Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 142

Copyright Page

This book was automatically created by FLAG on January 17th, 2012, based on content retrieved from http://www.fanfiction.net/s/5644328/. The content in this book is copyrighted by itachi's future wife or their authorised agent(s). All rights are reserved except where explicitly stated otherwise. This story was first published on January 5th, 2010, and was last updated on June 8th, 2010. Any and all feedback is greatly appreciated - please email any bugs, problems, feature requests etc. to flag@erayd.net.

Table of Contents
Summary 1. Prologue 2. Chapter 1 3. Chapter 2 4. Chapter 3 5. Chapter 4 6. Chapter 5 7. Chapter 6 8. Chapter 7 9. Chapter 8 10. Chapter 9 11. Chapter 10 12. Chapter 11 13. Chapter 12 14. Chapter 13 15. Chapter 14 16. Chapter 15 17. Chapter 16 18. Chapter 17 19. Chapter 18 20. Chapter 19 21. Chapter 20 22. Chapter 21 23. Epilogue

-3-

Summary
Bella Swan fell in love and soon after, she fell pregnant. Edward's sudden success made her run in fear, taking her unborn child with her. Now Edward's getting married and Masen Swan's doing anything to stop it.

-4-

Prologue
Prologue BPOV I was very young when I met Edward Masen. He was charming and funny, he was sweet and kind. I had never loved anyone before him and I doubt I'll love someone after. What Edward and I shared was special, and then it all came crashing down around us. Of course, Edward never found out. I fell pregnant at the young age of 23, after seven years of dating. Edward had proposed to me, it seemed as if the two of us were set, nothing could ever stand in the way of our happiness. If only then I had known how wrong I was. Out of nowhere, Edward's music career suddenly took off. His compositions were becoming more and more popular and I knewit was only a matter of time before he would be on to bigger and better things, onto his dream. A wife and child would only get in the way. So that night, I packed my bags while Edward slept and then, I took of my engagement ring. I placed it on my pillow and pulled the blanket up over Edward. I kissed his cheek one last time. I knew it would be the last time we ever saw each other. He would go on to be famous and I would care for the child he would never have to know about. I gave birth to Masen without any complications. He looked exactly like his father with the same bronze locks and green eyes. The two of them could have been twins. So that's were I was now, looking after a little boy all on my own. I guess that's what they mean when they say that sometimes, you have to do things alone.

-5-

Chapter 1
Okay, so this is just a heads up, Masen and Cameron are nothing alike. For those of you who loved Cameron, You are probably going to hate Masen, But he gets better, I promise, the brattiness doesn't last that long. Disclaimer: I don't own Twilight, SM does.

Chapter 1 BPOV I opened my eyes and looked out the window of my apartment. The sun hadn't even begun to rise yet. So why was I up? I always got up before I was supposed to. Masen was probably still asleep, not even probably, he was asleep. I sat up and ran a hand through my hair. I wasn't getting back to sleep anytime soon. I stood up and stretched, better to make breakfast early, he most likely wasn't going to eat it anyway. I walked down the hall and into the kitchen. The light above the stove was still on so I knew that Masen had come in, choosing to eat at night instead of when I put the food in front of him. That was one of his many quirks. "You shouldn't wake up so early." I heard his voice say from behind me. "It's not even time for school yet." "Since when do you go to school?" I questioned sarcastically. "I show up for attendance, they should feel lucky. I don't have to go at all." He sat down at the kitchen table. "School is important, you need to at least try and make some friends and stop pissing off the FBI." I growled. "I got another letter today." "I should write back and tell them to upgrade their system." "They're trying to decide whether you're just a pest or a serious terrorist threat, leave it alone." I snapped.
-6-

"Can't do, I have something I want to try." "Masen!" I warned. "What? I'm helping people. They now know that their system is crap enough for a 16 year old to hack it." "You aren't a normal 16 year old. Normal 16 year olds care about cars and girls, you seem to care about neither." I handed him a piece of toast. "I just want you to stay out of trouble." "I'll start bouncing my signal then. They won't have a clue." He winked and then gagged as he bit into the toast. "You cannot cook." "And yet you still live here." "" I passed him a cereal box instead. MPOV "I don't understand why I have to go." I growled angrily, twirling a strand of hair around my fingers. "Masen please. School is a good thing, it's fun and constructive and you'll get to make great friends that could possibly last a lifetime." She said pointedly. "What the heck? Did you buy gourmet coffee beans this morning or something? You seem way to happy to be going to that job you supposedly hate so much." I gave up and pushed my cereal away from me. I didn't feel like eating anything. "Shut up, I don't see why you don't want to ride the bus. I liked riding the bus when I was in high school." My mother said happily. "That's because you had friends, not people threatening to beat you up at every turn. I mean really mom, school isn't as fun now as it used to be in the good ole days." "How do you expect to go to college then? You never show up and you're failing, your teachers don't think you're smart." I pointed out.
-7-

"I'll ace the SAT, it's not a big deal. I could probably sweep Harvard's freshman class and not loose a wink of sleep. School isn't all that important." I leaned back in my chair. "I am not that old." She huffed, angry with my always logical backtalk. "Sure you aren't miss I'm almost 40 but I like to pretend like I'm 25." I laughed at my own sarcastic humor. "Oh just go to school, don't forget your helmet or your pads, please don't fall either, I can't afford another trip to the emergency room." "Glad to know money is more important than my safety and well being mother dear." I stood up, grabbed my backpack and went to go load up my bike. Now you might think that I was disrespecting my mother, the truth is, that's just the way we go back and forth, it's our relationship. I jumped onto my bike and waved to my mother. She blew me a kiss as I rode off down the street. Now, I'm a safe biker. I know my turning signals and the basic laws of safety. That was the way my mother raised me to behave. I rode along as usual waving to my neighbors when it hit me. I slammed against the asphalt, my bike landing on top of me. The car that hit me screeched to a halt right before it actually ran me over. I heard the door open and soon, a man in a black suit was looking anxiously at me. "Are you alright, I didn't see you." he said quickly. I rolled over and got to my feet. "You just hit me with you car, no, I am not alright! You're lucky I'm not allergic to the type of paint you're using or something, you could have killed me." I shouted at him. He flinched at my tone. That was the first time I ever looked at the car, it was a limousine. "What the heck, who takes a limo through this neighborhood?" "I apologize, we can take you to a hospital, I'm sure my boss would pay for any bills." He tried to drift my attention back to my injuries. "Whatever, last thing I need is someone rich taking care of me." The back door opened at the sound of my voice.
-8-

"Victor, what's going on?" he asked, he was clearly the boss. He was wearing a grey power suit with a tie, total nub if you ask me. "We hit someone sir, a child." "I am not a child, I'm almost eighteen." I growled at him. The man looked me over with curious eyes. "Why were you riding in the street?" "Because it's against the law to ride on the side walk you nimrod." I picked up my bike to look over the damage, it was bad, the back wheel was crushed. I heard another door open. "Daddy! What is going on! We have to get to the church!" a shrill voice shouted. I tried to refrain from covering my ears. "Tanya, calm down, can't you see we've hit someone?" the man said softly. I groaned. "Well move his body and let's go! We have a deadline!" she shouted even louder. My eyebrows rose. "Do you have a computer in your car?" I asked quietly. "Yes? Why do you ask?" "No reason. Thanks for the offer, but I'm fine, really." I told the driver, he seemed to be the only one actually concerned about my welfare. That was, until the last man got out. He wasn't dressed like the others, not all fancy and prudish. He wore a simple tee shirt and jeans. "Hey, are you alright?" he walked closer, worry etched onto his face. "Please don't make a scene, my mother will hear and that's the last thing I need." I whimpered pathetically. "No really, we should take you to the hospital, you could be seriously hurt." He insisted. "No thanks. I'm most likely smarter than you so I can tell I'm fine, just a few
-9-

lacerations." I held up air quotes. His eyebrows rose at my words. "Smarter than me, are you so sure?" he was just being stupid then. "I have an IQ of 173, I'm what the call, a genius." Air quotes again. "Well you don't seem to modest about it." now it was his turn to cross his arms. "If you got it, flaunt it." I snapped. He laughed loudly. "At least let us drive you to school Mr. Genius, education's important." He was still laughing. I sighed and finally relented and climbed into the limo. "Edward, what is this? We have a schedule to keep, we don't have time to be charitable." The woman shrieked. She had strawberry blonde hair and blue crisp blue eyes. She glared rather frostily at me. I ignored her as I pulled out my laptop, just because the weren't paying for my medical bills didn't mean they weren't going to pay. I cracked my knuckles and logged on. After a couple of minuets, Edward looked over at my screen. "What's with all the numbers?" "It's binary." I wanted to call him an ignoramus but I figured he wouldn't know what that meant. "Oh, that's the code for computers, why are you looking it over?" "I'm not, I'm just screwing around with it. You can stop here." I said to the driver. He stopped the car and then came to open the door for me. Edward stuck out his hand. "Edward Masen." "Masen Swan." He looked shocked for a second and then shook his head. Then, he looked closer. "Masen, that's a strange first name." "My mom's a strange person, take it up with her." I shrugged and got out of the car.
- 10 -

"What's her name?" he asked slowly. "Bella Swan." I shut the door and walked away, leaving a very surprised man behind me. My cell phone vibrated in my pocket. "No matter what happens to me, you still somehow manage to survive." I hissed at it. "Masen, did you get hit by a car?" My mother's voice screamed as soon as I hit the talk button. "Yes, no big deal, I can walk." "You little- Masen what ware you thinking, you could go into shock! You could have hit your head, I'm taking you to the hospitalohthis is going to cost a fortune!" "Don't worry mom, the driver said he'd pay." I smiled as my computer screen finally showed what I wanted, the records. I had social security numbers, credit card transactions, and everything else I needed. "Don't worry mom, everything will be just fine." I smiled grimly and closed the laptop. Edward Masen hmmmhe didn't seem like a challenge.

- 11 -

Chapter 2
Chapter 2 EPOV Masen Swan puzzled me. I had been wracking my brain all the way to the church. The more I thought about his appearance, the more he resembled my Bella. He had the same heart-shaped face and the familiar pale skin. I knew he had to be hers, I just wondered why she never told me. I logged onto my computer once we got home from the church that night and typed in the name 'Masen Swan'. His picture popped up instantly, holding a trophy in his hands. I clicked on the link beneath the picture. Apparently, he had won some huge science competition in D.C. with his project on computer robotics. The article called him "masterful" with technology. However, it wasn't him that interested me at that moment, it was the beautiful chocolate-haired woman standing next to him. Isabella Swan, my Bella. She was standing next to him, a hand on his shoulder, clearly proud. I had been staring into the face of her son. 'Oh my god' she had a child, what if there was a husband in the picture, what if she was happy without me? I shook my head to clear the thoughts from my head. I was engaged, Tanya loved me. 'No, she loves your money.' I knew Tanya had no real interest in me, but I was lonely, I needed someone who would stay with me, even if it was for purely superficial reasons. Bella had left me alone, so clearly, she didn't want me like I thought she did. My eyes skimmed over the picture again. Masen was an arrogant child, in love with himself. I wondered how someone as sweet and innocent as Bella had given birth to such a boy. His smirk seemed to mock my intelligence through the screen, just as it ha din the car. Clearly, he thought he was better than everyone. I closed my laptop after a few and plopped down onto my bed. To be truthful, it wasn't the first time I'd thought of her in the sixteen years that we'd been apart. But it was the first times in years that I longed to see her standing beside me again, with the same radiant smile on her face. 'She's gone, she moved on.'
- 12 -

"EDWARD!" Tanya's piercing scream met my ears. I closed my eyes and tried to block her out. BPOV "Masen, what are you doing?" I asked suspiciously. "Oh, just browsing software." He said rather nonchalantly. No, he was to calm to be looking at software. He was up to something. I snatched the computer from his hand and looked at the screen. Masen wasn't the type for porn or anything, that wasn't his style, heck women weren't his style (men weren't either if that's what you're inferring.). If he wanted to see something naked, it would be the inside of a computer or an expensive hard drive. That wasn't what I saw, what I was looking at was my worst nightmare: Edward Masen. I had chosen not to inform Masen of his parentage for fear of upsetting him. He had felt abandoned by his father, I was the first to tell him that that wasn't the case. Still Masen had always been curios. "What are you doing looking at articles about him?" I demanded rather harshly. "He was in the limousine that hit me. I was just wondering who he was in case you decided to take him up on his offer." He shrugged. "Oh, so that's it? That's all this is about?" "Yeah, should there be something else?" he asked suddenly interested. "No. Nothing, don't ask questions, just go to your room." I stood up and walked into the kitchen. "Who is he to you?" Masen asked softly. That was out of character for him, he had never been one to ask. "None of your concern." I should have known then, Masen would get the information he wanted if it took all he had. Even if it didn't come from me. Therefore, I went into his room and unhooked his computer. He wouldn't be searching anything else that night. "Mom, c'mon, please. Just tell me what it is, you don't normally keep things like
- 13 -

this from me." Masen said desperately. "No, this is something you need to keep your nose out of. I mean it!" I was so close to tears. "Mom" MPOV I knew I only had a little time, my mom only slept around four hours every night. It wasn't that she stayed up late or got up early, that was just all the sleep she needed to function. Mom kept a bolted down safe in her room, even I didn't know the combination, it was for important things, things that not even I could know about. So if info on Edward Masen would be somewhere, it would be there. I lightly traced my fingers over the door and tried to rotate the knob. I wouldn't take me long to figure it out, things like that came naturally to me. It only too me about five minutes to put in the right combination, the safe finally clicked open. I reached inside and pulled out anther metal box. Sadly, it was locked. I had expected she would do something like that but I hadn't planned for it. She could have hidden the key anywhere. I placed the box back in the safe and closed it. It would have to wait until the day after. I needed to find that key. "I'm sorry I snapped at you yesterday." Mom said as she sat down. "I really don't care. You haven't yelled in my entire sixteen years of life, you're actually a bit overdue." I shrugged and sat down at the kitchen table. "That's no excuse. You are my son, I hate yelling at you, it makes me feel like a bad parent." She sighed and sat down across from me. "You raised a nationally ranked science fair champion who may or may not be a terrorist." She smiled at me and then leaned across to kiss my cheek. "I love you." she stood up and then left. I drummed my fingers on the kitchen tabletop and thought. If I were my mom, where would I hide a key that I never wanted my son to find. A large smile spread across my face.
- 14 -

I walked into the living room and opened my mom's music box, I cringed at the sound that came out. It was Claire De Lune, her favorite. I absolutely hated it and had always tried to avoid hearing the garbled mess. "There you are." I snatched the key out and rolled it in my hands. Did I want to know what was in the box, knowledge wasn't everything after all "Screw that." "Screw what?" my mom called from the other room. I shoved the key into my pocket. "Nothing, sorry, talking out loud." That key suddenly felt like it weighed 20 pounds. My mom went off to work at the publishing company she worked at. She didn't even bother with the school argument that morning, she knew I wasn't going in that day. I reopened the safe and pulled out the box. I thought for a few moments, what would my mom say if she saw me sneaking around. We never kept secrets; then again, the box was a secret. I stuck the key in and turned it, satisfied by the click I heard. I lifted the top and looked inside. It was nothing, just a few pieces of paper, our birth certificates and her will. That was stupid, why keep things I knew about locked anyway? I picked up the box, turned it over and dumped its contents onto the floor. I froze, my birth certificate lay right in front of me, mocking me with the plain black ink. Edward Masen That name was written right where a father's name should go. Okayso that was just one thing, Edward was a still a common name right? And Masen was a common last name. then why had my mother freaked out so much when she saw his picture, why had she wanted to hide it form me. 'Because I had been staring into the face of my father.' I put my head in my hands, what had happened? Why wasn't he with us? Why hadn't he stayed with my mom? I sifted through the papers again and saw a manila envelope. I'd already crossed the boundaries of our trust, I doubted she would care if I looked just a little bit deeper. I opened the envelope and grimaced. I was greeted by smiling faces, happy
- 15 -

people. They were rich, I could tell. A huge house rested in the background, my father standing in the middle with whom I assumed to be his family. The rest of the photos were even more. They were of the two of them, my mother and him. I held one of them at eye level, juts the two of them, sitting together. I suddenly felt angry, rage ripping through me like a fire, licking my insides, burning everything it touched. I felt out of control, furious at the thought of us being alone for so long without him. He got to ride in limousine, running around with all the younger women, all blonde and busty, leaving his son to rot in misery. I ripped the photograph right down the middle, he didn't deserve to be pictured with her. I shoved the other half in my pocket and put the paperwork back in its holder. Mom would never have to know. "You should get your bike fixed, you won't be able to get to the library without it." mom said at dinner. "I know, I just don't know any decent places to take it. and I don't spend that much time in the library anyway, it's not like they'll miss me." I shrugged my shoulders. "Please, you'd spend all your time there if you could, I'm telling you, by tomorrow, you'll be suffering from withdrawal syndrome." She laughed. "Yeah. You're probably right, you're always right." I stood up and put my plate in the microwave. I knew she didn't expect me to eat it in front of her in the first place. "What's that sticking out of you pocket?" she asked suddenly. I looked down. The half of the photo was peeking out. "It's nothing, just something I got out of my room." "Alrighty, head off darling, lord knows you're tired from you're long day of hard work." She laughed loudly at her own sarcasm. "Okay, whatever. Lay off the pasta, you know it makes your ass huge." I ran before she could get up.

- 16 -

Chapter 3
Chapter 3 MPOV "C'mon you stupid thing, c'mon!" I shouted at my bike. The back wheel was practically destroyed. I couldn't ride it anymore without a new wheel or a completely new bike. There was no way I was going to buy a new one though, the bike I had was a gift from Charlie, my grandfather, right before he died of a heart attack. There was no way it wasn't going anywhere. "I told you, just take it to the shop and try to get it fixed. I have some extra cash lying around, we might be able to get it done really soon." I knew that last part was a lie, she barley had the money to keep the two of us fed. My mom said brightly. She looked down on me from our porch steps. In reality, I stood actually about a head taller than she did. "No, I've got the money in my award fund remember, you don't have to pay for anything." I made a lot of money via scientific competitions and robotics expositions. "The award fund is for college expenses. You don't need to pay for it yourself." She smiled at me and pulled out her wallet but I pushed it away and told her to put it away, I didn't need the money. "Really mom, it's fine. I've got more than enough and I've got another robotics exhibition this summer, it'll make up for the cost of my bike." She laughed at me. "You're way too sure of yourself. I'm sure Jasper knows a good auto shop somewhere, you could go and ask him." she blew me a kiss and disappeared back into the house. Jasper was our Texan next door neighbor. He'd lived next door to us for three years but he was already one of my mother's best friends. I was cool with him, he never crossed me. I ran across our front yard and hopped the fence surrounding it. After three quick knocks on his front door, he opened it. "Hello Masen, what brings you here, I never took you as one for boy scouts."
- 17 -

"I don't have the time or the patience for something as stupid as badges. I did however come over to ask if you know a decent auto shop in town." "Mom finally broke down and bought you a car? Never thought I'd see the day." "You probably won't. Actually, the back wheel on my bike got smashed when I was hit by a car the other day." His eyes rose at the mention of me being ht by a car but said nothing. "I need to get it fixed, money's no object." "You're in luck then, a good friend of mine owns an auto shop, it's not that far. I'm sure he'd that wheel fixed in a matter of minuets for ya." He retreated back into the house to get a pad of paper and a pen. He brought it back and gave me the slip of paper. "Em's great, he can fix pretty much anything. So can Rose, she might be there as well." "That's good, I don't feel like buying a new bike. That would mean breaking it in and I don't have time for that." I waved my hand around dismissively. "I don't understand that. That thing is ancient, but hey, it's your little death trap, keep it if you want." "It has it's quirks but it's a good way to get around." I shrugged and looked over the address, it wasn't all that far. "Thanks Jasper, I'll take my bike there today." "Tell Em I said hi." I nodded yes. "I'll head over around four, that'll give me time to get back by the time you get home." I told my mom. "Who do you expect to drive you there if I'm not home, I'll be at work until at least eight o'clock, I'm working the late shift, remember?" she asked, genuinely curious and concerned. "I can walk, it isn't that far and I could use the exercise and some vitamin D. Going outside and walking for a little while could do me some good. Really, look at my skin, people are going to think I'm a vampire or something, look." She looked confusedly at me and then smiled. "Masen, you're a child still, you shouldn't be walking around alone. I'll drive you there and drop you off, we'll just have to leave early. You can ride back can't you?"
- 18 -

"Sure, let's do that then, it doesn't make any sense but okay." I nodded to her. Within the hour, we were loaded up into the car and ready to go. Mom was already in one of suits that she wore for work. She was ready to head to the publishing company where she worked, I knew she hated reading other people's work when she could be writing her own. "Got your wallet? Got you're debit card, your license? Make sure your card hasn't reached it's expiration date, you know you never use it." she asked as we pulled up to the front of the garage. "Yes. I've got everything I need, don't worry." I assured her. "Oh look, we can talk to him." she pointed to a tall man with russet skin and long black hair. "Mom, we don't need to talk to anyone, we're fine." "Hush." She climbed out of the car and waved to get the man's attention. He looked up from his work. She waved again, this time with a smile. "Hello ma'am, what brings a pretty young thing like you to this side of the tracks?" he asked, looking her up and down, taking in her small but curvaceous form. "My son's bike needs fixing," she said not missing a beat. Mom was pretty, she was used the being hit on by many different men. "So you brought it here, very smart choice missy. We do good work for good prices. I'm sure you're interested." He winked at her. My mother looked as if she was trying to keep from throwing up. "It's my son's bike, it's also his money. If you want to do business dealings, you'll have to do them with him. Don't think that just because he's a kid, you can outsmart him, you'll be lucky if he doesn't outsmart you first." she kissed my cheek. "You're on your own kiddo, Jazz said he'll be watching for you to get back. Call me when you get back to the house okay?" "Yeah. Don't worry, I'll be just fine." I promised her. If only I'd known how wrong I really was. "Okay, just stay safe." She left me standing there as she got back into the car.
- 19 -

I waved goodbye to her and watched her disappear into the distance, damn, I already felt lonely. "So, a bike huh, what happened to it?" "Back wheel got ran over when I got hit by a car. No big thing." "Really, sounds pretty big to me, you got hit by a car?" he actually started laughing at me. "Let's get my bike fixed. I have the money, so that's not the problem. Just come on." I crossed my arm and tapped my foot impatiently. I was already angry with him for hitting on my mom. "Alright, I'll go get Emmett. He'll take a look and we'll get you back to mommy." I glared at him. "Yo Em, we got a kid with a hot mom, c'mon." he yelled. "Shut up Jake, Rose might hear!" a booming voice shouted back. "Your call. The kid has money though and it's a quick job." The one named Jake shouted back. "Hey kid!" a big burly man with thick dark curls, matted with sweat (gross) came out of one of the back rooms. "I'm Emmett, what brings you here?" "Wow, this is only the thirtieth time I've said this but my back wheel is broken and I need it fixed. My next door neighbor said that you were the man to go to. Oh right, Jasper tells me to tell you hi." "Should've known it was Jazz, so you're the smartass who lives next door to him. He says good things about you and your mum though." "Good to know, so about my bike. I would really like it done by today, it's kind of my ride home." I griped at him. His eyebrows rose at my tone but he didn't say anything about it. "Alright, we'll get it done in at least an hour, we just have to look at the damage, you know, assess what we need to do to fix it and all. It's a lot of mechanical stuff." Jacob grabbed my bike up and they wheeled it into the garage. "What did you do? Go head to head with a truck."
- 20 -

"Limousine." "Ouch, that's really horrible. How in the world did that happen?" "Some asshole was having his driver take a shortcut through my neighborhood, he didn't know the roads, and now, my bike suffers for it." I was still upset about the whole ordeal. "Wow, some people can be really inconsiderate, sorry to hear about it though, you alright?" he asked, running his hands over my bike. "Yeah, I'm aright, they weren't going all that fast." "EMMETT!" a woman's voice shouted. I looked up from my lap to see her. "Edward, what in the world are you doing here, I thought you were heading back to L.A. today." She said, I looked around to see whom she was talking to, "Um, my name isn't Edward, it's Masen." I looked her over and then gasped. She was a woman in one of the pictures, the blonde one. She already connected me to Edward, we looked dead up the same. "I'm just fixing his bike real quick, don't worry, we'll be on time." he grinned lovingly at her. "It's not you I'm worried about right now, who are you, you look exactly like my friend Edward. Like, exactly. Doesn't he look like Edward Emmett, doesn't he?" she exclaimed. Emmett looked at me closely. "I guess he does, the hair and the eyes are like his, but hey, a lot of people are auburn with green eyes." He shrugged and disappeared back into one of the rooms again. "No, no one but Edward has hair that color, just himand now you. Plus your name is Masen?" she took a step back to look at me again. "Weird." "Yes it's very weird." I squirmed under her gaze, she wasn't stupid like the other one, if I stayed around her long enough, she would figure me out and Edward would be able to get to my mother. "Will you please leave me alone, I can sue for harassment you know." "Shut up," she cupped my face in her hands and turned it back in forth. "The face
- 21 -

shape is different, rounder. Then again, you are still just a child. There must be some baby fat still around there." "Get off me you psychopath." I shouted at her, pushing her away. I grabbed my bike and tried to wheel it out of the shop. "Hey, I haven't finished fixing it up yet, there's no way you're riding that back." Emmett shouted after me. "I'll catch a cab, leave me alone!" I picked my phone out of my pocket and dialed her number, it went straight to her voicemail. "C'mon, why couldn't I just get a dang car?" I tried her phone again just as a red convertible pulled up next to me. "Hey, want me to drive you home, we can talk then." It was the woman. "No. I can walk, you're crazy." "Don't be stupid; just get in the car so I can get you home. We want to help you, really, I mean it. you're taller than me, and you could probably overpower me if I tried anything, I won't hurt you, I just have a few questions." I contemplated her offer. Walk myself home and maybe get there by nightfall or accept a ride with a stranger and end up in god knows where. "No." I kept on walking. She didn't like that. "Just get in the car!" she yanked me into the convertible and I fell in the backseat, my bike on top of me. "HELP, THIS WOMAN IS NOT MY MOTHER!" I shouted. "Shut up, really, I don't like shouting." She hit the gas we were off.

- 22 -

Chapter 4
Okay, so I've been in Raleigh North Carolina for the last couple of days, and technically, I still am. That's why I haven't been able to update for so long. By the way, I'm running rather low on ideas, I know how this story is going to end and I basically know the middle climax, I just need the filling. So if anyone has any ideas, leave me a review of PM me. It would be great. Chapter 4 MPOV "For my first question, why do you look like my cousin?" she demanded. "I don't know who you cousin is and frankly, I really don't care, I want to go home so I can call the cops and get the heck away from you!" I shouted. "Now why don't I believe that? You're too defensive, you know exactly who I'm talking about." She snapped at me. "No I don't, just leave me alone. Why don't you just drop me off and I'll stay with my neighbor, trust me, he can look after me." I inched away from her, trying to get away. "I'm not taking you home, I'm taking you to my aunt and uncle's house, you can wait there for your mom to pick you up. I'm sure that they'll have some questions for you to." She hit the brakes in loudly and popped a u-turn. "Please, will you please take me home, goodness, stay away from me." I considered jumping out of the car, that would probably be a bad idea, I would skid up my clothes and my skin, that wasn't what I wanted at all. "Don't worry, you can call your mom and tell her to come get you, I really want to meet her." she said as we pulled up to a red light. Forgetting my bike, I opened the side door and took out running, she was crazy and there was no way I was staying anywhere near her. "MASEN!" "Stay away from me!" I dialed my phone again, this time, a different number.
- 23 -

"Hello?" "Jasper?" "Masen, you should be back by now, where are you?" "There is a psycho chasing me, please, please come get me!" I yelled. "Okay, hold on, where are you?" he asked rather urgently. "Lee Street on the north side. She's in a red convertible." "Wait, red convertible? Is she blonde, blue eyes, kind of snobby?" "Yes?" "Ohthat's Rosalie." "So what, run, don't run? What am I supposed to do?" "Is she chasing you?" "Yes she is, she wants to take me back to her lair." I was almost crying. "Run, I'll come get you, I'm already on my way." He hung up quickly after that. I looked down the road and then sat down, why didn't I take a course in engineering? Did they have that at my school, maybe I could go for that one class, just so I would know how to fix my bike if it ever broke again. "Hey, there you are!" I jumped up, the crazy woman was back. "Leave me alone, I will hit you." "You wouldn't hit a lady would you?" "Sure, you know any?" I said sarcastically. She was almost as tall as me, and now, she was angry. "Listen kid, maybe I jumped the gun, maybe I shouldn't have put you in my car and drove off, maybe that wasn't the smartest idea. But hey, I did it and I've still got some questions. You look to much like my cousin for it to be considered a
- 24 -

coincidence, no one has that color hair but him. So what, are you some long lost family member, twice removed?" "No, leave me alone and I might not press charges." I shouted at her. She didn't even flinch. "I'm not scared of you little boy." She said darkly, "I just want the truth." "The truth is only relevant," I tried to dial my mom again, this time she picked up. "Mom." I turned away from Rosalie, "Mom, please, Jasper's on his way to get me, there's this crazy lady trying to kidnap me." "Masenare you being serious?" she asked slowly. "When have I ever lied to youokay, when have I lied to you recently?" I whispered fiercely. "Masen, is she with you?" she was still so calm. "Yes, she's still here, she's watching me right now?" I said growing more impatient with her. "You said Jasper is on his way, just keep stalling, stay calm until he can get there and find you, stay in sight of the road." She commanded, "If all else fails, be the hell out of her." "You told me never to hit a woman." "This could be life or death." Rosalie was inching towards me and I was slowly inching away. "I'll give you your bike back if you come without a fight." She tried to bribe me. "If you don't give me my bike, I'm going to hurt you." Where the heck was Jasper, shouldn't he have found me by then? "Bluffing again, c'mon Masen, I can see that you want answers just as much as I do." She reached her hand out to touch me. "Masen, Masen? Are you there?" my mom was talking, but I couldn't hear her anymore.
- 25 -

"I knew it. Is mommy keeping secrets?" I flinched. She grinned wickedly because she knew she had me. "I'm not going to hurt you, I want answers, you want answers. We can work this whole thing out together, we can both get the information we want." I breathed deeply and hung up the phone. EPOV "Edward? Didn't your flight leave today?" My mother asked when she saw me lying on her couch. "Yep, Tanya and Aro went ahead. We're having issues." I said truthfully. "Edward, if you're having issues, you need to talk it out with her and now. You're getting married, you need to get that through your head." Esme said. "I know, but don't you thinkwe're rushing it a bit?" "She isn't coming back Edward." she said quietly. "That's not what I meant." I huffed indignantly. "That's exactly what you meant." She sat down near my feet. "Edward, no one knows why Bella left, no one understands why she decided to go, but you need to move on, this isn't healthy." "I know it isn't health, I just, I just want this all to go away. But it won't, nothing is going right." I crossed my arms in front of my chest as the front door opened. "Hello Edward, Esme." Rosalie came walking in, she looked flushed. "What are you doing here Rose, I thought you were helping Emmett at the shop." Esme inquired. "I ran into a small complication." She said disdainfully. "It's good to know that you think of me as only a complication." That voice, the sarcastic, condescending voice. "Well that's what you are, shut up and sit down somewhere." Rose snapped at him.
- 26 -

"You are so rude, are you sure that you're a woman? I bet if you took of that wig, you're whole face would fall off." "Why you-" "Masen?" I asked. "Hm, oh hello Edward." he looked me over. "Haven't hit nay other small children have you." "You aren't small." "Smaller than you, nimrod." "Again with the nimrod thing. Is that the only word you know?" his eyebrows were. "I bet I could fill a couple books with words you don't know Edward." he snapped at me. "You two have met, I thought you didn't know my cousin." "Please, I don't know how many cousins you have, that's not my problem." He looked at her skeptically. "You are such a little brat." She growled at him. "Didn't bother me when my mother said it, doesn't bother me when you say it." he looked around the room and then moved to the photos on the mantle. He inspected each with great care. "Who is this little boy?" "What is it about rich people calling me a 'little' boy? I'm not little." He strolled into the kitchen. "Who is he?" Esme asked frantically. "Some kid from Emmett's auto shop, look familiar?" she looked directly at me. "What are you saying, the kid and I look nothing alike."
- 27 -

"Edward, I'd never met him before now and I knew you had to be related somehow. Maybe if you would actually look at him, you would see the similarities. The hair, the eyes? You two could be twins. Sure, he's one hell of a smartass. But then again, so are you." "Shut up Rosalie. We aren't related. He's Bella's son." He glared at me. "Bella, Bella Swan?" Esme asked, shocked. "Yes, Bella Swan, it doesn't matter okay? Just leave it alone." Masen said irritably. He ran a hand through his hair, almost nervously. I doubted that. Masen wasn't the type to be nervous, he was always dangerously overconfident. "Masen, how old are you?" Rosalie asked. "16, 17 in the fall." He replied slowly, the wheels turning in his head at her question. I could see Rosalie counting in her head, she was trying to figure something out. "Edward, were you and Bella always abstinent?" she asked. "Nowe were engaged remember, we didn't see a reason to be." I said slowly. "Sixteen and a half years. That's when Bella left, that's when you got engagedEdwardhere's the reason Bella left, he's standing right here." She gestured to Masen who seemed even more uncomfortable. "You're his father. But I'm guessing, this one already figured that much out." "You're pretty perceptive for a blonde." He looked around the room once again. "This is a nice house...it's rather large don't yo-" "I'm home!" a singsong voice said. Masen looked a little peeved that his statement had been interrupted. "Look what I bought." It was my sister Alice, she was home as well. "Hello Alice." Rosalie greeted. "Hello Rosalie, Edward." I noticed she wasn't looking at me, but at Masen, in passing. She looked over to Esme to greet her but when she saw me, she froze. "But, wait, you, you're there, no wait, you're there" she looked from Masen to
- 28 -

me and then back to Masen, clearly confused. "Personally, I think we look nothing alike, but I'll try not to take offense." "Offense to what?" I questioned him. "You aren't exactly the most handsome man in the world." He smirked. I clapped my hand against my forehead while Rosalie was recounting. Finally she seemed to decide. "That's it, there's no denying it. Edward, this is your son."

- 29 -

Chapter 5
Chapter 5 BPOV "Yes officer, he has auburn hair, kind of bronzish, it looks different in the light. He's got pale skin, really pale and bright green eyes." "How tall is he ma'am?" the police officer asked me. "Masen's about, oh, he's grows like an inch a day! Jasper, how tall would you say Masen is?" "He stands about a head taller than you, you're 5'2'' so I'd say, around 6 feet, maybe even 6'1''?" Jasper said from my kitchen table. "Around 6 feet." I said into the phone. Masen had hung up on me so I assumed the worst. Maybe the crazy woman had him, maybe he was trapped somewhere, heck, maybe he was dead, all I knew is that I wanted him found. "Miss, you have to calm down, we'll find him, just calm down." The officer told me. "I know, I'm calm, I am, just please, send someone out to find my son!" I was trying so hard not to break down in tears. "We've already got cars on the lookout." "Call me if anything happens, please, let me be the first one you call." "Is there a father in the picture, should we be worried about him?" "No, his father doesn't know about him, that's not a concern of mine." "We'll need to look into it just in case, I'll send someone right over." He hung up soon after that. I started to pace again. "Bella, calm down. The police are already on the case, they're looking." Jasper tried to soothe my qualms.
- 30 -

"Jasper, you don't understand! He could be dead, he could be hurt? What if she dismembered him? What if the police can only bring me back pieces of my son? What then?" "You panicking isn't helping anyone. You need to relax, stop being so frantic. The more that you freak out, the less time is being spent on finding Masen. We don't even know if he was kidnapped, he might have just wandered off and got caught up I something." "You're talking about him as if he's normal! Masen isn't normal, normal children wander off when they see bright lights or cool things, Masen doesn't wander off, he mouth's off! He's smart, he only does things that he stands to gain from. Either that, or things he's forced intolike school." "Oh right, I forgot he doesn't go to school. You really should work on that with him." "Jasper, we are not here to discuss my parenting style, we are here to discuss what may or may not have happened to my son!" I shouted at him. "I know, Masen's a smart kid, give him some credit. He smarter than most grown man and he's got the resilient attitude to match. Plus he's not going to give up free room and board without a fight." "Be serious." I snapped at him. "I am being serious. Masen's fine, he's going to be fine." "I know, I'm just, I'm just worried. I just, sometimes I just worry. He's so different from everyone his age." "Because he's smart?" Jasper asked. "Yes, he's always stuck out. For the first couple years in school, he was always the awkward child, the one who was solving quadratics in 5th grade, unsatisfied with picture books and connect the dots, he always needed something more, something I could never give him." I had always hated the fact that I never had money, never had enough to buy my son the things he wanted, things he could use. "Schools have technology, they have programs. He would be welcomed into the community." Jasper tried to explain.
- 31 -

"That's what I always thought, however, it wasn't the case. Masen never fit in, in schools, he was always the trouble maker because he had no friends. He was to young, I mean, a ten year old, in the tenth grade? It never made sense to teachers, they never understood. He's been absent so many times that his records are screwed up. The best thing I could do for him would be to put him in private school, I don't have the money." I threw my hands up. "What about scholarships? He could apply." "Masen's impatient, irrational, he would never just wait for something good to happen to him. It doesn't work that way. Nothing works that way." I sat back down at the kitchen table, exhausted. "You're working yourself up over what could be nothing. Stop worrying, just stop worrying. I've known him for three years, he's fine. A little bit of a smartass, but fine." Jasper assured me. I sniffled a bit but tried to calm myself. He was right after all. "Do you think he'll come home on his own or be dragged back by the police?" I asked. "Knowing Masen, he'll wander back on his own. Same mischievous smile planted right on his face." he smiled again. I rubbed my hands together and looked towards the door, imagining him walking through it at any given moment. MPOV "So" I said looking around the room. "No, there is no way, there is no way that this is my son." Edward stood up. "That's fine, I don't like you either." I looked around the room again. "So this is how the other half lives. Wow, if mom and I had this kind of money, maybe I would actually go to school. Maybe she could actually afford to send me." "You don't go to school?" his mother asked. "No, why should I?" "What are you doing? Selling drugs, I bet. Where is Bella, she isn't raising you like a mother should."
- 32 -

"Don't judge my mother." I hissed at her. "She's a good woman." "She must be doing something right, you're always winning those awards for robots and stuff." Edward pointed out. "What are you, stalking me or something? Or are you stalking my mother?" I growled at him. "I'm not stalking anyone, I'm just incredibly confused. If you are my son, and I'm not saying that you are, why did Bella keep you from me, from my family?" Edward demanded. "I guess she didn't want me to grow up to be like you. Living in your nice big house, with your happy family, with blonde Betty Boop and Carmen Miranda on crack? Forget this, I'm out." I stood up. "What about your bike?" Rosalie asked. "Ask him, he's the one who broke it." I pointed to Edward. The door was right there. Mom was probably looking for me, she was probably freaking out over me. I walked down their driveway and dialed my phone again. "Hey mom, mom, calm down! Please, you're really hard to understand while you're yelling. I know, I know, I'm coming home. I'm on my way, I'm coming. God, stop shouting, you're talking my ear off." She was so mad. Heck, she was probably going to shackle me to my bed when I got back. "You're going to need a ride back." I turned around to see Edward looking me over "Besides, I'm gonna have to talk to your mom about this. She's got a lot to answer for." "And would that be? My mom doesn't have anything to say to you, you stay the hell away from her." I shoved him backwards. "She's a good woman, she's raised me from nothing with nothing! You leave her alone or I swear, you are going to some up missing." "Listen little boy, you really nee to work on respect, those are good people who are genuinely worried about you. Moreover, that's my family and you are not going to talk to them that way." He growled at me. "I'm not talking to them, I'm talking to you. You living here like you're the king of
- 33 -

the mountain. You think they care about me, you think I should respect them? Why the hell should I respect them, why should I respect you? You're nothing to me. Guess what dad, either you can step to me, make me respect you, or you can go to hell!" I didn't know why I was shouting, I wasn't one to shout, when I got mad, I just got even. I didn't understand why I was so angry. Edward just glared at me. "Get the hell out of here, I don't have time for this." He rubbed his forehead. I'll call your mother and we'll work out the whole child support thing." "Keep your dang money, we got by without you before and we'll keep on. We don't need you Edward." I turned my back on him and started the long walk home. About half way there, it had started to rain. I was cold, I was hungry and I wanted my mom. I wanted to go home, I just wanted to go home. "Hey." I looked to the street and saw Emmett. "What do you want?" I huffed. "Jasper's got everyone looking for you. I'll take you home." he said. "I thought I made it clear to Edward, I just want to be left alone." I waved my hands in the air, trying to get the message across to him. "Masen, you're mother is freaking out, she's looking for you. Please, just get in the car. It's raining like cats and dogs out here, you need to go home before you catch your death." He looked around. "Masen please, c'mon!" I sighed and gave up. He reached across and opened the door. I climbed inside and relished in the heat. "Alright kiddo, let's get you home." he smiled a big goofy smile. "Rose brought your bike over, it's all fixed up, a new wheel in the back. All you gotta do is come and pick it up." "Oh, do you need my card?" I reached inside my pocket but he lifted his hand. "It's covered. Edward paid for it seeing as it was his fault." He shrugged. "Whatever. He didn't have to do that, I don't need his help." "Edward's a good guy. I've never seen him get so worked up over someone. He
- 34 -

wants to care about you, he wants to care about Bella. You won't let him." "What? Did you do this to take me home or to give me some lecture? Dude, Edward can go suck a-" "You have got some serious anger issues. You and your mom need to-" "Stop, stop- I said stop the damn car!" I shouted. "What, what's wrong, what happened." "I don't know what that son of a you know what said to you, but he doesn't have anything to do with me or my mother. I don't owe him anything, especially my respect. Only one person has earned that and that's my mother." I opened to door and ran up the front steps into our house apartment thing. I wasn't sure whichever one it was. "Mom!" I shouted when I opened the door. "Masen SWAN! Where the heck have you been? I called the freakin' police on you and youoh I could strangle you! Where have you been?" she demanded. I could tell that she had been crying, her eyes had dark circles under them, she was so angry. "I'm sorry mom. I-I was withI was with Edward." I whispered. She froze. "Go to your room. Go right now. Don't come out for the rest of the night, the computer's off limits, everything's off limits. You stay in there until I tell you to come out!" she suddenly screamed. Jasper rounded the corner looking alarmed. My mother never yelled. "Mom, I'm sorry. I'm sorry." She was angry, she was sad, and it was all his fault.

- 35 -

Chapter 6
Chapter 6 BPOV I paced around the room nervously. What was I going to do, what was I going to tell him. Surely he would want answers; surely they would be difficult questions. How was I supposed to face him? Lord knew he would find out, whenever you say something's off limits, he's the first one to go snooping around. I should have known that from the very beginning. Why didn't I just tell him the truth? Why didn't I just tell him what had really happened? If Edward had figured things out, it would be a matter of days before he came knocking, what would I do then, how would I explain why I kept hi son away from him for 17 years. He would be furious with me. "Mom?" I turned around. Masen was watching me with carful eyes, waiting for me to make the first mov "Masen, I'm sorry I yelled at you." I whispered, taking a seat on our couch. He moved to sit next to me. "'S no big deal. I'm sorry I went behind your back. That was my fault." He rubbed the back of his head. "So you met your fatherthat must have been interesting." I drummed my fingers on my knee. "Sure, that's one way to put it." He shrugged his shoulders. "I don't like him, he's an ass." "So are you." I pointed out. "Yeah, but I'm a different kind of ass. He's just mean. He doesn't like me and he expects me to go to school, to be normal. Heck, his whole family expects that." "They don't know you Masen, they haven't seen the things that you can do. That was my fault." I breathed out. Time to finally come clean. "I didn't tell your father that I was pregnant with you. I left him."
- 36 -

"Well I can see why, he's a jerk.' "Masen! He's a good man. Things just changeda lot of things changed." "Things got complicated when you got pregnant. It was unexpected, uncalculated." He sighed evenly. "Nothey were complicated before that, you were just the straw that broke the camels back." I was getting even more nervous. "I hated being around his family, they would talk about, Greece in the springtime, Japan in the summer. How certain designers went with other designers. I never could identify with the wealth, with the glory." I began. "But Edward wasn't like that, he was sweet, considerate. He knew how to make me feel comfortable without actually having to try." Masen scoffed at me. "Yeah, it's true, he was like that. Then, everything fell apart. Edward's musical compositions were getting more and more attention. Soon, he was becoming famous in his own right. There was no more time for the two of us together. When he came home, he was tired, when he was awake, he was writing. There was no more time, no more uswe were fading away. When I got pregnant with you, I knew Edward wouldn't be happy, I knew he" "Wouldn't have time to settle down? To live with a wife and child? I guess that wasn't in the Masen master plan." Masen leaned back into the couch cushion. "But I didn't give him the choice. I was too afraid, to afraid he would reject you, too afraid that he would reject me. And what would his family say. Most of them already weren't that fond of me, how would they react? Me, Edward's first steady girlfriend? The pitiful girl form forks, pregnant with one of the Masen family heirs. It would have been awful." I pulled my knees to my chin. "You must hate me for taking your father away from you." "Not really." "What?" "Mom, you really think wouldn't have grown up resenting someone who was barely there? It would have changed anything. I still wouldn't go to school. Just for different reasons. More so to rebel against him. I can't deal with the conformity, the straightforward clean cut side of the world. I need chaos, not tea parties and doilies. Not incense and classical music. I grew up here, you raised me. If he really loved you, he would have tried harder to find you. He has the money, why didn't he send anyone for you, for both of us?" okayso that was a good question.
- 37 -

"He doesn't-" "Mom! Please, I love you but god, when are you going to realize that you can't always see the good in people. You knew he was going to be successful, then he kicked you to the curb, put you on the back burner. I may not have been born then but it means I was put on the back burner too." he admitted. "Please, I just don't want you to feel like he abandoned you. Edward would never do that. He loves you, he just doesn't know it yet." I kissed his cheek and pulled him closer. He laid his head on my chest and sighed again. Within moments, he was in tears. "Masen." I wrapped my arms around his broad shoulders and held him close. "I'm sorry. I ruined everything." "No you didn't. No of this is your fault, it's never been your fault. You are my son. You never have to worry." I kissed both of his cheeks and pulled him even tighter. Sure, most of the time, he was an arrogant know-it-all, he was annoying sometimes but when it came down to it, he was still a child, still just a sixteen year old boy struggling to find who he really was. So I just held him like he needed to be held. It had been a couple hours since Masen headed off to bed. I knew I should've been off to butsomething kept me awake. Then the knocking came. "Who in the world comes over at," I looked at the digital clock above my TV "12:30 in the morning?" I opened the front door expecting to see Jasper or something. But still, standing there in all his Adonis like glory was Edward Masen. "Hello Bella." he said. And just like that, I went right down. "Mom! God, what did you do to her, I bet you wanted to kill her didn't you?" That was Masen. "I just wanted to talk. We need to work this whole thing out and fast." Edward really was there. "Get out of here, she doesn't need you!" Masen shouted at him. "Masen, stop yelling." I groaned. "Mom, you're alright. You aren't dead." "She was breathing, and you say I'm the nimrod."
- 38 -

"Say one more thing to me you son of a-" "Masen, calm down. I need you to go to your room so I can talk to your father." I pleaded with him. "He is not my father." Masen shouted more at Edward than he did at me. Edward glared at him. As soon as he was gone, Edward turned to me. "Bella." he greeted. "Edward." my voice was barely a whisper. "May I sit down?" "Yes, of course!" I began clearing off the couch so he could sit. I immediately regretted leaving the house as messy as it was. "Well" he said after a few moments. "I suspect you know why I'm here." "Yes. It all must have come as a shock." I didn't want to sit down next to him, that would have been to close. "Obviously, we have some things we need to work out. It'd be best if we talk about this, my family obviously wants some answers. Like, why is he not attending school?" "I try to get him to go-" "Well obviously you aren't trying hard enough." He snapped. I was taken aback; I hadn't been expecting the hostility. "Don't sit there and judge me Edward, you don't know Masen like I do." "And who's fault is that?" he shouted, getting to his feet. "Who kept him away from me? Oh right, it was you!" "Edward please, keep your voice down. He's trying to sleep, he needs his rest." "For what, what does he do all day? He's not going to school. He's not getting an education. What do you expect is going to happen to him after he moves out, if he
- 39 -

moves out?" "Edward stop it! You think you know everything, you always think you know everything when you don't know anything!" I shouted back. "Yes, I left you but I wouldn't have done it for no reason. I loved you! Things just weren't working, you knew things weren't working!" "What are you talking about, everything was going fine!" "What about our life was going fine? See, this proves that you don't know anything! You didn't know anything then, you don't know anything now. The only things that's changed is the fact that I have a crazy sixteen year old who seems to have missed the hormonal car stage." Why didn't he get it? "See? You always tried to see the worst in everything, what was so bad?" he demanded. "You never did pay attention to me did you?" I put my hands on my hips. "What the heck are you talking about, you were my life!" He yelled. "No I wasn't Edward, work was your life. Work was always your life! You didn't have time for a wife and a child! You never had the time, you were always way to busy. 'Bella, can you wait a minuet, I'll be done is just a second.' Just as second my ass! I would leave and by the time I would see you again, it would be maybe six in the morning? Edward, I couldn't deal with that and I most certainly wasn't going to make Masen deal with that. He's a good kid, he's got a good heart. You just haven't had the chance to see it." "Are you blind? He called my sister Carmen Miranda on crack." "That's just Masen. He's different. Just a little bit different. He's a good kid Edward, if you actually sit down and talk to him instead of getting angry all of the sudden, you might actually like him." I smiled at him accidentally as I thought about my son. "What is this about?" he whispered. "Why are you so angry with me? Bella," he reached out and touched my cheek. "I'm not angry with you. I'm justI was just confused, I was afraid. I was scared for me and I was scared for my baby. I didn't want him to grown up hating you for not being there, I didn't want him to grow up angry like I did." I whispered to him.
- 40 -

"Bella." he wrapped his arms around me. "I didn't want you to feel afraid, I wanted you to be able to trust me. Why didn't you trust me?" "Your parents hated me." "My parents did not hate you, they were just" "Confused as to why you chose me, the girl from down-home. They think I didn't deserve you." I told him. "That's not true, Bella, they cared about you. They care about Masen too, they just expect to get respect from him. I expect respect from him." "Masen doesn't respect anyone. You'll have to work for it." I shrugged. "I shouldn't have to work for it. He should automatically respect me. I'm another human being." "That doesn't matter to him. You want his respect, you have to earn it." I shook myself out of his arms. Edward looked hurt. "You should leave, last time I heard, you were engaged. I won't get in the way of that."

- 41 -

Chapter 7
Chapter 7 BPOV "Seriously, do you have anything stronger than white wine? I'll take anything." I pleaded with the waiter. "For your sake honey, I wish that we did." He was watching my family argue with a worried expression. "I'll check in the back, maybe the waiters have something in storage." "Thank you." I whispered as he began to walk away. I took another long sip of wine as I watch the Masen family continue to duke it out. Masen leaned back in his chair, clearly pleased with his handiwork. I glared at him haughtily. "Not my fault, I'm just intuitive." He winked at me. "Can't you use your intuition for anything besides causing chaos? Maybe for the common good instead of making people unhappy?" I begged him. "Sorry, my little gift doesn't work that way. It feeds off the negative energy." He shrugged and then looked disgustedly at his food. "At the rate this meal is going, heck, I'd even eat the food you cook." "You promised me that you would make an effort to get along with everyone." I reminded him. "I did, I showed up didn't I?" he watched Edward's family again.

Flashback 4 hours "Do we have to go?" Masen whined, batting his eyelashes at me. "Yes, Edward expects you to be there and it's about time you met your family." I told him as I looked through my meager selection of jewelry. Nothing worth wearing
- 42 -

to a Masen shindig. "I've met them remember? And besides I have all the family I need right here, you, me, and our Texan neighbor." "You haven't met Carlisle. And now, they're over the shock, they're actually prepared to meet you." "Shouldn't they have wanted grandchildren, most people there age want grandchildren. I should be considered a little gift from heaven." "You're my little gift from heaven." I pinched his cheek just like I knew he hated. "Mother, don't embarrass me in front of the people I hate, I can't be my jackass self if you're babying me." He warned. "I'm your mother, it's my job to make things difficult." I finally settled on just a plain set of fake pearl earrings and a string of even more fake pearls. "I thought he was rich, didn't he ever buy you anything nice?" Masen said noticing my choice. "I left it all behind, I dint want anything that reminded me of him." I said quietly. "And yet you were carrying his baby? Wow mom, that makes no sense at all. You had a constant reminder, heck, you still have a constant reminder." "Yes, but you, I don't mind. You've always been special to me." I kissed both his cheeks and then shooed him away. "Put the suit Charlie gave you on." "No way, that's the science fair suit, it is never to be worn anywhere else. Besides, I have just the outfit to give old lady stick in the mud a heart attack. That otta be a nice enough wake up call." He strolled out of his room with an ACDC graphic tee and skinny jeans. "She's going to kill me for letting you dress like what she views to be a 'hoodlum'." I warned him. "Like I care." He was heading towards the car. Jasper came down his walk with a spiffy looking white dress shirt and necktie. He seemed incredibly uncomfortable. "What'd he bribe you with?" I asked him.
- 43 -

"He said he'd fix my computer but I've got the sneaking suspicion that he's the reason it's bugged up anyway." Jasper shrugged. "Ah well, she said invite family and hey, you're like family to us." I climbed into the front seat. Jasper sat in the passenger with Masen in the back. "You know mom, I wouldn't have been hit by a car-" "I am not buying you a car Masen." I hit the gas and we were off.

Back to present "I found this. It's on the house doll." The waiter set a bottle of tequila in front of me. "Bless you." I said as he left. "I wish I was twenty one." Masen said. "You'll be lucky if you make it to twenty after this stunt. I won't here the end of it for weeks! They're going to blame me for this." He was lucky he was my son or I would have punched him. "Things were getting boring, nice to spice things-" "I can't get married now mom, we have to post pone the wedding, Tanya will need time to adjust!" Edward cut right across Masen, addressing his mother. "Edward, you've put off getting married long enough, will you finally let yourself be happy?" she snapped back. "I will be happy, I just have a certain situation to handle first." I didn't even bother with a glass, I just opened the bottle and took a swig. "Edward, you have a chance to end up with one of the most beautiful women in the world, you love her don't you. Don't let the past," Esme's eyes met mine "mess up your future." I took another drink. Masen was trying to hide his hysterical laugher. "May I see that, I didn't sign up to do this sober." I handed Jasper the bottle. He
- 44 -

took a swig before handing it back to me. "Well Edward and family, this has been wonderful evening but really, we should be heading home." I tried but Masen would have none of that. "Right, it's a school night." He laughed. Esme exploded. "You don't even go to school. You sit on your lazy butt all day and do nothing. And you," she pointed to me "you will not ruin my son's life again." "She didn't do anything mom, she did what she thought was right." Edward tried to defend me. "And look what that did to the rest of us!" Alice growled at me. "Masen doesn't have to go to school if he doesn't want to." Why didn't they get the concept? "Are you insane, you're raising a failure!" Esme shouted. "Now hold on a minute." I stood up. The combination of the alcohol and the insults had made me more than a little confrontational. "My son is not a failure, he will never be a failure and you will never refer to him as such. He's one of the best and the brightest!" "How can be so bright if he doesn't go to school?" "Wow, now I see were Edward inherited his nimrod tendencies from." Masen laughed. "You think my mom didn't make me go to school? Hell, she made me get up every damn day and got to that rat hole. I was ten when I was in the tenth grade. Don't you get it, I already finished high school once. Mom sent me back t get the experience, you know make friends and all that jazz? It's optional and I just happen to choose not to go. Harich people are so stupid." Masen laughed. Carlisle hadn't said anything the entire meal, he just continued to study Masen.

1 hour ago We all sat down at the table together. Masen sat next to me with Jasper on the other side of him. Even thought Edward and Jasper probably knew each other, Edward still sized Jasper up, watching his protective arm on my shoulder, how
- 45 -

Masen laughed and smiled with him. I tried to smile at Alice but she glared at me, obviously angry about something. Esme looked Masen up and down before shaking her head. "Dressed like we should be at McDonalds." She sighed. "My mom doesn't let me eat at McDonalds, she says it isn't healthy." He said in a mocking tone. Carlisle stood by her side, also looking Masen up and down. He seemed genuinely interested. "Bella." Rosalie greeted frostily, "Rosalie," I said with just as much warmth. She said hello to Jasper and sat down. Why was she even there, she and Edward weren't even biological family, they were cousins by marriage. Edward shook my hand, tried to and actually tried to say hello to Masen without grimacing. It almost didn't show. I threw a smile at him and he actually grinned back. "So!" Esme interjected on our little moment. "Bella, what do you do now?" "Oh, I work at a publishing company. It's okay I guess." I said nervously. "And Masen, what do you plan to do in the future." "I don't know, maybe a rodeo clown? You know, something fun like that." He smirked. I knew then it was going to be a long dinner.

Return to the present "I still think we should get a DNA test, check for sure." Alice was still glowering at me. "You can't be serious, the two of them could be twins, they look like family." Esme said darkly. "It still be a good idea, she might be lying about this whole thing, you know how Bella is." Alice sneered. "Okay what is your problem with me?" I demanded.

- 46 -

"I had to pick my brother up off the floor because of you, because you left him!" she shouted, "Alice, please, I had my reasons-" "And then you bring him into our life." She pointed to Masen. "The arrogant little brat." "Hey, you leave him alone, Masen's a good kid." Jasper said. Everyone looked towards him in shock. Jasper had also been extremely quiet the entire night. "You don't know anything about him and you have no right to judge him. And don't look down your nose at Bella either because she's done everything for that kid." I looked at him appreciatively. Masen glared at Alice. "Awe, did you have to help the itty bitty baby get over himself. I'm so sad for you." he sneered right back at her, "See, this is what I mean, absolutely no respect. No discipline, a mother strung out on booze!" she snatched the bottle from my hand. "Hey, I haven't had a real drink in 17 years. I have to stay coherent when I'm around him." "Masen?" Carlisle's soft voice drifted across the table. Masen's eyebrows rose. "Is there something you wanted Carlisle." He had been sizing up the older blonde man the entire night. "What is it you like to do? You obviously don't spend the entire time at home doing nothing." He really was interested. Masen looked shocked, not once had he been asked what he liked. "OhI like computers. And cyber robotics, that's what I've been studying." Masen didn't like talking about himself. "That sounds interesting. Is that all you do or do you do other things. I know working with your computers has to take up a lot of time though." Carlisle offered. Masen looked to me for permission before speaking again. "Um yes actually, I prefer to enter my work into science competitions, I'm a nationally ranked champion." Masen looked nervous for the first time that night.
- 47 -

"Really, that's a very prestigious honor. Your mother must be very proud of you." Carlisle smiled contentedly at my sonand then at me. It was one of the first few shows of kindness that I'd received that night. Masen appraised Carlisle again. Unlike his family, Carlisle didn't give off the aura of a rich doctor, he just seemed to give off kindness, contentness. And it was easy to see, Masen liked that. 'Well you'll catch more flies with honey that vinegar.' I shrugged, took the bottle from Esme's side of the table and sat back down.

- 48 -

Chapter 8
Chapter 8 MPOV Mom ran her hand through my hair for the fiftieth time that day. "It looks fine mom, it's not as if we're going to loose." I said swatting her hand away. "I know, but today, it's not just the judges that we're trying to impress. Show the Masens how smart you really are." She went from my hair to my tie, making sure it was tidied correctly. "I'll do fine, just make sure they don't embarrass me, you and Jasper already know how these things work." I looked myself over in the mirror, I looked different in dress clothes, cleaner. "I know, but Esme will really appreciate seeing you in a suit sounding more like the genius you are." My mother did another once over and went back to my hair. "Well Esme can kiss my-" the doorbell cut me off. "Coming Jasper!" mom shouted. She ran to the door and opened it up. Jasper wasn't the one standing there. I grimaced as Edward Masen walked through the door. He smiled alluringly at my mother before coming over to me. "I wasn't aware that Jasper would be attending." He said loud enough so she could hear. "Of course, Jasper's just like family, he likes to support Masen." My mom called from the bathroom. I assumed she was redoing her makeup. "Yeah, family." I sneered. Edward just rolled his eyes at me. "I didn't come over here to argue little boy." I almost bit him when he called me that. "I came to offer your mother a ride and wish you luck." He offered. "We have a ride, mom loves Jasper's car. Almost as much as he likes her
- 49 -

bedroom." I left him to ponder that, satisfied with my work. "So this is what a science fair looks like." Edward said looking around the exposition hall. "This is not a science fair you nimrod, it's a robotics exposition. Do me a favor and keep your mouth shut. You'll make me look bad." I snapped at him. Jasper sniggered rather loudly at the two of us. "He's very serious when it comes to his work, it's nothing personal." My mother told Edward, trying to comfort. "On the contrary, its very personal. If you screw this up for me Edward Masen, I swear, I will shove my foot so far up your ass-" my mother snapped her hand over my mouth. Edward's shoulders stiffened and I'm sure, if my mom hadn't have been standing there, he would have chewed me out. That wouldn't have been pretty for anyone. "Masen!" I turned to see a blonde girl running towards me and grimaced. "Sylvia." I crossed me arms. "Just came to wish you good luck, your work looks impressive as usual." Her eyes rolled over my display. "Well of course, it's by me." "You never change Masen, still just as arrogant. For all you know, this might be my year." She stood up a bit straighter. "Please, I've already made a place on our mantle for my new trophy. Now, shoo." She flipped her hair and marched away. "I swear, one day, you two are going to get married." "Never mom, never." I pulled on my tie and walked back to my display. The full clan of assholes hadn't airbed yet so I still had some piece. "Do you remember everything, I have your note cards in my purse." My mom said. She began looking through her bag.
- 50 -

"Nah, I'm good, just need to get my bearings straight." I grinned at her, then nerves were already beginning to disappear. "You'll do great Masen." Jasper said as he ruffled my hair. I saw Edward clench his fist out of the corner of my eye. He was still mad about my comment from earlier. "Good luck, I'm going to head over to the parents section. Remember, good posture and manners, and just good showmanship. You're the best, remember, you're the best." She hugged me tight and then adjusted her blouse; she liked to look good when I had a competition. "Maybe you should stay; I heard one of the judges is male and single." I winked at her. "If only it were that easy." She pulled her purse tighter and the left. I breathed in deeply. The judges were already coming my way and looking expectant. BPOV I took a seat next to Jasper. "I don't understand why you always get so nervous. He's going to win." Jasper rubbed my shoulder comfortingly. "Yes, I'm sure." Edward pushed Jasper out of his chair and sat down next to me. "Oh my god! Why did you do that, you could have hurt him." I snapped at him. "Jasper's a solider. He's fine." Edward shrugged. "It still wasn't okay." "I'm fine Bella, really. Edwards's just a jerk." Jasper moved to sit on my other side and glared at Edward. I looked between them nervously. Why were they acting so hostile? Jasper was one of the sweetest men I knew and yet, he was glaring at Edward with just as much intensity. "Um, can we focus on Masen, this is his big day." I reminded them. "Of course, Edward wouldn't understand how important these kinds of things are
- 51 -

to Masen." Jasper crossed his arms and leaned back. Edward opened his mouth to speak but a glare from me seemed to shut him up. "We're here. Sorry we're so late, couldn't find the entrance." Esme kissed Edward on the cheek and sat down next to him. She didn't spare Jasper or I a second glance. "Good evening Bella, Jasper." Carlisle greeted calmly. He sat down next to his wife and looked around the room. "They really take these things seriously. Nothing seems underdone." He was in awe. "Welcome to the world of living with and egotistical, teenage genius. It's always a lot to take in at first." Alice and Rosalie arrived soon after and sat down in our row. I wondered why they were all so interested in Masen's extracurricular activities. It wasn't as if it was any of their business. I watched as the judges walked over to Masen's table. He smiled charmingly and began a detailed explanation of his project. I still had no idea what the darned thing was, how it worked or what it was made for. Those were usually details my son kept to himself. "He's acting so formal, like he actually knows how to act properly." Esme looked as if she were about to have a heart attack. "And he's dressed in a suit! What has gotten into him?" "This is something that's important to him, something that makes him feel empowered. He cares about it, he loves every second of the competition." I boasted proudly. "This is the kids element, he walks, talks, and even breathes his work." Jasper added. Esme looked at me critically, assessing my blouse and dress pants. "You must be very proud of him." she said quietly. "Always." I watched the judges nod and smile at Masen, clearly impressed with his handiwork. He flushed bashfully and laughed with them. Soon after, they left his display and he began walking over to us. "What did they think?" I asked excitedly, jumping out of my seat. "Impressed as usual, I've got this one in the bag." He smirked and sat down next to Jasper. "Of course, we forgot who we were dealing with kiddo." Jasper said. He whispered
- 52 -

something else to Masen and winked. Masen just nodded in response. I suspected something was up but didn't bother saying anything, boys will be boys. Edward noticed he exchange and began pouting like a child. I kept wondering what his problem was. Alice looked just as unhappy as he was. I sat back down in my seat and waited for the competition to end. "I still can't see why you two didn't want the others to come with us, I'm sure they wanted to celebrate too." I licked my ice cream cone. Apparently, after Masen won (big shock there), both he and Jasper had lied to the Masen family saying we were going straight home. No fireworks, nor celebration. I believed it just as much as Edward's family had. However, I couldn't understand why we were sitting in Masen's favorite ice cream parlor, splurging on the treats. "Because, who wants the stiffs around? I mean really, the air gets a lot less breathable when we're near them." Masen licked his spoon before dipping it back into his ice cream. "Still, it wasn't right to lie to them. What if they find out, how are they going to feel?" "Who cares? Edward can go suck a-" "Masen!" I warned. Jasper laughed again with him. The two of them sure seemed to like taking jabs at the family. "I thought you and Rosalie were friends." I reminded him. "No, I'm friends with Emmett, Rosalie is just the thing he carries around with him." Jasper shrugged. "Hey hey hey! Do you all want a family portrait?" a person dresses as an ice cream cone came over waving camera around. I couldn't correct him on the family things as he had already taken the picture. He handed it to Masen. "Sweet, we can frame it right next to the trophy." He said ecstatically. "Nice idea kiddo!" Jasper high-fived him. I watched the two of them carefully and for the first time, I thought I saw what Edward saw. He saw another man fulfilling his role. "It looks good doesn't it." Masen set the trophy and the picture on the shelf above my end table.
- 53 -

"Yes, it looks really good." I watched him beam at the picture. "I'm glad you won, I wish we could have done more to celebrate." I said. "I like ice cream. It's quite delicious. And besides, getting rid of the others was celebration enough." "You don't really mean that. You don't actually hate all of them, you like Carlisle." I said thoughtfully. "I don't count Carlisle, he's a good man. He's not like the others, he isn't judgmental or unkind." Masen said quietly. "Exactly meaning that all of them aren't bad." I said happily. "I didn't say all of them were bad. I just said I don't like being around them is all. Especially Esme, she treats me like I'm something lower than the ground she walks on." He crossed his arms over his chest. "Why are you trying to make me like them? They don't treat you much better." "I know they don't. They don't have to like me. That's not my concern. You're my concern. I just want you to know, if anything happens to me, there are some other people you can go to." "I wouldn't want to go to anyone. I'd want to live by myself and die a short painful death." He said. "Masen! They care about you, they would try to hang around us so much if they didn't care." "I don't want them to care!" he shouted suddenly. "Why wouldn't you want them to care about you?" I asked him. "Because we're happy, you're happy. Now everything's all messed up, they've ruined everything. And they don't care about me anyway, open your eyes mom. They care about the fact that you could go after Edward for child support. That's all that matters to them, money." Masen sunk to his knees and ran a hand through his hair roughly. I hadn't noticed how badly this while thing was messing him up. He was feeling so many emotions all at one time. The one that stuck out was his hatred for Edward.
- 54 -

Chapter 9
Chapter 9 BPOV "You shouldn't ay things like that about Edward. He is still your father. I know you don't like him but please, dear god, stop saying those kinds of things!" I wanted to cry, I wanted to cry so badly and yet I couldn't, I couldn't show that kind of weakness in front of him. "Why do you keep defending him, like you still care about him or something!" I flinched. Masen didn't miss a beat. "You do still care about him! What in the world is wrong with you? Where is the strong intelligent woman that raised me? Mom, he's a jerk, he's engaged. You can't rope yourself into that kind of thing." He grabbed my shoulders and shook me lightly. "It's a recipe for disaster." "That has nothing to do with you. My feelings aren't the ones that matter here Masen. You and Edward need each other. I hate to force you into things but of you just give it a chance, you'll see how much you could learn from them, from Edward." I wasn't above pleading with him. "You have officially lost your mind. What could I learn from that nimrod? He's an idiot. Mom, his career is far more important than the two of us. He doesn't like me. I don't like him, why can't you just leave I at that?" he demanded. "Because I know what it feels like to grow up in a broken home! I never wanted you to end up the same way I did. I love you too much." "What about our home is broken? The fact that daddy dearest isn't around? What's so bad about that? I actually kind of prefer it that way. We don't need him." "You need a father!" "Why, some of the greatest people in the world have grown up without a father. It makes you stronger, more responsible. You and I don't need him. Heck, you want a man so bad, go screw Jasper. I'm sure he wouldn't object." My mouth dropped open.
- 55 -

Sure Jasper was attractive, that was undeniable butme and him, it just didn't make since. "Do you ever think before you speak? Jasper is my friend. It is possible for a man and a woman to be friends without having a sexual relationship." I crossed my arms at him. "Yeah right. Didn't you and daddy dearest start off as friends. And yet, here I stand." "I can't deal with this right now. I think I'm going to go take some aspirin and go to bed. Please justjust go do something." I put my head in my hands and left for my room. Why was he doing this to me? What had I done to deserve to be stuck in the middle? Who's side was I on? I knew I shouldn't pressure Masen to do something he wasn't comfortable with and he most certainly wasn't comfortable with Edward's family. So why was I so determined to make him a part of it. Maybe it's because secretly hoped he could be what I never was. That he could exist in their society and actually look the part. I fell back on my pillow and began to cry. What had I been thinking? Masen would never exist comfortably in Edward's world. I has been the one making things so miserable for him. Why hadn't I seen that from the beginning? I closed my eyes, the silent tears still rolling down my cheeks. I had to face facts, my son was my number one priority. It was my job to stand up for himeven it meant breaking my own heart in the process. A knock woke me up in the middle of the night. I stood up groggily and stumbled out my bedroom to get the door. I was still wearing my outfit from the exposition. I yanked off the necklace and then the earrings. The doorbell rang again. "I'm coming, keep your hair on!" I shouted. I pulled the door open to see Alice Masen standing there. She looked me up and down before shaking her head. "Not drunk I hope, I have some important things to talk to you about." She said sharply. "I am not drunk. It is one o'clock in the morning. I was asleep and personally, I would very much like to go back. What in the world possessed you to show up at this time in the morning?" I glowered at her. "Isabella please. I was just going over this matter with my family and I thought I should be the one to bring this to your attention. My brother is engaged to one of the most important women in this nation. Don't think that you bring that little imp you call a son into his life will somehow drag him back to you." now that made me
- 56 -

sober up. "What the heck is running through your head right now, Alice? You're the smart one. I don't want Edward back, why would I have left if I'd wanted him?" I blinked rapidly at her. She ignored me and began walking around the room, her eyes landing on the picture taken earlier that day, at the ice cream parlor. "I thought you all said you wouldn't be celebrating." She said darkly. "Masen wanted something more private, something more family oriented." I supplied. "Jasper isn't family. Yet he comes with you to all of our family events. Are you two together, like a couple?" she asked rather lightly. "No, Jasper is my neighbor and my friend. He's also rather fond of Masen and Masen is rather fond of him. They share a friendly bond. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that Alice." I snapped at her. she wasn't the first to assume things about Jasper and I. "My mother is prepared to take legal action. She doesn't believe that you are a good caretaker for him. He's not very polite." Now that made me angry. "You think that would make him like you? That it would make him like your family? Alice you take him away from me and he'll hate you all for the rest of his life." "He'll get over it." she went through her purse. "Listen Bella, we don't want this to get ugly. Tanya and Edward would make great pare-" "Go to hell. And the get the hell out of my house." I growled. I was very tempted to load the revolver my father had left me when he died. "Bella. we don't want to make this difficult." "She said get out." I looked past Alice to see Jasper standing in the still open door. "Saw this one get out of her car and scamper up the steps. Thought I'd come and check it out. Good thing too." he swaggered into the room.
- 57 -

"Thank you Jasper." I said quietly. "Listen Bella. I love Edward, I really care about him. I'm just doing what's best for everyone." "Then why don't you get off your high horse and actually look at the situation. Masen isn't going to take that, he's to smart for you little lady." Jasper drawled at her. "You sure seem to know a lot about him for neighbor." She snapped. "Alice, I think you should leave. I'm already stressed out as it is. I don't need this." I could feel the tears coming. "Bella-" "Leave." Jasper nearly shouted at her. She looked like she wanted to hit him but left anyway. I collapsed, tears running down my cheeks. Jasper was at my side within seconds. He held my shoulders comfortingly. "They're going to take him away from me!" I sobbed. "They're going to take him away." "Bella, no they are not. Masen won't allow that." He promised me. "You're right," I sniffled. "Besides, he's almost seventeen, he's old enough to make his own decisions. EPOV "You cannot be serious!" I shouted at my mother. "Edward calm down." She said seriously. "No! You sent Alice over there to tell her that you want custody of her son. Are you crazy?" I demanded. "She's not fit to take care of him. You've met the boy." "Mom! He loves Bella. if you take him away from her, he'll be miserable. Why would you even think of doing something that stupid?" I stomped my foot angrily.
- 58 -

"She's right Edward, the boy," "The boy is just fine Alice. You saw him yesterday. He knows how to behave! He just doesn't like us. Taking him away from his mother isn't going to make things any better. You think she's just going to stand by while you strip away the one speck of happiness she has left? No! Mom, the only way you could possibly take that boy from her is over her dead body." "Edward. I understand where you're coming from." "No you don't. What would you have done if someone had taken us from you when we were younger? Mom please, how could you do that to another mother, to someone who loves her child just as much as you love us!" I was trying to make her see how wrong it all really was. "This is about what's best for the child." "No, this is about you making him conform, making him something he's not! He won't fit into this family because this," I waved my hands around to make my point, "This isn't his thing. He likes science and stuff that we don't understand, why would you want to change him?" I asked. "Not change, simply make better." She tried. "What is there to make better. He's a great kid. Sure, he's a brat, he's an ass. We all already know that. That doesn't give you the right to strip him away from his mother. He's just a child. He doesn't know you, he doesn't want to be around you because all you've done is treat him like crap!" my mother's mouth dropped open. "How dare you speak to me that way!" she snarled. However, I wasn't paying attention. Suddenly, some of the most important things clicked. This was why Bella had left without a word. My family had treated her just as they were treating Masen. I had been too foolish to see it. The entire time, she had been suffering, yet she stayed because she loved me. Still in the end, her love for her son won out. She didn't want him to put up with everything the way she did. "Edward, I'm only thinking about the child-" "No, you're only thinking about yourself. Masen knew that right off the back. He saw right through you." I looked around the room and suddenly everything seemed wrong. Nothing seemed to fit anymore. "I'm leaving, I have to talk to Bella. You've probably freaked her out." I grabbed my jacket and went out the door. I had to find
- 59 -

Bella and apologize. "Edward, don't do this! We're just trying to help him!" Esme chased after me. "You aren't helping him. He doesn't need your help mom. He's smarter than you think." I felt kind of strange, I was talking about Masen like I like the kid. What was there to like? He was disrespectful, imprudent, and rude. Yet, he looked after his mother, he stuck up for her even when it meant standing up to my family. The annoying asshole was just a cover, there was someone real underneath and I was determined to find out more about him. I climbed into my car and set a course for Bella's house. She was standing on the porch, talking to Jasper. I watched the two of them for a few moments. She leaned in and kissed his cheek. He laughed lightly, hugged her and then proceeded back his home. My hands clenched the steering wheel so hard that my knuckles turned white. Why had she kissed him? Why? What did he have that I didn't have? I was charming, I was wealthy, I was handsome, he was.Jasper. Then again, he did have an accent. Most women found that attractive. Then again, Bella wasn't most women. I leaned back in the seat of my car when someone knocked on my window.

- 60 -

Chapter 10
Chapter 10 EPOV I practically jumped out of my skin when I heard someone tapping on my window. I looked up to see Masen staring at me, dark circles under his eyes. "What are you doing here Edward?" he demanded. "I came to talk to your mother." I said once I opened the door. He looked me over. "When will you and your family get the picture, we don't want to deal with you okay, my mom has enough to worry about." He looked like he was ready to punch me. "I didn't come o make trouble. Actually, I came to apologize to her. I think I've been rather harsh towards her. I just want to straighten things out. Then, maybe the three of us can go from there." I actually smiled at the thought. "I think you mean four Edward." "Four?" "You're engaged, remember?" dang! Why hadn't I thought about that? To tell you the truth, I hadn't thought about Tanya since I'd met Masen. He took up a lot of thought. "Fine, the four of us. But right now, it's just us three. I'm sick of fighting with you, I just want all of us to work together." he appraised me silently. "You break my mother's heart, I'll kill you." he didn't wait for me, he just walked up the steps to his porch and in the front door. Bella looked shocked at him before her eyes met mine. She looked even more confused. "What are you doing here, Edward? Shouldn't you be at home devising a battle plan?" she hissed. "That's why I'm here Bella, I had no idea that Alice was coming over here. I had no
- 61 -

idea that she was going to try and take Masen away from you." I explained. She looked confused for a few moments but didn't miss a beat. "Good, because I'd eat you alive in court." She stood up tall and then led me into the house. "I'm glad you believe me Bella, I was really nervous. I thought I might end up having to grovel. I really didn't want to have to do that." I laughed. She didn't laugh with me however. "Yeah, I'm still considering making you do that. Go sit down, I might as well brew a cup of coffee. Masen, you want anything?" she called. "Are you the one cooking it?" he asked. "Yes, who else would?" she demanded. "Sorry, I'd rather not die so early in my young life." He responded, I could hear the laugh in his voice. "I really wish I could understand you guy's relationship. It doesn't make any sense to me." I said darkly. "Masen's complex, you stay out of his way, he's fine. Don't worry about him. Don't worry about our relationship, worry about yours. Who is this Tanya? No one will tell me anything about her." she sat down on her couch and gestured for me to sit down with her. "What is there for me to tell? She's nice when she wants to be." I shrugged. "Yesbut do you love her?" I looked her over. The question was completely innocent, she was just asking. "I don't really know, I'm never really all that sure when I comes to Tanya, she always keeps me guessing." I shrugged again and then leaned back. "Edward, you do realize that you are making a commitment to this woman. If you don't love her, then don't marry her. That's just a setup for divorce and unhappiness and I would hate for you to be unhappy." She touched my hand lightly. My insides nearly exploded, I couldn't believe how much I had missed her touch. "My family thinks I should marry her. We could build some musical empire
- 62 -

together." "At the price of your own happiness, Edward that's insane. You deserve better. You don't have to do this." She said quietly. "I wouldn't want to disappoint my family." I rubbed the back of my head. She shook her head and stood up. "You're family has always dictated everything about you Edward? Why do you always do what they say? Edward, if they loved you, if they really cared, they wouldn't criticize you based on your choice of women, they would trust your judgment! You aren't a puppet, goddamnit, be a man!" now that was like a slap in the face. Who the hell was she to judge me? "I am a man! I have been standing up to my parents. They don't command me Bella, they don't influence my life." "Edward. If you were a man, I wouldn't have left you." she looked me right in the face as she said it. I couldn't believe it. "What the hell is that supposed to mean?" I practically growled at her. She shook her head and moved to leave the room. I grabbed her arm to stop her. "Edward, what in the world do you think you're doing?" she all but shouted. "What did you mean by that Bella, what did my family say to you?" "It's nothing Edward, you can't fix it now!" she scratched at my hand angrily, trying to pull away from me. "Bella, I want the truth, I mean it!" I said angrily. "Alright, just let me go before I call Masen in here!" she slammed her tiny fist into my hand repeatedly. "What did they say to you Bella, please, just tell me. I just want to know." I released her and sat back down on her couch. What had I missed? Had my own family chased the love of my life away from me? "It was nothing really, certainly nothing worth breaking my arm over. Esme just expressed her blatant dislike for me whenever you had your back turned. Sometimes when it wasn't. You just never seemed to care whether or not my feelings got hurt." She ran a hand through her hair quickly, a trait she had picked up from me.
- 63 -

"Bella, of course I care. That's why I'm asking. I can't believe you thought I didn't care about your feelings. You were the most important person to me. Why didn't you tell me you were so miserable, I would have put a stop to it immediately." I told her truthfully, how could I not have noticed how unhappy she was. "Are you two going to make out or sit here talking all night?" we both looked up to see Masen standing in the doorway. He watched the two of us carefully, his eyes moving around the scene. "Masen, I thought you went to your room. What are you doing out here?" Bella asked, her voice quiet again. "I figured I come out to check on you. It is my job as the man of the house." he watched me cautiously, his eyes boring into mine. "Masen, it is not your ob to check up on me. It isn't necessary. I was just discussing some things with your father." Bella explained to him. "And I presume that none of these things had to do with me?" "None at all. Please, I would like to continue my discussion with Edward." Masen knew when he had been dismissed. He complied in silence and disappeared somewhere back into his room. "He listens to you. My mother doesn't understand that. She doesn't get to see this kind of thing." I observed. "I don't intend to let her so far into my life so that she can Edward. this is my world, I would very much like to keep it that way." Bella stood and went back into the kitchen. "He's my son too. I would like to be included in some things. Is that so wrong?" I asked. "You are included. You came to his expo today, that's a really big thing in this house." she said. "Yeah, but I obviously wasn't invited to the celebrations afterwards. I thought you all were coming straight home." my eyes raked over the photo on the mantle. Jasper sat next to Bella, an arm slung carelessly around Masen's shoulder. Everyone was smiling. I couldn't help but hate him. Who did he think he was, he wasn't her husband and he certainly wasn't Masen's father. Anyone who looked at the photo
- 64 -

and had a brain could tell that much. They just looked too different. Still, anyone that looked would just guess stepdad or mom's boyfriend. They all looked so happy, so natural. It didn't feel right. "So you and Jasper huh?" I asked. "What?" she sounded surprised. "Are you two dating?" "No. Should we be?" "I'm not saying that. He just seems oddly friendly towards you." I shrugged involuntarily. "So, we're friends, there's nothing wrong with that. He's a really great guy." She came back in with two mugs of coffee. "Yeah, I bet he is." "Why does everyone automatically assume that Jasper and I are a couple? We really are just really good friends." She took a sip from her mug. I sighed deeply. I knew all the questions about the little stuff was just our way of dodging the big situation. "Really Bella, what are we going to do about this?" I asked her in a soft voice. "That depends on what 'this' is." "You know what I mean. What are we going to do about the Masen situation. The last thing I want to do is make you all uncomfortable." I leaned back into the couch again. "It's a bit too late for that Edward. That ship has already sailed. As for the 'situation' that's up to you and him. He's old enough to make his own decisions, so I let him. If he wants to let you in, he will. If he doesn't, well, I'm sorry, there's really nothing I can do about that." "That's reassuring. Really Bella. I want the fighting to stop, I just want you all to be happy and I want to know my son." He said.
- 65 -

"Easier said than done. I've lived with him for seventeen years and I still don't know him, he's one heck of a unique kid. There's no one like him." she smiled slightly at the thought. "What can you tell me? I'm curious and I know Masen isn't going to let me in on anything." I watched as her smile grew. "Oh there's so much, he's one quirky kid. Like he never eats anything I cook, he carries batteries in his back pocket at all times, like no lie, even in his pajama pants. It's something that I've never understood. He always gets up in the wee hours of the morning, before the sun rises and as you already know, he doesn't go to school. I'm never really sure what he does around here while I'm gone, though I do know that if he hacks the FBI one more time, he's going to prison." By that time, she was already laughing. "He's hacked the FBI?" "Yeah, he's a arrogant little thing." She too another sip of her coffee. I felt so relaxed, it was just like old times. Just as things were going good, my cell phone rang. I groaned as I picked it up. "Hello?" I asked. "Edward, where are you, you just disappeared!" "I'm fine mother, I'm not a little kid anymore." I sighed heavily. "I know that, I'm just worried about you, you were so upset when you left." She said worriedly. "I'm fine. I was actually in the middle of something." "Edward Masen, if you don't get your butt-" I snapped the phone shut and looked back to Bella. She raised her eyebrows but didn't comment on the three-second conversation. "So, you were saying?"

- 66 -

Chapter 11
Chapter 11 I don't know how long Bella and I talked. I listened to her talk about Masen, about his interest and his hobbies. She had been right, he was rather quirky. Still, the things she told me only served to entice my curiosity even more. I wanted to know everything, I wanted to know so much more about him. I hated that I had missed so much of his life. "Oh, and he absolutely hates wildflowers." She laughed brightly. I sighed with contentment, I'd forgotten how much I adored her laugh. "Wildflowers? What's wrong with them, they're nice." I said with a chuckle. "He said, bees use the bathroom on them and butterflies have sex on them. I think it's so hilarious. That he even knows that fact." I couldn't help but laugh with her. Only someone like Masen would know those sort of things. he was such an odd little guy. "Oh shoot!" Bella checked her watch. "What's wrong?" I asked nervously. "We talked the entire night, I have to start getting ready for work or I'm going to be late!" she hopped up from the couch band ran out of the room. Within the next few seconds, I heard the shower begin to run. 'Don't think about her in the shower, don't think about her in the shower.' I pleaded with my mind. It was already too late, my mind was already adrift. I could just imagine how she looked, soaking wet. Her long mohagany hair cascading over her shoulders like a waterfall. "Wake up Edward. Wake up." Masen was snapping his fingers in front of my face. "Oh, hello Masen, how are you this morning?" I asked politely. "What are you still doing here. I woke up, I went to sleep, I woke up again and you're still here."
- 67 -

"Yeah, your mom and I talked all last night. She told me a lot about you. I was really surprised by what I heard." I said tentatively. "What, by the fact that I'm not like you." he sneered angrily. "No, that wasn't surprising at all. I didn't expect you to be at all like me. I was just shocked to find out that you actually enjoy having fun. From the impression I've been getting, I assumed that you just liked to sit around brooding." I laughed. "Yeah well, we can't all be like your mother." "True enough." I laughed again. He sat down on the couch and brought his knees up to his chin. He looked so much younger than he actually was, like a little boy. "Why did you come over here Edward? What do you want from us?" he asked, his voice a whisper. "I don't want anything from you Masen. I just want to get to know you, get to know my son." I said responded almost as quiet. "Why do you suddenly want to know so much about me? What do you stand to gain from it!" he closed his eyes tightly and twisted his hands in his hair. "I just told you, I stand to gain a son. Masen, I just met you a few weeks ago and I'm already so proud of you. I can't believe you've done so much, that you've taken such good care of your mother." "There's nothing to believe Edward, it just is what it is." "No. Masen, you're a teenager, you could be doing do many things but you choose to care for your mother. I think it'sI don't know what to think anymore. Especially about you." Masen didn't respond. He just leaned his head against his knees and sighed. "Your family wants to take me away from her." he said after a few moments. "I'm aware. I swear to you, I won't let them take you away from your mother. You two need each other." "Well look at this." Bella came out wrapped tightly in a bathrobe. It took all I had not to start drooling.
- 68 -

"Shouldn't you be headed of to work?" Masen asked. "Yes, I'm getting something really quick and them I'm going to go put some clothes on." She skipped out of the room, the towel moving upwards just the slightest bit. "Put your eyes back in their sockets Edward." I heard Masen say. "What?" "I saw the way you were staring at her. I'm a guy too, I know how you think." He stood up. "Why don't the two of you do something today?" Bella called from the other room. "Something fun." "I'd rather choke on my own vomit." Masen replied. "I mean it! Go out, do something! Have some fun." "You don't want to push him Bella." I told her. "I mean it you two, go out and do something." "Fine, we'll go to the library." Masen huffed. "Don't embarrass me Edward." he snarled. He stalked off to his room just as Bella came out. She was pulling a comb through her hair as she was smoothing out the skirt to her work suit. "How do I look?" she asked. "You look good." I said quietly as I looked her over. She looked more than good, she looked downright beautiful. "Thanks, I'm gonna head out. Please try to get along. I don't want to have to pay bail for the two of you." she touched my shoulder lightly and smiled. "I'll look after him. You don't have to worry Bella. I reached out cautiously reached out to touch her face. She didn't move at first but instead, leaned into my touch. "You're engaged Edward." she whispered. "Bella" she pulled away and walked right out the door.
- 69 -

"Okay, don't talk to anyone. If you embarrass me, I swear Edward, I will kill you." Masen threatened me. "I know. I'll probably just end up looking around." Masen crossed his arms as we entered. "Don't talk to anyone." He said again. "I thought we already established that I wasn't going to do that." I sighed. "Masen!" Masen's head shot up. "Oh great, we've attracted her attention." He groaned. "Hey Masen! Why didn't say hi?" she asked. I recognized the girl. She had been at the exposition. "Because I don't like you Sylvia." Masen sneered. She just smiled coyly at him and tapped his cheek. "Oh Masen, you do amuse me." she blew him a kiss before skipping away. "Who is she?" I asked. "The spawn of Satan." He replied angrily. "I mean who is she? Like, in reality." "I just told you Edward. She is the spawn of Satan sent here to make me miserable." "Why does she make you miserable?" I was starting to get curious, "You ask way too many questions. I just don't like her okay." Masen shuffled his feet anxiously. "Alright, I won't ask anymore." I shrugged my shoulders and the two of us headed of to the computer lab. Apparently Masen had a computer reserved specifically for him. He went to the library that much. He sat down at his computer and began working. "What do you do on the computer if you don't have homework? You also don't
- 70 -

strike me as a video kind of guy." I sat down next to him. "There are always things to learn Edward, always knowledge to gain." He said darkly, his fingers moving over the keyboard with such speed. My phone began to ring again. I picked it up and checked the caller ID, it was my mother again. "Oh look, It's the mother of Satan." He said. "She's probably freaking out, I'm going to take this. I'll be right back." I stood up and walked out of the lab and into the hall. "Hello Mother." I snapped angrily at her. "Edward! Oh thank god, I assumed you were dead!" she screeched. "I told you where I was going mom, there was no reason to jump to conclusions." I said in dull voice. "Edward, don't tell me that you're still with that girl." She hissed. "No actually, she went to work. I'm spending time with Masen." I said angrily. Bella wasn't just a girl. "Edward please, you should just come home. Bring Masen with you, we can come to a consensus!" "Mom, I'm hanging up now." "Edward! I want this to work out, I want you to be happy!" "Then keep your nose out of my business." I closed the phone and sighed. If I ever went back, she was going to kill me. "Soyou like ice cream." I sat across from him in what I presumed to be his favorite ice cream parlor. "Yeah, mom and I come here a lot." He said in a bored tone. "That's cool. I didn't know you liked sweets."
- 71 -

"Why would you think I didn't like sweets? I'm not a freak." He leaned back in his seat and looked around. "Why does your mom keep calling you, doesn't she have you micro chipped or something." I tried to ignore the jab. "No, she doesn't have me micro chipped. She just gets worried is all, she doesn't want anything bad to happen." "And by anything bad, you mean my mom. She doesn't want the two of you to end up together." it wasn't a question. "Yeah, I guess that's what she means. I don't usually take what she says literally though and your mother is nothing bad, heck, she's nothing short of an angel." I smiled at the thought, Bella was wonderful. She'd been through so much and yet she was still strong enough to wear a smile on her face. She was beautiful both inside and out. "Admit it Edward, you're in love with her still aren't you." Masen rested his head on hi arm and looked up at me through his thick lashes. "Masen II don't know what I feel for your mother. As you've made several points to remind me of, I'm engaged." I shrugged my shoulders nervously. I didn't want to think about my feelings. "Okay Nimrod, I'm not stupid. I see the way you look at her. You love her so much it hurts. Be a man and admit it." he stood up and walked to the counter to order another cone. It twisted my hand in my hair. What was I supposed to think? I knew I still had feelings for Bella, I always had. I just wasn't sure if it was love anymore. I didn't like to think about it, it was all to complicated. "So is this how you always handle things?" Masen sat back down across from me. "What do you mean?" "You're just sitting there looking like a little lost puppy. Trust me, mom doesn't go for that shit." "Excuse me?" "She doesn't. You want her back, prove to me you can handle her." For the longest moment, I just stared at him. Was he challenging me?
- 72 -

"You know I don't get you." I said darkly. "I mean, do you want your mother and I to be together or what? I'm confused. And why are you practically threatening me?" "Because I want to know the truth. If you really love mother, prove it to me. Prove it to me right now Edward!" he hissed venomously. "There's nothing to prove, I told you I'm not even sure about how I feel about her. I don't know." "You're lying. You know exactly how you feel but you're to much of a child to admit. Go run back to mommy's skirts Edward, go on and hide." He stood up. "Masen, what is your deal with me? I know you're upset but you don't have to keep throwing shit in my face. I'm just trying to figure everything out." I stood as well. "You are such a-" "I know, nimrod." "I was going say coward." "That might actually be worse." I laid down some bills and followed him out of the parlor.

- 73 -

Chapter 12
Chapter 12 BPOV I wondered where Edward and Masen had gone. When I arrived home, they were nowhere to be found I wondered what could have happened. I wasn't worried about Masen though. Edward didn't want to hurt Masen. I believed that he honestly cared about him. He seemed honestly interested in my son. I sat down on the couch and waited. Someone knocked at the door and I jumped up. Maybe they were home. I ran over to the door and opened it, expecting to see my son and Edward. Sadly, I was never ever that lucky. Esme stood there, her eyes serious. Carlisle, Rosalie, and Alice stood behind her. "Aren't you going to let us in?" "I'm seriously thinking against it." I said darkly. Better to just avoid confrontation and allow them inside. Esme and her posse shuffled through the doorway. I told them to sit down and then ran into the back room. I picked up the phone and quickly dialed Jasper's number. "Hello?" He picked up after the first ring. ` "I've been ambushed!" I whisper screamed. "What are you talking about Bella?" he sounded more amused than he should. "They are her in my house and I don't have Masen's witty attitude to back me up. I'm toast." I was close to tears as I had often been when I was alone with his family. They cornered me a lot whenever Edward wasn't watching. "Bella, we're waiting out here." I heard Rosalie shout. "Please get over here as fast you can, I feel like I'm going to vomit." I pleaded with him. Jasper was my best friend even though there were rare occasions when I actually needed his help like I did now. Still, like the true hero he was, he always
- 74 -

rose to my defense when I needed him the most. "Don't worry Sugah, I'll be right over." He hung up. I smiled to myself and then huddled in the corner, I would have to wait him out before I through myself to the sharks. Maybe Masen would make some remarkable entrance and scare them away. I heard there quick raps on the door and quickly rushed to get it. "Where you expecting guest?" Esme asked quietly. "Actually yes." I opened the door and greeted Jasper heartily. "Thank you for this." I whispered to him. He just nodded in response. "How did I know it would be you?" Alice crossed her arms at him. "I don't know, maybe you're psychic." Jasper glared at her with just as much intensity. I sat down in one of my smaller chairs that usually sat around our kitchen table. "So, what brings you all to this part of the neighborhood?" I asked shakily. "Why else would we be here Bella, we're here to discuss my grandson." Esme looked at me as if I were the most stupid thing in the world. "Well there's nothing to discuss, Masen's staying here with me." I said sharply. "Watch your tone little girl." Rosalie sneered. "We're the same age Rosalie." "I wish we could just stop all of this arguing and talk about the situation like real people." Came Carlisle's calm voice. "I am trying to be calm, she just won't cooperate-" "I won't cooperate? What, did you expect me to hand my son over! He is not an item Esme, he is a person. There's no way in hell I'll let you take him from me without a fight." I snarled at her. "Now you wait just a second! I am only thinking about the safety of the child."
- 75 -

"No you aren't. You're thinking about the safety of your reputation! Masen isn't like the rest of you, he never will fit his way into this high society life that you all have set up for yourselves. That jus isn't his way of doing things. If you can't accept that or you can't have him at all! Now I'm not against Masen being around family, he loved Charlie and Sue but that's because they treated him like an equal, because they recognized him for the what he is! One hell of a kid. If you're going to sit there and criticize me as a parent thinking you can tear my son away from me just like you did with Edward then you're wrong! The only way you'll be able to take him is over my dead body!" Esme couldn't respond for a few seconds, she just stared at me, gaping like a fish who'd been yanked out of water. I don't think I'd ever stood up to her before then. "You little bitch!" Rosalie shouted at me. She towered over me when she stood up. I thought she might just slap me. "Call me what you like, it doesn't change the facts. I am not afraid of you anymore." "I think you all should leave before I call the cops." Jasper said as he watched them all. Alice glowered at him. "Of course, Texan white trash to the rescue." She said snidely. I lunged at Jasper, pushing him back to the wall with all my might. He looked like he was ready to kill Alice. "Get out, get out!" I screamed at tem trying my hardest to keep him at bay. I knew the only thing stopping him was the fact that he didn't want to hurt me. "Mom, we're home!" the door swung open top reveal Masen and Edward. I know how it must have looked, me trying to restrain a barking mad Jasper with Alice and Esme watching him warily, Carlisle muttering to himself in the corner. "I think I'll go back to the library, you all seem busy." Masen said quietly. "Why do you need to go back, we were just there two hours ago." Edward reminded him. "I forgot something." "What'd you forget?" "God Edward, leave it alone!"
- 76 -

"No, I don't think I will. Just tell me what the hell is going on!" "I am going back to the library." Masen pushed Edward out of the way and ran down the street. Edward looked ready to go after him. "Edward no, just let him go and clear his head." I told him. "Let him go? Out on his own?" Esme demanded. "He could be doing anything!" "I trust my son. He won't do anything stupid. He's just upset right now." "Because when kids are upset, they run to the library to do a little light reading. Honestly Bella, could you be anymore nave?" Rosalie threw her hands in the air. "I know my son. He won't do anything wrong, he's a responsible young man." I defended him. "Of course he is. You give a child freedom and next thing you know, they're on drugs, involved in sex rings!" Esme shouted at me. "What the hell is wrong with you? Does Masen really seem like the kind of guy to end up in a sex ring? Let alone drugs? He isn't stupid." Jasper was finally starting to calm down. "Edward, go find him." Esme commanded him. "He's fine mom. Jasper's right, he won't get himself into trouble." We all looked at Edward in shock. Him disobeying a direct order from Esme was unheard of. "I can't believe you all, he is a sixteen year old boy! He could be doing anything and you're all talking about trust? You can't let a child make there own deceasing!" she screamed. "He's not a child, he's a young adult. I don't control him because he's a person! He's a good kid, you just keep looking for the worst!" I said angrily. "Where are his manners Bella? Hm? He needs that not just to fit into high society, but into this world in general! You've raised him to be a failure." She said simply. This time Jasper had to hold me back. "I thought I told you never to call my son a failure! He's brilliant and he'll grow up to be great!" I shrieked at her. Jasper finally sighed, he picked me up and carried me
- 77 -

to the back room. I heard Edward telling his family to leave. He set me down on the floor and patted my head. "Don't do anything you'd regret, Esme's baiting you. You get an assault and she'll snatch Masen like that." He snapped his fingers. I took a few deep breaths to calm myself down. "She makes me so angry sometimes. I just, I don't know what I'm doing Jasper. I'm afraid, I'm angry, I'm confused, all at the same time! I just, I don't know what to do anymore. Tell me what to do!" I pleaded. "I don't know Bella. I'm not a parent and I've never been involved in anything like this before. I really wish that I could offer you some sort of advice but I really have no idea how to tackle this situation." He said rather sullenly. I plopped down onto the floor. "I just can't live like this! My son is afraid, he ran away from me Jasper. I can't stand to see him this way, alone and terrified. He'd never admit it but he really is scared." I twisted my hands in my hair. "I really am a bad mother. I don't know what to do." "Bella." I looked up to see Edward standing next to Jasper. For once, they didn't seem hostile towards each other. "You are in no way a bad mother. I spent the entire day with Masenhe's one heck of a kid and you raised him to be that way. He's special. Really special. And he loves you more than anything. Yes, he's afraid, but he'd do anything for you Bella because you raised him. The only way my mother can get a hold on him is through you, she's trying to get you riled up so you go down. Masen will be an open target." He sat down on the floor with me. "You aren't alone in this anymore." he whispered. "I'll leave the room, this is more so between you two." Jasper ducked out of the room. Edward nodded at him. Now was not the time to fight. I moved to stand but Edward grabbed my hand. "Stay with me." "No. You are engaged. We cannot do this." I tried to yank my hand from his grasp. Edward stood up to his full height and looked me in the eye.
- 78 -

"I lost you once Bella." "Don't do this Edward." "I won't loose you again." "Your fianc will be angry." "I don't care." "I'm not some cheap hooker Edward. You can't just call on me whenever you want to." "I know that." "Do you?" "Bella please. I've made mistakes, I want to fix this." "There is nothing to fix." "There's us." "There is no us." "I say there is." "There isn't." "Bella." "Edward." I pursed my lips. This was getting us nowhere. Edward just smiled at my expression. "Bella I still care about you." "I think you should leave." "I'm not going to." "I'll call Jasper."
- 79 -

"We both know you're bluffing." He reached forward to cup my face. He stroked my cheek with his thumb for a few seconds before leaning in. My breath hitched, I was frozen, there was no avoiding the inevitable. The moment his lips touched mine, something inside me broke. I threw my arms around him, threaded my fingers in his hair and held him close. He wrapped his arms around me and didn't let go. "This is wrong" I said once we came up for air. "Never say that Bella. Nothing about this is wrong."

- 80 -

Chapter 13
Chapter 13 BPOV I sat with Edward for the longest time. Just the two of us together. Masen still had not returned from the library and I'll be honest, I was starting to worry. He wasn't one to stay out late unless he had a real reason to. Part of me wanted to g loom for him, and part of me wanted to stay right where I was, wrapped in Edward's arms. I hoped I wasn't dreaming because if I was, when I woke up, I knew it would hurt a lot more than before, I knew I would be I so much pain. I leaned my head onto his shoulder and closed my eyes. I felt so young again, so free, like nothing was wrong with the world. Just then, the front door opened. My eyes shot open to see who it was. Masen stood their, looking cold and damp. I hadn't even realized it was raining. "Where have you been, the library must have closed hours ago." I said quietly, moving to stand. "It was closed when I got there so I just went to the park." He shrugged, dripping water onto the floor. The closer I got to him, the more pitiful he looked. His eyes were red, his cheeks flushed. He had been crying, I realized. "Masen, what happened while you were gone, what's wrong?" I demanded, grabbing his shoulders. "Nothing happened. I just needed to clear my head." He whispered. I pulled him to my chest, ignoring the wet fabric. "I mean it Masen, tell me what's wrong, I'm your mother, you can trust me." I begged him, holding tight. He rested his chin on the top of my head and sighed. "Really, it's nothing for you to worry about. I'm tired, I think I'll go to bed now." He said while trying to pull away from me. "Honey please I hate to see you so upset, the only way I can fix the problem is if you tell me. You have to tell me what's wrong." I clutched the front of his jacket with
- 81 -

all the will I had, I wouldn't let him escape me without knowing what was really going on. "Just let go, there's nothing to say." He pushed my hands away and left for his room, dripping the entire way. I covered my mouth with my hands trying my hardest not to cry. "Bella," Edward placed a warm, comforting hand on my shoulder. I hadn't heard him get up. "Something's wrong Edward. I know something happened, what am I supposed to do. I can't just stand by and watch." "I know something's wrong. He's just not feeling approachable right now, you'll get him back Bella, he'll be better soon." He smiled at me and kissed my forehead. I prayed that he was right. Of course he wasn't. Days came and went and Masen still didn't get better. He just sat in his room for hours at a time. He wouldn't talk to me no matter how much I prodded. I felt like I was watching his destruction, like something on the inside was consuming him and I couldn't stop it, I couldn't stop whatever was hurting him so badly. I had never felt so helpless. The computer was starting to gather dust, he hadn't touched it in over a week. That was beyond strange. "You finally visit every site in the universe?" I said lightly one day. He just shrugged and laid his head back down on his pillow. I sighed deeply and sat down on the end of the bed. "Won't you tell me what's wrong Masen? I care about you. Edward and Jasper both care about you. We just want you to get better. We want to help you." I rubbed his arm softly. "Why does something always have to be wrong? Maybe I'm just feeling lazy." He wouldn't turn to face me. I kissed his cheek. "I see the sass is slowly starting to return. I missed it." I smiled slightly. "There's nothing wrong mom, I'm just not feeling well, I need a little rest." "Lying in your bed for a week constitutes a problem. I've seen you sick before
- 82 -

Masen Swan and this isn't it. You're a lot meaner when you're sick." "Maybe I'm trying to change that." He whispered. "Change what?" "Maybe I'm trying to change my attitude." "What's wrong with your attitude?" "You don't know how it feels to be hated by everyone you meet." Now that caught me. Masen could be an asshole, that was a well known fact. But no one could ever hate him completely you are hun, you know how to spice up life. Other people are just pricks." "You don't know how it feels to be hated by everyone you meet." Now that caught me. Masen could be an asshole, that was a well known fact. But no one could ever hate him completely, he had a certain charm that usually won people over. "Who hates you?" I demanded. "Everyone. Sometimes I think even you do. I'm the root of all your problems." "What the hell? Masen, you're my son. You've never caused me problems and I honestly don't think you ever will. I love you. I've always loved you." "I broke you and Edward up." "No, Edward's family broke us up. You were just the one that finally motivated me to leave him, to get away from people that would never love me. That doesn't mean that they won't ever love you though." "Mom, they hate me and you know it. They wish I was never born so their perfect image wouldn't be tarnished." "Hun, I'm gonna be honest. Edward's family doesn't like you because you came from me, from the union they never approved of. That's not your fault at all. You're a wonderful guy and they'll never be able to see that because of me. When people don't like you hun, it's because they've always been jealous of you." I leaned kissed his cheek again. "You're special and you're my son. I'm proud of you. If I hated you, you would have been out this house along time ago." I smiled and pinched his cheek. He actually seemed relieved. "And what about Jasper? He doesn't hate you at all.
- 83 -

You know he's quite fond of you. I think this whole Edward ting has thrown you off your game a little bit." "Maybe you're right, maybe I'm just overreacting to things. I just need to take a couple deep breaths and relax." He smiled slightly and hugged himself. "Exactly. Don't worry, we're in this together. Now, I am going to make something for us to eat. Any request?" "Yeah, for you not to cook, I'll call for take out." he laughed lightly but it was enough for me. My heart swelled at the sound. I had gotten to hear his voice and goodness did it sound good. "Fine, you go ahead and call. I'm gonna head into the kitchen. Just holler if you need anything." I sighed contentedly and left his room. How could Masen think that anyone hated him? I told him every day that I loved him, that I would do anything for him. Had Edward's family affected him that much or had I just failed as a parent. That must have been what happened, I had to have failed my son. I had left him open to Esme's harsh word's and criticisms. I'd forgotten that he was just a child. Someone knocked at the door and I stood went to answer it, my mind still far away. "Hello Bella." I groaned. Carlisle stood at the door. "Are you all ever going to leave me alone?" I asked half-heartedly. Carlisle smiled wistfully and walked into my home. "I don't mean to be rude but what do you want Carlisle?" "Not to fight you, that's for sure. I honestly just want to talk to you Bella. I've just never had the time to come over here by myself." "So you bring Esme and let her treat me like a dog. Thank you for that." I could here Masen talking on the phone in the other room. "Edward told me that Masen was sick, I hope he's gotten better." Carlisle commented. "Not sick, depressed. Your family has made both of our lives incredibly difficult." I crossed my arms and sat down on the couch. "Does Esme even know you're here? Seems like she'd rather kill you herself."
- 84 -

"You're probably right about that so no, she doesn't know I'm here right now. Edward doesn't even know I'm here." He sat down next to me and sighed. "Things have gotten quite complicated lately, I'm afraid the stress is tearing our family apart." "Well that isn't my fault, if they stay away from Masen, they won't have to deal with any of this. This is hurting him." "I believe it. Genius or not, he's still a child." Carlisle shook his head. "I'm not sure how I can help you Bella. I want to be able to help but I don't if there's a way for you to get out of this unscathed." "You know Esme won't just let me go. I hold the key to destroying her reputation. She thinks I'm ruining her son's future. I don't want anyone to get that impression because it isn't true. I do love Edward, I do, but I would never want to take away his future, I care about him too much. Why doesn't anyone understand that?" "Esme does understand that you love him. She just can't see past your social status. I really don't understand her way of thinking myself. Personally, I don't like Tanya very much." "I thought you saw the good in everyone." "There's no good to see in her." "That can't be true Carlisle. Alice and Rosalie like her don't they?" "No, they just want Edward to stay away form you." "But why, what have I done to deserve this treatment? I don't understand how they could hate me so much." "Bella, when you left Edward, he lost himself. For months, he wouldn't even leave his room, we had to force him to eat. He was so despondent. He loved you, he still loves you. I guess Esme just can't handle that dedication to someone other than her who isn't wealthy. And someone without manners seems to upset her even more." "You mean Masen." "Yes I mean Masen. I really don't mind his attitude, I find it quite amusing." He smiled happily.
- 85 -

"I just want everyone to get along and Masen to be happy. I don't know if we can all coexist together and not hurt him." I tugged at my shirt. "I wish I knew what to tell you. I really wish I did." He sighed and ran a hand through his hair. I wondered if all Masen men did that. Edward and Masen did it too. I leaned back into the couch and thought. "So, whose side are you on?" I asked him. "I'm Switzerland. Whatever happens happens. However, I am hoping that both you and Edward end up happy. I think you're the only one who can teach him how to grow up and stand up to his mom." "Yeah right, Edward's a pansy. He isn't going to stand up to anything." Masen came walking out of his room for the first time in days, laptop in his hands. I beamed at him, he seemed better. "I ordered food so you don't kill us all." He nodded to Carlisle and leaned on the arm of the couch. "Now for the real reason I'm here. Masen, my wife will be over soon enough. She wants to invite you to come over, we're having a small social function and she wants you to be on your best behavior." Carlisle shrugged. "So in other words, I'll be setting your house on fire and dancing on the ashes with Esme's head on a stick." "That image will forever be engraved in my head." Carlisle couldn't help but grin. At least Masen had found one other person to add to his growing group of frined. Someone who was just as will to accept him as I was.

- 86 -

Chapter 14
Chapter 14 BPOV I stood in front of my dresser with a nervous expression glued to my face. I couldn't believe that I was actually going through with this. Sure, I'd been on dates before, I wasn't a total recluse. But it had be years since I'd gone out with Edward Masen, years since we'd just been alone together sharing a private moment. I sighed again and looked myself over. God, why didn't I own a peie of clothing actually worth wearing? "C'mon mom, Edward's getting antsy. I don't want him to wear a hole in our floor." I heard Masen say through the door. "I'm coming. Tell him I just need a few moments to get myself ready." I called back. "You said that half an hour ago. He's not gonna buy it again, mom." "Can't you please stall him for me? I have to find something decent to wear." I pleaded with him, taking my hair again. "I'm sure what you've got on his fine. Just come on, the quicker you two leave, the quicker I can have the house to myself." "So you can watch your copy of planet earth for the millionth time?" I snapped. I had finally given up on my hair, just letting it fall loose over my shoulders. I could hear Edward outside with Masen, still pacing nervously. What did he have to be anxious about? I was the ugly duckling here. I took in a deep breath and opened the door. "Bella!" Edward beamed when he saw me. "Hey Edward." I waved shyly, regretting that I had turned back into a little girl in high school. Edward took my hand and guided me to the family room. Masen was already there waiting for us.
- 87 -

"Now now kids, be sure to be back before the streetlamp come on." "Masen, cut it out." "And remember, sex is a sin. You might end up having another baby like me and that's the last thing we want now isn't it?" "Masen, I will strangle you if you don't shut up!" I could feel my face heating up. "Don't worry mom! I know you're the responsible one, just don't let him trick you." he winked and I smacked my forehead. "Well goodness. Masen, just remember that Edward and I will be back soon-" "Jasper is next door if I need him, don't burn down the house, don't open the door for anyone, don't have unsafe sex, you'd know a lot about that one wouldn't you Edward? Oh, and yeah, hugs, not drugs." "Yeahthat about covers it." I sighed deeply. "You know? I think I'd rather smoke weed than be hugged. Now get along so I can invite my hoes over." He leaned back on the couch and smirked that same old mischievous smirk. "Goodbye Masen. Don't burn my house down. I pushed Edward out the front door. He was still frozen from the words that had come out of Masen's mouth. "C'mon Edward," I laughed, pulling him playfully away from the house. "Did you hear what he-" "Yes I heard. Now c'mon, this is one of the few times I get to actually have some fun." Edward smiled broadly and opened the door to his Volvo for me. "As you wish love. I have a special treat for you." "Can we split the check?" I asked. "I'm paying for it Bella, end of discussion." Edward said, he was still smirking at me.
- 88 -

"You're being unreasonable." I leaned back into the smooth leather seat and smiled. The earlier nervousness was slowly starting to disappear, I was with Edward, there was nothing to worry about. "So what's this about Esme holding a dinner party?" I asked, pushing the now empty bowl of lobster bisque away from me. "Yeah, it's some big deal and the whole family is required. She insisted that Masen be there as well." He waved his hand as if it were no big deal. "He doesn't have to attend if he doesn't want to of course." "Of course we'll be attending." I smiled happily at him. Edward however, did not return my glee. "Bella, you aren't invited." He said bluntly. "What do you mean?" I asked. "Bella, you Esme doesn't want you there." he said quietly. "Is Jasper going?" "No.?" "Then neither is Masen." "Esme insist." "I don't give a care, I'm not throwing him to the wolves all by himself." I crossed my arms and glared at him. "He won't be by himself, I'll be there." Edward smiled as if that were enough. "Esme will run right over you Edward, she always does." I rolled my eyes and looked away from him. "She is not going to run over me. God Bella, why don't you trust me? I can look after Masen just as well as you or Jasper. I won't let anything happen to him." Edward persisted. "I mean it Edward, no. I don't want him anywhere near your mother without me or Jasper."
- 89 -

"So you trust the neighbor but you don't trust me. I'm his father." "I know that Edward, I just don't think Masen trust you enough-" "Oh please, you mean you don't trust me enough with our son." "I do trust you Edward. I'm just really finicky about Masen and his comfort and he won't be comfortable around Esme and Rosalie without me." I tried to explain. "And he tells me to stop hiding under my mother's skirts." He said sarcastically. "I'm all Masen has Edward. I'm all he's ever known and I'm sorry that we rely on each other so heavily. That's just the way it happens to be." I wanted to yell at him. I settled for a whisper however, not wanting to make a scene. "Bella, I'm trying to make this work. This is going to be good for him. Why won't you give me the chance to prove that I can be a good father?" he begged. "I know you can be a good father Edward. I just don't want Masen there by himself. Excuse me if I don't approve." I watched him nervously, waiting for him to explain. "Bella please, I really want this. You said it yourself, you want us to spend more time together." he grabbed my hand. "Yes, not with your mother breathing down your neck, watching and controlling my son's every move. I can't accept that." I wanted him to drop it. "I understand that but she and Tanya have-" "WhoaTanya's going to be there?" I stopped him immediately. "Well of course, she and her father are greatly respected within my family, it's only reasonable that she come." "I thought she would be upset." I said still confused. "What do you mean? Why would she be upset?" he laughed. "When you told her you were with me" "She doesn't know, no one does." He shrugged, still smiling. I'm almost sure my
- 90 -

jaw hit the table. "I can't believe you!" I wasn't whispering anymore. "You cheating jerk! How dare you! I can't believe that you're trying to make me the other woman. I mean really, how dare you!" I grabbed my purse and stomped out of the building with Edward in hot pursuit. I didn't care, I would rather walk than ride home with him. "Bella please!" he stopped at the manager's desk and left the money for our brief meal. "Stop Bella! I'm trying to talk to you." "No, the time for talking is over. Stay away from me Edward. You lied." I shoved him away from me. "I was going to tell her after the party." "You should have told her before you asked me out tonight, heck, you should have told her before you decided to kiss me! Edward, Tanya is technically still your fiance which means technically, you two are in a relationship. Adding me means that I'm the other woman, that I'm stealing her fiance! No! Edward no!" I wanted to slap him. "You are not the other woman. You're the only woman. I love you." "Oh cut the BS Edward. My dad left me his gun. Come near me again and I will shoot you." I waved my hand to hail a taxi down. "I am not going to let you take a taxi home." "You aren't going to let me do anything! Stay away from me Edward. I mean it." I jumped in the taxi and slammed the door. I wasn't going to let him see me cry. JPOV I rubbed my temples angrily. What the heck was Masen doing? Why was he banging on the door? Finally I jumped up, and opened my front door planning to go next door and tell him to shut up. "What the-" "Oh god it's you." Alice Masen was standing on Bella's porch. "What the heck are you doing here?" I wasn't usually that impolite.
- 91 -

"I need to fit Masen with his tux for mother's gathering. He has to look nice." She said indignantly. "He isn't going to let you in, it's against Bella's rules to let people in while she isn't home." I informed her. "Well, looks like I came all the way here for nothing." She said as if it were a big deal. "That's why you call first. You just can't barge over to people's houses without any warning. Didn't mommy dearest teach you some manners?" now I was just being mean. God, why did she get me so riled up? "I guess I'll just have to wait until Bella get's home so I can fit him. And for your information, at least I wasn't raised on a stupid farm in the middle of Texas." She sneered. I felt my face grow hot with anger. "At least I'm not a two foot tall witch." I growled at her. She gasped. "How dare you-" "No, how dare you! You come up here thinking you're all high and mighty, insulting where I come from. I wasn't even raised on a farm!" "Well you sure act like it! Everyone knows you're screwing around with Bella." she said accusingly. "What? Where the heck did you get that? I've never even been in Bella's bedroom before. Why would I even want to have sex with her? We're just good friends." I was honestly in shock. "I'm not stupid! I see the way you look at her." "Bella is my friend. Yeah, I love her, but I don't love her. She's a great person and a great mother, you all just won't give her the chance to show you that." I shrugged my shoulders and went close the door. I didn't want to deal with her anymore. "Wait!" she grabbed the door. "What Alice?" I sighed deeply. "I don't want to wait out here all night. Who knows when Bella will be back?"
- 92 -

"Then get in your car, drive home, and come back tomorrow. That way, she'll be here for sure and you won't miss her. I'll even tell her that you stopped by just so she'll wait." I tried to close the door again. "No. I need to do this tonight, I have to!" She pushed her way into my house. I stared at her as if she were crazy. "What the heck do you think you're doing, I should call the cops." "But you won't. Now you have an excuse to have a very pretty girl in your house. My guess is you don't get many." She looked around. "Get the hell out of here. I will not be insulted in my own house." she ignored me and sat down on my couch. "Do you not understand English, is my accent to thick for ya? GET OUT." "Don't be so coy Jasper. I won't be here long." She smiled but didn't move. I silently begged for Bella to get home fast. AN: I know I've been offline lately. Haven't been in the right headspace to write. My Great Aunt, (who I was close to) was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer. She made it through the first round, but not the second. I haven't even been able to think about this story. I knew I had to update though because I didn't want you mad at me. I hope I get the chance to update soon, after the funeral is over, maybe. It's soon so I should update soon.

- 93 -

Chapter 15
Chapter 15 JPOV "Where are you?" I hissed into the phone. Bella was on the other line. "I am in a taxi on my way home. Don't get your granny panties in a bunch." She snapped. "One of the Masen's is in my apartment and I want her gone. she said specifically that she won't leave until you get here and get rid of her for me." "Jasper, get over yourself. I will be there in about fifteen minutes. You can stand her for that long." "How did you know which one I was talking about?" I asked exasperatedly. "Because there's only one that gets the super calm Jasper Whitlock riled up." I could hear the smirk in her voice. "It is not what you think. Can't you tell your cab driver to step on it? I really want her out of my house." "Hush, I'll be there soon. Don't loose your head." She hung up the phone. "Fighting with your girlfriend?" I heard Alice ask from the front room. "She is not my girlfriend." "Oh, so she's just the friend with benefits." "We are not having sex!" I shouted at her. "I think thou dost protest to much." She smirked mischievously, crossing her legs. "Listen, I just want you out of here okay? I don't see why that's so hard for you to understand. Can't you wait outside on the porch or something."
- 94 -

"Aren't you supposed to be a southern gentleman?" she questioned with a mock southern drawl. "Make one more crack about my heritage and I will pick you up and throw you into the street with oncoming traffic going at full speed." I growled. "Oh, where's that southern hospitality?" she mocked me again. That was it. I had officially had enough. I walked right over to her, scooped her up and through her over my shoulder. I kicked open my front door and dropped her on the porch. "Get the hell out of my sight you pint sized bitch." With that, I slammed the door in her face. After about five minuets, I heard her banging on my front door. "Jasper! Jasper please open the door." She shouted. I plugged my ears. "C'mon, open the door!" "Get off my porch Alice!" I yelled at her. "No. Please. I'm sorry for insulting you. I'm just really upset right now, and I'm always really sarcastic when I'm upset. Please. Open the door." I closed my eyes and sighed deeply. I opened the door. She stood in front of me, a smile on her face. "Thank you." she strolled past me quickly and then went back to her seat. "I'm already starting to regret having you back in here you arrogant little bitch." I crossed my arms and grabbed a beer from my mini fridge. There was no way I could handle her sober. BPOV I looked at the window of the cab, slow tears trailing down my cheeks. I couldn't believe that he would do this to me! What was he thinking? Was he even thinking at all? Maybe he was ashamed to be with me. Maybe that's why he hadn't told anyone. I had looked Tanya up on the internet. She was beautiful, all busty and blue eyed. That was what he, wanted that was what he deserved. My cell phone vibrated in my pocket. I opened it without thinking, expecting it to be Jasper again, he had heard me cry before.
- 95 -

"Bella! Thank God you picked up. I was so worried you wouldn't." "Leave me alone Edward. Just leave me the hell alone." Forget the slow tears, the floodgates had officially opened. "Listen to me Bella, I love you. I am so sorry, I didn't think it would hurt you so much." "How could it not hurt me Edward. I told you, I'm not some piece of ass you can have your way with and then throw to the side. Don't call me again." I shut the phone. Almost immediately, my phone began to ring again. I checked the caller ID, it was Edward. "LEAVE ME ALONE!" I shouted at the phone knowing all to well that he couldn't hear me. That seemed to make it hurt even more. "You aright miss?" the driver asked. "Yes, just broke up with my boyfriend. He was using me." I whispered. I pulled my knees up to my chin and then cried some more. He pulled up to the house and I paid him. Jasper came out onto his porch, his cheeks flushed with anger. Strangely enough, he looked attractive to me. Damn I was confused. "You alright?" he asked when I got up the walkway. "Yeah. I'm just, god, how could he be so freaking stupid!" I screamed, tears running down my face. "Bella I-" "Oh good you'reoh my." Great, now one of the Masens could see my shame. "I don't thinks tonight's a good night for Masen's fitting." Jasper took hold of my shoulders and pulled me close to him. "What happened?" Alice demanded like she cared about me. "Please leave Alice, I really don't feel like dealing with anymore drama tonight." I waved her off, grabbing at Jasper's shirt. He smelled like cinnamon and Heineken. Godhow much wine did I have at that restaurant?
- 96 -

"Okay" Alice looked between us, not willing to question. "Sorry to bother you." she hopped off the porch and ran down to her car, looking at the two of us one last time. "C'mon Bella, let's get you inside." Jasper whispered in my ear. I shivered and clutched him closer. He opened the door for me and led me inside. Masen was asleep on the couch, I wasn't going to wake him up when he actually looked at peace. Jasper walked me back to my room and the let me go. "I'm gonna leave okay. I'll come over to check on you tomorrow." He told me as he kissed my cheek. I grabbed the front of his shirt and yanked him into my room. "Don't leave me Jazz. I don't want to be alone. I don't want that anymore." I pressed my cheek flat against his chest, breathing in his scent. By then, I knew I was drunk. I was drunk from the wine and from my emotions. Things had been happening so fast, my brain was screwed up. I needed something to fix me. I needed to hurt Edward just as much as he had hurt me. "You're not yourself Bella. You're drunk. Let me go." he tried to pry my hands from his shirt. "Please Jasper, please I need you." "No Bella. Let me go." he shoved me lightly, the smile gone from his face. "Please Jasper! I need you!" I grabbed at his pants. What was wrong with me? Where was my head? "Go to bed Bella." "Only if you come with me" I threaded my fingers in his hair and leaned up to kiss his lips. 'Stop it Bella! Stop it!' my rational brain screamed at me. "Bella please. Let go. Go to sleep. When you wake up, you will be rational again." he whispered, almost frightened. Suffice to shay I didn't listen. I locked my lips with his, holding him as close as possible. My hand traveled down his pants to the buckle of his belt.
- 97 -

"I thought you two weren't sleeping together." I pulled away from Jasper to see who had spoken. Edward stood in the doorway, a look of hurt painted on his beautiful face. "It isn't what it looks like Masen." Jasper said. "Let me guess, you were just tucking her into bed." Edward hissed at him. "She's drunk and upset. She doesn't know what she's doing." Jasper tried to explain. "So you're taking advantage of her?" "Oh shut up Edward!" I laughed drunkenly and grabbed Jasper's crotch. "Bella stop." Jasper hissed at me. "No. Edward gets to whore around, why can't I?" I hiccupped. "Bella please." Edward pleaded with me. "Listen Edward. Maybe you should come back later. I need to put Bella to bed so she can sleep the drunken stupor off. She'll be coherent tomorrow." Jasper lifted me into his arms and threw me onto the bed. I laughed lightly. "So you like it rough huh." "Shut up Bella. Go to sleep." Jasper hissed at me. "No, go ahead, I'll leave you two to whatever you were doing before I came in. No need to act for me." Edward seethed. "Oh shut the hell up Edward. If anyone is acting it's you. You wouldn't even tell your fiance that you didn't want her anymore. Maybe you're ashamed to be with someone so low on the social scale." I laughed even more, tears pouring down my face. What the hell was wrong with me? "I said I was sorry-" "Wait, you haven't told anyone about you and Bella yet?" Jasper demanded of him. "Who asked you into this?"
- 98 -

"No need to ask. Are you really that sick Edward? What more will you do to mess with her, huh? No wonder she came home so freaking jacked up! I was blaming it on alcohol but really this is all you!" "I can't just waltz up to my family and tell them I'm dating Bella. Do you know what that would do?" he demanded. I looked between the two of them nervously, not wanting a fight to break out over me. "Be a freakin' man Edward. You say you love her but you won't fight for her. You do realize that if you don't fight for Bella, you aren't fighting for your son!" I just knew Jasper was going to hit him. "I am fighting for her! Don't you dare say I'm not." "Then prove it." Now that was unexpected. All the excitement must have woken Masen up. "You're a child Edward. You don't know how to be a man. I think you should leave my mom alone. She needs her rest." He looked to Jasper. "Please help me put mom to sleep." "Yeahright after I escort Edward out." Jasper grabbed Edward's arm and led him out of my bedroom. "Where's he going Masen?" I asked. "Go to sleep mom. You need to rest. You've been very bad tonight." He kissed both my cheeks and then tucked me in. "I love you mom. Please try to sleep." "Where's Jasper?" "He's going home, mom." "But I miss him." "That's the alcohol and the loneliness talking mom. Go to sleep." He laid down next to me and kissed my cheek. I couldn't remember the last time Masen had slept in the same bed as me. He had been so little. "I love you mom." He wrapped his arms around me. "I love you too Masen. I love you too." I whispered back, the sleep he had prayed
- 99 -

for finally taking me over.

Now don't throw things at me. This is still a BXE and AXJ story. I just love throwing curveballs. Also, thank you for your love and support about my Great Aunt. We laid her to rest last Saturday and I'm trying to find peace. Please keep me in your prayers. Another tidbit, my goal for this story is 300 reviews so hit that button and review! Much love to you all, Marilyn!

- 100 -

Chapter 16
Chapter 16 BPOV My head throbbed painfully when I woke up the next morning. God, what had happened last night? I tried to think. Suddenly, all of the events of the day before started rushing through my head. Oh my God? What the hell had I been thinking? I had practically molested Jasper, my best friend and neighbor. How would I be able to look him in the eye ever again? He probably thought I was some whore who had just wanted to get in his pants the entire time. I huffed angrily, mostly with myself. What was I going to do? "Are you awake mom?" Masen's voice came from outside my bedroom door. I hadn't even noticed that he wasn't with me anymore. "Yes, I'm coming out now." I jumped off and immediately regretted moving so quickly. My head throbbed even more. I took slow steps out of my bedroom, down the hall and on to the kitchen. Much to my horror (and embarrassment), Jasper was there. "Good morning star shine." He said, smile plastered on his face. "The Earth says hello." I shuffled my feet hesitantly, looking at him from under my lashes. "Jazz, I-" "You don't have to say anything. It's fine." He continued to grin. "No, it's not fine. I can't believe what I did. I practically assaulted you and I am so sorry. I was just-" "Bella! It's fine! You were drunk, heck, I even had a few drinks last night. It's no big thing." He handed me a plate, I hadn't even known he was cooking for me. "You didn't have to do this Jasper, you aren't my mother." I said taking a bite of the pancake. They were delicious of course. "Never said I was. I just figured you could use a nice healthy breakfast and of
- 101 -

course, some of these." He set two aspirin and a glass of water in front of me. "You are too good to me." I swallowed the pills down greedily, desperate to get rid of the pain. "So what are you going to do?" "What do you mean?" I reached for the butter and then slathered some onto my stack of pancakes. "You know what I mean. What are you going to do about the entire Edward thing? I'm worried about you." Jasper looked at me seriously. "I have no idea. I mean, I want to trust him but I can't. He's just so fickle all of the time, I really don't know what to do with him." I sighed distractedly and ate another bite of the pancake. "But you love him still, even after all that he's done to you. You still love him." It wasn't a question. "Yes, I've always loved Edward; I can't just stop loving him. It's nowhere near that simple, Jasper." I told him. "I'm just not sure that's what's best for you. I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm not your father, I can't tell you what to do. It's just, you're in a delicate state of mind, this whole situation has messed with your head. Maybe you only think you're in love with Edward when you really aren't at all." He shrugged his shoulders. "That is absolutely absurd. I know for a fact that I'm in love with Edward. It's really something that I could never hope to avoid. I love him. Whether he loves me or not is what remains to be determined. He just can't seem too make up his mind." "That's the problem I'm having with whole situation. Edward's either messing with you or he really loves you and he's just too ashamed to admit it. I'm going to be honest Bella, if he really cared, he wouldn't deny you. He would want to be with you with or without the judgment of others. I want you to be happy but that doesn't even seem possible whenever he and the Masen clan come around. I can't help but be worried about you." he said while resting a hand on my shoulder. "I know that you care but part of me is thinking that maybe I rely to heavy on your judgment. This is something I have to figure out on my own and if I get hurt, well, lesson learned."
- 102 -

"You know it won't be that simple. You're setting yourself up for heartbreak." He was trying so hard to get me to listen to him. "I can do this Jasper. You'll just have to write me up for a few extra appointments afterwards, I'm sure I'll need it." I kissed his cheek lightly before I knew what I had done. Still, the action was innocent enough. I knew jasper understood. I stood up and took the now empty plate to the sink. "What does Masen think of this new development? No doubt he's not too happy about it." I could tell he was trying a new tactic, using Masen against me. "I haven't talked to him about it yet. I already know what he'll say, he'll be on the exact same side as you." I chided. "Most likely." "Goodness gracious." I said, a grim smile on my face. He was right about one thing, Masen would fight me tooth and nail on the entire Edward situation.

"So wait.I've been invited to a premier party and you said no?" Masen asked his jaw almost hitting the table. "Yeah, I figured you wouldn't want to go without Jasper and I to go with you." "Are you kidding? Of course I want to go. Do you realize how much of an opportunity this is?" "Ohyeah, there might be some science people there." I said rather glumly. "What? Oh no, I don't care about that at all. Don't you realize that this is the prime opportunity to screw with Esme's head? The fact that you won't be there ensures that Esme won't be able to place the blame on you because it'll be all me. Oh, I am brilliant." "Now hold on, this a big deal for Edward's family-" "Oh stow it mom, you hate them just as much as I do. Now let me have my fun. I'm not hurting anyone who actually matters after all." he smiled crookedly at me and I had to take a step back. He looked so much like Edward.

- 103 -

"It still doesn't seem like a good idea." I said once I came to. "So you don't approve, I'm aware of the fact." He stood and stretched his arms above his head. "You should probably call Esme and tell her I want the tux. Man, I get to be bad and look good doing it." he looked all too pleased with himself. "Oh Edward will not pleased with this." I sighed nervously and looked over Masen. He was just a stubborn as I was and he was set on having his fun. Why didn't I have control over my son? "SoI can go right?" he asked tentatively after a few seconds. "You actually expect me to say yes don't you." "It would please me very much mother dearest." He batted his eyelashes sarcastically. "How could I say no to such a pretty face? Just don't go overboard okay. Chances are Esme will be watching you like a hawk anyways." I picked up my cell phone and dialed Alice's number. Might a swell tell her that she was going to get to dress Masen. MPOV "Hold still now. Just one more pin and you'll look simply dashing." I heard Alice's annoyingly high voice come from behind me. "You've been saying that for the past hour. Do you actually know what you're doing?" I snapped at her. "You are your mother's child. She always hated being dressed." She said quietly, not answering my question. "Then seems like you should have expected this. It's all in the genes." I pulled away from her and stepped off the stool. "I look fine." "Mother expects only the best tailoring." Alice pulled back at the jacket. "Well mother can back the hell off. I look fine." I crossed my arms at her. "Fine, but I'm not getting yelled at because of you. I take no blame." She grabbed her sewing kit. "Ungrateful little bastard." I heard her mutter. My cheeks flared in
- 104 -

anger. "Then tell daddy dearest he should have kept his package under wraps. It's not like I ask to put up with you and your family." I glared at her. My views on the striking of a woman were slowly starting to change. "This is not my brother's fault! None of it is! Your mom was a golddigging whore! She's doing the same thing to that man next door!" she screamed. "Okaythat makes no sense. You do realize for my mom to be a golddigger she would have actually had to stay him and then have me. secondly, she and Jasper are not sleeping together. Sure, there was the incident but that was a drunken moment of wellwhat ever it is drunken adults go through. Anyway, you are obviously a pint sized idiot if you think that's what's really going on here." I rested my head on my palm and watched the wheels in her head begin to turn. "WellI am not an idiot!" she said defiantly. "You sure about that? Besides, I'm not as naive as you believe me to be Miss Alice. I've seen the way you look at this so-called man next door. You're only a total bitch towards him when mommy dearest is around." I chuckled. She flamed both in anger and embarrassment. "That is not true!" "Genius remember? Very little gets by me, even if I don't say anything about it. I can see practically everything in that tiny brain of yours, no need to get flustered." I looked at myself in the mirror, the sleeves were just long enough to annoy Esme yet not annoy myself. "I am not flustered. Okay" She said gloomily. "You wouldn't always be upset if you were a better person." "Don't talk to me about being a better person. I have yet to have a conversation with you were you don't insult me repeatedly. If I were bell, I wouldn't put up with you." She put her hands on her hips. "Doesn't bother me when Edward says it, doesn't bother me when you say it. What goes on between my mother an I is our business and none of yours." I shrugged. I was quickly getting bored with her, having had my fill of the pint-sized menace. "I think I will go get some lunch, this is just too much handsomeness to keep solely to
- 105 -

myself." "No, mother will bite my head off. Do you know how much she paid for this thing?" "No and frankly, I don't care. I'm hungry and I'm not willing to wear this much longer." I began to take the tux jacket off and she immediately stopped me. "Let me help you." she began to remove the jacket with care. "Maybe I should accompany you to lunch, I'm feeling quite famished myself." she said quietly. I considered if for a few seconds. "Just don't annoy me." freed of the constraints, I pulled on mu regular clothes and walked out of the room. She was quick to follow. "Maybe you could invite your friend next door." She offered. "You can call him by his name, I already know you like him." I shrugged. "Fine, can you invite Jasper?" "Why don't you do it?" "Cause that would look suspicious." "Are we going to discuss this until I concede?" "Yes." "Then I guess I should retrieve him. Wait here." I sighed in aggravation and then froze. it was the same sound my mother made when she was upset. For some reason, that troubled me. I had always been my mother's opposite, we had very few things in common. It was strange how a tiny sound could make me feel so weird. "What's wrong, you look upset." Alice asked. "Nothing's wrong, I as justthinking." I said. "You're always thinking." She said sarcastically, a wry smile twisted on her face.

- 106 -

Chapter 17
Chapter 17 BPOV Masen had gone to his fitting alone. He could fend off Alice's heckling by himself. Edward was supposed to be coming over to speak with me and I was practically pulling my hair out. Sure, I was still extremely angry, I was embarrassed, and I was upset. There were just so many different emotions coursing through my brain that I didn't even know what to feel anymore. I still couldn't really face Jasper without feeling embarrassed so there was no hiding behind him this time. I was going to have to speak to Edward on my own. I considered getting my bottle of tequila from my liquor cabinet but decide against it. I would have to do this sober to prevent any further accidents. I waited calmly for him to knock on the door promising myself that I wouldn't freak out. When that fateful moment came, I jumped to my feet and raced to the door, anxious to be over and done with the situation. Edward would make his choice and I would deal with it. I was pretty sure that Masen wouldn't care either way. I took a deep breath and swung the door open, shocked to see who stood there. I had no idea who she was. She was extremely pretty with light strawberry blonde hair that fell over her shoulders in waves. They framed an angular face with crystallite blue eyes right in the center leading down to a narrow nose and strong determined lips. I was intimidated by just looking at her, jealousy coursing through me due to her curves in all the right places, easily putting mine to shame. She looked me over quickly and critically before she spoke. "Hello. My name is Tanya Denali, I've been meaning to talk to you." So this was her, Edward's woman. She was perfect for him, just as beautiful as he was. "Oh." I couldn't say much more. "Aren't you going to invite me in?" she gestured lightly to my house. "Yes, I guess I should." I stood back and, against my better judgment, let her into my house.
- 107 -

"So, this is the home of the famous Isabella. I've heard so much about you from Esme and Rosalie." She looked around at all the pictures of Masen and me. "None of it good I guess." "No. None of it good. But you don't seem too bad to me, I always assumed they were just blowing the whole thing out of proportion. You just seem a little confused." She smiled but it didn't reach her eyes. "Confused?" I asked dumbfounded. "Yes, you seem to think that Edward is leaving me for you. That is not a fact." "Tanya-" I tried to interject. "You seem sensible Bella. So, why don't you keep yourself and your little bastard son out of my life? Edward proposed to me on his own, without any influence from anyone else, we're getting married, you are not getting in the way of that. I've waited for this moment my entire life and you're little family isn't going ton screw it up." She picked up one of the pictures, and threw it on the ground, shattering the glass before spearing the broken frame with her heel. She meant business. "Um" I had no idea what to say to that. I'd merely wanted someone sane to talk this whole situation out with. Clearly, she wasn't the one to go to. "Be smart Bella, Edward could never want you. You aren't his taste Hun." She kicked a few shards of glass away from her red painted toes. "You were right to leave, if Edward had known you were pregnant, he would have gone running and either way, we would have ended up together. He isn't ready for that kind of family commitment yet." "I think you should leave." I closed my eyes and waited for her response. "I'm not trying to be mean, I'm just being honest." She smiled her fake smile again. I didn't respond, I just pointed to the door, praying she would leave me alone. "Poor thing. I heard that guy down at Emmett's shop might be interested. His name is Jacob or something. You could go see him if you really want a guy friend." she suggested looking through her purse. She laid something on the mantle. "That's his number, Rosalie gave it to me." She gave my house one last one over and then
- 108 -

walked to the door. "Goodbye Bella. Remember what I said hun." She waved and then left. I stood there in shock for a few moments. After a few seconds of thinking, my phone rang. "Hello?" I said still confused once I had answered the phone. "Hey Bella, I'm sorry I'm late, traffic is a lot worse than I thought it would be. I should be there I a few minutes." It was Edward. "No, there's no hurry. Maybe you shouldn't come at all. I heard you fiance's in town." I said, trying to keep my voice calm. "What? No, Tanya should still be in L.A. I planned to talk to her after I finished talking to you. We were finally going to set things straight, then you and I could be together. Is everything okay Bella?" he asked, his tone suddenly changing from nonchalant to worried. "Yeah, I just think maybe you should go home to your fiance." I broke my heart to say it. "Masen and I will get along just fine by ourselves." "What are you talking about? I thought we discussed this Bella. I'm breaking off my engagement with Tanya tonight. You and I were meant to be, you said it yourself. " "That's not a good idea Edward. She wants to be with you. She loves you." I tried to explain to him. "Bella, you know she only wants the money. Moreover, I only want you. Why do you keep insisting on fighting me on this?" Edward was getting angrier by the second. "Because you'll change your mind the second you and Masen get into a fight or he uses the wrong fork at one your things, it'll be on and I don't want to be caught in the middle Edward. I don't think I could take it." Great, now even I was using Masen as an excuse. "Bella please, I know I haven't been the easiest to work with right now. Things are just so complicated. But I know I want to be with you. I love you Bella. I'm coming over and there's nothing you can do to stop me." the phone line went dead. What was I going to do. I had officially met the wife to be, I had Esme breathing down my neck and Edward claiming he wanted to be with me. Nothing made sense
- 109 -

anymore. I knew that I was in love with Edward. I knew that I couldn't stop those feelings but, god, I had to come up with something to get myself out of this. Heck, I didn't even know how I had gotten myself into the situation. MPOV "I don't see why you require me to get the guy you like. That makes you a total user you know." I said to Alice. Jasper had gone to the restroom, not noticing the longing stares that followed him. "We're practically family aren't we?" "Ha! That's rich. Nah honey, you want my services, you're rich, you'd better cough up some serious dough. I don't work cheap." I smirked sinisterly at her. "How'd I know you'd be difficult?" she spoke more to herself than to me. "I'm a difficult person to work with alright, you're just going to have to deal with me." I tapped my fingers impatiently on the linoleum tabletop. I wished my mom was with us, we might have actually been able to have an intelligent conversation. Alice and I had nothing in common. Other than the fact that we were using each other. I didn't plan to make Jasper like her of course. What good would that do either of us? She wasn't right for him. Even I wasn't so romantically challenged as to see that they weren't compatible in the least bit. It's not like I wanted to damn Jasper for the rest of his life. Alice was just easy cash, you might call me a user, but hey, I'm not denying it. I'm not going to pretend that computers are cheap. "Hello all." Jasper said as he came back and sat down. He grimaced when he saw Alice looking at him with one of her poorly concealed romantic looks. I rolled my eyes. Jasper had indeed picked up on her feelings for him. I smiled mischievously to myself. this could work in my favor, all it would take was just a little manipulation on my part, something mommy dearest would say I could do with ease. I knew Jasper would never fall for Alice, but she didn't have to know that. I could just tell her that he was playing hard to get. I was broken from my train of though by Jasper's curios stare. Damn, he wasn't a slow as Alice, and he knew me almost as well as my own mother. "Can I talk to you in the Masen? In private." "Sure Jazzy?" I mimicked his southern drawl.
- 110 -

I followed him out of the booth and walked towards the men's restroom. He stopped me there. "What are you scheming? I can see the little wheels in you head turning round and round." His eyes searched my face. "Alice likes you, she wants me to get you to show her affection. I'm gonna let her think it'll work for the right price. I could cut you a percentage if that's what-" "Have you no shame? You're toying with her emotions!" Jasper scolded me. "Please, she's a total bitch, it's time to level the playing field. She called you white trash Jasper, seems like the pink princess needs to be knocked off her pedestal. She can't have anyone she likes. Once her heart is broken, I get to move on to Esme and break her as well." I hissed her name. "This is not the way to handle things Mase. I know your upset and this is all some psychological ploy to hide the hurt inside and the therapist in me wants to help you and or refer you to a mental hospital but that won't help anyone right now. What I'm trying to say is, you can't just screw with people Masen. You don't like Esme, I don't like Esme, your mom doesn't like Esme, heck, I'm not sure anyone likes Esme but just because you don't like someone doesn't me that you can mess with them without consequences." "Are you trying to guilt trip me because mom's tried that, it doesn't work, I don't feel guilt." I tried to tell him. "No, I am not guilt tripping you, you just need to see the facts Masen." He sighed deeply and stuck his hands in his pockets. "Do what you want Masen, you'll feel bad about it later." "I'm sure I won't." I shrugged and headed back towards the table. "Do you think Aunty Alice will buy me something sweet if I ask nicely Jasper? This meal is on her of course." AN: Okay so I've been trying to update more regularly. Hopefully I'm doing a better job. I know my material well but I'm having trouble with my motivation to write. Maybe I just need to stop being lazy. Anyway, summer's coming up and I'm a free woman all except for golf practice (wish me luck with the new season). Also on the update, I have an idea for a new story, fresh inspiration and the first chapter of that will most likely be in the next chapter of this story. Hmmhave I forgotten anythingnope! Much love readers!
- 111 -

Chapter 18
Chapter 18 EPOV I stopped my car outside of Bella's house. I could tell this wouldn't be easy just by how she'd sounded on the phone. She was still sure that I could never want her, that I didn't want to be with her anymore. I loved her, I loved her so much. I needed her to believe that she meant everything to me. I jumped out of the car, my mission now seeming more important than ever, and ran up the pathway to her house. I banged on the door and waited. Soon after, the door swung open, my angel looking back at me. Her eyes we red, her hair wild with sadness. My Bella had been crying. I pushed through the door and snatched her into my arms. She squeaked in fear at my sudden roughness towards her, I had always treated her like a china doll, like she would break at any second. Before she could speak, I smashed my lips against hers. She stilled for a few moments before responding to my touch. Much to my dismay, oxygen was still a necessity, forcing me to pull away from her. "I thought I told you not to come tonight, Edward." she whispered, he voice trembling as id she was going to start crying again. "You knew I was going to be here anyway. I love you Bella. I am never going to leave you. I am confronting Tanya tonight and you and I will be together. This time, I never want you to have to run from me." I kissed her again and again and again. I needed her to know that I loved her. She began to cry suddenly, locking her arms around neck. "Bella, don't cry, don't cry. I'm here, I am always going to be here for you." I felt her nod against my chest and I sighed. She was still miserable and I had no idea what to do about it. "C'mon, you're tired, let me take you to bed." I hooked my left arm in crook of her knee and held her close. She clutched me closer as I carried her to her room. It had been so long since I'd seen her so vulnerable. She had always been strong and raising Masen by herself had only mad her stronger. Seeing her so broken just didn't seem to fit. I needed to get rid of Tanya soon so I could take care of her, pamper her, as she deserved to be pampered.
- 112 -

After about an hour, she was sleeping like a rock, practically dead to the world, her grip on my shirt finally slackening. I stood up and stretched my limps. I decided to leave her a not saying I would call her later that night with the good news. Tonight, I would officially be free. "Hey mom." I walked into my house with a goofy grin on my face. I was excited. Not at the prospect of breaking up with Tanya, but at the idea that Bella and I could be together forever. Maybe now, Masen and I could finally get along and I could be the father that he always deserved. "Well aren't you happy?" My mother beamed at me from the couch, he caramel colored hair pulled up in a bun. "Yes. I need to call Tanya and finally set thing straight with her. I decided my own fate." I was still smiling. "Oh Edward! That's just wonderful! No need to call, I already called Tanya up here myself. She's in the kitchen, waiting for you." She ran over and hugged me. "I am so proud of you for making the right choice Edward. You've always been smart." I strolled into the kitchen to see Tanya standing there. She threw a what she must have thought was a seductive at me and threw her arms around my shoulders. "Surprise! I thought I'm come and see you since you'd been here for so long. I figured, either you were going to come to me, or I was going to come to you. I chose to keep it simple and just come here." She leaned in to kiss me but I pulled away. "Tanya, we need to talk." I took her hand in mine and with great care, removed to diamond engagement ring from her finger. I would find Bella one of her own when things finally quieted down. She looked confusedly at me. "What are you doing Edward?" she demanded, quickly growing angry. "I don't want to marry you any more Tanya. I don't love you, I don't think I ever did. I'm sorry it has to come out this way but, I refuse to marry you." I said softly, tucking the ring into my pocket. She looked shocked for several moments. "This is about her isn't it? This is about that little slut and her bastard son. God Edward. Let it go! Do you want children? We can have children Edward. I'd be willing to give you that!" she was screaming now. "Tanya please don't call them that, Bella is the farthest thing from a slut. I really
- 113 -

don't appreciate you talking about the woman I love in that manner. Yes, this is about Bella. I love her and she loves me. We have a child together. He needs his father in his life, I adore her Tanya, I adore both of them." "You are choosing her over me. What is wrong with you? Have you ever looked at me Edward. Think of the career we could have together, we could start our own music empire." She grabbed my arm. "I love you." "No you don't, you love the money. You love the lavish of way living. When I kiss her, I feel whole, like there's nothing in the world that could possibly bring me down. I don't feel that way when I kiss you, I never have." I took her hand in mine. "I'm sorry that I led you on. I didn't mean to. I thought that I could make myself love you if we built a family together but I can't. I can't go on pretending anymore." I released her hand and began to leave the kitchen. Forget the phone call. I was going to see Bella myself and tell her the good news. Maybe I could take her as my guest to Esme's party. She could be with me, for now forever. APOV When I got back to the house Edward was already gone. Tanya was in tears, shouting at Esme. "You swore to me that Edward would choose me over her! You lied to me." she screamed. "Tanya please. Calm down. You and Edward will be together. I've already hatched my little plan." My mother's smile didn't falter. She had planned on Edward leaving Tanya for Bella. "And just what do you propose. He will never want me back; he's got a family to look after." "Exactly, Edward is a family man, a gentleman. He will always do the right thing even at the cost of his own happiness." Esme stood up and took Tanya's hand. "It's simple darling. You just tell Edward that your pregnant. That that's the reason you really came. Better yet, announce it at my party tomorrow night. Then he can't run away. Edward will marry you and you'll live happily ever after without that little worm in your lives. "Um. One major problem, I'm not pregnant." Tanya pointed out. "That's the easy part honey, you'll just miscarry after the wedding, Edward will
- 114 -

never be the wiser." AN: I've decided to end this chapter here because I can't go on without adding another 2 whole chapters and you know I love to keep you waiting. Anyway, here's the preview of my next story. It's a bit on the sweeter side than this one, still probably just as heavy cause you know I loves me the drama. Kisses! IFW Chapter 1 BPOV I threw another load of his clothes into the barrel that sat in front of my house before going back for more. Who cares if it was messy, they wouldn't be around for much longer anyway. "You know, if you don't stop this, someone's gonna call the police on a domestic disturbance charge. Trust me, been there, done that." My sister Renesmee said while twirling a steel baseball bat in her hands. Out of the two of us, she had always been the rougher one, getting just a bit more of my mother Renee's rebellious streak than I did. "Right now, I really couldn't care less. Would you put that thing away!" I demanded of her as I came past again. She just sighed, stretched out her legs, and waited. "Aren't pregnant women supposed to stray away from stress? You sure seem to be stressing to me." She said looking over her reflection in the bat. "Blame him." I hissed kicking the barrel. "Ow!" I jumped back and grabbed my foot. "See, this is what I'm talking about, you should be resting." She sighed again and stood up. "Besides, looks like our party's about to end anyway sis, the husband's home." She picked up her bat and gave it practice swing, warming her muscles I assumed. "What the hell Bella?" my soon to be ex-husband Mike Newton demanded as he walked up the pathway to our home.
- 115 -

"Don't you what the hell me! How dare you! I mean really, I'm freaking pregnant and you're off sleeping with your secretary? How am I supposed to explain that to our child?" I screamed at him. Renesmee grabbed my shoulder and held me back. "What are you talking about, I have never slept with Jessica, you are just being paranoid!" he shouted right back! "Then tell me why I opened my email this morning to find a very high resolution video of the two of you getting it on in your office. You can't lie to me this time Mike." I lit the match hastily and threw it into the barrel, watching with sick glee as the fabrics caught fire. "What are you doing!" he demanded, gaping at the barrel in horror. "You get out Mike, get out and don't come back!" "Now you listen here-" "No no, lover boy, make one wrong move and this bat goes up your ass." Renesmee said a smirk on her face. Mike backed off immediately, knowing that she could be quite violent when necessary. "I told you to stop letting that demon into my house!" he shouted at me. "She's my sister!" "I don't care who she is to you! I don't want to see her on my property!" "Oh put a sock in it Mike. No one is taking you seriously here." Nessie stepped down from the porch to come stand by my side. "We're getting a divorce Mike. I will not be humiliated again. My lawyer will call you in the morning." I turned on my heel and walked back into the house, my sister right behind me. "Liam! I've been waiting for almost 15 minuets, when are you going to grace me with your presence?" I shouted up the stairs of my small two story home. Within seconds, he came racing down the stairs, blonde hair flopping as he ran. "I was commin' momma." He said, smiling toothily at me. "Well next time, maybe you should move just a little bit faster. We are on a
- 116 -

schedule after all." I quickly ran a hand through his hair, straightening it quickly. My son, little Liam Swan was only five years old, he was starting kindergarten. I was excited but I still didn't want to be late on the very first day. "C'mon short stuff, let's move it." I pushed him out the door and down the walkway to my truck. "But I don't want to go momma, can't I go to work with you and Aunty Rose?" he batted his eyelashes sweetly at me, trying to get me to yield to his sweetness. "You know how I feel about education. You'll be just fine." I leaned down and kissed both his cheeks quickly. "Momma! That's gross." He scrubbed at both his cheeks, there was still a smile on his face. I loaded him into the backseat of my car, making sure to buckle him in securely. I looked in my rearview mirror to see that he had already fallen asleep. He was like me, if I kept my eyes closed for more than a few minuets, I would soon fall asleep. It didn't take long for us to get to the elementary school. Rosalie was waiting for me outside with her daughter Brittany. She smiled and waved at me as I pulled my little boy from the car. He awoke with a start. "Are we here already there Momma?" he said sleepily. "Yes hun, time to get out of the car and go to school. You should be excited." "But I'm not momma." He clutched my leg in fear. "You will be. Brittany's here. You two are friends!" I smiled at him. I took his hand and led him up the stairs to the front of the school where Rosalie was waiting. "Who's ready for school?" she laughed at the two kids expressions. "Trust me, you'll love it when you actually get there." "Rose is right." we walked into the school together as one small group, ready to enjoy this new chapter in all of our lives. If I had known what was going to happen, I might have grabbed up my son and ran right out that door, probably leaving the state. It's a good thing that I was blissfully unaware.
- 117 -

Chapter 19
Chapter 19 BPOV Edward held my hand securely under the dinner table. It made me feel so complete, so whole to have his hand in mine. There was a part of me that just wanted to grab him up and run away together. However, there was still the matter of Masen, purposefully making Esme look bad. Still, she couldn't stop smiling. She was happy about something. Every time I looked at her, she would smile and wave. 'Maybe she's finally warming up to me?' I thought with a smile, my heart lifting. Everything was finally falling into place. Rosalie and Alice sat with each other, both of them smiling and waving at me whenever they got the chance. Alice however, seemed upset. She kept trying to pull Edward aside so she could speak with him. I could see that warning in her eyes. I brushed the thought from my mind and took another sip of my wine. This night was perfect, nothing was going to go awry and no one was going to ruin it for me. "I've always hated coming to these things." Edward commented, tracing the lines of my hand with his finger. "Then why come at all?" I laughed softly, leaning against his shoulder. "Bella!" Esme shouted grabbing my hand. "I have someone I want you to meet!" she snatched me up quickly and led me across the ballroom and thrust me into the arms of some guy I didn't know. "Well hello beautiful." Crap, I knew that voice. I looked up to see the guy from Emmett's auto shop. "Hello Jacob." I said warily. "How are you, you never come by anymore." "Oh you know, raising my son and such. I live a pretty busy life." I tried to pry myself from his grip, silently cursing Esme for trapping me with this man. "Why don't you and I dance? It'll be fun. I heard you might need a shoulder to cry
- 118 -

on tonight." He pulled me close, ignoring the grimace on my face. "Jacob, maybe I should go. Edward might be waiting for me to get back. I don't think he wants to be alone all night." I pried myself from his arm and began to walk away. Esme was on me in a second. "Where are you going Bella?" she asked sweetly. "You should be dancing with Jacob. I'm doing you favor honey." She winked at me. "A favor, what is she talking about?" I asked to no one in particular. "What does Esme ever mean?" Masen was standing next to me, I hadn't even noticed him. "Maybe we should just grab Edward up and head out." I took his hand and we started to walk back to the table. "Masen!" my son froze, his shoulders locking. "Oh my god, what are you doing here?" Sylvia wrapped her arms around his shoulders. "Oh my god, get the heck off of me!" he immediately shoved her away and ran out of the ballroom. "Why is he so afraid of me?" "Maybe you're coming on just a bit too strong Sylvia. He'll come around eventually." She shrugged and skipped away, humming a sweet tune all the while. "I'll never understand that girl." I muttered placing my hands on my hips and shaking my head. EPOV It'd been a long time since I'd seen Bella glow. She looked so happy, so free in a long flowing blue dress, she knew it was one of my favorite colors on her. "Edward!" I cringed at the high ringing voice that met my ears. "Hello Jane" I offered trying not to be rude. Jane was Tanya's mother, she and Esme were the one's still trying to get Tanya and me together. "Edward!" great, Aro was with her two. I sighed and turned to face them.
- 119 -

"Hello you all, I wasn't expecting to see you tonight." I said hesitantly. "Why ever not? We're so ecstatic. You'll be so surprised." Jane winked at me. "Surprised, surprised at what?" I said suddenly feeling left out. What was I missing. And why in the world was she so happy? I heard someone tapping on a glass and turned to see Tanya. She smiled and gestured for me to join her. I sighed. "Ladies and gentlemen, I know you're all so excited because Edward and I are getting married next month," she began. "Getting married, Tanya what-" "I'm so thankful to have a man like Edward standing by my side, we'll be together forever!" "Tanya, what in the world are you going on about?" "But we aren't going into this alone, ladies and gents, I'm pregnant!" she shouted with glee. I froze. Pregnant? What in the world, when had this happened, why wasn't I aware? I was suddenly surrounded by sounds of applause, people slapping me on the back. In the background, I could clearly tell apart my Bella, shock coloring her face. She ran blindly from the ballroom, her head in her hands. "Excuse me." I said quietly, tearing myself away from the inquiring minds. "Bella!" I shouted once I'd gotten out of the ballroom. "Come back, we have to talk!" "Stay away from me Edward!" she growled, I could hear the sobs in her voice. "Bella please, I had no idea! We can work this out. We can still be together!" I grabbed her arms and pulled her to me. "No Edward. We can't be together, she's pregnant, she needs you now more than ever." Her voice was quiet, I didn't believe it for a second. "You need to go be with you fiance Edward." "No, I only want you. I don't car how much I have o pay in child support, I want you and only you, no matter what." "Do you want another Masen on you hands Edward? Without a father, that's what
- 120 -

will happen. That child deserves a family, a loving home. Esme will love him or her, so will Rosalie. He'll be happy, you'll be happy." She kissed my cheek. "Bella c'mon! Don't you want to fight for us, I'm willing! I just want you." I grabbed her shoulders and pulled her to me. "Edward please, I am sick of fighting. I've been fighting for you since the day we met. Esme has never liked me, treated me like I'm nothing better than the gum on the bottom of her shoe. I can't do it anymore Edward. I can't. I have no more fight left in me!" she shouted, beating on my chest. "I love you but I can't take this anymore. If I bend anymore, I swear I will break. I can't continue to do this. I love you but I just can't do this anymore. I can't continue to put Masen and myself through this. He maybe a brat sometimes Edward, but he loves you. He was beginning to respect you as father and now I fear he never will. Here's your second chance." "I love you. I will never want anyone else. Bella, if you leave me againI don't know if I'll be able make it." I grabbed her face between my hands. "Please, let me work this out with you." "There is no working it out Edward. It's over. You have a family to look after and I've got mine. I won't do this to my son anymore." she pulled herself from my arms and began the long walk out of the mansion. "Bella!" I called. "What Edward?" she looked over he shoulder at me. "I love you." MPOV I watched Tanya float around, showing off her nonexistent tummy. What, did you think I was as oblivious as my parents were? No no my friends, I had figured out this plot long ago. Poor Esme didn't know that she had messed with the wrong family. It was like a chess game, Esme thought she could finally declare and early checkmate, believing she had backed me into a corner. What she'd clearly forgotten was the fact that I was Masen Swan, and I was about to make my final move. Esme Masen would never know what hit her. When I was done, she and Tanya would be standing alone, looking like the biggest fools to ever be born. "Masen!" I was snapped from my thoughts to see that Tanya had finally reached
- 121 -

me. "Hello Tanya." I greeted her, a fake smiled plastered on my face to match hers. "Are you excited? Your father's getting married and you're getting a new baby sibling. This has got be exciting for you!" she screeched. "Oh yes, I'm quite thrilled. Maybe we can set up play dates in the part so I can teach him quadratic functions! It'll be so exciting." I said sarcastically. "I agree, it'll be quite fun." she patted me on the back. "Edward!" she ran off to go find her supposed man. I tapped my fingers on the table as she walked away, a smirk tugging at my lips. I was gonna wipe that smile clean of her face. She would never be happy again when I was through. "Sylvia!" I waved towards her, gesturing her over. "Yes Masen? Have you finally decided to talk to me?" she quirked a blond eyebrow. "Don't get too excited. You can sneak into the ladies parlor can't you?" "I am a lady." "Yes of course." I handed her a small package. "Wait for Esme and Tanya to go inside, trust me they will. You'll know what to do with it when you get there." she began to open before I stopped her. "Not yet. You know what to do." I waved her off. She huffed quietly and took off for the parlor. Yes. Forget wiping, I would rip the smiles clean off both their forces. Sylvia would get what I needed to me, she was a smart girl. It was time to go find my mom and get out of there. My work was done for now. I found my mother sitting on the outside of the Masens mansion, sipping from a wine bottle. I knew she preferred vodka or tequila but right now, she would take anything. "C'mon mom, let's get out of here. I promise it'll all work out." I helped her up and walked her down to the driveway before realizing that Edward had driven us. "I already called Jasper. He's on his way." She hiccupped. "Good, don't want to walk home." I leaned against one of the fancy cars littering
- 122 -

the front yard. "I don't understand. I really don't. What have I been doing, why do I deserve this. I love him so much. Why do we keep getting torn apart." She was crying. "Love never makes sense mom. I promise I'll make it alright though." I patted her back. "I promise I'll make everything alright. You'll never have to worry, not while I'm around." AN: You all thought Masen was in the dark. Please, he's the most intelligent character in this entire story, nothing get's by him. I'm probably be doing a drawing of him as well (like I did for Cam in Karma) older and more mischievous. He's a very hard person to figure out. I really hope you all actually read my author's notes, sometimes they're actually important. Not this onebut some of them. -IFW

- 123 -

Chapter 20
AN: Enter with caution, this chapter contains extreme drama! Chapter 20 One Month Later APOV "Edward please!" I tried to stop him for the umpteenth time that day. This was my last chance and I hadn't had a single moment alone with him. "I have to go Alice, you can't keep following me around, sorry." He brushed past me, his face more gaunt than ever. I'll admit, Edward was a mess. There were dark circles under his eyes, his face paler than I ever thought possible for him. "This is important!" "I'm sure it can wait!" Edward walked into the groomsmen's parlor, a grimace painted on his face. I thought the groom was supposed to be happy on his wedding day. 'Not if you're being trapped into marriage.' I thought grimly. "Alice, come on, the family is arriving." My mother swept me away into the women's parlor to greet Tanya's parents. They laughed together heartily. "But what of his other son, what will happen to him?" Jane asked while looking over her perfectly manicured nails. She was wearing a long gold silk gown with two much cleavage showing to be considered tasteful. Her hair was pinned up in an elegant bun. "Oh, no matter. I got rid of his mom and I can get rid of him. Masen should be much easier." My mother laughed. I gulped. I remembered how hard she had tried to get rid of Bella, to drive her away from Edward. She purposely made sure that Bella's life was as miserable as possible so she would just want to get away. She called in all of Edward's jobs, keeping him out as late as possible to ensure that they spent no time together, effectively ruining their relationship. 'And you knew all alone' I thought woefully.
- 124 -

I shook my head to clear it of those thoughts. My negativity was not what Edward and Bella needed at the moment. They needed the truth. "Mom, I can't go through with this, I'm telling Edward." I stated clearly, squaring my small shoulders to tell her I was serious. The smile dropped right off her perfectly powdered face. "Alice, this is for the greater good. Edward will eventually fall in love with Tanya and they'll be together. They'll be happy." She assured me. "No, not while he's in love with another woman. His heart belongs to Bella. you know that, I know that, we all know that. They deserve to finally be happy." I tried to open the door only to have it snapped from my grasp. "Now you see here little lady, I've worked hard to take care of two, hard to earn money to raise this family. Pampering you like a little princess, making Edward feel special. I've earned the right to finally be taken care of and Edward is going to do it." she hissed while grabbing my arm. "You will not ruin this for me." "Yes ma'am." I squeaked, suddenly terrified of the woman that had raised me. How had I not noticed that she was so evil? "If he finds out, he will never forgive you." I whispered, tears spilling down my cheeks. "He'll never forgive any of us." "And that's why he'll never know. Edward's a good boy, he'll do the right thing. Be a good girl Alice. No go clean your face." she said to me. Too bad I didn't know what good was anymore. MPOV I strolled into the church looking confident, I just couldn't wait until all hell broke lose, the pretty floor cover in tears and quite possibly, blood. "I still can't believe we're doing this Masen. You do realize that Esme is a powerful woman right?" Sylvia asked, still attached to my arm. "Mind over matter my dear." I smirked at the wedding guest, excitement coursing through me at lightning speed. "She could have us killed? We could die if this little plan of yours doesn't work. I'm not sure I'm willing to die for you." "Please, Esme won't get one over on me, I'm always one step ahead of the game." I
- 125 -

pulled the flash drive out of my pocket relishing in how right it felt in my hand. Have you ever held a gun? Knowing that you hold someone's life in your hands, knowing they had no idea that life as they knew it was about to end forever? I was the one holding all the cards this time, I was the one with the detonator. With that one little flash drive, I had all the power in the world, I could play god even if it was only for a few seconds. Then mom had to go and screw it up. "Masen!" she cried, effectively ripping me from my wonderful daydream. "Mom! What are you doing here? I thought you weren't coming." I stuttered out, clearly shocked to see her. Her untimely appearance had thrown one hell of a monkey wrench into my plans. "I know but I have to see Edward. I have to let him know that I'll always be here for him." she smiled at the thought. "No you can't! you can't at all. He's a jerk remember, Tanya's pregnant." I tried to deter her. "I know but-" she didn't get to finish her sentence on account of Sylvia suddenly shoving her into the janitor's closet. "We don't have time and you know it. Don't judge me. If we're gonna save your dad, we have to get upstairs now!" she grabbed my hand and pulled me away from the closet. "MASEN!" I was so grounded when this was all over. "I promise I'll be back mom! I promise!" I shouted as we ran. "C'mon!" Sylvia snapped at me. We raced down the hall and up the stairwell at the back of the church. "Let's go!" she shook the door handle at the top of the staircase. "It's locked Masen, we aren't getting this door open anytime soon." "No, it can't be. I checked it yesterday." I grabbed the door and shook it as hard as I could. "Oh hell no." I finally pulled back to stop and think. I had to remain in my element after all. Thena slow smile crept across my face. Why strain myself when I could just blow the door down? I fished three batteries out of my back pocket
- 126 -

(something I never left the house without) and some copped wire from the other. It wouldn't take long at all. EPOV I was terrified. What was I doing, why was I marrying her? 'Bella's right,' I thought, 'This is my second chance.' I had failed to build a relationship so late in Masen's life, he was much too hateful to want anything to do with me. I would be a good father to this baby, regardless of its mother. I looked up at the screen that was shuffling through pictures of Tanya and I for everyone to see. The pictures were being projected from a machine in the very top room of the church. The door was almost always locked. We looked so happy but I knew the truth behind every photo, no matter how they were projected. They were still all lies, pure unavoidable lies. Cringing as the wedding mach began, I stiffened my shoulders and waited for my future to begin. This was the start. Maybe marriage wouldn't be so bad. Still, there was part of me that wanted Bella to come charging trough that door, telling me how much she loved me, how much she wanted to be with me. I would carry her away and we would be happy. Tanya threw open the doors in a gaudy strapless gown. I didn't understand why it was white, wasn't white for women who remained celibate until marriage? Anyone with eyes could tell that there was no way Tanya had done such a thing. Her stomach had grown only slightly, something that confused me greatly. It seemed like the baby, would have grown much more considering how long it had been since we'd slept with each other. I looked into the audience carefully analyzing each face. They were all my mother's friends, her rich associates, even my father smiled wistfully at me. It was still a smile. It was like they could see my damnation, like they could tell how badly Tanya would screw up my life. Still there were two faces I didn't see. I had at least thought Masen would have come. I had specifically asked my mother to make sure he got an invitation. Maybe he was just as angry as Bella was. Hell, maybe he just hated me that much. "Dearly beloved, we are gather here today to unite in holy matrimony, this young man and this young woman." Tanya grabbed my arm laying her head on my shoulder. Why couldn't I just say the word no? It was just one little word. I should have known how to say it by then. I could feel my mother's eyes boring into my back, daring me to speak up. If I said anything, she would kill me, I would never be free. "And now these two will exchange their vows. Miss Tanya will begin." I hadn't even been paying attention.
- 127 -

"Edward, from the first moment I saw you, I was in love. You have made me so happy in the few months that we've been together. I promise to always be honest and faithful to you, to always stay by your side. No matter what, I will always love you just like I know you'll always love me." "Edward?" the priest asked me. Before I could speak, the projector ringed to life, the screen lighting up once again. "Who turned the projector back on? What in the world?" My mother stood up, I could literally feel her anger. That however wasn't what I was focused on. Unlike the previous slides, pictures of Tanya and I, this was a video of my mother, Tanya, Jane, and Alice in the women's parlor at our home. There was no audio at first but within seconds, I could hear their voices wafting through the speakers that had once projected our wedding march. "I hate wearing this thing Esme. I get's itchy." Tanya said scratching at something hidden beneath her dress. "Sorry sweetie, this will all be over soon. It's almost time for the six month belly by the way." Esme stood and came to help her adjust the straps. "Do you really think Edward is buying this whole thing Esme. What if he decides he just doesn't care in the end and decides to stay with the girl he already has?" Jane asked, lighting herself a cigarette. "He won't, he's a gentleman. He'll feel like he owes Tanya and he'll marry her." Esme patted Tanya's back lightly before stepping away to examine her handiwork. "Excellent, anyway, Bella's too sweet, she'll try to drive Edward to be with Tanya. Something about being a single mother herself. We really have nothing to worry about." "Please let me take this thing off! I'll slip it back on before I go see Edward again. He'll never know the difference. She didn't wait for a response before she unbuckled the fake baby belly and slid it out from under her dress. "That is so much better. I cannot keep wearing that thing. It's way too hot. When can I miscarry?" she put air quotes around the word miscarry. "Only after you're married, then Edward won't be able to get away." "Don't you worry about what your son will think if he actually finds out about this?" Jane asked, taking a nice long drag from her cigarette.
- 128 -

"Of course not, Edward's feelings don't really matter all that much to me." The screen went black. The silence in the church hall was deafening. I pulled my arm from Tanya's grasp and stumbled down from the altar, no one spoke as I walked down the aisle, ripping the bowtie from my neck. Finally, my mother broke the silence. "Edward!" she cried, running towards me as fast as her off white heels could take her. "How could you do this to me?" I demanded. "You were going to ruin your life with that girl, you need Tanya!" she shouted. "No, I don't need her and I don't need you." I spat, throwing my bowtie at her. "Edward!" Alice came running towards me. "Now you know what I've been trying to tell you, you wouldn't listen to me." she whispered. Part of me wanted to hate her for being apart of this whole scheme in the first place. However, she had tried to warn me, on several occasions. "You're right, I should have listened." I granted. "Edward-" "Cold hearted bitches go to hell mom." "Then looks like you'll be going first. All you've ever done is bitch about that girl. I was sick of it Edward, sick of it!" "Oh please Esme, you're the queen of bitches." Masen swaggered into our circle, a smirk twisted on his face. "You-You did this!" Esme screeched. "Guilty as charged, definitely some of my best work." He winked at me. "Masen?" "If anyone takes you down daddy-o, it'll be me." I smiled at him, because in some weird way, some twisted convoluted wayMasen had just referred to me as his dad.
- 129 -

Maybe I hadn't failed after all.

- 130 -

Chapter 21
Chapter 21 EPOV Masen and Alice stayed by my side as I tried to face the rest of my family and my would-be bride. I wondered if Bella had come with Masen, if my little fantasy of her coming to my rescue would come true. Maybe she had driven him and his little girlfriend to the church. "Edward please, you have to understand, I wanted no part of this. Esme forced me into it! it was her idea all along. I just wanted to be with you so badly and you wouldn't give me the chance. You wanted to be with her. Please, please believe me." Tanya had ripped off her veil, revealing a, extremely heavily made up face. I would have much appreciated the veil stay on. "I'm sorry but I don't believe any of the words coming out of you mouth anymore Tanya. You tired to trick me into marriage, tried to tear me away from the woman I love, the family that I could have. I can't believe you would sit up there and lie, saying your honest and loving." I growled at her. "You can't be in love with that woman! She's not like us Edward, she doesn't fit into our world. If she really loved you, she would let you be happy with someone on your level. She wouldn't be forcing that little brat on you. Him, that little bastard, he ruined our perfect wedding day!" she shrieked at Masen, he just continued to smirk at her. "Masen didn't ruin anything, he saved my life today Tanya. Bella isn't below me, she's so far above me that some days, I can barely see her. I would do anything to reclaim her heart. I don't want to marry you, I never have. The decision has always been forced upon me, whether it's been by my parents or by a particular circumstance. I do not love you, I never have, I have no idea what possessed me to propose to you in the first place. I shouldn't have put the idea in your head. It's time for me to take a stand and start running my own life. It's time for me to grow up and be a man. Funny, you wouldn't believe how many people have said that to me in the last few months. Now it actually makes sense." I said thoughtfully. "Halleluiah! It's about time you finally realized that you nimrod. How long have I been trying to explain that concept to you?" Masen laughed next to me.
- 131 -

"MASEN!" the boy froze. I knew that voice as well, that was the voice of a very angry Bella Swan. Even I knew not to get in her way when she was furious. "I saved your ass, now it's time for you to save mine!" he pushed me in front of him like a human shield. "Hello Bella, you look simply radiant today." I said politely, trying to appease her. "Not now Edward, move!" she grabbed my shoulders and tried moved me away from Masen so she could get at him. I think she forgot that I was so much bigger than her and therefore she couldn't move me. "Someone call CPS, she's going to kill me! I'm not gonna live to go to college, I'm never going to get to drive a car, oh someone help me!" Masen yelled in fear. "Bella please, allow me to explain what's going on. Then if you wish, you can kill Masen." I reasoned. She stepped back and crossed her arms, her eyes still wild and angry. She must have been expecting one hell of an explanation. I'd forgotten how attractive Bella was when she was angry with someone other than me. She definitely didn't look like she had come for the wedding. She wore a pair of loose fitting blue jeans that only slightly hugged her waist and a fitted long sleeved t-shirt. I could tell she had done her hair in a rush, strands of it falling over her face. "WHAT?" Masen looked horrified. "You're just going to hand me over to her? You're going to throw me to the wolves? I'm your son, it's your job to protect me. You are doing a really bad job." "Fine. Maybe you can tell me why you look such a mess while you're at it." She commented about my clearly rumpled state. "Tanya and I aren't getting married. There's really nothing more to it than that." I said, watching her eyes spark with confusion. "Why not? What about the baby, aren't you going to help her take care of it? How much does she expect you to pay in child support a month?" she demanded, clearly not pleased. "There is no baby Bella. It was all a trick so that I would marry her. Masen uncovered the truth and now we're not getting married." It was then that I looked down to see that her left foot was in a mop bucket. "Would you care to tell me why your foot is a mop bucket love? I don't think that's
- 132 -

the fashion statement you want to make." "Yes Edward, this is my poor attempt at making a fashion statement." Bella huffed sarcastically. She shoved me hard on the shoulder to show her displeasure. I turned to see Carlisle running up the aisle with Rosalie and Emmett in tow. "What were you thinking Esme?" he demanded once he reached us. "About Edward's wellbeing. He can't seem to do anything about it himself. All he seems to care about is that girl." I had never seen my father look so upset before. He had always been the calmest member of the family, especially with my mother. Some days I even thought he might be just a little bit afraid of her. I guess I was wrong about that. "Bella isn't just a girl, Esme, she's the woman that he loves. Can't you just accept that and move on? The quicker you get over that fact, the quicker our families can heal." He took her hands and held them. "Please, why can't you just let this go?" Bella was still confused. She looked from face to face, analyzing each. Clearly she did not understand what was really going on. "So wait...let me get this straight. The whole thing was a setup? Tanya was never pregnant? Esme lied?" she inquired. "Yes. Masen got it on videotape." I assured her. "How?" she asked him. "Does a magician reveal his secrets?" Masen winked at her. "Okay! It's official! I am going home and going to bed. My dreams make more sense than this crap." She grabbed Masen's arm and led him out of the church. "Well?" Alice asked of me. "What?" I shrugged at her. "Aren't you going to go after her, pledge your undying love or some of that shit?" she shoved me towards the door. "Alice!"
- 133 -

"Go, you deserve to be happy for once and you were always happy with her. There's your happily after, it's walking right out that door, you've got a family waiting for you right out there." "Maybe you're right" I grinned at her and took off. Maybe they hadn't left yet. I was in luck, Bella was having trouble with the door to her truck. I remember always trying to get her to buy something different. I had never been more thankful for that tank. "Need a strong arm?" I snuck up behind her playfully placing my hand over hers. "Yeah, the darned thing is always getting stuck again." she laughed. "Can you help me kind sir?" "Oh gag me!" Masen cried making vomiting noises. "Maybe you should have opened the door when I asked you to." Bella stuck her tongue out at him. "Maybe you two shouldn't flirt in public." Masen had officially been disturbed. He opened his door and climbed in the truck. "Oh Masen" Bella shook her head at him and laughed even harder, I laughed with her. After a few moments, we stood awkwardly next to each other, leaning against her truck. "Sowould you like to join us for dinner?" she asked after a few minuets. "Not if she's cooking! You don't want to kill him do you mom?" Masen shouted from the truck. "Of course I would Bella. Now about that door." I ignored him and swung the door open with ease. Bella glared playfully at me. "You think you're so strong but I loosened it." "Of course you did Bella." I shrugged at her. She hoisted herself into the driver seat.
- 134 -

"Well come on lover boy. You look like you could use some fun away from your would be bride." She pulled me into the truck with them. "I think I could handle some fun." When Bella stopped in front of her home, I immediately jumped out of the truck, rushing to open the door for her. I lifted her down from the step, careful to set her down gently. "You didn't have to do that Edward. I would have been fine." She said obviously annoyed. "I know, but I'm not about to take any unnecessary chances." I kissed her forehead hoping to soothe her anger. She relaxed against me almost instantly. "Wow, starting an extramarital affair so soon Edward. Your marriage will never last if you're already fooling around." I looked up to see Jasper watching us, a mischievous glint in his eyes. "I guess you knew the truth all along?" I raised my eyebrows at him. "Well of course. In case you didn't notice, Masen doesn't exactly have a car. I'm the one that drove him to the church." "Jasper! Why didn't you tell me what was going on?" Bella yelled at him. "Because you would have ran off and told Edward and Tanya and Esme would have never gotten what was coming to them." he smiled at her. "Looks like I was wrong. You and the asshole do belong together." "I've been telling you that sense the beginning Jasper. This just proves that you should listen to me more often." Bella giggled at him. We did belong together. "Um, before we get all mushy, can I go inside? I don't really want to watch you two flirt anymore. I don't think my stomach could handle that." Masen clutched his stomach. "Fine, you can go start the pasta that I have in the pantry." Bella sent him on his way. She leaned against my shoulder, smiling in contentment.
- 135 -

"Let's go eat Bella. I don't know about you, but I don't trust Masen with an open flame." Before she could respond, I scooped her up in my arms and carried her up the steps and into her house. She nuzzled herself against me with care. "I love you Edward." she whispered after a few seconds. "I love you too Bella. Always have, always will." I swore to her. "Are you two coming? I'm a robotics specialist, not a chef!" Masen shouted from the doorway. Bella didn't answer him. She just clutched my shirt even closer. I knew we were going to be okay. Okay, so the next chapter will most likely be the epilogue. I'll post the link to my pic of Masen and soon as I finish it. I don't think I've forgotten anything else. Much Love! -IFW

- 136 -

Epilogue
Hey Guys, I know I haven't updated in a while. School got out a few days ago and frankly, I've spent all my free time watching Criminal Minds and sleeping. I finally decided that I should update in order to prevent you all form killing me because I do not wish to do. I'm putting the link to Masen's picture on my profile. Please give me your thoughts on it, I much appreciate the criticism. Also on the update I've started a new story but I'm quite frightened as to how it will be received. I know that you will either love it or hate it. I don't believe that there will be an in between. As I said, watching waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay to much Criminal Minds so it's going to be out there. Give it a chance before you shoot up my house. -IFW Epilogue BPOV I hummed dreamily while waiting for Masen to arrive. He was such a busy young man, it had almost hurt to see him leave the nestalmost. There were those times when I missed the sarcasm, the little jabs that we fired back and forth in order to keep each other entertained. He had a job, he was making his own food, and yet he still managed to criticize my cooking. "You're humming again." I stopped stirring the pot on the stove to turn and look at Edward. Time hadn't hurt him at all, it had only enhanced his appeal. His vibrant green eyes still held the same amount of mischief as they always had. "I like to hum, it keeps me calm. By the way why are you in here?" I quirked an eyebrow at him. "You always seem so happy when you're in here and I like to see you happy. It only seemed fitting that I come to watch." He explained as if it were the simplest thing in the world. "I'll never understand a single one of your thought processes." I tried my hardest to cover the smile that twitched at my lips. "Do you know what time Masen's getting in?" he inquired quietly.
- 137 -

"No. He'll show up when he feels like it. Some things never change." I shrugged at him and went back to stirring my gravy. I had given up on trying to make it from scratch after so many failed attempts. They would just have to deal with gravy from a store brand mix. I was done trying. Edward actually had the gall to laughed in my face. Believe it or not, Masen did actually show at a reasonable hour. Maybe punctuality was becoming one of his things. I almost squealed when I saw him come through the door. "Miss me mother dearest?" He said in that same sarcastic drawl. Suddenly, it was as if he never left. "Strangely enough, I did. I'm glad you're home though." I embraced him, running my hands along his back to make sure that he was really with me. He hugged me back gently before moving away. "Aren't the holidays like meant for family or something?" he sat down on the couch with a thud, breathing out a sigh of relief. "You look beat, are they working you that hard in that nice apartment of yours?" I teased. "Oh ha ha. For your information, I'm a critical ally of both the FBI and the CIA. And my apartment isn't all the nice." He snorted suddenly indignant. "Right, encrypting files, running programs, upgrading firewalls, blacking out systems of terrorist, yada yada yada. None of that makes sense to me honey." I winked at him. "God I'm tired. My brain is fried from staring at computer screens all day long." Masen groaned. He leaned his head back further onto the couch. "Get some sleep Mase, dinner's tomorrow afternoon." Edward smiled at him. It was a lost cause however, seeing as Masen had already fallen asleep. "Out like a light." I said in awe. "He is working hard. I guess it's to be expected now that he's back on his home turf." Edward shrugged. Masen's reappearance had reminded me of a question I wanted to ask.
- 138 -

"Did your mom call?" I asked quietly. "Yeah, she asked if we wee coming home for Christmas this year. I told her to go to hell." I'd be lying if I said the family had healed from the day Edward and Tanya almost got married. Sometimes I thought the rift would never close between them. Edward certainly wasn't about to give anything over to his mother. "You could talk to her." I touched his shoulder lightly. Even with my coercing, he wouldn't speak to his mother. I didn't want to be the one that had torn them apart. "I could do a lot of things. I just don't want to deal with any of her crap anymore." "She's your mother." "When's the last time you talked to you mother, Bella?" "Touch." I grinned at him. "What about Carlisle?" "He said he's coming by to see Masen a little later in the day." Edward yawned loudly. "C'mon Bella, you've been at it for hours. Get some sleep before people actually start showing up." "I have to finish cooking, then maybe I'll be able to get some sleep." I was tired. I just wasn't going to cook on Christmas day, that was my break and once I was done, I was done. If anything was missing, the others would just have to make it themselves. It had happened on more than one occasion. "Go on to bed Edward. I should be there in a few hours. Don't strain yourself." "I'm not straining myself. I want to be here with you." he smiled demurely at me. I blushed a bright red. "Fine, but you aren't just going to sit there and do nothing, you get to help me cook." Edward jumped up to join me at the counter. "I thought you'd never ask." "I like it when the family is all together." I commented while passing Masen the cranberry sauce. Our family consisted of myself, Masen, Edward, Jasper, and Alice. Yes, Alice was included in that. We got along a lot better considering that Esme had practically disowned her. She was miserable for the longest time, unable to understand hen her mother had left her. Jasper had been right there with a
- 139 -

refreshing cup of 'I told you so' and a shoulder to cry on. There was a polite affection between the two of them. Who saw that coming? "Please don't go all mushy on me. I don't think I could take it." Masen winked at me. "When are you getting married?" I asked coyly, that shut him up quickly. "Don't challenge your mom Masen, you always lose." Jasper laughed. "You'd think I would have learned that by now." Masen laughed with him. "When's Carlisle getting in, I want to make sure there's a plate left for him." I asked Edward. "He should be getting soon. He has to get away from Esme first." he responded shortly. "How is the wicked witch of the west? I haven't heard much about her in the last couple of years." "Don't know, don't care." Alice shrugged her shoulders. "Wow, never thought id hear those words come out of your mouth. So it is true, mommy dear wasn't able to hold on to her kids. How ironic." Masen voice didn't hold the same edge. "It's a shame, she's lost two kids for a stupid reason. I'm glad you aren't like that mom." "Lost two kids and still a bitch." Jasper took a swig of his wine. "Didn't you two have a shouting match on your porch?" I laughed. "How could I forget? She just showed up and started screaming about how I was corrupting her daughter. It's was so stupid. I wasn't just going to stand there and be insulted though." "Understandable. It's not your fault she attacked you. God, that woman is crazy." I topped of Edward's glass. "Can't we talk about something happy for once? I really don't want to discuss my mother when we could be having such a lovely conversation." Alice muttered.
- 140 -

"True. I think Esme's amusing. She thinks she's better than everyone and yet she seems to be suffering the most out of all of us. It's quite the conundrum." Masen said thoughtfully. A knock interrupted his thoughts. "That's got to be Carlisle, I'll go let him in." I stood up and walked to the door. Carlisle was waiting for me but he wasn't alone. Esme was with him. I stared at her in shock. "Hello Bella." she greeted me stiffly. "Um, hi? I'll go let the others know that you're here. Come on in." I was still staring at Esme as if she had two heads. She hadn't stepped foot in my house in years. "I'm not staying, I'm just here to talk to you, Bella." she rubbed her forehead lightly. "I've been trying to work up the courage to do this for months." "It's alright Esme. I'm not really very intimidating, just say what you need to say." I was antsy, talking to her by myself had always been a fear. "You've done a good job with Masen, better than I could have ever done. He adores you. Edward adores you. I knew that but I could never understand why, why he felt so much for you, such an insignificant little girl." I tried not to take offense. "He practically worshiped you, was determined to make you his, I knew I had to put a stop to it, I had to stop it. Edward was mine, he had always been mine." "You weren't ready to let go." I confirmed. "I guess you could say that. He'd become my life, I couldn't let someone steal that away from me. Then Jasper snapped Alice up and next thing I know, I have nothing." "You have Carlisle. He loves you no matter what." "I don't deserve it. I don't deserve any of them." "You aren't at fault for loving your son Esme, you just needed to learned to let him go." I touched her shoulder. "I had to so the same thing." "I still don't like you." "I don't expect you to."
- 141 -

"Mom?" we both looked towards the doorway. Edward appeared confused. "Hello honey. No need to worry. I'm already on my way out the door." She waved feebly at him and left. "What did she want?" he asked. "Maybe I'll tell you one day. For now, let's just say we've come to a consensus." Edward looked to Carlisle for help. "You get used to it. It's a woman thing." Carlisle shrugged. "I hope I do." He smiled. "I'm glad that you're okay." He kissed my forehead gently. "Alright, crisis averted. I get first slice of pie. Agreed? Agreed." Masen ran out of the room, the rest of us on his heels. "If any of you touch that pie, I'm going to cut your hands off." I shouted. Yeah, we were going to be just fine.

- 142 -