My hair was stuck to my face with sweat and I could concentrate on nothing but the pain. My mother was gripping my hand supportively but I wanted to badly to shake her off. It wasn't her that was supposed to be here. I wanted Edward. He was the only one that should be here, holding my hand and wiping my forehead. I squirmed under my mother's touch, annoyingly body temperature. I wanted his cool skin pressed against mine. I didn't want her hand on my head. She was the reason I was here, doing this, without him. It was all I could do to force her to let me keep the baby. Had she not plucked me out of Forks the minute this was discovered, he would be here, by my side, keeping me cool.
"Just one more push, Ms Swan," the doctor said. I groaned and screamed as I struggled to do what he said. It should be Carlisle. If anybody at all should be here, birthing my child, it should be Carlisle. I could hear his calming voice, "You're doing very well, Bella, just another push now…" Carlisle's voice echoed in my head and that gave me the encouragement. As my mother's hands reached my shoulders, I screamed loudly, feeling the tears flow freely down my face. And then there was a strange feeling, an emptiness, and somewhere in the heaven of the room, a baby's wails joined mine.
I wanted to collapse, lay back, but I propped myself up even farther, desperation filling me as my baby was handed to a curly-haired woman by the bedside, who took the little bundle away.
"What…where's my baby going? What are you doing?"
"We're jut going to make the baby look pretty for you, Ms Swan," the doctor said, smiling at me. This infuriated me. I was not a child. I did not want a pretty doll. I wanted my baby.
"I don't care what the baby looks like!" I said desperately, but the curly-haired nurse was now walking towards me with a bundle wrapped in a yellow blanket. My breath caught in my throat.
"It's a boy," the nurse said, and I propped myself up father, ignoring the pain, and outstretched my arms. I received my baby, my son, who had weighed almost eight pounds by my calculation, and I gently peeled back the yellow blanket to see what my baby's face was like. A tear slid down my face.
"He's a handsome little boy." The nurse smiled sweetly at me.
"He is," I said. My voice was not above a whisper, and it was hoarse. "Thank you." I turned my attention to the doctor, who was drying his hands. "Thank you so, so much." Carlisle.
"You're welcome. He's a fine little boy. What's he going to be called?" The doctor, fat and dark, looked nothing like Carlisle, but his smile was just as genuine as Carlisle's would have been, and I trusted him.
"Not Edward." My mother said into my ear, and I looked up at her, shaking my head.
"Mom…he's Edward's son, too."
My Mother sighed, brushing my lank hair back from my sweaty face and looking down at her grandson. "It's time to get Edward out of your life, Isabella."
I hadn't been called that by my mother in years.
So it was time for cunning.
I looked down at my baby. The few wisps of hair on his head were dark and damp, but those that had started to dry were turning out to be a lovely shade of copper. His eyes were a dark blue, but they were darkening as we spoke.
"Probably he will have your eyes." The nurse says kindly. "They look like your eyes - same shape."
I couldn't understand why they were still here, talking to me. Perhaps it was just that Edward wasn't here - maybe they pitied me. Maybe my mother had told them that I didn't have anyone. No, that wasn't what she would have said. She thought I had her. I didn't want her.
"Maybe," I breathed, remembering to respond to the nurse. "I'm going to call him Jasper."
"Jasper?" My mother demanded. "That's Doctor Cullen's other son. No way. I'm sorry."
"You're not sorry," my voice was tranquil. "I just had to suffer childbirth without my son's father. He is my son, Mom. I have the right to give him whatever name I want. If you were sorry, Edward would have been here."
"Jasper Swan." The doctor smiled, trying to break up what had the potential to escalate into an argument. "Have you decided on a middle name?"
"No, no…not Jasper Swan. Jasper Cullen." I said it as a reflex - no way on earth was the baby not having Edward's name.
"No, no way -" My mother began, but the doctor's voice cut her off.
"That's very nice." He said. "And have you decided on a middle name?"
"Carlisle." I said quickly - that much had been decided long before the birth.
"Jasper Carlisle," the nurse hummed. "Very nice. Very unusual. Where did you find those names?"
"Carlisle and Jasper are the father and brother of the boy who defiled my daughter." My mom interrupted, fuming. I shot her a filthy look and turned to the nurse myself.
"Carlisle is like a second father to me, and Jasper is one of my best friends, and they are family to the man I wanted to marry." I said.
Then the door burst open, and he was there, like a God. Beads from the rain outside were still in his hair and I heard a distant shout of, "Sir! I can't permit you to go in there!" But his golden eyes were fixed on me and on the bundle that I was holding tightly to my chest.
"Bella," his mesmerising, musical voice was low and rough, evidently he was holding back the emotions I'd been trying to control for the last eight months, since we last met. The look in his eyes said it all, but his lips parted slowly and he spoke the words solely for my mother's benefit, and for that of all those present.
"Please forgive me, Bella."
My breath caught slowly in my throat and I nodded.
The Doctor spoke quickly. "Nurse Evans, Mrs Dwyer…can I ask you to accompany to the lounge to inform the grandfather and step-grandfather of the successful birth?"
"No," My mother said, not budging. Nurse Evans had already left.
"Phil and Charlie will want to know." I said. I saw Edward's lips move - a message not meant for human ears. My mother nodded submissively and left the room.
Evidently Jasper was in the vicinity.
Edward edged closer, and then backed away again. "If you don't want me to come any closer I'd under stand."
"Get your ass over here, Edward Cullen." I rolled my eyes and he moved forward tentatively.
His eyes were bouncing back and forth, from my eyes to Jasper, my baby son, who was lying peacefully in my arms.
"Believe me…if I had known…If I had had any idea…" The words seemed to be caught in his throat.
"I know," I whispered, placing a kiss on his stone lips.
Edward looked down at the miracle in my arms, and I could see that he was speechless. I realised that the room must smell like me.
"Is this…difficult for you?" I whispered.
Edward shook his head, unable to speak. He reached out with a finger and traced Jasper's nose, as if checking to see if he was real. Jasper apparently passed the test, and a smile broke out on Edward's beautiful face as he swiftly moved onto one knee beside my bed, bringing himself at eye level with Jasper.
"What have you named him?" Edward asked, his voice at a whisper. He looked up at me, and it took me a moment to find my voice.
Edward smiled again, and nodded as he moved his finger slowly around Jasper's tiny face. "Thank you. He'll like that. It'll be a nice surprise." Edward stood again to plant a kiss on my lips, the only taste I'd craved for over seven months. "Jasper Swan." Edward mused, looking back down at his son, my son, our son, again.
"No," I said, smiling. His eyes, very dark, flashed up to mine. Confusion riddled his face. "Jasper Cullen. Jasper Carlisle Cullen."
Edward smiled very widely, kissing me again. "You're going to make Carlisle and Jasper very happy."
I nodded, smiling. I could feel tears in my eyes. "I hope that I do."
A while later, when I had been moved out of the theatre and into a separate room, Alice and Jasper entered quietly. Alice had been in earlier in the day, but had not ruined the surprise for Jasper. We had asked her to bring Jasper in, although he didn't want to come for fear of what he might do.
"Please tell him that I trust him. I want him to meet his nephew." Alice had agreed to ask him, and Rosalie and Emmett had already been, so Jasper was the last, apart from Carlisle and Esme, who were on their way back from Volterra. Edward nodded to me and handed me his son, my son, our son, wanting me to tell Jasper, who looked very shy and scared. I could tell that he was concerned about his self-control. His eyes were very golden, a precaution.
"Jasper," I smiled at him and he smiled back shyly. "Meet your nephew." I pushed back the baby blanket to reveal my son's face. Jasper's face blanked. Edward's concerned frown changed to a smile.
Jasper looked confused. "I…I don't feel anything," he said, more to his feet than us. "Nothing at all. No thirst, no temptation…" his eyes darted up to me, and then to Edward. "Why?"
"Maybe the good Jasper outbalances the bad Jasper," Alice said, rubbing her husband's arm. "Maybe you couldn't hurt your own nephew, a helpless baby? I don't see you doing anything."
"I can feel it. It's clear as a bell." Edward said. "Come a little closer to her, Jasper."
Jasper moved a step or two closer, and shook his head.
"Still nothing," Edward said, for the rest of us without mind-reading abilities.
"Jasper," I said, pulling back the blanket further. "Meet Jasper."
Jasper looked at my face, and then back at the baby, and then at Edward. A smile broke out on his pale face. "Really?" He looked away slowly, scuffing at the floor with his shoes. He looked back up, smiling widely at me. "Thank you, Bella." He said, sincerely.
Edward snaked an arm around my shoulder and pulled me closer. Alice and Jasper left after a few minutes, but Edward did not take his arm away, and as Jasper mewled quietly in my arms, I smiled up at Edward, and he tore his eyes away from Jasper to look at me and bend to kiss me.
"That's the best thing you could have ever done for Jasper," he whispered to me, keeping his eyes closed. I felt his warm breath on my lips and it made me shiver. "You've given him respect for himself, and I don't think any of us can ever thank you enough. And for me..." Edward sighed and opened his eyes, placing a hand on the bundle that was my son, his son, our son. He met my gaze. "Bella, you have given me what I thought I could never have. You've been through so much and...oh, Bella...I love you more than anything in the world. And you, love, are amazing. You have given life." He shook his head. "Bella, I cannot even begin to thank you for this. It's truly the greatest gift anyone could have ever given me. It's the best thing that you could ever have done."
A.N. - It was a quick, thrown-together fic that took me about a half an hour, but I was proud of it so I decided to post it before I started not liking it any more. Please review, it takes five seconds and it would make so much of a difference! If people review and say that they like it, I'll develop it, if people review and say that they don't, I won't. Thanks for reading!