Unlocking the door, the kids ran off, shocked at how big the house was. Bella wandered, moving to the rear of the house to kitchen. Her eyes were wide, surprised at the elegance and beauty of the house. “I can’t believe this, Edward,” Bella breathed. “How did you get this so quickly?”
“My realtor is awesome and I’ve been told I’ve got a gorgeous smile,” Edward replied, giving her a seductive smirk. “I did some harmless flirting. Jenks and I went over to the title company during a break and this place is ours.”
“Yours,” Bella argued, sitting on the kitchen counter. “Are these quartz countertops?”
“I don’t know,” Edward snickered. “I was told that the kitchen was recently renovated. Top of the line everything.”
“DADDY! Can I have the big room with the bathroom?” Lucy screamed.
“No, Lucy,” Edward laughed, tugging on Bella’s hand. They went upstairs and found Lucy in the master bedroom in a heated battle of Rock, Paper, Scissors with Liam. “What are you doing?”
“Figuring out who gets this room,” Liam replied. “Ha! Paper beats rock.”
“Well, Dad beats all,” Edward chuckled. “This is my room.”
“Where will Miss Bella sleep?” Lucy asked.
“With me,” Edward replied.
“Edward,” Bella hissed.
“I’m not going to lie about our relationship, Bella. Will I go into detail? No,” he snorted. Edward sat down on the ground and smiled at his children. “Guys, Bella means a lot to me. I love her very much and she will, hopefully, move in with us by Christmas time. When she does, I want us to be a family.”
“That would be awesome!” Lucy squealed, running to Bella and hugging her legs. “Can you move in now?”
“I’ll move in by December. Think of it as an early Christmas present,” Bella smiled, returning Lucy’s hug.
“Papa said Miss Bella probably want to deal with our baggage,” Liam scoffed. “What does that mean? Why does Papa hate Miss Bella so much? He called her some really mean names. Words that I can’t say.”
“When did you hear that?” Edward asked, his pale skin becoming bright red with fury.
“I was playing on the piano in the big house and I heard him on the phone,” Liam said. “He also said something about our birth mom. He said that Miss Bella was just like her.”
“Bella, why don’t you help Liam and Lucy pick their bedrooms since we’ve established that this room is ours,” Edward said, giving Bella a tight grin. “I need to make a few phone calls.”
“Okay,” Bella said, her heart stammering.
Edward kissed his children and brushed his lips against Bella’s, stalking out of the room and running down the stairs. He dialed his mother. “Edward, I thought you were on a date with Bella. Everything okay?”
“Peachy, Mom,” Edward said flatly. “Liam said that he overheard Dad bad mouthing Bella. He compared her to Tanya, Mom. Called her names that Liam can’t repeat because he’d get in trouble.”
“What?” Esme growled.
“Yeah,” Edward muttered. “I know I was supposed to be off on Saturday, but I need to move out, Mom. I don’t want him near my children. Liam almost believed what Dad said and I saw that same level of hurt in Bella’s eyes again. I’m packing up our belongings and we’ll stay on air mattresses if I have to.”
“Don’t worry about it, Edward. Let me help you,” Esme said, her voice dejected and broken for her son. “Just worry about packing the clothes. I’ll take care of the furniture, at least for the bedrooms. Consider it a housewarming present. You’ll have a place to sleep tomorrow and it sure as hell will not be any air mattress.”
“Mom, I don’t want to …”
“You didn’t do anything. He did. He’s hurt you and Bella one too many times,” Esme snarled. “Let me get on the phone with my vendors and get you three bedroom sets.”