A/N: Thank you to Honeymoon Edward and LizziePaige for pre-reading, and Midnight Cougar for working your magic.
Age tracker for this chapter: Emmett (40), Lily (9), Rosalie (38), Edward (38), Bella (36), Wil (9), Jasper and Alice’s kids – Sophia (12), Marco (9), Izzy (7)
Disclaimer: Stephenie Meyer owns Twilight. I’m just here having fun.
C8 – Happy 9th Birthday, Lily
I can’t take my eyes off her legs. They’re long, shapely, and would be great wrapped around my waist. I could also bend her over the desk or the couch and push up her skirt. The thought of finding thigh-highs or garters causes a tightening in my pants.
Some days, I consider ripping open her silky blouse as I focus on those little pearl buttons. My mouth waters at the thought of finding a see-through bra with nipples just waiting to be sucked.
There’s a pause of expectation in the air. I can feel it, but have no idea how to respond.
Every visit is like this. Maybe I need a new doctor—a male one. This one is too damn sexy and probably ten years older than me. I rarely go for older women, but there’s something about her pearl necklace and those damn glasses I can’t resist. She unknowingly taunts me, as I fantasize not about the earpiece of her glasses in her mouth, but shoving my dick past those perfectly lined lips.
Dr. Fedorov or Irina, as she has asked me to call her, is undeniably attractive. She’s an unusual combination of professional and sexy, but gives off this dominating vibe. Irina asks me her questions, but my mind is obsessed with how many ways I can fuck her in this office.
“Emmett, did you hear what I said?”
I clear my throat trying to focus more on the present and will away my hard-on before she notices. “No, sorry.”
“I asked how are things now with Bree?”
My latest fuckup.
“Uh, do you mean since I slipped and called her ‘Bella’ while we were fuc—having sex?”
“For lack of a better starting point, yes.”
“She’s still upset. We’re taking a break.”
“You’ve been dating almost six months, which is a long time for you.”
I nod, but we were fucking constantly for three months prior until things changed and she wanted more. I’ve tried to be that, but it’s been a struggle. She wants me to introduce her to Lily, but I’ve refused. I don’t see this thing with Bree going anywhere, but she does.
After running into Rosalie almost a year ago, I’ve been completely out of sorts, and for about a month, had performance issues that left me frustrated and distancing myself from everyone. Desperation forced my hand, and I had Edward get me the number of the therapist Bella has been recommending me to see for years. But when I finally made the call, I found out he retired and Irina has taken over his practice. We’ve been meeting for almost a year. It helps to have someone to talk shit over with about the messes I find myself in and parenting Lily.
For a month, we worked through my anger over Rosalie. It’s still a touchy subject, which Irina likes to go back to now and then, but Bree made another run at me at the gym that finally got my dick hard and back on track.
Thank goodness Irina doesn’t know Bella personally, but she knows she’s my sister-in-law and that I’m still struggling with fantasies about her. I thought Bree would be the answer to that problem, but it’s brought about a whole new set of problems with our taking time apart.
“Have you had sex with anyone else since Bree?”
“How many different partners?”
“I wouldn’t really call them partners. They were just there and willing.”
“No, and some were repeats.”
“What were their first names?”
Fuck. She’s making a point.
I sigh in resignation. “I have no idea.”
“More than one at a time?”
“Yes. There were best friends that wanted to—”
“Any difficulty performing?”
“No.” I’ve avoided them for a while, thinking my issues were related to hair color, but my reaction to Irina has changed that, as she’s a light-blonde with short hair.
“A couple.” I have a soft spot for a natural redhead and refuse to pass up an opportunity when one willingly presents itself.
“All of them?”
“Do you think your selections are based on Bree or Bella?”
“Then what are you doing with Bree?”
“I don’t know. Trying to get Bella out of my system?”
“Is it working?”
“Let’s shift gears and talk about the last commitment you made.”
I let out a deep sigh. “Rosalie.”
“Not partners—in your life.”
“I joined a gym.”
“How long ago?”
“Uh, Lily was turning four. So, about five years.”
“And you work out how many times a week?”
“Tell me about another commitment you made.”
“Uh… I joined our family business.”
“How long ago?”
“Give me another commitment.”
“You’ve had her—”
“Almost nine years since I got her as a newborn.”
“Emmett, you are capable at making successful, long-term commitments in your life. Five years. Eight years. Nine years. You have it in you. Now, I want you to describe the man you see for Lily.”
“Yes, she’s turning nine today, correct?”
“In six or seven years, she will be dating.”
“Don’t remind me.”
“She will undoubtedly make choices along the way which won’t make you happy and some that will. Do you think you’ve been a good father to Lily?”
“You have a close relationship. Would you say she’s a ‘Daddy’s Girl’? And when we describe women with this label, we’re referring to those who are confident and independent, but spoiled by their father with indulgences. Most have placed their fathers on pedestals, idolizing them. Their fathers are the smartest or the funniest and they are their best friend as he is her rock in the storms they face together. Sound familiar?”
“I’m not going to lie this could be Lily. Am I parenting her wrong?”
“It isn’t your parenting, Emmett. Research has found that daughters select partners based on a parent depending on the closeness of that relationship. How would you feel if Lily chose someone exactly like you?”
“Yes. A man who has many partners with Lily being one in a crowd of others. Someone who can’t remember her name after being intimate together and pushes her aside because he didn’t feel a connection. Someone who hooks up to scratch an itch rather than taking her on a proper date and respecting her as she’s been taught to expect.”
“I’m no better than Rosalie. What the fuck am I doing thinking I can raise Lily? It isn’t as if I haven’t done similar drugs. I’ve been to parties and done X—”
“Emmett, Rosalie is a drug addict. Someday, I hope you will sit down and have coffee with her, and listen to her story. I can only hope when you do, she will be on a different path. A positive one.
“But, let me remind you, you aren’t a drug addict. What will you do when Lily tries smoking or drinking? When she’s at a party and someone convinces her to snort a line or take a pill? Or slip into a closet to have sex.”
“She’s nine now, but you have time now to change your life that will undoubtedly affect hers. Be the man you want her to marry. I think we’re both in an agreement that isn’t who is sitting here today. The tween and teenage years will challenge you in ways you can’t even imagine.”
“I don’t know what to do.”
“Let’s start with abstinence.”
“Not even jacking off?”
“Not even that.”
“Well, what am I supposed to do then? I’m already working out regularly.”
“Maybe join a men’s league. You mentioned playing rugby—what about any other sports?”
“I don’t know.”
“How about a cooking class? You’ll improve your skills beyond chicken or macaroni and cheese, which will be a healthy benefit for both of you.”
“I could probably do that, but those things are full of women. What do I do about them?”
Irina shrugs. “If someone interests you—date. Learn about the women around you, but no sex.”
“Not even a kiss?”
“No. You have zero willpower.”
“I’ll explode, eventually. Women will think there’s something wrong with me.”
Irina sighs because while she won’t say it, there is something wrong with me. “You won’t explode. But you may surprise yourself and find women respect you more for not going for the easy score. There’s a huge difference between lust and love. When was the last time you told someone you loved them?”
“Easy. Last night when I was tucking Lily into bed.”
Irina raises an eyebrow.
“Shit. It’s that Daddy’s Girl thing, right?”
“You have a great relationship with your daughter. Let’s focus on improving your relationships with other women.”
“We aren’t focusing on Bella. She’s your brother’s wife and not a choice.”
“I know that.”
“You have crossed no lines with her and let’s keep it that way. Bella is important to you and Lily. You don’t want to do anything to jeopardize Bella and Lily’s relationship. She’s been indispensable, but there are a lot of great women out there. Bella isn’t the only one. I want you to take the time to find them and get to know them. You’ve known Bella for thirteen years. You need to invest time in other women, not a couple cocktails worth of small talk before you hit the sheets. You’re turning forty in over a week. Can we agree it’s time in your life to make better choices? If not now, then when?”
I let out a long exhale and nod. “Okay.”
“That’s it for today, Emmett. We’ve discussed a lot of new steps for you to take, and I want you to think seriously about those. See you next week.”
“Daddy, look!” Lily holds a piece of popcorn between two chopsticks.
“That’s great, but I don’t think they serve popcorn at Chinese restaurants.”
“Good evening, Mr. Cullen. It’s one of the easier things for children to pick up when they are learning.”
“I’m only teasing, Mrs. Greene. Lily, pack up your things.”
I enrolled Lily in a manners class offered during the after-school program at her school. I figured it couldn’t hurt as she’s maturing rapidly before my eyes and manners are sometimes better taught with a female touch. This week they are practicing using chopsticks.
“Lily is a lovely young girl and excelling in all aspects of our class.”
“That’s great to hear.”
“We also worked on formal introductions today and next week we will cover table settings.”
I scratch my head, as I recall plenty of business dinners where I did some guessing. “I never get that right. Which fork or spoon to use? Maybe I should sit in on that discussion.”
Her smile is warm. “You are always welcome to join us.”
“I’m ready, Daddy. See you next week, Mrs. Greene.”
“Have a good evening, Lily. You too, Mr. Cullen.”
I carry Lily’s backpack for her, and we head outside.
“You want to try out your new skills this evening?” I propose.
“Yes! Where should we go?”
“That depends on what you’re willing to eat. There’s our standard Chinese or we could have Thai, which you like.”
“What about sushi?” Lily asks.
“You’ve never had sushi before. Do you realize some of it is made with raw fish?”
Lily grimaces slightly. “Izzy likes it and said I should try it. Sophia eats it all the time. Aunt Alice even sends sushi in her lunch. They have chopsticks too, right?”
“Then let’s have sushi.”
Seattle is full of great sushi restaurants, and I drive us to nearby Momiji. We are seated at a small table for two then Lily toils over the selections of rolls.
“Daddy, look there’s one called the ‘Crunchy Lizard.'” Lily scrunches up her face as she reads the description then stops when she can’t go any farther. “Eel? Blech. I want nothing slimy.”
“Then you need safe sushi. How about a standard roll? Spicy tuna or California roll?”
“Oh, here’s one for you. You should get it. It’s called, ‘Mr. Perfect.’ It has spicy tuna, cucumber, yama-something…”
“Yamagobo is a pickled root that looks like thin carrots.”
“Okay, that with cilantro and topped with chili-seared albacore tuna, garlic ponzu sauce, and green onions. What’s ponzu sauce?”
“A dark citrus type of sauce, kind of like soy sauce. And Lily, I’m not Mr. Perfect. No one is.”
“Then maybe you should have a ‘Gladiator’ roll because you’re big and strong like a gladiator. You could be Hercules.”
“Oh, dear. What about the ‘Knockout’ roll for you?”
Lily rolls her eyes. “Daddy, that was last year and Michael doesn’t go to our school anymore.”
“Okay, fine. Let’s do the Rockstar, Pine Street, and Seattle rolls.”
Lily nods. “Then I can try different ones. I can’t wait to tell Sophia. Do you think she’s been here?”
It takes little time for our sushi order to arrive. While I would normally order sake, I choose a non-alcoholic option this evening and lift my Boylan’s Ginger Ale to make a toast.
“To my favorite girl, happy birthday.”
Lily raises her Mango Sprite and clinks glasses with me. “Thanks, Daddy.”
In between trying the different sushi, Lily surprises me with a question. “Did you go to the doctor today?”
I’ve tried to keep my appointments with Irina to myself, and thought I was doing a great job of that over the past year. I wonder how she found out or whom she overheard.
“Uh, yes. How did you know?”
“Uncle Edward picked up Wil and Marco after school. He said you weren’t at work, but had an appointment at the doctor. Are you okay? Is it your heart?”
“Why are you worried about my heart?”
“Because you’re old and it can break. A girl in my class—her dad had to have surgery on his.”
“I’m not that old, and it wasn’t a heart doctor. Sometimes you need to talk to someone. Dr. Fedorov is one of those doctors.”
“Did it help?”
I think back on today’s session. “I suppose it did.”
“It always helps me to talk about my problems too. We’re a lot alike, Daddy.”
“Well, my doctor made suggestions for me trying new things.”
“Not exactly, but for me the changes won’t be quick or easy. She wants me to slow down and enjoy things.”
“Like smelling the roses?”
“Yes, like that.”
Lily lights up with an idea. “I know. We should go to the Woodland Park Zoo. They have a rose garden. I saw it on my field trip last year. They have giraffes and gorillas too. There’s a butterfly garden. I had a Pipevine Swallowtail land on me. It was blue. Did you know there aren’t any pink butterflies?”
“No, I didn’t.”
“I asked our tour guide.”
“Well, I know where there are pink cupcakes. Are you finished?”
“Yes. Maybe I can eat two this year.”
“That’s a lot for you. Don’t get a tummy ache.”
“Sushi never fills me up, but I like it. What did you think?”
“It’s good, but not as good as cupcakes.”
“Then let’s get out of here Birthday Girl and plan on going to the zoo this weekend.”
“It’s a date, Daddy.”
“I can’t wait.”