Driving Forces Chapter 20
BPOVThe last time I got married, the sheer size of it was a headache. I’ll do it all again if it’s what Edward wants, but he swears he wants a backyard ceremony and reception with just family and a few friends. We each picked one person to stand up with us; Alistair will stand with Edward, and I chose Rose to stand with me. Emma will be our flower girl, and Ollie is going to be the ring barrier. We picked a day in October so I could use fall colors. Planning this wedding with Edward has been humble and perfect, and I feel that it's a perfect representation of us.
Edward is currently working on a paper for class while I’m reading through a case file. I feel his gaze on me more than his computer. He’s become insatiable in the bedroom. Almost every inch of our home has been christened. Edward has become more confident, and I love every minute of it.
“Edward, we have an early day tomorrow,” I warn from behind my files.
He chuckles, and I hear him set his laptop aside and feel his hands on my legs. They run up and down, going higher and higher with each pass.
“Edward,” I moan, trying to give him a stern glare.
His lopsided grin is too cute. “I actually want to talk to you about something.” Edward gently takes the file out of my hand, and I can’t help but smirk as he maneuvers himself over me, gaining all my attention.
“What would that be?” I murmur as he leans in and pecks my lips.
“I was wondering your thoughts on name changes.” He slips one hand between my legs.
My eyes flutter closed as his hand comes closer to where I need it. “Mm, what about it?”
He starts kissing my neck, trailing down to my collar bone; my arousal pools between my legs.
“I want me and Emma to take the last name Cullen.”
My eyes spring open, despite his hands keeping up their motion on my legs. He stops kissing me, and I sit up a bit more to look at my fiancé. His bottom lip is caught between his teeth, his gaze cast to his lap.
I take his hand, pulling him closer to me. “Can you tell me why?” A nagging thought in the back of my mind tells me I know why, but I want to hear it from him. I adjust myself, and he does the same, sitting next to me and making patterns on my skin.
“I don’t remember my family, so the last name Swan has no meaning to me. I feel like it’s a curse; Edward Swan, domestic violence victim. Edward Swan, a foster kid that no one wanted to keep.” He growls, letting his head fall on the headboard roughly. “I don’t want to be Edward Swan anymore. I want to be Edward Cullen, Bella Cullen’s husband and a future lawyer.” He finally meets my gaze. “The Cullen’s are a family, the first family to ever want me.”
Many mixed feelings run through me as I stare at my husband-to-be. My heart breaks just a bit, thinking he never knew love until my family and me. I’m proud that he’s asking for what he wants. I know how hard it still is for him. I know this is something I can’t deny him. “We’re going to break convention. I would love for you to be Mr. Edward Cullen and our daughter to be Emma Cullen.”
His eyes darken with lust as his lips smash against mine.
I don’t want to compare my experiences, but the differences are astounding. With Jake, everything was clinical; it wasn’t that I never orgasmed, it just wasn’t as satisfying as when Edward and I are together. Everything was black and white then, and now it’s all vibrant colors. That’s what every aspect of my life is like now that Edward and Emma are in it.
The daddy-daughter dance is happening in two weeks, and we’re still trying to find the perfect dress for Emma. After this experience with my daughter, I can only imagine what it's going to be like when we start looking for her flower girl dress. Edward isn’t any different; he went out of his way with Emmett to find the perfect outfit to wear for their first dance.
Rose, me, and Emma are walking around the mall. I’m half tempted to take her to a boutique and have her tell a designer what she wants at this point. It would be worth the price. I’m not a people-person by nature, and I can’t stand the hovering salespeople. The last one had something rude to say to my daughter because she wants to look like a princess for her first dance with her daddy.
Rose had to pull me away from that one.
The next shop we walk into is obscure and almost seems out of place with all the modernized places. It has the feel of a mom and pop boutique that would be found downtown, not here in the mall. We walk in, and I watch Emma and her reactions. Her eyes light up as she lets my hand go to head to a rack of dresses that look like they would fit her. Within a few minutes, she picks a baby blue dress with a gorgeous lace pattern. I can’t believe how quickly she found it. None of the other shops had something so beautiful that would fit her.
We head to the checkout, and an older woman smiles at us and completes the transaction, interacting with Emma so well that I know where we’re coming in the next couple of months for our wedding party dresses.
Everything has been amazing lately. Jake moved to Forks where Sam lives so he can be closer for visitations with Sarah. We haven’t had contact since he moved, but Mom has stayed in touch with both Jake and Sam so she can have a relationship with her grandchildren.
Edward has been exceeding in his classes and at work. We’ve hired two more people for the office to help balance the workload with me splitting my time between there and the shelter with Alistair. They work more for Edward than me, considering he’s at the office more often.
All this to say that I should have known things were going too well for us. As we walk out of the little shop, I almost run into Tanya. She’s put on weight, by the looks of it, and she’s wearing way too much makeup. Her face is morphed into a sneer as she looks us over. Rose immediately takes Emma by the hand and walks away with her.
Clearing my throat grabs Tanya’s attention which was focused on Emma as she and Rose disappear from our view. “You are under a restraining order. You should have turned around and walked in the other direction as soon as you saw us.”
Her eyes flicker to me; they’re dark, her posture rigid as her hands tighten into fists at her sides. “That’s my daughter,” Tanya grits between her teeth as she leans toward me.
I fight the urge to roll my eyes. “Not anymore. The judge put an end to that. She’s mine and Edward’s, and it will be legal come October.” I want to rub in how happy Edward and Emma are with me. I want her to know they’ve flourished without her. Not that someone like Tanya can ever grasp the concept of what I’m trying to do, but it makes me feel good.
What I should have guessed was that me telling her that Emma was about to be legally mine would set her off. Her fist connects with my cheek, making me sway slightly before I counter with my own punch without a second thought to what I’m doing. As a lawyer, I know this is self-defense. I know I won’t be in trouble because she hit me first and she broke the restraining order. But I worry how my Edward and Emma will act when they have to deal with all this.
Tanya tries to hit me again, but I duck and push her to the ground. Security shows up a few moments later, pulling her in the opposite direction as she screams bloody murder. I follow one of the guards to his office where he takes my statement.
“Do you want me to contact the authorities to press charges against her?”
I really want to because Tanya would go back to jail, but on the flipside, I don’t want to deal with dragging Edward and Emma through that crap again. I shake my head. “No, sir, I just want to get my daughter and take her home.”
He lets me go, making sure I leave my information just in case they need to contact me.
On our way home, Emma doesn’t say anything about Tanya. Rose, on the other hand, snickers. “How good did it feel?”
I glance at Emma; her eyes are closed, so I smile at Rose. “It felt fucking amazing.”
Rose barks out a laugh. “Man, I wish I could have gotten a punch in.”
I roll my eyes. “I just hope she doesn’t try anything since I hit her.”
Rose scoffs.“That bitch isn’t going to do a damn thing because she knows she’ll go back to prison.”
I hope that she’s right.
When we arrive home, Emma immediately shows Edward her dress and he gives all the right compliments. And then she tells him who we saw today. “Daddy, Mommy hit you-know-who. But Aunt Rose says it was okay because it was in self-defense. But just in case, are you a lawyer, yet?”
Edward chuckles. “Emma bear, go put your dress away and let me talk to your mom.”
She shrugs her little shoulders and does what she’s told.
“Are you in trouble?” he asks, pulling me to his chest.
I shake my head and tell him the whole story. “Honestly, I don’t think so. I don’t think she’ll have the guts, knowing that she’d go to jail.”
He nods. “Okay. Now, did it feel good?”
I laugh at the fact that he asked the same question that Rose did. I can’t believe how perfect we are for each other.
It’s a week later that I find out from a friend that Tanya is back in prison for going crazy at her boyfriend’s family get-together. It feels like that door is closed, and I’ve thrown away the key just like I did with Leah when she called and asked to see me so she could apologize. I told her I didn’t know if I would ever be ready and hung up. It wasn’t just her, but she planned to disrupt my life even if I’d had Clara. The fact that she came to see me right after I had my miscarriage hurt me further. I don’t think I can look at her again. Sue asked my permission to see Leah. I just laughed and told her she didn’t need my permission to see her daughter. Dad didn’t want anything to do with her after everything she’d done. He told me he can’t look at her knowing the pain she caused me.
I shake my head and focus on the joy of right now as Edward and Emma are about to head to their daddy-daughter night.
Everything is as it should be, and I can’t wait for the rest of my life and our new driving forces.