Okay, you all are amazing. When I updated the story, I honestly didn't think I'd get more than five or six reviews- and that was stretching it. Leave it to you guys to give me more reviews for chapter two than you did for chapter one. Also, I do want to apologize for not updating sooner; my mom was worried about my grandmother during the hurricanes because she lived in Florida, so she had her brought up here to Ohio. My schedule's been thrown off because I sometimes have to get up multiple times at night to take her to the bathroom since she can't do it herself. Because of that, I sometimes sleep during the day which means that I miss the few hours that I have on the computer at the library and I have to sometimes miss school. Please bear with me and don't give up on my story, because I'm not.
I also want you to know that I read your reviews, so answers to your questions from reviews will be at the end of the chapter. Also, I replaced the chapter that was here before. I didn't realize that I wrote in one part of the chapter that Edward's sister was Alice, but then in another chapter wrote that Jasper was his brother. This is me fixing it.
"He can't do this," Elizabeth said as she looked down at the papers in her hands. She couldn't believe the balls on this guy; Full custody?
It had been only a few days since her meeting with the Cullen's and their lawyer and Rosalie had no idea what to do. After visiting several lawyers suggested to her by Elizabeth and Logan's social worker, they all insisted that Rosalie had no legal foot to stand on; Edward was the twin's father and he had never given up his parental rights. They had all said that Rosalie could take him to court and the children's wants would be taken into consideration, but that didn't mean that they'd stay with her. When it came to judges, they did what they felt was best for the kids; while they did take into consideration what they wanted, they also focused on who had the means and their capabilities. Edward Cullen had a spotless record, but Rosalie didn't; she had been arrested twice for shoplifting and once on drug charges. Any judge would take one look at that and give Edward custody.
"Unfortunately, he can," Rosalie told her. Elizabeth just continued to stare at the paper so Rosalie pulled it out of her hands. "We have to be smart about this, Liz. If I go to court and they decide that your dad's better suited to take care of you-"
"He's not my dad," Elizabeth said quickly and Rosalie understood.
Nodding, she said, "But he is your father and he has rights." Elizabeth didn't respond and Rosalie knew that the teen had disappeared into her own head again. "Try and get some sleep, okay?" She suggested, standing up. "We've got to go and see them tomorrow. I'll be back in a bit, I've got to go to work." With a kiss to her head, Rosalie left Elizabeth alone. It wasn't long before Elizabeth heard the sputter of the ancient truck that Rosalie and her mother shared. As soon as she could no longer hear its loud engine, she pushed back from the table and rushed upstairs.
After making sure that both Peter, Rosalie's son, and her brother were asleep, Elizabeth rushed into Rosalie's bedroom. Her aunt, as much as Elizabeth loved her, was always forgetting something; forgetting to put on her shoes in the morning before work, forgetting her car keys after leaving the house- even forgetting to turn off the sink after she washed dishes. Elizabeth's mother was great at reminding Rosalie about whatever she was forgetting, but this time it was working out in Elizabeth's favor.
It didn't take her long to find Rosalie's cell phone and it was even easier to guess her pattern password. Once she was in, Elizabeth got what she wanted from it and put it back exactly where she found it before leaving.
"How are things going over there in Seattle?" Emmett asked and Edward let out a breath and ran his hands through his hair.
"Not very well." He admitted, sitting down on his bed as he shifted the phone. "Bella's got a friend here named Rosalie who wants guardianship of the kids, but we both know that there's no way a judge is going to allow that; this woman has charges going back to when she was twelve for theft, possession, prostitution, and even assault with a deadly weapon." Edward sighed. "I'm surprised they let her keep her own kid- let alone Bella's."
"Edward, she obviously cleaned herself up." His friend pointed out. "From what you've told me about Bella, she doesn't sound like someone who hangs out with prostitutes."
"Doesn't mean I trust her not to go slipping back into old habits now that Bella is gone."
"Well, who you trust doesn't really matter right now." Emmett reminded. "You're the stranger here- the outsider. You're the one who came out of the blue and inserted yourself into their lives. Just think, man; what if Jasper did what you did? How would you feel if he abandoned his pregnant, teenage sister and then came back almost sixteen years later and tried to take over everything?" Edward grimaced, knowing his friend had a point. If Jasper had done to Alice what Edward did to Bella, there'd no way in hell that he'd get anywhere near Alice's children. Jasper was his brother, but if he had done anything like that to Alice- the girl their parents considered a daughter- they would destroy him. The only different between Jasper hypothetically abandoning Alice and Edward actually abandoning Bella was that Bella had absolutely no one to lean on for help- at least, not at the beginning anyway. Not when it mattered.
Fortunately for Edward, he was saved from replying by a knock on the door. "Someone's at the door," Edward said as he got up. "I'll talk to you later." Disposing the phone onto the coffee table, Edward made his way to the door hoping that it wasn't Jenks of, God forbid, Rosalie. Emmett had already made him feel like more of an asshole than he already was, he didn't need Rosalie re-examining all his crap mistakes.
"Jenks, I'm not in the mood for anymore..." But Edward stopped talking when he saw that it wasn't Jenks at the door, but a teenage girl; a teenage girl that just so happened to have curly dark brown hair and Edward's bright green eyes.
"We need to talk." She said before pushing past him and trudging into the hotel room. It wasn't until after he closed the door and turned around that he realized that she had been soaking wet.
"Did you walk here in the rain?" He asked incredulously. Rolling her eyes, Elizabeth turned around to face him.
"Don't be stupid." She scoffed. "I rode my bike, they don't exactly offer valet parking for that, so I had to chain it up in the lobby." Edward raised an eyebrow. "They're not exactly stoked about that, so we have to make this quick before they find a pair of bolt cutters."
"Does Rosalie know you're here?" Edward asked glancing towards the window as if the blonde would come smashing through like Spider-man any second.
"She's at work," Elizabeth said, feeling a bit smug at the fact that Rosalie made him uncomfortable. "She never would've let me if I told her where I was going."
"So, you lied to her."
"I omitted the truth." Elizabeth corrected as she pulled off her unzipped hoodie. The t-shirt that she wore underneath was just as soaked. "You're the liar here."
Edward nodded. "I deserve that."
"Yeah, you do." She agreed. "Now, like I said before, we need to talk."
"About what?" Edward asked. "How you're not moving away from Seattle? Or how you want me to go away and leave you and your brother with Rosalie? Or how-"
"We'll go." Elizabeth interrupted and Edward's words got stuck in his throat. Did she just say what he thought she said?
"You'll go?" Edward reiterated and Elizabeth nodded. "To Massachusetts?"
She nodded again. "Yep; I won't argue, I won't fight you on this, and I won't try to run away. Logan and I will pack up our things and let you ship us off to wherever the hell it is you live. I know about Rosalie's past and I know that no judge would ever let us stay with an ex-prostitute over a biological parent who's willing and able to take care of us. Going to court would only force Rosalie to spend the little bit of savings she and my mom have saved up and we'd probably just end up going with you anyway. So Logan and me aren't going to fight."
Edward had grown up with a younger sister- he knew what came next. "But?"
"No buts." Elizabeth shook her head. "Just a...stipulation." Edward crossed his arms and nodded for her to continue. "Rosalie comes with us- Peter, too."
"Rosalie's son." She replied. "Logan and I go with you and you give Rosalie and Peter a place to stay. It doesn't have to be in the same place as Logan and me, but it has to be close- and nice. That way she can still see mom when she wants."
Edward raised an eyebrow. "And you think she's going to fly from Seattle to Massechusettes everyday?" Elizabeth scoffed.
"Don't pretend like you haven't already made plans to move her. I heard the doctor talking about it with one of the nurses." She glared at him as she pulled her hoodie back on and headed towards the door. "I'll talk to Rosalie and get her to call you when we're ready to leave."
She was about to walk right past him, but Edward grabbed her arm."Wait," He said only a second before she ripped her arm out of his grip and he held his hands up in surrender. "Wait," He said again. "Your clothes are soaked. Let me go get you a jacket or something."
Edward didn't know what that was. He could still see the look in Elizabeth's eyes when he had grabbed her and he had no idea what that look was. Why had she reacted the way she had? Was it because of him? Was it because of something that happened that made her so cautious? Edward shook his head. With that thought now in his head, he sincerely hoped it was because of him.
Going into his room, he grabbed his jacket off of the hook on the back of the door and went back into the living room, only to find that Elizabeth had already gone.
"What did you do?"
It had been only two weeks since Elizabeth had gone to see Edward at his hotel, but it felt like so much longer. With everyone uprooting their lives in order to move, plans had to be made before anything could actually happen.
Despite the fact that she thought it would have delayed their travel plans, Rosalie had decided that she wasn't going anywhere until she found a deaf school for Peter to go to- only for Esme to insist that it would be arranged for him to attend the school she had already found for Logan and Elizabeth. The only other excuse for halting their move was that she would need to find a job first, only for Esme to once again come to the rescue and tell the blonde that she would have plenty of time to look for a job because she wouldn't need to worry about paying for housing.
Now, with flights booked and arrangements already made, the only thing to do was finish packing up the house. Despite Rosalie's objections, Edward had shown up that morning to help.
Logan handed Edward another box before walking away. Edward had met his son the day after Elizabeth had come to talk to him, but he couldn't exactly tell how it went. Logan hadn't said a word when he had first met Edward; he had just shaken his hand before retreating back to his sister.
Pulling down the door of the back of the moving truck after setting the box inside, Edward looked to Rosalie in confusion. "What?"
"What did you give Elizabeth so she'd let you move her and Logan to Mayberry?" She clarified. "I know Elizabeth like she's my own kid, so I know you didn't threaten her- mostly because she probably would've tried to scratch your eyes out if you did, but I know you had to've given her something, So, what was it?"
"You." Edward told her and she raised an eyebrow. "Elizabeth came to me the day before you found out they were coming with me. She said that she wouldn't fight me on going to Massachusetts, but only if you and your son came with us."
"And what about Bella?" Edward secured the lock on the back of the moving truck before turning to Rosalie.
"Elizabeth knew I had no intention of leaving her mother here." He said, searching her face. "And I don't think you did either."
"That'll be fifteen seventy-three." Rosalie handed the deliverer the right amount of money before taking the box into the house.
Despite the fact that they were packing, all of their furniture was still in the house. Rosalie had wanted to take it with them, knowing she'd need it for whatever house or apartment Esme Cullen had shoved her and Peter into, but the older woman had assured her she wouldn't need it. Rosalie had refused to believe it, demanding to know where she and her son would be housed. It wasn't until Esme finally told her that she had a guest house did leaving the furniture make sense. Even though that was true, Rosalie didn't plan on living off of Esme Cullen for the rest of her life. Instead, Rosalie was using some of her saving for a cheap storage unit. The landlord had promised to see that the movers that were hired took everything after Rosalie and the kids were gone.
"Guys, dinner!" She yelled knowing that Elizabeth would hear and inform the boys. Only a moment later, the three teens shuffled into the kitchen.
"Pizza again?" Peter asked. They had been eating pizza every night for the past week. Almost everything in the fridge had spoiled since Rosalie couldn't pay the electric bill and the cabinets were practically empty. Pizza was the easiest and cheapest thing.
"Tonight is the last time for a while," Rosalie promised as she passed out paper plates. "We'll be in Massachusetts tomorrow and we can order Chinese until I go out and get groceries."
"We wouldn't have to do any of this if Mary hadn't decided to ship us to Mayberry without asking anyone." Peter grumbled, loud enough for Elizabeth to hear and Rosalie sighed.
"I did what I thought was best for everyone." Elizabeth snapped as she signed along.
'Guys-' Logan began to sign, but Peter didn't give him the chance.
"Because you are the queen of great decisions!" He snapped back. "Remind me, who was it that got suspended for fighting with Chelsea Henley at school? Who was it that set a fire and nearly burned down the house when they tried to light a candle with a piece of toilet paper? Who was it that got arrested and sent to juvie for breaking into Ms. Haddin's house?!" Rosalie could hear him getting louder and angrier with each example and tried to step in, but he was too loud. "Who's fault is it that your mother got hit by a car?!" He yelled. As soon as he said that, they all knew that he had gone too far, but Peter didn't particularly care. He was angry, and angry people said stupid things.
Not even a second after the words came out of his mouth, Elizabeth balled up her fist and threw it at his face- hitting him squarely in the eye and causing him to fall against the wall. "Go screw yourself, asshole!" She yelled before rushing out of the kitchen. Rosalie heard her stomping upstairs before a door slammed.
Peter's hand covered his eyes as he groaned in pain, but neither Rosalie or Logan moved to help him. Despite the fact that Peter's lips had been moving far too fast for him to read, he had been loud enough that Logan could just barely hear what he was saying. Despite the fact that almost everything he said was true, everyone knew he was out of line.
No longer as angry as he had been, Peter looked to his mother who looked at him expectantly. Dropping a plate of pizza in front of him, she said, "Fix it." Begrudgingly picking up the plate, Peter set out to do as he had been told.
Going upstairs, he headed straight for his and Logan's room before grabbing the tiny flag from his dresser. It had once been a bright and new mini American Flag that Bella had bought during a Fourth of July parade, but an incident with bleach- which had been a seven-year-old Elizabeth's fault- caused it to fade to white.
Walking across the hall to Elizabeth's room, he knocked, but she didn't answer. "I know you can hear me." He said waiting for her response, but he got none- or, if he did, he didn't hear it. Putting his hand on the knob, he twisted it a bit before pushing the door open once he realized it was unlocked.
Elizabeth laid on her small twin bed, back against the headboard, with her old headphones on as she stared at the screen of the fifteen-year-old laptop the household shared. Whatever she was listening to was just loud enough for Peter to hear. She didn't acknowledge him when he sat down on the edge of her bed and waved his white flag, so he leaned over and pulled down off her headphones. "I come with a peace offering." He held out the plate and she just stared at him. He sighed. "I'm sorry for what I said."
"Why?" Elizabeth asked. "It's not like it's not true. I'm the one who thought that lighting a candle with toilet paper was a good idea and started a fire, I'm the got sent to juvie for breaking into Ms. Haddin's house and got caught like an idiot. I'm the one who fought Chelsea Henley-"
Peter knew what he had said had really bothered her. In all the time he had known Elizabeth, she had never, ever admitted when she was wrong. It was extremely annoying, but a vital part of her personality. "You always had good intentions." He admitted. " You tried to light that candle because it was the middle of a blackout and it was so dark that we couldn't even see each other. You broke into Ms. Haddin's house because you thought she would be a bingo and she took Logan's hearing aids at school. You fought Chelsea Henley because she kept calling me and Logan retards..." Peter swallowed as he tried to continue. "And we all know that it's not your fault that your mom got hit by a car. That car was going twenty miles over the speed limit." She said nothing so Peter kept going. "Massachusetts probably won't be as bad as I'm making it out to be...my mom says that the school we're going to probably won't have a problem having a partially deaf kid on the football team."
Elizabeth didn't say anything back, but she took the pizza. Peter knew that he wasn't forgiven yet, but they were okay for the moment.
The next morning, after waking up late due to Rosalie's dead cell phone, everyone rushed to get showered and ready for when the cab came to pick them up. It ended up waiting outside for half an hour, but the driver wasn't a complete dick about it and only turned on the meter after waiting twenty minutes.
After the short ride to the airport, Rosalie and the kids managed to find the gate where Edward and his mother were already waiting.
Esme's breath hitched when she finally saw them for the first time. Ignoring the request that they be given space from Edward, Esme walked over to the small group. Looking at the two children in front of her she gave them a smile.
"You must be Elizabeth and Logan. I'm Edward's mother Esme." She looked at Elizabeth. "You look just like I imagined Edward would if he was a girl."
"Mom." Edward groaned in embarrassment. He was over thirty years old, but his mother still knew how to make him feel mortified. Embarrassing Edward, however, seemed to make a good impression with Elizabeth. Esme turned to the blonde boy she thought was Logan and furrowed her eyebrows. "...You actually look like my other son, Jasper."
Elizabeth smiled at Esme. "I am Elizabeth," She confirmed. "But this is actually my friend Peter. That's Logan." She turned towards where Rosalie had taken a seat and Esme followed her gaze to see the boy who looked exactly like a teenage Edward. He had on a pair of headphones on his head and was shaking his leg while tapping his stationary knee with his fingers. Elizabeth turned back to her grandmother. "He's shy and nervous about flying." Elizabeth wasn't exactly sure why Logan was nervous; she knew it didn't have anything to do with heights, so she figured it had something to do with him being deaf. Elizabeth liked to think she knew her brother better than anyone- which she did- but she knew that there would always be things about him she didn't understand because they didn't share the same handicap.
"Well, that's understandable." Esme looked at her watch. "We still have about half an hour before we have to board the plane. I could get you all something to eat; are you hungry?"
Surprisingly, it was Peter who answered. Elizabeth hadn't expected him to be civil, but he was nothing but. "Yeah, actually." He smiled at her. "We woke up late and had to rush so we didn't get to eat anything."
After gaining the attention of Rosalie, who agreed that she and Logan also needed to eat, Esme went towards the airport food court with the foursome and Edward cursed himself for not thinking to ask if they hadn't eaten. Of course, that wouldn't have magically fixed the non-existent relationship he had with his children, but it wouldn't have hurt either. He sighed; at least Elizabeth was getting along with Esme. When it came to his family, Edward had been expecting Elizabeth to have fifty-foot walls.
2 0 0 1
Edward hated hospitals.
It wasn't a huge thing or some tragic backstory as to why, it was just common knowledge; the Earth was round, the sky was blue, and Edward Cullen hated hospitals. He didn't know why; his father was a doctor, his mother had once been a nurse, and any hospital staff that he had ever come into contact with was friendly- or, at least, as friendly as someone could be after working a fifteen-hour shift. So why was walking down that hallway so hard?
Edward was lying to himself, of course, he knew why he was so afraid. Today was May seventeenth, AKA. the day he would become a father.
It had been seven months since he had seen his pregnant girlfriend- seven months since he told her he would marry her...seven months since he had packed his bags and gone home to Massachusetts, leaving her alone and confused.
Of course, Edward hadn't abandoned her completely; he had justified his actions by sending her money despite not knowing whether or not she was actually receiving it; it hadn't been long after he left that Ben- a friend from high school and the boyfriend of Bella's ex-best friend- told him that Bella's parents had kicked Bella out of their house and legally disowned her. Ben had been less than impressed with Edward's actions and had only, begrudgingly, told Edward that Bella was in labor because he didn't want her to be alone. Edward felt like the worst person in the world; a guy who had no connection to Bella- having broken up with his girlfriend before heading off to college- knew more about her life than he did. He would've been lying if he said that he wasn't a bit pissed that Ben had felt he had a right to keep Edward away from his own kid.
"Excuse me," Edward stopped passing nurse. The hospital in Seattle was much bigger than the tiny one that resided in Forks, causing him to lose his way about six times on the way to the right hospital room. "My...um..." What was he supposed to refer to Bella as? Sure, he hadn't actually broken up with her before leaving, but he figured that she wouldn't be too gung-ho about him telling everyone he was her boyfriend when he left her after promising to marry her and then hopping on the first plane out of Washington. "My girlfriend is having my baby and I can't seem to find her room. They said she was in 406, but she wasn't in there."
"Well, that's probably because you're on the wrong floor." He was? "The Maternity ward isn't numbered as a floor on the elevator, it's the button labeled M. They said she was on floor four, but this is technically floor five. Maternity is downstairs."
"That's idiotic." The nurse shrugged.
"I don't make the rules." She reminded him. "I'm heading down there now, so I'll make sure you get to the right room."
Edward shook his head. "Thanks, Nurse..." He looked down at her name tag; Bethany Grady. "Nurse Grady."
"You can call me Beth," Edward most definitely wasn't going to do that; Nurse Grady was older than his mother and it didn't feel right addressing her as if she were a haughty soccer mom.
Nurse Grady showed Edward downstairs and took him to the room he was looking for- which just to happened to be the room she was looking for.
"What a small world." She said with a smile before going to check on the sleeping figure in the bed.
It had been seven months since Edward had seen Bella Swan, but their time apart had done nothing to Edward's memory of her.
She looked exactly the same- well almost; her dark brown hair had gotten longer and was twisted into a messy braid. Her skin seemed to have a bit more color to it- which was good, she had been ridiculously pale before. Despite not having seen her in the better part of a year, Edward's attention couldn't help but slip away from her and to the two plastic cots, each of which were occupied by a small bundle- one blue and the other pink.
"Isabella," Nurse Grady began to ruse Bella from her sleep before Edward could stop her. "Isabella, wake up. You have a visitor." And before Edward could even entertain the idea of rushing from the room, Bella's tired brown eyes fluttered open. "There are those pretty brown eyes. Did you have a good rest?" Bella nodded as she was helped to sit up, but her smiled waned when she spotted Edward.
"...What are you doing here?" She asked after a few moments. Surprisingly, she didn't sound half as angry as Edward had anticipated. Instead, she sounded tired and confused.
"Ben called me." He told her and Nurse Grady went to check on one of the bundles, trying not to listen in on their conversation, despite only moving two feet away. "Your parents are still on your emergency contact list and they got the call about you being in labor while they were with Pastor Webber. He told his wife who told Ben's mom..." He stopped when he realized she could care less about how he had known to come. "I'm sorry, Bella."
"You're sorry?" She repeated. "Sorry for what? Sorry for getting me pregnant? Sorry for missing the birth of your kids?" Edward opened his mouth to actually answer like the idiot he was, but Bella wasn't finished. "Or are you sorry for promising to marry me- no! I got it!" She laughed mockingly. "You're sorry for promising to marry me, and then skipping town, leaving me at the courthouse in Seattle where I waited for you for ten hours before I realized you weren't coming back." Her mocking smile was gone. "Shove your apologies up your ass because I don't want or need them."
Edward had no idea what to say- not that he knew what to say before he realized that his abandonment had changed his once shy, soft-spoken, and meek girlfriend. So, he said the only thing he could think of.
"Stop apologizing!" She shouted causing one of the babies to wake up. It was only from the squirming of the pink blanket that Edward knew that it was the little girl who was crying. Nurse Grady went to put down the boy so she could focus on the girl, but Edward was already there and picking up his daughter before she could put the baby in her arms down in his cot. "I wouldn't get attached if I were you." Edward deserved that dig at his flighty nature but didn't let it get to him.
"I'm not leaving, Bella." He insisted. "I swear."
"I could care less," She shrugged. "That's something you'll have to take up with their parents."
"We're their parents, Bella."
"Tell that to Henry and Samantha Hillard." She said and he looked up from the still crying infant to Bella's blank and emotionless face.
"..Who are Henry and Samantha Hilliard?" He got no answer, stopping his rocking of the baby. "Who are Henry and Samantha Hillard?!" Still looking as emotionless as ever, Bella said;
"They're the couple adopting the babies."
2 0 1 7
"They sure do have an appetite," Esme commented as she and Rosalie watched Elizabeth and Peter scarf down their food from Cinnabon. That didn't stop them from playing with it, however; When she thought that Rosalie wasn't looking, Elizabeth pulled apart a piece of her cinnamon bun and tossed it at Peter who caught it in his mouth without even paying attention. Beside him, Logan's cinnamon roll sat untouched as he read a book; A Separate Peace. "Not Logan, though."
"Logan's never been a fan of sweet things," Rosalie told her as she scrolled through something on her phone. "He prefers healthier foods. When they were little, they gave each other codenames and Elizabeth called him Alpaca because she had learned that they only eat vegetables in class that day."
Esme sipped her coffee before setting it back down. She wanted desperately to say something, but she didn't want to come across the wrong way. Offending Rosalie wasn't exactly on her itinerary for the day, but something needed to be done to rectify the situation.
Deciding to just go for it, Esme looked away from the children and to their guardian. "Rosalie," She looked up from her phone. "I want to...apologize for how I came across the other day." Rosalie wasn't stupid or petty enough to ask 'What day?' despite the fact that she desperately wanted to. "I want you to know that I wasn't trying to take Elizabeth and Logan from you or you from them. I just..."
"...When I see them," She began. "I think of my other grandchildren and I think of the things that are going on in their lives; My granddaughter Charlotte just got voted class president, my granddaughter Maggie just won a regional chess tournament, and my grandson Alec got first place at a science fair. Sure, it was for kindergartners, but the point is; when I think of them, I think of everything accomplished, but when I think of Elizabeth and Logan...all I can think about is everything they missed out on because Edward didn't take responsibility- and I know that Bella has done her very best to raise them," She said at the defensive look that popped onto Rosalie's face. "But every child deserves two parents and a big family to love and support them. The thought of having two grandchildren that I didn't even know about with a mother who works two jobs just to support them...it breaks my heart."
"I don't know what it feels like to be a grandmother," Rosalie pointed out. "But I do know what it's like to be a mother... I know what it feels like to constantly wonder if they're okay every second that they're out of your sight; I know how it feels to think that you're a monumental disappointment as a mother when your kid asks why the lights won't work because you had to choose between feeding them or paying the bills; I know how heartbreaking it is when they come home upset from school after getting made fun of by the other kids for something as stupid as having hand-me-down clothes...but most importantly, I know how it feels when someone takes your child away. I won't presume to know what you've been through and I don't know if you've ever been in the position where someone is trying to rip your child away from you, but I have and it's the worst feeling in the world. It's like...someone takes hold of your heart and just...just rips a huge chunk of it away. That's what I felt when I found out that Edward had filed for full custody and tried to take away the kids that I have helped raised since they were six."
"We only had the best intentions-" Esme started and Rosalie nodded.
"I know," She admitted. "It killed me to actually admit that to myself, but I knew that you were just looking out for Elizabeth and Logan. You wanted what was best for them, but you went about it the wrong way. Taking Elizabeth and Logan away from everything and everyone they know...that would've hurt them more than you know."
"And that's why you're here," Esme reached across the table and put her hand on top of Rosalie's. "I know that it's mostly because it's what Elizabeth wanted in return for going to Massachusetts, but I believe that you're here to help. Considering their mother is in a coma and will be for the immediate future, you're the only one who really knows them. With your help, Edward can have a relationship with his children- the relationship that he should've had years ago and Elizabeth and Logan can have the family they should've had- along with the family they already have."
Rosalie nodded. "I'm not the biggest fan of Edward, knowing what I do, but I do think that the twins having a dad is the best thing for them right now, so I'll help," She sighed. "And for all of our sake, I think it's best if we start over."
Esme gave a little smile. "I'd like that...is there any chance of you extending the same offer to Edward?" Rosalie shook her head immediately.
"I think that a bit of civility is all that I can give," She said honestly. "Like I said before; there's a lot I know about Edward that you probably don't. There no forgetting all of that and starting over."
2 0 0 1
"You can't give them up for adoption."
It had been hours since Bella had told Edward that she was giving their children up for adoption and he hadn't stopped pleading and begging for her to change her mind since. Nurse Grady had since left, deciding to let them have some privacy. Thankfully, she had taken both the babies with her with the excuse that they needed to be weighed again which Edward felt was complete crap.
Bella scoffed. "You don't get to show up six months after abandoning me," Edward flinched at the accusation in her voice. "And tell me what to do. You have made it more than clear that you don't want these babies and I can't force you to be there when you don't want to be, but I can't take care of them alone; my parents kicked me out, my mom spent my college fund..." She shook her head. "I have nothing, Edward; no money, no support system- I'm living out of a motel for heaven's sake!"
"I'll support you!" Edward insisted. "I'll be your support system- Bella, you want this. You want them! Don't you love them?"
"Of course I do!" She yelled immediately. "I'm not giving them up because I don't love them, I'm giving them up because I do!" She quickly wiped away the tears that had escaped. "I don't have any money, Edward; I don't have a place to live! All I have are whatever I was able to shove into my suitcase before my parents kicked me out and two babies who I can't even-" She choked on a sob. "Who I can't even take care of! You think I want to give them away to strangers- to- to people I don't even know?"
Edward quickly backtracked as he perched himself on the side of her bed. "Of course not," He insisted before taking her hand. "I know you better than to ever think that and I shouldn't have even questioned if you loved them or not because I know that you've loved them since the moment you found out about them. That's why I'm asking you not to do this. Those kids are ours, Bella; they're each one half of us. They're gonna have your eyes and my hair and your beautiful smile," She couldn't help but give a watery smile at that. "There's that beautiful smile," Edward squeezed her hands. "I know that I hurt you; I was a coward and I ran away because I didn't think that I can handle it, but I can. I want to be a father to my kids and I'll spend every day proving it to you...you just have to give me a chance."
Bella didn't know what to say or do; she had loved Edward- she still did, there was no denying that, but he had put her through hell. He had promised to marry her and she had waited for him at the courthouse for almost half a day before realizing that he wasn't going to show up. Edward Cullen had abandoned her and broke her heart. She couldn't help but remember what her strict Grandmother Higginbottom used to say "Never let an old flame burn you twice." but with that came the kindhearted Granny Swan used to say whenever Bella asked how she had been able to stay married to her Grandpa Swan for so long; "You have to go through the worst to get to the best." Edward had most definitely put Bella through the worst. The only question left; could she ever forgive him?
Edward could practically hear his heart beating hard in his chest as he signed his names on the birth certificates for Mary Elizabeth Katherine Cullen and Logan Carlisle Cullen. He could've never imagined that the phone call from his old high school friend would bring him back to Washington and into Bella's life. He had, wrongly, assumed that running away the day he saw her waiting on the courthouse steps would be the last time he ever saw or thought about her. No one had told him that leaving someone didn't mean that you'd just forget about them. Isabella Swan was a part of him and would be forever.
After signing the papers, Edward went back to Bella's hospital room where she and the babies were waiting- Nurse Grady having brought them back after seeing that he and Bella had reconciled.
Stopping in front of the closed door, Edward was just about to push down on the handle and go inside when his phone rang. He was thankful that it was before he opened the door; Bella seemed to have finally gotten Mary Elizabeth to sleep. He couldn't help but know that she would most likely cause them a lot of problems as she grew up.
Stepping away from the door, Edward pulled out his phone and accepted the call without seeing who it was first. "Hello-"
"Shh!" He was immediately shushed and he quickly pulled away his phone to see who had called him. It was his brother. "Talk very quietly," He instructed.
"Why are we whispering?" Edward whispered into the phone. "Are you hiding from Alice again?" Edward had no idea how his brother ever thought that he and Alice Brandon of all people would be a good couple. Jasper was calm and tranquil while Alice was...not. Yet, somehow, they had been married for four years with no problems.
"It's not Alice I'm hiding from," Jasper whispered back. "Alice wanted to go visit her sister in Florida despite the fact that she literally just had a baby claw its way out of her vagina three weeks ago-"
"Thanks for the visual, bro."
"But I couldn't tell her not to go," Jasper continued. "I even got Dad to try and put her on bed rest, but she saw right through it. She promised me that she would be fine, but then she had the audacity to be worried about me being alone with the baby. I mean, she weighs nine pounds and can't even pick up her own head so I figured I'd be fine, right?"
"Wrong!" Jasper whisper yelled. "She pooped twice the day that Alice left- which, coincidentally, happened to be the day we ran out of diapers, she's spat up three times since this morning and, somehow, managed to projectile piss on me despite her lack of a penis."
"She's a baby, Jas." Edward pointed out, forgetting to whisper. "You'll be-"
"Shhhhhh!" Jasper shushed violently. "That girl has the ears of a bat. I coughed yesterday from the bathroom and she started screaming like you did when you accidentally watched Mom and Dad's sex tape."
Edward scowled. "Because you totally didn't scream just as loud when you ran into the living room to see what was wrong."
"That's not the point," Jasper decided. "The point is; I'm losing my mind."
"Isn't today Thursday?" Edward asked. "Today's Bro Night; let mom watch the baby for the night and go get wasted with Emmett."
"I can't get wasted, Edward," Jasper seemed annoyed, but not surprised at his brothers stupidity. "I have a baby. Emmett has a baby- not to mention a wife who's decided that her part in the care for their child ended as soon as she gave birth. We can't just pawn our kids off on mom to get drunk. That's not how having a baby works."
"But that's how having a pregnant wife works?" Edward asked in mock confusion. "Just go-" But he was interrupted by a screeching on the other end of the line. "What the hell is that?"
"That lovely sound is your niece, future babysitter." Jasper sighed and the screeching got louder. "Seriously dude, as soon as you get back from Ben's house I'm gonna need your help taking care of the banshee until her mother comes back. I know that's not exactly how you wanna spend your break from school, but I need help, dude. Yes," Jasper said suddenly. "I know you want your mama, I want her too." Then the call ended.
Gulping, Edward realized that the harsh thudding in his chest had returned. What had he gotten himself into? Jasper sounded miserable; he couldn't even take a break and hang out with his friend for a couple of hours because his wife had decided to take off for a few days. He was tired, he had been peed on and sounded as if he were about to break down at any second. That wasn't what Edward had signed up for when he had come to the hospital.
So, after one last look through the window in the door, Edward turned and walked down the hall, into the elevator, and out of the hospital without even an ounce of hesitance in his step.
So, yeah...I did that. I actually feel kind of bad about doing that and a bit worried. How the hell am I going to get Edward to redeem himself? Well, that's my problem, but it can be yours. If you've got any ideas about what you want to happen in the story, I'd be happy to hear them. Review and PM accepted. Anyway, answers!
quinzy: Thank you and I hope you weren't disappointed.
E. B. Rhome: Rosalie is not letting Edward off of the hook so easily. Just because he's here now, doesn't erase the fact that he wasn't around before.
frostedglaze; Unfortunately, Bella never thought about who would take her kids if something happened to her, so Rosalie isn't their legal guardian, and Edward's name is on the birth certificate as you now know.
Kathryn L. Malone: Bet you never thought you'd have to wait this long.
Bennyjo4: I don't like him either. As for the child support and not having contact, supporting someone financially doesn't always mean you actually care about them. My brother's father used to pay my mom child support, but he only ever seemed to want to see my brother when it was convenient for him.
KristinaFerrara13; Yeah, in most fanfictions I read Rosalie is always vocal about her thoughts and blunt, much like she is in the books- sorta. And, I have a reason for everything Edward does. It's not great on his part and there are no moral or legal reasons why he's taking them away in the story, but I've got it all planned.
Lisalouise; In the first version of this story, the twins were nine and Elizabeth gave Edward hell while Logan was quiet and accepting. I'm still keeping elements of that, but I did change their personalities a bit. As for the taking them away part, Edward is going for redemption and he thinks that the best way to help is by taking care of his kids, but- like most people- he's going about it the wrong way.
Felicia123: That's exactly how I intended her to be. Hope you enjoyed the chapter.
Azlady2003; Rosalie is in the right for everything she said to Edward, but I disagree with you on the fifteen years to late part. I don't think it's ever too late to try and fix your mistakes- I'm not saying that it's going to be fast or easy, but they'll get to some semblance of a family one day in the very, very, very, very distant future...okay, maybe three too many verys, but you get my point.
motherbeatrice; He did deserve it and you're right in saying that Rosalie needs to think about what's best for the twins. While Edward has the right idea of being there for his kids, he's going about it the wrong way.
SunflowerFran; I didn't mean to make you sad, but yes, Edward does mean well.
annaharding: Don't worry. Edward might be taking over, but he's gonna learn very soon who's calling the shots in this situation.
sue1zide; Bella does have twins from Edward and he does pay child support, but he hasn't ever seen them in person since they were born.
Cecily (Guest); True, a judge would take into account what the twins want, but he'd also take into account of where they'd be better-taken care of. As you clearly read, Elizabeth already knows how things would turn out. That's why she went willingly.
roseberrygirl; You're right, but I am getting into backgrounds in this chapter, so you'll get a better sense of their characters. Doesn't mean that everything will suddenly be okay because they mean well, though.
Suzy-Chapstick: You wouldn't be so surprised if you ever met my brother or sister's dads. They send money and stuff, but they haven't seen or had contact with each other in years.
Scattycow; That's how. Yep, he came back and he left again. I don't know why I do these things.
BMSCullen: I'm glad you enjoyed it. Sorry for taking so long to update again.
LizziePaige; He's going to work hard when it comes to the twins too. They're not just going to roll over and accept him as their dad just because a piece a paper says they have to live with him. While they do acknowledge that he's their father, they won't accept him being their dad for a long time.