Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Picking Up The Pieces Update

Picking Up The Pieces Chapter 19 on FicPad

Picking Up The Pieces Chapter 19 on FFn

Picking Up The Pieces Chapter 19 on AO3

Picking Up The Pieces Chapter 19 on Stars

Picking Up The Pieces Chapter 19 on Wattpad

After answering phone calls, congratulating us, from both of our parents, friends and family, we finally sat down to eat a late dinner. Edward had ordered food from Tuscany since he didn’t want to ‘destroy our kitchen on his first night.’ We ate a delicious meal in the new gazebo. Grace dominated the conversation, rambling on about our wedding and how she wanted to wear a princess dress with a tiara and high-heeled shoes.

“Gracie, you’re turning seven in a few weeks,” I snickered. “You’ll wear flats. Don’t try to grow up too quickly.”

“It’s a trap,” Edward nodded. I looked at him, smiling softly. I was about to say that, and he just winked at me, his eyes shimmering under the twinkle lights. He reached over, picking up my left hand. He gently kissed my knuckles, just above the massive engagement ring that sat on my finger.

“Momma, Daddy? When are you going to get married?” Grace asked as she nibbled on her chocolate cake. “Soon, I hope.”

“It’s something that we need to talk about, munchkin,” I replied.

“We as in all of us?” Grace giggled.

“We as in Edward and me,” I sighed, ruffling her curled hair. “Now, tell me, how did all of this come to be? New gazebo? Twinkle lights?”

“The gazebo was a present from your dad, my dad, Emmett, Jasper and Eric,” Edward replied. “The parts were preassembled, but the five of us put it together shortly after you left with Rose and Mom. The lights, John and I had fun hanging them while Grace turned fashionista, picking out our clothes for the evening.”

“Daddy has a lot of really nice suits! Did you know he worked for the FBI?” Grace squealed.

“I did, baby girl,” I chuckled.

“Do you miss it?” John asked, looking at Edward.

“At times, yes,” Edward answered honestly. “It was an amazing experience. I learned a lot, but it forced me to be away from my family. You, Grace, your momma, my momma, they’re far more important than my job. I’d rather be with you guys then in Washington D.C.”

“You lived in Washington D.C.?” John whispered. “Did you like that?”

“I did like it. I lived in Alexandria, in a condo, but it was cool to work in the nation’s capital. I’d met the president a couple of times, plus a few members of congress,” Edward said.

“When did you meet the president?” Grace asked, scrambling off her seat and onto Edward’s lap. “Was he cool?”

“I’d met him early in my career. It was also early in the president’s career, too,” Edward chuckled. “He’d just been elected and the task force I was working on had made a huge turn in a major case. We were recognized by the president for our hard work.”

“Do you have a picture?” I asked.

“Somewhere in my boxes,” he chuckled. “We can’t post them since a couple of the guys are undercover. We can’t have their covers blown. In fact, I didn’t even have a Facebook account until a few years ago. Even now, it’s pretty hard to find me on there, too.”

“I only was able to add you when Emmett friended me. I could search for your name, but couldn’t friend you unless we had mutual friends,” I chuckled.

“Speaking of Facebook,” he beamed, taking out his phone. He tapped a few buttons and nodded triumphantly. “It’s Facebook official. We’re ‘engaged’ according to the social media world.” I rolled my eyes. The kids whooped, dancing around the table. “Apparently, they’re happy that Facebook knows about our engagement.”

Grace's present from Edward, a locket

John's present from Edward, a cuff

Monday, March 19, 2018

A Modern Day Fairy Tale Teaser

Jake drove us back to the condo, parking in the secured garage and we went upstairs. My mind was troubled, worried for Bella. Her watery eyes, her dejected demeanor and broken smile were ingrained in my memory. “Mase, you okay?”

“No, I’m not,” I said, sitting down and thrusting my hands into my hair. “That bakery, it’s owner is … Can you do me a favor?”

“Sure, Mase,” Jacob replied. “What’s going on?”

“I just met someone who was is carrying the weight of the world on her shoulders, Jake,” I sighed. “I need you to find out information about that bakery, its history, its owners and anything else you can find. I want to help.”

“Not every woman needs a knight in shining armor, Masen,” Jacob said, his face somber and concerned. “What happened?”

“She fell apart, Jake,” I frowned. “This girl, her sister, I believe, told Bella that she spent $400 for a homecoming dress, presumably stealing from her family.”

“That’s pretty steep,” Jake said, making a face. “But, in New York, that’s par for the course.”

“I think that money was needed for that bakery, Jake,” I sighed. I felt grimy from the work I’d done in the kitchen. “I’m going to shower and then I’m going to do my own research. She may not want a knight in shining armor, but I would like to be her friend.”

“Okay, Masen,” Jacob nodded. “You’ve got some flour in your hair and on your face.” I shrugged, leaving Jacob in the kitchen. He’d taken out his computer and was beginning his research. I slipped into the bathroom and looked up. My hair was covered in flour, mainly where my hands were thrust into my hair. I also had flour splashed on my cheek and some on my lips. I hated to wash evidence of my evening away. It was a reminder of her, of Bella. As weird as it sounded, I took out my phone and snapped a selfie. It seemed vain, but I saw something in my eyes that I hadn’t seen before.


Shaking my head, I stripped off my clothes and took a quick shower, rubbing one out in the shower, and changing into some sweatpants and a t-shirt. When I came out of my bedroom, Jake had a beer on the kitchen counter, his brow furrowed. “What is it, Jake?”

“You’re going to need this,” he said, handing me a bottle of beer. I took it from him, arching a brow. “Okay, so, Swan Family Bakery, Est. 1897 is on the verge of foreclosure. It would appear that they’re looking for investors to expand the bakery and make it competitive with other bakeries nearby, but so far, there are no takers.”

“That explains so much,” I breathed. “Why?”

“It would appear to be that Charlie Swan, Bella’s father? He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. He had numerous doctor’s appointments, physical therapy appointments and obviously, a never-ending pile of bills,” Jake explained. “Bella went to college, graduating with honors as a teacher. She had a position lined up in Greenwich, teaching at some private school, earning an amazing salary, but she backed out of her contract to return home to care for father. She gave up her dream to be a teacher to save her family’s bakery.”

I took a pull of my beer, my heart stammering and anger simmering underneath my skin. I clenched my hand into a fist. “Go on, Jake. How much is she in debt? Or the bakery?”