She settled on a rerun of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, mindlessly watching Detective Olivia Benson get all of the asshole rapists out there. Toward the end of the show, her cell phone rang on the cocktail table.
“Hello?” she replied.
“Hey, sweetness,” came the honeyed voice of her boyfriend. “I’ve only got about fifteen minutes before I have to go back on the floor. I wanted to call you while I had a chance.”
“You’re working tonight?” she asked.
“Filling in for a coworker who graciously switched with me so we could go to Busch Gardens on Saturday,” he chuckled. “I’ve only been at work for almost forty-eight hours, but it’s all good.”
“I couldn’t even imagine,” Bella sighed. “Aren’t you tired?”
“Exhausted, but I’ll be able to get some sleep tomorrow. I’m off at eight and I don’t have to go in until eight at night. Then, I’m off Saturday and Sunday,” he replied. “Unfortunately, I can’t take you to the airport on Monday since I have to go in at six Monday morning, but we can at least sleep together.”
“Would that be wise? Um, with your children in the next rooms? And your parents?” Bella squeaked.
“Bella, my parents know that I’m an adult. Yes, my mom tends to mother me because she’s my mom and my dad usually speaks his mind, even when it’s not warranted, but they don’t molly-coddle me. They know I have sex. Hi, I have two kids. They weren’t conceived by Immaculate Conception,” Edward snorted. “In regard to the children? I may be a dad, but I’m still a man. Now, can we go to bed naked? Um, no. My son likes to come in and get early morning snuggles. And daughter, I’ve gotten plenty of nut jabs from her bouncing on me. They know about you and I’ve talked about you nonstop. Lucy is excited to meet you. Liam is shy, but happy in his own right to see if you’re good enough for me.”
“So, I am going to meet them,” Bella said, a little bite in her tone.
“Of course. Why would you think that you wouldn’t?” Edward asked.
“Nothing … Alice gave me shit about not meeting your kids and that insecure Bella is coming out in full-force,” Bella muttered. “Sorry.”
“Bella, baby, please don’t think that I don’t want you to meet my children. I talk about you. A lot. Lucy wants a female figure in her life. She loves her Nana, but I know my daughter craves the love of a mother. Liam, he’s more cautious. He takes after my dad. I know that he will adore you, but he may be standoffish at first. He’s still a little cold to my mom because he knows that his real mom didn’t want him,” Edward said. “I never said it out loud, but I think he overheard my dad talking to my mom about it a year ago. He asked me and I’m not going to lie to him. I tried that once – the whole Santa thing – blew up in my face.”