A Woman of Conviction Ch 9
She was something out of a playboy magazine, in my perverted mind, anyway. Bella was wearing a blue tank top with a pair of black capris, and her ass looked positively grabbable. I wanted to pick her up by it and wrap her legs around my waist. Stop! Now!
I sigh, adjusting myself in the back of the vehicle. I dropped her back off with her friends after I made copies of the renter’s agreement and gave her the keys to the place. She said she would need help moving in the next week, since the boys start school in two weeks. It’s going to get crazy between work, practices, games, and now getting Bella into the apartment.
I should have told her the truth about it, that I own the building and a few like it. In reality, it’s a nice investment if you know what you’re doing. When I found that she needed a place and was going to start looking, I couldn’t help but think about the place underneath mine. I‘ve kept it empty so that I wouldn’t have to worry about neighbors under me.
It was a relief to see Lucian have a spark in his eyes again. After the confrontation at the game yesterday with the man that donated sperm to create the two coolest kids, I’m still boiling at how a man could not want to be part of his kids’ lives. If Bella and her boys weren’t there, I’m sure I would have beat the living fuck out of him.
I can honestly say that’s why I spoiled Lucian and Damon with the phones, tablets, and clothes. I wanted to show them that there is a good man in their lives. Whatever Bella has planned to get even with me because of it will be worth it.
Part of me wants to turn around and go back to spend more time with all of them.
The phone ringing breaks me out of my thoughts. “Edward Cullen,” I answer.
“Edward, honey, your father and I wanted to let you know that we are doing lunch with all of you kids to catch up.” My mother’s voice is soothing and excited. They must have gotten home from the European tour they’ve been on for the last couple of months.
“If my siblings are going to be there, I better be, too,” I joke with my mom.
“Oh, Edward,” she lightly scolds me.
“I’ll be there Mom, see you soon, love you,” I hear her tell me that she loves me, too, and then I hang up.
“Garrett, change of plans,” I tell my driver.
“To your parents’, sir?”
“Yes,” I answer, looking at my cell to see if I have any pressing emails.
My parents are well-off, my dad being a world renowned surgeon and my mom a celebrity interior designer. But my siblings and I were raised to work for what we wanted just like our parents had.
Garrett pulls up to the mini mansion of a home that sits on ten acres of land that my mom likes to use to host events for the different charities that she’s involved in.
He opens my door and I hear my mom gush, “Edward, you look happy!”
“I’m barely out of the car, Mom, how can you tell that?” I chuckle as she grabs me in for a hug.
“You were smiling instead of that scowl you’ve had on your face for the last few years.” She cups my cheek and gives me her mother look.
“Better go in, I’m starving,” I say, trying to change the subject of my happiness.
I don’t want to get into why I seem to be happier than I used to be; it’s all because of Bella. It’s too bad my siblings go ahead and make the lunch discussion all about her.
“She has these two adorable boys that come into the office with her; she’s raised them right,” Rose gushes about Lucian and Damon.
“I can’t wait to meet them.” My mom’s smile can’t get any bigger.
“You haven’t said much, Edward.” My dad would notice my lack of input.
“That’s because he has the hots for her.” Emmett manages to keep all his food in his mouth while he rats me out. Fucking dick!
I feel my parents’ eyes on me, waiting for me to say something. “She’s the best assistant I’ve had, and her kids are cool,” I say lamely.
My parents must feel pity for me, because the Bella subject is dropped and they ask instead how our businesses are going. This goes on for the rest of lunch, but as I’m leaving, my mother pulls me aside.
“Bella seems very nice, and like a good mother.” She gives me a look that says, tell me what I want to know.
“She is,” I answer, trying to avoid any touchy subjects, as in my growing feelings for Bella.
“What about the kids’ father?” she asks me softly.
I growl just a little bit. “He’s a deadbeat. He came to the game yesterday just to holler at Bella about how he doesn’t want anything to do with Lucian or Damon. He didn’t even care that they heard him say that,” I spit, anger growing inside me as I remember the heartbroken tears Lucian shed after Jake left.
Esme Cullen is the essence of a mom. Her dedication to me and my siblings, plus her career, is something to be revered. So, I’m sure her hearing how Bella is struggling with someone like her kids’ father angers her.
“Those poor kids, and poor Bella.” She puts her hand on my arm to calm me a bit.
“I’ve been silently helping her; she would have my balls if she knew about the apartment.”
My mom raises her eyebrow at me. Shit, I said that out loud.
“The, uh, the apartment below me. I’m renting it to her for five hundred a month, including utilities.” I feel ashamed at my lies.
“That’s very nice of you.” She’s hedging for more.
“She doesn’t know I own the building and that the rent she has agreed upon is less than half of what the condo is worth.”
Her eyes widen. “Edward Anthony Cullen, why are you hiding these things from her?”
“Because she deserves this break. She is the hardest working person I’ve met, besides you, and she dotes on her kids. Even when she can’t afford to do so. She doesn’t even think of herself. I know she was skipping meals to feed her kids. But she won’t take charity; she has to work to earn everything. I know she deserves this place, and so do her boys.” I know I’m ranting, trying to justify what I’ve done.
“When she finds out, I hope for your sake she forgives you.” My mom shakes her head. “I’m proud of the man you are and what you’re trying to do for her. But being a proud woman, she is going to be furious.” She pats my cheek lovingly and lets me leave.
My mom’s words rattle through my brain all the way home. Now I’m wondering if I’m going to lose her because I wanted to help her.
“Edward,” Bella moaned my name as I entered her.
“Fuck!” I cursed. She felt so good around my dick.
“More, please Edward! I need more of you.” She pushed her heels into my ass.
I started to ram into her. Watching her arch her back in her pleasure was the most amazing thing.
“I’m going to come, baby,” she sobbed out.
What the fuck! I look around.
I find myself waking up with an extremely painful hard on as I slam my hand down on my alarm.
I feel like a raging sixteen-year-old boy right now. I get into the shower and grab a hold of my stiff dick and picture Bella as I take care of it.
I am going to hell.
Bella is in the office on the computer when I walk in. I see the boys wearing headphones as they play on their tablets and I can’t help but smile.
“Morning, boss,” Bella greets me with coffee and a devilish smile.
“Morning.” I take the coffee warily. She really is breathtaking. She has her hair in a French braid, with natural makeup and a black sinful pencil skirt with a white top and a black jacket to tie it all together. I remember my dream and feel myself harden. Fuck!
“I’ve managed to have you in only two meetings today, and out by three, so we can get to football practice by four. You do have a lunch scheduled with Heidi from Small House Publishing. She wants to pitch an idea to you.” She leads me into my office where she hands me all my memos and continues to fill me in on everything she has already done this morning.
“I thought you were coming in at the same time as me.” I sip my perfect coffee.
“That was when I didn’t have a lot of packing and moving to do. The boys start school next Monday and I don’t want to be moving stuff then. I want everything done this weekend.”
I nod my head in agreement. “I can help you pack and move it to the apartment. I’m sure with everyone we can get you in within a day or two.”
Her face reddens. “I think that Tan and Irina can help me pack and stuff. You don’t need to worry about helping.” Her voice is dripping with embarrassment.
I stare into her eyes which are twitching and trying to avoid mine. “I’ll help you out. I have the vehicle and Emmett is the muscle. You don’t need to be embarrassed by anything,” I try to reassure her.
She closes her eyes and tilts her head back. “I really could use the help, but please don’t show pity when you see the apartment I’m moving out of.” She doesn’t give me time to reply before she shuts my door.
Practice goes without a hitch. Lucian and Mike exchange numbers and get excited when it’s confirmed they’re going to the same school.
The drive to Bella’s apartment is tense. She fidgets and bites her lip relentlessly, and I worry that she might make it bleed. She glances at her phone and looks relieved for a second before she goes back to her chewing. Lucian leans on her shoulder, which seems to help calm her.
We arrive, and to say I’m pissed that Bella and her children lived in such conditions would be an understatement.
There are men just laying around the front steps, obviously high on something. There’s no security to her building, there isn’t even a door to get into it. I see Tanya and Irina walking up to it as Bella and the boys get out, and I follow, trying to wipe the disgust off my face so that Bella doesn’t yell at me for judging her, which I’m not.
“Bells,” Tanya greets her cheerily and then grabs her in for a hug and kisses the boys.
“We already put the boxes in the apartment,” Irina tells Bella.
“I’m ready to get started, so you won’t have to be here anymore.” I know my voice is tight. I’m trying hard not to just hire a moving company so that Lucian, Damon, and Bella never step foot near this place again.
Bella looks at me, and I can see her eyes get wet as she turns to lead us to the apartment.
I cringe at the smell, and when we reach her door she walks in following the others. They start to make up boxes and chat away excitedly that Bella is moving out of this dump. It’s very clean, I can tell she tried hard to make it a home for her and her kids. But I can also tell she slept on the couch. I see the roaches hiding in the corners. I was feeling horrible at hiding stuff from her, but now if it gets her out of this hell, she can go ahead and hate me.