July 30th, 2015
Most high school relationships don't last all that long. Most high school sweethearts seem to drift away during college—or whatever else comes next. It's not easy to keep something going that started before you were considered an adult. I don't think I'm wrong in saying that the majority of those relationships fizzle out as people grow up and grow apart.
I'm glad ours didn't.
It wasn't easy. There were rough patches along the way. We even broke up for a while near the end of junior year over something stupid I can't remember. After a couple of weeks of not seeing you, not even talking to you, I caved. I called and practically begged. Turns out I didn't have to.
It wasn't long after we got back together that I asked you to marry me.
We supposedly got married after our first year of grad school. What we actually did was elope in the summer after undergrad. You loved having that secret. You spent weekends and breaks and late-night phone calls planning our "official" wedding with our moms and Alice. All while I lay next to you in bed as you traced the band on my left ring finger over and over.
You somehow got off on having it be just between us. You said having that secret turned you on. Eloping was the best idea you ever had.
But you made the most beautiful bride at our wedding. You still do, even fifteen years later.
We never actually made up our mind on the whole having babies thing. But a few months ago, you came to me with worry in your eyes and tension in your body language and told me you were late. Like…really late.
Life just decided for us, I guess.
Now, when I look at your almost six-months-pregnant belly and your glowing face, I can't imagine wanting anything else. It hasn't been the easiest pregnancy in the world. You're just about to turn thirty-seven. We knew the risks. But nothing we'd ever read or heard about could have prepared us for what happened.
Twins. We're having twins.
You've spent the last few weeks on bed rest, and it's driving you absolutely nuts. Thankfully, you were able to take a sabbatical from your job teaching upper-level English classes at UW. Finding out you were pregnant before the last few weeks of spring semester made things a lot easier. And my engineering job with the city of Seattle keeps us more than comfortable.
I have trouble keeping you off your feet when you're awake, though you're tired a lot, so luckily, your waking hours aren't all that many. When I'm at work, our moms and Alice take turns coming over to keep you occupied. You told me you're glad Alice has experience with this whole thing, even though her daughter, Kate, was born five years ago. You say you feel more comfortable asking her things than Renee and my mom. The difference is that she did it on her own. I don't know how she did.
The whole thing was horribly sad. Alice stayed in California after college and ended up marrying a Marine. He was killed overseas when she was eight months pregnant. She refused to move back at first, said she couldn't leave the last place they were together. But time passed, and she started to come alive again and moved back to Seattle a year later. A couple of years after that, she and Jasper hooked back up after they came over for dinner and a game night. I still think you played matchmaker on purpose. You deny it to this day. They got married after another year flew by. It didn't matter to Jasper that Alice had a kid. He loved Kate like she was his own, and he signed adoption papers soon after the wedding.
When we found out you were pregnant, we were both shell-shocked. It had sort of gotten to a point where we assumed we wouldn't have any babies at all. Neither of us had much experience with them. When we heard our babies' heartbeats for the first time, though, that was it. My love for you has always been big. But seeing you lying on an exam table, looking up at me with the same surprise and adoration I felt in that moment, that love somehow grew.
Watching Jasper with Kate is a glimpse into my future that makes me excited for what's about to happen. I'm pretty enamored of Kate, too. Since Alice and I have always been close, she's like a niece to me. The first time she called me Uncle Edward, I was wrapped around her little finger. I can't imagine how wrapped I'll be when I meet our little girl.
Baby A is a girl. We aren't sure what Baby B is yet, because he or she has apparently inherited your stubborn side and hasn't cooperated, but we're hoping to find out today.
"Any guesses?" the ultrasound technician asks, rolling toward the table on her stool. Her name tag says her name is Carmen.
You shiver when she squirts the gel onto your belly. "I think it's a boy."
"Me too," I say, leaning down to kiss your forehead.
A moment later, the black screen flickers to life, and there they are. All I saw the last time we did this were fluttering movements. Now, though, I can see our babies taking shape. I take a deep breath. My chest aches.
"Well," Carmen says, tapping her finger on the screen after a few moments. "See this? Right here?"
I squint at the picture. "Is that…?"
"Baby B is officially a boy."
Perfect. One of each. My eyes sting when I look down to see your ecstatic smile, and somehow, my heart grows even bigger.
"I knew it!" You squeeze my hand and tear your eyes away from the screen to gaze up at me. "Alice owes me twenty bucks."
July 31, 2015
"They're beautiful, aren't they?" you say as we sit together on the couch the next evening.
I raise an eyebrow at you and glance at the sonogram printout for the hundredth time since yesterday. "They're sort of just blurry blobs, dollface."
"But they're beautiful blurry blobs, aren't they?"
I laugh and kiss your temple. "They're the most gorgeous blobs in the history of all blobs. C'mere." Pulling you up by the hand, I situate you across my lap and rest a hand on your belly, where it tends to gravitate whenever you're close. "I love you."
"Love you back." You nestle your face against my neck and drop tiny kisses there. "Edward?"
"Hmm?" I'm having trouble concentrating. Bed rest means it's been almost a month since I've had my way with you.
"I think we should go on a babymoon."
My eyebrows pull together, and I try to shake myself out of what's becoming a cloud of lust. "What's that?"
"You know. Like a honeymoon. But you go before your baby's born. Sort of like a last hurrah."
"Did you make that up?"
"No! It's a thing. Alice told me about it."
I open my eyes and tilt your chin up so I can kiss your lips. "Babymoon," I murmur. "What would this babymoon entail?"
"Anything you want," you say against my lips.
"Are you going to just repeat everything I say or give me an actual answer?"
"Hmm." I pretend to think about it, and you pinch my side…hard. "Ow! Cut it out."
"Under duress? I don't know…"
You're onto me. You know I'm not about to say no to spending uninterrupted alone time with you. You also know that widening those Bambi eyes and poking that full bottom lip out the tiniest bit always works.
"Yes," I say, nipping your lip. "A babymoon sounds amazing. If the doctor clears you next week."
You hop up as quickly as you physically can and plop back down on top of me with your laptop. As soon as you flip it open, pictures of blue water and white sand and palm trees fill the screen. There's also a document filled with what looks like an awful lot of research on a variety of islands and resorts. I lean my head back on the couch and laugh, because of course you concocted a plan before you even approached me.
"What?" Your excited giggle is so cute. "I've had a lot of time on my hands."
"I know." I rub your stomach and feel a little tap against my palm.
You grin up at me. "Did you feel that?"
"I did." I kiss your lips and your cheek and your neck. "Who do you think it is? Baby Dollface or Edward Junior?"
You burst into outright laughter and smack my arm. "We are not having an Edward Junior."
"Aw, come on," I tease. You know I'm not serious, because we've already had that discussion. "How about Masen?" I'm still half-joking, but now that I've said it, I kind of like the idea. You've always liked my middle name anyway.
"Hm. That sounds…kinda good."
My heart skips a beat. "Yeah?"
"It's a possibility." You reach up and kiss me. Jesus, I can't wait until you get the okay from your doctor, because I don't know if I've ever wanted you more than I do today.
August 15, 2015
You get a clean bill of health from your OB, and two weeks later, we find ourselves on a plane. I was a little nervous about you flying, but the doctor assured us that it would be fine, so we decided to go big and do a week in Hawaii. There's plenty to do there, but if I'm honest, I'm more interested in seeing you parade around in one of those bikini tops you bought. After nineteen years, I'm still obsessed with your boobs, and they've become even more fun lately. I doubt I'll be eager to see much other than the inside of our room at the resort and you on top of me. Or in front of me. Or under me, as long as I'm on my knees. Missionary has pretty much become a non-option.
Things were busy over the past two weeks while I prepared to take time off work and we got things ready for our trip. It's officially been a month since I've had you. When the doctor said no sex on bed rest, you shrugged it off. You were at a point where you weren't interested in sex much anyway; but as the weeks have crept by, you've done a one-eighty where that's concerned. I felt bad the couple of times you, well, gave me a hand…or a mouth…but you said you wanted to.
I'm starting to get stiff just thinking about it. I breathe out deeply and reach up to adjust my air vent, closing my eyes and leaning back.
"I can't wait to get there either," you whisper in my ear, palming me through my jeans.
"Jesus, Bella," I mutter. "You can't do things like that. I'm, like, on the verge here."
You look very satisfied with yourself. "Sorry I'm not sorry."
"Oh, you'll be sorry later," I say, sliding my hand up your thigh. "Just wait."
Babymoons. Wow. I'm not sure if people are actually supposed to behave like they did on their honeymoons, but we pretty much do. And then some.
As soon as we got to our room at the resort, I had the urge to toss you down onto the bed and wreck you. But that's not okay right now. Instead, I stripped you, laid you down on the big, fluffy bed, and put my lips on every inch of you. When I slipped my tongue between your legs, you came almost immediately. I kissed the insides of your spread legs as you recovered, and when you started to squirm again, I went in for round two. I knew it'd be over quickly once I got inside of you.
Yeah. It was. I was a two-pump chump.
We ventured out to the beach about an hour ago, and I thank all deities that you've never been lacking in the confidence department. That little bikini and those swollen breasts? Fuck. Me. I pull you close to me in the chest-high water, and you wrap your legs around my waist.
"You're driving me crazy in that getup," I tell you, trailing my nose down your neck and up again.
"Oh?" you say, acting all innocent.
"You know you are."
I slide my palm up your thigh and push your bottoms to the side, finding your clit with my fingers. You squeak and dig your fingers into the back of my neck. I rub slow, lazy circles, and you lean back, which pushes your breasts forward. They're right there, and I could just lean forward and take a nipple into my mouth, but there are people on the beach and in the water not too far from us. You pull yourself back up and bury your face in my neck. I switch to small, tight circles, and when you come, you seal your mouth against my skin to keep from crying out.
When you're still panting and dazed, you unwrap your legs and reach your hand down my board shorts.
"Bella," I groan, hesitant.
You speed your movements. "How else are you gonna get rid of that stiffy?" you whisper against my ear.
I laugh and then groan again when my balls tighten, and then I'm coming. When I'm done, I grab your hands and pull you away from our spot. "That's kind of gross."
"Why?" you ask, running your hands up and down my arms.
"I don't want to be swimming around in my own jizz."
You giggle. "You know you're basically swimming around in whale jizz, right?"
I raise an eyebrow at you. "You're weird."
November 9, 2015
Back in the summer, we wondered if you'd make it to full term. That day came and went over a week ago. When you had early contractions at five months, we were both scared out of our minds. Now, though, we wait for any little twinge. Finally, it happens.
I'm half asleep when I feel movement beside me. That's not unusual. You're pretty uncomfortable these days, which makes for a lot of tossing and turning. And then there are the crazy dreams you've been having, which also make for a lot of tossing and turning. Sometimes, the only place you're comfortable is in the recliner in the living room. I sleep on the couch those nights. I tell myself it's just in case you need anything. Secretly, it's because I hate sleeping without you.
Tonight, though, the movement doesn't stop. I'm fully awake when you put your hand on my shoulder and shake gently.
"Edward. Wake up."
"I'm awake," I say, opening my eyes to your pretty face and checking the alarm clock. Just after midnight.
"I think it's…" You wince and put a hand on your admittedly huge belly.
I bolt upright. "Shit. How long?"
You breathe deeply through your nose. "Half an hour? About five minutes apart now."
"Already?" I scramble out of bed and yank on the pair of jeans I keep laid out for this exact scenario. "Did your water break?"
I hand you your yoga pants and t-shirt. "How do you…?"
"I think it might have. When I peed earlier. I just thought it was a lot of pee." You look sort of embarrassed. "Sorry."
I chuckle and pull you up, wrapping one arm around you. "Why are you apologizing? It's not like you've done this before."
"Ow." You breathe in sharply through your teeth and lean hard against me.
"Okay, that wasn't even five minutes," I say, somewhat alarmed. "Let's get a move on."
Emma Elizabeth Cullen was born first, right around lunchtime. Masen Charles Cullen proved to be as stubborn as he was through most of your pregnancy. He came almost twenty minutes later. You say he just liked having all that space to himself and wanted to relax for a while. I'm glad you can joke about it, because it honestly got a little scary for me. Not you, though. You handled the whole thing like a champ. I couldn't take my eyes off your face. You'll never be more beautiful to me than you were in that tiny moment in time.
Emma will give you a run for your money, though. Even as a squishy little newborn, she's so pretty. Her tiny little nose and lips and fuzzy head… She's got your pouty lips and these dark blue eyes that you say will change after a while. Hers are different from Masen's. You tell me that you hope they'll turn green like mine. I sort of do, too. If she had your Bambi eyes, I'd be in complete trouble. I tear my eyes away from the bundle in my arms to peek over at you and Masen, who's swaddled against your chest. One of the nurses says he looks just like me, but I see a lot of you in him. His eyes are a darker blue. I'm betting they'll be your warm, sparkling shade of brown in a few months. The fuzz on top of his head is almost the same color as my hair. I'm thinking these two will turn out to be the perfect mix of the best of both of us.
I turn my attention to your beatific smile, feeling like my heart might burst out of my chest. You must feel my gaze on you, because you turn your face up to me and pucker your lips. I blink hard to make the stinging in my eyes go away and lean down to kiss you quickly. We lay the babies on the bed between your bent knees and just stare.
"We did a good job, huh?" you say.
I chuckle softly. "You did a good job."
"You helped a little bit." Your smile is wry, teasing now.
"Seriously, Bella. You did so well. You're"—I search for the perfect word and come up short even when I find one—"amazing."
Your eyes shine with unshed, happy tears, and I bend down to kiss you once more. Footsteps approach outside the doorway, and before I can even look up to see who it is, a figure slams into me and two arms squeeze me tightly. There's only one person that can be.
"Alice." I chuckle and bend down to kiss the top of her head.
"Congratulations, guys," Jasper says, clapping me on the back and kissing your cheek.
Alice perches on the side of your bed and coos over the snoozing babies before scooping Masen up gently into her arms. "He looks just like you, Edward."
I shake my head. "So I'm told."
"You want to hold one?" you ask Jasper.
He looks scared. I forget sometimes that he wasn't around when Kate was born. It feels like they've always been a family.
"I don't know…"
"You can't break her," I tell him, taking Emma from you and nodding to an empty chair. "I promise."
Jasper sits, and though his posture is tense when I get her situated in his arms, he eventually relaxes. "She's teeny," he says, smiling and touching her soft little cheek.
"She's a little smaller than Masen, yeah," I tell him. "But if she's anything like her mom, she'll be sassy enough to make up for it."
"I heard that," you grumble from behind me.
I turn and take your hand in mine, winking at you. "You know I love it."
Alice and Jasper leave after a few minutes to pick Kate up from school. As soon as they're gone, our parents arrive together, bringing food and taking right over.
I kiss my mom's cheek when she hands me a sandwich. "How are you doing, Daddy?"
Daddy. Every time I heard that word over the past nine months, my heart lurched. But now it's real. And I couldn't be prouder to hear my mom say it.
"I'm good. We're good."
She beams up at me. "Good."
Her attention is devoted to Emma and Masen for the remainder of their stay. Luckily, our parents don't linger too long. I'm tired. You're exhausted. They know it. They kiss and hug and touch tiny fingers and noses and foreheads one more time before leaving. And then it's just us again. Our little family. It's hard to believe that we grew from two to four in a matter of moments, but I wouldn't have it any other way. You're already half asleep when another nurse comes in to take the babies for a while so we can rest. Before I hand them over, I kiss each baby on the top of their soft, sweet-smelling heads. Part of me doesn't want to let them go. But a bigger part of me knows that we have to take advantage of any sleep we can get now.
I drag the recliner over beside your bed and lean over to kiss your cheek. "I love you, dollface," I whisper against your ear.
Your eyes open halfway, slowly, and you lift one corner of your mouth in a smile. "Love you, Edward. So much."
For almost twenty years, I've felt complete—way more than satisfied with the life I consider myself so incredibly lucky to have. But then these two tiny puzzle pieces I didn't realize were missing came along and shattered my world in the best way. I remember thinking years ago that with you, I had everything. As long as we were together, I had it all.
I had no clue.
Because this? This is everything.
A/N: I'm so, so sad to be posting this! I've loved writing 90s-ward, and I adore and appreciate all of your reviews. Your kind words and enthusiasm for this story are priceless to me. I hate that our ride with these two is over, but there will be a couple of outtakes posted here in the future, too. I *do* have another story in the works. I should start posting it in a week or two. It's a lot different from the sweetness of this one, but it's fun anyway. Thanks for taking the time to read my words! It means a lot. And endless thanks to my Rachelfish for her cheerleading and constant reassurance. You're the best ever.