Chapter Six

Tenacity

POV: Rosalie McCarty-Hale

Bella had been moved to a different room after the birth of the baby, and when Alice came back she came and put a hand on my shoulder. "They said they'd like it if you came," she said. She glanced fleetingly at me. "Though…they'll understand if it makes you uncomfortable, Rose,"

I shook my head, flashing a genuine smile at Emmett and Alice. "I'd like to see them."

Emmett's eyebrows raised, obviously sure I was lying. But I wasn't. The long drive to Florida had given me time to think.

"Are you sure you won't be jealous, Rose?" Emmett said, rubbing my back lightly.

"Why on earth would she be jealous?" Bella's mother snapped. "Jealous of my daughter whose life has been ruined?"

We were all silent. Jasper leaned in to Renee. "Unfortunately, our sister is unable to have children,"

Renee began to apologise, embarrassed, but I just shook my head. "It's fine, you couldn't have known."

I stood and followed Emmett to the room where I knew Bella would be, holding her newborn.

A son.

Emmett entered first, and then held the door for me. I came in and saw Bella sitting up in bed, looking exhausted yet happy, clutching a blue bundle to her chest. Edward was half-sitting on the bed, leaning on his elbow against the metal headrest of the bed, staring contentedly at his baby boy. When they heard us enter, they looked up and smiled both. Bella looked a little sad, and she had obviously been crying a lot today. I perched on a seat beside Bella's bedside. "Oh…oh, he's absolutely beautiful, Bella."

Bella's anxious face broke out into a beam. Had she been anxious of my reaction? Had everybody? I clasped my hands to my mouth, and then crossed them over my heart in pure silly-sighing-girl fashion.

"He's a stunner," Emmett clapped a hand on Edward's shoulder. Edward smiled and nodded.

"May…may I hold him?" I asked, shyly, and it was very rare for me to be shy. Bella nodded enthusiastically, and I held out my arms for the bundle to be transferred.

He was even more beautiful then Vera's Henry. His nose was the exact same as Edward's, and he had Bella's eyes for certain. He was very pale, but that was to be expected when you looked at his parents. I noticed some shadows around his eyes, and looked up, curious.

"We don't know." Edward said plainly, reading my thoughts. "We won't know for a while if he's human."

"What have you called him?" I asked, gently poking the little dear's nose with my index finger. He blinked at me and I smiled down at him. I knew then that if I could not have children, I would devote my entire being to making sure that my little nephew - who would surely be more than spoilt by Alice, Jasper, Emmett and myself, as well as Edward and Bella - was always happy.

"Jasper Carlisle Cullen," Bella said, and I sighed.

"It suits him." I said. "Does it hurt much, Bella? As much as people say?"

Bella groaned. "Much worse. It's just hours of pure agony."

I shuddered, and looked back down at Jasper. "It must be worth it, though. Or people wouldn't do it."

"It's worth it." Bella agreed. Edward perched down beside her, putting an arm around her shoulders.

"Happy, Ed?" Emmett asked cheerfully. Edward nodded, smirking.

"Blissfully so, thank you." He stroked Bella's cheek and she smiled at his touch.

Baby Jasper had fallen asleep in my arms.

"Emmett," Edward smiled. "Come with me for a walk." They went, leaving Bella and I alone together with Jasper.

"He's so beautiful, Bella." I said. "I mean that - he's truly the most gorgeous thing I've ever seen."

Bella blushed. "Thank you." There was a moment of silence. "Rosalie?"

"Yes?"

"I'm sorry if…any of this…has caused you any hurt, I mean - "

I held up a hand to silence her. "Bella - I know what my family thinks of me. I'm Rosalie - selfish and vain. But when you were gone, I realised how truly terrible I'd treated you, and I'm very, deeply sorry for it. The old, tenacious Rosalie would have been very jealous. But the way I'm going to see it is that you've given us a gift - the gift of a baby, the gift of life, and I for one am very grateful. If I can't be a mother, Bella, I will be the best aunt that Jasper has ever had - if you're okay with that."

Bella smiled. "There's nothing I'd like more."

I smiled back at her. "Alice, watch out," I mumbled. "The heat is on."

Bella laughed out loud and then I began to giggle.

We were still laughing when the boys returned.

POV: Alice Brandon-Whitlock

Edward called me in to see Bella just after they moved her. She was clutching the most beautiful baby boy I'd ever seen, and I'd seen a few - after all, I was almost a hundred and seven, just a few months younger than Edward. Technically.

He was passed over into my hands for a few minutes, and if I could cry, I would have been. His little face was a carbon copy of Edward's, with Bella's eyes photo-shopped.

"He is so adorable. Honestly. Bella, seriously, I'm being very honest with you, he is absolutely and totally beautiful."

"Thank you, Alice." Bella smiled at me, but she was half asleep. Edward smiled and helped her to lie down. He covered her with a comforter as well as the thin hospital sheet, and, although she attempted to keep up conversation, her eyes were soon drooping, and she was asleep within five minutes.

I transferred the baby back into the plastic cot - a horrible excuse for a crib. I wondered fleetingly if Bella had bought a crib. I would ask her tomorrow morning - I would also have to ask Esme about throwing her an impromptu post-pregnancy baby shower. I was sure that Esme would be up for the idea.

I saw Edward rolling his eyes at my thoughts.

"Oh, shut up," I said cheerily. I surveyed Bella's hands, up beside her sleeping face, and I smiled even wider. "Edward, look! She's wearing your ring."

Edward moved over to my side of the bed to look at Bella's hands, and a smile broke out on his face. The ring was fastened onto Bella's finger, as if it was a defiant gesture. It was sparking magnificently, even in the artificial light of the hospital room.

I don't believe I ever had, or ever will, see Edward happier.

At least, not that I can see.