In a Heartbeat ~ Chapter Eleven

The remainder of the date was beyond perfect. After watching the spectacular sunset, Peter had a small table brought out and their dinner was served. During the meal, their eyes never strayed from each other, and they found every opportunity to physically make contact with each other. For reasons neither of them could explain, they both had a need to be close enough to touch. Peter took them back to the marina and Bella thank him profusely for the wonderful evening.

With their hands entwined, they walked over to Edward’s car.  Edward seized the opportunity before opening Bella’s door to pull her in for a long, passionate kiss. He poured all his feelings into it without restraint, hoping that she could sense his desire for her. “As much as I would love to kiss you all night, I think I better get you home before I get carried away.”

“Hmm, carried away sounds nice right now,” Bella said with a smirk.

Placing another quick kiss upon her lips, he whispered, “Don’t tempt me, beautiful.”

Once they were settled in the car and headed back toward her home, Bella started their conversation. “Edward, I loved the boat ride. Have you been around the water much?”

“Yes. We own a house in Cape Charles, Virginia. Mom would take us boys there to spend the entire summer. It was some of the happiest memories I have,” Edward recalled.

Bella thought about what Edward had said and wondered. “Where was Carlisle?”

“Working, always working,” Edward murmured, but then sighed. “But that is all in the past and he has changed so much.”

Bella reached over and squeezed his hand. “I’m sorry that he wasn’t there when you are growing up, but his work has saved so many lives.” Wanting to tell him what Carlisle had done for her, but that conversation didn’t need to take place while they were driving down the road. She wanted to look into his eyes and see his expression when she told him.

“He has,” Edward said.

“Tell me about the house,” Bella insisted.

Edward told her about the summer house and how it had been in Esme’s family for years. It was a colonial brick home and she had kept the interior true to its historical beginnings. He told her of the backyard, where they played. “My favorite place was the dock. I would go down and sit for hours.”

“Have you been there since you moved back?” She asked.

“Yeah. I drove down one day. It is just how I remembered it,” Edward sighed.

“It sounds like a wonderful place to take Elizabeth.”

“Yes it is and maybe you could come with us on the next trip?” Edward inquired.

“Really?” Bella asked astonished that he would want her to come with him and Elizabeth.

Edward turned down her street and parked in front of her house. Turning off the engine he turned to face her, the light from the streetlamp casting a glow into the car. Taking his hand and cupping her face, rubbing his thumb along her jawline. “Bella, Elizabeth and I come as a set. I never thought I would find anyone else for not just me, but for Elizabeth as well. She loves you already, I can see it and I can see that you love her as well. I want you to experience the many firsts with Elizabeth,” Edward pleaded a lone tear rolling down his face.

Bella reached up and wiped the tear away. “I would be honored.”

Edward leaned down and kissed her. His heartbeat beating in rhythm with hers. They were perfect together. Finally, when they needed to breathe, they pulled away from each other. “Come I will walk you to your door,” he said.

Once out of the car, he clasped her hand and they walked up to her door. She unlocked it but then turned back to him. “Thank you once again for a marvelous date.”

“It was my extreme pleasure,” he said wanting nothing more than to take her into his arms and never let go. “Would you like to go on a picnic with Elizabeth and me tomorrow?”

“I would love too,” she answered.

“Great. I will call you with the time,” he said, then had a thought. “Do you have any classes tomorrow?”

“No, but I plan on going in to observe the early morning class,  I will be done early.”

“Great,” he exclaimed and brought her hand up to his lips, placing a feather-light kiss upon it. He wanted to kiss her again on the lips, but his willpower was weakening. “Pleasant dreams.”

“They will be if they are of you,” she sighed and opened her door.

Edward walked back to his car with a dreamy smile on his face. He couldn’t wait until tomorrow to see her again.

Once Bella closed her door, she leaned up against it and moaned. She was so in love. After calming down, Bella began to get ready for bed. After a shower, she went into the kitchen and took out her meds from the cabinet. She hated taking them, but she had to. After downing them, she looked at the calendar on the refrigerator and noticed that in just three weeks she would celebrate her rebirth day. The day that she received her new heart that gave her a chance to live a full life; with the possible exception of having children. If this relationship grew, she knew she would have to tell Edward. “I wonder what he will say?” She said out loud. Not wanting to ruin a perfect evening with what-if questions, she decided to not think about it just yet. Climbing into bed, she turned off her lamp and drifted off to sleep, dreaming of Edward.

***************IAH************

The next morning, Edward was walking the path to his parent’s home. He had dreamed all night of Bella, there was no doubt in his mind that she was the one. The one that would fill the missing piece of his broken heart and make his family whole again. Opening up the back door, he listened and heard Elizabeth’s giggles. Following the sounds, he walked down the hallway towards her bedroom. Peering in the door, he had to stifle his laughter. Elizabeth and Carlisle were sitting at her tea-table dressed in their finest. His father had on a tiara, feather boa, and his face had been painted by Elizabeth. He looked like an ugly drag queen. Edward cleared his throat and Carlisle’s head snapped around.

“Looking good, Mom,” Edward joked. 

Elizabeth looked up and smiled. “Daddy, it is not, Nana, it is Papaw. I did his makeup.”

Edward walked over and picked her up, giving her a hug. “You did a great job, that is why I thought it was Nana.”

At that moment, Esme walked in. “Edward, I didn’t hear you come in.” She wanted to know all about his date, but little ears were listening. “Ladybug, your movie is about to start.”

“YEAH!” She screamed taking off for the den. 

Once she was out of hearing distance, Esme turned to Carlisle. “Honey, you need a face wash and then we want to hear about your date, Edward.”

Normally, it would be weird to tell your parents about your date, but his excitement was bubbling over and he wanted to tell them. After his father had cleaned up, they went into the kitchen, where they could keep an eye on Elizabeth, but yet could talk. Esme poured them each a cup of coffee and they sat down at the breakfast table.

Edward told them about the date and how much he enjoyed it. He, of course, didn’t tell them about the kisses, but he did tell them that they were going out again today.

“Edward, it sounds wonderful. We are so excited for you,” Esme gushed.

“Bella is a special young woman and I am happy that you two have found each other,” Carlisle said.

“Thanks. We both have the same outlook on life, that it is too short and when you find something or someone you grab hold of it,” Edward explained. “We are going on a picnic and I am taking Elizabeth.”

“Are you ready to explain to her what your feelings are for Bella? How does Bella feel about this?” Esme asked worriedly. 

“We talked about it, and Mom, she is onboard. You have personally seen the connection between her and Elizabeth. I will talk to Elizabeth about my feelings for Bella. Of course, I will talk to her on her level, but we know how intelligent she is and I have a feeling she will be excited over it.”

“I have to agree with you,” Carlisle said. “Just tread lightly and be ready, to be honest with all her questions. Children are very intuitive and Elizabeth is more so. Again, Bella is a great fit for your family Edward.”

“Would you like me to pack your lunch?’ Esme asked.

“Thanks, Mom, that would be great,” Edward answered and finished off his coffee. “I think I am going to go talk to Elizabeth.”

“Are you doing it here or at your home?” Carlisle asked.

“Here. If she has concerns, maybe you could help me if I need it?” Edward questioned.

“Of course,” Esme answered patting his hand. 

Edward stood and walked into the den. Elizabeth was curled up on the sofa watching Frozen once again. Sitting down beside her, she automatically crawled up on his lap. He wrapped his arms around her and drank in her warmth. He took a deep breath before beginning.

“Ladybug, can I talk to you about something?” He asked.

“Sure Daddy, I know what it is going to happen next,” she answered, pointing to the movie.

Edward turns off the TV and turned her so he could see her face. “Last night, I went out on a date and I had a really nice time.”

“Is she a nice lady?” Elizabeth asked.

“Yes, very much so, and I want to see more of her, but I also want you to get to know her better.”

“That sounds like fun. What is her name? Does she like playing house? Is she pretty? Does she like pizza?” Elizabeth rattled off without catching a breath.

“Whoa, little one. I don’t know the answers to all your questions, but I do know that she is pretty and I know her name,” he answered.

“Is it a pretty name?” 

“Sweetheart, her name is Bella,” he said and waited for her to respond.

Elizabeth frowned her forehead deep in thought. “Like Miss Bella?”

“It is Miss Bella, sweetheart,” Edward muttered.

“My Miss Bella? Really? Oh, Daddy, I love her. Is she going to be my Mommy?” Elizabeth inquired.

“Slow down. We just started dating and I want us, that is you and me, to get to know her better. She also has to get to know us better. Would you like that?”

“Yes, Daddy. I would like to date Bella,” she said.

Edward couldn’t help but chuckle at her comment. “I thought we could take her out to the park today for a picnic. What do you think of that idea?”

“I love it. Can we go now?” She asked bouncing up and down.

“Not now, but a little later. However, Elizabeth there are going to be times that Daddy will want to take Miss Bella out just by himself,” he explained.

“As long as I get to take her out by myself, then it should be fine,” Elizabeth proclaimed.

“I think that can work,” he answered. “How about we go home and we will call her.”

Elizabeth jumped off the couch and took off to her room. A few minutes later she was back with her shoes on and her bag over her shoulder. Running over to Esme and Carlisle, she stopped. “I have to go, I got to get ready for my date.”

They both covered their mouths so that they wouldn’t hurt Elizabeth’s feelings by laughing. “That sounds lovely, Ladybug. Give me a hug and I will bring over the basket a little later.” Esme said.

 Elizabeth wrapped her little arms around Esme, kissing her on the cheek, then did the same to Carlisle. “Love you,” she said and took off to her daddy. Waving as she walked out the door, she skipped all the way home. 

When they walked in, Edward told her to put her dirty clothes in the hamper and put her bag in her room. As she was doing as she was told, he sat and reflected on their talk. It had gone better than he had hoped. There was no doubt that Bella would want to spend alone time with her and he couldn’t wait to get Bella alone so he could kiss her some more.

“Daddy, can we call her now, please?”

“Yes,” he said taking out his phone and dialing her number. A few seconds later her voice came through.

“Good morning, Edward,” She murmured, excited to finally hear his voice again.

“DADDY, I CAN’T HEAR HER,” Elizabeth yelled.

“Sorry about that,” Edward whispered to Bella and gave Elizabeth a raised eyebrow. “It is okay if I put you on speaker?”

“Of course,” Bella answered.

Edward sat the phone down on the table and turned on the speaker phone. “Can you hear us?”

“Yes. Good Morning, Elizabeth.”

“Good Morning, Miss Bella. We are going out on a date today. We are going all together for this one, but Daddy wants to go alone sometimes with you and I get to go alone with you sometimes,” Elizabeth rushed.

Bella giggled. “That sounds like a lot of fun. I can’t wait to do that.”

“I thought we could go to Canton Waterfront Park if that is okay with you?” Edward asked.

“Oh, I love that park. That sounds perfect. What time should I be ready?” Bella asked.

“We will pick you up around eleven-thirty,” Edward advises.

“Do I need to make anything for lunch?” Bella inquired.

“No, Esme is taking care of that for us,” he answered.

“Alright. Elizabeth, I am excited about our date,” Bella chimed.

“Me too,” Elizabeth gushed.

Edward picked up the phone, taking it off speaker. “I can’t wait to see you,” he whispered.

“Me too. I had lovely dreams all night, but seeing you in person is even better,” she cooed.

Turning around so Elizabeth couldn’t hear him. “Oh, Baby I did too. I really miss those luscious lips of yours.”

“Edward,” Bella moaned.

“I will see you soon, my love,” he whispered and hung up.

“Daddy, she is excited for our date,” Elizabeth said jumping up and down.

“I think we are as well, Ladybug,” Edward laughed.

“Well, duh. I have to go find the perfect outfit to wear,” she said taking off towards her bedroom.

Edward just shook his head. Elizabeth was all girl that was for sure and maybe Bella could possibly be what she needed. Before he knew it, it was time for them to leave to pick up Bella. Elizabeth had told him that she needed to pick up flowers for Bella. So they had to make one quick stop so she could pick out the right flowers. After looking over the selection three times, she picked out a bouquet of sunflowers. 

They arrived at Bella’s house and walked hand in hand up to the door. Elizabeth had chosen to wear a pair of ladybug leggings, a red dress, and her Sketchers. Edward had pulled her long, curly, hair up into a high ponytail, placing a red ribbon around it. She looked adorable. He had decided to wear jeans, a t-shirt, and a pair of Dockers. 

They rang the doorbell and Bella quickly answered. Edward’s heart skipped a beat. She looked lovely in a pair of form-fitting jeans, an Imagine Dragon t-shirt and a pair of pink Converse tennis shoes. She wore her hair up, showing off her delicate neck. “Edward, Elizabeth, hello.”

“Hi, Miss Bella. These are for you,” Elizabeth said handing her the sunflowers.

“Oh my, they are so lovely. Come in while I put these in water,” Bella said.

They walked in and Edward looked around. Bella’s house was just like her, warm and inviting. Looking down the small entranceway into what must be the den, he saw the flowers that he had given her last night in a lovely vase sitting on a piano. Did she play? He wondered. She came from the kitchen carrying another vase with the sunflowers arranged in it and placed it next to the other flowers. Coming back to them, she had a large smile.

“Thank you again. I love them, Elizabeth,” Bella gushed.

“You’re welcome. Come on, we have to get to the park,” Elizabeth said taking Bella’s hand. 

Bella grabbed a small purse and they went out the door. Once outside Edward took Bella’s other hand. To anyone who would pass by and see them, they looked like a happy family. It was a very appealing thought.

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