Nothing goes as planned.
Everything will break.
People say goodbye.
In their own special way.
All that you rely on
And all that you can fake
Will leave you in the morning
But find you in the day
Oh you're in my veins
And I cannot get you out
Oh you're all I taste
At night inside of my mouth
Oh you run away
Cause I am not what you found
Oh you're in my veins
And I cannot get you out.
Everything will break.
People say goodbye.
In their own special way.
All that you rely on
And all that you can fake
Will leave you in the morning
But find you in the day
Oh you're in my veins
And I cannot get you out
Oh you're all I taste
At night inside of my mouth
Oh you run away
Cause I am not what you found
Oh you're in my veins
And I cannot get you out.
In My Veins-Andrew Belle
Three-thirty in the morning while most people slept, I was pounding the shit out of an Everlast punching bag. For two nights, I’d been unable to sleep as I remembered Bella kissing the basic motherfucker right in my goddamn face. She hadn’t shown that kind of passion for me in ages.
“I’m going to fucking kill him!” I screamed, imagining the bag was Atwood’s smug face.
Growing up I’d had lessons in traditional boxing, but Edward Sr. had also taught me the art of street brawling. I knew how to fight dirty and fucking knock an asshole out with the first punch. If my babydoll wanted to protect her new fuck buddy, then I planned to call his ass out in the ring.
Soon my body was too tired to continue. I sat down on the mat and drank a small bottle of Scotch I’d snatched from the hotel. I drank it down in one big gulp, loving the warmth it instantly provided. Why the fuck should I try so hard if my babydoll didn’t fucking want me anymore?
Earlier in the day, Dr. Uley had given me some advice to cope with the new shit. He told me my testosterone levels were high, which meant I was at risk for a manic episode. I had fucking ignored him and spent the whole session brooding.
“She’s probably sucking his cock right now. I told you not to put all your eggs in one basket,” my dad said from the corner of the gym.
I closed my eyes. “You’re not really here. Fuck off! Besides, you don’t know a goddamn thing about keeping a marriage together.”
He chuckled. “Well, your madre never divorced me.”
“Probably because she knew your stupid ass would bite the bullet sooner or later. I love Bella, and she fucking loves me, too. Get out of my fucking head!” I yelled, putting my hands over my ears.
Thankfully, when I peeked again he was gone. Sighing, I grabbed a towel and headed to the kitchen. Once there, I took out a huge bottle of Evian and drank greedily. I also reheated up some leftovers so the food would soak up the remaining alcohol in my system. Drinking had been a dumbass move--I had to stay alert just in case Bella or the kids needed my sorry ass.
After gulping down grilled steak, salad, and a baked potato, I was ready to fucking pass out. I put everything in the dishwasher and went upstairs.
The Penthouse was lonely and cold without mi famiglia. My sheets still smelled like Bella from the last time she and Dante had slept over. I picked up the pillow she’d used and inhaled deeply. Seeing her nightgown on a nearby chair caused an ache in my chest so painful I momentarily lost my fucking equilibrium.
“Mine,” I growled, picturing Giles dead at my feet.
Exhausted, I shuffled into the bathroom and ran a hot shower. Instead of visions of Bella’s hot little mouth sucking my cock, I saw her and Giles fucking under the water as I watched obsessively. I punched the hard granite wall, tears streaming down my face and blood coating my knuckles.
“How could you, babydoll?” I asked as the vision became more realistic.
She looked back at me. “How could you? I wasn’t the one who started this, Edward. At least now you know how it feels to be betrayed by the person you love.”
I reached out, but of course there was nothing there—my fucking mind was playing tricks on me again. Scowling, I dried off and put on some pajama pants. A little niggling voice in my head told me to go out and find a coke dealer, but I ignored it.
After climbing back into bed, I took out my Ipad and pulled up the photos I’d taken of Bella on the yacht. She was so fucking sexy with the long hair, but I also liked her new haircut. I closed my eyes and wished she was in bed with me, giggling while I gave her hickeys like back in the old days.
“Fuck it,” I said, turning off my lamp. “She doesn’t love me anymore.”
I watched Bella’s ass sway as she crossed the room to greet Rose and Emmett. We were all dressed up for DC’s formal birthday party. Mom and the ladies had gone all out, combining Greek and Italian menus to make a feast fit for a king or little prince.
Mi figlio glowed with happiness as Di fed him a small piece of cannoli. “Italian through and through,” she sang, wiping his slobbery mouth.
Chara smirked. “He’s Greek, too. Let’s see how he likes my homemade baklava.”
“He likes nana’s butterscotch brownies best of all,” Esme called out from somewhere in the room.
My son blew spit bubbles and said, “Cookie,” which made everyone laugh.
He was obviously having a good time in the sugar shop, so I decided to mingle. I glanced at my sister who had been fucking smothering me lately. Fortunately my cousins had come from Athens for the festivities, so I bypassed Ali and walked straight over to them.
“Hey, old man. I’m surprised you’re not in the walker yet,” Isaac teased, sipping on his glass of champagne.
I flipped him off. “Keep giving me lip and I’ll put you in a walker, fucker.”
Achilles elbowed his brother. “Burn! You know you’d never beat him in a fight.”
Sebastian nodded. “True. Edward is a fucking cheater, and he fights like something possessed.”
I clutched my chest, pretending to be offended. “Stop maligning my reputation, good sir.”
Laughing, we went outside to smoke a couple of cigars. It was nice to shoot the shit and catch up with all the latest gossip from Athens. Since Paulo was getting older, it was time for my cousins to take over more responsibilities. They were being groomed to do what I’d been doing for years.
“So, any of you losers fucked a pussy yet?” I asked, making a crude hand gesture.
Achilles actually fucking blushed. “Uh, Maggie is here tonight. We’ve been talking on the regular. I want to ask her out, but Demetri won’t let me get close.”
“I’ll deal with him.”
Isaac chewed on an olive from his martini glass. “I’ve fucked plenty of women, but none of them have kept my interest. They’re all the same in the end, right?”
“No,” I said, looking down at my Tungsten ring. “Some of them are fucking special.”
“She’s still got you pussy-whipped, man. You need to move on.” If we hadn’t been at my son’s birthday party, I would have punched Sebastian for his comment.
“You don’t know a motherfucking thing. We’re always going to be connected because of the kids. She’s the only woman I ever loved, not that you assholes would know anything about real love,” I snarled, suddenly not in the mood to socialize.
“Speaking of women…” Isaac mumbled, staring at someone behind me.
Rose had joined us. She looked good in a sparkly black, one-shouldered designer dress with a high slit. My smiled widened as I took in the way Sebastian stared at my sister-in-law. It was obvious that if Em wasn’t in the picture, my cousin would be making his move.
“Hey, I just need to talk to Edward for a few minutes. There’s some hot appetizers in the dining room if you’re hungry,” Rose informed them, her tone of voice leaving no room for argument.
They all greeted her in heavily-accented Greek, something which got them a lot of American pussy, before heading inside the house. Sebastian’s eyes never strayed far from Rose’s tits. Once they were gone, the atmosphere changed. I knew the conversation would be about my babydoll.
“What’s going on?” I asked. My voice sounded gruff and miserable even to my own ears.
She sighed. “She told us about kissing Giles. Honestly, Edward, I’m not really surprised. Bella’s self-worth took a major hit when you cheated.”
I hung my head in shame. “Fuck…I know. I try to make shit better, but she shuts me down. What can I do?”
“Work harder!” she snapped, eyes blazing. “Do you want Giles to replace you in her life? Treat this like one of your Mafia wars.”
I laughed. “You want me to fucking kill him? Believe me, I would do it in a heartbeat…but Bella would hate me even more.”
Rose looked at me like I was the village idiot. “I just mean you have to study him—see what gets under his skin. I don’t trust the man. He’s making a major move on Bella while she’s pregnant and vulnerable—something just doesn’t add up. I don’t want my sister to get hurt again.”
My heart rate practically tripled. “I’ve had him investigated, but I’ll dig deeper. I don’t want my angel’s heart broken again.”
Rose nodded. “You can also try to make Bella remember why she fell in love with you. Charm her like you used to do back in the day. Make her feel wanted and special. Show an interest in her daily life.”
“I thought I was already doing all this shit, but everything turns into an argument. How can I be there for her if she won’t let me? She’s never gonna forgive my sorry ass for destroying our marriage,” I admitted, a lone tear leaking from my eye.
“Don’t give up. I know she loves you, but it’s hard. Plus pregnancy makes all women a little crazy. She’s lost right now and needs your support. Keep on her,” Rose advised, her face going soft.
I smirked. “I never thought I’d see the day where you were on my side. My brother is a lucky man to have such a smart and beautiful wife.”
Rose rolled her eyes. “Use that charm on Bella, not me. Emmett knows he’s lucky, and if he ever fucked me over I would cut off his dick and feed it to a wolf.”
I pictured what she’s said and shuddered. “Uh, I fucking regret the cheating shit more than you know. So, you never went out on Em?”
She slapped my shoulder. “Of course not! He’s been it for me since the day I gave him an oil change. We almost destroyed his Jeep on the first date.”
“TMI, Rose. That shit is gonna give me nightmares.”
She chuckled. “Serves you right. You and Bella practically eye-fuck every time you’re within walking distance of each other. She says she hates you, but I still see her staring at your crotch the minute you walk into a room.”
“Really?” I asked hopefully.
“Don’t get too excited. Maybe Bella is just really horny. I know I was the last time I was pregnant.”
I tugged on my hair. “Fuck! Then why won’t she let me touch her? I’m going insane thinking of her body and wondering what she wants to do with Giles.”
She pulled something up on her Iphone before holding it out to me. “I snapped that picture of her before I came out here. What do you see? ”
I looked closely, my eyes narrowing slightly. “She has dark circles under her eyes. The smile she’s giving is just pasted on her face, there’s no feeling behind it.”
“Exactly. Alice has seen it, too. Bella has been quiet and reserved since she got back. If Giles was really the man she wanted, she would look happier. Maybe she’s just using him to rile you up,” Rose said.
I sighed, staring at the photograph. “She’s so fucking beautiful. Sometimes, I just wish I could take her and DC away to the island where we can be alone in our own little world. I ruined us…her. She’ll never truly forgive me. ”
I didn’t even know I was crying again until Rose patted my hands. “Those tears are exactly why I’m helping you. I know you messed up, but you love them. Edward, you were a loser when she found you, but you changed for them. I want my nephew and future nieces to grow up in the best family possible. Real love doesn’t come around every day.”
“I know,” I murmured, taking out a monogrammed handkerchief. “I do love them. I was a walking disaster, Rose. I’m still a fucking mess, but I’m trying harder than ever before. I want to be the man… she deserves.”
“It’s getting chilly out here. Let’s go inside and celebrate your son’s birthday. Em is probably looking for me. Just call me anytime you need to talk.”
Feeling much better, I followed Rose to the family room. My earlier thoughts and feelings were no longer accurate, because my wife was vulnerable and in a bad place. Rose had helped me believe it was possible Bella didn’t want to fuck Giles. It was also highly likely she was simply lost, probably scared out of her mind about the possibility of me destroying us again.
“Thanks for the talk, Rose. I’m glad you’re my sister,” I whispered before we reached Emmett and the boys.
She smiled. “Family is just like marriage—for better or worse. Keep your nose clean, Edward.”
The rest of the night’s festivities included gift giving, diaper changes, family photos, dancing, and a huge fucking amount of food. DC sat in my lap for most of it, his little black tuxedo a copy of my own. Bella happily told the story about the night of his birth before we cut his special birthday cookie cake.
“Luh, da da!” my son said, the little slobbery mouth giving me his version of a kiss.
I used my thumb to caress his soft cheek. “I love you, too, Dante.”
Bella reached over, touching his curly head. “Mommy loves you, little lamb.”
He blew a spit bubble and screamed, “Luh, ma ma!”
My babydoll and I smiled at each other as Esme made us lean in for a picture. I was so distracted I didn’t notice Bella’s hand was on my knee until she squeezed lightly. I stared deep into her beautiful eyes and whispered, “I could never hate you.”
“So Senator Cullen, can you tell us why you decided to turn your son’s first birthday into a charitable event?” the reporter asked enthusiastically, his pearly whites almost blinding me.
I leaned forward, making sure the camera caught my best angle. “My wife and I believe it’s important to give back to our community. As you know…”
For the next few minutes, I blathered on about the various charities and legal business we had throughout Seattle and Washington State. The constituency already knew I owned HADES, but to the outside world it was just a regular nightclub.
I didn’t have to do it all alone. Esme’s natural grace and compassion made her a favorite with reporters. Additionally, Carlisle’s position on the hospital board kept the newspaper media enthralled. Bella and I ended up doing three joint interviews in which we came off as the same young, successful happily married couple the voters had fallen in love with during the last election.
“I’m glad that’s over,” Bella confessed, taking a seat next to me in the living room. “My face is sore from smiling so much.”
I gently kissed her cheek, marveling at the smoothness. “You were perfect, babydoll. I don’t know what the fuck I’m going to do after the divorce—voters don’t want to elect a single man to the Senate.”
“What if we just keep our divorce private? Surely you have enough money and influence…”
“I do, but what if someone sees you out with Atwood? We’ll have a huge scandal on our hands. I’m afraid it has to be made public." I kept my voice neutral to avoid a huge argument.
She looked up at me, her small hand cupping my bearded jaw. “What I did… I just wanted to feel desirable. Giles and I… I’m not ready to date and stuff.”
“I desire you.” I hissed. “I want you all the time. I fucking love you!”
She shook her head and backed away. “Don’t lie to me, Edward. I get that you’re jealous…but that doesn’t mean you want me—you just don’t want Giles to have me.”
“Now you’re putting words in my fucking mouth, Bella.”
“There you guys are,” Alice squealed, coming between us. “This party is so much fun. I’ve already eaten two whole bags of cotton candy. Jazzy is showing Dante the tree kangaroo. It’s so adorable!”
I glared at my meddling sister. “Why are you here?”
“Don’t be rude,” Bella chastised, linking arms with Alice. “Why don’t we go join the fun?”
Sighing, I followed them outside. A few people stopped me to talk or share stories of their kid’s first birthdays. Some of the children we passed were in wheelchairs or had surgery scars. We were really lucky our son was healthy and developing normally.
When we got to the animal area, one of the handlers was bending down to show Sasha a bald eagle. Jasper led DC to our area, my son ignoring us and toddling over to stand beside his little girlfriend. They were cute as fuck and speaking baby gibberish to the large bird.
Garrett came to stand next to me. “Damn you, Edward Cullen. How am I ever going to outdo this party? Sasha had to be practically dragged off of the baby elephant.”
I smirked. “I’ll hook you up with my friend at the zoo. If I remember right, you and Riley weren’t exactly conservative when it came to Sasha’s first birthday.”
“Don’t remind me. I’ll never live down the picture you took of me wearing the pink tutu. Kate still shows that shit to people at work.”
I slapped him on the back. “Soon I’ll have daughters, and I’m pretty-fucking-sure I will end up doing all kinds of embarrassing shit, too. I can’t wait.”
The outdoor party was a huge success—not only were we able to raise a lot of money for disabled and less fortunate children, but we were also setting a good example for DC. I wanted mi figio to have the best but not be spoiled by it.
I smiled as I watched Bella and DC jump in the large bouncy house together. He had a paper crown on his head which wouldn’t stay straight because of his wild hair. Bella’s cheeks were rosy, and she looked genuinely happy.
Angela touched my shoulder as she passed. “Don’t worry, I’m taking photos of everything. It’s kind of a hobby of mine,” she said, holding up a fancy digital camera.
“Thanks. You and Ben enjoy yourselves.”
Later, Carlisle introduced me to one of his fellow surgeons. The man and his wife had a small son with Down Syndrome. The boy giggled loudly as I introduced myself. Carlisle’s friend clearly loved his son, and I knew I’d be the same way if DC or my little babydolls had developmental issues.
I joined my family on the lawn where The Lion King 3D was showing on a huge projection screen. I sat down on a soft colorful blanket and grinned smugly when DC crawled into my lap. My babydoll caressed her baby bump absentmindedly as the movie started and more families set up blankets.
“What are you thinking about?” I asked, watching her lick her lips.
“I’m just happy. We’re so lucky to have him. I can’t believe it’s been a year.”
I looked down at our beautiful baby. He was oblivious to the conversation as he drank organic apple juice from a green sippy cup. My mind wandered back to the past when I’d thought he and Bella were dead. They were the most precious gifts I’d ever received, and yet I had abandoned them. Never again.
My babydoll had dressed DC in a yellow and white short-sleeved polo shirt and Levi jean shorts. She had on pink floral shorts, a white tank, and a yellow cardigan. I was wearing the adult version of DC’s shirt and khaki shorts. We looked like a family on a poster for the American dream.
Colin and Brady pointed out things to DC while Emmett made roaring noises which made my son giggle like mad. Rose and Bella were deep in conversation, occasionally looking my way. Bree and Riley, who were seated behind us, cuddled with baby Sasha.
“Where are Kate and Garrett?” I asked, searching for our missing friends.
Riley laughed. “Probably in the house ruining one of your guest bedrooms. They needed some alone time.”
“We have to pry the baby out of Garrett’s arms. Kate was so happy,” Bree said, her cheeks reddening.
I nodded, staring at my little sister. Bree had lied about her kidnapping, but I had no idea how to approach her. Riley was extremely overprotective, so the least little upset could make him hate my ass for life. I trusted Bree wholeheartedly, and I knew she had to have had a good reason for what she’d done. I planned to get to the bottom of it in the next few days.
Almost an hour later, I excused myself to go piss. Dante whined until I promised him I would be back quickly with a treat. Rose gave me the bitch brow because I actually used the word “piss” in front of the kids. Bella just stared at me like I was a motherfucking alien.
On my way to the house, I saw Alice doing cartwheels with some older kids while Jasper cheered for her on the sidelines. Poor fucker wouldn’t be sleeping for days with my sister on a sugar high. Next, I saw Jake mean mugging some poor fucker who had been tasked to put a mic on Leah’s jacket. I smirked as I passed his hulking form. Then I waved at my parents and godparents who were all sitting on the deck talking and drinking wine.
I did my business in the restroom and washed up thoroughly, making sure to spray a little cologne on my body. One day I would be teaching my son good hygiene and shit. While I preened in the mirror, someone knocked on the door.
“Who the fuck is it? Guest bathrooms are downstairs.” I really hoped it wasn't some kid.
“It’s me. Can I come in?” Bella.
I almost broke my fucking wrist in my haste to open the goddamn door. My babydoll stood on the other side, shuffling her feet and looking at the floor. My brain went straight to my cock as it throbbed painfully.
“What’s wrong? DC okay?”
She nodded, her small hands reaching up to play with the collar of my shirt. “Can we?”
“Can we what, babydoll?”
“Fool around,” she whispered, pressing her lushness against my hardness.
I swallowed thickly. “You have the worst goddamned timing. We’re at our son’s birthday party!”
She fucking giggled. “Later after we put him to bed. You can, um, spend the night.”
“What brought this on?” I didn’t want to look a gift horse in the mouth…but damn.
She shrugged. “I’m restless… I keep having these sex dreams. I just want to lose myself for a night.”
I gently removed her hands. “I’m not going to fuck you because you’re horny for another man. If you’re still hung up on Atwood, this can’t happen. In fact, I don’t want to fuck you at all.”
“Oh, okay,” she said, trying to step away from me.
I leaned down and kissed her upturned nose. “I want to make love to you, babydoll. When my cock is buried in your sweet pussy, you better not be thinking of another man, Capisce?
“Why are you so jealous? I kissed Giles, but you fucked several women. Besides, legally we’re separated so…”
“You,” I snarled, “are mine for life! Yeah I fucked up, but it’ll never happen again. I’m getting help for my shit.”
She huffed loudly. “Spare me, Edward. All I’m proposing is two willing adults scratch an itch. I’m not naive enough to believe you’ll be faithful to me in the long run. You were nice last time I was pregnant, and then you fucked me over. Quit pretending to be a choir boy just because you’re in therapy.”
Though I felt like punching the goddamn wall, I took a deep breath and counted to ten. “I don’t want to fight. Let’s go finish the movie and eat some cake.”
My babydoll began taking off her clothes. I stood as still as a statue as her little shorts and tank dropped to the ground. The bra and panties came next leaving her gloriously bare. It was then I noticed something was different.
“Why?” I asked, pointing at the hairless mound.
She laid back on the bed and spread her legs. “I wanted something different. Come here.”
“Bare pussy,” I mumbled, shaking my head.
“Plenty of other men prefer it… Giles probably does.”
I fucking pounced. She tried to roll away from me, but I caught her by the ankle. We wrestled like animals. I was much bigger, so it only took me a little while to pin her wild ass under me. By that time, she was spitting nails.
“Don’t act like you’ve been celibate, Edward. You’ll fuck anything. I’m not putting out, so you’re getting it from someone else. Just admit it.”
“The only thing on my dick these days is my goddamned hand,” I spat.
“Go play your mind games with Atwood. I don’t need this shit! Do you realize how ridiculous you’re being? You’re a mother, not a teenage girl. Pull it together!”
She smiled mischievously, lifting her short hair off her neck. “I’m going to ride Giles next week when we go to L.A. Maybe I’ll give him my ass, record us fucking, and send it to you.”
“You better pick him out a nice goddamned casket before you open your thighs, Isabella. I will kill the motherfucker and hide you away for the rest of this pregnancy! Don’t underestimate me,” I warned, venom in my voice.
“Big bad Mafia boss,” she snickered. “You’re so bad that you spend months every year locked away in a padded cell at the nuthouse.”
“What the hell is the matter with you? I’m the bipolar one, but you’re having all the mood swings. Fuck! I’m going back to spend time with DC. Try to calm your ass down,” I muttered, completely disgusted with her behavior.
“None of it is real, you know? Love, marriage, trust, and honor are all just lies written in books. People just fuck other people over because they feel like it.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Nothing,” she whispered. “Just go away. Tell Rose I’ll be down in a few minutes.”
“When you’re ready to talk, I’ll be ready to listen,” I told her before exiting the room. We were so fucked up.
Around six, we cut the cake and cupcakes. Bella’s eyes were lifeless, but she put on a happy smile for our son. We had to help him blow out his one huge candle because all he could do was drool. Photos were taken, and then gift bags given to all the children. When it was all tallied, we found out that we’d raised over one million dollars for the charities.
“Auguri a mio figlio! This is the first of many more years to come,” I said, kissing DC’s cheeks.
“Yay, da da!” was my reply. At least something in my world was going well.
“Your testosterone levels are very high. Have you had a manic episode or any visions?” Dr. Crowley asked as he made notes on his Ipad.
Dr. Uley had shared my lab results, so we were all talking via teleconference in Uley’s office. I felt like a fucking lab rat, but drug testing and checkups were part of my recovery regimen. I’d even had to confess to the little bottle of Scotch I’d stolen from Bella’s hotel minibar.
“Only the one I told you about before. I’m, uh, having wet dreams and shit. They’re pretty vivid.”
“Bella still not talking to you?” Uley asked sympathetically. Every man understood being in the doghouse.
“Nope. She’s never around when I go see DC, and she doesn’t stay with us when he spends the night with me. I can’t get through to her and keep my sanity,” I confessed awkwardly.
“It can’t be easy for her,” Crowley said, interrupting. “She is a twenty-five-year-old woman who has been through suicide attempts and drug addiction with you. Plus she’s about to become a mother of three.”
“Fuck,” I groaned.
“Fuck indeed. Remember what we talked about when you were here? The road isn’t going to be easy or paved in gold, Edward. Talk to your wife and get to the bottom of her issues. Sometimes, the best way to help yourself is to help someone else.” Crowley was a deep motherfucker.
Uley nodded his head. “He’s right. I am proud of you for managing your anger, though.”
“Well…” I told them about destroying Bella’s hotel room.
“At least you didn’t kill him,” Crowley said, chuckling. “I know men in your position who have murdered for a lot less.”
“I want to kill his horny ass. I imagine it daily, but she’ll really hate me if I do.”
The rest of the session was spent going over my meds. My body handled the Lithium well, but there were always new drugs and Crowley wanted me to have the most options. After that, I told them about DC’s birthday parties while they commended my efforts at becoming a better father.
By noon, I was on my way to Kate’s clinic where Dante was having his first dental exam and fluoride treatment. Bella brushed his teeth daily, but Kate had recommended it since he had so many teeth and ate solid foods.
Bella, Jane, and DC were just coming out when I pulled into the parking lot. A woman in the next car over openly ogled my ass before heading inside the building. I was wearing motorcycle attire—designer button fly jeans, Gucci leather jacket, and Timberland shitkickers.
“Dante!” I called, smiling like a fucking maniac when he ran to me. “I see you got a cookie, so I guess that means you were good.”
He buried his head in my neck and giggled. “Da da.”
Bella looked sexy as hell in black denim shorts, a tight red graphic tee, and leather boots, but it was way too much skin to be showing in public. I saw it in her eyes—she was fucking testing me.
“Jane, take DC to mom’s house. Stay with them. We’ll be there to pick him up around three.”
My wife frowned, the bright sun making the cluster of freckles around her nose visible. “The fuck? I’m not going anywhere with you.”
“Fuh…Fuh… ma ma.” Honestly, I was surprised “fuck” hadn’t been his first word.
I almost bust a gut laughing. “You were always on me. Now look, you turned out to be the real bad influence.”
Bella jogged over and kissed the top of his head. “I’m sorry, little lamb. Say fun instead. Fuh-un.”
Mi figlio tried but quickly became bored with the effort. Jane just stared at Bella and me like we were something out of The Twilight Zone. I looked down and winced when I noticed Bella’s shirt didn’t even cover her small baby bump.
“Get on the bike,” I ordered, handing DC’s wriggling body to Jane.
“You can’t give me orders anymore, Mr. Cullen,” Bella sneered, hands on hips.
I passed her a black helmet. “Don’t test me today. I will pull your shorts down and spank your ass right in this goddamned lot.”
Something in my face must have told her I wasn’t bluffing, because she climbed on the bike. Jane honked as she passed, our most prized possession in the backseat happily sucking on his thumb and waving.
It was kind of windy, so I helped Bella into my jacket. “I don’t why the hell you left the house in this outfit that barely covers your private parts.”
“Where are you taking me?” she asked grumpily, wrapping her arms around my waist.
“The docks. We’ll discuss it when we get there.”
Since it was a rare sunny day, I took the long way to our destination. Bella held on to me tightly, her hard little nipples pressing into my back. When we reached a red light, her hand drifted lower until it stopped on my crotch.
“You’ll pay for that later,” I warned, patting her bare thigh.
Once we arrived, I parked and led Bella to one of our large cargo ships. She wanted to stop and look at cranes and shit, but I took her hand and dragged her along. Fortunately, my jacket covered more of her ass than the shorts she had worn, but a few motherfuckers still eye-fucked my wife.
A flinty-eyed guard with a Croatian tattoos on his hands guided us down a set of stairs. I kept my arm around Bella’s waist so she wouldn’t get scared. The particular vessel we were on belonged to Riley’s clan. The Italians may have been beastly, but the fucking Eastern Europeans were ratchet as fuck.
“What’s going on here?” Bella asked worriedly when she saw Bree at the interrogation table.
Riley appeared out of the shadows. “It’s alright, Bella. We need to ask Bree some questions. I thought it would be easier if you were here.”
My wife nodded and went to sit next to our little sister. Truthfully, Riley and I hated to do this shit, but we had a code. I’d grown up hearing stories about Mafioso that had to execute their wives and children for betrayal.
Riley lit a cigarette and sat at the far end of the table, his hands trembling badly. “Bree, you lied to us.”
She began sobbing while Bella rocked her gently. “I cannot tell you!” she screamed, her voice full of anguish.
“Can’t we do this a different way? She’s scared. Please,” my wife begged pitifully.
Riley took a long drag of his cig and pulled out a folder. “This,” he said, holding up a picture, “is you talking to one of my uncle’s henchmen in the university library.”
Bree cried harder. “I cannot tell you!”
I held up another photo. “Here you are talking to the same man outside Bella’s bookstore. Are you a snitch, Bree?”
Bella stood up and pounded her hand on the table. “She would never… Have you forgotten Bree helped save me and Dante’s lives? This is sick! How dare you…”
“This is protocol, Bella. I have to do it this way or else Bree will have to go before a council. There are people watching us right now. I had to pull a lot of strings to get you a seat here. Please, you know I would never hurt her,” Riley whispered.
Bree looked up, her eyes red-rimmed from all the tears. “You will hate me if I tell you.”
“Never,” Riley promised.
“I was not raped in James’ house, but other things were done. He had a house guest once who liked to play with me…”
Bella wrapped her arms around Bree. “Why didn’t you talk to me?”
“I was ashamed,” Bree admitted sadly.
“Tell us what happened,” I said, coaxing her gently.
Riley hung his head. “Please, Bree.”
“I never took drugs, not even when mama sold me. I see what it did to the people in my old village. Mothers became crazed demons willing to sell their children. Fathers die in the street fighting turf war. Well…this man tied me up and stuck a needle in my vein. It feel good when I was high, but when I came down I just wanted to die.”
“Fuck!” Riley screamed.
I placed my hand on his shoulder. “Let her finish.”
“He let other men touch my body while I was naked,” Bree murmured, squeezing Bella’s hand. “Never penetration, but they ejaculated on me. He took video and pictures—sometimes I was smiling and encouraging them, but it was the poison.
“When James returned from America, he was very upset. He saw me as slave for his cooking and cleaning, but this other man wanted to sell me for my virginity. James slit his throat on the balcony and made me clean it up. He said… he said I was his property, and the other man had to die for trying to steal me.”
I understood Bree’s story more than most. Drugs, especially heroin, made the user a completely different person. She was not at fault for anything that had happened to her, but I knew she would always carry the scars.
“How old were you?” I asked gently.
“Fifteen. Truly I did not really remember any of it until the man approached me at school. I used to read the Bible and beg for forgiveness every single day, and I thought… I guess I blocked the memories.”
Bella wiped Bree’s face with a Kleenex. “Shhh, you did nothing wrong. We all still love you.”
“It was fucking blackmail, wasn’t it?”
She glanced at me and nodded. “He said he would tell Riley I was whore. If the drug parts are taken out, it looks like I am happy with the men touching me.”
Riley switched seats with Bella, his big arms engulfing Bree’s small frame. “Fear and shame are powerful motivators. I’m so sorry, Bree.”
“I went out the restroom window on my own. A car was waiting. They said if I went along with it and got you to talk to them, then they would destroy all the videos and pictures. I was scared, Riley!”
He hugged her. “They will pay for this, sweetheart. You are the most important person in my life. Nothing you can ever tell me will make me hate you, but I need your honestly and loyalty from here on out, okay? We can get through anything together.”
“I love you,” Bree whispered, kissing his jaw.
We all hugged Bree and assured her \our feelings towards her had not changed. Riley also encouraged her to share her past with Esme and Carlisle; they were her legal guardians and loved her like their own.
“Do you want join us for lunch?” Bella asked, her infectious smile calming the atmosphere in the room.
“Rain check. I want to take her home and relax. She needs to rest,” Riley answered.
“We will see you later. Kiss Dante for me.” Bree looked much happier post confession.
My babydoll stayed close to me as we left the cargo ship. Then I helped her get situated before taking off in the direction of Discovery Park. We needed to have some private time of our own to work out some shit, and I knew she loved the outdoors.
We stopped a nearby greasy spoon to pick up lunch. I waited patiently while Bella went to the bathroom. A few fuckers had already looked at her ass, and my anger management techniques were not working. Mine!
Once we got to the park, I spread a blanket out under a secluded tree and unpacked everything. My babydoll was ravenous and began eating her onion rings almost immediately. I smiled and prepared her burger the way she liked it.
“Thanks for this, Edward. It’s a nice day for a picnic. Esme texted me about an hour ago—they have the boys out in the pool.”
I chuckled. “Good, that ought to tire DC's little hyper butt out.”
My babydoll blushed prettily, her tongue peeking out of mouth. “Why are you being so nice to me?” she asked.
I sighed. “You weren’t just my lover and wife, babydoll, you were also my best friend. I miss you. I’m tired of the arguments and sniping. The thing you said at DC’s birthday party about love and honor…you were talking about Philip Dwyer and your mom, right?”
She tensed up. “How did you know?”
“Marcus told me, but he said I should get the whole story from you.”
“Um, Mr. Dwyer contacted me through Angela. I don’t want to talk about it.”
I scooted closer to Bella and maneuvered us so her back against my chest. She was reluctant in the beginning but soon relaxed in my embrace. I lowered my hand and softly rubbed her small bump, hoping my touch gave them all some peace.
“Let it out, Bella,” I said encouraginly, kissing her neck.
She sniffled and put her hand over mine. “He and my mom were having an affair. She chose Dad and me over him, but he…he got mad. He said the night she died, she had been going to meet him. He’d threatened to tell Charlie everything if she didn’t show up.”
“Marcus said Dwyer wants to see you—some kind of absolution bullshit,” I muttered angrily. I would fuck him up if he planned to hurt Bella.
Despite the heat and leather jacket keeping her warm, Bella began to shiver. “I always imagined my parents on a beach together for eternity. I’ve been so naive! They were my model for true love, Edward. No wonder I couldn’t make our marriage work—my whole ideal of love and devotion just doesn’t exist.”
I wiped her eyes, cradling her in my arms. “You didn’t mess up our marriage, babydoll. I have demons, demons I should have fought before I met you. If it wasn’t for your love, I’d probably be a fucking corpse. Dante and these little babydolls,” I said, patting her stomach, “wouldn’t exist. Whatever happened between your parents.... their love created you and you are very special. Te amo.”
“Charlie and Jasper knew,” she whimpered. “Phil tried to see me when I turned sixteen, but Dad threatened him. Jasper keyed Phil’s truck. They never told me anything. I deserved to know the truth!”
I turned her around, my cock waking up when she straddled me. “Your father loved you with his whole heart. Jasper loves you, too. You lost your mom at a young age—any more heartache might have done irreversible damage.”
“I wish I had more memories of her,” Bella said wistfully. “Phil says he has photos of mom and I at the park. They used to meet there, because he coached boys soccer.”
“If you do decide to see Dwyer, I will be with you. The Volturi are checking his records to make sure it’s safe. There’s no pressure, babydoll,” I assured her.
“Now,” I said authoritatively, “we need to discuss Atwood. No one in the family trusts the fucker, and our instincts are usually right. I don’t want you alone with him.”
She pouted. “He’s my friend.”
I scoffed. “So he says. Look what happened to Bree. There are a lot of people who would hurt you and our children just to get to the Family. If we don’t stay loyal to each other, it’ll all come crumbling down and bury us in the ashes. This isn’t just me acting out of jealousy. I need to keep you safe at all costs.”
“Well,” she said, biting on her lower lip. “He’s been saying he needs to go to London. I can suggest Angela and I handle the rest of the book tour, okay? I’m just really confused about my feelings towards him. I don’t have experience with any man but you.”
I gripped her hips, bringing her even closer. “I want it to stay that way. I know I sound like a fucking hypocrite after my fucking mess, but you’re different. I don’t… I can’t keep you on a leash, not that I really want to, but don’t just sleep with him because you’re mad at me.”
“It was just a kiss, Edward,” she whispered.
I lifted her chin. “But you want more…with him?”
“It’s complicated,” she confessed honestly. “I just like spending time with Giles, but I can’t shake the deep feelings I have for you. I just know I don’t really want to have sex with him.”
I groaned. “You don’t know how fucking happy that makes me, babydoll.”
“We might still get divorced, Edward. I can’t say for sure I will ever fully trust you again or be able to remain in this marriage. But, I will work harder at being your friend instead of a raving bitch. I’ve been horrible, and I’m sorry.”
I digested her words, sending a silent prayer to any god that would listen to let me keep my wife. “I deserved it, Bella.”
She stroked my jaw quietly. We were so close I could see the gold flecks in her eyes. I could tell she was fucking horny, but I wasn’t going to take the lead. Although I really wanted to get laid, I felt it was more important for us to take it slow.
“You look different with a beard.”
“Older…maybe more macho. I bet the soft hairs would feel good between my thighs,” she whispered, rolling her hips.
“Fuck, babydoll! We’re in a public park with children around. You’re gonna make me bust a nut in my goddamned pants.”
She giggled loudly. “Shut up and kiss me.”
I pushed her head away. “Uh-uh, not until you do something about that onion breath.”
“I’m so going to make you for pay for that,” she squealed, attacking me with her lips.
Before long I was on top of her, my leg between her thighs. She threaded her fingers through my hair while I kissed her passionately. My tongue was everywhere, erasing the memory of Atwood. My angel moaned and lowered her hands to my ass.
I was just about to take off Bella’s tee when a throat cleared behind us. “Uh, excuse me, ma’am, sir, our grand kids are right over there. Maybe you two can try to keep it G-rated.”
I sat up and glared at the elderly man. He looked slightly afraid, so I softened my features. Bella started in on one of her nervous laughing fits which rendered her useless. She could barely manage to fix her shirt and button her shorts.
“Sorry, sir. We just got carried away.”
The older man smiled. “I hated to interrupt, but you know kids are very impressionable. And the wife made me come over.”
After discarding our trash and folding the blankets, I carried Miss Giggles to the parking lot. She laughed so much and so hard she immediately had to use the bathroom again. I felt fantastic, because my babydoll still loved me.
“This place is gorgeous. I never want to leave,” Angela exclaimed, taking in the view from the Hollywood Hills mansion.
I smiled indulgently at her exuberance. “It’s Marcus’. He actually won it in an underground poker game back when it was a mess. Mom and Di did all the interiors and supervised repairs.”
Ben wrapped his arm around his wife’s waist. “I expected to be in a hotel, but this is much better. Thanks for letting us stay here.”
I shook his offered hand. “It’s really no problem. The place is big enough to house a small town.”
“I’m kind of glad we didn’t bring Dante. This mansion is definitely not baby proof,” Bella chimed in, entering the room.
I smirked. “You couldn’t have gotten him out of Seattle anyway. Di, Esme, and Chara would have thrown a fit.”
We had a late dinner with Ben and Angela before going to our bedroom. Bella’s book signing was in two days, and it was going to be a packed event. Fortunately, Alice had picked out all of our outfits. Bella and I would also make an appearance at a fancy event with some local Mafioso while we were in Los Angeles.
Behind closed doors, my little vixen came out. She fondled, licked, and gyrated against me, but I refused to give her what she wanted which only made her worse. I hadn’t touched Bella since the day in the park, and we were both suffering.
“Why won’t you fuck me!” she yelled in frustration, her hands flailing wildly.
I raised her hand and kissed the palm. “I want to take you somewhere tonight. Wear that slinky blue dress. You don’t need underwear.”
An hour later, we pulled into an underground parking garage in West Hollywood. Bella hadn’t asked any questions, but I could see the curiosity in her eyes. I jogged to her side, opening the door of the gold Maserati I’d chosen to drive for the night. My babydoll eagerly took my hand, staying close as we went up a set of stairs.
“SURRENDER?” she asked, reading the neon sign above the black double doors.
I grinned. “It’s our newest club. I actually bought it in January, but it hasn’t opened to the public yet.”
“Oh, um, what kind of club is it?”
I led her inside, watching her face as she studied the décor. The downstairs had a full bar and buffet area. Unlike HADES there was no dance floor, but there were beds, couches, and cages throughout the space.
“It’s going to be a swinger and fetish club. This is the public area, and there are special suites and areas upstairs. There are even locker rooms where patrons can shower and change. We’re gonna make a fucking mint, babydoll. What do you think?”
She looked around. “A sex club?”
“Yeah, a consenting adult sex club. There are lots in WeHo, but none quite like SURRENDER.”
Bella looked a little nervous. “Why are we here?”
“Babydoll,” I said, pulling her into my arms. “I thought it would be fun for us to christen the place before opening. I would never bring you back here after it opens, but right now it’s brand new. I had the rooms set up with things you like. There are lubes, oils, toys, and shit. You can play by yourself or include me—I really hope you include me.”
At first I thought she wanted to leave, but then she smiled like a Cheshire cat. “Are there paddles?”
I cupped her ass, kneading the cheeks. “Hell yeah and other erotic discipline toys, too. I fucking know what you like.”
“Costumes? Can we dress up?”
“You are trying to kill my sorry ass, aren’t you?”
She giggled. “I just want to know my options.”
“Are you already wet?” I asked, nibbling on her earlobe.
“If we… If I… I just want to make sure you’re okay with using condoms. It would make me feel better, Edward.”
I fucking hated that she didn’t trust me, but I understood. “Of course, babydoll. This is a safe zone. If you don’t want something, say it. I’m not gonna force you to do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable.”
My babydoll raised her arms. “Why are we still talking then? Take off my dress, and get down on your knees.”
I may not have obeyed the law, but I certainly obeyed my gorgeous wife. Bella was a mother, but she was also still a young woman exploring her sexuality. While in SURRENDER, I vowed to show her a good time and help her relieve some stress.
Lemon cliffie! Review and we can continue this in Bella's chapter. Don't review and poor baby Dante will think you don't like him. Don't be a meanie. Huggles.