The next day he came over to meet Elsee properly and my six-year-old adored him instantly which made me feel like I was making the right decision about him.
Over the next few weeks, our relationship got stronger and stronger and soon I was debating letting him take Elsee while I was at work. My first week in Forks High had been great; there were a few people who recognised me so I had nice talks with them about how things had change, the answer mainly being not much. The teachers were the downside because they still acted like they were my teachers except for the fact I got to call them by their first names which was just completely weird. They welcomed me to their little staff body quickly and easily and, surprisingly, I actually felt at home here.
Soon, far too soon, was my father's funeral: Sue and I cried our eyes out. Sam was there so I had him and Elsee comforting me while Sue had her children. Elsee didn't seem to understand it too much though she did get that fact her grandfather wasn't coming back like Grandma Renee and Phil. I had been debating about taking her to the funeral because it would be sad but she insisted when I explain that I was going to go and say goodbye, there was no talking her out of it - she was too like me in that way.
Sam was me out for dinner tonight, it's been a few weeks since the funeral, and, technically, it was our first official date. Jake was going to take Elsee for the night and I'd pick her up tomorrow but he'd yet to arrive so Elsee was helping me get ready. We were going to a fancy restaurant in Port Angeles and my wardrobe wasn't really equipped for that style of outing - I hadn't been on a fancy date for years. Elsee, as fashion challenged as I was already, wasn't much help so I let her stay downstairs in the lounge and play. I ended up in one of my work pencil skirts, a yellow one, and a nice floating white blouse and, here was the big shook, small white heels.
I heard a knock at the door and hurried down the stairs to open it, expecting it to be Jacob I grabbed Elsee's bag on the way. I opened the door and instead of Jacob, it turned out to be Sam and a large smile spread on my face.
'You're early,' I accused though he was only about a minute before the time we had arranged.
'I'm sorry,' he smiled, leaning forward to kiss my cheek as a let him into the house and he handed me flowers. 'You look beautiful.'
'Thanks,' I said, looking up at him from under my eyelashes. 'You look very handsome - you're wearing a shirt! These are beautiful, by the way, thank you.'
He chuckled and plucked at his shirt, 'amazing, I know.'
I giggled as I led him into lounge to Elsee, who beamed at the sight of him and stretched her arms out for a hug. He willing obliged dropping down to her height, picking her up after he hugged as though she weighed nothing, which I realised to him, she probably didn't. I smiled at them brightly.
'We just need to wait for Jake and then we can go,' I told Sam. 'I'm just going to and put these in water.'
I left him alone with Elsee, knowing they would be perfectly comfortable in each other's company unlike others guys that I had met who constantly looked at me wondering what to do. Sam was completely fine and would have her giggling in minutes. The smile stayed on my lips as I walked back through the hall way and into the kitchen to find a vase. I was about to go back into the other room when the phone rang.
'Swan residence,' I said, picking it up and answering cheerfully.
'Bells?' it was Jacob and I tried to hold in a sigh knowing what he was about to say.
'Something's come up right?' I guessed wondering what I was going to do with Elsee now.
'Sorry, my dad's just had a really bad turn,' Jacob explained sounding weary over the phone and extremely apologetic - he loved spending time with Elsee. 'I don't really think he or you will want Elsee to see that.'
'Is he okay?' I gasped worriedly.
'I'm sure he will be,' Jacob said though he didn't sound so sure. 'I'm sorry, Bells.'
'No, no, it's fine,' I replied hurriedly. 'Take care of Billy, give him my best wishes.'
'Sure, sure. Bye.'
I hung up the phone and turned to find Sam in the door was with Elsee In his arms; of course with his advanced hearing he probably heard every word of that.
'I'm so sorry, Sam,' I said really disappointed and his eyebrows rose curiously, apparently though he heard everything he didn't understand why I was sorry. 'I'm going to have to cancel on you, everyone I trust is busy and it's too short a notice to find another babysitter.'
'We could just take her with us,' he suggested, pulling Elsee higher in his arms since she had begun to slip. I tried not to giggle.
'You wanna take my six year old on our date to a fancy restaurant?' I questioned and though I didn't laugh, amusement was clear in my voice.
Sam shrugged, 'why not?'
'She's six,' I replied obviously. 'She'll probably get food everywhere.'
'Sorry,' Elsee said, laughing slightly because she knew she was a mess eater.
Sam chucked and placed her on the ground rubbing the back of his neck while looking down at her but eventually he shrugged again.
'Ah, well, who cares about a bit of mess, besides we don't have to clear it up,' he chuckled and I shook my head: only someone who wasn't a parent would say that.
I walked towards him and Elsee debating it in my head.
'Do you want to come, Else?' her little messy blond head nodded and I looked up at Sam. 'Are you sure?'
'Yeah, positive,' he wrapped an arm around my waist and ruffled Elsee's hair. 'I like this little princess.'
I smiled up at him brightly, 'ok, Else, come and get changed.'
If I was going to take her somewhere nice, she needed to at least look cleaner than she did now. I saw Sam flick his phone out as I took Elsee by the hand and led her out of the room to get change. Sam was probably calling the restaurant to inform them of the changes. I quickly ran a brushed through Elsee's hair and she picked out one of her dresses. She actually looked presentable which, for our little family, was something. We met Sam at the bottom of the stairs and, once I had grabbed my purse, we left.
It took us a while to drive to Port Angeles since Sam drove at the speed limit unlike a certain vampire. Elsee bounced around in the backseat and Sam held my hand as he drove, letting go of it whenever he needed to change gear but besides that he kept a steady grasp on it. He raised it to his mouth once and pressed a kiss against the back of my palm. It's what I loved about Sam, he did sweet, simple things without a thought and with no hesitation and it was those things that made me like him.
It was dark when we pulled in the restaurant's car park and while I got out Sam helped Elsee out of the high car causing me to smile widely. She grasped his hand as they joined me at the other side of the car and once we started walking Elsee grabbed my hand so she was walking in between us. We swung her into the air as we walked toward the restaurant.
'Elsee,' I said kneeling down. 'This is a very nice place so you need to be on your best behaviour for me, okay?'
'Yes, Mummy,' she smiled innocently and I kissed her forehead as I stood up
'Good girl,' I took her hand again and the three of us entered the restaurant.
Dinner went quickly and, surprising, Elsee didn't make too much mess: her peas rolled of her plate, some sauce dripped on the table cloth but besides that the table was vaguely clean and her plate empty. Sam's was as well but that wasn't really a surprise considering how much the wolves ate, I wouldn't honestly be surprised if he was hungry in an hour.
Elsee went to the toilet - she wanted to go alone and since I could see the door (and, having been in there myself, knew there was no windows) I nervously let her after a stern talk about not talking to anyone and coming straight back - and I took Sam's hand over the table, smiling over at him.
'You are so good with her,' I said happily though I kept my eyes fixed on the bathroom, glancing only quickly at his face. 'I'm sorry this isn't exactly what we planned, I know it's not much of a date.'
He grinned I noticed in a glance and rubbed his thumb across the back of my hand.
'She's easy to like. Seriously, Bella, I adore her, really, and it's fine. This is nice,' he squeezed my hand in reassurance. 'Very family-like.'
'And you're okay with that?' I allowed my gaze to sit on him for longer this time before it went back to the door.
'Of course, I love you and I love that little girl,' he assured me.
'I'm sorry,' I sent him a smile. 'Just normally guys -'
'There's nothing normal about this, Belle,' he chuckled as the bathroom door swung open and Elsee appeared out of it. I laughed lightly and agreed wholeheartedly.
We left not long after that and Sam drove us home, we were going to do something else but Elsee was becoming drowsy - Sam had carried her back to the car. It was a long drive for just dinner but neither of us minded. When we got back to the house, my step-family were all asleep so we snuck Elsee up to bed, Sam carrying her again because it was less of a strain for him than me and then I walked him to the door.
'Thank you,' I smiled at him, leaning against the door frame while he stood outside, 'for the date and Elsee and everything. I had fun.'
Sam grinned back at me, 'me too.'
Normally, I had a rule about not kissing guys on the first date but, as Sam had said, we weren't normal and we already had kissed multiple times. Still, I only pecked his cheek. His arm snaked around my waist as I did so and, when I pulled away, it tightened to pull me back to him and he lowered his head to kiss me properly. I allowed my arms to wrap themselves around his neck and pulled myself onto my tiptoes. One of his hands made their way up and tangled in my hair the other keeping me flush against his body. The heat radiating from him was comforting and his kiss intoxication so it took all my strength to pull back, breathing heavily.
'I'll see you soon,' Sam whispered, pressing his forehead against mine. 'I love you, Bella.'
'I love you too,' I told him whispering as well and I felt him jolt slightly, it was the first time I had spoken those words to him though I had implied them plenty of times. His grip tightened and he kissed me again. 'Good night, Sam.'
I watched as he turned and walked back to his car, taking back up my leaning position against the door. I had one of those stupid smiles on my face and I just couldn't seem to get rid of it as he waved and drove off into the darkness. I sighed happily and went back into the house, shutting and locking the door behind me.