A Woman of Conviction Ch 8

Chapter 8
BPOV

Being Edward Cullen’s PA is interesting. I have some amazing benefits, and I found the perfect school for Lucian and Damon. After trying to understand what Edward does, I figure I should take some classes to help me since it’s all paid for by Cullen Inc.  I also now have an hourly wage of eighteen dollars, full medical benefits, as well as a corporate credit card. Edward has insisted that I need to get a cell phone and laptop so I can be on call and all that annoying shit. I tell him I have no idea what to get.

“After the games on Saturday, I’ll take you to get them,” he states firmly.

“Fine.” I resist every urge to roll my eyes at my boss.

At work, he is just as he warned me from day one; an asshole. I don’t take his shit, though. I tell him the truth and smile when he’s being an extreme asshole. I think it helps that I see him at football practice and I know how good and patient he is. He and Lucian have such a bond that it pulls at my heart so much. Even with Damon, Edward has this unspoken bond.

“Mom, we have to go! The game starts soon,” Lucian whines at the front door of our apartment.

“Lucian, we have an hour and a half before the game starts at nine,” I tell him from the couch. In just three more paychecks we can get out of this place. I talked to Irina about the note from Jake, and she started the process of filing with the court for back payments of child support and possibly charging him with a criminal act for threatening me.


“Coach said we need to be there a bit early so that we can warm up.” Lucian flops down on the couch next to me. I feel so happy that he’s found something outside his books and journals.

“Edward meant for us to be there a half hour early, hun.” I pull him under my blankets and cuddle him. “You know I love you.” I kiss his hair.

“I love you, too, Mom. I’m just nervous and excited. Mike told me the earlier I get there, the better, so we can practice and work on our moves.”

I roll my eyes; I’m happy he has a friend, but I wish he would’ve made friends with someone that didn’t have only child syndrome. Mike is a good kid, but just doesn’t understand things like taking turns and sharing; things that almost ninety percent of the population knows. Or at least, I think they know.

“Don’t worry, we’ll get there in time. Now, let’s wake your brother, get breakfast made, and we’ll go.” I release him from my cuddle grip.

Damon plays in the first game and they do amazing. Irina and Tanya are here, of course. Irina has been so excited since she got the internship with Jasper. I’m sure that soon it’ll be a permanent job with the way Jasper speaks so highly of her, and the fact that he already has her doing lots of work for important cases.

After they win the game, I stand and make my way out of the bleachers for the thirty-minute break between the games. I stop when I feel someone grab my arm.

I look up and see a furious Jake. “Let go of me before I scream,” I tell him in a deadly calm voice.

He does as I ask. “I can’t fucking believe you’re going after me for child support. I want nothing to do with those fucking kids.” His voice is lethal, but I’m worse.

“Yeah, I get that, but I don’t fucking care. You do what you want Jake, but I’m tired of letting you get what you want. Our kids went without because of my idiotic thinking, but no more.” I step closer, showing him I’m no longer scared of him.

“Mom?”


My whole body goes numb. I turn and see Lucian and Damon standing near me with Edward. Edward looks livid, Lucian looks hurt, and Damon looks confused and angry.

“What a great game, Damon.” I smile, trying to change the subject and hoping that Jake will go away.

Damon’s smile lights up his whole face. “I know, did you see all those blocks? I even got a touchdown!”

“I saw, baby,” I coo, walking closer to them. Edward never takes his eyes off the sperm donor behind me.

“This isn’t fucking over, Bella!” Jake yells at me as I pull the kids away and past Edward, who is still standing like a statue.

“Bella?” Tanya and Irina must get the gist that something is up, judging by their worried expressions.

“Can you take the boys to get something from the concession stand?” I smile, mouthing that I’ll fill them in later.

“Yeah, come on boys, let Aunt Tanya spoil you.” She holds out both her hands. Damon takes one without hesitation, but Lucian stands there staring at me with sad eyes. Irina and Tanya must sense that Lucian needs me more, and they continue on without him.

I bend down and take him in my arms. I feel his tears on my shirt, followed by a sob. I can’t help but start to cry with him. I sit right on the ground with him, waiting for him to calm down.

I feel Edward sit with us in the grass. “You are the coolest kid.” His voice is a bit shaky.

Lucian doesn’t respond, but I feel his head move towards Edward. I rest my cheek on his head, looking at Edward, too. I can see the pain and anger in his eyes, but also something else that I can’t place.

“I would give anything in this world to have sons like you and your brother.” The sincerity of his words strikes me hard.

“I hate him. I don’t want him to be my dad.” My heart tears in pieces.

“I’m sorry,” I cry, holding him tighter.

“You don’t have to play today, Bolt.” Edward rubs his back. I smile at the nickname my son has received from his teammates.

“I have to play, I can’t let them down.” He sniffles, pulling away from me and walking toward the field.

I still have tears rolling down my cheeks. What a bastard. I want to kill him for ruining Lucian’s first game.

I feel strong arms pull me into a hug. “I want to kill him. What makes it worse is that I have the money and connections to do it.”

I can’t help but laugh through my tears. “I really love my job, and I’m sure that Lucian idolizes you, so you can’t go to jail.” I pull away and look at his face.

“I’m going to help you nail that fuck.” His cat green eyes are fierce.

“Thank you?” is my brilliant response.

Lucian and Mike rock their game. I’m so proud that what he heard didn’t ruin his game completely. Like I promised, I fill in Tan and Irina on what happened. Irina is livid, and that’s an understatement. She curses like a sailor and goes to Jasper, who I think must have the same feeling, because his face turns red and then they disappear.

Lucian fist pumps the air when they win the game, and Mike slings his arm around his shoulders and throws his fist in the air, too.

Damon, Tanya, and I all go down to the field to meet Lucian who’s still talking animatedly with Mike. Mike’s mother is standing there smiling at the two.

“Lucian, hun, we have to go. Edward is giving us a ride.” I raise my voice enough to get my son’s attention.

“See you, Mike!” I watch them bump fists and my son runs toward me.

Tanya gives the boys hugs and announces she has to find Irina, and she’ll see us when we get done shopping.

We wait for Edward to finish talking to some of the parents before he leads us to a monster of a vehicle that has a driver waiting with the back door open.

“Wow, compensating much?” I raise my eyebrow at Edward.

He scoffs. “I got this because it’s safe, since you and the boys are riding with me. I wanted the safest.”

“Oh.” I have no idea how to respond, because his reasoning is just so sweet.

We climb into the vehicle, the boys animated about the game. No emotions are really reaching my oldest son’s eyes. I feared this would happen; I always wondered if Lucian remembered Jake from those first few years and the reaction he has tells me that he does.

“I figured we would go to the mall, since it would have everything we need to look at in one place.” Edward looks at me expectantly.

The mall, a place I don’t go, and the kids have never been. I can feel the heat rise into my cheeks. “Yeah, that sounds like a plan.” I avoid his eyes.

“The mall, that is so cool, we’ve never gone there,” Damon says with excitement, which makes me blush redder with embarrassment.

“In that case, we’ll have to make something out of it. We can get lunch there, and maybe get some clothes for school and what not.” Edward is smiling, and not in the slightest does he seem to feel pity towards them or me.

“I don’t think school clothes will be an option today.” I try again not to be embarrassed that I didn’t bring a lot of cash with me.

Edward must figure out what I’m getting at. “It’s on me, of course. They won their games today, they should get something for that.”

“Are you planning on giving the other members something for their efforts, as well?” I quickly rebut his attempts.

Edward narrows his eyes at me. “It’s my money,” he says with ringing finality.

I raise my bitch brow at him. “My kids.”

“Mom, please?” I almost forgot my kids were in the same vehicle. I look at their pleading faces.

“Do what you want,” I sigh, knowing I lost the battle. It is Edward’s money, after all.

oOo

I am going to make Edward Cullen’s life a living hell. After getting my over-the-top computer and cell phone, he decided my kids, my eight- and ten-year-old children, need their own cells plus top of the line tablets. He argued it was for school purposes and made me use the company card.

I argued, but so many times my boys have gone without. I was heartbroken when Lucian said, ‘It’s okay, we can’t afford it’. Thus, our new cell phone plan is paid through the company until I can officially take over the bill.

We also got them their school uniforms and play clothes for after school. Edward also insisted I get clothes and shoes for work, plus everyday street clothes. He was too bossy for my liking, but I bit my tongue because I didn’t want to argue in front of Lucian and Damon.

“How cool is this, I can text Mike now. I think he and I will be going to the same school now, too. I have to check at practice Monday,” Lucian rambles, already forgetting that he heard his father say that he didn’t want him or his brother.

Edward smiles brightly at Lucian and Damon, who are overzealous about their new things. They thank him a million times and tell him they’ll take good care of everything.


“Good, because you won’t get any of those replaced,” I tell them sternly.

They sing the ‘yes, Mom’ tune and go back to playing on the phones. We eat at one of the mall restaurants, and as promised Edward picks up the tab.

Lucian leans over to my ear. “I love you, thank you,” he whispers. I tear up looking back at him.

“I love you, too.” I hug him to me for a short moment.

“Alright, let’s get you guys home.” Edward smiles and claps his hands together. I give him Tanya’s address. “You live with them?” Edward asks nonchalantly.

I furrow my brows. “No, my apartment is kind of small, so from time to time we stay with them.” I don’t feel embarrassed by my apartment, but I’m afraid that he’ll feel pity at where we live. I don’t need it.

“Are you looking to move into something bigger?” he questions me further. He looks genuinely interested in my future.

“Yes, I figure in three more paychecks I’ll have enough for deposit and first month’s rent,” I reply easily.

“I know of a place you can come look at tomorrow. You don’t need a deposit or first month’s rent to move in.” His face is neutral, but he’s staring at me expectantly.

I smile wide, thinking this could be something amazing for me and the boys. I could move immediately, and hopefully Jake wouldn't be able to just come in and make himself at home like at my current apartment. “I would love to look at it.”

“Great, I’ll pick you up around nine, is that okay?” He takes out his phone and begins typing something in it.

“I’ll be at this address, and it sounds like a plan. I’ll probably take the boys with me,” I warn him.

“I would hope so, to make sure they like it.” Edward smiles, and his eyes are twinkling with mirth. He looks young and carefree compared to when he’s in the office.

He drops me off, hugging the kids and saying he’ll see us tomorrow. The boys and I make it up to Irina and Tanya’s apartment with all our bags.

“Jesus, Bells,” Tanya laughs, looking at everything.

“Edward.” I raise one eyebrow, and just by me saying his name, she laughs in understanding.

“Alright, let’s get everything put away.” It doesn’t take us long to put the clothes away and then we set up the tablets and phones. Finally, I get my laptop out and play around with that for awhile.

“So, you’re going to look at an apartment tomorrow with Edward?” Irina asks, pouring herself a glass of wine.

“Yes, I hope it’s at least two bedroom and decent rent. But I have to at least look at it. No deposit or first month’s rent, I can’t pass that up.” I look at my best friends, hoping they agree with me.

They give each other a look, and with a smirk, Irina finally agrees, “Yes, you have to look at it. And with what I know of Edward Cullen through Jasper, I’m sure it will be everything you need.”

I know my face shows my confusion. “What is that supposed to mean?” I can feel myself getting upset that I’m missing something.

“Calm down, B, it’s nothing bad. Edward is just a really nice guy. If he thought it was too expensive for you, he wouldn’t have bothered to mention it.” Irina pats my hand with reassurance.

The next morning, I get the boys up and ready for Edward to pick us up. They decide to wear one of their new outfits, and so do I. It’s nice to be able to wear something that isn’t older than I am.
Edward arrives at exactly nine wearing ripped jeans and a tight t-shirt that shows every ab. I find myself mentally drooling. No! I cannot fall for my boss! I scold myself.

He gives me this half smile as his own eyes look me up and down. I‘m wearing a blue tank and capris, nothing fancy.

Edward clears his throat. “You guys ready?”

“Yes,” I answer with a grin. “Boys, Edward is here! Let’s go!” I call through the apartment. I hear their footsteps coming quickly to the door.

“Alright, clan, let’s go.” Edward waves us to lead the way.

He brought the monstrosity of a vehicle again, with the driver opening the door for us, of course.

The building is at the high end of Seattle; the boys could walk to their new school instead of riding a bus, but I would have to ride the city bus to work. It would be worth it, though; it looks very clean and secure.

The doorman opens the door for us. Walking in, I feel very out of place. It looks exactly like only rich, entitled people could live here. “Edward, I don’t think I could afford a place here,” I whisper to him with heat rising to my cheeks.

He puts his hand in the middle of my back. “Yes, you will,” he answers, sounding so confident.

Edward leads us to the elevator where he pushes the thirteenth-floor button; there are fourteen floors total. “It’s the only apartment on the floor.”

I turn quickly to him. I know I’m missing something. If it’s the only one on the floor, doesn’t that mean it’s considered a penthouse? When the elevator doors open, we walk out to a small hallway with a door at the end of it. Edward unlocks the door, and I give him a weird look.

“I know the owner of the building,” he answers my unasked question cryptically, while opening the door.

I gasp as he guides me and the boys in. “Wow, Mom, this place is huge,” Damon says in awe.

I numbly nod my head.

“It has three bedrooms, two baths, equipped with a laundry room and an office. The master bedroom has an ensuite bathroom. Walk-in closets in all the rooms. The kitchen has been completely redone and expanded, so there’s an island now.” He guides us through this gorgeous over-the-top place. I want it so badly, but there is now way in hell I can afford it. The boys run ahead to look at the bedrooms while I take a gander at the kitchen and laundry room.

“Edward, there is no way I can afford this place.” I can feel tears pool in my eyes. I should have never brought the kids.

“It's five hundred a month and it includes all utilities except internet and cable.” He pulls something out of his back pocket. How did I miss that? It’s a packet with several pages. He hands it to me, and I look down at it. It’s a renter’s agreement.

I stare back at him. “I don’t know why you’re doing this for me, but I will repay you somehow for this.” I sign the bottom, trying not to let my tears of overwhelming happiness fall on it.

“Mom, are we really going to move here?” Lucian runs into the kitchen excitedly.

“Yes, baby we are.” I give Edward a thankful smile and hug my kids.

I think my prayers are slowly being answered.


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