Chapter Nineteen


"I want to take you out Saturday." After crawling into his bed, Edward breaks the awkward quietness that had settled between them.

Bella rolled onto her side, "We'll need a babysitter."

He hummed in agreement, "I'll text Emmett." His heart thrummed as he reached out carefully and pulled Bella into his arms. Her long brown hair tickled his nose as he smoothed it down. "I want to suggest dinner or a museum, but it all feels wrong – not us."

"How about the Market and brunch?" She suggested an activity they had done on numerous occasions, and both loved.

He smiled at the suggestion. "But shouldn't we do something more romantic? I mean - I guess it isn't Costco, so that earns some points."

"Our first date doesn't have to be overcomplicated – or hard. We have time for romance. But let's not force it when we're both still trying to find our feet." She murmured, stretching up and brushing a kiss to his lips.

His arms tightened around her waist, holding her to him. It's not enough. After having a taste of her, he wanted it all. Somehow, they twist and turn, and suddenly, he's over her, pressing his mouth to her jaw, her throat, as she rolls her hips under him. Their kisses are rough and heated as their desires become boundless.

An angry cry filled the air, and Edward immediately jerked his hand out from under her night shirt. "Fuck." Edward grumbled as Bella giggled and rolled off the bed.

"I've got him."

"Hey, Stinker," Bella cooed, lifting Holden from his crib. His cries softened as she patted his back. Braxten flopped back with an exhausted grunt. She moved over to his crib and placed the pacifier into his mouth. "Night, buddy."

Her heart warmed as he gave her a bright, sleepy grin as his eyes fluttered shut.

She changed Holden with a yawn.

"Let me," Edward murmured, kissing her shoulder before taking over. He lifted the boy off the changing table, and she passed him a pacifier, "we really should start weaning them off these things."

He nodded, "We'll do it with the bottle. They'll go away together, and we'll tough it out."

"Brax will be easier." She mused thoughtfully, quietly humming as Holden drifted off against Edward's chest. Her head rested against Edward's shoulder as they both swayed in front of his crib. "You know, you're a great dad, don't you – just as great as Carlisle."

Edward's breath caught in his throat. He turned his head to catch Bella's gaze. She smiled at him softly, and a wave of calmness washed over him as the tension deep inside seemed to let loose.

He settled Holden back onto his mattress before lacing his fingers with Bella's and tugging her across the hall and back into his bed. He wrapped his long limbs around her as she cracked a yawn. "Close your eyes."

It didn't take long for his breathing to match hers as he followed her into sleep.

Edward watched as she brushed her teeth, "what are we going to tell Mia and Asher?" he asked as he put his Waterpik away, reaching for his mouthwash.

She spit in the sink, and it was a weirdly intimate moment. It actually felt more monumental than having his hand up the back of her shirt the night before. "I don't think we tell them anything yet."

He made a noise of disagreement, but she carried on. "Not until we know, or they start asking questions. I'm not saying we lie. I'm saying we show them without any overly complicated explanation that could set up too many expectations."

She turned and took in his gaze, and the words he spoke left her breathless. "I don't want to take any more steps backward." He stated as he gripped her chin softly, running his thumb over her lips.

"Me either."

His lips crashed against hers. Desperation and need binding together as he pressed her up against the bathroom door. He lifted her legs, wrapping them around his waist, groaning as her fingers sank into his hair. He twisted the knob, opening the door, their lips frantic as they stumbled towards the bed.

Her eyes opened as he placed her on the bed; the roughness goes as his kisses turn softer, slower, and longer. Her heart thrummed as everything turned sensitive and reactive to his touch. "I want you here. Every night. This is our room now."

Her eyes widened as she realized the heaviness of his words and the meaning behind them. She had given him a push the night before, and now he had taken her hand and pulled her into the deep end with him.

It was all or nothing.

Her heart fluttered madly in her chest, and she found herself nodding.

"No, Bella. Tell me you want this." His words had taken on a surprisingly assertive and sure tone.

"I want this." She promised. "Forward only."

"Forward." He agreed, his hands slowly pulling the baggy university T-shirt over her head.

His eyes swept over her hungrily. A growl of frustration fell from his lips as his phone vibrated insistently on his nightstand, "Mom" flashing in bold letters.

"Son of a," he grumbled, rolling off her.

His lips twitched upwards as Bella covered her face, and nervous giggles spilled into her hands as he answered the call.

"Hey..." His eyes darted to the alarm clock. "Yeah, we're just running late. We'll be there. Muffins and coffees. Yeah. No problem."

His heart does a funny little beat as he watches Bella fold her legs up under her, still in her underwear, as she unlocks her phone. "Trieste or Jane's?" She mouths, flashing the options.

"Jane's." He mouthed back. "Just text Bella your coffee orders, Mom."

She nodded, her fingers already swiping over her phone. She was compiling an order of muffins, breads, croissants, and scones.

"Yeah, Mom, we won't forget to get the kids something special." He appeased, trying to get her off the phone. "Mm-hm, a little over an hour; see you then."

He hung up and flopped back against the bed. "Fuck."

Bella's laugh rang through the room. "No time." She sassed.

She only laughed harder as he pinned her with a playful glare. She scrambled out of bed, "Meet you in the nursery." She plucked her shirt off the floor, tossing him a coy smile before slipping out of the room.

Edward's heart thrummed loudly in his ears as they stepped through his parents' front door hand in hand, Braxton on her hip, Holden on his. It's a quiet but loud statement they're making without words. "We made it a little late, but we're here."

"Morning." Carlisle nodded their way, placing Mia on her feet.

"Hey, alligators." He called Mia and Asher, who rushed to them.

They both pass the babies to his awaiting parents, "we made cookies, candies, and ice creams. Most of it is for Christmas, though," Asher explained, the corner of his mouth smudged with a green stain. "Yaya says I'm a natural baker." He reported proudly, pulling back from Bella's hug.

"And you?" Edward asked, tapping Mia's nose. He smiled as she wrinkled it before fixing her pink glasses.

She shook her head, "I help Pops taste it."


Esme and Carlisle trade a grin as they peek out the kitchen window, catching Bella and Edward sharing a quick kiss. They pulled apart, and Bella passed Edward a box from the bakery.

"Seems progress was made." Carlisle chuckled, stepping back to give the new couple their privacy as he bounced his grandson in his arms.

Esme kissed his cheek, "No teasing, they'll tell us when they're ready."


Edward coiled an arm around Bella; Asher sprawled across her lap as Mia leaned on him as Home Alone played. He jerked at a flash; his mother gave him a sheepish look. He just smiled, relaxing back against the cushions.

The day was lazy as they nibbled on snacks, made ornaments, and watched Christmas movies with his parents.

"Uncle Emmett," Asher ran for his uncle when the front door opened. Edward grinned as his brother scooped up Asher and spun him around in his wheelchair.

Edward nodded to Rosalie as she settled across from them with Holden in her arms. He didn't move as Bella and Mia continued to sleep against his chest. He rolled his eyes at her smug smirk.

He turned his gaze back to the movie, not giving anyone any explanation. Soon, the house was full of conversations as Alice and Jasper arrived.

"Time to wake," he murmured, giving her a soft nudge. Fuck she was adorable. He hated having to wake her for dinner, to break the contentment he found with her head against his chest, his heartbeat drumming a solo for her ears only. "Dinner is ready."

Bella blinked at him, a soft blush spreading across her face. "I fell asleep."

He nodded, his thumb brushing across the red creases on her cheek. He leaned forward and brushed his mouth against her. The kiss was short as he pulled back with a grin. He watched her stretch before following her off the sofa and into the dining room, where everyone awaited them.

Edward followed Bella to the table, taking the seat next to her, their fingers interlaced. He winked at his mom, saying, "Everything smells amazing."

The drive home was quiet. Christmas carols filled the silence as Asher and Mia peered out the windows, taking in the decorative lights.

Bedtime was a whirlwind of baths, pajamas, and stories. Edward leaned against the children's bedroom doorframe and listened as Bella read The Night Before Christmas. Holden was snoring into his shoulder, Braxten already tucked away in his crib.

"I love you, Bells," Asher murmured, rolling onto his belly to go to sleep.

"I love you too, Crocodile."

"Love you, kiddo, sweet dreams," Edward said, moving to cover him.

Bella kissed Mia's forehead before tucking in the sleeping girl, removing her glasses and placing them on her nightstand.

They met in the hallway...

The air thick with tension; her blood warm…

And like magnets, they lean into each other.

She is sure she will never get over the thrill that sings through her as their noses brush.

Lips clash.

Then tongues.

The door locks behind them.

There isn't much concentration, just need.

Their hands roam, and their clothes fall to the floor.

Years of suppressed emotion pour from each other.

The feel of her under him is blistering, and he's half mad as his mouth feasts on every inch of skin it can find.

She's soft; his finger digs into her hips as she rolls them, eliciting a moan.

His right hand goes to his bedside table drawer as it fumbles around. His face falls with realization. "What?" Bella murmured, pulling back.

"I don't have – um," the back of his neck going red.

Rolling onto her side, Bella lifted an eyebrow in question as he cleared his throat. "I don't have any protection."

"Oh." She murmured, her lips twitching as she wrapped her leg around him. "So, I guess, Costco tomorrow?"

Author Notes

And here we are. This chapter once I forced myself to sit down and write, it flowed like a dream and brought me a lot of joy on a very sad day.

I'm sending you all my appreciation for all your support over the years, please drop a review. My biggest thank you goes to Fran for beta'ing these words and turning them into something great.

All my love until next time,