But not just any breasts—these were frighteningly enormous breasts with veins that were wider and more detailed than my the lines my GPS used to display highways. In this case, all roads led to my equally-enlarged nipples.
It wasn’t that I’d never seen large breasts; I’d just never expected to find them on my body—and I sure as hell never imagined my areolas would one day turn purple. After carefully extricating my arms from around Edward’s body, I sat up in bed so I could take a better look. With my eyes tightly closed, I bowed my head toward my chest, mentally chanting a reminder that it would be okay—that I could handle looking like a porn star for a few months. I took a deep breath and opened my eyes. It took longer than usual for them to adjust to the barely-there light of sunrise’s first moments, and for several seconds, I thought maybe I’d been imagining things. My eyes focused, and the resulting clarity of sight shattered any doubt that the knockers I’d hoped had been part of a nightmare were not only real, but they were also really, really big. I was about to panic, until it occurred to me that I hadn’t yet touched them. It might be a long shot, but I could still be dreaming. With the fingers of my hands as far apart as possible, I tentatively cupped the undersides of my breasts. My ensuing scream was involuntary.
Edward shot straight up in bed, then turned to me, rubbing his eyes. “Are you okay?”
“Yes. No. I mean, I don’t know.” I pointed to my tits. “What the fuck are these?”
“Boobies,” he said, smiling.
“I know they’re boobies. But should they be this…I don’t know…veiny? Not to mention the fact that my areolas bear a striking resemblance in color to heather Fiestaware and are easily the size of salad plates.”
“Trust me, Bella—nothing about your breasts reminds me of dishes. Well…not unless we’re talking about dessert.” His smile widened, and his tongue swept across his lower lip.
“You don’t think they look a little…I don’t know…weird?”
“Are you kidding? It’s like Christmas morning. My gifts are already unwrapped, but I haven’t gotten to play with them yet. Something tells me Santa won’t be the only guy who gets to come early this year.”
He reached toward my boobs, but I smacked his hand away.
“I’m sitting here in a panic wanting medical advice, and you’re trying to tell me my body is a winter wonderland–”
“Your breasts are completely normal.” He rolled onto his side and kicked the covers away from his body. Though it wasn’t yet fully light outside, Edward’s biological sundial indicated it was time to get up—or more specifically, that he was up already. “That being established, may I try out my new toys?”
The last thing I wanted was to be touched. I’d had no sex drive whatsoever through most of my pregnancy—even when my body still felt like my own and my areolas weren’t purple. Thanks to morning sickness, we’d gone from having an extremely active sex life to having none whatsoever. I knew it couldn’t be easy on him, but always I’d assumed he’d prefer it to the alternative—that avoiding physical intimacy altogether would preferable to him being able to tell my heart wasn’t in it when he put it in me.
So I told him the truth. “They really hurt.”
“I promise to be gentle; it’s just been so long since I had a nipple.”
I doubted I’d ever be able to say no to him. “Okay.”
He kissed my breasts with delicate reverence, and though it brought me no pleasure, I was relieved to find it caused me no pain. It wasn’t until he kissed between my legs that I came apart in his arms, and though he was no longer touching my breasts, they responded favorably to his efforts. My climax left me tingling there and in a few other deep recesses of my body that seemed to come to life only now that life had formed inside me.
I knew what he was asking, and it had been far too long.
“Yes, please,” I said, still trembling.
He might have entered me with measured thrusts, but he made love to me with abandon. After he found his release, he lay beside me, tracing his fingers across my hardened stomach.
“I could stay like this forever,” he said, “just waiting to feel a kick.”
“Even I haven’t felt a kick yet.”
“Oh, I know. And you won’t—probably not for a while.”
“Are you nervous?” I asked.
“About the baby?” He shook his head. “No.”
“I meant about work today.”
“Oh, that.” His eyes remained focused on my belly. “Not really. It doesn’t feel like anything is different.”
“Except everything is different. Today is why you spent the past twelve years in school. You’re practicing medicine without supervision—that’s huge.”
“The only difference is that I have to pay for my own malpractice insurance now.”
“Maybe technically. I don’t know. I imagine it would feel kind of like the first time you drove a car without your parents, but multiplied by a million.”
“Except where medicine is concerned, my mom is riding shotgun. She’s going to be tougher to work for than Penn ever was, and you know it.”
“Right. But she’d have to be in the office for that, and lately, she’s been doing other things.”
“What are you talking about?”
It wasn’t until he looked at me with genuine confusion that I remembered—he didn’t know his mother was dating. And I’d promised Esme I wouldn’t tell him.
Fucking pregnancy brain.
I folded my hands across my stomach and closed my eyes. As far as I knew, Esme and Liam were still hot, heavy, and very much in hiding. Though I respected her decision not to tell Edward about their relationship just yet, I’d yet to lie in the interest of keeping her secret. Then again, it wasn’t her fault pregnancy had rendered my internal filter as useless as it had my collection of size 34B bras, and I’d given her my word. Unfortunately, I also remembered saying something about forsaking all others in my wedding vows.
“Your mother’s been seeing someone. She didn’t want to upset you unnecessarily, so she planned to wait and see if things were going to get serious before telling you about it. I didn’t mean to out her just now. I swear each week I’m pregnant, I lose an IQ point.”
“How long has she been with this guy?”
“Off the top of my head, I’m not sure. A couple months, I think?”
“Wait.” He sounded enraged. “You’ve been keeping this from me for months?”
“I wasn’t keeping anything from you—I was just honoring a request not to volunteer information that wasn’t mine to disclose.” I knew I shouldn’t go there, but I couldn’t help it. He was being too much of a fucking hypocrite for me not to call him out. “It’s not as if I made any decisions on your behalf under the egotistical yet erroneous assumption that I automatically knew what’s best for you.”
“I know what you’re doing, Bella, and it’s not going to work.”
“There may have been times in the past when in the interest of maintaining marital peace I’ve conceded wrongdoing though I’d done nothing wrong and apologized when I was not sorry. This isn’t going to be one of them. You’re not the victim here; you don’t get to act like a wounded party.”
“There is no victim here. Sure, I neglected to tell you something–”
“A pretty big something!”
“Drop the righteous indignation. I know you’ve kept things from me.”
“Of course I have, but never anything that actually mattered!” He shook his head, groaning. “I’m not mad at you–”
“Right,” I said, rolling my eyes.
“I’m not. It’s just frustrating. I don’t understand why she wouldn’t want me to know. I’ve never had secrets from my mother; there was never any need. We’ve always just wanted each other to be happy; this isn’t any different.”
I pulled the covers up to my shoulders, sighing.
“There’s more going on here, isn’t there?” he asked. “Tell me everything you know, and don’t you dare use pregnancy brain as an excuse for leaving out crucial details.”
There were many excuses I could use to justify my sudden anger—hormones, stress, lack of sleep—but I didn’t want to succumb to any of them. Instead, I told myself that I didn’t have to be one of those hysterical pregnant women—I could take some deep breaths, count to ten, and calm myself down. Then I realized he was being a fucking hypocrite. Sure, not mentioning the invitation to Kate’s engagement party probably wasn’t as significant an omission as his mother’s relationship status, but it was an omission nonetheless. All of sudden, I didn’t want to rise above my rage as much as I wanted to knock him off his moral high horse.
“I’ll make a deal with you—if you come clean with me, I’ll do you the same courtesy.”
“What are you talking about?”
“We both know there’s something you’ve kept from me longer than anything your mother asked me to keep from you. If and when you own it, I’ll tell you why she didn’t want you to know she was seeing someone.”
“Your use of reverse psychology to as a means of getting me to swear to you I’ve never intentionally withheld information from you isn’t working—unless of course you’re trying to piss me off.”
“That isn’t what this is about; I have something specific in mind.”
“Great.” He rolled out of bed, sighing. “As long as I don’t know what you’re talking about, we’re not going to accomplish anything. I’m getting in the shower.”
I waited until I heard the water running, then I went downstairs to the kitchen to make myself some breakfast. When Edward came downstairs, I wouldn’t look at him. I faced the counter, and pretended to be too focused on spreading jam onto a piece of toast to acknowledge him. Then I felt his hands on my hips and his breath against my neck, and he smelled too good for me to ignore him.
“I’m sorry,” he whispered. “I’m not going to pretend I’ve always told you everything, but I’ve always told you everything that mattered.”
“Based on your definition or mine?”
“Point taken. At the same time, my mother matters to both of us.”
“And I’m willing to tell you everything, but only if you’re willing to admit it…”
I was holding onto something small, and I knew it. At the same time, I knew from my parents the easiest way to make small issues into huge ones—all you needed was a baby. Edward and I were already expecting one of those.
“Fine,” he said. After an audible intake of breath, he turned me to face him. “My mother hired an actor to be your legal counsel for our prenuptial agreement.”
“She did what?”
“No. It wasn’t.” I moved across the room and sank into a kitchen chair. “Holy mother of fuck,” I whispered, covering my face with my hands.
“Bella, I’m sorry. I swear, I didn’t know this at the time–”
“An actor?” I threw up my arms, shrugging. “What the hell does that even mean?”
“It means no judge would ever believe you understood the ramifications of what you were signing, therefore the agreement isn’t legally binding.”
Edward didn’t answer, but he didn’t have to. I was fairly sure I already knew. What I didn’t understand was how a woman who claimed to love me as if I were her own could use a document on which my self-esteem depended to one-up Jack in their ongoing feud. And Edward knew…
“How long?” I asked.
“I don’t understand.”
“How long have you known?”
“Two million, six hundred forty-two thousand, four hundred thirteen minutes.”
“Not that you were counting because it was weighing on you or anything,” I muttered. “Does that mean you found out before or after we were married?”
“Bella, it doesn’t matter–”
“The hell it doesn’t! Before or after?”
“Oh, god.” My face was soaked, and it was getting harder to breathe.
“Are you okay?”
I wasn’t—not even close. But I also knew he’d only make this worse.
“I will be as soon as you get the fuck out of my house.”
“Which part of get the fuck out didn’t you understand?”
“I don’t think you should be alone right now–”
“I’m not.” I angled my head toward my stomach. “And you’re making both of us very upset.”
“I’m sorry,” he said, before leaving the kitchen.
Then I heard the front door open and close, and I knew he’d left the house. I didn’t know what to do, but I knew who to call. Thankfully, she answered the phone.
“Rose! You aren’t in court, are you?”
“No, but I do have to work today. What’s going on?”
“My prenup isn’t valid, and I just kicked Edward out.”
“I’ll be right over.”