Song I listened to for this chapter: Gotta Be Somebody by Nickelback
Peter wakes up to Bella sleeping in his arms and smiles. That was the best night of sleep he has had in a long time. He can easily see this being how they wake up every morning, but he is aware that he needs to take it easy with Bella. Though he wouldn’t mind her in his bed…
As Peter watches, Bella smiles softly in her sleep. He is amazed again by her beauty and the fact that she wants to be with him. He knows he is good looking, but she cares about him, not because of that, but because of who he is on the inside. That so rarely happens now in this day and age.
Peter thinks for a second and as much as wants to stay there, there’s some stuff that needs to be done. He looks at Bella, then decides that it isn’t as important as she is. In his head, he starts making plans to make her breakfast. He kisses her softly and murmurs, “I’ll be back, luv.” Carefully, gets out of bed and after making a stop in his room for a quick shower and change of clothes, he makes his way downstairs to his kitchen.
Bella slowly wakes up. She has a vague memory of Peter telling her he will be back. But then she smells the heavenly scent of coffee and bacon and her stomach is telling her she has to get up. She opens her eyes and looks around, feeling a little bewildered. She realizes that Peter must have brought her here last night, since the last thing she clearly remembers is being in the casual family room curled up with him. She vaguely remembers asking him to stay with her and him agreeing.
Bella stretches her hand out to feel the empty spot beside her. There is some residual, very faint warmth and she smiles, realizing he did sleep with her last night and it wasn’t a dream. She sits up and looks out the windows facing the bed, the hills just beginning to color with the cloak of fall. The green of summer is still predominant, but fall is definitely in the air. She loves fall and especially loves winter here in Pennsylvania.
Fall, with the trees changing colors and all the apple festivals. Winter is great to curl up on the sofa or a comfy chair with a fire and watch the snow fall softly. It is especially beautiful at night when all the snow muffles the sounds. It is a peaceful, quiet time.
She looks around curiously seeing that the room is done in light browns and a light moss green that extends the earthy tones of the downstairs motif into here, but this is restful. It reminds her of being in a forest.
Bella sighs in contentment. She appreciates the quiet beauty of the room and its view until her stomach decides it really is starving – why won’t she get up to find the food she smells? She laughs at herself and wonders why she feels so carefree and light.
She sees a door partially open. Getting out of bed and feeling curious, she walks over to it and sees it’s a full bathroom. She smiles, enters and washes her face. When she turns around she sees a fluffy robe hanging on a knob. Her smile gets wider as she put it on, there being a slight nip in the air. She likes to be cozy and warm in the morning, especially this morning.
Exiting the bathroom, she finds another door in the bedroom. Thinking it is either a closet or the way out, she opens it. It led out of the room and as she exits, she sees that there is another room a little bit down the hall. Looking the other direction, she spots the stairs leading downstairs and promises herself that she will explore later.
Bella pads down the stairs and follows her nose to the kitchen. She walks in and stops, leaning against the arch while watching Peter make breakfast. He is wearing some black casual pants and a dark grey t-shirt and is standing barefoot, with his hair slightly damp and curling on his forehead and neck. He is watching the pancakes in front of him intently.
Bella feels that free fall in her stomach again and smiles. She can’t take anymore of just watching him, so she straightens up and walks into the kitchen. Feeling daring this morning, Bella walks up to him and slides her arms around his waist, hugging him from behind.
Without missing a beat, Peter turns his head, kisses her forehead and tells her, “Mornin’ luv. We need to be quiet since my girlfriend is upstairs asleep.”
Bella laughs and replies, “Well, I guess I should mention that said girlfriend is awake, very hungry and on her way. I guess I better get out of here before she makes her way downstairs and find us.”
She goes to pull away and Peter turns in her arms, wrapping Bella into a hug and pulling her tightly to him. Bella relaxes in his arms and hears him murmur, “Hmm, let me deal with it luv, methinks I found a better girlfriend right here in me arms.” Bella grins up at him.
Peter looks down at his girl’s face and can’t resist having a quick kiss. He does so, then kisses her on her forehead before turning to check on the pancakes and flipping them.
He comments to her, “Please grab yourself a cuppa coffee or tea, I was not sure what you liked so I made both. The tea is me own blend.”
Bella prefers tea mostly, but college had taught her that coffee is a necessity for late nights and early mornings. Plus, while she really loves the smell of coffee in general, she drowns hers in cream, flavors and sugars in order to reduce the bitterness. So, she is intrigued enough to try Peter’s tea. She pours herself a cup, sees a jar of honey set out and smiles. She puts a large dollop in her tea and sits down at the bar as she watches Peter, drinking the tea, which is actually quite good. It reminds her of fall mornings.
Peter finishes the pancakes, puts them on a plate and brings everything to the bar. He smiles, seeing her drinking the tea, and refills her cup along with his. Then, he sits down to eat with her.
Bella takes a bite of the pancakes and tells Peter, “Well, if you ever need a day job, you could make it as a cook.” She grins at him as she eats what could easily be the best breakfast she has ever had.
Peter grins back at her, “Well, you never know when I may need another line of work. Plus, I need to show my skills to you to entice you not to need that harem, you know.”
Bella laughs. She loves how he can joke with her.
They spend the rest of breakfast teasing each other and she helps clean up afterwards despite his protests. She finds however, that if she kisses him each time he tries to protest, it distracts them for a little bit. It also makes cleaning up longer since she suspects that he is protesting excessively just for the attention, but she enjoys the kisses as much as he does.
When they are done, Peter grabs her, pulls her to him and gives her a serious kiss, reminding her of last night. She melts in his arms and returns it eagerly.
When they break the kiss, Peter holds her close and then tells her softly, “Go ahead and take a shower luv, I need to take care of a few things. Then I will be at your disposal for the rest of the day. Just come and find me in the den after you are done.”
Peter then leads her to the door of the den, kisses her briefly and lets her go, watching as she climbs the stairs. He grins and then opens the door. Leaving it open, Peter he makes his way to his desk, wanting to hurry and finish with his work so he can spend the day with Bella.
Bella finds herself smiling as she walks up the stairs. She doesn’t know what this feeling is, but she is thoroughly enjoying it.
She walks in to take a shower and almost moans when she sees there are no less than five jets in the shower, five! She takes a longer shower than normal, luxuriating in the feeling of being massaged by the water. When she decides enough for today, she gets out, dries her hair. She goes out and frowns, seeing the small amount of clothes that Alice had brought. ‘No help for it.’ Bella finds one of her favorite outfits, changes into her comfy jeans and a light navy sweater, happy to not be wearing scrubs or that detested hospital gown. She is very glad the clothes are there, considering what she has been told. She gives herself a look in the mirror, smiles at her happy expression and makes her way back to Peter.
Peter is sitting in his office trying to control his temper while staring at the bouquet of flowers. He is trying to figure out who sent them, how they’d figured out where Bella was. Suddenly, Bella walks in and gasps, saying, “Peter! You didn’t need to buy me flowers today also!”
Peter turns to her and says shortly, “I didn’t, Bella.”
Bella frowns and walks up to see who sent her flowers. The only people who know she is there was Emmett, Rose and Alice. Bella can’t see any of them sending her flowers, much less a bouquet like this. Looking at them makes her realize they aren’t like the ones Peter had been bringing her, they actually remind her of… Bella pales and before Peter can say anything, she grabs the card.
“Bella, sorry to hear you were in the Hospital. By the way, who is your friend?”
Bella realizes they’re from James. Somehow, he is still keeping tabs on her. She slides to the ground, completely boneless. She has hoped and prayed for that chapter of her life to be over, and now this happens.
Peter is angry that someone could have found her so quickly. He is also puzzled on the message and its meaning. It is obvious that whoever sent it wanted him to read it since it was not in an envelope. But watching Bella’s reaction tells him the bouquet is unwelcome and he is at her side quickly.
“Bella?” She feels Peter’s arms slide around her, pick her up effortlessly, taking her around his desk. She barely registers him seating himself on his chair, holding her to him.
Peter tries again, “Bella. Tell me what you are thinking, please, luv.” He holds her and rubs his hand over her back while waiting for her to answer him.
Bella shakes, then looks up at Peter and tells him softly, “It’s James. We dated for about a year. I broke up with him after I found out about his lies and after, well- lets just say he didn’t take it nicely. I thought it was all over.” She waves her hand at the flowers, “But obviously it isn’t. Peter, James is not nice and-”
Peter holds her close and interrupts her, “I told you that we will face any troubles together. That does not mean that when the first one appears that I run. You be mine and I protect what is mine.” He stares at her and his face softens. “Besides, I be wanting to repeat this morning every day, if it be possible, luv.”
Bella stares at him, then relaxes. She needs to trust that he will keep her safe; she is already beginning to trust her heart to him. She burrows into him, needing to be close, to feel as safe as possible.
Peter holds her close, knowing it is what she needs at the moment. All the while, he is silently cussing this bloody arse named James. He had known he was going to have to deal with all of Bella’s past, but foolishly, he’d been thinking he would have more time. Peter holds Bella softly, telling her that he will keep her safe as he hugs her to him.
Bella finally calms down and tries to think clearly while being safe in Peter’s arms. “Peter?”
Peter closes his eyes in relief that she is calmed for a second, before he answers her, “Yeah, Bella?”
Bella pulls back enough to look him in the eye. “How did the flowers get here?”
Peter frowns and answers her, “They were delivered to the front gate, luv. One of the guards brought them to me while you were in the shower. I was trying to figure out how someone found us before you came in.”
Peter takes a deep breath. He needs to know more about her blooming ex-boyfriend so he can protect and help her. But he doesn’t know how fragile she is right now. His instincts tell him to ask and he has not gone wrong yet with them, so he says gently, “Bella, I hate to ask this, but I need to know more about this James.”
Bella thinks and while she doesn’t want to revisit that time, she acknowledges that it isn’t truly her past and she lives it, in some fashion, all the time. Peter deserves to know about it, well, as much as she wants him to know. Knowing him, he will try to get revenge, as she suspects her uncle did in New York.
“James was the guy all the girls wanted in college to pay attention to them. He would charm them all and… Well, I thought he ignored me. Imagine my surprise when he showed an interest in me. I had nothing going for me, especially since no one knew about my money since I thought I was playing it low.” Bella frowns, trying again to remember how she gave it away.
Peter has a sick feeling to his stomach. He suspects this had been either the beginning or the final pin in Bella’s guilt over her money and he thinks he knows how this story is going to go. He waits to see if he is right, silently fuming at what he will do if he is.
Bella continues, “I first refused his advances, thinking it was some kind of joke. My roommates Rose and Alice tried to encourage me, saying my looks had captured his interest.” Bella chuckles to herself at the thought of her friends.
Peter almost shakes his head. She really has no idea how beautiful she is. He hugs her closer to him.
“James started to send big bouquets of flowers to me and I honestly was confused. He had also started to make friends with my friends, trying to get to me. I had no idea why he was so persistent, but he continued this trend and eventually wore me down to where I agreed to go on a date. I kept waiting for the joke to happen that night. Instead, he took me to Hyehold and treated me like a queen. I was completely fooled.”
Bella sounds so bitter that Peter kisses her head and tells her softly, “I’m sorry, Bella. You should be always treated like a queen, for that is what you really are.”
Bella smiles and relaxes. “This continued for eight months. During that time, he had started to isolate me from my friends and I never noticed. Then one day he walked into the apartment that I shared with Rose and Alice and demanded that I get a new place since they were taking up too much of my time. The way he said it made me mad. We got in a fight. James told me that I was just a spoiled little rich girl. He stormed out of the apartment and I fell apart. He came back the next day, apologizing, saying he had just had a bad day and took it out on me. When I wouldn’t open the door he showered me with gifts until I forgave him. But I was sure to try to spend more time with Rose and Alice. They had started to go to a dojo, encouraged me to go with them. That was when they introduced me to Emmett who also attended the dojo and was an old friend of Rose’s. At the time, I was unaware that they were getting worried about James.”
Bella takes a deep breath; this is the hardest to tell, to admit. “I had been to this particular dojo when I was younger. The sensei remembered me and once I went back through the lines, he allowed me to have my old rank back. This took some time and following my instincts, I never told James. I made up stories and Rose and Alice helped, relieved I was no longer as wrapped up in him as I had been. I had even given him what he had wanted… The dojo was both the end to our relationship and a savior for me. James accused me of being unfaithful to him with Emmett. I tried to defend myself and told him Emmett was just a friend. He got violent, but thanks to me being active again, I could defend myself quite well. James was quite mad afterwards at being humiliated like that and told me that he would have never dated me if it hadn’t been for my money. I was such a lousy girlfriend that he had to go and find… his enjoyments elsewhere.”
Peter is stiff with anger, that bloody scuttling git tried to hurt Bella! Then, he was cheatin’ on her? Peter grounds out past his anger, “So he was two-timing you.”
Bella is still lost in the pain of the past and agrees. “Yes. Later I found out he had been doing it the entire time. I was so hurt when I found out. It took awhile before I tried to date again. When I did, the first date was nice. Then, the guy demanded on the following date that we go somewhere nice and that I pay for it. I was mad and dumped him on the side of the road. But, I noticed a pattern start to emerge from there on. I finally found out that James had been either telling them about me, or setting up guys in an attempt at trying to get me back. When that didn’t work, he basically stalked me. I got a restraining order against him. The only relief that provided was that he could not contact me directly. But he could and did continue to harass any guy I tried to date until I gave up. This continued for years and then over the last 6 months before we met, it stopped. I thought he had finally moved on. I really hoped it was over.”
This last is said so softly that if Peter hadn’t been holding her, he wouldn’t have heard her. Peter is positively livid. Now the way she acts, how she had tried to push him away last night, both make sense. This blooming idiot had almost ruined her for true love and has single-handedly made it to where Bella thinks she isn’t a good girlfriend and guys only want her for her money. Peter manages to gain control of his anger and softly tells her, “Bella, I told you we will deal with this. I love you, and I am not going to let him near you in any way unless you want to see him.”
Bella jerks her head up to him, surprised that he admits it so easily that he loves her. But as she thinks, he has practically said it this whole time while calling her luv. She sighs, wishing she can say it so easily back to him, but she is scared and wants to make sure before she says those words. Before she can say anything, however, Peter continues to speak.
Peter realizes he has said the words lingering in his heart and doesn’t want to panic her, so he reassures her, “I told you before I am willing to wait and work for you to feel the same for me. There are no pressures here, luv. I just always want to be truthful with you.”
He holds her and kisses her forehead softly, letting her think through what he has said. Peter knows that she is it for him. He always thought there was somebody out there for him, and he has now found the one he will spend forever with. Peter will fight for her, be there for her, and do anything to make her his.
Bella sits there in his arms and can feel his love for her as he holds her. She thinks this is all too fast but, she remembers last night and tells herself that she has known how he feels for her, him admitting it is nothing new. She also remembers this morning and him admitting that he wants more mornings like it in the future. She agrees with him. Bella can let James back in and let him ruin this, or she can work with Peter and see where their relationship leads – and she knows she wants more memories with Peter to happen.
Bella turns her head and softly tells him, “Peter, I… want more of this morning and more of us. I want to see how we turn out. Nothing has changed my mind, but you need to be aware of James.” She searches his eyes to see if he understands her meaning.
Peter realizes she is worried about him. He makes a mental note to see what he can turn up on this James person, but he answers her, “LA was no picnic, especially for a 16 year old kid from England trying to muscle his way into mixing. Nor was my past before LA easy. I can take care of me and you, don’t you be worrying.” He kisses her and then tries to lighten the mood, “What you be wanting to do, luv? We have the rest of the day to do whatever you wish.”
Bella stares at him and then grins, “Well, I need to go shopping and get some clothes since Alice told you there was not much she could bring from the house.”
She grimaces, remembering Alice’s call yesterday to Peter and watching him drop into an icy façade. He had been very nice to Alice and told her that he will take care of it. But his face and how he held himself told Bella that he had been very angry on her behalf.
Peter grimaces and sighs. “Shopping it is. Are you wanting to call Rose and Alice to join us?” Peter dreads going shopping and waiting forever for them to choose outfit after outfit. Today will be torture, shopping for an entire wardrobe! But he will not let Bella out of his sight.
Bella laughs at his suffering expression and tells him, “I think you might be able to give me any opinions I may need.” She smiles up at him.
Peter looks at her and grins, “Well I do have good taste as anyone can attest. I have you, don’t I?”
Bella groans, buries her head in his shoulder, feeling him laughing. He picks her up as he stands and he places her on her feet, glancing at the flowers again.
“I will take care of those; you grab a jacket and meet me by the door.”
His voice has lost its playfulness and Bella glances at him, seeing his eyes narrowed at the offending bouquet, and nods at him. She is not scared of him, but she catches a glimpse of that aforementioned 16 year old young man that had fought so hard to get to where he now is. She then thinks of something and tells him softly, “Peter, I don’t wear jackets unless I absolutely have to. They are too confining and well… I don’t get cold easily.”
Peter is jerked out of his thoughts by her comment and looks at her. Wanting her to be happy, he figures he will have someone else dispose of the bloody flowers. He then grins, grabs her hand and says, “Well, what are we waiting on?” Peter starts to pull her down the hall as she laughs out an answering, “Shoes?”
Peter stops, realizing he is still barefoot. He then glances at Bella seeing her with another pair of ballet shoes on. Making a quick decision, Peter picks her up and throws her over his shoulders as he runs up the stairs with her laughing and screaming for him to put her down.
Bella can’t believe how fast he has snapped from being pensive and angry, and into this playful man. But she really likes this playful Peter. Though she is not scared of the other Peter, she knows he won’t hurt her. She has no idea where he is taking her but they pass the door to her room and enter the door she had noticed earlier. He walks in, crosses the huge room and drops her on the bed.
Peter wants her in his room, but he also knows that he has to wait longer for what he really wanted to happen in his room. But looking down at her on his bed, smiling and laughing up at him, he is content for now. He grins, drops on the bed beside her and tells her, “Think you be funny, Bella? I tell ye it be a great thing to be shopping with no shoes.”
Bella laughs at him and says, “I don’t how it is in England or in LA, but here in Pennsylvania we have this little saying for most of our establishments: No shirt, No shoes, No Service.”
Peter growls at her and bounces on the bed hard enough to make him fall on top of her. Holding himself above her by his arms, trapping her under him, he playfully says to her, “So now you be prejudiced here?”
As Bella starts to laugh harder, he watches her and is happy that she is out of the mood her bloody ex had put her in.
Bella is enjoying herself and looks up at him to see Peter smiling at her. She watches his face and feels the butterfly’s having another party in her stomach. She really enjoys this, it makes her feel somewhat normal and that they may have a chance. The next thing she knows, Peter’s lips are on hers and she wraps her arms around him as he kisses her, loving the sensations she feels.
Peter feels his hope rising stronger that Bella can grow to love him when she answers his kiss. He loves her and what man in love wouldn’t like to know his love returns his feelings? He ends the kiss and softly tells her, “Stay here, I will be right back and then we can leave.” He gives her a quick kiss, stares into her eyes, smiling as he stands up while watching her. He turns, walks to his closet and when he opens the doors he hears a gasp. He swings around to see Bella leaning up on her elbows, obviously having been watching him and her mouth hangs open at what she is seeing.
Bella can not believe it; Peter has a whole room for a closet! She has heard of it but never seen it before. “A whole room? How many clothes do you have?”
Peter relaxes and quips back at her, “It’s not the quantity but the quality, luv.” He motions her to come beside him and look in the room. Half of it is empty as Peter has moved some stuff around earlier that week, but still, it is organized and while there are still a lot of clothes, hats and shoes, it is also quite spacious.
Bella notices that half of it is empty and looks back at him, asking, “You wanting to buy some more clothes? Or did you just not have anything that you could organize into that area?”
Peter laughs, swinging her into his arms as he comments, “Everything is where it needs to be, luv.” He squeezes her and then tells her, “Now, I need to get dressed, you go and occupy yourself in the bedroom.” He smacks her bum and pushes her out the doors as he goes to shut them. Then he reopens them, smirking as he says, “Best keep it clean, luv, or we may never make it out of here.” And he closes the doors on her laughter.
Fairfarren ~ Wendy