Friday, October 2, 2009

Chapter 39


B POV

I awoke from my dream to a gentle shake of my shoulder and a soft kiss on the top of my head. I’ve had the same dream the last couple of nights. I opened my eyes to the man who was going to make it come true.

“Hi,” I smiled dreamily.

“Good dream?” Edward asked.

“Hmm, very good dream,” I replied softly.

“That’s good love but you need to wake up. You need to put your seatbelt back on. We’re about to land,” Edward told me softly. He tucked my hair back from my face as I straightened up from sleeping on his shoulder.

I yawned and arched my back to work out the kinks from sleeping sitting up. I heard Edward’s quiet laugh and turned to look at him. I felt my cheeks flush in embarrassment as I realized my yawn was a little loud.

“I’m sorry you’re so tired. I wasn’t expecting to need to go to this conference with Carlisle and I have some things that I need to do before I leave,” he offered.

I smiled in appreciation. “It’s okay, I understand. I can’t wait to see Alice and Jasper at the airport.” I grasped his arm and hugged it. “It feels like forever since I’ve seen them.”

“I know you missed everyone, love. We’ll be home very soon. I’m only sorry I have to turn around and leave you so quickly.”

“I’ll miss you. How long will you be gone?” I asked.

It was odd how different I felt about Edward since this trip. Before this week I would have jumped for joy at the thought of being free of Edward even for only a few days. Now I was actually going to miss him. I really liked being with him now.

“Just a few days. Carlisle said the conference was four days and it started yesterday so I should be home by Tuesday when you get home from school. Emmett and Jasper are going to take you to and from school while I’m gone.

I crushed the feeling that tried to come to the surface at his reminder that I still couldn’t go anywhere alone. I was confident that would change when he got back and we could talk about it.

“Will you have time for us to have lunch together before you leave?” I asked.

“If we make it a late lunch, then yes.” He lifted my chin up to give me a chaste kiss before tapping the tip of my nose. “But I want you to sleep when we get home first, understand?”

I sighed at his telling me what to do again, but nodded my agreement; he was just showing concern since I was tired. I guess it was okay, sleep did sound pretty good. I understood what a red eye flight was now. I could feel my eyes burning. After spending the last couple of days of our vacation, that’s what I deemed it now, packing and flying out of Phoenix at 5 am, I was just about dead to the world. It wouldn’t take much for me to crash.

I was finally resolved that I’d never set foot in my home again. That part of my life was over now. I decided it wasn’t worth the fight to try and convince Edward to keep my home. I was learning with Edward the necessity of picking my battles. I’d already won so many battles on this trip that affected my life more than a house would. I would learn to get over it.

“Edward?” I said stretching his name out. I glanced up at him beneath my lashes and smiled wistfully.

He glanced down at me as he put away his book in his laptop case. He studied my face briefly before giving me my crooked grin. He leaned in and captured my lips with his in a slow soft kiss. I moaned into his mouth as he pulled back. I opened my eyes to see the laughter dancing in his eyes at me.

“Let me guess,” he stated. “Would a nice back rub help you sleep when we get home,” he chuckled.

I blushed at being caught without even having to ask. I guess the tone of my voice was enough to let him know I wanted something from him. I’d have to remember this and try it again sometime. I grinned and nodded.

“Please? I know it would help me sleep,” I assured him.

He wrapped his arm around my shoulders and led my head to rest on his shoulder. “Of course love. You know I love giving you a back rub about as much as you love receiving one.”

I heard the sound of the landing gear being lowered and looked out the window to see the ground coming closer toward us. My heart sped up as I thought again about my dream. We were starting over in our relationship. Everything had changed for us. I couldn’t wait to begin my new life in Forks.

I closed my eyes briefly and remembered my dream again. I pictured the interior of our new home; the style and colors that I liked the most. I saw my home office where I wrote at night after coming home from work. I would teach high school English and write on the side. My college diploma would be hanging on the wall opposite my desk where I could see my accomplishment. Later we’d have a couple of children, a boy and a girl, after I was established. Edward and I in the kitchen cooking dinner together while the kids played or did their homework at the breakfast room table. We’d both be wearing “Kiss the Cook” aprons and stopping every once in while to do just that while our children laughed at us. After dinner, Edward would offer to clean the kitchen so I could write for a while until movie time. Then I’d hear small footsteps running down the stairs while calling to me to hurry. I’d go into the family room where my family was waiting for me with a big bowl of popcorn to watch a movie together. I’d snuggle into my loving husband’s arms with our children snuggled in on either side of us. Our home would be filled with love and laughter like my home growing up. It would be a perfect life now.

I didn’t realize I was smiling until Edward asked, “Care to share what’s made you so happy lately?”

I opened my eyes and grinned widely at him. I rose up and gave him a quick kiss. “Just remembering my dream.”

“What was it about?” he asked.

“Just us,” I answered vaguely.

The plane rolled to a stop and the captain came on over the speakers thanking us for flying. I squealed and clapped my hands. I probably looked so juvenile but I couldn’t help it. Alice was going to be waiting with Jasper and I couldn’t wait to tell her more about my trip. We’d talked for a little while the other day, but Edward was in the room so I didn’t go into detail.

We left the plane and saw Jasper standing next to a tall Alice. I laughed as the crowd parted and I could see Alice was standing on a chair looking over heads for us. I waived as she spotted me and screamed. She quickly jumped down and ran to me knocking the wind out of me in her rush. Edward walked over to shake hands with Jasper.

“Oh Bella, I’m so glad you’re home!” she squealed. She hugged me again tightly and grabbed my face with both hands. She pulled my face down to her level, her eyes darted back and forth looking for something in my expression. I clamped my hands over my ears as she screamed again piercing my ears with her sharp squeal.

“It’s happening! I knew it would. Jasper owes me $20. I told him I could feel things and I knew it would happen.” She kept chattering on.

“What happened?” I asked as she pulled me along with Jasper and Edward to get our bags from the carousal.

She didn’t answer me, just kept dancing and pulling me along. I finally planted my feet firmly on the ground. “Alice! What happened?” I asked more loudly.

She stopped and stared at me in astonishment. I didn’t know what she was carrying on about.

“You’re falling in love with him,” she explained. She spoke to me like it should be the most obvious thing in the world.

I continued walking blindly being pulled along by Alice behind Edward and Jasper. Everything around me blurred out of focus while I considered what her words meant. Did I love Edward? I knew I liked him now, but love?

I thought about our trip and all the things he had done for me. I thought back again to what I said to him in our hotel about why I stayed. I thought about how much he’s changed with me over the months since I met him. He no longer treated me like an object. I could express my feelings without fear now. Heck, I was walking through the airport with Alice in jeans and flip flops. I’d flown to Phoenix from this same airport just one week earlier in a scrap of a dress and heels shackled to Edward’s side by his arm around my waist. I’ve been dreaming of a married life with him so what did that mean? Ok, I was willing to admit to myself, I definitely liked him a lot, maybe I would even go so far as to say I really liked him a lot.

He was a monster when we met. Hell, we didn’t meet; he bought me off the internet really. His father emailed my picture to him and he said he wanted me. He abused me and treated me like some kind of personal toy for his pleasure all the while claiming to love me. How could I love a monster?

‘Because he isn’t a monster any longer. You changed him just like Esme said you would.’ I heard my conscience whisper.

But love? I shook my head at my internal question. No, I wasn’t ready to admit that feeling yet to anyone; not to Alice and certainly not to Edward. I wanted more time first. I wanted to be sure of myself and my feelings before I said them out loud. Once said there would be no taking them back. I still needed to learn to trust him completely so I could tell him about his father. I knew he wouldn’t hurt me again nor would he let anyone else hurt me, but Carlisle wasn’t just anyone. He was his father. I needed to trust him that he’d protect me against Carlisle. After that I would be ready to tell him that I loved him, not before.

I paused as I realized what I just said and turned to Alice in shock. I loved Edward. How did she know when I didn’t? My whole internal dialogue was a waste of time. I have been trying to talk myself out of admitting my feelings. It didn’t make sense to be in love with him already, but I knew in my heart of hearts I did love him. I loved the man he had become, the man he really was deep down. I was in love with Edward Cullen; my Edward Cullen.

She just gave me a smug smile and tapped her temple with her finger.

“I told you, I know things,” she shrugged.

I grabbed both her hands in mine and looked to be sure Edward wasn’t paying attention to us at the moment. He and Jasper were busy getting our bags off the carousal.

“Please Alice, don’t say anything. I’m not ready. I don’t want to tell him yet,” I begged.

Alice hugged me tightly and nodded. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said anything until we were alone. I know you’re not ready to admit to those feelings just yet. I was just so excited I couldn’t hold it in. I won’t say a word to Edward and don’t worry, Jasper won’t say anything either.” She grinned and winked at me then. “But I’m right aren’t I?”

I looked over to Edward who was coming back toward us. He and Jasper were carrying our bags. I smiled at him before turning back to Alice, my smile being all the answer she needed. “Yeah, it’s crazy I know. But yes, I do love him,” I admitted softly. “I’m just not ready to tell him yet. We’re just beginning to find each other.”

***

E POV

I shut the bedroom door. Bella was definitely out. She was so tired between packing and our early flight. I still hadn’t told her about my plans for the house. I decided to save it for a surprise later. I wanted to tell her when I proposed. I thought that would be the perfect time. I was surprised she didn’t protest or say anything when we were still in Phoenix.

Esme was working at the far end of her garden when we got home. I was secretly glad. I wanted Bella asleep while I talked to her. I wanted to talk to her alone, just one-on-one. I felt she deserved it. I didn’t want any interruptions nor did I want to admit to Bella how much more of a monster I was then she already knew. I went down to the kitchen and checked the coffeepot. It was set up for a fresh pot so I turned it on. She always had the pot ready to go at a moment’s notice. I knew this was my father’s rule. She was to anticipate his every need and be ready to serve immediately.

I smiled, my mouth watering at the smell of something cooking in the oven. It reminded me of my childhood. It had been years since that smell filled the air; 8 years to be exact. I knew what it was and it reminded me what a horrible son I was again. I took two mugs out of the cabinet and the cream from the refrigerator and put them on the table. I smiled at the sight of her bouquet sitting in the center of the table. She could enjoy her flowers now that my father was out of town. I noticed the card attached and read the message I’d asked to be written. “I love your pot roast. Your son, Edward.” I shook my head in disgust at myself again. I heard the door to the mudroom open and grabbed the coffee pot as my mother walked in.

“Hello Edward,” she said hesitantly.

I could tell she was nervous. Hell, she was probably as nervous as I was. I’d hurt her so badly that day, she would never assume anything from me. I cleared my throat to dislodge the lump that had developed in my throat. I gestured to a chair for her to sit, unable to speak yet. She tentatively sat down staring at me wide eyed as I brought the coffee pot over and poured both of us a cup of coffee. I set the pot down as I sat in the chair next to her.

“Cream?” I asked.

“Thank you,” she whispered, her voice cracking.

I poured cream in both cups and stirred her cup before sliding it over to her. My hand shook as I brought my cup to my lips. I saw her take a sip of her coffee from the corner of my eye. When I turned to her I saw the tears filling in her eyes. They began to spill over when she turned toward me.

“Thank you for the coffee Edward,” she said softly. She cleared her throat. “It was very sweet of you to do this.”

The tears continued to pour from her eyes. I knew no one in my family had ever taken the time to serve her. To do something as simple as pour her a cup of coffee was unheard of. Well maybe Jasper and Emmett did this now for her in secret, but I had never once offered the courtesy to her.

“The pot roast smells really good. Is it for lunch?” I asked hesitantly.

“Yes. I hope you don’t mind. I thought you might like it before you have to fly out this afternoon.” She answered. I could hear the trepidation in her answer.

I still wasn’t sure how to apologize to her so I was making small talk, skirting the main issue. I closed my eyes and pictured the day that destroyed my relationship with my mother; the pot roast being the catalyst that earned my father’s praise. It was the day he let her out of the basement. My brothers and I had told her we didn’t forgive her for destroying Charlie’s family.

“I don’t forgive you. You’re a horrible mother. You destroyed a family and I’m ashamed to call you my mother. You’ll never be my mother again. You’re just Esme from now on,” I said, staring down at my mother on her knees in front of me.

My father was standing to the side observing. Emmett and Jasper had already said these things to her and walked out of the room leaving me to state the things my father forced me to say to her.

I didn’t feel this way. I loved my mother. If she destroyed Charlie’s family then she must have had a good reason. I knew Charlie and his family. Charlie was just like my father. Renee was quiet and subdued just like my mother in their presence. James was a little punk that was always trying to act tough by picking on his little sister. When our families spent time together, James would show us how he bosses her around and punished her if she didn’t obey.

“Very good Edward,” my father said. “Now you need to get your homework done and don’t forget your challenge for the evening. Make me proud.”

“Esme you may start dinner now.” He told her as I left the room.

I hesitated on the stairs as I saw him yank her to her feet and shove her out of the living room. Her pained eyes looked up at me as she walked past in silence. I was shocked at just how truly fragile she looked in that moment.

“Edward, your room, now!” my father barked.

I turned and ran to my room staying there until it was time for dinner. I finished my homework and worked on my challenge. I was determined to win. I hated losing to my brothers. It was worse if I lost to Demetri. I always lost. My heart wasn’t in it. I didn’t like my father’s challenges, they always made me uncomfortable. They were wrong somehow. My mother always taught me to respect women and my father’s challenges didn’t seem to do that.

I tore up another piece of paper in frustration. Even I knew washing my underwear by hand wasn’t enough to win. That idea went on the floor along with every other lame-ass idea I’d come up with. I glanced at the clock and realized it was time for dinner. I got up and stomped downstairs to the dining room in frustration. Everyone else was already seated waiting on me. As I sat down, Jasper and Emmett started in.

“So what stupid shit idea did you come up with Edward? Spit-polish your shoes? Clean under your bed?” Jasper laughed.

“Nah, you know he’s not that creative. He probably put down clean out his sock drawer or organize his music,” Emmett chimed in.

“Now boys, give your little brother a chance,” my father said condescendingly. “I know Edward doesn’t give you much of a challenge, but I’m sure he’s come up with something better than that. Haven’t you Edward?” he turned to me.

“Yeah,” I mumbled. I knew I was going to lose and they were already rubbing it in.

“Uncle Marcus is emailing Demetri’s idea to me after dinner. We’ll have to see what he came up with. He’s always a tough one to beat,” he reminded me.

I felt my anger rise as my father and brothers continued to laugh at me. I would win this challenge even if it killed me.

My mother walked in carrying a serving platter which she laid on the table next to my father. It was pot roast with carrots and potatoes, my personal favorite. She also set out steamed green beans with pearl onions; Emmett’s favorite and fried corn with bacon; Jasper’s favorite. My mother smiled at me in silent communication. I knew she was saying she didn’t blame us for our words earlier.

My father carved the roast while Emmett and Jasper continued to make fun of me.

“Shut. Up,” I said slowly. I was trying to control my anger at the table. My mother always told me that anger had no place at the dinner table.

“What’s the matter?” Emmett snickered. “Little Eddie can’t take a joke? Do you need Esme to powder your ass?”

I noticed he didn’t have any trouble slipping into his new form of address for our mother. Everything was always so easy for him. It wasn’t fair.

I stared down at the roast on my plate and felt my anger boil over. How dare she be nice to me after what I said to her? It was her fault I couldn’t earn my father’s love. She was holding me back. Her ideals, her love are why my father thought I was a weakling, why I was a disappointment to him. She did this to me!

“Shut the hell up Emmett!” I yelled, standing so quickly I knocked over my chair. Everyone looked at me in shock except my father. He just sat back and observed; a smug smile of satisfaction on his face.

I grabbed my plate and marched around to my mother’s- No, Esme’s place at the table. I dumped my plate in her lap to her shock. Then I grabbed the serving platter and threw it on the floor along with the rest of our dinner.

“I hate your pot roast! You disgust me! Your food disgusts me! Your very presence disgusts me! I don’t ever want to see a pot roast on the table again as long as I live!” I snarled at her. “You’re nothing to me any longer!”

I couldn’t stop the word vomit that flowed out of me born of my anger and frustration at my father and brothers. She’d done nothing to warrant my attack, but I blamed her for all my sins. It was so much easier as a fourteen year-old to place blame on my innocent mother than to stand up against the monster my father was. I saw the real pain in my mother’s eyes as she stared up at me from her seat, my dinner covering her blouse and lap. Tears were flowing down her face at me and I saw her chin quivering, but I didn’t let it effect me. I pulled her by her arm out of the chair and shoved her to the floor same as my father had earlier.

“Clean this slop up and make me something decent to eat if you’re capable.”

I ground my foot into the roast and stormed out of the room and ran up the stairs. I ran to my bathroom and immediately vomited into the toilet. I flushed the toilet and brushed my teeth with shaky hands. I propped my hands against the counter and stared at the stranger’s face in the mirror. I was shaking so hard from the torrent of emotions I was feeling, shock being the biggest one. I couldn’t believe I just dumped our dinner on the floor and on my mother. I couldn’t believe my father let me do those things.

I turned off the light and entered my bedroom as my father came into the room. I guess I was going to get my ass handed to me now.

“Dad-“ I began. I didn’t know how to apologize to him for my behavior.

“Edward,” he interrupted. He sat at my desk and pulled out his wallet. “I honestly didn’t think you had it in you son. I’m proud of you. I must say I’m not happy about waiting on dinner for another hour, but you earned the reward tonight, hands down. I don’t even need to see what your brothers or cousin came up with. Nothing could top your demonstration in there tonight. I expect to see great things coming from you from now on.”

I stood there stunned that I wasn’t being punished. I was being rewarded for my temper tantrum. There were no other words to describe what I did. I threw a fit in anger and lashed out against the one person who had only ever shown me unconditional love.

I held out my hand to take his reward. I counted out $500. I looked in wonder at the money in my hand and then up to my father’s face. He was looking at me with pride. Pride I had never seen directed at me. I resolved in that moment to always make him proud of me, no matter what it took.

“Don’t you worry, Dad,” I assured him. “You’ll only see a son you can be proud of from here on out. I promise.”

He ruffled my hair affectionately. “I’m sure I will,” he said. “Dinner should be ready in an hour.”

He left my room and I yelled out. “Hey Dad? Tell Esme, I want spaghetti for dinner.”

I heard him laugh as he headed down the stairs.

I became my father’s monster that night and never looked back until Bella came into my life. I was going to have my mother back thanks to her. My love for Bella was turning me back into the man my mother could be proud of.

I opened my eyes to see my mother still silently crying. She was staring at her flowers in front of us.

“Thank-“ she croaked. She cleared her throat to start again. “Thank you for the beautiful flowers. I love them,” she paused then turned toward me. I saw love and acceptance in her eyes for me. “I love you, Edward.”

I swallowed the lump in my throat. “Mom, I’m so very sorry for the way I’ve behaved.”

She opened her mouth to interrupt me. I held my hand up to stop her.

“Please Mom. I need to be able to say this to you.”

She whimpered, her breath caught at hearing me address her in a way I haven’t done in eight long years. She nodded and took a deep steadying breath.

“I don’t deserve your love for the way I’ve treated you. I’m sorry for dumping my food in your lap and on the floor. That was so very wrong of me. I never stopped to realize that the love I received from you was pure and the love I needed all these years. I let my insecurities about myself allow Carlisle to overrule everything you ever taught me. You taught me love and respect for myself and for others. I destroyed your trust and faith in me in one moment of weakness and have allowed it to rule my life ever since. I love Bella and I want to be a better man for her. I want her love and I want her to never fear me again. I’ve made promises to her while we were in Phoenix that I intend to uphold. I want to make a promise to you also.” I turned in my chair to hold her hands which were shaking. Her sobs becoming louder at my words. “I promise never to be less than a son you can be proud of. I promise never to take you for granted or make you question my love and respect for everything you’ve done for me over the years. I want to make your life easier in any way I can. I love you Mom.” I finished in a whisper. “I’ve missed having you in my life. Will you be my mom again?”

“Oh Edward,” she cried and pulled me into an embrace that would rival Emmett. “I’ve always loved you. I never stopped. A mother never gives up on her children or stops loving them. I’ve always been here for you and always will be. I love you so very much. Please know that I forgave you that very moment. I knew the frustrations you felt as a boy. I knew you craved your father’s attention and I understood what was going on. I know that wasn’t you. That was all him, it’s always been him inside of you, keeping you buried beneath the twisted truths he taught you. I knew you would come back to me when you found your own true love. Bella has the power to heal you and I’m so proud of you for allowing yourself to feel that love. That type of unconditional love is why I’ve survived all these years. Because I love my children unconditionally and I knew you would need me again one day.”

74 comments:

  1. That was PURE greatness. My goodness. I am a sobbing mess right now. What a wonderful chapter. So many emotions.

    Of course I love the Edward/Esme moment, but I really love Bella's thoughts. I have so had those thoughts before. "Why is HE telling me when to go to bed?" It just pisses me off at the time, but then I think, he just cares about me...

    That shows the growth on both of their parts. She is learning that a relationship is about submitting SOME of the time...on both parts. I love it.

    Great Job..You are so fabulous. Thanks

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  2. That was really sweet. Unfortunately C has to come back sometime.....unless he gets run over by a bus at the conference.

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  3. i have only two things to say poor esme, and a mothers loves is truly unnconditional

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  4. a mother's love is unconditional and this demonstrates it beautifully. So very good.

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  5. Yay! Thank you for the new chapter. It was beautiful. :) Got that cake done yet? ;)

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  6. I have honestly never cried this much at fic before, but I am a blubbering mess right now. I can not even begin to explain what this chapter did to me, meant to me. To see Edward like that, bothe past and present, his memory of what he did and how he felt....and Esme...oh wow. She is a very strong woman. Truthfully, I think she, besides Bella, is the strongest character in this story. And to me Carlisle is weak...to act like that, to subject your children to that...
    Beautiful.

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  7. I am a wreck of tears... it was wonderful!

    what Edwrad did was a nightmare, but the apology was true and it was an amazingly emotional chapter and I just loved it!Great work!

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  8. awww that was really cute i've been waiting like forever for this. i'm so happy to see that carlisle's edward is dying and bella and esme's edward is resurfacing =) keep up the great work BB! can't wait for the next chappie!

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  9. I love to see Edward finally become the man that Esme tried to raise inspite of Carlisle and his evil. I can't help but wonder tho how Edward is going to react/act when Carlisle is back in the picture. Very good job with the chapter, you showed Bella's growth as well as Edwards wonderfully. Can't wait for the next one.

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  10. this chapter was absolutely inspiring and wonderful!!! i definitely teared up at the end of edwards speach when he asked for esme to be his mom again

    wow... and that memory.... yikes, i couldn't imagine going through that

    i loved the part in the airplane and the airport... im so proud of edward and i loved that alice and bella were so excited to see each other....

    and i loved how bella realized she loves him... the quote about how could she ever love a monster... LOVED it...

    cant wait for more!!!

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  11. Awww. Great chapter. I'm definitely happy Bella is starting to find the positive in this new life, and I love that she's starting to truly feel for Edward. I am also so glad that Edward reconnected with his mom; it was truly heartfelt. I just hope that the time at the conference with Carlisle doesn't result in some glimpses of Carlisle's Edward

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  12. Amazing! This is the best chapter!I'm loving this new Edward and I can't wait for the next chapters. Thank you for creating this wonderfull story!

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  13. amazing chap....loved the new edwaard.... but i hope he stays dis way once carlisle comes baq into the pic

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  14. So good...

    It was just an amazing chapter, full stop. I really hope that the Cullen family can begin to repair themselves without Carlisle screwing everything up!!!

    Also, I hope to Rosalie and Emmett again in upcoming chapters, the scene at the BBQ has always stuck in my mind...

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  15. Oh my god... what a great chapter. I love that Bella is finally realizing that she does love Edward, and I can understand that she needs time and reasurrance before she tells him. I know you have said that there were about 10 chapters left... that was about 3 chapters ago... I hope that is still right, this story could continue on and on... what a great story, from the horrible stuff that Bella went through to coming out on the other side and finding love... I only hope that Carlise doesn't try to get to her, before she confides in Edward... I know that Carlisle will be pissed as he sees the changes... with Edwards anger issues.. I could see him snapping and killing Carlisle if he walked in on Carlisle trying to ass rape Bella...NO ONE will ever hurt Bella and if given the chance... Carlisle definitely would...

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  16. WOW, That was an amazing chapter! From how Bella was dressed, to her feelings, to what was revealed to Esme by Edward. Now what would make a great follow-up would be that Edward and Carlisle take different flights home and Carlisle's blows up! please???!!!

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  17. I love Bella's Edward, the real Edward. :)

    That was so harsh what he had done to Esme when he was younger all because of Carlisle. No matter how unconditionally Esme loves her sons, it is still a lot to make up for on Edward's part.

    It will be nice for them to be away from Carlisle for awhile. It gives them a chance for them to be actual people. It sucks that Edward has to go to the conference and I really hope he doesn't let Carlisle influence him to do anything... Maybe Edward could miss his flight or something and not go to the conference...

    Bella should take this time that she has Edward without Carlisle around to talk to Edward about her fear of Carlisle and all her other fears.

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  18. LOVE IT AND CAN'T WAIT FOR MORE!!!!!!!!!!

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  19. Omg I'm sobbing rght now! I loved it !

    This is one of many fav chapt of this ff

    I'm

    Soooo

    loving

    It

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  20. Oh My God! This chapter is so good! I just can't wait for next, I want it so much!
    You're awesome writer, I love The Perfect Wife with all my heart!
    I'm just waiting when I will can find that story with title "The Perfect Wife" in many bookshops in the world. Especially in UK, USA, Spain, Italia, France, Poland and other... ;)
    Let me know about next chapter - write to me on: nathalie.ross@wp.pl - I'm your polish fan if you'd wanna know ;)
    Really, write more, give them more happiness, less sadness and pain, and GO ON!
    Wish you luck ;)
    Nathalie Ross

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  21. WOW!!!!!!!!
    Thanks for the best birthday present ever. I was so excited when I opened my email box and saw your notice this morning. I turn 40 today and enjoyed reading this chapter while drinking my coffee this morning. Thanks for the present.

    This chapter is awesome. Bella sure does have a different view of the "perfect" future than Edward does. This goes to prove that they both still have a lot of changing to do. But they will make it.

    Do they both realize that they are going to have to pretend when Carlisle is around just like Jasper/Alice and Emmett/Rose does?

    Loved the scene between Edward and Esme. My mouth fell wide open when I read what Edward did to Esme when he was younger. I can not imagine having one of my children do that to me. SHOCK!!!! I now understand why he feels soooooooo bad. But a mother's love is unconditional. Esme and Edward will get their relationship back.

    Love this story.
    You are doing an AWESOME GREAT EXCELLENT JOB!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I am trying to think of what could happen next but this story could go in sooooo many different directions. Can't wait to see where you are taking it.

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  22. omgosh.
    made me sob
    heaps
    and heaps
    loved it dearly!!

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  23. Awww, I loved that so much!! Definitely a tear-jerker! And gosh, I am so glad Esme and Edward finally had that talk!:)

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  24. That was a beautiful chapter.

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  25. I absolutely LOVED this chapter. I love the closeness that is developing between Edward and Bella. I love the slow turn of fate you've been interweaving. I loved the mother son moments you put into this story. I love how anyone can be redeemed in your story!

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  26. God bless Esme, that woman has been through so much. So happy to see Edward make amends. Plus, Bella and her revelation about Edward - squeeeee!!!! A little nervous they will be around Carlisle again, and also that Bella has these big dreams about her future now and twice in the chapter Edward did something that made her cringe a bit. Also, her waiting until after she tells Edward about Carlisle to say ILY... makes me wonder what is coming. I really hope Edward doesn't regress, but I don't think Carlisle is going to let him go without a fight. This story is so addictive - coffee and TPW, that's all I need! =0)

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  27. That was beautiful,I cried! I can see where Esme is coming from I'm the mother of 7 and sometimes you will sacrafice your happiness for your kids. I love this chapter

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  28. thanks for making me cry a bunch! :( I seriously lost it in EPOV. I'm glad Bella has found herself trusting and now falling in love with Edward. I'm very interested to see what happens after the conference. Carlisle is gonna get a taste of reality...the only thing i fear is him ruining what confidence Bella has by trying to harm her again. I'm so happy that Edward told her that, and I really couldn't stomach what he remembered saying to her back all those years ago :(

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  29. Wow, this chapter left a lump in my throat. I'm glad that Bella realize she loves Edward but is still holding herself back. I'm happy Edward finally apoligize to Esme. I can't wait till Edward faces Carlisle, I hope its the same anger he had when he broke Esme heart if not worse

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  30. Thank you for letting us know what happened for Edward to win the bet all those years ago. Strange as it sounds, I think I understand how Carlisle felt it was the "bet winner," because he knew that this reaction would hurt her worse than any physical task they could force her to perform.

    Edward's apology was so beautiful that it almost made me cry. I just hope that he is really strong enough to stand up to Carlisle. They really need to come up with a strategy for Edward and Bella, since they need to live in the same house as the bastard.

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  31. Hello.


    first of, i am so happy that i have found this story again! and i have Carolyn over at freedomfanfiction.com thank for that. and i am actually surprsied that u said no to her when she asked u to join. but i do understan some fears u might have after what happened at ffdotnet.


    i even didnt have any chance to comment on ff dot net...i could only leave one and then perfect wife was gone.


    but that is all in the past.


    i have enjoyed this story from the very beggining when i got the link to it over at freedom. it just carries so much pover and love and fear and love.

    i have allways know that it takes a WOMAN to change a man and i am happy to see that Bella is that woman for Edward.

    but they still have so much to concur. first and foremost Carlile. i am scared of him... and his ways...thats just WRONG in every way possible!


    i love how Edward is fiding the right path again and trying to fix things. that really gives hope... and i admire Bella. shes becoming braver and braver.

    i had tears in my eyes when Edward had his flash back and i was crying by the part when he apologised to Esme.

    it must be one hell of a good writing when i get so emotional...


    and i must forgive for every grammar error. my native language isnt english and i have never taken any lessons... sorry

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  32. i thought that was very mean how Edward behaved to Esme at the begining but i suppose he made it up to her later on

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  33. You are such an amazing writer, I truly enjoy reading your work.That being said great chapter:)

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  34. THANK YOU!!!!

    Thank you so much for the update. I love the new chapter...Edward really is becoming the man a woman can love. And his apology to Esme was so heartfelt & beautiful. Thank you again for the update.

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  35. I was very happy to read the reconciliation with Edward and Esme. I'm scared for both her and Bella when Big C comes back and realizes what's been going on...
    Thanks for the update!

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  36. That was one of the best chapters so far! It is good to see even more changes from Edward. My only concern now is carlile, I just hope he doesn't screw everything up for them!

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  37. Wow! That's all I can say through my tears. I never realized how badly Edward treated Esme, but I am glad he apologized to her finally and she accepted. I am still a little nervous about Carlisle. I have a feeling something will happen soon and it's not going to be good. This is a great story and I can't wait to see where you take it from here.

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  38. very nice chapter
    hope next one will come soon...

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  39. Awww...he loves his mom! What a good son. I can't wait until Bella tells him about Carlisle. I am nervous that something will go wrong while he is away and he will revert back to Bad Edward. Don't keep us waiting too long if possible! LOL I get so excited checking for your updates...I squeal every time and my hubby laughs! April

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  40. As usual, an awesome chap. I love the way your Edward is maturing.

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  41. That was a really beautiful chapter, Esme is a strong caracter to pull up with all the humiliations not only from her husband even her childrens!! but her love was so big that she wait, she knew they will come around.
    Thanks really awesome chapter

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  42. My god! That apology was so sad and beautiful all in one. I'm glad that Edward has dared to step this far out of Carlisle's world to try and salvage his relationship with his mom. The apology itself brought tears to my eyes. His father is a fuckin' bastard to award a child for displaying such a disgusting attitude towards his own mother. What a Prick!! And if Carlisle can be happy about that, what'll happen when he goes after Bella?! Cannot wait to see how that'll turn out. Because as she stated she's waiting just a little more before confessing her love for Edward and I see if his is warming enough to believe her if the inevitable should occur(as in Carlisle gets his way) and no one is there to defend her at the time. There is we'll see how much he does love her. For that'll be a real test, him standing up against his father..
    Update when can....

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  43. Esme needs to be sainted. I'm in tears.

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  44. This is probably the greates gift Edward could make to Esme, asking her to be his mom again, implying that he wants to be her son again, as well.

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  45. Crying my eyes out, that was a great chapter...

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  46. Wow I had to keep reminding myself not to cry less my family think I have gone completely crazy and think that... I don't know somebody died or something. This chapter was beautiful. I was so happy for Edward and Esme. They needed this so much. It was so sweet to see them together after so long. Bella needs to tell Edward about Carlisle though. I am a bit concerned about how he will handle it, but I think if he thinks about it he will realize the potential for something like this to happen has always been there. He will hopefully understand. I can't wait till I can read your next chapter!!!
    ~Jessi Cullen

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  47. I love that Bella admits she's in love with Edward.
    Of course moment Edward/Esme was wonderful., incredible, prefect. I cant stop crying... so mucj loved expressed. i just dont hav words for this chapter.
    Hope Carlisle get what he reall deserves, cos at this right moment i want to kill him with my own hands, seriously.

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  48. I have tears in my eyes.... there are just no more words to tell you Mic that I lvoe you and this story hard!

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  49. Edward saving her house for when he proposed. *MUAH*
    Edward apologizing to Esme the way he did = total win. I cried... *sigh*

    I am still afraid of Carlisle. I am almost afraid to see what happens. Hopefully his sons can stand against him and protect all the women.

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  50. I just found this again after it was pulled from ff so long ago!!!! I HAVE MISSED THIS STORY SO MUCH!!!! I love all the progress that has been made and can't wait for the next update!!!

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  51. Best chapter yet. Between Bella's realization that she loves Edward, to Edward's apology to his mother... I really need to invest in a tear-proof keyboard when I'm reading this fic!

    You have really hit the nail on the head in regards to unconditional love. Bravo.

    I just keep cringing, waiting for Carlisle's next appearance...

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  52. I found this story through your profile on FanFiction.net. I can't believe they took down such a fantastic story, but that is beside the point. I've just spent an entire week without sleep reading this story and I can't believe I've run out of chapters now. You should be a published writer. I can't believe you aren't. This is one of the most amazing things I've ever read and I am literally pacing the floor waiting to read more. Your hard work is admired so, please, update soon for all of your fans out here!

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  53. It took me a week to read and post!!! So sorry, but here it is, one of the most important chapters and one of the best, yet. Edward was finally able to speak with his heart to really express his feelings to the person who has loved and believed in him since the first day. A mother's love equals no other, sadly Carlisle tried and almost achieved making his sons believe that that love isn't important. For him, tradition, pride, obedience are what matter. Emmett and Jasper returned sooner than Edward, they were older and probably that helped them "truly see" before Edward did.
    As for Bella and her dream, that is a big thing to dream about, so many things that can be, some will be easier than others, but she has faith in Edward and herself that's half of the road traveled.
    Alice knows things, yes, and had seen Bella and Edward happy before anyone else. She did tell Bella a bit too soon, but her excitement just was unstoppable, and Jasper doesn't mind that.
    As good as things are and as nice as their lives will be while Carlisle is away, he is coming back. How will they all, especially Edward behave once the routine is back?
    One thing is going through my mind. Bella's condition for telling Edward about her love. She says she wants to tell him about Carlisle and she wants him to stand up for her, how would that play out?

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  54. Ugh, I never want Carlisle to come back... Edward is doing so well and I can't stand for something to go wrong. But then again, I guess that's why I am so addicted to this story.

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  56. Great chapter :) I cried because it was so good.

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  57. Is it possible for Carlisle to, oh I don't know, be massacured by a pack of hungry wolves while he's away? =]

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  58. It's such an interesting thing to see the constrasting dreams they both have for the future. They both have lots to still work on and through, and even though it is getting better it is still opposite ends of the spectrum. I honestly don't think Bella's dream will come true the way that she wants. I still dont' see her going to college and that is sad because it means that Edward is still thinking backwards even with the breakthroughs he has had. Also I still want to know what Esme is hiding in her garden and the sex of Emmett and Rosalie's baby!

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  59. Great story please update soon i am dying to find out what happens when carlisle returns.

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  60. This is an amazing chapter! What a turn around for Edward! Imagine how much more power the family has now that they are united in love. If that could only extend to Carlisle. I am, however, afraid that the conference is a ruse by Carlisle to have alone time with Bella to carry out his rape threat.

    I am so glad I finally found your blog to continue where I left off in this story. Hope all is well with you.

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  61. love love love this story. by far my favorite.

    cant wait for more!

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  62. so good!! wonderful, keep up the good work. please update ASAP. :D your killing me here with the wait between chapters! its my first time readin the story, hurry hurry hurry, please! *not trying to be an over-reactive, complaining, sarcastic jerk*

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  63. Their dreams reflect the same wants, but from different aspects. It was delightful to read and compare.

    Oh and the portion with Edward and his Mum, heartwrenching!!

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  64. I realize now that it's the women in this story with all the control. The power to forgive and help those they love.

    Thanks for sharing your talent~

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  65. Outstanding story. It's taken me two days to read the whole thing. I'm kind of glad I waited because now I can wait for the next chapter with some hope for Bella & Edward. If it had been earlier I think I might have been a bit traumatised! I have an awful feeling about Carlisle though. I think he's going to find out what's going on and blame Esme for his Sons turning 'soft'. I just pray that 'someone' stops him from punishing her

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  66. OMRn that was a very emotionnal chapter, very well writing. There is so hope in that relationship now. I hope they could all together stop Carlisle's bad behaviour, before he would do something very bad to Esme or Bella.

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  67. I hope they all find some way to just take off and take Esme and everyone with them, get away from Carlisle as soon as they can. I agree with everyone on the fact that this is one of the most emotional, and best written stories I have had the pleasure of reading! I keep coming back to check for updates, and every time there is one, I get so excited, and I read it so fast that I'm left wishing I hadn't so I could enjoy it that much longer.

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  68. Simply amazing :') Aaah, I love this story, so freakin' glad it was updated!

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  69. Edward and Bella definitely have different ideas of their ideal family life...I hope Edward doesn't screw that up by refusing to let her go to college!

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  70. Wow, that was amazing. It was so painful to read what Edward did. Having had 14 year old boys, the tantrum was familiar. How sad that Carlisle encouraged that type of behavior.

    I really appreciated knowing what Bella's dream life would be. This will be a sticking point for them. I only hope they can learn to compromise. Right now they seem to be all or nothing.

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  71. What a horrible thing Edward did to Esme. And for her to forgive him so easily is such a beautiful thing.

    I'm really excited for Edward. He seems to be getting his act together. Until Carlisle returns home that is...

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  72. I am so glad that Edward is realizing his true self. Not the Carlisle created one. The one that was a true and loving son to his mother. It was so good to see him apologize and Esme... yes once a mother always a mother. You love your children no matter what, even if it kills you! Sigh! I hope that Edward can stand up to his father and I hope this will not cause repercussions for Esme or Bella. Ah Bella has realized she loves Edward...her Edward. I am still worried about Carlisle. Bella still hasn't told Edward. ~~~ Thank you for writing

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  73. I loved this chapter. Wow, that was a terrible thing Carlisle made the boys do. I'm so happy Edward's making amends to his mother. Loved it:)

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