Edward watched as Harry helped C.J. with another one of his masterpieces; a drawing with a slight smudge of black, which C.J. called a ‘twee’, with torn up photo’s from one of Rosalie’s magazines glued to it.
A few weeks had passed since Edward had talked to Harry about what had been troubling him and was grateful he did. He and Harry had been more open with each other which improved their relationship.
“How about this one?” Harry asked his son as he pointed to a picture of a flower.
C.J. shook his head and pushed his father’s arms away. He stopped drawing when he felt the slight feeling of pain coming from his daddy. “Dada hurt?” He asked as he reached out for the arm he had touched before.
Harry had winced when C.J. pushed against his injured arm and had hoped his son hadn’t picked up on it. Unfortunately, C.J. was too darn smart for his own good. “No, little man. Daddy’s fine,” he reassured him, giving him a smile which seemed to do the trick as the boy went back to his drawing with a slight shrug of his tiny shoulders, making Harry smile and shake his head in disbelief.
On the other side of the room Edward had heard the exchange and wasn’t as easily reassured as C.J. Not wanting to upset their son, he would wait until they were alone to ask Harry about it.
Harry couldn’t be injured, could he? If he was, why hadn’t he said anything to Edward about it? Ever since they had promised to tell each other what was bothering them; they had done so. Of course, there were times when they didn’t confide in the other but if asked directly they would say what was wrong. Edward had to admit that it brought them even closer.
The venom in the wristband, which Harry hadn’t taken off since he got it, kept the predator at bay and he had been able to enjoy his mate’s closeness again without the urge to pounce on his mate. Although his body still reacted to his mate’s closeness from time to time, he didn’t have to fight himself for control anymore. There had been a few times when he had to leave the room to control himself but he merely let Harry know he was stepping out for a moment and all would be fine. He didn’t leave his mate in the dark anymore.
“Come, little man. It’s your bedtime,” Harry’s voice brought him out of his musings and he watched as Harry stood before picking C.J. up.
The wizard’s eyes met his own and he stood up to follow them. Edward handed Harry C.J’s pyjamas as he changed him when they entered the bedroom.
Harry handed the dirty laundry to his mate, who threw them in the washing machine. “Goodnight, little man,” Harry said after he lay C.J. down in his crib and placed a kiss on his forehead.
Edward walked over to the pair and repeated the gesture. “Goodnight, Ceej,” he whispered. He stood behind the wizard and wrapped his arms around him, resting his head on his shoulder.
C.J. gurgled happily. This was definitely one of the best times of the day, when his daddy and his papa put him to bed, especially if his papa would sing to him.
Edward chuckled at the little one’s thoughts before he started singing the lullaby he had specially written for the child.
Harry stared down at his happily smiling son. Just as Edward started on the last line; the small eyelids grew heavy and closed. They always waited a few moments after Edward finished the song before leaving the room; knowing that if they left before the song was finished C.J. would wake up and start crying. He wouldn’t go to sleep without his Papa singing his lullaby in its entirety.
Normally Edward and Harry would join the family in the living room for a movie or game, but tonight the vampire pulled the wizard into one of their sibling’s bedrooms, as C.J. was asleep in theirs.
The wizard couldn’t keep from grimacing when Edward touched his injured arm. “You are hurt,” the vampire stated.
Harry looked away in embarrassment. Not long ago they had promised to talk to each other and he knew he had been breaking his promise, but he didn’t want to upset his mate.
“Yes,” he replied, still not looking at the vampire. “It’s nothing…”
Edward didn’t believe him. Unfortunately, his mate was shielding his thoughts so he wasn’t able to read them. “Show me,” he said. “You may need bandages,” he added, not remembering that there were any bandages on his arms.
Harry nervously bit his bottom lip and glanced over at his mate. Seeing the concern and worry in his mate’s topaz eyes made him give in. He rolled up his sleeve and held out his arm for Edward to see.
Edward inhaled sharply. Someone had held Harry’s arm too tight, leaving a hand print on the smooth skin. There were several scars on the wizard’s arm, one clearly stating ‘I must not tell lies’ on his hand. All rather old, except for the new cuts centimetres above the hand print.
“Who did this?” He breathed, as he carefully traced the hand print with the tip of his finger. He was going to hunt down and kill the bastard who dared laying a hand on his mate!
“I’m not going to tell you,” Harry replied as he turned to look at Edward.
Edward’s eyes narrowed; he wanted to demand that Harry gave up the name of his attacker. Why was Harry protecting him?
“You need to calm down, Edward, or I won’t tell you,” Harry said, calmly. “This is the reason I didn’t say anything.”
“You find it okay for people to attack you?” He asked, angrily. The predator was demanding to know who had hurt him so.
“No,” the wizard replied and reached up to cup a cheek. “I didn’t tell you because I knew you’d get overprotective of me, maybe even feral, and when you are like this you act irresponsibly. You forget your second priority and that’s to protect your family.” Harry wanted the vampire to realise that he had chosen not to tell him because he wanted to protect their entire family.
“I have a right to protect you as well,” Edward growled out angrily. His first priority was always to protect Harry and C.J., Harry knew that.
“You do,” Harry replied. “But what would you do to my attacker? You’d most likely kill him and then what? You’d be discovered, the entire family has to flee, and we all may be lucky to survive the ordeal.”
Edward closed his eyes as he took in the words. Yes, he most probably would kill the person who attacked Harry and Harry was right to assume this would endanger them all.
“I’ll tell you what happened, I won’t say his name, but you must promise me you won’t kill him if you find out who it was,” Harry’s voice brought him out of his musings.
Edward opened his eyes and nodded. “I promise,” he said, both knowing he would do anything to keep his promise.
“Can I sit down first?” Harry asked, indicating the bed. When the vampire nodded, Harry sat down just before his knees gave out; it had been a tiring day. The morning and afternoon he had spend at school being bullied. The evening had spent chasing after C.J, who had discovered the joys of apparating; he still cursed Dumbledore for showing his son how to do that even unintentionally.
“I’ve been bullied for the past two months,” Harry began. “Most of the time, it wasn’t anything much. Just a shove against the wall, nothing more, but lately they’ve been getting more aggressive.”
“Why are they bullying you?” The vampire asked; still standing in front of the wizard. He wanted to ask who but knew the wizard wouldn’t answer that question.
Harry shrugged his shoulders. “At first it was because I was gay, then it was because I‘m dating you and lately it’s been because I took his sister’s place or something.” At Edward’s raised eyebrow he continued. “Apparently you should be dating his sister instead of me,” he tried to joke but Edward could detect the slight fear in his voice.
“I’m right where I belong,” he replied as he sank down to his knees. “If he’s been hurting you, why haven’t you…hexed him, I believe the word was?”
“I don’t want to use my magic at muggle high school,” Harry answered. “Besides my magic has been all wonky lately, I fear if I use it now, especially under duress, I might lose control. It might even start attacking people. I can’t…I won’t let that happen.”
“Is this the people saving complex thing you have going on?” Edward made light of the situation, stirring the wizard from his dark thoughts.
“Possibly,” Harry smiled.
“I know I don’t know much about magic but you can talk to me about it, you know that right?” Edward asked as he held his gaze.
Harry nodded and gave a weak smile. "I know."
“So, tell me, why have I not seen this boy bullying you before?” Edward asked after a slight silence. He was angrier at himself for not noticing than at Harry for not telling.
“They normally do it when you're around. These days they seem to know my schedule better than I do. They’re always waiting for me in my Geography class when you’re in your music class.” It was one of the periods they did not share together.
“Why have I not heard about it?” He couldn’t wrap his mind around the fact that he hadn’t been able to pick up the fight with his enhanced vampire senses.
“I…uhm…shielded it from you?” Harry admitted with a blush. “I didn’t want you to kill him.”
Edward accepted the explanation with a nod, even though he didn’t like it. “You do realise that I won’t be leaving your side now, ever again?”
Harry pretended to think about it before he shrugged. “I don’t mind,” he replied before claiming that mouth, just inches away from his own. “I really don’t mind,” he breathed against the lips before pulling the vampire on top of him.
Both of them moaned as their bodies melted together. Harry’s hand went to tangle in the vampire’s hair, earning him a throaty groan of pleasure. Edward licked his mate’s lips, waiting for an invitation to enter. Once received he plunged in, exploring the hot cavern thoroughly. His hand travelled lower to the hem of his mate’s shirt, gently pushing it up…
A loud cry was heard from the other bedroom, breaking them apart. Apology filled green eyes locked with topaz ones before they disappeared and reappeared in the other bedroom.
“What is it, little man?” Harry asked as he carefully picked up his son and tried to calm him down. He shot a look of concern at his mate, who had entered the room and waited for him to tell him what his son was thinking.
“I believe he had a nightmare,” Edward explained as he read the scrambled thoughts. “A white cloud is taking him away from you. He isn’t able to find you and is afraid he will never find you again.”
Harry had to close his eyes as they filled with tears for his son. C.J. shouldn’t have to worry about such things. “Dumbledore,” he whispered and felt his mate close to him the next second. “That bastard is dead and yet he’s still haunting us from the grave,” he spat bitterly. A moment later he felt calming waves surrounding him, he looked down at his son before his questioning eyes locked with his mate.
“Jasper,” was the only explanation. Harry nodded; he should try to keep his emotions at bay for his son’s sake. Too many emotions could be very overwhelming for him especially now when dealing with his own.
“It’s okay, little man,” Harry continued whispering to his son as he gently rocked him. “He’s not going to hurt you anymore. I’m here, Daddy’s here, you’re safe now.”
Dada? Edward could hear the quiet thought and watched how C.J. raised his head to look at Harry. When he realised it was really his father he heard another quiet thought. Papa?
“You’re safe,” Edward whispered, letting C.J. hear his voice before wrapping his arms around his little family. I’ll protect you, he silently promised. He would protect them both! Harry may not have told him by whom he was being bullied at school but there was nothing to keep him from finding out. He wouldn’t kill them, no, he had made a promise, but he would make sure they would wish they’d never been born! No one hurt his mate! And if they did they wouldn’t get away with it for long…