A Woman of Conviction Ch 7
I picked up the onesie for my future child. “I got this so that you can see that I’m happy. I want a family,” I told Kate as she paced back and forth.
“I’m going to need money, Edward. I’m not like you,” she wailed.
“I have an account set up so that you can get whatever you and the baby need,” I assured her.
“Really?” She stopped pacing and stared at me with a neutral expression.
“Let me get the bank card for you.” I walked toward our bedroom, but as I opened the door I found myself at the beach.
I saw two boys running, splashing in the waves. But my focus was on the beautiful brunette standing in the sand.
“There you are. You need to holler at your boys.” Bella was smiling at me and just glowing with her pregnant belly.
I couldn’t help but return her smile. “And what are they doing that they need to be yelled at for?” I chuckled while leaning in for a kiss.
I shoot up from the bed confused as fuck. I’m used to having the occasional nightmare of Kate. But Bella, and having a baby with her? I fall back on my bed and rub my hands up and down my face.
I’ve been thinking more and more about Bella. The way she’s so involved at every practice and the affection she gives her boys. She works to the bone to give them everything they need.
Lucian is smart and loves working out problems and he’s as fast as the wind. He gets along with only-child-syndrome Mike Newton somehow; they seem to click and it works great for the team.
Damon is a fireball of a kid; he’s a different kind of smart and has a lot of heart. I swear that Damon could be Emmett’s kid with the mouth and build Damon has, but he has russet skin like his brother. Considering that Bella is pale white, I’m positive they get it from their father, who is obviously not in the picture. Neither kid talks about him and I’ve certainly never seen him.
I sigh, knowing I should get up and get ready for work.
Entering the office an hour later, I see the temp service I contacted sent someone over quickly. She’s sitting at the front desk wearing something very inappropriate for a business such as mine.
Her dark hair is flowing down her back, and her skirt is riding up her thighs to the point that I’m sure she didn’t wear any underwear. Her shirt is super low cut and I can see her nipples saying hello to everyone.
I walk up to the desk and she takes me in slowly, giving me a flirtatious smile. Fuck no!
“Get the hell out, I don’t need some wanna be street worker greeting clients or my family.” I don’t wait for a response before I slam my office door shut.
With no PA again, shit isn’t getting done, so I have to ask Emmett if his assistant can do a few things for me. Of course, he has to give me shit. Lunch can’t come fast enough, but thinking of lunch makes me think about my dream of Bella’s round belly and it goes straight to my cock. What is wrong with me?
I meet my family in the lobby of the building so we can walk together over to the diner.
We walk in to the chime of the door and Bella’s brown eyes flickering up at us, then a breathtaking smile forming on her face.
“Good afternoon, Bella!” Alice greets Bella with her usually chipper demeanor.
Just seeing her starts getting my dick hard. I quickly take my phone out so that I can calm myself. But all I see is Bella pregnant with my baby.
“Hello, Alice, and everyone else.” I hear her laugh. “I’m getting your drinks; do you guys need a menu today, or you know what you want?”
“Menu,” Rose answers quickly for us.
I stay focused on my phone, pretending to be doing something important. I notice the boys are nowhere in sight, and I wonder where they are.
“Here we go.” Bella sets everything in front of us.
“Where are the boys today?” I ask her without looking up. I see her in my peripheral, and her eyes narrow at me with irritation.
“Damon and Lucian are with Tanya’s partner Irina today,” she answers me coolly. I must have irritated her with the question. I just nod my head and she gives me this look like she wants to hit me.
I guess she decides against whatever she must have been thinking, because she smiles instead.
“Alright, I’ll give you guys a few minutes.” She walks to the back area where I can’t see her.
“I thought she was going to shove your phone down your throat when you asked about her kids like you have any right to,” Rose says to me from behind her menu.
“He has it so bad for her,” Emmett comments from behind his menu. They all agree with him.
“You all can suck a nut. Assholes.” I hear a loud bang from the back. I wonder what that was.
I really thought the next time I saw Bella she would be taking our order, but instead I see her come out from the back without her apron and a towel to her nose. Tears stream down her cheeks and her brown eyes are panicked and scared.
I can’t stop myself from getting up and going towards her. “Bella!”
She closes her eyes and more tears fall; she puts up her hand to stop me from going closer to her. “I’m okay. Tanya will take care of you guys,” she tells me and my family. Before I can get another word out, she waves and is out the door.
I find myself in a worried frenzy. What the hell happened to her? I look up to see Tanya shaking with what appears to be fury.
“What can I get you guys?” I can tell she’s trying to remain professional, but something is eating at her.
“Is Bella okay?” I hear come out of my mouth.
Tanya takes a breath, curling her fingers tight around her pad of paper. “Bella will be okay, but she quit due to our boss being a disgusting, pervy, pig.” She shakes her head. “Please pretend you didn’t hear that.”
I don’t respond. So, the fucking low-life hurt Bella. I feel the rage boil inside me. I have to get out of here, now. “Excuse me,” I grit out as I walk out the door, unsure where I’m going. I spot a rough looking man at the side of the diner.
“Stupid bitch,” I hear him mumble as he lights up a smoke.
I walk toward him. “You own this?” I point to the diner that I will no longer be eating at, because Bella isn’t going to be there.
“Ya.” He takes a drag of his smoke, not looking at me. But I’m looking at him. He has a build like Emmett, and is my height. He stinks, and appears to be on something. I also notice a bruise forming on his face. This is the motherfucker that hurt my Bella.
Never in my twenty-eight years of life have I wanted to hit someone so bad. Fuck it, I’m a billionaire. I’ll buy my way out of any trouble if I have to. I pull back my arm and let my fist fly, punching him hard in the cheek and watching as he goes down just as hard.
“You ever come anywhere near Bella, or her kids, I will own you and your shit diner before you even light your next smoke.” Then I spit on him and head back to my office. I feel a little better, but not nearly enough. I didn’t get to have all the time with Bella that I wanted.
Instead, I have to go back to emails and paperwork.
“Screw you. It was my money, you said so,” Kate sneered at me.
“No! It was for you and the baby. The baby! You just tried stealing a quarter of a million dollars from me!” I growled back.
“Jokes on you, asshole. I’m not pregnant. And thank God, too. I would never want a kid with you!” She stormed out of the apartment.
I collapsed, putting my head in my hands and crying.
“Baby, don’t cry. It’s time to feed our baby girl.” I felt small hands brush through my hair. I looked up and saw Bella.
“I love you,” I snatched her up and listened to her giggle as I began to kiss her.
For the second morning in a row, I wake up startled. I feel empty, knowing that the kiss with Bella is just a dream. And for the first time in a long time, I want a kiss; a kiss from her.
Today is just shit. Apparently, before that stupid sleazy bitch left yesterday, she decided to half-ass ‘organize’ my important papers that I need to look over.
“Fucking bitch!” I shout as I start to tear apart the desk.
At this point, I’m fifteen minutes into trying to find the Hunter file, and I’m sure everyone in a five-mile radius knows how pissed I am. I toss my phone across the waiting room.
“Fucking stupid ass people! Where the fuck is that merger file?”
I see someone out of the corner of my eye, and whip my head up. I’ll be damned if it isn’t Bella, and she just comes right up to the desk and starts looking through papers and files. I stand up straight and just stare at her. Why is she here? I didn’t call any agencies to send anyone. Fuck, is this a dream? I’m dreaming, aren’t I? I look at her belly, and it’s flat. Maybe not a dream.
“What does the file look like?” she asks, not looking at me. She begins to pull folders and papers out from a drawer.
“It should have a heading reading ‘James Hunter’. It has numbers and sales rates.” My voice sounds far away. Bella is here, and she’s helping me. I wonder how she would do with being my personal assistant.
She hands me some papers. “There’s that.” It’s the Hunter Merger file. She found this pretty fucking quick.
The phone begins to ring as I watch her try to organize the papers in a neat order. I’m about to reach for it, but Bella beats me to it.
“Edward Cullen’s office, this is Bella speaking, how may I help you?”
I watch her as she listens intently to the person on the other end of the line. I think she’ll be perfect as my assistant. I could get to know her more, and I would know that she’s living better because I would be paying her a decent salary.
“May I have your name, please?” Her voice brings me out of my reverie.
“Okay, one moment please, let me pull up the calendar.” I watch her hit the mute button and turn to me with a determined expression.
“You and Mr. Hunter have a meeting tomorrow, yes?”
“Yes, at ten AM.” I answer quickly and a little firmly. Bella unmutes the phone and confirms the details with who I presume is Mr. Hunter.
I didn’t have to hold her hand. She just did it. Fuck it, I’m hiring her.
“You’re hired.” I walk away and shut my office door. I grab up my phone and tell HR to get all the paperwork started for a new hire. “I want immediate health insurance for her and her family. I want an eighteen dollar an hour pay rate. I want her to have access to the corporate credit card, and any school tuition for her children or herself to be paid by us if she wishes.”
“Yes, Mr. Cullen. I will get that to you right away,” she answers me without question, even though I can hear in her voice that she wants to. It is very unorthodox the way I am doing this, but I need to help Bella.
I step back out of my office to see Bella looking around the desk and organizing different folders.
I clear my throat and see her jump a bit. I really take her in. She’s dressed in a navy-blue skirt and white blouse with a matching navy-blue jacket to finish the outfit. She’s breathtaking with her hair up and the little touch of makeup. I do notice a slight bruise around her nose and it is a bit puffy. I want to find that guy and hit him again.
“Edward,” she closes her eyes and reopens them. “Sorry. Mr. Cullen, what can I do for you?”
I smile. “Mrs. Cope from human resources will be coming up with new hire paperwork for you to fill out. I will pay you today in cash, but by next Friday you’ll have your first paycheck. Eighteen dollars an hour okay?” I put my hands in my pockets.
I didn’t know someone’s eyes could go so wide. “Eighteen an hour? Wow.” She’s in shock at the pay. I hope she accepts it.
“Yes, anyway, I’ll come out after all that’s done and give you the rundown on what I expect, and if you have any questions or concerns we can discuss them then.”
She nods her head in understanding.
I made her speechless. I guess there is a first time for everything.