Chapter Eighteen

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Damn you, ever-nagging plot bunnies ... I just can't get this one out of my head. I am focusing on one story, but I wanted to get a foundation on this new one. So, here we go ... This will be similar to Buying Love, Friends with Benefits, Mafia Princess and The One That Got Away, with shorter chapters and weekly updates: Sundays with teasers on Thursday.

We had some citrusy action ... they haven't mated yet. Keep in mind, Bella was in an abusive, both physically and sexually, relationship. The fact that she's trusting him with this much is a freaking miracle. Yes, there is a great deal of trust to do with the fact that they're mates, but she's still healing, mentally and emotionally from her now defunct marriage.

Up next will be some more time in bed and going back to work. Plus, we're going to go back to Edward. We're going to find out about his job, his apartment and where they're going from here on out. Thank you for reading! Love you all!

It's been forever since I've worked on this story. I'm sorry about the delays (and for the epically long author's note). Real life has been kicking my hiney ... to the end of the school year, computer glitch issues and purchasing anew machine, and the anniversary of my mother's death, along with finding out my ex got remarried to someone whom I thought was a friend. So, suffice it to say, writing has been ... well, my muse decided to disappear.

Enough of my ranting. On with it!

Chapter Eighteen

EPOV

I held Bella's naked body next to mine. She was draped over me, warming me to my very core. I idly played with her curly, mahogany hair as I watched the sun creep up the sky and wake up the world.

It was back to reality. Today, I'd go back to my mediocre existence as a legal aid attorney. I so wasn't ready ... just saying. Granted, I wouldn't be just a legal aid attorney. I would be more, but Carmen was adamant on us maintaining our human façade for the public. Though, it freaked me the fuck out. How was I supposed to do my job and lead all the magical creatures in North America?

I could barely keep my head above water when it came to my job, buried in paperwork and never-ending motions, court appearances and sashaying other attorneys.

"Edward, I can feel you thinking too much," Bella said softly, pressing a soft kiss to my jaw. How could she know that I'm thinking too much? "Stop. You'll do fine." I didn't respond, just tightening my hold on her. I was so afraid that I would lose it again. That I would fail ...

Bella noticed my perseverating. "Edward," she snapped, sitting up and looking at me. "Why are you second guessing everything?"

"The last time I had this much responsibility," I muttered. "I lost everything. I ended up in a mental institution, Bella. I can't stand to lose that. I can't lose you or fail in the eyes of my people." She got up and straddled my waist. She was still naked and her body was temptation in the flesh. Fuck me sideways. "Bella ..."

"No, you will not fail," she said, her fingers playing with my loose, long hair. "Do you want to know why?"

"Yes, please tell me. Enlighten me because I haven't a clue," I sighed, pouting my lips. She kissed me and held me flush to her body. I growled lowly, my hands sliding around her waist and pressing her against me.

Breaking apart, she took my face into her hands. "Because I love you and I know and have faith that you will succeed," Bella murmured, her forehead pressed to mine. "Your strength comes from in here." She pressed her hand to my chest, right above my heart. "Your smarts come from your mind and your education. But, your drive is all you. Trust in yourself. Trust in your new-found family. Trust in us."

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