DC: I don't own it.
Thanks to my reviewers!
I had some questions about it so I want to clarify. This will not be one of those stories where Edward raises her and then falls in romantic love with her. His love for her will be strictly platonic.
Edward didn't want to think that he was feeling a sort of buyers remorse (especially since he didn't buy anything) but that was definitely what he was feeling when he looked into the crib the next morning and the full weight of the decision started to settle in. He had taken in the daughter of Jacob Black. The stupid werewolf that stole his Bella.
Never mind that it had been he, Edward, that pushed Bella away after his family was attacked but that wasn't the point at the moment. The point was that he was now responsible for a baby he wasn't even sure he wanted. He had been overcome by emotion. Seeing Bella like that was more than enough to make him agree to anything she had requested with her last breath. He probably would have stabbed Carlisle if she asked him in that breathy voice and her eyes so full of desperation.
What did he know about raising children anyway? Let alone a human child who actually needed to eat, sleep and worst of all she could (and eventually would) bleed. Edward Cullen was in a fix. He chewed on his fingernails. A bad habit he had picked up in the past ten years when he intensely thought about mistakes. But what could he do? When he was human the problem would have been solved by shipping the baby off to an orphanage or putting it in a basket on the river and hoping for the best. But he couldn't do this to Bella's baby.
Could he? Edward looked over his shoulder as if Carlisle was standing right there. It didn't matter. As if his father could read his thoughts, Carlisle's voice floated up the stairs.
"Don't even think about it."
Edward winced. How did he always know when he was planning something?! Sometimes Edward wondered if Carlisle could secretly read minds. It wouldn't be terribly unbelievable and it would explain why he and his siblings could never get away with anything. He heard the soft thoughts of the baby. An infants mind was so simple. She couldn't think in complete sentences. Her thoughts were scattered and consisted mostly of shapes and colors.
How old was she anyway? Carlisle mentioned something about it a while ago but he wasn't really listening. Judging by her size she had to be almost a toddler. Edward jumped as he saw that she was standing and looking at him from her crib. That was weird. She was looking, and quite intently, at him with very dark eyes. Edward looked back. She didn't seem to blink. She was just watching him.
It's like she knows what I'm thinking
Edward ended up blowing a puff of air at her and making her blink. She was freaking him out. The baby girl rubbed her eyes and fell back on her little bottom. She didn't like that much and to tell him so she started to cry. Edward jumped up and picked her up, holding her away from his body as if she was a bomb.
"Carlisle! What do I do! The baby is crying!"
"Figure it out mind-reader!"
Mommy! Scary! Mommy! Daddy!
Edward frowned. He wasn't scary. Was he? Physically anyway.
Geez Edward use your head Carlisle's thoughts came from his room. Edward glared towards the door. He looked back at Isabella and put her back in the crib and for the first time he did something he thought he would never ever do.
He ran out of the sliding glass door to his balcony and jumped off, breaking into a run the moment his feet hit the ground.
He wound up at the eerily empty Swan house. He went in through Bella's window as he was used to and the change was a shock to him. When he had been getting the stuff for the baby he didn't pay attention to it, but now that he had time to look...it was strange. The bedroom no longer belonged to a teenager. He went into the guest room where Bella had slept. Her scent still filled the room and it mixed with the scent of the werewolf. He found an album on the dresser. Bella must have been filling it because there was a box of pictures next to it.
Edward took the box and sat on the bed. There were old pictures of them together. He found one taken a few days before the vampires attacked and held it against a recent one of her holding her daughter. The change was obvious. Bella had grown up and become a mother. Even Jacob looked different. Fatherhood shaped him into a responsible looking man.
He tossed the album aside. It was just as he feared. Bella really did love him. It wasn't a pregnant marriage.
"Did you really expect her to stay?" he asked himself. He smiled an ironic smile as he saw a picture of him and Bella. It was crumpled but looked like it had been smoothed again.
He remembered the day it all ended. It had been a sunny day and he had spent the entire night convincing Emmett that there were reasons to go on.
"You don't understand Edward!" Emmett cried, pushing him away. "My Rosie is dead! DEAD! She isn't coming back!"
"Just do me a favor and stop pretending that you know fucking everything Edward because you don't! You left Bella by choice once! But you still have her! I will never see Rosie again and you need me to give me the damned space I need to deal with that!"
"Fine!" Edward snapped. "You aren't the only one that is hurting!"
"Tell you what Edward, you lose your wife, the only woman you have ever loved, and then we'll talk but until then get the hell out of my face because I am tired of looking at you!" Emmett snarled. Edward moved as he went to push him again. He turned angrily and stormed out of the room. Bella was there, coming out of his room.
"Edward," she said softly.
"So you think I'm overreacting too?" he snapped.
"I didn't say that," Bella said in the same soft voice. "I just think that..."
"I don't want to hear it!" Edward snapped angrily. "I don't care!" Bella came towards him. She reached out to take his hand and he pulled away from her. "Just leave me alone!"
She did. She left the house and he left to find himself. When he came back she had left with Jacob. Two years had passed slowly and she had moved on.
His phone buzzed in his pocket, jerking him from his memories. He picked it up and found a text message from Carlisle.
Very mature Edward. Get back here.
Edward Anthony Cullen get back here now
Edward didn't wait to see the answer. He didn't want to take care of a baby, let alone Jacob Black's baby. He curled up on the bed and buried his face in Bella's pillow. He had been so emotional...so broken up over everything that had happened. He took it out on her and lost her because of it. He had no idea how much she blamed herself until years later. He didn't fully grasp it until he heard Bella sobbing apologies to Carlisle when she came back when Charlie died. He pulled the blanket up over his head and when the phone buzzed again he crunched it in his hand.
Carlisle was feeding the baby when Edward came home. "Welcome back," he grumbled.
"I needed to get away."
"You needed to run away," Carlisle corrected. "There is a difference."
"Are you going to lecture me now?" Edward asked moodily as he sat.
"No," Carlisle said, not looking up from Isabella, "you'd like that too much. I'm going to let this sink in on its own and hope that you realize what a brat you're being."
"I'm not being a brat!"
"Wake up Edward," Carlisle said sharply. "Bella is dead and she came to you because she thought maybe you could forgive her enough to take care of her baby."
"Jealousy is a horrible habit," Carlisle sighed. "You can't stay mad at her for the rest of your life."
"Watch me!" Edward snapped, resting his chin on his palm and watching the rain.
"She couldn't forgive herself for everything that happened," Carlisle said, "did you know that? The day you told her that you didn't care what she was going to say she ran and you didn't go after her. Then you left. You left her and what did you expect her to think? That everything was fine?"
"None of us went after her," Emmett said quietly from the stairs. Both of them looked over at him. "She thought we were all mad at her."
"Hey Em," Carlisle said gently, "how are you feeling?"
"So this is her baby huh?" Emmett asked, walking down the stairs and sitting next to Carlisle. Isabella was passed into his arms and he looked at her softly. "Well isn't she a little cutie? She has her eyes."
"That's what I thought," Carlisle said with a small smile.
"What is her name?"
"Isabella Rose," Carlisle said.
"Bella Rose," Emmett said softly, "it's pretty."
"Mama?" Bella asked.
"Tell you what Edward," Emmett said standing and putting the baby in his brother's arms, "try growing a pair and find five reasons why you shouldn't be her new father. If you can then you can give her away."
Edward rolled his eyes and his brother walked away with his father. They went out hunting. Edward looked at the baby. She looked up at him with scared eyes.
Where is my mommy? You aren't my daddy!
"Reason one, you are Jacob's baby."
Why hasn't mommy come to me yet?
"Reason two, I am a vampire and you are a human."
Why didn't mommy come when I cried? Is she mad at me?
"Reason three..." Edward trailed off. Isabella was starting to cry. Her dark eyes were filling with tears and her thoughts were painful for him to hear.
Mommy please come!
Edward held her close against his chest. "I'm sorry," he whispered, "Bella I'm sorry."
Mommy! Mommy! I'm scared mommy!
"I know you're scared," Edward whispered against her thick black hair, "I'm sorry, okay. I should have never yelled at her. I should have gone after her instead of going after myself. I let this happen!"
MOMMY! MOMMY WHERE ARE YOU?!
The child's voice was getting more and more frantic in her head. Edward was starting to feel a similar panic. He couldn't do this. He couldn't be a father and yet he wanted to make her stop crying and feel the comfort he was unable to give. He smoothed her hair and kissed her forehead.
"Please stop crying," he whispered.
She would forget about her parents soon. Edward knew that from psychology classes. She would forget about Bella and Jacob and assume that whoever is caring for her is her father.
I'm hungry! Where is mommy?
Edward stood and grabbed the bottle that Carlisle had abandoned. Holding her in one arm he touched the rubber nipple to her lips and she began to suck on it. She watched him with her intense eyes, hardly blinking.
"I am in over my head," Edward declared.
Isabella smiled with the rubble nipple stuck in her gums.
"So you understood that huh?" he asked her.
Isabella reached up and grabbed at his face. Edward chuckled as her little fingers tried to grab his nose. He distracted them with his finger.
Edward didn't have time to wonder what she meant when she kicked her bottle away and replaced it with his finger. He started gnawing on it.
"No, none of that," Edward said, taking his finger out of her mouth.
I want that!
She said her thoughts with a whine. Edward sighed. He held her secure in one arm and grabbed a coat. He wrapped her up in it and ran faster than a bullet to the old house. He grabbed some boxes and came back with them. It was times like this when he loved being super strong and fast. Finally he found what he was looking for on this third trip hiding in Charlie's room. A baby book.
When they got back home Edward put her in the plastic swing and turned the knob. It rocked slowly and Isabella giggled and batted at the mirrored toys at the top. While she did that Edward flipped through the baby book.
Her birth name was Sarah (after Jacob's mother) and she was a year and half. Her birthday was June seventeenth and Bella had her via c-section. In the back there was a file full of papers. Edward shuffled through them. They were doctors reports. From reading them Edward learned about the three miscarriages she had before she finally held on. There were pictures from the ultrasound and on the bill from the birth and hospital stay Bella drew a little heart.
I'm getting sick...when he is going to take me out of this stupid thing?
Edward reached over and took her out of the swing. Being able to read minds was certainly going to make this job much easier. She rested her head on his shoulder and he patted her back and rubbed small circles.
Why hasn't mommy come?
She started to sob. Edward closed his eyes and swayed softly. He wished there was some way that he could make her understand that her parents weren't coming back. He walked around the house, swaying softly as he did so. She sniffed and finally stopped crying as he hummed softly. He had to admit there was something warm and comforting about the way her little weight felt against her shoulder and her impossibly soft hair against his cheek. The kind of soft that only a baby could manage.
He could never have had this with Bella. He would have never been able to give her a child like the wolf could. But he would have wished to. He would imagine how it could have been...coming home to Bella and a baby.
Her thoughts began to slip into dreams. He began to hear her soft snores and sat on the sofa. He laid back and let her sleep on his chest. Her little hand closed around his shirt and she whimpered. Edward closed his eyes and felt his mind wander.
As she shifted a little and whimpered softly Edward realized he had a problem. Not only did he want to keep the little baby, but he was almost certainly being wrapped around her little finger.
Review please! Enjoy!