A Merry Christmas to all our readers and a happy and Prosperous New Year. Love Jules and Kat XX
Chapter Thirty Five
Well, it was indeed a miracle, Bella had her snow right here in Portland after forecasts of an unusually mild Christmas. The glow on her face made her look even more beautiful and far younger and I felt, even more, love for her than I had thought possible. Esme and Carlisle joined us smiling happily,
"I don't think you'll make it back to your place Jasper, not the way the roads are closing so fast, you'd better come home with us, I'm sorry it means you won't have a Christmas alone but..."
Bella turned to Esme her eyes sparkling,
"That would be wonderful, a real family Christmas."
"I think you just made Bella's Christmas perfect Esme, we'd love to join the rest of you."
"Then I think we should leave now or none of us will be getting home unless we walk! The others have already gone."
Bella and I joined Esme, Edward and Carlisle in his Mercedes for the trip back to their place and with her head on my shoulder and her heart full of joy washing over me I couldn't have been happier, but I guess I should have known that the season hadn't quite finished with us yet. We were about five miles from home when we saw a car caught in the snow at the side of the road. It must have skidded on the icy road surface and hit the crash barrier. Carlisle came to a stop and while I put out an emergency beacon from the trunk he and Edward ran over to see if anyone was hurt. Esme had stayed in the warm with Bella for now.
A few minutes later as I watched for any approaching traffic slowly turning into a snowman myself I saw them return with a young woman and an elderly guy. As they got closer I could see the girl was hunched over a swollen belly, pregnant and heavily so.
"Jasper, get Claire into the back seat, she's in labor and we need to get to the house quickly. You and Edward make your own way, we'll see you there."
Bella wanted to protest but cries from the young woman stopped her and I waved as they drove off as fast as possible in the conditions.
"We certainly are seeing life this Christmas Jazz. Bella is a magnet for waifs and strays."
"Yeah, I think I'll be happy when it's over, too much excitement for me."
He laughed then challenged me to a race home, of course, he knew he'd win, he was just slightly faster than me, but I declined deciding instead to make sure the crashed car was pushed well off the road and he decided to help after which we walked back slowly, neither of us relishing the idea of a human in labor in the house with all the sounds and scents that would create!
As we drove I talked to the young woman, not much older than me in fact and found out her father was driving her to the hospital when the car slid on the ice and crashed. Her husband was serving overseas and was due home today, but he's been delayed by the weather.
"He was so excited at the thought of being here for the birth and now he's going to miss it. Is your father really a doctor? Only I don't think we can make it to the hospital in time."
"Yes, he is and a very good one so don't worry, you'll be fine I promise."
By the time we reached the house she was so far gone I was worried Carlisle might have to deliver the baby in the car but Emmett came running out and carried her in followed by her bemused and confused looking father. He carried the girl straight upstairs while the rest of us made ourselves comfortable in the huge open plan ground floor.
The place was crammed with decorations and boasted the largest tree I had seen outside a mall! Around it were piled presents and I thought of the one I had slipped into my pocket wondering if I would have the courage to give it to Jasper in front of everyone else. It was quiet for a while and then Jasper and Edward appeared their shoulders thick with snow but perfectly happy and I knew I would have frozen to death on the way! Jasper came straight to me picking me up and holding me close.
"Tomorrow we can play in the snow but for tonight I think some hot spiced wine might be a good idea."
"Actually, I just made Bella hot chocolate and put some spiced cookies on a plate for her. She's my sister too remember so I'm allowed to spoil her."
Jasper stuck his tongue out at Alice who merely returned the gesture and handed me the tray.
I had seen Esme talking with Darius who had then nodded and disappeared and wondered what she was getting him to do now. If everything I had heard was right then none of my miracles would have been possible without his help. He then returned with Emmett and Peter and the three of them went back out into the snow. I sat beside Jasper close to the huge log fire and nibbled on my cookies, sipping the chocolate which had a hint of mint in it tonight, I liked being spoiled by these little touches, they meant a lot, that someone had thought to surprise me with something so simple. Less than an hour later after Rose had come down with Charity who had obviously been disturbed by all the noise we heard a beautiful sound, a new baby's cry and Jasper looked at me smiling, but I could see a troubled look in his eye and wondered what had spoiled his mood. He seemed ill at ease but despite my entreaties wouldn't say what was wrong only that it wasn't down to me.
"Just a fleeting thought Bella, that's all."
Esme came down a few minutes later with the newborn infant wrapped in one of Charity's little snuggle blanket and showed her off to us.
"It's a boy and he's named for his daddy, Ethan. Both mum and baby are fine I'm pleased to say."
She handed the baby to his Grandfather who looked a little panic-stricken at first but soon relaxed once he held his Grandson without waking him.
"Are the boy's back yet?"
Rose shook her head then turned to the door,
"Sounds like they are coming, right on cue."
I looked questioningly at Jasper who smiled,
"They contacted the father to be who was stuck at the airport, no taxi's or buses running because of the snow so Emmett took his monster truck to fetch him."
The new father rushed in with Darius and seeing the baby in his father in law's arms fell to his knees beside him. Emmett and Peter followed them shaking snow from shoulders and hair and buffeting each other like children.
"It's cold enough to freeze an elf's dangly bits out there now. So, who's ready for a snowball fight?"
I knew there was no point my trying to join in, it was too dark and far too cold so I urged Jasper to join the rest of the family, at least, those not concerned with the new arrival while I elected to watch from the window and they split into two teams and disappeared outside. The absence of coats, hats, and gloves, was something of a giveaway that they were different, but Ethan and his father in law were much too tied up in the new baby to even notice. When they took the baby back upstairs to join the new mum it left only Esme, Rosalie and Carlisle inside with me.
I watched as my sister in law cooed at Charity and wondered what would happen if Saffron changed her mind and wanted her daughter back. I couldn't imagine having such a gift in my hands only to lose it again, but I knew there would be no argument, they would hand her back with broken hearts but willingly, only too grateful for the time they had been given with her.
"Well Bella, Merry Christmas, and thank you for making this our best ever."
"Me? You did everything, I just sat by and watched most of the time."
"Ah, but you gave us the impetus and idea, making Christmas a happy time for others less fortunate than ourselves, that's what it's all about. Now, when the boys get back in we'll exchange presents."
Carlisle had called for an ambulance and escorted by a police cruiser one finally appeared to take the family with their new baby to the hospital after many thanks from Ethan and his wife and father in law.
"We really thought we were in trouble there until you good Samaritans turned up and to go fetch Ethan from the airport in this weather was above and beyond."
Darius smiled and shook hands briefly with them all,
"Glad to be of service. Merry Christmas."
I sat watching as the presents were opened one by one laughing at some of the crazier ones like an exploding chemistry set for Edward and a Lego space station for Emmett who immediately had Justin and Peter helping him put together. I understood that when these people had become vampires Christmas has been a very different proposition, toys were homemade, amusements too and they loved all the crazy toys and gimmicks that were available now. Not all the gifts were mad, though, Esme got a beautiful gold locket from Carlisle and Alice a silver charm bracelet from Justin. I opened my gift from Jasper hesitantly, complaining I had already received mine in the snow that lay outside like a thick white carpet but was charmed by the tiny jeweled snowman that hung from a gold chain which he fastened round my neck in place of the ruby heart I usually wore.
"Just to remind you of your first Christmas as my wife."
Taking a deep breath, I pulled the gift I had wrapped for him from my pocket, still not sure this was the right time or place but unable to wait any longer.
"I got this for you."
I held it out with a trembling hand and saw his concerned frown, he knew I was nervous, very nervous, and he couldn't work out why. I waited expectantly and eventually Alice groaned,
"The suspense is killing us Jazz, come on."
From the sparkle in her eye, I knew she already understood but she wouldn't give away the surprise, neither would Edward who was watching attentively.
Jasper unwrapped it slowly then stared at the object revealed in his hand unable at first to comprehend. Esme and Rosalie squealed with delight while Emmett hit Jasper on the back so hard he almost knocked him from his seat.
"Way to go Jazz!"
Everyone peered over at the small plastic object in his hand, beaming as they understood its message.
"Yes, I'm pregnant Jasper. You are going to be a daddy"
He grabbed me tightly,
"And I was thinking how unfair it was that I could never give you a family, which is every woman's right."
"Well, you were wrong husband. Merry Christmas."
To be Continued...sequel starts in the New Year.