of living with all this anger and aggression; it’s not good for the babies or me.”
Dr. A. told me it was important I remain patient with Edward. He’d put me on this pedestal in his mind, so my opinions and feelings had the power to make or break him. He informed us he was working with his Chicago therapist to get out of that mindset and see me as a normal woman, albeit one he loved.
“Bella, don’t be afraid to ask Edward about his medication and daily progress. The most important thing is to let him know that you really care. Be supportive. I’ll send you a few e-books that may help.”
After the session, I felt much better and so did Edward. We picked up our little lamb and went to the pier for lunch. It was the most lighthearted I’d felt in months. We were nowhere near golden again, but maybe we were on our way to becoming friends.
“Ma ma,” Dante cooed, tugging on my ponytail.
I passed him to his father as a waitress led us to table. “Fuck, you’re getting huge,” Edward muttered, ticking our little lamb’s belly.
It was a rare clear sunny day, so I was glad we’d chosen to sit outside to eat. Dante babbled and bounced happily in his stroller while gnawing on a bread stick. Edward would lean forward every now and again to give him an Eskimo kiss—it warmed my heart.
“So, what do you want for Mother’s Day?” Edward asked, his eyes filled with happiness.
I’d almost completely forgotten the holiday was this weekend and made a mental note to buy all the moms in my life a special gift. “Nothing. My babies are healthy, and that’s all I really need.”
“Come on, babydoll. What about a spa getaway or some new diamonds? By the way, how come you never wear any of the jewelry I bought you?”
I sighed. “I had Jenks put it away in a vault while you were away. I only wore it because it meant something special…but it all lost meaning. I hope you can understand.”
He nodded sadly. “One day, I hope I can…”
Dante screamed, “Da da!” interrupting our moment.
Edward lifted him out of the stroller. “You have the worst timing, little man.” His voice was playful and affectionate.
My little lamb stuck out his tongue, which made me giggle. “He got that one from me,” I stated proudly.
After lunch, we headed home. Angela, Giles, and Ben were more than capable of finishing the last minute details of the book tour, so I’d cut my hours at the bookstore. Carlisle had insisted I rest as much as possible--it was better not to argue.
“When is Marcus coming home?” I asked as Edward carried Dante into his nursery. As usual, my little lamb had fallen asleep in the car.
“He’ll be here this weekend. Shit in Naples was horrible. He tried his best, but some things can’t be tamed.”
“Will we be safe?”
Edward wrapped his arm around my waist, providing comfort. “I won’t let anything happen to you or our children. If things get really bad, we can escape to the private Volturi islands.”
“I forgot about those.”
He laughed. “Just like you forgot about all those millions sitting in the bank, the private jets, the property…. Bella, you should really enjoy our wealth more. It’s the only thing I can give you.”
I reached up to caress his freshly shaven face. “That’s not true, and you know it.”
“Thanks, babydoll. I needed to hear that.”
We walked hand and hand to the den and sat down on the sectional. “Edward,” I asked. “Do you really think we can friends like Dr. A. said?”
He leaned down and licked the shell of my ear. “Maybe friends with benefits. I know you get horny when you’re knocked up. I can make you feel so good. It doesn’t have to be about me getting off. I know you don’t want that with me anymore, not that I blame you after the shit I pulled.”
I giggled, snuggling into his waiting arms. “Let’s work on just being regular friends. If I need your services, I know where to find you.”
This does not mean they start fucking and live happily ever after Bella is going to try to be Edward's friend. Lots more to come so stay tuned. I'll be with the Stoli.