"Are you sure that you don't need help walking into the house?" I loved Edward I really did, but the man was smothering me!
I spent the last couple weeks, after getting out of the hospital, with Alice while the work crew Garrett had hired finished up making the repairs to the house after the fire. During this time Charlotte and Alex were introduced properly to Edward, and Alex seemed to be taken with him right away. Charlotte, well, she seemed to like him alright but she still seems a bit stand-offish. In fact, she seems to be withdrawn more lately.
My thinking is that she is having a hard time coping with the fact that Garrett and I are no longer together. Alex, who would be turning five in a week, was just happy to get a new friend.
A day or so after I got out of the hospital I sat down with the kids and explained that they were going to have a baby brother or sister soon. Charlotte smiled, but quickly wiped it from her face; I could tell that she wasn't sure if she should be happy about the baby.
"I'm fine Edward, honestly, I just want to get inside and see what work still needs to be done. I love that you're so caring and want to make sure that I'm ok, but you do realize that there is a fine line between caring and smothering, right?" I could tell that I had hurt his feelings, but it needed to be said. I had gotten enough attention during my hospital stay; I was looking forward to sleeping in my own bed and not being woken up every fifteen minutes by a nurse checking my vitals.
When I finally got the door opened I wasn't expecting the house to look almost brand new. I mean it looked the way it did the day we bought the house.
I would have to be a little nicer to Garrett for a while I suppose.
But that could wait until after I took a nap in my own bed. I threw my coat up on the coat tree and gingerly walked towards the stairs.
I had just gotten to the foot of the stairs when I saw out of the corner of my eye Garrett outside in the back yard gesturing wildly to someone I couldn't quite see. I could do one of two things, I could either go and see what Garrett was doing in the backyard, or I could just pretend like I didn't see anything and go upstairs and take a nap in my cushy soft bed.
Who am I kidding, I am curious by nature. I have to find out what's got Garrett so hot under the collar.
I could hear Edward telling me that I'd better take it easy, but I chose to ignore him. My curiosity was peaked and now I needed to know what was going on. My hand just turned the handle of the French doors to open it to the backyard, and my ears were bombarded with cheers and laughing. It was a good thing that I had a good grip on the door handle, because otherwise I would've probably tripped over my own two feet from the shock.
Both Rosalie and Alice were there, in fact, the entire extended family was in my backyard. I wasn't quite sure what to say. I honestly wasn't expecting anyone to be at my house on a Friday afternoon, and that was only because I thought the kids would be with Garrett for the weekend and Edward and I would have the run of the house to ourselves.
"Surprise!" My family collectively cheered. Still speechless, I chose to close my mouth and just smile and nod; part of me wanted to give them a piece of my mind, but I decided to hold my tongue.
"It was all Alice's idea Bells, I just want to point that out so you know who to blame."
"Way to throw me under the bus Rosie. Yes, it was my idea, but you survived a house fire, and I think that is cause for celebration. It also serves as a good way to celebrate the fact that Rosalie and I are going to be aunties again." Alice said as she tiptoed over to me and started talking to my belly – something that I should be used to by now, but I still found it very annoying.
"Excuse me for being rude, but what are you doing here? Shouldn't you be spending your weekend with the kids and Kate?" That last part came out more bitter than I had intended it to. It would seem that I was already having a mood swing with this baby, because truth be told I was still very indifferent to the whole thing with him and Kate. I will admit that I found sick pleasure when Garrett explained that he and Kate were taking a bit of break. He went on to mention that he had confronted Kate with the information I had given him.
It turned out that Arron was, in fact, his son.
I guess it would be safe to say that I felt like a douche for throwing Kate in his face – even if it was just the tiniest bit.
When my eyes scoped over the group of people here I was surprised, yet at the same time I wasn't, to see both my mom and dad here. Though, Phil and Sue were not here; Phil had work to tend to but he sends me his best, and Sue had the diner to run and on top of everything Seth, her youngest, had come down with the flu.
Time went on and I made sure everyone was on the same page about the pregnancy. I mentioned the "P" word, and this apparently meant that Alice and our mother start going back and forth over which name is better and which are 'so last season'.
Things started to die down when the sun started to set behind the trees. Both my parents would be in town for the rest of the weekend – and as if karma were paying them back they had managed to get hotel rooms at the same hotel RIGHT next to each other.
Edward was able to distract the kids so Garrett and I talk to me about the fire.
As it would turn out, a Molotov cocktail was thrown in through a window while I was sound asleep. I'm surprised the security alarm from the broken window hadn't woken me up. Since the night of the fire there had been no further threatening phone calls, but I wasn't about to count my chickens just yet; I was still waiting for the other shoe to drop.
"The detective in charge of the case hadn't gotten any new evidence to charge anyone, even though he is pretty sure that it was retaliation by the King Cobras. Detective Conners assured me that he would have a police car make extra patrols in the neighborhood for a while." I supposed that was an attempt to comfort me, but it didn't work. Garrett told me that if they started calling the house that I was to call that detective friend of his right away.
I carefully brought up the whole him and Kate thing, and it would turn out that Kate didn't plan to ever tell him that Arron was his son, that she was perfectly capable of raising him on her own. Then he told me that he had mentioned the tuition for his private school to Kate, and that didn't go over well with her. "She started grumbling in Slovakian, and then told me that she never wanted to take my money, but she did it because she wanted Arron to get a good education." Wow, I had first respected the woman for raising her son all on her own thinking that the father skipped out, but now knowing that Garrett was the father, and that he had no idea that Arron was even his to begin with, I thought it was a bit shady on her part to keep something like that from him.
But hey, I didn't have the whole story; I only have Garrett's side of things…
"Do you regret any of it; the marriage I mean…do you regret getting married?" Wow, that came out of left field. I wasn't sure how I should respond to this kind of question. I told him the truth that I didn't regret that we got married; I regretted that we both stayed in a loveless marriage for so long afterwards. We both agreed that Charlotte and Alex was the best thing to come from our marriage.
Well, at least we agree on one thing.
"I still don't like him – Edward I mean – but then no one is ever going to be good enough for you Bella; I sure as hell wasn't good enough for you." Wow, wasn't expecting that kind of thing to come pouring from Garrett's mouth. It definitely took me by surprise, but I thanked him for his kind words and told him that though he and Kate were currently in a 'disagreement', he should try and work things out with her. Though it was somewhat mean to say, I reminded him of the fact that he had been seeing her secretly behind my back for the last five years.
"Here we go again, Bella how many times do I –"
"Now, just hold on, before you put your size ten shoe in your size twelve mouth, I just want to tell you that I want you to be happy; even if that means you find someone else that makes you happy. You and I both know that neither of us has been happy for quite some time." Garrett tried to interrupt me, but I held up my hand and continued, "Don't try and deny it Gar, I've had a while to think about all that's happened. All I want is for you to be happy, and if Kate makes you happy, I think you should try and work things out with her; if not to get back together with Kate then do it for Arron. That boy didn't ask to be put in the middle of everything." Garrett chewed on this for a few minutes. I could tell that he was seriously thinking over what I just told him.
"I guess you're right in that I should try and work things out with Kate for Arron's sake. Hell, I don't even know how to go about asking her. Does Arron even know that I'm his father?"
Oh boy, he was circling the drain, and soon he would be in full-on anxiety attack.
"I have an idea; how about I host a dinner party." As soon as the words left my mouth I immediately wanted to gather them back up
"What?" Garrett looked at me with a raised eyebrow and confusion. I was just as confused by my offer. I should still be angry and let Garrett handle this whole mess on his own, but I knew, that deep down, I needed to confront Kate just like I had done to Garrett. A dinner party would be the perfect excuse.
"Yes, I want to have a sit down dinner just the four of us. You can talk to Kate and have her bring Arron along." I had no idea where I was going with this, but the more I was talking the more it started to make sense to me. Edward, Garrett, Kate, and I all needed to sit down and talk about everything; lay everything on the table. The kids would play upstairs and we would sit down to talk and eat.
I just hoped that we could all remain civil long enough for this plan of mine to work.
When it was finally the day of the dinner party I was having second thoughts, and that was only because I wasn't sure if I could cook the dinner. I mean, I was almost eleven weeks pregnant now. I had asked permission to tell Charlotte Alex about Arron, and when I did you would've thought that it was Christmas all over again. Alex was excited to have another brother, and Charlotte seemed to be genuinely excited about having another brother. I didn't bother going into details about how Arron was their brother. I also told them that though they had a new brother, he had to live with his mommy. This confused Alex, but thankfully he lost interest halfway through my attempt at an explanation and took off for his room.
"Tell me again why you bothered having a dinner party? We both know that the only thing you can cook that is edible is a turkey, and that's only because Laurent left you step-by-step instructions." And I wonder why I bothered talking to my sister for moral support. I knew that she's only making light of my nerves, but sometimes I wished that she would have a serious conversation for once.
"I will have you know that I am cooking grilled tilapia with a chipotle sauce with a side of grilled zucchini covered in shredded cheese, and for dessert I bought a chocolate cheesecake. I was going to save you a slice, but if you're going to be 'mean' to me I don't think I will." I made sure she knew I was teasing about the dessert. I knew that she would beg me to save her a piece of cheesecake – it was her favorite type of dessert. I made her beg at least twice before I finally gave in and promised I would save her a slice.
"No need to be mean Bells, and thank you for saving me a piece. Do you think it would be rude if I asked you to leave the phone line open so I can hear what all goes on? Both Rosie and I would love to be a fly on the wall when the shit hits the fan." With a sigh I quickly hung up the phone before Alice could sway me to the dark side and I actually considered letting her listen in on our dinner party.
Garrett had told me that Kate was bringing some weird Slovakian soup as an appetizer. I wanted to say what I really felt about her trying to be 'polite', but managed to keep my thoughts to myself.
Edward would be here shortly to help me set the table and get everything ready. Charlotte and Alex had already eaten dinner and were playing upstairs. This is when I definitely missed Victoria and Laurent. Laurent would make the most amazing food and Victoria would keep me sane until it was time to sit down to eat with the enemy. Speaking of Victoria, she had found she was expecting a baby boy and he would make his appearance sometime in May.
When I told her I was pregnant she didn't even ask if it was Garrett's or Edwards. But then I wasn't all that surprised she didn't bother asking. I told her all about what has happened since she had the nerve to be happy and move to England. Victoria was glad that the baby and I were alright and that James was also happy that I was ok. I was a little surprised to find out that James hadn't really kept in touch with Garrett as much as I had first thought. They've been such close friends; you would think that they would still be close.
Victoria told me that her theory was that James was angry with Garret for ruining our marriage by having an affair for the last five years of it. His view on marriage was that if either spouse is unhappy in the marriage they would tell the other their feelings, and if they couldn't work out their feelings then they would file for divorce. James didn't believe in cheating, and though he had his suspicions he felt horrible for not telling me of his suspicions of Garrett from the beginning. Victoria had put him on the phone and I told him that I didn't blame him, and that though things sucked in the beginning of the divorce everything seemed to be better.
Garrett and Kate arrived shortly after Edward did. I called Charlotte and Alex down to meet Arron properly, because before they just knew him as a boy they had met at the Christmas party they went to.
I bit my tongue when I saw that under her jacket Kate wore a floral dress with a plunging neckline; a bit too much for a formal dinner party in my opinion. Then I noticed the sandals she wore, and if I didn't know better I'd say that her feet looked a bit swollen.
She couldn't be…could she?
"Kids, I would like you to meet Kate and Arron. Kate, these are my kids Charlotte and Alex." Garrett said beaming. I wanted to hurl right now, though I had already forgiven him, I wanted to punch him for being so sweet about everything.
"Hello, I feel like I know you both so much already; your father talks about you so much at work." Kate said with a smile. I wanted to smack that damned smile off of her face, and as if sensing my tension Edward snaked his arm around my waist and gave me a comforting squeeze.
Once everyone was introduced I instructed Charlotte to take Alex and Arron upstairs to her room to play, and being the good girl that she is she nodded and led the boys upstairs to play.
I quickly took the soup from Kate's hands and rushed back to the kitchen; though it wasn't fast enough, because Kate had decided to follow me into the kitchen. Oh how I wished she had stuck like glue to Garret like she did for the last five years. I knew that if she even attempted to make some sort of apology I don't think I would have anything nice to say to her. I know that they say rise above and move forward, but whoever wrote that obviously never had their marriage ruined by some home wrecker who managed to get pregnant during the affair.
"Ms. Bella, I know that nothing I say – "
"You're damn right there is nothing you can say to make up for what you did. I know that this dinner is to make peace and hopefully try and be civil for the children, but I can assure you that you and I will never be friends; I only invited you here so that we can talk everything out, and then I want you out of my house as quickly as your swollen feet can take you." I admit I took sick pleasure in giving Kate a piece of my mind just now. Kate was about to open her mouth, and so I decided to go in or the kill, "oh, and if you think for one second you can hide the fact that you are pregnant then you need a reality check hun. I've had two children, I know the signs. Did you actually manage to tell Garrett about this child?"
"It's not Garrett's…"
Oh. My. God.
I didn't even know what to say to her right now. I just shook my head and went back to dipping out the soup into the bowls. Though I was trying my hardest to ignore her, I didn't miss the part where she had originally planned on not telling Garrett it wasn't his, but then changed her mind and told him about the pregnancy. I gritted my teeth and kept my mouth shut, I was afraid I would say something I would probably have to apologize for later. I left Kate standing open-mouthed in the kitchen and brought out the soup to the table. Garrett and Edward were making small talk over a baseball game that was on when I called them over to sit down for dinner.
The entire dinner was spent sitting in uncomfortable silence. Kate didn't speak up much during dinner, and though I should be practically giddy that she looked like she was about to cry at any moment, a small part of me felt a little guilty for what I said.
Though that part was very small.
We had just gotten to the cheesecake when Kate looked up from her plate at me. I could tell that she wanted to defend herself, but couldn't find the right words.
"So, where should we start? Should we talk about the fact that you hid an affair from Bella for the past five years, or should we start with the fact that you got your secretary pregnant and didn't bother stepping up to offer any financial help?!" Wow, way to go Edward for being blunt and straight to the point.
"Or we could talk about why you think you have the right to butt in on things that don't concern you. It doesn't matter if you're screwing my ex-wife and that she's carrying your baby."
"Speaking of babies, funny story; Kate, why don't you tell us about the little bun in the oven." Kate's cheeks reddened. Good, serves her right for trying to make nice like nothing happened. If she honestly thought that just apologizing would smooth things over between us then she had another thing coming. I mean I let the woman and her son spend Thanksgiving with me and my family, not know that she had been seeing my husband all this time.
"I already knew about the baby Bella. Kate told me a few weeks ago. So whatever idea you got in your head in getting back at her for what she's done then you're out of luck." I was about to lay into Garrett for talking to me like that but he added, "I'm not trying to say that what we did wasn't as bad as it was, because it was. I know I screwed up. Kate didn't want to ruin our marriage, though looking back now I can see that the damage had already been done."
I had to chew the inside of my cheek to keep from yelling and screaming at the two of them. I wanted to yell at them how they had made me feel like such an idiot this entire time; that they had been fooling around behind my back this entire time and I had no idea until last fall. I wanted to yell at them that I felt like my marriage was a complete joke.
I could feel tears threatening to fall down my cheeks, and willed them back and sat there listening to Garrett's confession. Kate was next and she apologized profusely but I had no intentions of forgiving her right now – if ever. And as if to try and make me and Edward feel sorry for her she went into a sob story about how during the time that she and Garrett were taking a break for the divorce she had met some guy at a bar and hooked up with him. Now, I have no room to judge in that department, but the fact that she wasn't even drunk is where she lost my sympathy. She didn't even know the guy's name, so when she found out that she was pregnant she panicked and called Garrett. Somehow I managed to keep from rolling my eyes at how she tried to play the victim though in my personal opinion she wasn't a victim, she was an active participant.
When it came time for my turn to lay my feelings out on the table Alex came running down with Arron and Charlotte trailing after him.
"Mommy, Arron says he my brover. Is dat true?"
So that bitch Kate told her son and didn't bother letting Garrett or I know?
I had planned to have the kids all sit down and Garrett, Kate, and I tell them together. Obviously, there was a gap in communication and now I had to worry about whether or not Alex could even understand what this meant, and then there was Charlotte. She was very smart for nine years old, and I was afraid she would know more about what happened than her brother would.
I glanced at Garrett, who nodded in agreement with my silent question.
"Yes Alex, Arron is yours and Charlotte's brother. You both have the same daddy, but Kate is Arron's mommy. Does that make sense baby?" I watched as Alex tried to comprehend the information, and after a few minutes he nodded his head and giggled and raced back up the stairs with Arron giggling after him.
I'm not surprised that those boys bonded so quickly.
Without a word Charlotte walked upstairs out of sight. I made a mental note to go upstairs after this was over with and talk with her.
"Well, that was fun, why don't we go back to the dining room and finish what we started." Garrett tried to make light of what happened, and I couldn't blame him; but I sure as hell would secretly blame Kate for her big mouth.
"I think it's my turn now." I spoke slowly. I wanted to make sure that I got all of my feelings about everything out in the open so that there would be no confusion on any subject. "I think you two both know my feelings about what you've done for the past five years, but want to be perfectly clear, what you both did was very childish and hurtful! Garrett, if you haven't done the math, Arron is older than Alex; that would mean that you and Miss Secretary here had been screwing around behind my back for the past FIVE YEARS! There was not one time that I thought there was a possibility that you would go and cheat on me. Hell, I thought you and I would divorce before it came to that, but I suppose I had you figured wrong." By this time I had tears pouring down my face. The only thing keeping me from breaking into full-on sobs right now was Edward's comforting hold on my waist. "Garrett, you and I fell in love hard and fast, and then Charlotte came shortly after that, and you proposed to me. Did you ever really love me? I know that we had Alex four years after Charlotte, but never once did I think I would have to question if you really ever loved me." I wiped away tears with the back of my hand as I tried to remain composed.
I could see that I wasn't alone when it came to tears; I saw that Garrett had a few of his own brewing.
"Yes, I loved you so much when we first met. I loved you so much that you were all I think about, but somewhere around the time you became pregnant with Alex I found myself realizing that I loved you, but it wasn't the same love I had starting out. I know that that sounds like a cop out, but it's the honest truth Bella." By this time I was sobbing into Edward's shoulder. I was having a mixture of emotions rolling around inside of me. I wanted to scream at him how his revelation could've saved us a lot of heartache if he had just told me in the beginning. Though at the same time I was a little glad that he hadn't told me right away, because who knows if would've met Edward back then. Edward was the only good thing to come from this whole mess. "I never meant for you to find out the way you did. I always meant to tell you about Kate, but things would conveniently come up and I would put off telling you, weeks turned to months, and the months turned into years. Bella, I want you to know that I am truly sorry for how our marriage ended. The only reason I can give is that I didn't want to hurt you – though it's only now that I realize that my realization came too late."
Not much was said after that. All of our feelings were out in the open; no secrets were left to hide. I started clearing the table, and refused help from Garrett and Kate, but didn't refuse when Edward took the heavier dishes from me and followed me into the kitchen.
"Tonight was intense, but I think it's good that everything is out in the open; now we don't have to hide how we feel about each other." I could always count on Edward to find the silver lining in this whole situation. "Have I told you how beautiful you look pregnant, and to think that in under two months we can finally find out if the baby is going to be a boy or a girl; though I will be happy with either, I just want the baby to be healthy." Though I just wanted the baby to be healthy as well, I secretly hoped for a boy. I'm not sure why I wanted another boy, but something told me that I was going to have a boy. I didn't have my appointment until next month. May 5th couldn't come soon enough for me; I would be thirteen weeks and couldn't wait to get another glimpse of the baby. Alice teased me at my last visit that I would have twins, but I told her I would've known already if that were the case, and then she had to go and tell me that there were cases where the twin was hiding behind the sibling and the heartbeats were in synchronization.
Long after Garrett, Kate, and Arron left I left Edward with Alex watching late night Nickelodeon cartoons, and went upstairs to go talk to Charlotte. She was on her bed reading one of her books.
"Char, do you want to talk about it? I know that look you had earlier. You know you can talk to me about how you're feeling about everything." Charlotte looked up over her book at me and gave me a half smile.
Oh this wasn't good; she wasn't even trying to verbally communicate with me.
"Charlotte, you know your daddy loves you and Alex right?" she nodded her head. "Well, then can you tell me why you're so upset?" She took a few minutes to think about her answer. She was definitely my daughter she kept everything bottled up and pretended everything was fine, when in all actuality things were a complete mess. "If daddy loved us then why is he with that blonde lady now? I know you said we still get to see daddy on the weekends, but Arron'll get to see him all the time. What if he forgets about us and loves Arron more?" My heart literally just broke into a million pieces. How do you tell your nine year old daughter that her daddy loves her just as much as he does Arron? There was no point in telling her that right now Kate and Garrett weren't living together; not because they were still on the outs, but waiting until Garrett could afford an actual house instead of the condo he was leasing.
"Charlotte, your daddy loves you, Alex, and Arron all the same. Yes, Arron will probably get to spend more time with your daddy, but don't you think for a second that he will forget about you or love you any less, ok?" Charlotte nodded and cried into my arms. This went on for a few more minutes until finally she was all cried out.
I helped her get ready for bed then called down from the top of the stairs for Alex to come and get ready for bed. I laughed when I heard Alex complain and stomped up the stairs to the bathroom.
When the kids were finally tucked into bed I crawled into bed and Edward joined me. It was the first night he was staying the night since the divorce. I originally thought that I would want to wait a bit longer before this happened, but I proved myself wrong.
Tonight had been emotionally draining, and I was thankful that I didn't have to force myself to fall asleep. As sleep slowly came to greet me I found myself dreaming of the possibility of me having twins.
Will Bella have twins? I've heard of cases where going into the pregnancy the mother found out she was having twins after being told there was only one baby. Do you think Bella will have twins? Do you think she should? (It's not written in stone yet, sorda lol)
Let me know your thoughts and I hope to hear from you in your reviews! :)