AN: More about Edward and Bella's visit to Forks
My thanks as always to MeteorOnAMoonlessNight, annaharding and Midnight Cougar for all their help with each and every chapter
Disclaimer: SM owns it all
Third Time's the Charm Part 3 Chapter 20
Left pregnant and alone, Bella delivers a surprise to the paramedic who knocks on her door.
The drive to the store only took fifteen minutes, but when we parked, I could already see Jessica Newton in the lot. She was a nice enough girl, but a huge gossip. Edward switched off the engine and came around the car to open my door for me before unbuckling and lifting Emily out of her car seat. I shoved away the trepidation centering in my stomach; Jess and I had been friends at school, except for the short period when Mike pursued me.
She raised her hand the moment she saw me. "Bella, Bella!" she squealed. "Over here!"
Pushing a fully laden shopping cart, complete with two small children, she sped eagerly toward us, stopping just short of the car.
"Bella, it's so good to see you." She eyed Edward up and down. "And who is this, Bella?" She leaned into me and whispered theatrically. "Oh, God, he's yummy. I can see why you dumped Tyler."
Her whisper was loud enough for Edward to hear, and the tips of his ears turned pink. Jess walked around him, practically eye-fucking him. I took his hand and tugged him toward the store, making Jess grab at her cart to keep up with us.
"This is my boyfriend, Edward, and the little cutie he's carrying is my daughter, Emily." I didn't acknowledge her comment about Tyler; it was none of her business what had happened between us.
As the automatic doors opened, Edward leaned down and whispered in my ear. "I'm going to find some diapers. Come find me in a few minutes." He didn't have to say anything more; he was on the run from Jess's roving eye—and hands.
Jess looked after him as he walked away still holding Emily.
"My God, Bella, where did you find him? He's gorgeous. Is he good in bed?"
"Jess! That's completely inappropriate, not to mention you're a married woman, with—now two?—kids." I always knew she had an eye for the boys, but she seemed to have become more blatant as she got older.
"Pssh. I'm married, not dead. I can still appreciate a fine ass and a gorgeous face when I see them. And that hair—makes him look freshly fucked."
I could feel my face heat on Edward's behalf. Somehow, I'd forgotten what a huge flirt Jess could be, and how she usually said exactly what she thought.
"Goodness," I said, changing the subject, "Maria's really grown. How old is she now? And who's this?" I brushed my hands through the blond hair of the little boy seated next to the little girl Jess had given birth to not long after we graduated from school.
"She'll be four next summer and starting school in the fall. This little one here is Mike Junior or MJ as we like to call him. He turned one in June. He looks exactly like his dad, doesn't he?"
"He's very like Mike, all blond hair and blue eyes," I agreed.
Our conversation flagged as Jess's eyes searched inside the store, no doubt looking for Edward. Wisely, he stayed out of sight.
"Shouldn't you get your groceries to your car, Jess? Your frozen goods will defrost if you're not careful."
"Oh, yes, I'd forgotten. Hey, I have a great idea. You're staying over the weekend, right? Why don't we get together with the old crowd on Saturday? I'm sure your dad would babysit for you, and I can get Mike's mom to sit with these two. Say yes, it'll be fun."
"I'll see what I can do, Jess." Her enthusiasm was catching, and with Rose and Alice in town this weekend, it would be good to catch up with everyone. I grabbed my phone from my pocket, and she reeled off her number. I called her so she had mine and promised I'd text once I'd spoken to the others about Saturday.
"Say bye to your hottie for me, and call me soon." She stepped forward and surprised me with a hug, though we hadn't been that close back in high school, then steered her cart through the parking lot to her car, waving goodbye with a hand over her head.
A few seconds later, Edward appeared around the end of one of the aisles, the doors opening as he stepped toward them. He peered out into the parking lot, looking sheepish.
"Is it safe to come out now?"
I nodded and laughed. "Yes, you coward. Thanks for leaving me alone with her."
"Well, she's creepy. I could practically feel her eyes all over me." He shuddered dramatically.
I laughed again, and we headed back into the store together, collecting what we needed for dinner tomorrow. It didn't take long to finish with the two of us, and before long, we were back in the car and heading for Mallory's, the butcher.
Lauren was leaning against the window, smoking. She narrowed her eyes at me, her gaze roaming over Edward and Emily, but she said nothing.
"Do you know that girl, Bella? She's staring at you."
"Yes, but we were never friends; just ignore her."
Edward shrugged, and we managed to get in and out of the butchers without her getting in my face. I wasn't kidding myself, though; she would have her say, no doubt.
"Where to now, sweetheart? Is there anywhere we can get a coffee and a sandwich, because I'm starving?"
"Hmmm, we have the diner, which will be full of all the gossiping old women, and not all of those will be female. We can get a burger there, but I'd rather go to Angela's. I think I've mentioned her a few times; she was my best friend in high school, and we sort of lost contact a bit. I think you'll like her; she's nothing like Jess. Dad said she was doing well with her coffee shop, and we can get a sandwich or something there."
Edward looked relieved, and I almost giggled at how uncomfortable Jess had made him. I gave him directions to the coffee shop, not that we could miss it since we only had one main street. The coffee shop was busy, but Edward claimed a seat while I headed toward the counter.
"Hey, Ang, how are you?"
She whirled around with a huge smile on her face. "Bella, God, I'm happy to see you. Your dad said you were coming for Thanksgiving. Where's that beautiful baby? Charlie was in here only last week showing everyone the pictures he took back in the summer."
"Ang, Ang, slow down." I laughed and pointed at her belly. "Looks like you have some news, too? When are you due?"
"Not long now, but hang on a sec. Let me finish up here, and I'll bring over coffee and cake, and we can catch up."
"Well, I have someone here with me." I nodded over my shoulder where Edward was busy talking to Emily, making her laugh. "Can I get two coffees and two chicken sandwiches?"
She leaned over the counter whispering conspiratorially, "He's sooo gorgeous, Bella. Where did you find him, or did he find you?"
"He's my Edward; the paramedic who delivered Emily, and he's been with us ever since. I love him, and so does Emily."
Edward must have sensed I was looking at him because he looked up and gave me his sexy, lopsided smile; the one that made me go weak at the knees.
"Oh, my, I can totally see why you'd be attracted to him, but is he good to you?"
I nodded. "He's perfect for me, and he adores Emily. Can't you tell?"
"Then I like him already. Go on; go sit down and I'll be over in a few."
Ten minutes later, Angela set down a tray of coffee, tea, and sandwiches. "There's cake, if you still want something after you've finished the sandwiches."
Edward stood and pulled out a seat for her, and Angela raised her eyebrows at me, grinning. "He's good," she mouthed before sliding the cups and plates from the tray to the table.
"Angela, this is Edward Cullen, my boyfriend. Edward, this is Angela Cheney. She and I were best friends in school."
"Pleased to meet you, Angela." Edward juggled Emily, shifting her into one arm to shake Angela's hand. "This little sweetheart"—he turned Emily to face her—"is Emily Swan."
Angela leaned in and took Emily's hand. "Such a beautiful little girl. It's so strange to think I'll have one so soon."
"When exactly is your due date, Angela?" I asked. "You look as if you're about to pop. Do you know what you're having?"
"I'm having a girl, too, and she's due on Christmas Day, so only a month to go. Ben is over the moon."
"What's he doing these days? Still working in Port Angeles?"
"Yep, he's been promoted to Project Manager." Angela's face beamed, showing how proud she was of her husband. "How long have you two been together?"
"We met the day Emily was born," Edward said. "She was early and took Bella by surprise, so we've known each other around five months. We've been together for almost three months now."
We spent a pleasant couple of hours catching up while I fed Emily. Edward and Angela hit it off, and when Ben arrived, having gotten off work early after she called him, he and Edward disappeared outside to talk, leaving Emily with us.
"We gotta get going, Ang. Dad'll be home from work soon, and I need to get some prep done for tomorrow's dinner. Dad's girlfriend, Sue, and her kids are coming, too." I grinned. "Not that I even knew he had a girlfriend." I stood with Emily, fed and asleep, draped over my shoulder. "What do I owe you for lunch?"
"Absolutely nothing, Bella; it was my pleasure. I wondered if your dad had told you about Sue. They're good together, and you'll like her, I think. Anyway, it was great to catch up with you, and to meet Edward. He's the real deal, isn't he? I can tell how much he loves you and Emily."
"He is. I would've managed without him, but he's made my life so much more. And his family's great, too. I lucked out when I got him as my paramedic."
I looked out the window where Edward and Ben were leaning against the glass. Edward must've been watching for me, because the moment I stood, he was beside me, waiting to take Emily. Angela pulled Edward into a hug, then he and I headed for the door, Ang following us. Outside, I turned to hug her.
"Why don't you come out with us on Saturday, Ang? Jess asked if we would be interested in getting together. We could head to Port Angeles. Alice and Rose are in town for a few days, and it would be great for all of us to meet up again. Is The Blue Boar still open? We could meet there first. What do you say?"
"Sounds like a fantastic idea, and I'm not working Saturday, so I should be able to stay awake past nine o'clock. Do you want to share a car?"
"Of course, and I'll talk to Alice and Rose to see if Emmett and Jasper would be up for a night out, too. It'll be a great night."
Having made arrangements, Edward and I drove back to the house where Dad was already waiting.
"Hey, I'm glad you're back. Did you get everything for tomorrow?"
"Yeah. I picked up the turkey from Mallory's, too. What are we doing for dinner tonight? Do you want me to put something together?"
"No, you're doing enough tomorrow. I called Sue and she suggested we go out for pizza tonight, to get any awkwardness out of the way before dinner tomorrow. That okay?"
"I'd like that. Do we have time to change?"
"Yes, we're not meeting for an hour yet."
I looked him up and down. "And yet you're already dressed to go?"
Dad rubbed the back of his neck, his ears pinking up. He made a noise in the back of his throat, saying nothing. He slipped past me into the living room and not long after the sound of the inevitable game on the television drifted into the kitchen. I shook my head and giggled as Edward lifted Emily, who'd fallen asleep on the short drive back to the house.
Upstairs, Edward laid Emily in her crib and covered her with a comforter. He turned his gaze on me when he was sure she'd settled. I backed up as he stalked toward me until my back hit the door.
"Edward," I warned. "We don't have time to mess around."
He advanced until there wasn't an inch between us, reaching around me to turn the key in the lock.
"I need to kiss you now, Bella. Is that all right with you?"
I nodded dumbly as his hands cupped my jaw, his fingers tangling into the hair at the back of my neck. Shivers and goosebumps followed each other over my skin as he tilted my head and captured my lips in a searing kiss.
If panties could disintegrate, then mine would've gone up in smoke. His tongue invaded my mouth in much the same way, I imagined, as his cock would've done, and my knees went weak. My lungs felt as if they would explode with the need to breathe, and I drew back to see his eyes, heavy-lidded and lusty, gazing at me.
"I love you, Bella," he murmured.
His hands roamed across my chest, tweaking and pulling at my nipples through the layers of material until I thought I might combust. Hauling my sweatshirt and t-shirt off over my head, he flicked the front catch on my bra, then leaned down, taking one and then the other in his mouth, nipping and sucking.
My fingers flicked the top button of his jeans open, and a sharp pull had the rest undone in seconds. Sliding my hand under the waistband, I gripped his cock, my thumb collecting precum. His sexy grunt echoed through his body, his hips jerking and pushing his cock into my hand.
His hands moved around my waist and over my ass, hitching me up into his arms. I gasped and grabbed at him with the sudden movement. Wasting no time, Edward took the few steps between the door and the end of my bed, kneeling and laying me down underneath his body.
The sound of the bathroom door closing brought me out of the sexual haze being with Edward always evoked. Both of us stilled, hardly breathing as the facilities flushed and footsteps approached the door.
"Bella, are you ready? We gotta leave in about fifteen minutes."
He didn't wait for an answer, and the sound of his footsteps receded down the stairs. Edward's head hit my shoulder and he huffed.
"Your dad is an expert cockblocker, did you know that?" He rolled to one side and grabbed my hand, bringing it to his lips. "Monday, you and me"—he pointed to each of us—"have a date at my place."
I nodded at him, rolling into his side and kissing his jaw. "I guess I'd better get dressed then, or Dad will be back."
Edward heaved himself off the bed and pulled me into a fierce hug and kiss before turning around and patting me on the ass. I grinned at him over my shoulder and picked up my t-shirt from the floor, pulling it over my head as I made my way to the bathroom.
Ten minutes later, with a little makeup and teeth cleaned, I returned to the bedroom to find Edward and Emily awake, dressed, and ready to go.
"I've expressed, it's in the fridge, so could you take Emily downstairs and give her a bottle, please? We can give her some baby cereal at the pizza place." I kissed him. "Hmmm, you smell good." Reaching up, I slid my arms over his shoulders while he gripped me around the waist, pulling me against his body.
"Hmmm, you know I'd rather stay here with you, but I think your dad is getting impatient."
Another kiss, then another, and a third. I pulled away, a little breathless. "See you downstairs."
Edward picked up Emily and headed downstairs, leaving me to get dressed and run a brush through my hair. I figured jeans would be okay and selected a dark blue wrap blouse with long sleeves to complement them. Satisfied, I slicked on some lip gloss and grabbed a small purse. The sound of the television was low, and the kitchen contained only Edward and Emily, who was happily lying along his thighs.
"You're so pretty, my little Emily, just like your momma." She'd recently started laughing, so Edward's fingers in the ticklish crook of her neck brought out the giggles.
I slid my arm over his shoulder. "Hello, sweetheart." I leaned over and kissed her forehead. "Are you ready to go?"
"Sure am. Can you grab Emily's coat? It's cold out tonight."
Edward, Emily, and I were ready to go on time, though if Dad hadn't knocked on the bedroom door, it was likely we'd have been late to the pizza place. Walking in the door, a slim, dark-haired woman stood and waved us over. Dad leaned over and kissed her on the cheek, then introduced her to Edward and me. The conversation was non-existent for a few minutes while we all made ourselves comfortable in the booth.
"I'm so happy to meet you, Bella. Your dad talks about you and Emily all the time." Sue was the first one to speak.
"I hate to say it, but he has never mentioned you."
"I'm sorry for that, Bella. I told him he should've warned you before you arrived. I hope it wasn't too much of a shock to find out we were dating."
"It was, but not in a bad way. He's been alone for such a long time, I worried he'd never open up enough to anyone."
"Hey, stop talking about me like I'm not here," Dad protested.
At that moment, the server arrived to take our order for pizza toppings and drinks. Over the course of the next couple hours, Sue and I became friends. She talked about her two children; Leah, who was almost eighteen and would be graduating next year, and Seth, who was sixteen and had a few years to go. Both would be at dinner tomorrow, and she assured me they would be happy to meet me.
Since Dad had a half-day early shift the following morning, the evening ended around ten. Dad opted to drive back to the house with Sue, while Edward and I went on ahead.
~ oOo ~