Warning: Anything Twilight is SM's. No copyright infringement intended. TSS works are mine and Rated Mature. Story may contain some graphic content.
Outtake 4: Oh Karma…
~20.5 years later
"Harper, you can't be serious? There is no way you weigh more than Will now." I admonished my sister.
"I swear, Ellie! With all the water weight and the ice cream I am never going to lose the baby weight!"
Oh yes, Harper my sister, my usually calm sister, was freaking out because she had put on some weight now that she was almost nine months pregnant. The same sister who was rail thin and ran cross country in college and still runs marathons with my mother.
Yup, that sister. The "Beauty of Washington" as my family all teased her to be ever since Will let it slip that his friends all called her that.
Since when am I the one calming people down?
"Harps, really, let's be serious here. It's all in your stomach. And I have seen the way Will looks at you. You could be as big as a house, and he will love you no matter what."
"I am as big as a house." She grumbled.
"Just trust me. Do you have everything set? Is Grandpa freaking out yet?" I snickered into the phone. My father was probably beside himself. He couldn't stand the thought of us dating, let alone having sex, getting married and having babies.
"Oh you have no idea." She sighed on the other end of the line. "He's like a mother hen. We used to only see Mom and Dad once a week. I swear he has stopped by every day after work. He's driving me crazy!"
I chuckled. That sounded like Dad all right.
"Well, you realize you were not only the first one to get married, but also the first one to have a grandchild. The first Cullen grandbaby is a pretty big deal."
"Hmpf. I know, I know." She sighed. "I'd better go. Will should be home soon. What time is your plane landing?"
"I will be there at 4:00. Your surgery is at 9:00 A.M. on Monday, right?"
"Yes. Ok, I will see you tomorrow."
"Bye Harps. Love ya."
"Love you too, Ellie."
I clicked off the line as I packed my suitcase for my flight home tomorrow. I had my last summer final in the morning and then I would be off to Seattle. I hoped to meet up with some friends from home and go out on Saturday night, so I threw a few more scandalous items into my suitcase. They were helping me celebrate my birthday a few days early since it was only a little over a week away.
I was so excited to meet my niece or nephew. I knew Harper would be a great mother. She's so much like our Mom. But I definitely wasn't ready to settle down; most certainly not. Harper was young when she got married, but she and Will were perfect for each other. It was almost sickening at times.
But marriage and all that is definitely not for me. I want to travel and work and see the world like my cousin, Bree. Every so often I take the train up to New York and visit her. I thought about the night I went out to a club with her in New York a couple of months ago.
Oh yes, that was good night.
I met a guy who was one of the photographers Bree worked with. He still texts me from time to time, but it was only a fling. He was cute, we had fun, and that was it. I didn't really feel anything other than lust. I figured I was young and had lots of time ahead of me. Bree's the same way.
She's coming home for the baby too…I should text her and see if she wants to go out with us.
I finished packing as I thought about my cousins and my pseudo cousins. We were all so close in age that no one could really tell who was actually the same age. We all hung out together. Makenna was going out with my friends and I on Saturday as well. She just finished medical school and only had a couple of more weeks until she started her residency. I shut off my lights and hopped into bed ready to go home the next day.
I stepped off the airplane and instantly looked for a messy mop of silvering bronze hair. I spotted it and next to it, my mother's mahogany waves wrapped around her big sunglasses.
Cripes she looks more and more like Jacki-O every day.
She had on a navy and white boat neck shirt and capris and looked much younger than her fifty-seven years. My father looked as distinguished as ever in a crisp white shirt, and it was easy to spot them. The crowd moved around them, and I noticed several sideways glances. They didn't even notice anymore.
Yes, it's the Senator and his wife. Move along.
The press was something I got used to as a kid, and I didn't really mind it that much. I know my Dad hated it when they got close to our family. My Mom didn't like it but tolerated it. Of all of us kids, Rogan and I probably actually enjoyed it a bit. We liked to mess with the reporters and get our pictures taken. I figured it was part of the deal, so I might as well accept it and have some fun.
I chuckled as my parents stood there still not seeing me. Even though they could have had the new family driver come and collect me, my parents insisted on picking me up every time I came home. Finally my Mom spotted me and pushed her glasses into her hair and ran over.
"Ellie!" She wrapped her arms around me, and even though I was a good five inches taller than her, having my Dad's height, she still pulled me in for a fierce hug.
"Oh it's good to have you home, baby. How was your flight?"
"Baby? Mom really, I am twenty-three almost twenty-four years old."
"Oh you shush smart mouth; you will always be my baby." She lightly slapped my arm, and I laughed at her. If there was one thing I learned growing up, you didn't argue with my mother. Not even me, the feisty one of the family.
"Hey Ell." My Dad gave me a warm embrace, and it was instantly calming. My father and I were never as close as he and Harper. To say I almost drove him to insanity during my teenage years was an understatement. Harper was an easy teenager and EJ was a boy so he was easier anyhow. Then I came along and…well, needless to say, getting caught at the age of fourteen making out in the back of your parent's car, one of whom happened to be a Senator at the time was not exactly the highlight of my father's life. I think he would have liked to have locked me in a closet as a teenager. I'm just glad I never got caught doing anything worse or that he ever found out about the majority of my escapades.
But as I got older and more mature, I began to realize that my overprotective father was just coming from a place of love. He cared about all of us so much, and I was grateful to have such a wonderful family. I knew we were unique. We weren't without our faults by any means, but my parents loved each other and loved all of us and were sure to let us know it, even when we disappointed them.
We made our way out of the airport, Dad tossed my bags into his new Bentley, and I climbed in the back. My parents were never flashy with things when we were growing up, but now that we had all left home they began to indulge a bit more. Dad bought his Bentley shortly after Rogan left for college and earlier this summer they bought a large boat to take out on the Sound.
Hopefully we will be going out on it tomorrow.
"So, did you make plans for the weekend?" Mom asked, turning around in her seat.
I saw my father's eyebrows raise, and I almost started laughing. Now that I was a grown woman he was much better about biting his tongue.
"Yes actually, I thought I would spend the day with you and then I am meeting some friends tomorrow night."
"Good, we can go out on the boat and celebrate your birthday since you will be in D.C. for the actual day." My Mom smiled, and I could see her planning something in her head. Dad was frowning, and she gave him a look and put her hand on his leg.
I looked away and watched as the skyline of Seattle became bigger in the window.
We pulled into the Estate, and I was immediately met with our dog Jackson. After Buddy, my parents decided to keep getting Huskies and naming them after Democratic Presidents. We had one between Buddy and Jackson named Kennedy, ironically, and now Jackson was almost four.
I walked into the house relishing in the feel of being home. I loved D.C., but there was something about coming back to the Estate that always made me smile. Dad took my bags to my old room as I saddled up at the breakfast bar with my Mom and a Jameson. Eventually Dad joined us, and we sat and chatted until we were to meet Harper, Will and EJ for dinner. Rogan was planning to meet us later since he was home for the summer but was working at Cullen Enterprises.
After he told my parents that he had been accepted to design school, they were more supportive than I originally thought they would be. But they insisted that he had to finish out his business degree so that he would be able to run his own store or line sometime down the road. He ended up transferring from Berkeley to UCLA and was hoping to finish early and then attend design school in LA. The kid is smart as a whip though, and business savvy already. I knew with my Aunt Alice's guidance he would do just fine. But I understood my parent's reasoning.
We went to dinner with my siblings and Will and laughed and told stories from our childhood. It was great to be home again especially since it was the first time I had been back since my spring break. I only had one more semester for my Master's Degree, and I knew I needed to start looking for jobs in the fall. Of course being a Cullen, I didn't think it would be too difficult, but I also wanted to get hired on merit and not simply because of my name.
Throughout dinner we laughed at my Dad who jumped every time Harper shifted uncomfortably or grimaced. Between him and Will they could have been a comedy act, and Mom just rolled her eyes while the rest of us snickered at them. I think Harper was ready to kill them both by the time we left. She was having a C-Section on Monday because the baby was breeched, and they didn't want to risk turning it. They had measured the baby at being quite big. My brothers joked with her that she was definitely having a boy since they were both over nine pounds, whereas she was only eight and I was only seven when we were born.
Once I was home I texted Bree and Makenna and my friends Taylor and Ashley about going out tomorrow night and then drifted off to sleep.
I awoke on Saturday to an unusually bright and sunny day in Seattle. I packed a bag to stay at Makenna's that night, and my entire family made our way to the waterfront to board the new boat.
We spent the day on my parent's new boat. It took the convincing of all of us kids, my Mom and Aunt Rosalie to get my Dad to let Harper come out with us.
We spent the day sailing close to the shoreline just in case anything happened. But the boat was so large we could all walk around easily, and Harper was able to lie in the state of the art air-conditioned cabin. It was no different than being home.
After Bree, Makenna and I were good and buzzed up on our margaritas from the boat, we decided to take a cab to Makenna's apartment in downtown Seattle. She had gone away to Johns Hopkins School of Medicine but had returned to Seattle a few weeks ago before she would start her residency at the same hospital Kate worked.
We laughed and joked and continued drinking as we danced around her apartment. Eventually Taylor and Ashley joined us.
"Oh my God Ellie, that dress is absolutely sinful!" Taylor exclaimed and I actually giggled.
Seriously, did I really just giggle? I don't freaking giggle.
"I know. It's a good thing my Dad won't see me leaving the house tonight." I laughed as I looked down at the very short black and purple bandage dress I was wearing. I had let my brown and auburn hair down and put on some smokey eyeshadow and some high black patent pumps.
"Meh. What he doesn't know won't hurt him." Ashley said and I smirked.
Yeah Dad would pretty much shit himself if he saw me in this.
"Seriously Ell, you should take some demo shots. I bet you could get some great work as a model." Bree stated as she put on her lip gloss.
"Nah. I have no interest in modeling. Unless it would be to meet the male models." I wiggled my eyebrows at her and she snorted.
"Honey, most of them are gay. It's the photographers you want."
"Don't I know it." I smiled wryly and sipped my drink, and she just laughed at me.
We made our way to the new club downtown, and of course with Bree's fame status we were instantly led to the VIP area. It probably didn't hurt that we were a fine-looking bunch. I knew I looked okay, but I was nothing compared to the rest of them. Bree was of course a model and looked just like Aunt Rose. Makenna had her mother's bright blonde hair and piercing blue eyes. She was cute and petite and guys just flocked to her. Ashley was a stunning 6'0 tall red head who I grew up with in Seattle and played volleyball with at Stanford. Then my friend Taylor was a lithe dancer with black hair and olive skin. She had a mysterious look about her. I was just me, but I was okay with that. I had my Mom's hair and eyes with a tint of my Dad's bronze to it that made it look a little more auburn. But I had my Mom's translucent skin, which was great because I never had blemishes, but in the summer time I looked like a ghost.
We ordered a bottle of Jameson and sipped our drinks when I decided I wanted to go to the bar and do a shot. I grabbed Makenna, and we made our way over to line up a couple of shots of Jameson. Makenna instantly started chatting up a guy to her left when I felt a tingly sensation all over my body. I was buzzing pretty well from the alcohol and from being on the boat all day. I felt someone step up next to me and I slowly turned.
I was instantly entranced. The man before me was gorgeous. I tipped my head up and I was met with the most beautiful aquamarine eyes and sandy blonde hair, with subtle traces of strawberry to it. He had full lips and a rugged jaw with just a little bit of stubble on it. His hair was wavy and messy, but in an "I just want to put my hands in it as you make me…"
Wait did he just say something?
"Now what's a beautiful lass like you doin' standin' up here by yer self?"
Holy shit he's Irish! Oh my God his hotness factor just increased exponentially!
That voice, those lips, that jaw, that hair….between my legs….
Thank God I don't have Harper's blush.
I looked at him coyly under my lashes and straightened my back. I saw his eyes travel down my body and widen as he settled on my legs.
Thank you Mom, for your wonderful legs and for getting me interested in volleyball because the benefits have surely worked in my favor over my life.
Shit, why am I thinking about my mother right now? Focus!
"Well, I'm not by myself. I'm talking to you." I smiled.
"True." He said and flashed me a brilliant smile and flipped his hair out of his face.
Can I touch it? I really want to touch?
Jesus Ellie. Focus, it's just hair for crying out loud!
Oh but it's such glorious hair…
"Actually, I am here with some friends." I smiled and tried to compose myself, even though my body was tingling all over, and I had only spoken ten words to this man.
"Me too. Or at least I was." His brow furrowed. "I think they went out on the dance floor." He shrugged almost shyly.
"You look like ye' could use a darink, I'll getcha one." He nodded to my glass then.
I almost melted at his voice. We were slowly moving closer together, and I realized I had no clue where Makenna went or anyone else for that matter. Frankly, I didn't care.
"Actually, I am just ordering a few shots. Would you like one?" I raised my glass to flag the bartender.
"That depends; what er' ye drinkin'?"
"I like sour." I whispered and then added. "Salty and sour."
And blonde and rugged and Irish and…
His eyes flashed with surprise, and I chuckled and raised my eyebrows at him.
Then I did something I probably didn't need to do. But somehow between the liquor, the boat ride, and my amped up libido from Mr. Ireland himself, it made me even braver than usual.
I stepped up to the bar and leaned over to grab two limes from the glass on the other side making it even more obvious how short my dress was, and I could feel his eyes burning into me.
I stepped back down and handed him a lime and he just shook his head.
"What?" I asked him with a smirk.
"You. Yer' very confident. I like that." He laughed, but the aquamarines looked like they were deepening into pure turquoise pools.
"Really? Well, you are very handsome. I like that." I smiled as I grabbed the shot glass and raised it to him.
"Jameson, eh?" He asked with a smirk.
"Of course. My whole family drinks it, I grew up on it." And stole it out of the liquor cabinet more times than I can count.
"Good choice." He leaned in and whispered, and I shivered as we downed our shots. I pulled the lime into my mouth and he just laughed as he tossed his in his glass.
"I think we could use a water now, eh?" He said and grabbed two from the bartender. He was probably right, I was overly sexed up and well on my way to being smashed. I needed to slow down. Especially if I wanted to remember any of this night, and I was certain I wanted to remember all of it; I didn't want to be wasted.
"Do you want to dance?" He asked then.
I frowned. I was coordinated for volleyball, but I was not the best dancer. "Not at the moment. But I have a table. You can join me if you want." I gestured to the back as I sipped my water.
"Lead the way." I walked back toward the table and his hand brushed my arm and electricity instantly shot through my body.
What the hell was that?
I sat down and crossed my legs as I mixed us each a drink and handed him one. None of the girls were at the table so I assumed they were either dancing or meeting up with their own men for the night.
I turned to look at him now that we were in different light and I was struck by how stunning he was. I knew he was tall, because he was taller than my 5'9 frame in heels and he had broad shoulders. But he was also quite put together in a pinstriped blazer with a white shirt underneath and the sleeves rolled up. I peered more closely at his face, and I realized he was probably a bit older than me. I would guess five years, but I didn't care, I wanted to get to know him anyway.
Get to know him? What the hell? You live in D.C., he lives in Seattle idiot.
"So Ms. Salty and Sour, what's yer' real name." He asked me and now that we were at the table almost gave me a sly smile.
He's so cute.
Cute? What the fuck Ellie? He's the hottest guy you have ever seen! He's way more than cute!
I didn't want to tell him my real name, simply because of my family. That and I was going back to D.C. in a few days so it wasn't like I would see him again anyway.
"Elle. Elle Cu-Caldwell." I covered.
"Well Elle, it's a pleasure to meet ye'…officially." He lowered his voice but then offered his hand. "I'm Nate. Nate Kavanagh."
I shook it and sparks instantly ran across my skin.
"So Mr. Kavanagh, are you really from Ireland or do you just use that voice for the ladies?" I asked as I sipped my drink slowly.
He chuckled. "I'm really from Ireland." And I almost sighed as "eyer-lend" rolled off his tongue. "But I just moved here..." His brow furrowed again.
"Why did you choose Seattle?"
He thought for a moment. "Startin' over let's say." He smiled but I could see a pained expression on his face. I almost wanted to comfort him.
Comfort him? What?
I shook my head.
Change the subject. He obviously doesn't want to talk about this.
"Well, I live in D.C., I am just visiting." Even though my family like owns this town, but I'm not going to tell you that.
"I see, and what brought you to Seattle."
"Er…family event." I shrugged.
He took it as a sign that I didn't want to talk about it and instead began to ask me about D.C. Apparently he had never been there and I was more than happy to share my knowledge about the capital city. We were slowly moving closer to each other on the couch as he mixed us another drink. My friends were long lost, but I didn't mind. I was enjoying chatting with Nate and getting to know him.
It turned out he was originally from Ireland but went to medical school at Harvard. I knew he was older than me, but I really didn't care.
"So Elle, how old are you anyway?" I could tell he was a bit nervous in asking me.
I blew out a breath and smiled at him sheepishly. I could embellish a little bit right.
"Twenty-six and you."
That wasn't that bad. Wait, but that's nine years older than my actual age.
"So how long have you been a doctor?" I asked.
"I went to medical school er'ly, and finished me residency when I was twenty-eight. Been an attendin' fer about four years."
"Where were you at before?"
"We…I mean, I was in Boston." He smiled and asked if I wanted another drink.
We continued chatting and drinking and I found that we had a lot in common. He loved hiking and sports and volunteering at a local women's clinic on the weekends. He even followed politics and was surprisingly a Democrat since he became a U.S. Citizen as a student. I didn't tell him that I was the Senator's daughter. But he was passionate about several of the issues I grew up around and helped with at the foundation.
I had a fleeting thought that he might know my parents, Aunt Rose or Gremme, but I let it pass.
We talked about Ireland, and I told him about all the great places he needed to visit in Seattle. And every time he lightly touched me or his hand grazed my thigh, my body tingled everywhere. By the time Bree made her way back to the table, I was practically sitting on his lap. I was finally bold enough to suggest dancing and Bree shot me a look like "way to go", and I just shrugged at her.
We made our way to the dance floor and he pulled me into his arms as we swayed back and forth to Rhianna. He was a great dancer, which made it easier for me because I didn't have to think about being awkward.
I felt perfectly at ease and at the same time coursing with desire as we moved our bodies to the music. He slid his hands lightly down my side, never too touchy feely or dirty like a lot of guys did at clubs. It was almost reverently, and the thought made me shudder and close my eyes as I felt his hands on me.
I didn't know how long we were out on the dance floor, but by the time I looked back up at him his eyes were burning with an intensity I was sure could only be matched by mine. We were molded to each other, like our bodies fit perfectly in correspondence and he leaned down and gently grazed the juncture of my neck with his nose. I shivered as I could feel his hot breath on me and wrapped my arms tighter around his neck.
I could almost feel the electricity pulsing between us and my breathing picked up as my heart took off after it.
I had never felt like this in my life. What the hell is going on? I had never wanted someone so much in my life.
Before I could question it any further. He leaned back down and whispered into my ear.
"Do you want to join me for a nightcap?"
"Yes…" I breathed.
He smiled into my neck and then grabbed my hand and pulled me from the dance floor. We hurried back to the VIP area, and I noticed my friends sitting with a bunch of guys chatting and drinking. Makenna gave me a knowing look as I grabbed my purse and muttered something about coming to her place in the morning. I still had to grab my bag and Bree or Makenna would have to give me a ride home since my car was in D.C.
We shuffled outside as Nate grabbed my hand and pulled me off to the side of the building.
"I can't wait any longer to do this" He breathed. And before I knew it he put both of his hands on my face and crushed his lips to mine.
An explosion of fireworks set off in my belly, and I moaned at the intensity of the contact. My lips were burning but burning with passion and want and need. He pressed his lips to me harder and before I knew it my back was against a cool brick wall and my hands were in his hair gripping on for dear life. He ran his tongue over my lower lip and I opened, willingly and wantonly. I was so eager to taste him, and he didn't disappoint. He tasted like Jameson and lime and purely divine man. I moaned again and without meaning to thrust my hips into him. He responded with a growl that was so sexy he could have taken me against the wall and I wouldn't have even noticed that we were still on the street.
Abruptly he pulled away and I gasped to catch my breath. He leaned down and gave me another quick peck on the lips.
"God, that was intense." He said with his hands still on my face and I couldn't even think of how to reply.
What the hell? I am never at a loss for words.
I just nodded and he was taking deep breaths to calm down.
"As great as it 'twas. I don't want to stand on this sidewalk. It's not appro'priate." He smiled.
Ever the Irish gentlemen.
"Okay." I said breathlessly and dropped my hands from his hair and willed my body to settle down. Although I couldn't; I felt like I had been electrocuted or something.
"Let's grab a cab." He said thickly.
I nodded, and he took my hand and led me to one of the awaiting cabs outside of the club. We huddled in the back and kissed and talked quietly. For as much as I wanted him, I was also completely at ease with him and simply loved talking to him and hearing his Irish brogue. It was sweet and innocent and at the same time a complete turn on.
Finally, the cab pulled up and I realized we were in the same neighborhood my Aunt Rosalie and Uncle Emmett lived in. I stepped out to see a curved driveway and a large Spanish style home.
This is where he lives? Holy shit. Well, he is a doctor.
He grabbed my hand and led me inside. I was immediately struck with how beautiful the home was. It was light and airy. The walls were white and cream with white couches and light blue and green accents. It looked like it belonged in a magazine.
"Would you like a drink?" He whispered in my ear as I was taking in the beautiful home.
"That would be great." I smiled, and he led me to the kitchen.
He poured us each a Jameson; and I couldn't help but smile at the thought.
"You have a beautiful home." I said.
"It's much better with you here." He breathed and walked around the island until he was right next to me.
He pushed my hair off my shoulder and placed a kiss on my neck and I shuddered.
"Elle, you are seriously the most beautiful woman I have ever seen." I whimpered, and he wrapped his arms around me as I melted into him. Somewhere deep down I knew he wasn't just saying that to get in my pants. He meant it, and on some level I couldn't believe it and it made me burn with passion for him.
"Just kiss me." I responded as I spun around. He crashed his lips to mine once again, and I was lost in the sensations. He lifted me up on the island, and I moaned as he pressed against me.
Suddenly he pulled back and put his forehead to mine.
"I don't…" He was breathless. "I don't do this…I mean…bring people home." He said.
I could understand what he was saying, and I wanted him so much I was aching painfully with need. "I know." I responded and immediately pressed my lips to his.
My body was coursing with so much emotion; I had to work to focus on the gorgeous man right in front of me.
But as my lips moved against his and he lifted me up as I wrapped my legs around him and we ascended the stairs to his bedroom, I had never felt so…at home in my life.
I woke up with strong arms around me and surrounded in the most heavenly sheets. It smelled like clean linen and vanilla and I had to blink a few times to realize where I was.
Light was streaming through the window and the room was warm and bright.
Shit it must be late. Where am I?
Last night's events came flooding back to me and I instantly smiled. Nate's arms wrapped around me tighter and I felt warm and content.
Suddenly, I felt light kisses along my collarbone and I sighed into it. I turned around to be met with two deep aquamarine pools and the most beautiful, disheveled hair.
God that hair.
"Good morning." I whispered.
"Mmmm. 'Tis a good morning, isn't it?"
I hummed into his kiss and he pulled me tighter.
"What time is it?" I finally asked.
"Really? Crap!" I squirmed out of his arms and took off for the bathroom with my dress and undergarments in hand. We had stayed up very late the night before and now I was going to be late for brunch.
My parents always had brunch on Sunday morning and everyone attended. I knew if I wasn't there they would be suspicious.
I quickly dressed and checked my reflection. Oh, I looked like I had a good night all right.
I quickly washed my face clean and used some of the toothpaste in the large, beautiful bathroom. My eyes settled on the tub and my pulse quickened.
I would love to use that tub with Nate.
What the hell? You aren't coming back here.
I finished up and I stepped back out to notice Nate was putting on some jeans and a white t-shirt. He looked delectable; the perfect muscles of his chest were visible through the shirt and my body responded in kind.
"Do you need a ride?" He asked tentatively.
I nodded. "If that's not too much trouble? I am sorry for leaving like this, but I have to go to my pa…to that family event I was telling you about."
He smiled and walked over with a t-shirt in his hands. "Here. You might need this…as great as that dress looks." He said as he kissed me on the cheek and walked to use the restroom.
I smiled and slipped the t-shirt over my head. I quickly texted Makenna to let her know I was coming over there. I surely couldn't have him drop me off at the Estate.
I let my mind go back to the events of last night while he was in the bathroom. I had never felt so…comfortable, and yet alive with someone. Even after we were intimate we stayed up talking about anything and everything until the wee hours of the morning, only to become intimate once more. I was starting to feel bad that I didn't give him my real last name. But I wouldn't see him again. I lived in D.C., and I had to finish school and I was planning to stay there to work for the State Department or the Party in some fashion.
I shook my head.
No. This can't go anywhere.
Why am I even thinking these things? I don't want to settle down. I am too young for that.
Settle down? Seriously Ellie, you must just be crazy in your post-coital haze.
I admonished myself and pulled my hair in a ponytail. Nate stepped out of the bathroom, grabbed my hand and led me downstairs.
"Do you want some coffee or anything?"
"No, I'm good. I really need to be going." I smiled.
"Okay. But before you go…" He opened a drawer and pulled out a pad of paper and scribbled something down.
"Here." I looked at it and his phone number was on the paper. I smiled and grabbed it from him and jotted mine down.
Maybe we could hook up when I am back in Seattle. I could do friends with benefits right?
I tried to ignore the pain that shot through my body at that thought and quickly handed mine to him.
He smiled and set it on the counter and stepped around to wrap his arms around me. He smelled so good of his clean linen scent and toothpaste and man.
"I had a really good time last night…and I would like to see ye' again…if yer' ever back in Seattle." He leaned down and kissed my neck and my breath hitched.
I took a deep breath and ran my fingers along his beautiful high cheekbones.
"Me too, and I will be in touch if I am back in Seattle." He smiled and before I could say another word his lips met mine in a tender kiss. I was once again lost to the feeling of his arms around me and his lips moving against mine. There was so much emotion behind it that I had to struggle to focus on the present.
Finally, I pulled away and we made our way to his garage. We climbed in his Mercedes and sped down the road, ironically right past my Aunt and Uncle's home, toward downtown.
He dropped me at Makenna's with one more searing kiss good-bye, and I felt like I was in a fog. I somehow found my way to her apartment and she opened the door with a cheesy smile on her face.
"Looks like you had a good night." She raised her eyebrows.
"Enough. Is Bree here? I need to shower fast so I can make it to brunch."
"She's waiting for you."
I walked into the apartment and quickly showered and changed into jeans and a tee. Makenna made me promise to call her with details later, and I just nodded to placate her. Bree and I jumped in her car and sped off for the Estate.
"So?" She looked at me out of the corner of her eye as she broke every speed limit possible trying to get us to brunch on time.
"What?" I shrugged. "It was just one night."
"It didn't look like just one night." She said as she looked at me.
"It doesn't matter. He's here. I'm in D.C. I'm staying in D.C. End of story."
"There are no buts." I snapped.
"Whatever Ellie, I saw how you were looking at him. You have never looked at anyone like that. And the way he was looking at you. It was more than just attraction." She shook her head at me.
"Whatever." I muttered.
"His friends said they had never seen him like that. Even with his wife."
"He's married?" I shrieked at her just as we pulled into the Estate. "Why didn't you tell me that? I never would have gone home with him!" I was instantly pissed, and I jumped out of the car to stalk inside. I was staving off tears as I opened the door.
What the hell? I never cry. Ever.
"Ellie, wait no! It's not what you think."
"Whatever Bree, I'm going inside; I don't want to be late."
Fuck! He's married. That asshole. How could he do that to his wife? I never, ever would have gone home with him. Hell, I never would have flirted with him if I knew he was married.
I greeted my parents and siblings with a grumble and sat down at the table for brunch. My parents shot me strange looks and EJ glanced at me as a means to ask "what's wrong." I just shook my head at him.
I can't believe I went home with a married man. God, I felt horrible.
I sat through brunch picking at my food as I thought through last night.
He didn't have a wedding ring on. He didn't say anything about another woman. Hell, I was at his house, and even though it was quite beautiful it was definitely masculine. I didn't notice signs of a woman anywhere.
I frowned as I pondered the situation. Finally brunch was over and I went up to my room.
I lay on my bed and put on my iPod as I stared at the ceiling and cried.
What the fuck is with the crying?
God. How could I be so stupid? I scrubbed my hands down my face and stewed when I heard a knock at the door.
"Ellie, it's me. Can I come in?" It was Bree on the other side, and I was sure she was going to make up and excuse for him. I just didn't want to hear it right now.
"I don't want to talk about it, Bree." I yelled.
"Ellie, it's not what you think. Let me in, please?"
"I'll call you later. I need to decompress right now."
I heard her sigh from the other side of the door and a few other voices outside. One was my mother's. Then I didn't hear anything in the hallway. Mom likely shuffled them all away. She always knew that when I was angry or upset I just needed to step away for a while. She was the same way, so I appreciated that she understood me.
I lay in bed for the next two hours thinking about the night before. Everything was so wonderful with him. But he was fucking married! I was angry and hurt and disappointed, and I couldn't decide where it was all coming from.
It was just one night, right?
Finally I drifted off to sleep and allowed my brain a few hours of serenity.
I woke up early on Monday morning to get ready to go to the hospital with my parents and Rogan. EJ was meeting us there since he had an apartment downtown and so were Bree and Gremme. Everyone else was going to wait until the baby was born to come and visit.
I had avoided my family for the most part all night last night. After I woke up from my nap I went down to our gym in the basement and worked out some much needed aggression and frustration for a few hours. I ran and ran and lifted weights to loud rock music in an effort to get Nate out of my head. At one point the rest of my family joined me, but I didn't even notice. I didn't say a word to anyone and they kept shooting me strange looks. They knew I wouldn't talk about it until I was ready. And frankly, I just wanted to forget about it, whatever connection we had was ruined the moment I found out he was married. Not to mention, I couldn't exactly tell my parents about that night. Dad would probably kill the guy.
I showered and changed for the hospital and hurried downstairs to find Mom in the kitchen sipping her coffee and reading the paper. I could tell she was excited but was trying to contain herself.
Dad walked in just then, and he was the opposite. He was a mess. He kept running his hands through his hair and alternating between pacing and sighing.
Finally I looked at my Mom and we both glanced at him and burst out laughing.
"What?" He grumbled.
"C'mon Gramps, we better get to the hospital." I snorted.
"Don't call me that." He shot back.
Looks like I'm not the only one on edge this morning.
Rogan came in just then, and we all piled in the car to make our way to the hospital.
We were almost two hours early, but my parents wanted to meet the doctor in the pre-op area, and I was sure Harper would like it for them to be there. As much as she complained about it, she was very close to Mom and Dad, especially Dad. I knew even in his frazzled state he would help calm her down.
We walked into the maternity ward and checked in at the nurse's station. We made our way down to the pre-op area and found Harper's room. She was already in her gown and in a bed holding Will's hand. She looked nervous.
My Dad kissed her on the head and then patted Will on the back. For all the posturing he did about Will, he truly liked him. I think they were a lot alike and he could appreciate how much he loved my sister.
Everyone was chatting, and I was still lost in a fog as I had been for the last day.
"Hey Mom, Dad, can you go see if Bree and Gremme are here, and Rogan can you find EJ? He might be lost in this hospital." Harper chuckled and turned to Will.
"Will can you get me some more water?" She handed her glass to Will and he nodded and kissed her head.
Finally she turned to me once everyone left.
"Ellie, what's going on? Did something happen on Saturday night because you have been really quiet?" She looked at me concerned. Ever the counselor, my sister.
"I don't really want to talk about it here." I sighed.
"Did you meet someone?" She inquired.
"Something like that."
"But it didn't work?"
Before I could respond I heard a voice just outside her pre-op area and I stopped in my tracks.
Holy fuck. No way. No, no. No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no.
My eyes went wide and Harper shot me a perplexed look.
Oh my God, this cannot be happening!
But then the curtain opened and in walked Mr. Irish Hotness himself.
I never blushed, but my cheeks instantly shot to a deep crimson and my ears were on fire.
"Well, Mrs. Montgomery are ye' ready to go?" He said as he closed the curtain and then stopped once he turned around.
There was an ominous awkward silence as the two of us stood there staring at each other.
Harper was glancing back and forth between us with her brow furrowed until she finally spoke.
"Um. Dr. Kavanagh, this is my sister. Ellie Cullen. Ellie this is my doctor." She gestured.
"Um. H-h-how do you do?" I quickly offered my hand and he shook it. Sparks shot up my arm just as they had on Saturday night, and I snapped it back.
"It's nice to meet ye'." He murmured. But his aquamarine eyes locked with mine, and I was once again pulled into his deep pools.
Oh I am so fucked.
Then I remembered he was married and anger shot to the surface.
"Do you two know each other?" Harper asked.
"So to speak." I snapped.
Just then my parents and Will walked back in, and I instantly stiffened. Nate's eyes went wide and I dropped my head.
Oh God. This is so not good. This is so, so not good.
"Dr. Kavanagh, it's so good to see you again." My Mom gave him a hug and my Dad shook his hand.
What the hell is going on?
"Wait, you know each other?" I asked then.
"Of course. Dr. Kavanagh volunteers at the clinic down on Eighth Street, and he's helped us start a new clinic on the south side. He's been a huge asset. How long have you been doing that now, Nolan?"
I raised my eyebrows at him this time, and he gave me a sheepish look.
"It's been about six months, Bella."
Wait they're on a first name basis too! What the fuck is going on?
My eyes couldn't have gotten any wider as both of my parents began talking with my sister's doctor, Nolan Kavanagh about the work he was doing with the foundation.
EJ had joined us by then, and I could see he and Harper repeatedly looking at me, and then looking at the doctor, and then at each other and back again. I felt like I was in the fucking twilight zone. My head was spinning and I just wanted to escape as fast as possible.
"Well, we're hoping our younger daughter will put her Master's Degree to good use when she gets done and comes back to Seattle too." My Mom gave me a smile then and the blank look on my face was one of utter astonishment.
Don't tell him how old I am, oh no, no, no, no, don't tell him how old I am.
"Really? Is that Ellie here." He drew out my name. "How old are all yer' kids?" He questioned then as he looked at me.
"Harper is twenty-nine as you know, EJ is twenty-five, Ellie is twenty-three and Rogan just turned twenty." My Mom said proudly.
His eyes went wide and I was sure I was another shade of crimson as I blurted out without even thinking. "I'll be twenty-four in a week."
"That's right, sorry Ellie." My Mom smiled but now my Dad was giving me a perplexed look.
God, I need to get out of here.
"Mom, we should probably let Na…err Dr. Kavanagh prep Harper for surgery." I said then.
"Of course." She sighed.
My family all gave Harper a hug, and for my parents it was a tearful good luck.
"You better tell me what the hell is going on?" She whispered to me as I bent down.
I sighed. "I will. You just focus on this; you are going to have a baby in a few hours."
"I know…" She took a deep breath, and I gave her a kiss on the cheek as we left and only Will remained with her.
I stepped out of the room to the corridor and saw my Mom talking with Bree and Gremme.
"What was all that talk about moving back to Seattle, Mom?" I asked her then.
"Oh honey, you know that I would love it if I had all my kids close."
"I know Mom. Don't count on it though." I muttered. Although for some reason the thought was actually appealing to me.
What the fuck is wrong with me this morning?
"Ellie, are you okay? I know you need time to work things over but you have been acting weird since you got back to the house yesterday." My Mom said as she peered at me.
"I'm fine Mom."
Suddenly a voice interrupted us and my eyes went wide again.
"Ellie, yer' sister wants to speak to ye'." Dr. Kavanagh said behind me, and I looked up to look right into Bree's eyes. Her bright blue eyes were as big as saucers. I just sighed and closed mine as I turned around.
"Really? What does she want?" I asked pointedly and I saw my mother shoot me a strange look out of the corner of my eye.
"She just needs to ask ye' somethin'." He said with his hands on his hips.
I exhaled and followed him back down the hallway out of sight and earshot of my family.
He began pacing, and I stood in the middle of the hallway with my arms folded over my chest.
"So?" I prompted him.
"You're twenty-three! Oh me God…Jesus, Mary and Joseph." He muttered as he put his head in his hands.
"Well, you're married!" I screeched. And I never screech ever. I yell. Wholeheartedly.
Like I yelled on Saturday night when he…
His head shot up, and he gave me an incredulous look.
"What are ye' talking 'bout?" He asked.
"Bree told me that all of your friends said you were married. Thanks a lot. I feel like a damn mistress. I never do things like that." I said pointedly.
"It's not true."
"What are you talking about? That you're not married?" My eyes were dancing back and forth across his face, and he turned to look directly at me.
"No. I'm not married. I'm divorced. That's why I moved to Seattle, to start over." He sighed and flipped his hair out of his eyes. It was that little move that made me fall in love with him on Saturday night.
Wait. Love? What the fuck, Ellie?
What is happening to me?
"You're the Senator's daughter." He said then. "Thanks for tellin' me that. Elle Caldwell." He said as he drew out my fake name. "I will prob'ly have to leave Seattle now." He shook his head.
"Sorry…Nate…" I responded but then I bit my lip and looked down. "He's not the Senator anymore…" I said trying to reassure him.
He snorted. "Like it matters. I work with yer' family fer Pete's sake! Everyone knows yer' whole family and yer' uncle is now the Senator. What's the difference?" He pressed his hands to his temples.
"That's why I didn't tell you my name." I sighed. "Because I didn't want it to matter." I trailed off.
"Fuck. This cannot be happening. I can't believe I…Jesus…me patient's sister…of all the people to fall..." He was grumbling to himself.
"My sister's doctor." I grumbled in return, but I instantly felt a strange pain run through me.
We were silent for a moment when finally he spoke.
"Listen. I have to prep for surg'ry and I really need to focus. But can I talk to ye' after?" His eyes were burning into mine, and I just nodded. I didn't know what to say. Every time I looked into those aquamarine pools and at his disheveled hair, I was lost all over again.
Why am I acting like a thirteen year old girl?
He looked around and then lightly touched my arm and walked away. Once again, my arm was burning and my stomach clenched as I saw him head off for surgery.
I scrubbed my hands on my face and noticed my brother EJ walking down the hall.
"Ellie, what the hell is going on? Dad's already freaked out, Mom's trying to calm him down and I could hear you shouting down here, it's not helping anything."
EJ put his hands on his hips and stared at me. I knew I could tell my brother anything, we were thick as thieves being only twenty-two months apart.
So I blurted it all out like freaking word vomit, and EJ just stood there in shock. His face went from one of shock, to anger, to amusement in a matter of minutes. Before I could say anything else he was doubled over in laughter.
"It's not funny you asshole. I didn't know who he was." I said through my teeth. "Shut up before Dad comes down here!"
"Oh my God Ell, I thought you had some dooseys when we were growing up, but this takes the cake." He was laughing so hard he had tears in his eyes.
I harrumphed and walked back toward the waiting area, and my parents eyed me skeptically.
My Dad was pacing and alternating between pinching the bridge of his nose and running his hand through his hair sighing. My mother finally told him to sit down, only have him get back up thirty seconds later and the whole process repeated itself.
I stood up and walked over to get a cup of coffee and Rogan was at my side instantly. Bree didn't say a word to me. She knew what happened, and that I did not want to be talking about it here.
"What's going on Ellie May? Something has your panties in a bunch…or someone?" Rogan wiggled his eyebrows at me.
Damn annoying little brothers.
"Don't call me that. And it's none of your damn business."
"Oh, but I think it is because I think you hit it with Harper's doctor!" He sniggered.
I grabbed his ear and pulled him back into the hallway.
"Shut your mouth. Dad's already freaked, Mom's all excited and nervous and trying to keep him settled down, and everyone else doesn't need to know. Now shut it before he finds out."
EJ was back beside us, and Rogan was rubbing his ear.
"Jesus, you can't take a joke at all. Never could." He shot at me.
I stuck my tongue out at him like a petulant child. I was three seconds from losing my shit, but they didn't need to know that.
"Nah, she just finally got herself in a jam that she can't talk herself out of." EJ mocked me.
"Shut up, both of you. Seriously, I will just pretend I know him from somewhere else." I shrugged nonchalantly.
"What are you kids talking out here for?"
I spun around. "Hey Dad. It's nothing, we're just talking." I said a little too sweetly.
"About how well Ellie knows Harper's doctor." Rogan's eyebrows shot up and he ducked away before I could punch him in the arm.
"Whatever. I should get back into the waiting room." I tried to move but my Dad was right in front of me.
"Ellie, how do you know Harper's doctor?" My Dad asked as he crossed his arms over his chest and gave me his Senator's look. The same one he used to wear down any of us when we were in trouble.
Rogan instantly started laughing. EJ was trying to contain himself but he couldn't hold it in any longer as he busted out as well.
My Dad glanced from me back to my brothers and then squinted his eyes. Finally he shook his head and threw his hands in the air.
"Jesus Christ Ellie, you've got to be kidding me!" He said as he ran his hands through his hair.
"S'not like you never did something like that…" I muttered. I knew the real story about how my parents had met. My Aunt Alice told me one night when we had too many Jamesons at my parent's place, and she and I stayed up late by the fire pit.
Oh yes, give Aunt Alice some drinks and she will tell you anything.
My Dad's eyes flashed with both shock and anger, and my brothers burst out in a fresh round of laughter.
He turned to them with a stern look then.
"You two. Shut it. Go help your mother."
"With what, Dad? We're at the hospital?" Rogan asked incredulously.
"I don't know!" He said exasperated. "Just get out of here." They scurried away laughing.
I stood there shamefully, shifting from foot to foot, because even though I was a grown woman I hated disappointing my parents. And I definitely did not want to talk to my Dad about my sex life.
"Are you kidding me here, Ellie?" He asked then.
"Dad…I'm sorry…it's not…I don't know." I scrubbed my hands on my face this time.
He sighed again and then looked at me intently. "Ellie, I have never seen you so worked up about anything…confused like this, as you have been for the past couple of days. I mean, I've seen you get angry because you have a short temper like me, but what the hell is going on?"
"I don't know Dad. I think I like him, like really like him."
He exhaled loudly then and pinched the bridge of his nose. I could tell he was trying to calm himself down. "When did you meet him?" He finally asked.
"Saturday." I said sheepishly. "But, I don't know…I feel like I've known him my whole life." I put my face back in my hands.
That's why I was so pissed when I thought he was married.
What the hell is wrong with me?
"Shit." He muttered. "Fucking Karma." He said then and my eyes shot up.
My Dad never dropped the F-bomb; at least not around us kids.
"What are you talking about?"
"Well you obviously know." He gave me a look like I needed to stop being coy. And I nodded and looked down.
He sighed again.
"Ellie, you are me to a tee except for an abundance of your mother's fire and stubbornness." He shook his head. "You don't think you need something until it smacks you in the face. And then you spend time stewing over it."
"What are you talking about?" I looked at him quizzically.
He exhaled then and closed his eyes. "I can't believe I am doing this…" he muttered again. "Too fucking old for her…God damn daughters…going to give me a heart attack."
But he turned and looked at me intently again.
"What do you feel?" He asked.
"What are you talking about, Dad?"
"I mean in your gut. Don't use your head. In your gut, what do you feel?" He said again.
What the hell is he getting at?
All I could do was answer truthfully. I had been upside down since Sunday morning, and I didn't know what the hell emotions were running through my body.
"Like I was just hit by a Mack truck and I don't know which end is up, but it's not the kind where it hurts…it feels…good…and I have never felt like this before in my life." I whispered.
He sighed again and muttered something I couldn't hear this time.
Jesus, my Dad mutters a lot. Did I do that to him?
"Go with your gut, Ellie. That's all I can tell you." He said with a pained expression and then kissed the top of my head. "And don't fuck it up."
I looked up shocked.
That's three times this morning. Dad's on a roll.
"Okay. Thanks Dad." He nodded and made his way back to my Mom who was watching the entire thing intently.
I stood in the hallway collecting myself.
What the hell was I feeling? I couldn't be in love with this man. I hardly knew him; I only spent one night with him.
Yet the thought of not seeing him again or seeing him with another woman instantly made my stomach clench.
What the hell?
I walked back into the waiting room and before I could sit down Will walked out still in his cap and gown from surgery.
"Well, it's a boy!" He said and was instantly met with hugs from my parents and his parents, my brothers, Bree and Gremme. I gave him a hug and he told us that the little guy's name was William Cullen Montgomery.
My Mom was crying and my Dad wrapped his arms around her. Everyone else had huge grins on their faces.
I realized at that moment just how close my family was. I missed out on a lot of events since I lived in D.C. and I was so glad to be here for this one.
Once they had my sister closed up from surgery and in her room, we made our way back. I walked in and looked at my sister as she held my baby nephew in her arms. He was so tiny with a mop of dark hair so much like hers and Will's. He was sleeping peacefully, and the two of them were just staring at him adoringly.
My whole family was abuzz around me and I couldn't help but be entranced by the sight in front of me. Eventually he was passed around and everyone got the chance to hold the newest Cullen.
My brother passed him to me, and he felt so light in my arms as he pursed his little lips and yawned. He was so perfect and tiny. I ran my fingers over his cheek, and his skin was the softest I had ever felt.
Just then I looked up and saw Nolan standing back from the scene.
His eyes locked with mine and my breath hitched. Suddenly, my whole world shifted and I could feel the gravity almost pulling me towards him.
His aquamarine pools were filled with a yearning and I couldn't help but think that mine held a similar expression.
I think I'm moving back to Seattle.