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Edward was in his car, driving to his parents’ house. It was his mother’s birthday and they were having dinner. It was the last day off before he had to go back to the hospital. He was grateful for the time off. He spent almost all of his first day off in bed, sleeping and catching up on rest. The next day, he ran errands and scoured his house, making it smell like something other than whatever was rotting in his fridge. He also worked on his dictations and read, for fun. He started the Alexander Hamilton biography since he’d gotten tickets to the musical for his mother’s birthday.
Which led to today, his final day off. On the passenger seat, he had a gift basket of all his mom’s favorite perfume, body wash and other girly goodies, along with the card and tickets to see Hamilton. He parked in the driveway, picking up the gift basket and present. Using his key, Edward slid inside. “Hello? Happy birthday!” Edward called out. He made his way through the multi-million-dollar home on the shores of Mercer Island. He found his parents on the back porch. “I figured you’d be out here.”
“We bought this house for this view,” Dr. Edward Masen, Sr. smirked. He got up, hugging his only child. “You look good, son.”
“Sure, Dad,” Edward chuckled. “I look like I’ve been working too hard.”
“I agree with that. Too thin,” said Dr. Elizabeth Masen. “But, I can see what your father is saying. That haunted look is missing from your eyes.”
“Ma, don’t shrink me,” Edward grumbled. She tutted, kissing his cheek and ruffling his hair. “Happy birthday.”
“It is a happy birthday. My baby boy came to visit me,” Elizabeth smiled, her green eyes sparkling in the sunlight and her caramel colored hair blowing in the slight breeze. She was a renowned child psychiatrist, working with children with autism and OCD. However, she was concerned for her son because of his hatred of women due to his past. She’d tried to talk to him, but he refused to open up and eventually not talking to her for almost six months. Elizabeth ran her fingers down her son’s cheeks and he stepped back. She sighed, still broken-hearted that he was still standoffish. “How did you get the day off? I thought you said you had to work?”
“I covered for Aro so he could go to his granddaughter’s dance recital,” Edward said. “I was granted a three-day reprieve. I caught up on sleep, cleaned my house and relaxed.”
“Did you meet someone?” Edward Sr. asked. “You look happy.”
“I didn’t meet anyone,” Edward replied. “I’m not … don’t even think about it. I don’t need Mom shrinking me, or you trying to force me into something I don’t want or need.”
“Mase,” Edward Sr. frowned, looking at his son and calling him by his childhood nickname to distinguish the two Edwards apart. “What Tanya did …”
“Look, Dad, I can just leave. I’m over it,” Edward snapped, stalking over to the edge of the deck and panting heavily.
Elizabeth and Edward looked at each other. Their hearts were shattering at seeing their only son so broken and so distrusting. They never got the full story and probably never would. All they knew is that woman took the last shred of happiness from Edward and threw it into his face. But, today, there was a lightness in his eyes. “We’ll let it go, Mase,” Edward Sr. said.
Edward nodded, his movements jerky. But, his parents’ comments were right. He did have a lightness in his chest and he was more relaxed. That could be due to having sex. Not because of the person involved in having said sex. “Okay,” Edward mumbled. Turning, he faced his parents. “Are you ready to go out to eat? My treat?”