AN: Hi, there! Now, I know that this theme has been done over and over again. But I'm sick of the bad ones, so I gave it my best shot. Simply put: this is beautiful. Enjoy!
My heart jerked, and I bent my head down, allowing my brown hair to fall into my face. It was all I could do to hide from them. From the whispers and stares. From the looks of disapproval and shock. If I looked down I wouldn't be able to see the disgust in their eyes.
But that didn't stop me from hearing it.
"Is she really…you know?"
There was a part of me that wanted to snap out at the group of sophomore girls, but the larger part of me kept on walking. Maybe if I ignored it, it would go away.
I dared to look up. All around me were faces: faces so familiar to me. And they were all staring at one thing.
I glanced down at my belly: it was so noticeable now. I had been able to hide it for 18 weeks with the help of those ridiculous baby doll tops that seemed to be in style. But now there was no escaping the stares. I couldn't prolong them any longer. Someone must have put two and two together this morning, and had spread the news around like wild fire…
Bella Swan got pregnant.
I tried to hold back the tears in my eyes as two junior boys started laughing and waddling around with their hands holding out their shirts. I looked away from their cruel display. In my mind was another boy…no, a man…who had such a different reaction to the news.
Edward softly stroked my hair, his other arm wrapped around me as I attempted to fall asleep. It was one of those nights when I just wanted to be a vampire and stay up with him all night. Perhaps we could even…make love again.
I sighed, remembering that prefect night only five weeks ago. It had been hard for both of us, him especially, to maintain a certain level of control. But he had been so careful…so gentle.
Edward's hand stopped halfway through my hair. I glanced up at him to find his eyebrows furrowed in confusion. I snuggled into him.
"I thought…" he started, stopping mind-sentence. He sighed, and shook his head. "Never mind, Bella. I thought I heard something, that's all."
If he were anyone else, I would have acquired as to what he thought he had heard. But I trusted Edward, fully and completely. If he felt as if I should know something, he would tell me.
Edward's hand resumed its motion, only to stop a few seconds later. I felt him sit up, his arm sliding from around me. I moaned in disappointment, my eyes still closed.
A few moments later, I felt his cold hands carefully lifting up the bottom of my shirt and something equally cold and hard being laid against my belly. I opened my eyes to see Edward pressing his ear against my skin, his eyes closed, his breathing stopped.
I gazed at him in confusion. I watched as his golden eyes opened, staring at me with all the love in the world.
He was suddenly on top of me, kissing me over and over again. I smiled at the feeling of his cool lips on my skin and his sudden happiness.
"What is it, Edward?"
He pulled back, his golden irises dancing with joy.
I giggled. "What's impossible?"
Edward's smile widened, and he lowered his face to kiss me once more. He left a trail of kisses to my ear: his soft, unnecessary breath caressing my skin.
His next words stopped my heart and breath altogether.
"Bella…We are going to have a baby."
He was so happy with the news; his whole family was, in fact. Even Rosalie… She was scornful when she received the news, and had gone upstairs without a word. A few days later, when I saw her again, she had surprised us all by coming up to hug me.
"I always wanted to be a mother," Rosalie said, after she had stepped away from my shocked form. For once in her existence, her beautiful face looked softer…and hesitant. She smiled, slightly, and continued. "And even when I became a vampire, I still hoped there was a way…And after I found Emmett…after every time… I prayed that somehow I had conceived."
She stopped there, her golden eyes full of unshed, impossible tears. She took my hands and gave them a slight squeeze. "When you and Edward told us, I was jealous. You got another thing that I wanted. But the way I see it now…if I can't be a mother, the next best thing is to be an aunt. If you will let me…"
I smiled at her, so very pleasantly surprised that she was treating me like a part of the family: like a sister. "Of course, Rosalie. Of course."
The memory brought a slight smile to my face. The baby was bringing the family closer together, as if he or she was the puzzle piece that had been missing. It was a blessing…I hadn't believed so at first. I had been terrified at the news, and had spent hours worrying about it. I was far too young to be pregnant! Didn't they always say a baby would ruin your life?
"I'll always be there," whispered Edward, squeezing my hand. "That makes all the difference, Bella. You will always have support."
I lifted my head up high, determined to face the stares and jeers. These children knew nothing.
But with every whisper, I felt my courage weaken. I never dealt with rejection well, and to look straight into its ugly face was terrifying.
I entered the cafeteria, wishing more than ever that Edward or Alice had the same lunch period. They had both volunteered to skip their classes and join me, but I had refused. I needed to show the students that I wasn't embarrassed by my baby. I wasn't like one of those girls who slept around and got pregnant. I was Bella…
Everyone stayed a couple of feet away from me as I stood in the lunch line. They treated me as if I had a disease.
Tears still threatening to fall, I quickly paid for my lunch and made my way to my typical table. One of my human friends had to be sympathetic, right? Angela would understand, or at least be kind. The thought gave me strength.
No one looked at me when I sat down in my seat next to Jessica. I saw her give me a quick glance before looking away. My heart dropped.
Angela sat down in front of me, sending me a shy, sympathetic smile.
"How are you doing, Bella?"
There was double meaning to her words, and I was grateful for it.
"O.K." I replied, smiling slightly. Thank goodness for people like Angela.
There was silence at the table, which was only interrupted by Lauren's whispering to her friend, Cindy. I couldn't help but overhear some of her words, and they burned me.
"I can't believe she has the guts to come to school with trash in her bag."
I placed my hand over my enlarged belly, rubbing it slightly with my thumb as tears came to my eyes. How dare she call my child trash! I had half my mind set on going over there and slapping her when Mike spoke up.
"Are the rumors true?"
There was no question in my mind about what those rumors were.
"Yes, Mike, I'm having a baby." There, state it plain and simple. I have nothing to hide anymore.
The whole table went quiet, even Lauren had stopped her chatter to listen in for something to gossip about.
"Is it Cullen's?"
"There are a lot of Cullens, Mike."
He cringed at my bitterness. "Is it Edward's?" He had sneered the name, causing my heart to be stabbed.
"Yes, Edward is going to be a father."
From down the table, coming from the seat Lauren was sitting in, came a short, sharp laugh.
"So was he worth it, mommy?"
My breath caught it my throat, and I almost choked on my food. Did she seriously have the guts to say that to my face? It was so…rude. I wanted to shrink away and hide from her wicked eyes that were just hunting for a prey to mock.
I didn't answer her question, but turned back to my lunch. Angela was sending me sympathetic looks, but those didn't block out Lauren and Cindy's piercing laughter.
My face grew hot. Edward was worth the world to me and so was our baby.
I looked up hesitantly to see one of my classmates, Brian, smirking at me from two tables down. His eyes spoke trouble, and my heart rate started to increase.
"I can't believe you cheated on me, Bella!" he shouted, sarcastically, silencing the cafeteria with his loud, mocking voice. "Or is it mine and you didn't tell me?"
It felt like my body was being stabbed with a million tiny knives and then being drenched in liquid fire. My mind couldn't even begin to process what to say. My cheeks only turned a painful red. Then the tears began to fall.
And the laughter started.
The cafeteria rang loud with it. A few guys gave a couple of catcalls and repeated the question. Over and over again…
"Honestly…." started Lauren, speaking directly to me. "Why didn't you just abort the thing?" She winked at me. "I have a place I could recommend."
I choked. Kill my baby…?
"Lauren, stop," hissed Angela.
I buried my face in my hands, wetting them instantly with tears. Brian's large hand grabbed my shoulder and jerked me around to look at him.
"You know, I like experienced women."
I tried unsuccessfully to pull away from him. I wasn't like that. I was Edward's and Edward was mine. I would never dream of giving myself to anyone but him.
Brian didn't let go of my shoulder. I turned to Mike, my eyes begging him to help me.
He just looked away.
I gasped as Brian stepped close to me, far too close.
"So, what time fits your schedule?" His loud voice banged around the cafeteria, gathering everyone's attention once more. He laughed. "Or do the Cullen boys have it booked solid?"
The knives were back, hacking and slashing away at me. My breath came out in short, painful gasps. I stood up to get away: to get away from this terrible place. Protect my baby…Protect me…
But my head was spinning amongst the laugher. I was trapped, drowning in a sea of cruelty. I saw their hateful faces, heard their shrill laughter, felt their knives against my skin. The world became a roar around me, threatening to eat me alive and spit me out into the trash. Isn't that where they thought I belonged? The trash?
The noise…a terrible sound of jeers became louder and louder. I was shaking, being thrown left and right around in it.
And then…it stopped.
Not a noise to be heard.
Not a single laugh.
Not a single jeer.
Not a single whisper.
My tired eyes looked up. Brian was slowly stepping away from me, his eyes turned to the right. All around me…people, my once friends, were staring at the cafeteria doors.
I slowly turned my head.
And my eyes met his.
He was walking toward me, each of his silent footsteps sounding loud in the motionless cafeteria. His golden eyes were fixed intently on me, his mouth set in a straight line.
I couldn't breathe.
He reached me, and stood in front of me, his eyes never softening. I wanted to fall inside of him and escape from the world. I wanted to hug him and cry into his shoulder. I wanted to kiss him until I died.
And I wanted to raise a child with him and love them both till the end of existence.
Time seemed to pause as we stared at each other. I felt his strength: it stopped the flow of tears that came from my eyes. Everything would be alright. Everything would be alright.
My heart skipped a beat as he gracefully dropped to his knees in front of me. The cafeteria faded like a distant memory around us as he closed his golden eyes.
My Edward…My protector…My strength
His arms wrapped around my waist, bringing my body closer to him. One hand came back around to expose my skin, revealing our growing child to all of our tormentors. Edward opened his eyes, and he gazed up at me. For that moment in time, I read his thoughts so perfectly…
Let them stare.
Then, with one soft motion, he pressed his lips against my belly: kissing our child…kissing me…
In front of everyone.
In front of every single person who had laughed only moments before. Brian's words brushed my mind. They seemed so ridiculous now…so immature. How could he mock something that was so beautiful?
Edward laid his cool forehead on my skin: his breath caressing my skin as he spoke.
"Daddy's here," he whispered quietly, just loud enough for the nearest tables to hear. He kissed my belly once again. "And he loves you so very much."
I could feel my heart beating peacefully in my chest. Our child would have such a wonderful father. Our Edward…
With one last kiss, Edward stood up and took my hands in his. Smiling softly, his eyes much more at peace, he placed a kiss on my forehead.
"And I love you," he whispered. "And I want to proclaim that to the world…"
He wrapped his arm around my shoulder, and I stepped into him. I had no desire to look at anyone but him. He was all that matter. He and our baby.
He led me outside, and, when we were safely out of view, Edward gathered me into his arms and ran off. Trees flew by us at once-frightening speed. But I wasn't afraid anymore. He would never drop me. He didn't today, and he never would.
He took us to our meadow, and he laid me down on the cool ground. He smiled at me, placing a hand on my belly.
"Do you think the running will hurt the baby?"
I smiled at him, shaking my head.
"Not now, at least. But I don't know how easy it will be for me to hold on soon."
His laughter, so soft and gentle, like bells, rang around the meadow. He began to kiss me over and over again, trailing from my face to my belly and back again. I sighed in contentment. This was how life was supposed to be: peaceful and loving.
"Thank you, Edward…I…" He silenced me with a kiss.
"This is my baby too. Every insult made on you is an insult on me."
He laid down next to me, his arm wrapping around my shoulders. His other hand took mine, and he placed them both on my swelling stomach. We remained in peaceful silence, until I laughed quietly.
"I couldn't even hold my head high…"
Edward sighed, giving my shoulders a gentle squeeze. "Yes, you did."
"Only with you there."
"I'm your soul-mate, Bella. When you need support, I'll be there."
"That's very one-sided."
"I don't think so," whispered Edward, capturing his lips with mine. "I was so very angry, Bella, when they mocked us. I wanted to kill every person in that room that dared to laugh at our love. I could just see it…feel the pleasure it would give me to bite their necks and watch them bleed. Drink their blood in vengeance."
He caressed my face, softly. "But you kept me grounded. You kept me human. You supported me as I supported you. And we'll support our child all through his or her life."
I smiled. Raising a child…together.
I sighed, and closed my eyes. I snuggled into my Edward, my soon-to-be husband, and my forever soul-mate.
And I let all the jeers and laughter wash way.
AN: Like it? Love it? Hate it? Tell me!
There are alot of my personal views in this one about making love and having a baby. You can probably pick them out.
To readers of Heartbeat: Oh course i haven't abandoned that story! School's wrapping up and I have three AP exams to study for! Not to mention i have work...I'll get to writing it when I can!
For those of you who haven't read Heartbeat, please read it! It mixes Twilight with Harry Potter. It's well-written, well thought out, and not cheesy. It is a Twilight story set in Hogwarts. Harry isn't randomly popping in and stuff. It's good quality.