A Woman of Conviction Ch 15
When we get back to my apartment, the boys are being quieter than normal. I know I shouldn’t push because they need to work through this, but it hurts to know that was most likely the last time they will ever see him unless in passing.
Edward comes up behind me as I watch the boys go hide in their rooms. The doors click and Edward starts kissing my neck. I can't help moaning. “What are you trying to distract me from?” I close my eyes and enjoy the intimate feeling.
His breath tickles me as he chuckles. “You’ve found me out.”
“I should talk to them.”
“If you think that’s what you should do,” he murmurs against my skin.
I’m content to let him keep doing this, but I’m a mom first. I gently push him away. “Okay, lover boy, go change. I’m going to talk to my kids.”
He gives me a smirk and his eyes are smoldering. Those eyes make me want to strip naked and jump him; shit, I’m in so much trouble.
I push him away with my own—hopefully—smoldering look. He leaves as I walk down the hallway, debating which one of my sons I should talk to first. I hear banging from Lucian’s room, so it looks like he’s first. I open the door to see him throwing books across his room. I stand there in shock for a moment. My shy, wonderful child is having a tantrum.
“Lucian, what’s wrong?” I close the door so we have privacy.
He looks to me with tear-stained cheeks. “I hate him so much!”
I sit on the bed. “Baby, come here.”
He aggressively wipes tears away as he come and sits by me. I wrap my arms around him, noting that he’s getting so tall. I remember being in the hospital for thirty-six hours of labor. He came out of me at seven pounds, nine ounces, and eighteen inches long. His hair was so light I almost thought it was going to be blond.
His sniffling brings me out of my reminiscing. “You don’t have to worry about him anymore,” I try to sooth him.
“I’m mad at myself.”
“What?” I put my finger under his chin so I can look at his face.
“I missed my chance to tell him how I feel.” He pushes my hand away and then cuddles into my chest, wrapping his arms around my waist.
I don’t know what to say as I hold him to me, rocking back and forth. I should have known that Lucian would want his say, too. “You want me to talk to Jake and try to set up another meeting with him for you?” I use my gentle mothering tone.
His arms unwrap themselves from me and he looks at me with a hopeful expression. “Could you do that?”
I don’t want to crush my child, but I really have no idea if I can get Jake to agree to another meeting. Maybe I can find out where he’s living. “I’ll try my hardest. How about you write him a letter and say everything you want him to know.”
“Okay.” He gets down from the bed and goes over to his desk to get started.
“I’m going to check on your brother,” I inform him.
Lucian turns around in his chair. “I really like Coach, Mom.”
I lean against his door frame raising my eyebrow. “I like him, too.”
“Then why haven’t you gone on a date with him?”
My jaw drops at my nosey little man. “Don’t you worry about your mom’s love life.” I shut the door before he can respond.
Opening Damon’s door, I see that he has fallen asleep, so I leave him be and go out to the living room where Edward has made himself at home watching TV.
“I’m starting to worry you’re getting too comfortable coming and going.” I sit next to him, tucking my legs underneath me.
He just gives me his signature smile. “How are the boys?”
I sigh, leaning my head back on the couch. “Lucian is upset because he wanted to tell Jake how he made him feel.”
Edward sighs. “What are you going to do?”
I look at him, reading concern and compassion in his facial expression. “I told him I’d try to get a meeting with Jake again, but until then I suggested he write a letter to him about his feelings.”
Edward reaches up and brushes a strand of hair behind my ear. “You are such an amazing mom.”
I feel my whole face redden at the compliment.
“Go out with me Friday.” His hand slides down to intertwine with my fingers.
“I suppose I have had you wait long enough to take me out properly.” I sigh dramatically. He yanks me into his lap and starts tickling me.
“What was that?” he growls.
“Stop, please, I’ll pee on you,” I manage to get out between my laughing outbursts.
His lips crash into mine and I can feel how much he enjoyed the tickling session. I have to stop this. I pull away with a smile. “I would love to go out this Friday.”
He pecks my lips again and grins.
I get off his lap and he gives me a pouty lip. I can’t help but snort. “I have to make dinner, man-child.” I pat his head as I walk by to get to the kitchen.
I’m in the middle of making pasta when I hear my oldest start hollering, “It’s Halloween on Saturday and I don’t have a costume! Mike texted to say they were at the store and there isn’t much left. Mom, we have to go!” His face is dead serious.
I feel the laugh bubbling because my child thinks this is a life and death moment. I will probably regret forgetting that Halloween is this weekend. “After dinner, we’ll take you guys to the store and get costumes.”
Edward is holding it together better than I am, but I can see the humor in his face and his shoulders shaking.
Lucian nods his head in seriousness and texts away on his phone, walking back to where he came from.
Edward moves around the island and comes up to me, still shaking with silent laughter. “I remember being young and thinking that getting the coolest costume was life or death.”
I hum, thinking back to my childhood. Halloween meant something when my mother was around, but at Lucian’s age I was trying to keep the house clean and food on the table for myself and Charlie.
I feel Edward standing behind me; his breath tickles my ear. “Hey, you okay, love?”
I sink into his chest. “I’m just thankful that I can go buy them instead of searching ads, and looking for hand-me-downs for them.”
This is my first time being in a Halloween store, and overwhelmed is an understatement. I am not alone, though; Edward’s face says it all. The boys pull us in so many directions, we end up getting kicked out at closing. But not before getting the boys costumes.
Friday rolls around, and I’m full of nerves and crackling voices of doubt. Lucian is with Mike for the night, and Damon is with Uncle Jasper. To think that this time last year, it was just us, Tanya, and Irina; now they have lots of family. I think even if something happens to separate Edward and me, his family will never give up my kids.
I look myself over. I’m wearing a simple black dress and I have my hair in an up-do with some hair curled to frame my face. I‘ve never been on a date. I am twenty-five years old and I have never been on a real date; I am so fucking pathetic.
I decide on some black flats; my nerves are too shot for heels. I know the date is with Edward, the guy who has been at my side since the kids started football. If I really think about it, we’ve been together for nearly three months now. It shouldn’t be this nerve-wracking. I mean we’ve even kissed already. I wonder if he will knock like a person picking up a date should. As if on cue, I hear a knock at the door.
My stomach does flips. This is it.
I open the door. Edward is standing there holding one pink lily. He’s wearing a deep blue Armani suit with no tie, and he looks so good, I wonder how creeped out he would be if I just lick him. What the fuck am I thinking?
“Bella, wow. You look… ” His eyes rake over me and I can’t help but blush three shades of red. “I don’t think there are words for how gorgeous you look.”
“Thank you, you don’t look too bad yourself.”
He hands me the flower. “This is for you.”
“Thank you, it’s beautiful,” I gush. “I’m going to put this in water and we can get going.”
The drive to the restaurant is nerve wracking. Edward has been a complete gentleman, opening the doors for me and keeping his hand on the small of my back.
He pulls up to The Pink Door. “I read some good reviews of this place. I thought something Italian and fun,” Edward’s voice is low and nervous.
It didn’t occur to me that he’s as nervous about this date as I am.
We walk in and I’m in awe. It’s so gorgeous, and there’s upbeat music playing. I watch a few women across the restaurant do an act in the air.
He leans in and whispers in my ear. “They have different types of unique entertainment. That’s the trapeze artist, and they have jazz players, and I think in the back they have a tarot reader. Maybe after we eat we can go over to them and see what they say about our future.”
“Maybe I already know what the future holds.” I look at him with a sexy smirk; at least I think it’s a sexy smirk.
Edward’s eyes dilate, but says nothing as we go up to the hostess. “I have a reservation for Cullen.”
The hostess’s mouth pops open looking at Edward. I can’t blame her, but it irks me all the same.
“Yes, this way.” She grabs the menus and we follow her until we come to a secluded booth. I look at Edward with my brow raised. I know he tipped extra to get this kind of seating.
He shrugs with a smirk and waits for me to be seated before he sits himself.
I feel… lost looking at the menu. I never had money to spend frivolously. I have more now, and I’ve even managed to build a savings account, but this menu is too much. So expensive!
Edward has put his menu down and is looking at me with a curious expression.
“What?” I smile, still staring at the menu.
“I am just so fucking lucky to be here with you.”
I’m speechless. I can feel the heat on my chest rising to my face. “I think it’s me who’s lucky,” I mumble, wondering if he heard me.
I cannot concentrate on anything I might want to order. Our server has come and gone three times now.
“Bella, is everything okay?” Edward shifts in his seat with his eyes downcast.
I toss my menu down. “I’m messing this up.” I let out a shaky breath. “I have never been on a date, let alone one like this. I have no idea what dish to get because my eyes keep landing on the prices.” I finally look at him, and he’s smiling gently at me.
“Price isn’t an issue, but if you want, I can just pick something I think you would like.”
“Yes,” I answer quickly, so on the fourth time the server comes, Edward orders us food with a bottle of wine.
I shift in my seat. This was such a bad idea, Edward is going to regret taking me out in public.
“I had one serious relationship, so it’s been awhile since I’ve been out on a date. I’m happy that it’s with you.”
I look at his face, something crosses his features like a nightmare almost. “What happened?” I want to slap myself. “I mean, if you don’t mind me asking.”
“She, uh.” He clears his throat. I feel the uneasiness coming from him in waves.
“I’m sorry, Edward, I didn’t mean to pry,” I tell him shyly.
“No, beautiful, it’s fair to ask. I dated Kate for a few years. She was with me as I started to make real money with my business. I thought she was the one I was going to marry and have a family with. I started to notice that she was spending a lot of my money. I confronted her, and she said that she was pregnant.”
I don’t like where this is going. I know he loves kids, so if she was pregnant, then where is little Edward at?
“It wasn’t long before the truth came out. She was never pregnant; she just wanted my money.”
What the fuck? “She better hope I never see her.”
Edward stares at for me a second, then starts to laugh.
“What? That’s horrible, what she did. I can’t believe, as a woman who would give anything to have her kids’ father be like you, she would just use you for money. I want to punch her in the face,” I growl out.
His lips press to mine, but just as quickly as he was there, he’s back in his seat.
“What was that for?” I can’t keep a smile from forming on my lips.
“For being you.”
Our food comes and the waiter pours our drinks. Everything tastes delicious. As we eat we watch the show that’s being put on by the trapeze artist. Edward pays the bill and we listen to the band for a bit before we decide to head back.
During the car ride, I can feel the electricity crackling between us. We have our fingers intertwined and laying on his thigh. All I keep thinking about is kissing him, undressing him. OH, God.
As I’m daydreaming of what our night could be like since the boys are gone, I hear Edward clear his throat, bringing me out of my trance.
“You want to come up and watch a movie with me?”
I’m not ready to have our night end yet. “Okay, a movie sounds good.”