Picking up the Pieces on AO3
Picking up the Pieces on TWCS
My eyelids fluttered open. I was incredibly confused and disoriented. Where was I? Looking around, I didn’t recognize much. I had a quilt tucked around me. There were a few candles lit on the cocktail table and the lights were dim. Sitting up, I remembered. I was at Edward’s. How long had I been asleep? I rubbed my eyes and swiped my glasses from the table. Looking at the clock on the cable box, it was after three. I had been asleep for over four hours.
“Crap,” I hissed, trying to get up, but I was burritoed in a quilt. Edward must have heard me struggling, grunting to get the quilt off of my body. He came into the family room, holding a mug of coffee. I stood up, my feet tangled in the blanket and nearly face planted onto the table. Edward caught me.
“What’s the rush?” he quipped, sitting me back down onto the couch.
“I have to get home. I need to cook dinner for the kids,” I said, my head still pounding from my emotional outburst. “I should also call Jane, their therapist, to discuss Grace’s appointment. I can’t believe I slept for so long.”
“You needed it, Bella,” Edward said, handing me the coffee. “You barely stirred when I accidently dropped a case of pop in the kitchen. I felt horrible, rushing into the family room to see if you had woken up. You didn’t. You were still sleeping soundly, barely even moving. I almost did the mirror test to see if you were still breathing. You were out.”
“I’m sorry,” I mumbled, gripping the coffee mug tightly. “I shouldn’t have come. You don’t need all of this crap. I’ll understand if you don’t want to deal with a bitter old widow.” I sipped the drink, made to perfection. I put the cup on the table, feeling like such a loser. “I really should go.” I got up and started to walk toward the kitchen with my mug of coffee.
“Bella,” Edward said as he caught my arm. He stood up, taking the mug from my hands and enfolding me in a hug. I was stiff, uncertain how to react to the embrace. “I will not rescind my friendship to you because you’re having a bad day. I want to be here for you. I know the sadness you’re feeling. The emptiness. Please don’t push me away before I can truly be your friend.”
“I want to be friends,” I whispered, wrapping my arms around his waist. I snuggled against his muscular torso, reveling in the small comfort he was giving me. I could smell his detergent and whatever cologne he wore. It was soothing, clean fragrance that enfolded me in a soothing cushion of warmth. “I’m just so…I hate my life.”
He tightened his hold on me, swaying us gently. “I know,” he replied. “But, you aren’t alone. Yes, your husband isn’t with you but your family is supporting you, as are Alice, Rose, my mom and now me. It’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay to need to be held. It’s okay to nap on your friend’s couches. I even joined you. My recliner is quite comfy. I’m shocked my snoring didn’t wake you.” He released me and left his hands on my shoulders.
I chuckled, wiping my face from the tears that were covering my cheeks. “Like you said, I was out.”