I held Bella’s naked body next to mine. She was draped over me, warming me to my very core. I idly played with her curly, mahogany hair as I watched the sun creep up the sky and wake up the world.
It was back to reality. Today, I’d go back to my mediocre existence as a legal aid attorney. I so wasn’t ready … just saying. Granted, I wouldn’t be just a legal aid attorney. I would be more, but Carmen was adamant on us maintaining our human façade for the public. Though, it freaked me the fuck out. How was I supposed to do my job and lead all the magical creatures in North America?
I could barely keep my head above water when it came to my job, buried in paperwork and never-ending motions, court appearances and sashaying other attorneys.
“Edward, I can feel you thinking too much,” Bella said softly, pressing a soft kiss to my jaw. How could she know that I’m thinking too much? “Stop. You’ll do fine.” I didn’t respond, just tightening my hold on her. I was so afraid that I would lose it again. That I would fail …
Bella noticed my perseverating. “Edward,” she snapped, sitting up and looking at me. “Why are you second guessing everything?”
“The last time I had this much responsibility,” I muttered. “I lost everything. I ended up in a mental institution, Bella. I can’t stand to lose that. I can’t lose you or fail in the eyes of my people.” She got up and straddled my waist. She was still naked and her body was temptation in the flesh. Fuck me sideways. “Bella …”
“No, you will not fail,” she said, her fingers playing with my loose, long hair. “Do you want to know why?”
“Yes, please tell me. Enlighten me because I haven’t a clue,” I sighed, pouting my lips. She kissed me and held me flush to her body. I growled lowly, my hands sliding around her waist and pressing her against me.
Breaking apart, she took my face into her hands. “Because I love you and I know and have faith that you will succeed,” Bella murmured, her forehead pressed to mine. “Your strength comes from in here.” She pressed her hand to my chest, right above my heart. “Your smarts come from your mind and your education. But, your drive is all you. Trust in yourself. Trust in your new-found family. Trust in us.”
I crashed my mouth against hers and we got lost in each other until my alarm went off. I grumbled as I morphed back my human appearance. I trudged into the bathroom and took a shower. Bella joined me, after she’d changed as well, massaging my back and whispering encouraging words. “Do you know that I can see your tattoos, even while you’re human?” she said as she ran a washcloth down my spine. “Humans wouldn’t be able to see them, but they’re there. When I first met you, I thought it was weird for you to have these faded tattoos on your face, arms and everywhere.”
I turned around, looking at her and I saw what she meant. Her delicate tattoos were just below the surface. Human eyes wouldn’t be able to pick up the subtle discoloration, but they were there. “I like that. A lot,” I smiled, kissing her lips.
“It’s a tangible reminder that you’re stronger than anyone else in the room,” she said, ruffling my short hair. “I don’t like this. Grow it out.”
“No. I hate the long hair,” I snorted, stepping out of the shower and wrapping a towel around my waist. “I don’t know how you handle it.”
“I guess I understand. From going to this short-cropped style to hair down to your waist, it could be unnerving,” Bella snickered. I rolled my eyes and quickly went through my morning routine. I dressed in one of my new suits that Eleazar had bought for me, using money from my own accounts. I apparently had more money than my parents, their parents and their parents combined. When I was shown the various financial statements, my eyes bugged out. I had nothing on Bill Gates. My birth father planned for every contingency and my comfort was at the top of his list.
“Edward,” Bella whispered, pressing a kiss to my shoulder. “I’m proud of you. I love you so much and I’m thankful that you saved me.”
“I think it was you who saved me,” I smiled, cupping her cheek. I could hear Carmen dancing outside our door, wanting to interrupt what we had started, but she was too polite. With a sigh, Carmen must have realized that I was good to go and she left. “I have to leave. I’m sorry, sih’rena. I wish I could spend all my days with you, but …”
“I know. I’m spending the day with Eleazar and learning about the history of magic. We need to know how we can use our powers to our advantage. Tomorrow, I’ll be joining Rose at her job and begin training as a receptionist,” Bella said, a wry grin spreading over her face.