Huge thanks goes out to all the wonderful girls who have helped us with this story from the start: EdwardsFirstKiss, AWayWithWords, and LaPumuckl.
This is the end, hope you all enjoy it.
We've got a few things planned, I am sure something will come your way soon. Happy holidays to you all, the new year will be here before we know it.
What Do You Want From Me
Ten years later
I smile at Lauren as she walks into my office. "Hi, Bro," she says as she hugs me tight. Even though we didn't grow up together, we have a strong bond. Many people in town have commented that they feel our bond is stronger than the normal brother and sister relationship, and it's more than likely caused by what we both have been through.
"Are you ready for your interview?" she asks.
I give her a nod.
"Are you still okay with sitting on the sofa and doing this?"
Again I nod, and she calls in her camera crew to set up. I can't help but smile at her; she is every bit of the professional journalist, just like you see on the national news sites.
Once everything is set up, she lets me know she is ready, and I walk across the room to sit on the sofa.
"Hello, Mr. Masen, thank you for meeting with me today. There are a few things I would like to cover, but first let's get the hard stuff out of the way, shall we?"
"Absolutely," I say with a smile.
"Nearly everyone in the world knows about your early life and your first several months here in Forks, Washington, but these questions start with the years that followed. Why don't you give us an insight into to what those first few years were like?"
"My second year was filled with us all healing, and then of course, the second court case against Ben Cheney." I shake my head a little. "Even now I find it hard to believe that he was able to hurt so many students," I let out a sigh at the end. "I know that after everything that happened, public and safety measures were put into place to help stop something like that happening again. But still ..." I swallow, "I think it's more the fact that knowing someone could be so calculated in their thinking, that they could do so much harm ... that is what makes the situation scary. It wasn't just the students that he hurt, though one of his victims started that way; his wife, Angela was definitely a large piece of his collateral damage. "
Lauren nods at me. "It was sad when she killed herself, but she never could get back to the reality of what her life should have been."
"I know, it was very sad, but she was brainwashed. Now that I am older, I know that the world is full of awful people, but Cheney was more than just bad. He never was an everyday person, doing something wrong. The things he did were not only wrong; they were done with a level of evilness that is hard to comprehend. He knew full well what he was doing, and not only took pleasure from his wrongdoings, but he was happy and took pride in hurting other people. There was always a level of enjoyment and pride he got from others' suffering. He always claimed he was doing the things he did for the greater good, but there was nothing about him or his actions that was acceptable or positive. It especially bothered me that he would do the things he did and say it was the way the Lord wanted things to be. He thrived using the name of God to make the things he did to hurt others okay. It's hard to understand and even believe that there are people who are that truly evil. I'm just glad that no one will ever have to endure him and his ways again. I'm not happy he was killed in prison, but I cannot sit here and say I felt sorry for him, not even for the brutality of his death."
I close my eyes shaking my head again.
"Moving on from him. It took some time for everyone to come down from the storm that was caused by the backlash of his actions. I know that I ... we ... we were some of the lucky ones. We had each other, family, friends, and a town that supported us. It also helped that I was working and going to college. Even with my schooling being online, it helped me feel as if I was improving myself."
"In those first years what was the happiest times for you?"
"Asking Bella to marry me," I say without missing a beat.
I smile remembering it so well, we had been dating a year when I got down on one knee and asked her to marry me. I can't help but smile as my mind goes back to that day.
I had invited Bella to come with me to see a home that had been on the market for a few years. The large house was just a stone's throw away from Charlie's house.
"With some love and attention the house could easily become a home," the realtor said trying hard not to show any concern that there would need to be major renovations before anyone could move in. I was not interested in what she thought; my eyes were locked on Bella, to see what she thought of this house.
"Could you give us some time alone?" I asked keeping an eye on Bella.
"Sure, I'll just be outside," the realtor walked away and I walked over to Bella.
"What do you think of this house?" I asked as I hugged her from behind.
"In a way it reminds me of the cabin, only much larger," she said. "It's a little run down, but it's still warm and inviting."
I grinned showing some of my teeth as I had let out a breath.
"You could easily get this place up to living standards," she turned around in my arms and looked me in the eyes. "I could help you," she smiled, making me kiss her lips softly.
"Could you see yourself living here with me," I swallow my nerves, "Having a family, growing old, and making happy memories with me ... In this house?"
She just looked at me and I chuckled knowing that I was not doing this right.
"Are you asking me to live with you?" Bella had asked me with a sly smile on her face.
I shake my head at her. "Not really, but kind of. What I am really asking you is if you will marry me, and if you can see this house, as our home?" I asked feeling nervous.
As she looked at me in shock, I pulled out the ring I had brought from my pocket and dropped to one knee before her.
"What do you say about becoming Mrs. Masen?"
"Yes," she said and hugged me around my head. "Yes to everything you just said," she quickly carried on making me stand and wrap my arms around and pulling her close to me.
I had placed the ring on her finger and kept a hold of her hand as we made our way to the realtor.
"We would like to make an offer," I told her, trying to calm my hyper mood, now that Bella had said yes.
It had been almost a week later that my offer on the house was accepted. Bella had come with me and we both signed the deed to the home. Charlie had arranged to take us out afterward for dinner to celebrate. When we arrived, we found all of our family and friends there not just to celebrate us getting our home, but also our engagement.
The weeks and months that followed were filled with work, college, getting our home ready and organizing our wedding.
As soon as Bella had said yes, we asked Lauren, Alice, Esme and Rose to be bridesmaids. Carlisle, Emmett and Jasper were asked to be the groomsmen.
Bella, of course, wanted her father to walk her down the aisle, but he also meant something more to me. I'm where I am because of him, so I asked that once he had walked her down the aisle, he would join me, and stand as my best man.
The house was finally done and ready for us to move in one month before we were due to get married. We both decided that we wanted to start our lives in that home as a married couple, together.
The day we got married is still one of the best days of my entire life. I remember it so well—a mix of calmness and nervous as I got ready in my room.
"Do you need a stiff drink?" Carlisle had asked me as he waved the bottle, "to calm the nerves?"
I look at him with a grin. "I'll feel calm," I told him and frowned. "I know she will be there, she loves me as much as I love her, but I'll still take the drink."
Charlie chuckled a little. "I was worried about Renee turning up," he said and let out a long breath. "I know she loved me, but this place ... living in this town wasn't for her. She wanted to live in a place where she could help a lot of people."
I had stopped and watched as he gave me a soft smile. "I know that she did that, she helped."
I know that Renee had been on his mind just like she'd been on Bella's mind, in those last few months. Both Tia and Esme had been doing the duties and filling the role of the mother of the bride. Where Bella had been grateful, it still hurt that her actual mother hadn't been there to share all this with her.
Charlie had let out a laugh which made me turn to him. "I can't help but chuckle, you know I just imagine Renee and Lizzy sitting together," he had shook his head. "They both were good people, but God, could they "not fight-fight" over anything and everything." He raised his eyebrows a little. "Anything your mother would like, Renee would have picked differently." He had stood taller and put his hand on his hip. "Yeah, that's nice," he had said using a southern girl voice, "but," he had let out a click like a noise through his teeth. "I just do not think that's right, not for a wedding."
I chuckled as I looked at him.
"Lizzy would have said 'its fine'," he had mimicked my mother so well I had laughed again.
"And Renee—without missing a beat—would have said, 'oh bless your heart', and Renee wasn't southern," Carlisle said as he laughed.
"I know, Bella told me," I said.
"Yeah, it was great. Every time she spoke to another female, whether they were a friend or foe, she put on this almost southern accent. It was one of the reasons I fell in love with her," Charlie smiles.
"That may be why Bella is able to mimic Jasper's voice so well," I said.
"She does it better than her father does," Jasper said as he walked into the room.
Carlisle handed out the glasses of whisky and looked at me. "To married life," he said raising his glass.
"Married life," we repeated before we had lifted our glasses and clinked them together.
Charlie spent the next two hours as we got ready talking about Renee and Lizzy, and the many stories about the two of them in college. By the time we had needed to head to the church, I felt as if I had known Renee a little more. I was also surprised when I heard stories about my mom when she had been younger; it's not something I had experienced before, not from someone besides her anyway.
It was a little after three when we had gotten to the church, with many of the town people, having already arrived. I took my place at the front, talking softly with Jasper and Charlie.
"See you soon, Son," Charlie said as he and Jasper made their way to where the girls were. It was only a few moments later when the music started. Jasper walked Alice down both smiling happily. Carlisle and Esme walked down next.
Esme had walked to me and kissed my check softly. "You look very handsome today."
I smiled at her. "You look beautiful," I told her.
She walked over to stand with Alice as Rose and Lauren walked down with Little Bear
I knelt down and pet Little Bear. "You look lovely with your bow," I told her which caused her to give me her normal big toothy dog smile. Somehow the girls had not only managed to get a bow on top of Little Bear's head, but she had kept it on.
I stood up as new music started to play. I looked at the door and saw Bella. She was wearing a long ivory wedding dress that was off the shoulder, fitted at the top, and puffed out a little at her hips.
When she reached me, I had kissed her softly on the lips and noticed her hair for the first time. Someone has taken time, and parted her hair to look like flowers, all the way down the full length of her hair.
"You are so beautiful, my love," I whispered "You're hair is stunning," I carried on as I looked into her eyes. "I am so glad that today is the start of our forever lives together."
Minister Webber cleared his throat and I smiled at him as I turned to face him.
"Just saying hello," I told l him which had made him and the rest of the town laugh a little.
The service went by with many laughs and a few sobs of happiness which cleared up when I was allowed to kiss Bella for the first time as my wife.
The next few hours passed getting photos taken with almost the whole town it seemed. We were quickly taken to the school where our reception was being held in the gymnasium. The local diner, with the help of several of the people in town had made all of our food.
"Good evening, everyone," Charlie said as he looked out at everyone. "I would first like to thank Mr. and Mrs. Newton for the fabulous meal that you put on. Thank you to the rest of you that helped out with cooking, and preparing all the wonderful food we have here today." He stopped and cleared his throat. "Edward, on behalf of your mother, I would like to say that you have turned into a fine young man. A man that I am proud not only to call my son, but to have married my daughter. You have grown so much over the past years. With everything that was put against you, you have endured and become a stronger person. I am looking forward to watching, and helping to guide you through these next years as you grow more as a married man, becoming a father, and excelling in your choice of careers."
He took a break and turned to Bella. "Hey, baby girl," he said and stopped when a small sob worked its way out of him. "You have always been the light of my life. I know that you are a married woman now, but know that you'll always be my baby girl. No matter what, that will not change, not even when your future babies have babies," he stopped to let out a chuckle, but it's clear he meant what he said. "You make me the proudest father. You may not always be the easiest child to look after and have given me a few challenges ... and gray hair. Not to mention, actually being successful at pulling off a prank against me, your dear old dad." Nearly everyone laughed knowing that even though it was months ago, he still hadn't dropped the fact that we all had pranked him. "I know your mother is looking down on you and is so proud of how you have turned out. You've always led with your heart. I know that you two will always be there for one another. You both show us all what true love is like, and I know when the time comes, together you will be perfect as parents. So please, everyone, will you all raise your glasses, joining me in a toast to Edward and Bella.
I am brought back to the present when Lauren asks her next question. "Just after you got married, you became a teacher. How did that feel?"
"It was a dream come true, well at least for me. I went through my younger life thinking that I didn't pass high school, and therefore I wouldn't get very far in the world. It turns out that I didn't pass high school, because I was held back by an evil person with his own agenda. The things I went through were terrible. I was used as a stepping stone, but with hard work and determination, I made it. Anyone who wants to better themselves can. The want and desire is what drives a person to succeed in life." I give her a smile, "Of course, having a good support system also helps."
Lauren grins at me as she nods. "Not too long after starting to teach, you opened The Elizabeth Community Center of Music and Arts. Would you like to tell us a little about it?"
I pull at my hair a little. "It's named after my mother who was an amazing musician." I smile a little. "She taught me to play music from when I was a baby. When I was awarded the money for being wrongly incarcerated ... at first I didn't want it. I felt as if it wouldn't make up for what I had been put through. But, after talking to Bella, my family, and friends, I thought about opening a music school. It took some time, but we secured the perfect place. Bella and a few other artists painted some murals on the walls to make it as friendly and inviting as possible."
"We have music rooms for people to learn to play, write, and sing music. There are also rooms for drama students." I smile as I look at Lauren knowing she has used, and still uses the center herself. "Then there are the art rooms," I chuckle. "It's pretty popular for the younger crowd, but the adult classes fill fast, especially when there is a nude model scheduled. Lastly, we have a technology center. It not only teaches people how to make videos and movies, learn to edit, and perform general digital work, but it also has a wonderful graphic design center. We hold classes to help young and old alike learn to use new technology safely. We also stay on top of new releases and updates to programs such as Microsoft Office, Photoshop, Adobe, as well as many other programs, and offer classes on how to use them."
"As you mentioned the center is named after your mother, how did that come about?"
"Bella brought up the initial idea. After she suggested my mother's name, it stayed at the front of my mind. When I was growing up, I was very much a momma's boy. My mother was one of the strongest women I've ever known. She's been gone now for a long time, but she's still up there on the top of my list of favorite females, right along with Bella, you, and Esme, of course." I swallow a little. "Her passion for music is why I love it so much. She loved to teach, no matter how bad or good her student was. She did it for the passion, and to watch someone else get enjoyment out of music. That was always her goal. What a better way to honor my mother than to name the center after her."
"I quite agree; how do you keep the center funded?"
I lick my lips and take a drink of the water. "We are very fortunate to have some amazing volunteers, who give their time to the center. Not only that, but employees' wages are covered by donations and funding, the center receives through grants and investments. The money I initially used to launch the center has been invested well, and that will keep us financially secure for years to come. The funding we receive from the State of Washington, as well as a few Federal grants also help maintain the center. However, most of our money comes from fundraising throughout the year. We are lucky that this town helps the center out greatly either by gifting us things or holding raffles and participating in our fundraising activities. With all the funding and donations we receive, we are able to keep the classes staffed, and the costs down."
"You mentioned classes of all sorts; how much do those classes cost for the general public?"
"There are many who receive scholarships, and there is a sliding fee scale for taking classes at the center, but the most out-of-pocket a person pays for a class or lesson is two dollars. The use of the various rooms is on a first come, first serve basis, when classes are not scheduled."
"Your next fundraising effort is to get at least two brand new busses for the school, right?"
I nod at her. "Yes, over the years we have become more popular, and as of last year, people further away started signing up for classes. Some students could only come every now and then, due to parents working, or the cost to travel to the center. With the aid of the two busses and a set of routes to different areas, not only are we going to be able to employ six more people in new full-time jobs, but we are also helping more people gain access to the school."
"You've recently added a few additions to the school; what exactly are those additions?"
"We recently unveiled and opened a new concert auditorium, and also added an outsource building. The outsource building is on our property, but it is manned by local Community Resource workers. However, the building houses a food and clothing pantry, for those in need which is mainly staffed by volunteers. Many of the stores in the area donate food and clothing. We had a food and clothing drive last week which fully stocked our shelves. We have people who work there such as Boy Scouts and High School students to fulfill their community service hours. We also help special needs individuals with part-time jobs to learn how to work and be independent. The building also holds several offices, and a free clinic which has a rotation of three doctors and nurses who donate their services for a total of twenty hours a week to help those without the means to obtain healthcare. There are rooms used by the local Women's, Infants, and Children's programs, and several other community service organizations.
"As for the auditorium, it is an asset to the center and community. We now have a place to not only hold concerts, recitals, plays, musicals, and dances, but due to the floor plan, we can also rent the space out for things such as wedding receptions and large parties, which will also help to fund the yearly operational costs."
"The extra buildings were built from donations alone, isn't that correct?"
"Yes, they were fully funded from donations and different raffles. All of our talent shows, and plays were held at the school, and were free to attend with a donation, and over the span of two years we raised enough to build the new additions, along with sales from other items."
"What kind of items does the center sell?"
"There are always shirts, cups, and posters printed for each play, musical, show, or event. We also have shirts, shorts, sweats, hoodies, cups, bags, and other things with the center logo on them to help raise funding. The nice thing is that the Graphic Design part of the center is able to do the designs of the items and we get them printed at a great price. Also, for every show we hold, be it theater or a recital, we sell both video and recorded copies. Anyone can order those from our website."
"We'll be sure to show your web address on the screen," Lauren says with a smile. "The Elizabeth Masen Community Center of Music and Arts was not up and running for long when you had a surprise, isn't that right?"
I smile, but also shiver a little. Even now, almost seven years later from that day we found out—and knowing that everything turned out okay—the fear I felt in the doctor's office is still embedded in my mind.
I had watched Bella for the past week and she looked pale, and tired.
"I think we should go to the doctor," I whispered to her but she shook her head.
"It's just the flu," she answered.
I opened my mouth but before I could speak she moved away from me. She only got a few feet and bent over throwing up all over the floor.
"I'm sorry," she said, "I'll get this cleaned up."
She walked away and I followed her. "Bella," I said but she just picked up the cleaning items.
"I'll do it, you need to go and lay down," I told her taking the stuff from her.
"It's my puke, I'll clean it," she said.
I smiled and kissed her head.
"Don't care … I'll clean it, you go lay down. Please?"
She moved back from me.
"Little Bear, no!" she stated in louder than her normal tone of voice.
I turn to see Little Bear is starting to lick it. "Little Bear!" I raised my voice and she stopped and just looked at me. "No!" I carried on kneeling next to her.
She started to lick my face but I backed away.
"Not until you have had your teeth brushed, nasty girl."
She just stared at me and then moved away.
I quickly cleaned up, and then headed to our room and found Bella lying in the bed. Little Bear was on the bed next to her.
"I'm calling Carlisle; you need to see a doctor."
Bella opened her eyes. "Maybe before I do that, I should take a pregnancy test."
I felt myself freeze. "You're pregnant?" I whispered.
"Maybe, I'm not sure, but I am late. About a week and a half late, so it could be a mix of the flu and pregnancy."
"I'll go out and get a test."
I kissed her head and then looked to Little Bear. "Watch over her, until I get home," she looked at me and then lay back down.
I went right to the store and picked up three tests.
"Shit, no way," Jake said making me look at him.
"Won't know until she takes it," I smiled at him.
"Well, good luck," he smiled at me.
I grinned at him and paid quickly. "Keep the change" I say as I started to leave with the sack of pregnancy tests.
I drove quickly home and ran up the stairs.
"Hey," I said when I saw that she was sitting up and drinking some water.
"I got up and brushed my teeth, and had to pee, so it is in a cup in there," she said pointing to the bathroom.
I nodded at her and headed into the bathroom.
I quickly read the directions and dipped each test in her urine and then took them back to the bedroom with me.
"We have to wait three minutes before they will be ready," I said setting my alarm on my cellphone. "So I may just as well brush Little Bear's teeth."
"Come on, Little Bear," I said looking at her.
As soon as she saw the toothbrush she sat and gave me her doggy smile showing her teeth.
"You're a good girl," I told her pleased at how well she let me brush her teeth.
I'd just finished when my phone beeped.
"Ready?" I asked and she nodded at me.
We looked at the tests together and saw that they were all positive.
"We're going to have a baby," I said with a grin, and hugged Bella to me. I pulled back and just looked at her when I saw that she didn't seem happy.
"I'll feel my excitement after I get rid of this flu," she mumbled.
"Just lie down and take it easy," I told her.
I picked up my laptop and completed my collage work as Bella slept next to me in the bed. It was almost dinner time when I heard my front door open, and then Charlie's voice.
I got up and went to the front room.
"Hello," I said seeing Carlisle and Esme next to him.
"Do you have something to tell us?" Charlie asked and the look of excitement on each of their faces made it clear to me that Jake had been talking.
"She ... we're going to have a baby."
They all smiled happily and hugged me.
"Where is she?" Esme asked.
"She's in bed, she still has the flu," I told them softly.
"I'll just go up fast and see her," Charlie said and walked quickly out of the room.
"Does she have an appointment with the doctor yet?" Carlisle asked.
I shook my head at him. "She'll need a scan, too," I said out loud.
"I can book her in for an appointment. Let's schedule it out about two weeks, to help give her time to recover from the flu."
I nodded my head at him and felt very happy. "Can't believe it's all coming together," I swallowed. "I mean, we've been married for two years now and were just beginning to talk about starting a family. We were going to wait until we both finished this year of college but," I had cut myself off, "I just can't help being excited. She's only a few weeks, many be four tops, but I am really happy."
"This year of college will be done before the baby is due. If I worked this out correctly, shell be due the last week in October or the first week in November. I am sure Jasper will arrange something so that she can still do her internship with him," Carlisle stated.
"I'll baby sit," Esme added with a smile which made me chuckle.
"We should wait until she's feeling better, and is a part of this, before we start to plan everything," I said.
I looked at Carlisle. "Can you get a hold of Frank, too, so we can keep an eye on her hip, this is not going to be easy for her?"
Carlisle nodded at me, but didn't say anything as Charlie and Bella walked in.
"You should have woken me," she said to me, "I'll go and start on dinner."
"No," we all said.
"I have a nice beef roast dinner cooked in the crockpot; Carlisle and I will go home and get it. There is enough for all of us, plus several lunches," Esme said and then hugged Bella to her.
"Congratulations," she said clearly very happy.
"Thank you," Bella said and moved to hug me close to her.
The next two weeks seemed to fly by, with Bella still looking like death, and being sick. I'd been reading up on pregnancy so I knew this is a part of it, and that Bella may need to be admitted to the hospital if she kept being as sick as she was.
I held her hand as the technician scanned her tummy. "Do twins run in either of your families?" she asked.
"My father was a twin, but his brother died in childbirth," Bella said.
"Not sure about my dad, but for the rest of my family no," I answered, and then the questions sank in and I paled. "Are we having twins?"
Bella looked up at me. "Twins?" she asked looking happy as well as scared.
"Not twins," the technician said.
"Triplets?" I question.
"Not quite, there are four of them."
"Four," I whispered with shock. "How? I mean isn't that something that people who use fertility treatments have?"
"It is uncommon, but anything is possible. Here take a look," she turned the screen and showed us each of the babies, and their heartbeats.
"I need to get a hold of your physician," she said turning off the machine. I knew she did, but the sound of her voice told me this would not be smooth sailing for Bella. "Go ahead and get dressed, I'll have the nurse come in shortly."
I texted Carlisle asking him to come down here as fast as he could.
"It's going to be alright, I mean the babies' heartbeats were strong," Bella said sounding as if she was getting stressed out.
"I'm here with you, we'll face this together," I said kissing her quickly. I helped her sit up and she slowly got dressed.
A nurse led Bella and me to a room that had a bed in it. "I'm going to put in an IV, because the doctor is worried you're starting to become dehydrated. Get comfortable on the bed, we'll get this started and then the doctor will be in to talk with you," she said. She took Bella's blood pressure and then hooked her up to the IV. Before walking to the door, she smiled. "The doctor will be right with you."
"They really saw four babies," Bella said and I looked at the pictures we had been given.
"Yeah, they're all here," I answered and looked to Bella who was panicked looking.
"We're not having any more children after this," she chuckled as the door opened.
"Hi, Mr. and Mrs. Masen," the woman said "I'm Dr. Biers but you can call me Cathy," she held out her hand and I shook it then Bella did.
"I've looked over your scan, and as you know pregnancies like this are very uncommon. I have to inform you that multi births are very difficult. They have a higher risk of miscarriages, stillbirths, premature births—"
"How do we stop that from happening?" Bella asked cutting her off.
"Miscarriages are not caused by something that you do, but with having four fetuses, the risk is much higher. We recommend performing a selective reduction."
"What?" I asked swallowing. "What's that?" I asked hoping it's not what I thought it was.
"It means we can reduce the risk by aborting one or two of the fetuses."
I closed my eyes as Bella sobbed a little. I opened my eyes and clasped Bella's hand.
"But there is a risk to do that isn't there?"
"Yes, there is a chance that you could lose all of the fetuses."
"No!" Bella stated with a raised voice.
"Mrs. Masen, you are already a high risk."
Bella again shook her head 'no'. "I can't," she said and I pulled her to me as the door opened.
"Sorry this room is being used," Cathy said but turned to see Carlisle looking at us worriedly.
"It's okay, I asked him to come," I told her.
"The baby?" he asked with a heart breaking look on his face.
"There are four babies," I told him, which caused him look at me in surprise.
"We are having four babies," I added. "Cathy was just telling us about the risks and what they recommend we do."
Carlisle looked at her and then walked to Bella's notes.
"May I look at your notes, Bella?"
Bella pulled back from me and nodded her head. "Yeah, then tell me how to get through this with keeping all four," she begged.
"I can't ... will not ... pick which babies die ... I can't," she cried burying her face against my chest.
"Okay, Bella, calm down. Let me look at this, and talk to Cathy; we'll give you the best plan," Carlisle stated.
"Cathy, can you join me for a moment?" He asked and walked to the side of the room.
I could tell it was a heated conversation, but they kept their voices low.
Carlisle and Cathy came back over and Carlisle pats Bella's back.
"It will be a lot of bed rest, more so as the weeks pass. As soon as you hit five months, I want you off your feet most of the time, more so with your hip." He stopped. "We'll scan you every two weeks and plan a cesarean section around thirty-four weeks."
Bella just nodded as did I.
"They have to be alright." she whispered.
"Right now you need to rest and get fluid in you. I'll speak with Cathy more and we'll get a detailed plan together."
They both walked out of the room and Bella just looked at me. "You're not mad that I didn't talk it through with you first are you?"
I shook my head. "No, I was thinking the same as you, I couldn't choose either."
"Four," she chuckled. "How the hell did that happen?"
I shook my head at her. "Not sure," I smiled. "We're going to have our hands full."
Bella hummed. "I think Esme may rethink babysitting for us."
I snorted. "She'll probably love the idea. I mean, seriously she will have a house full of kids to dote on."
"Do you want me to call Charlie and her?" I asked.
Bella nodded at me. "Yeah, but don't say anything until they get here."
I stood up and gave both her mouth and stomach a kiss, before pulling out my cell phone. I called both and said Bella had to be here a while to get fluids, and we would like them to come and see us.
It didn't take very long for them both to show up. They came into the room, smiling happily, and I am sure that both Bella and I had a look of worry on our faces, because they both seemed to become serious right away.
"What happened, what's going on?" Charlie asked moving to Bella's side.
"Bella's pregnancy has been considered very high risk," I said feeling caught up over it.
"Why ... what's wrong?" Esme asked and I handed her the scanned pictures.
"What? I mean ..." she stuttered and Charlie looked over at them.
"Why are there four pictures in one?" he asked. "Thought they only put one per ... wait a minute ..." he stopped for a second. "Why does it say baby one, baby two, baby three, and baby four?"
"I am having quads," Bella said.
"Four babies," Esme repeated, "what have they said?"
I shook my head and told them what Cathy had told us, and that Carlisle had left with her to try and sort out a plan for us.
"He'd better hurry and get back up here, he knows how I feel about waiting," Esme said biting her nails. "If he is not back in the next three minutes I will hunt him down."
As if he had heard her threat he walked through the door.
"Okay, we've come up with a plan of sorts that will hopefully help you and all four babies get through this safely," Carlisle stated.
"First, we think that both attending college and working will put too much added stress on you, so that will need to be eliminated immediately. If you want to stay in college, you will need to switch to online courses to reduce the amount of time that you will be on your feet. Frank is going to have weekly therapy sessions with you, and will get you set up with some kind of assistance equipment and possibly a brace to help take as much pressure off your hip as possible. We're going to book you in for scans every other week. You will also need to see Cathy every other week. One week a scan, the next you will see Cathy. You will be here a lot. If it's okay, I will also keep an eye on you by attending all your scan appointments, so that if anything doesn't look right, we can deal with it immediately. Because you are feeling so sick and are dehydrated, we want you to stay in the hospital for at least tonight, and rest while we continue to give you fluids. We also want to see if you can keep down some food."
Bella just nodded her head at him.
"Tell me what else I can do to help her?" I said slowly feeling deeply worried.
"Just make sure that she is resting and doesn't try to do too much, and absolutely no walking Little Bear."
"What … why?" Bella asked looking at him.
Carlisle rolled his eyes. "Not with the lead, anyway. If she's walking next to you off leash, that's fine. I don't want to take the chance that she could accidentally pull on her leash causing you to fall. However, keep in mind you are to stay off your feet as much as possible, no jogging at all, and we would prefer that you only get exercise on a zero impact machine."
"I'll speak to the town, and make sure everyone knows that right now Little Bear cannot be on a leash if you are outside with her," Charlie said and looked deep in thought.
"It's illegal for her not to be on a lead," Bella muttered.
"That's why I said I will speak to the town, if everyone agrees that due to the circumstances it will be okay until the babies are born, and then it'll be fine."
"Our plan is to bring you in around thirty-three weeks, and schedule you in for a cesarean-section in your thirty-fourth week."
"Isn't that too early?" I asked.
"They will need to be in the NICU for the first few weeks; yes, but they'll be a higher risk not just to them but also to Bella if we leave them longer than that."
Esme just nodded her head at him.
"We'll have everything in place for Bella and the babies; we just have to take each day as it comes," Carlisle said softly to us all.
It was quite late when I stood up knowing that I had to go home.
"Tell Lauren," Bella said to me. "She should really have been here."
I shook my head at her. "She took Little Bear for us," I reminded her.
I kissed Bella and walked out with Charlie and Esme. "Remember that we are here for you, too," Esme told me and gave me a hug. "We'll get you both through this," she carried on.
"She's going to need clothes, right?" Charlie muttered making me tilt my head.
"Ah, yeah, she's going to get big quickly because there are four babies," I muttered not having thought about that.
"Let's just take it as it comes. I'll pick up some slacks that will last her a few weeks, but let's not jump too far ahead in planning a new wardrobe."
I gave them a nod and got in to the truck. "See you both tomorrow," I said and they both nodded at me.
I drove right to Lauren's who was still living with her mother. "Hi," Tanya said as she opened the door, and her face fell a little. "Did everything go okay today?" she asked as I walked in.
"So did you see my nephew?" Lauren asked.
"It could be a girl," Tanya said.
"Nope it's a boy," Lauren said looking at me.
"You've got a one in four chance for a boy or a girl, maybe we will get both," I chuckled.
"What?" Both Lauren and Tanya said together. "I don't get it," Lauren carried on.
"She's having four babies?" Tanya yelled out making me nod.
"Yeah," I take them through what Carlisle had said and they both had given me a smile.
"It's a yes for me; Little Bear is fine and always listens to commands. I'll help out as much as I can. I could help Bella explain to the college, and get her classes sorted."
"If you could let them know she's in the hospital that would help," I said.
"I don't have anything going on Wednesdays, so I can sit with Bella on those days, and keep her company while helping her study," Lauren said with a smile.
"I can change my shifts from Fridays to Saturdays, and then I can be with her on Fridays," Tanya smiled.
"Yeah, Esme could do a day or two, and I am sure Mary could even have her sitting in the lounge at the school one day so she's close to you."
I grin feeling happy that we have such a great team behind us. "You know what. Little Eric was looking for a job; you could hire him to walk Little Bear once a day to take that pressure off. He may be autistic but he is great with animals, and it'll help him gain some independence," Tanya told me.
"I'll speak to him and his mom to see if they think he's up for it," I told them, knowing that Eric was very good with Little Bear. Eric is seventeen now, but he still has melt downs, and I will need guidance in this.
I left Lauren and Tanya's with Little Bear heading right home. I had lain in bed, but found it very hard to sleep. The next day I told Mary, Jasper, Alice, Rose, and Emmett. Mary gave me some time off, and by the time I arrived home from visiting Bella the whole town knew not only that Bella was pregnant but that we were expecting four babies.
Bella had stayed in the hospital for ten days, and by the time she was sent home she could eat small child sized meals. If she ate slowly and kept eating small meals every three to four hours, she would get the nutrients that she and the babies needed.
The weeks went by slow, and smooth considering as the pregnancy progressed. It wasn't until Bella had reached her twenty-sixth week that things had taken a more worrying turn.
Bella had let out a sigh and I looked to her. "We could, if you wanted ask if at least we have one boy and one girl," I said to her knowing she was still unsure about asking the sex of the babies.
Bella snorted. "I hope we have a least one of each sex, that way I definitely won't have to do this again."
I leaned down to kiss her head. "But if there's only one of one and three of the other, the one may feel outnumbered and want another baby to try to even it out."
Bella had simply looked at me. "They'll have you or me," she almost growled and I chuckled.
"Afternoon, Bella, Edward," Julie said as she walked through the door. "How are you doing?" she asked while setting things up for the scan.
"Okay, just huge," Bella said and I smiled and leaned down to kiss her cheek.
Julie first measured Bella's stomach and noted it before adding the gel for the scan.
"Just taking measurements of each of the babies, and then I'll let you see them," she carried on.
"How's your daughter's wedding planning going?" Bella asked making Julie hum.
"Not so good, she changed her mind about the church," she added in an eye roll. "Now, she wants have a humanist wedding ... saying that it makes more sense since she doesn't go to church."
Julie stopped talking and looked at the screen puzzled.
"Just give me a second; I want to double check this," she said and then carried on with a few clicks on the screen.
Bella had taken a hold of my hand holding it.
"Baby three is still measuring smaller," she stopped and turned to look at Bella. "Baby one, doesn't look as if it has grown much. I will need to call Cathy down to look this over."
Bella just nodded but looked to be in shock.
"How about I show you them first?" Julie asked turning the screen toward us. "They all have very good heartbeats," she said, "and one or more babies being small is not uncommon. I'll be right back."
Julie had turned off the screen and walked out.
"They have made it this far, and they'll make it until the end, just six more weeks," Bella said.
I kissed her feeling unsure of what I could say to her. Thankfully it didn't take long for Cathy to walk in the room with Julie. She had just sat down when Carlisle walked in.
"Hi," he said giving Bella a kiss, before moving to look at the screen.
Cathy hummed a little and then looked to us. "Baby three is around twenty percent smaller than the two healthier ones. Baby one on the other hand has only grown a little since two weeks ago. However, both look lively and their heartbeats are great. I would like to scan you every week now. I would also like to start giving you steroid injections to help the babies' lung development."
All Bella could do was to nod at her.
"They are all doing great," Carlisle said to Bella holding her hand. "You're doing great," he added on a wink. "We are giving them every chance we can."
After that day, the whole town seemed to take more care of Bella. There was always someone at our door with food, or to help with anything they could around the yard. Tanya even came by to help clean the house. Everyone made it possible so that Bella wasn't on her feet and had plenty to eat. She had just turned thirty-two weeks and five days when Little Bear started to act odd. Everywhere that Bella went, she was right there with her. When it came to the afternoon, she just started to whine and bark, and even looked panicked. She went from Bella's side to the front door and back again. Thinking that she wanted a walk I grab her lead, but when I opened the door, she went to the car.
"You want to go for a drive?" I asked her making her bark, she ran away from me, inside the house.
I walked into the house and saw that she was not beside Bella like I figured she would be.
"Where did Little Bear go?"
"I'm not sure, she's been acting strange all day, I think we should take her to the vet," Bella said sounding worried.
"Yeah, if she's still like this tomorrow, I'll take her in before work," I replied as I went see where she had run off to.
I found her standing next to Bella's suitcase.
"Do you want to go for a walk?" I asked her.
She bit the handle and started to pull on Bella's case, making me narrow my eyes at her.
She looked up and then ran into the other room. I followed her and when I got to Bella, Little Bear had her head lying on Bella's abdomen.
"I think we should get you checked out," I said making Bella look at me. "I think Little Bear's worried about you."
She held out her hand and I helped her stand. She smiled at me and rolled her eyes. "Her and everyone else."
I moved closer to Bella and kissed her.
"I don't think that's what's wrong with her, but if helps her calm down, we can go get checked out."
I nodded at her. I helped Bella to the car and opened the door, and Little Bear got in. I sent a text asking Carlisle if he would meet us outside, so that Little Bear had someone to watch over her. I started to drive to the hospital and was half way there, when Little Bear barked as Bella gasped.
"My water just broke," Bella said looking at me in panic. I looked back at Little Bear feeling a little confused but drove faster toward the hospital.
"Edward," Carlisle said opening Bella's door.
"Bella's water broke."
"How long ago?" he asked.
"On the way here, so not long ago."
Within half an hour of arriving at the hospital Bella was in the operating room.
"Do you think Little Bear knew I was in labor? Or that I was going to go into labor?" Bella asked as Cathy started to cut her open.
"Maybe," I told her having no idea how it was possible, but thankful that we were almost here when Bella's water broke.
"Baby one is a girl," Cathy said. It took a few long moments but we heard a small whimper that sounded more like a kitten. "Baby two is a girl," she said. This time the cry is quick and louder, but not by much. "Baby three is a boy, and baby four is a boy," both the boys sound so much louder than our girls.
"We've got two of each," Bella told me, with a smile.
"Check on them," she carried on with a sob. "You know, make sure there are forty fingers and toes."
I nodded, and kissed her before walking over to where the babies were.
Baby girl two and baby boy four both looked bigger than the other two. But it was clear even to me that that my first baby girl was having problems.
"We need to move them to the NICU but you have time for a photo," the head nurse stated.
I nodded and took a quick photo. I watched them get wheeled out and moved back to Bella.
"They look so cute," I told her as I showed her the photo.
"It won't be long until you get to see them, Bella," Cathy said as Bella smiled looking at the photo.
The first few days had been hard, mostly because Bella was bed bound due to having an infection that she must have picked up just before she went into labor. She hated it, but understood that it needed to be treated for a full day of antibiotics before she could touch the babies.
The second she had been given the all clear she was right down in the NICU watching over each of them.
We had already picked out names. Our first baby girl was Renee Esme, and we call her Remy for short. Renee was a very strong woman and we knew that name was fitting for her. Our next girl was named Elizabeth Mary, but we shorten it to Beth. Our first boy was named Charles Jasper, who instantly caught the nick-name CJ. Our second boy was named Anthony Carlisle, and we call him AC. We made sure that each baby had a good strong name, honoring the people that meant so much to us.
Charlie, to my surprise cried just a little when we told him the babies' names. He quickly agreed that they were all named well.
Bella had left the hospital ten days after giving birth, and then four weeks later, Beth and AC were able to come home. Only a few days later, CJ joined us, then almost two weeks after that Remy came home.
Just like I thought, Remy is the one that had the most problems; but she is just like her mother and namesake, a fighter and has overcome nearly all of them.
It wasn't until she was almost a year old that the doctors had found out that she had hypoglycemia. Once we found out what was hindering her development, she began to flourish once we began medication. Now, she has no issue keeping up with her siblings.
"Tomorrow is a big day; not only do your children start first grade, but it's also your first day as the High School principal. How do you feel about it all?" Lauren asks giving me a small smile clearly knowing I was just having a trip down memory lane.
"I think I will miss the kids. I know the school, and the entire staff well, but they're still my babies. I feel proud that they have come this far, and that they have not let their initial sizes or being born early stop them from meeting all their normal milestones. As for me, working here as the principal is nerve wracking to say the least. Mary has left very big shoes to fill. I hope that everyone knows that I am still me and that no matter what job I hold in this school they can come to me."
Lauren asks me a few more questions before wrapping up.
"I want photos, lots of photos of tomorrow," Lauren says after her camera crew walks out.
"I know we have a list of people who want photos," I tell her.
Lauren snorts. "Yeah, I think Dusty wants us to go to school, to mark the event. Forks' first Quads start school," she says with a chuckle making me smile at her.
"Things going well between the two of you?" I ask and watch as she blushes. Dusty is her boss, and they've been quietly dating for awhile now.
"They are; he wants to join the quads and me this weekend when I take them to the zoo." She tilts her head at me and bites her lip.
"I'm sure that'll be fine, just run it past Bella," I tell her and Lauren hugs me.
"Later, Bro," she says before walking out.
The next morning we are all up early.
"Everyone in the van," I say as the kids all pile in, with Little Bear in the front between Bella and me.
"This so exciting," Beth says bouncing in her seat.
"No, not really, it's just like kindergarten." CJ pipes in.
"But we're going to meet new kids," AC tells them clearly getting excited.
"No, we won't, we already know everyone," Remy says in a duh tone making me laugh.
We arrive at the school, and Bella and I walk our children to their classroom. We spent some time taking photos and getting them settled.
"Remy, remember to watch your snack, and let the school nurse check your sugar level."
Remy nods and I pull her to me, hugging her close. "Love you," I whisper to her.
I move hugging each of them and telling them I love them. Bella follows my lead and does the same. I laugh when Little Bear sniffs each of the kids and gives a little whine as we walk toward the door.
"I'll be right here to pick you up at three," Bella says trying hard not to cry.
I walk her out and we get into the van. I drive right to my school with them. Bella is now the school counselor, and Little Bear has come to be the school's therapy dog.
"See you at lunch," I say kissing Bella before we head inside the school.
It's only the first break when I hear a bark outside my door. "Come in," I say and Little Bear walks in with Sally who has been crying.
"Hello, Sally," I say getting up. "Take a seat and I'll get you some water."
Sally pets Little Bear as I get her a bottle of water.
"Can you tell me what's happened?"
Sally just shrugs. "Just so much."
I frown a Little. Sally is new to Forks, having only moved here a few months ago.
"You know it's common to feel overwhelmed; you have had some big changes in your life."
Sally's mother had passed away almost a year and a half ago, but I feel that she's still grieving over it.
"This school is smaller than my other one, but ..." she trails off as the bell rings, telling everyone that break time is over. "Should I go back to class?"
"You're okay for now, drink your water and just take some time out."
"Don't you have to work?"
"I am working," I smile at her, "but you're free to sit with me, or you can go and see Mrs. Masen."
Sally bites her lip. "She's nice. My dad said I should speak to her," she stops talking.
"But you don't feel ready, or feel like you have much to say?" I ask hoping she will give me something.
She nods at me. "Not good at talking," she finally says.
"Neither am I. What helped me was to write down my thoughts and then share it when and if I felt I needed to. I also play music when I'm feeling overwhelmed. Mrs. Masen paints and draws. We even pet Little Bear," I say giving the dog a pat on her head.
"Could I draw as I sit here for a little bit?"
"You can," I tell her passing her some paper and a pencil.
"You can use the small desk over there," I say pointing to the quiet area I set up for situations like this. "I'll just be here at my desk."
Sally sits for almost half an hour before Bella shows up, with a warm smile on her face.
"Hello, Sally," she says as she walks to my desk.
"I need to grab these files from you," she carries on handing me a list of names, before she turns and looks at Sally.
"Hey, Sally, I need to take Little Bear for a walk, would you like to come with us?"
"Shouldn't you be making me go back to class?" Sally asks.
"The class will be there when you two are done," I tell her making her shrug.
"Okay then, yeah, I would like to go with you to walk Little Bear. She is such a pretty dog," Sally smiles at Bella.
I chuckle and nod at her, before winking at my wife. I watch Bella walk out with Sally and Little Bear. It's only a few moments later when Tia walks in.
"That is the reason our kids don't want to go to college and just stay here."
I roll my eyes at her. "This is my first day, which is all because of Mary."
Tia snorts. "You've been doing this for almost two years, it's the reason you got the job."
"I am the only one in the school that applied," I argue back knowing that Rose didn't want the job if she had, then she would be sitting where I am.
"You are doing a great job, and I think you are making a big difference. I am sure the powers that be, will be in to check on you in a few weeks though."
"I'm sure they will be. It will not to be to check on how I am doing it, but to see what they can get me to do for them and you know it," I say making her chuckle but nod at me.
"They will find out like I did, that all we want is for the children to enjoy their school, and grow up to be strong individuals that have good morals."
She nods. "We can only hope that we reach some of them," she says looking out my window.
I turn looking out to see Sally playing with Little Bear as she talks to Bella.
"I think this town, and its people are very special, especially in the fact that we seem to be able to reach and help people."
"You know that you have become a part of that, a part of what makes this town so special," Tia tells me.
I feel the heat of my blushing on my cheeks. "I had some great people showing me the way. Showing me that I no longer had to keep asking 'what do you want from me' and started asking 'what can I do to help support you'."
Tia nods at me and walks out my office.
I look back out the window, seeing Bella. She's still the most beautiful woman I know, both inside and out. I know that we'll always get through anything because we support each other.
I turn back to my desk, going back to my work. I've never felt as content in my life as I have felt in the past several years. I no longer feel as if I have to wonder what others want from me, now I live by the thoughts of what I can do to help others.
A/N: So this is the end of this one, and we hope you enjoyed the story as a whole. Huge thanks goes out to all our patient readers who have waited on us with this one, while real life knocked us around a bit.
We have several things as always that we are working on, so keep us on alert, there will be something coming your way soon.