Roll to Me
Today would definitely test my patience, and that was because it was my turn to host Thanksgiving for my family. This would mean that the extended family was to come as well. I hoped that my parents were civil towards one another like they had been for Charlotte's birthday party two months ago. Now, normally Laurent would cook any meals we would be having, but Garrett and I decided to give him the next two weeks off to relax and spend time with his own family. Laurent was reluctant at first to leave, but when I assured him that I wouldn't be personally cooking the Thanksgiving dinner he was more assured that he wouldn't come back to a burned kitchen.
I could cook just fine, but to Laurent my cooking skills could greatly improve.
The entire morning was spent with Alice, Rosalie, and I cooking Thanksgiving lunch and it was going perfectly – until the smoke alarm went off. We nearly all jumped out of our skins and I went to the oven and opened the door to see that I had just gotten to the turkey before the poor bird was burned to a crisp.
"Well, good thing that our family likes our meat well-done. How's the pumpkin pie coming Rose?" Alice asked as she was starting to pour the sweet potato casserole into the dish. I personally didn't like that casserole much, but I knew that my dad absolutely loved it. I was pretty sure that Sue sold it around Thanksgiving in her diner – another reason he probably liked it so much. Rosalie was putting the finishing touches on her rendition of pumpkin pie and I had finished with the turkey. I had to lift the large serving dish that the turkey sat on up out of the way as Alex and Charlotte came running through the dining room playing a game of tag.
"Wow, that is a nice looking bird Bells, looks too good to eat – well almost too good…" I smacked Garrett's hand before he could pinch off a piece of the skin to the turkey. I swear that I had three children sometimes instead of two.
The whole family would be here in an hour or two, and I still had the ham to slice up and put down on the table, along with the hash brown casserole that was Phil's favorite. And the traditional green bean casserole also had to be put in the oven. This was one of the few occasions I was thankful that Laurent demanded that we purchase an oven that could cook more than two things – this oven could cook four casseroles all at the same time.
When three o' clock rolled around everyone had arrived, and I was happy to see that Leah and Seth, Sue's children, seemed to be in better spirits than when I last saw them at Charlotte's party. I could only assume things had cooled down with Leah and she was finally seeing how awesome my dad was. We were seated and started eating around three-thirty. Of course, it wouldn't be a Swan-Hale Thanksgiving if we didn't have a television in the dining room so that the boys, and Rosalie, could watch the all-day college football marathon. We made idle chit chat as we ate and tried to save room for dessert, but that didn't happen, and I was pretty sure that Alex would have a belly ache later this evening.
Things started to dwindle down and naps were being taking from all of the turkey that was eaten that we almost didn't recognize that there was a knock at the front door. Seeing that no one was bothering to get up to answer it, I got up from my spot on the couch and went to see who it was. I was a bit surprised when I saw that it was Kate standing at the front door, and she had her son with her. I was a bit stunned – too stunned to be polite and greet her properly.
"I apologize. Garrett, he tells me that if I see fit, that Arron and I could come spend Thanksgiving with you and your family. That is, if that is alright with you. I can see by the look on your face that Garrett failed to tell you this piece of news. I can go if that would be best –"
I stopped her right there and allowed her to come in. I told her we had already eaten lunch, but that she and her son were more than welcome to come in and eat. I wanted to strangle Garrett for not telling me this, and I felt even worse for Kate. She had no idea that Garrett had been an idiot and didn't tell me he had invited her to spend Thanksgiving with us. But if my memory serves me correctly, Garrett had told me that all of Kate's family is back in Slovakia, and that it was just her and Arron here. I can see why Garrett would invite her to spend Thanksgiving with us.
I made Kate and Arron a plate of food, and for some unknown reason I made myself a plate as well – no one should eat alone.
When Garrett walked through the kitchen from the family room I will admit I took sick pleasure in how surprised that he was to see Kate and her son sitting in his kitchen talking with me. Guilt was written all over his face and I gave him a knowing look – a look that told him that I would definitely be bringing this up with him later this evening when everyone went home.
James and Victoria, both who were given two weeks off as well to go be with their families but had decided to stay with us had come into the kitchen and told us that they wanted to talk with Garrett and I in private. My first guess would be that they were going to say that Victoria was pregnant, or possibly that they were finally going to admit – not only to themselves – that they have been dating all this time.
We were in Garrett's office and I could feel the awkwardness as the four of us stood in complete silence.
"Well, out with it man, what is this important news that you can't have anyone else overhearing?" Garrett said with a playful smirk and elbowed James in the gut. This was the first time I think that I saw James blush – ever. Victoria spoke first by telling us that she and James had been dating for quite some time now and that they were finally ready to make it official by telling us. I couldn't help but break out into fits of laughter. When I finally calmed down both Garrett and I admitted to the both of them that we had known from day one. This shocked the two of them and James rubbed the back of his neck. I could tell that he was embarrassed and that he felt like a fool.
"If you knew all this time why didn't either one of you say anything?"
"Well, it wasn't my place to say anything James. I knew that when you two were ready to tell us that you would."
James swore under his breath and tried to fight back a smile. Victoria was smiling and told us that there was more news to be told. James had asked Victoria to marry him. They were leaving for Canterbury, England. He wanted to take Victoria to meet his family so that they could meet the woman he would marry. I will admit I was a bit sad that I wouldn't be attending the wedding – they were planning to elope while they were in England. I joked that they were eloping because Victoria was pregnant, but when I wasn't met with laughter and smiles I froze.
Oh boy…way to go and put your foot in your mouth Bella.
I quickly apologized and asked how far along she was. Victoria told me that she found out at her appointment last week that she was nearly three months pregnant. Both she and James had decided to be surprised about the gender of the baby, but Victoria did tell me that she felt that the baby was a boy; and if it was a boy she was going to name him Riley Anderson.
Later on after James and Victoria had made their hasty exit I was just about to take Garrett to a different room and lay into him about the whole issue with Kate, when I saw Alex playing with Arron outside on the swing set I was frozen in place. I couldn't get over how much alike the boys looked; they both had light brown hair, but Alex had my pale skin and Arron had Kate's complexion. Maybe I was just putting too much thought into it.
I felt my phone vibrate and saw that it was a text message from Jenks. He told me that he had some information that he wanted to show me. He also told me that he would see me at the same Starbucks tomorrow between three and four. It was a bit frustrating that this man automatically assumed that I could just drop everything and come meet him, but I told him that I would be there at three. It worked out perfectly actually; Charlotte wanted to go Black Friday shopping with Alice, and Alex would stay home with Garrett for most of the day. I would tell my husband that I wanted to check out what sales they still had and would go to meet Jenks.
Just the thought about that particular Starbucks made me gently rub the almost-healed bruise on my left cheek. I had heard back from Officer Denali that they were able to apprehend the man who tried to rob me that day, and confirmed that he wasn't associated with the King Cobra gang that had vandalized Garrett's car – they were two isolated incidents.
As Alice and I were putting away the leftovers from our Thanksgiving lunch I found myself start to think about the similarities that Alex and Arron had. Then all at once it hit me; it was possible that Arron could be Alex and Charlotte's half-brother! This possibility started to make me sick to my stomach – actually I was feeling sick a lot lately. There would be times during PTA meetings that I had to sneak off to the restroom and dry heave in the ladies' room, and then there would be times that I would just have episodes of nausea that lasted for most of the day, but then would completely disappear the next day.
I didn't put too much thought into it though, I have been under a lot of stress lately – what with the possibility that my marriage was in shambles, the fact that Arron could be Garrett's secret love child, and then there was the whole issue with me falling head over heels in love with Edward.
I'm sure once everything settled down that all of this nausea would diminish.
"So Mrs. Jacobsen, here is all I've been able to find out since our last meeting. I do apologize that I could not stay longer; I want you to know that I feel personally responsible for what happened to you after I left." The strange part was that I think that Jason actually felt that he was responsible, even though I tried to tell him that he couldn't have possibly known that that would've happened and that I didn't blame him.
I urged him to show me what all he had uncovered in the past week. I was not prepared for what I saw. Jason Jenks handed me a file that was filled with bank statements, and a few surveillance video stills of Garrett at some of the hotels he told me he stayed at while he had been out of town when he was working the longer hours. What surprised me most was that there was a $5,000 withdrawal from a bank account that I didn't recognize. I didn't manage the money; I left that to Garrett to do because he told me that he preferred it this way.
When I told Jenks that I hadn't recognized the bank account he wasn't surprised. He told me that this was the case when a spouse was hiding something they didn't want their significant other finding out what they were doing. The photos that were in the file about broke my heart. The photos showed Garrett walking down a hotel hallway to his room with a woman clinging to him rather too close for my liking. I felt a wave of nausea come over me as Jenks told me that he had looked into these photos and people staying in the rooms on either side of Garrett's reported loud noises coming from his room.
But what made it even worse for me was the timestamp on these photos. The confusion on my face was evident and he told me that he checked into the hotel's security system, and found out that the managers at the hotel keep the surveillance videos up to five years. This explained why the date and time stamp was dated five years ago. A lot of the photos in the file were of Garrett and this same woman. The video this was taken from was grainy and this was the most enhanced photo they could get; something about this woman though was painfully familiar to me.
"I did more digging and when I brought up your husband to the hotel manager he didn't know who he was at first, but when I showed him a picture of your husband he remembered right away. He remembered your husband because he was the only customer that ever gave him a $200 tip to make sure that they were not disturbed while they were at the hotel." More nausea came over me. I got and ran to the restroom. I hunched over the sink and splashed cold water on my face to try and soothe the nausea. I took in my appearance and I was surprised I didn't look as green as I felt.
Alice was right, she's been right this entire time. Why didn't I listen to her from the beginning?
It would've saved me a lot of heartache. I knew I wasn't exactly a saint, but I at least felt guilty about what happened with Edward. This was the first time in eight years I strayed from my marriage, and to find out that your husband has been cheating on you for the past five years is a lot to take in. When I felt that my stomach had settled I returned to my seat and listened to the rest of what Jason had to say. He told me that he dug further into Garrett's mystery woman and couldn't find much other than a general description the maid gave him in his investigation.
"Now I know this probably wasn't what you wanted to hear Mrs. Jacobsen, and I do apologize that your suspicions were correct. I will tell you that this file is yours to keep, and I wish you the best of luck with how you decide to proceed with the information I've given you." With a sip of his coffee Jenks was up and out the door and I was left sitting here still soaking this information in. What could I do?
I mean the "pissed off woman" in me wanted to confront Garrett right now and demand he come clean, but the other half of me wanted to bury this information and pretend that everything was ok and that my husband hasn't been cheating on me for the past five years!
Next month was Christmas, and then after that it would be New Years. I couldn't ruin Christmas for my children with an ugly divorce, because that would be what would happen when I would tell Garrett what I've found out. I wanted to give my children at least a pleasant memory of Christmas and New Years before it was all shot to hell by the looming ugly divorce.
Part of me wanted to blame Alice for all of this; if she hadn't pushed me to hire Jenks to investigate Garrett I would never have known what I know now.
But I knew that she was only looking out for me, someone had to; I tended to put others before me. That would no longer be the case after the holidays. I would finally stand up for myself and be happy. I would need to resist the lust I had for Edward so that I could get all of my ducks in a row before I served my husband divorce papers.
I mean it couldn't be that hard to resist my Adonis…right?
Stay tuned! Chapter 13 will be posted soon!
Please don't hate me, and I am trying to figure out the issue with my phone and updating from it.
Thank you all so much for your love and support!