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How can Bella make Charlie understand why she welcomed Edward back?

About Edward and horses…1905 is seen as the year that American auto sales shifted to average owners rather than hobbyists. It took a while after that for cars to catch on with the general public. Also, until 1919, most cars did not have closed bodies or heaters, so even among affluent families who did own cars, closed, horse-drawn carriages would have been used during cold weather until at least that date. Given that information, it seems natural that Edward would have had some knowledge of horses from his youth. I can’t help but imagine he owned at least one really fast thoroughbred. But then, I am from Kentucky.
Like Father, Like Daughter
by silly bella

Bella placed two plates full of food onto the kitchen table. I wondered if she ever got tired of fish? I knew that I didn’t, but then, I also enjoyed catching it. I was certainly eating better than I had in a long time. Tonight she’d made some kind of Italian seafood dish with tomatoes and peppers and onions. It smelled good. Even the steamed zucchini. We ate silently. Neither of us were big talkers.

She seemed to actually have an appetite for a change. I knew it wasn’t just the new recipe. The Cullens were back in Forks. Since Bella was grounded, Edward Cullen had practically moved in with us. Bella, Alice and Edward did homework together after school. The Cullens went home each night before dinner, but Edward came back, as if on cue, each night after dinner while Bella washed the dishes. He dried them and placed them carefully into the cabinets while they chatted. It reminded me of some old married couple.

When they finished the dishes, they watched a movie. If I had a game on, sometimes Edward watched with me while Bella read beside him, but more often, she cuddled up to him with some favorite book of hers and he read aloud to her, just enough for her to hear without disturbing my ball game.

I was of two minds about that Cullen boy. My anger boiled constantly, right at the surface. One wrong move and I’d gladly rip his head off. He’d hurt my little girl. But she seemed so much better now that he’d come back. She seemed almost whole, and I knew it was because of him. But I can’t quite trust him.

Bella eyed me carefully and finally spoke. “Edward’s bringing a movie tonight, if that’s OK.”

“That’s fine, Bells. Is it something I’d enjoy?”

She laughed. “Probably. Edward’s on a kick to initiate me into cowboy movies. We started last week with Silverado. Since I enjoyed it, he decided I should see some classics. Tonight is… something called Rio Bravo, I think.” She shrugged. “He’s bringing The Magnificent Seven tomorrow, and he says that Saturday will be a Clint Eastwood ‘West Fest’ – I think he has four picked out.”

Rio Bravo, huh?” I raised my eyebrows. “That’s a good one. I never would have pegged Edward as a western fan.”

Bella appeared to plan her words carefully. “He likes a lot of movies, Dad.” She brought a bite to her mouth and swallowed it quickly. “He likes horses. Before his parents died, he lived near several people who had horses, and he grew up riding. But he hasn’t spent much time around them since Carlisle and Esme adopted him.” She seemed uncomfortable about something.

“Is that a not-so-subtle hint not to ask him about it?”

“It might be better if you didn’t,” she spoke quietly.

She was protecting him. From what, I’m not sure. Maybe me, in general. I could understand not asking the kid about his dead parents or anything that might remind him of them. I was angry at him, but I wasn’t cruel.

I’ve got to hand it to him; he knew I was mad as hell. That I’d just as soon not have him in my house. It was only after Bella threatened to move out that I agreed to let him back at all. He took everything I could dish out at him without offering a single excuse. He seemed truly repentant. Sometimes, I almost wished he’d try to defend what he did so I could really take out some of my frustration on him. Angrily, I stabbed a piece of fish and popped it in my mouth.

We continued eating without speaking, listening to the forks scrape across the plates. Finally, I asked, “Bella, how could you just take him back? After he hurt you so much?”

She put her fork down on her plate and folded her hands together at the edge of the table. She looked down, then back up into my eyes and said, “I love him.”

I shook my head, a bit disgusted. He didn’t deserve her love.

Before I could say anything, she raised a finger. “I know this is hard for you to understand, but try to keep an open mind.” I held my tongue and waited for the rest. “How old were you and Mom when you fell in love?” she asked, “Or even when you got married? Not so much older than Edward and I are, right?” I nodded. No use arguing with the truth. “Did you stop loving Mom?” I coughed uncomfortably, and she continued speaking. “You don’t have to answer that. I know the answer.” She paused and took a deep breath. “What if Mom weren’t married to Phil. What if she decided she never should have left and came back to you after all these years? Would you let her back in your life?”

She was right. I’d never stopped loving her mother. If I thought there was any possibility things would work out; that Renée could be happy here, I’d take her back in a heartbeat. I’d welcome her with open arms. I swallowed, trying to work up the nerve to answer. She was hard to argue with, my daughter. She might look like her mother, but she’d inherited more of my nature.

“You don’t have to answer that one either. I can see it in your eyes,” Bella murmured. “I’m a lot like you, Dad. But Edward isn’t like Mom. He came back.”

Abruptly, she stood and picked up the plates, carrying them to the sink. As if on cue, the doorbell rang. He was back. As long as he kept coming back, it would be okay.
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