Chapter 1: Broken
I looked up from my ancient book out through the glass of my office window to the Alaskan mountain range. It was peaceful here; at least, the landscape was peaceful. But, since coming to this vast, deserted peninsula of North America, everything had been the opposite of peaceful. My family was being torn apart. By my family. It was strange to think about. My 'eldest' son, Edward, had left his mate, Bella Swan, to protect her from our vampire nature and world. He had left us alone after saying goodbye to her and we had settled with our cousins in Denali, Alaska. My children, though too old to be given such a name, were struggling just much as Esme, my wife, and I were. Emmett was never his happy self anymore, completely sullen. Rosalie had been emotionless in her face and actions since we had left Forks. Alice was no longer cheery and rarely shopped or did anything with any amount of enthusiasm. Jasper was downcast because of the emotions he suffered around him in combination with his own depression, blaming himself for us leaving Bella. Esme and I never smiled at each other anymore; Esme refused to work on any designs anymore and I felt nothing in my books that had given me so much interest before we had left.
Edward, though, Edward was the worst. Alice had told us she saw him curled up into a ball in the middle of nowhere and dry sobbing. It hurt us all to hear that. He was keeping himself from his mate in order to 'protect' her. None of the rest of us could imagine being away from our mates for that long. All in all, my family was falling apart from the inside out. And all of us knew how to fix it.
We needed Bella back. For the short time she had been in our lives, she had become part of our family forever and absolutely. We needed her to be a family again. But Edward was just too stubborn, too determined to save Bella from himself.
I was awoken from my musing by an incoming email. I sighed, leaning toward my slim laptop and opening the message. It was an urgent message from Dr. Gerandy of Forks Hospital, my acquaintance and colleague. He informed me I was desperately needed at the small town hospital and that he was very sincerely sorry for contacting me on such short notice. The hospital needed an expert on some research and I was the only one qualified that they knew. I was asked to make an immediate trip to Forks Hospital the next morning and will not be asked to stay longer than needed.
I pondered this change of events cautiously. I had no desire to go back to Forks for the hospital, but I was keen to perhaps check on Bella in passing through, just to confirm Edward's assertion that she would be fine. They had only been gone 5 weeks; if Bella were to ever move on, five weeks should hold that answer. I found my answer as I thought of the girl that had become my daughter.
I jumped into action, responding to the email to accept the proposal when Alice rushed into the room. I looked up in surprise, not having seen so many quick movements from her in weeks.
"What did you just decide?" She asked urgently.
I stared, confused, then explained the situation that had arisen. Alice's eyes widened slightly at the mention of Bella and collapsed on the sofa in my office. I stood and sat beside my younger daughter, wrapping my arms securely around her as she began to sob quietly. Esme and Jasper entered then, having heard the exchange from the floor below. Emmett and Rosalie had gone on another honeymoon in hopes of getting away from their tattered family. Jasper took Alice from me and Esme placed a hand on my shoulder, which I took, as we both watched Alice mourn the loss of her little sister and best friend. Jasper looked up as he held her, helpless as his wife's emotion raged havoc on him.
Eventually, Alice looked up at me, determination in her eyes.
"Your future has gone fuzzy. I don't know what it means. But, if you're going to check on Bella, I need to come." She whispered, pain evident in her features. I sighed, shaking his head.
"Alice, you would be even more broken hearted if we found that she had moved on—" I started but Alice cut him off.
"She hasn't. I know Bella. She'll never move on from Edward." She insisted. I gave a sad smile.
"I agree. But if she did, you won't want to see that. You'd want to remember her as we all did when she was with us. Right?" I asked, to which she nodded sadly after a moment.
"Esme and I are going to go. We will find out how she is. If she is happy, we will not intercede. If not…we will figure that out if it comes to that," I promised and Alice nodded in defeat.
"I miss her so much," she whispered. I hugged her once more.
"I do too."
As I drove the rental car from Forks Airport toward our former home, Esme looked out the window silently. We held hands the entire drive, immersed in our own thoughts. When we arrived at the house, I helped my wife bring the bags in then kissed her goodbye.
"I will call you after the conference at the hospital. Then we will go to her house." I assured her, kissing her once more before departing. The drive to my old job was familiar but not comforting. I parked in the visitor lot and went through the emergency room. The nurse smiled at me in greeting, telling me what room the conference was being held in. I nodded and smiled at her politely before heading toward the research center of the hospital.
On the way to my destination, I passed the ICU when I was hit with an anguishing scent. I froze before entering the section of the hospital I had frequented many times. I followed the scent to a room. I looked around to make sure no one was present before entering. I stopped dead in my tracks.
There, on the bed, lay Bella. She had an oxygen mask over face, an IV in her arm, along with many other machines attached to her. I approached her slowly, sensing her unconsciousness. I was aghast as I watched who was a daughter to me lay unmoving in the bed, the bed rails up. I looked down and took her chart from the end of the bed and began to read.
Patient found in vehicle unconscious on side of the road. Appears to be a hit and run with the impact on the driver back end of the vehicle. Patient suffered minimal injuries with a mild concussion but shows signs of malnourishment and severe lack of sleep. Severe case of the flu has been diagnosed but not treated. Patient found to be approximately 5 weeks pregnant; embryo stabile.
I reread the notes of the record at least 3 times before looking up at Bella's still form. She was pregnant. And sick. And had suffered a concussion from a car accident. Why was she malnourished? More importantly, how could she be pregnant? I pondered the possibilities. I immediately ruled out Bella's unfaithfulness before Edward had left. She would never do that to Edward, before or after he left her; it just wasn't her nature. So, Edward must be the father. But how? Vampires couldn't reproduce that way. I thought about it some more. If she was 5 weeks along, she and Edward would have been together on or closely around her 18th birthday. I flinched as I remembered the memory. Did Edward give her one last gift, something she wanted desperately, to leave her that experience to remember him by? I thought it was quite possible; it sounded like something Edward would do. But vampires were fertile! How?...
The realization dawned on me then as I watched Bella's breathing, the blood flowing through her veins. Of course, I thought, of course. Vampires were not infertile; at least, male vampires weren't. They stayed the same, physically, from puberty to death. Females must change to carry a child and female vampires' bodies can't change, but Bella's body can. I processed all of this information but became distracted as Bella's steady heartbeat began to increase. She was waking up. I became worried. Would she hate me, hate all of us because we left her? Would she want her and her unborn child to have nothing to do with us? I trembled in fear of losing both my daughter and my grandbaby due to my son's and my family's actions. Nevertheless, I sat down in a chair next to her as she awoke, praying to God who I wasn't sure would help me.
Her eyes opened slowly, blinking against the bright light before focusing on me. Her eyes widened before filling up with tears.
"Bella," I murmured, the word becoming both a question and a statement. She started to sob.
"Am I dead? Or still dreaming?" she blubbered through her tears. My eyes widened.
"You're alive, Bella. You're in the hospital." I told her. She was confused but then remembered the car accident. She tried to sit up but I gently put a hand on her shoulder to keep her lying down before removing my hand. Her eyes never left mine.
"You're really here? Carlisle?" She whispered.
"Yes, I'm really here, Bella," I assured her.
"Why?" Her tone made me flinch. She sounded emotionless, demanding an answer.
"I'll leave if you would like that," I mumbled, starting to stand. An arm lashed out and grabbed my sweater. I turned and saw Bella's eyes full of tears and sobs breaking out of her chest. I sat back on my chair, placing her hand in mine. I pulled my chair closer to her bed as she yanked me closer in desperation.
"No. Don't leave. Please," she sobbed. I was shocked at her reaction but grief replaced shock as I processed her face and her reaction.
"You're not ok." There was no question in that statement.
She shook her head, her sobs growing loudly until she started to go into hysterics. I moved from the chair to her bed and wrapped my arms around her securely, rocking her back and forth gently as she sobbed. When she quieted down enough that her breathing was manageable, I put my hand on her cheek, bringing her face up to mine.
"What happened, Bella?" I asked, wanting to end her anguish.
She hesitated, wanting to embrace me again but not knowing if I wanted it. I opened my arms for her, answering her unspoken question. She climbed out from underneath the bed sheets and sat in my lap. I rocked her back and forth as she started to speak.
"I-I'm pregnant," She stuttered. I didn't cease rocking her.
"I know. I saw the report," I replied.
"I did-didn't cheat on him, I swear, I—" I stopped her before she could defend herself.
"I know, sweetheart. I didn't believe you did. You and Edward were together around your birthday, right?" I asked. She nodded.
"On the night of." I nodded waited for her to continue.
"I only found out 2 weeks ago. I-I told Charlie and he threw me out. Renee disowned me. I was living in my truck. I had no money. I got sick and I couldn't afford medicine or food and then one night while I was on the side of the road, an SUV hit the back end of my truck and I went unconscious. I thought I lost the baby—" She stopped, staring up at me in terror.
"The baby is fine," I assured her. She visibly relaxed, slumping against me.
"Charlie and Renee told me to get an abortion, but I couldn't. This baby is the only thing I have left to remember…" She stopped, wrapping her arms around herself as the pain resurfaced. I crushed her to my chest, wanting to end her agony. And I will, I swore to myself. I released her but put my hands on her shoulders, forcing her to look at me.
"Bella, I know after all of us hurting you so badly, it would be selfish of me to ask you for this but, can you ever forgive us for leaving you?" I asked, my eyes boring into hers. She stared for a minute at me then said,
"I never stopped loving any of you. You all felt like my true family…my only family now," she said the last part quietly. I pulled her into my arms once more.
"The family is a mess without you. Emmett and Alice are depressed all the time, Alice won't even shop anymore. Jasper feels so guilty because he blames himself. Esme and I barely feel any happiness anymore, none of us do. We need you, Bella. We all do." I told her honestly. She stared up in shock, as if being needed was a first for her.
"You guys want me?" She asked uncertainly. I nodded fiercely.
"We always did, Edward most of all. We want you back, do you want us back?" I asked her the ultimate questions. She was quiet for a moment then lurched into my arms hugging me around my neck tightly.
"I want you all back. I miss you all so much. I love you," She told me, her eyes filling with tears of happiness. I smiled, really smiled, the first time in over a month and held her close. When I released her, I laughed softly.
"They will all be floored when they hear this news" I said, gesturing toward her abdomen. She blushed gently and I kissed her forehead.
"It will be ok," I promised her, "Everything will be ok now." And for the first time, I believed it.
Hope you enjoyed it!