Author's Note: So, I told you it would be awhile, and I followed through with that, didn't I :-P I decided to speed the timeline up a bit, so we're now at the week before the wedding. The pregnancy is revealed to Bella's parents!
I'll have a longer author's note at the end... Song is "Butterfly Fly Away" by Miley Cyrus and her daddy, Billy Ray. Yes, I have the Hannah Montana soundtrack, and I don't even have kids.
As usual, not mine.
Chapter 21: Butterfly Fly Away
You tucked me in,
turned out the light You had to do it all alone
Kept me safe and sound at night
Little girls depend on things like that
Brushed my teeth and combed my hair
Had to drive me everywhere
You were always there when I looked back
Make a living, make a home
Must have been as hard as it could be
And when I couldn't sleep at night
Scared things wouldn't turn out right
You would hold my hand and sing to me
You had to do it all alone
Caterpillar in the
How you wonder who you'll be
Can't go far but you can always dream
Wish you may and wish you might
Don't you worry, hold on tight
I promise you there will come a day
Butterfly fly away
One Week Before the Wedding
Anxiously, I stood on my tiptoes to try to find the three most important adults in my life. Dad, Mom, and her husband of eight years had decided to fly in early before the wedding. It was just a week prior that I received a phone call from my mother.
"Hello?" I answered my cell phone whose ring mysteriously got switched to "Baby Got Back." I knew, however, who got a hold of my phone last. I'm sure Emmett thought the song was funny as my stomach expanded more and more each week.
"Baby! Happy two weeks until your wedding!" The joyful voice of my mom rang out into my ear.
"Hey Mom. What's up?"
"I just rearranged my flight schedule. I decided to come next weekend; a week earlier than planned."
"Really? Why?" Outwardly, I was grinning at the revelation. I hadn't seen my mother since last Christmas and was excited to see her again.
"Well I talked to Charlie…" she began, but I interrupted.
"Dad?" I was surprised. My mom and dad did not exactly talk socially since their divorce.
"Yes, Isabella. He is your father." I could practically hear her rolling her eyes in a manner that was so like my mother. "Anyway, we decided that we'd both come a week early. You need your mother before your wedding, and Charlie has it in his head that he needs to get to know your husband-to-be. You know your father."
Yes, I knew my father. And how many shotguns he owned. And a .357 Magnum. And a twenty caliber assault rifle.
Oh yeah. I knew my father.
"And Phil is going to join as well. At first he was going to keep the same plans, but you know how protective he has become of you as well. Apparently Phil wants to get to know Edward as well."
Phil Dwyer was my mom's husband. Although he was ten years younger than my mother, he really does fit her free spirit. Over the years, a mutual respect and love formed between my step-father and me, although in a weird way, he was more like a brother than a father.
Anyway, I was extremely nervous. Like, extremely. Because I did something stupid.
Well, it was more like I didn't do something that was smart.
You see, my parents still didn't know I was expecting. And not only was I expecting, I was showing. And it was enough that strangers could tell that I was pregnant and not just a little heavy. My stomach was too round and uniform in shape to just be a little weight around the waist.
Suddenly, I heard a happy exclamation as I saw people part to let the crazy forty-five year old woman through. Suddenly I was in the comforting arms of my mother.
"Look at you!" she exclaimed as she leaned back slightly and took a hold of my face. "You're absolutely glowing."
I felt the blush fill my face as I whispered, "Thanks."
I looked over my mom's shoulder to see my father and step-father standing side-by-side waiting patiently to greet me. It was almost surreal to see them together like that. I didn't even think they had met before this occasion.
"Look, boys," my mother smiled as she finally let go to stand beside me. "Isn't she glowing?"
Phil nodded and smiled while Charlie began to say something. However, his words were cut short as he glanced down to my stomach. Immediately his eyes turned black, and a look of pure anger appeared on his face.
"Where is he?" he practically growled.
"Who? Edward?" Mom was completely clueless. "Charlie, why are you looking like that?"
Dad looked towards Mom with a look of utter disbelief. "Renee, seriously, are you blind?"
I could see how Mom could miss the obvious protruding stomach. Although she had let me go out of a full hug, she still had yet to face me completely.
"Phil, what is going on?"
Phil just smirked at his wife. "Congratulations, Grandma."
A look of confusion spread over Renee's face as she looked me up and down. Her eyes finally came to rest on my stomach as her mouth fell open into an "O."
I awkwardly stood there, playing with my hair. "Umm, yeah. Grandparents, meet Baby. Baby, meet the grandparents," I muttered as I gestured towards my stomach.
Suddenly, Mom's eyes lit up with delight. "I'm going to be a grandmother? Really?" Her arms were immediately around me, as she began asking a thousand questions a minute. However, her words did not even register in my mind as I stared over her shoulder at my father who could have steam coming out of his ears.
"Mom," I wiggled out of her hold. "Edward is probably going around in circles waiting for us to come out. We should go."
As soon as I was out of her arms, I slowly walked towards my father. Although we were both not ones to express our feelings, I always felt close to my father. We understood each other, and knowing that he was angry was breaking my heart.
"Dad," I pleaded. "Please."
Even with that one word, he knew what I was asking, and soon, his arms were around me. "It's good to see you, Bells," he whispered in my ear before letting go. "But I'm still going to kill him."
"Dad," I rolled my eyes. "Please, don't cause any problems. He's… I mean, we've been through so much these past couple of weeks."
"What do you mean?" Dad's eyes scrunched together in confusion.
"Well, you know how Edward is Carlisle's…" I began before I felt the familiar warmth of Edward's hand in mine.
"Hey, I found a parking spot," he informed me before looking up to Charlie. "You must be Mr. Swan," he greeted lifting up his right hand towards my father. "I'm Edward Cullen. It's a pleasure to finally meet you, sir."
Dad just folded his arms over his chest and glared at Edward.
My fiancée meanwhile stood there uncomfortably alternating his eyes from me to my father back to me again. Finally Dad spoke.
"I wish I could relay the same sentiment."
Thankfully, the awkwardness of the situation dissipated as the energy ball in the form of my mother pushed herself between my father and fiancée. "You must be Edward. I'm Renee, Bella's mother. But you can call me Mom. Why, you sure are a handsome man. Why didn't you tell me he was so handsome?" She turned towards me to ask that question before turning back to her soon-to-be son-in-law. "Your baby is going to be so good looking with both of your genes. Can I hug you?" She didn't even wait for an answer before she was throwing her arms around Edward.
Meanwhile, Edward's eyes widened at the reception he got from my mom. I only shrugged and smirked as if to tell him "I told you so." We had many conversations about my parents since we had met. He couldn't be that surprised that my mom was so willing to welcome him.
A chuckling Phil finally saved Edward from the clutches of my mother. "I'm Phil, Bella's step-father," he introduced himself. "It's good to finally meet you."
"It's good to meet you, too, sir."
"Sir?" Phil raised his eyebrow. "Do I really look old enough to be a 'sir'?"
"Honey, you're only six years younger than him," I explained as my father snorted behind me. There's the dad I know.
"What…?" his eyes widened in surprise. "Oh."
Phil chuckled as he slapped Edward on the back in a friendly manner. "Now let's get out of here. I already spent way too much time in airports today."
As Phil and Edward hurried to get the luggage, I stepped back towards my father again. Wrapping my arm with his, I urged him to walk forward. "Come on Dad. Let's go to meet my new family."
The drive that would've taken me four hours to complete took Edward all of three hours. The drive, of course, was full of my mom talking. She continuously talked about the wedding, the baby, and the rainy weather.
"Really, Bella, how could you live here?" was a question that must have been asked five times during the trip.
Of course, my dad just sat quietly and glared at the back of Edward's head.
The Cullens had graciously offered their spare bedrooms to my parents. They didn't want my parents to have to pay money to spend a week in Forks when they had rooms to spare. At first, I was hesitant to allow this, but practicality won out and I allowed Esme to call my mom and dad to invite them to stay.
Now, with my father's behavior, I was starting to rethink that idea. However, it was too late to change the plans.
We were greeted on the Cullens' front porch by the whole clan, and introductions were made. I was glad to see that my father was behaving himself with Edward's parents.
"Renee!" Alice exclaimed as she hugged my mother. "We finally meet!"
"Finally?" I asked, perplexed at the familiarity between the two.
"Silly, Bella. Didn't you realize I would be talking to your mom about wedding plans?" Alice explained.
I shrugged. "I don't know. It doesn't surprise me but neither one of you informed me of this."
"Hmm," Alice returned my shrug. "I guess I just never thought about it." Immediately, she went back to talking to my mother. Esme and Rose had already captured my mother's attention, so I figured I could let them discuss my wedding without me.
As Dad and Phil conversed with Carlisle, Emmett, and Jasper, I caught Edward's eye, and he indicated to follow him to another area of the house. Separating ourselves from the group, we walked hand-in-hand into the house towards the living room where the piano was situated. As soon as we were out of site from our families, however, he pulled me close and leaned down to kiss me.
"Mmm," I sighed against his lips as I leaned into his body and Edward's arms automatically tightened around me. Before long, his hands were tangled in my hair as his tongue tentatively asked for entrance, which I graciously allowed.
Before I knew what was happening, he had me pressed against the wall as he let out an unfamiliar sound that was halfway between a growl and a sigh. My heart, meanwhile, was beating a mile a minute, and I could have sworn that Edward could feel it against his own chest.
Just as I was getting the desire to wrap my legs around his waist and take it farther than we ever had before (beside the night that began our journey on the road to marriage), and farther than we even had any business taking it with family just outside the room, Edward must have come to his senses and pulled away, breathless.
"One more week," he whispered, his lips still touching mine.
"One more week," I repeated.
When we both managed to calm our breathing and hearts, Edward took my hand and led me to the piano. Sitting on the bench, he pulled me to sit beside him.
"Remember the night you told me you were pregnant?" he asked tentatively as his fingers began to caress the keys.
"Of course," I rested my head against his shoulder.
"And the song I began to write?"
I smiled at the memory. "Yeah. Have you worked on it more and didn't tell me?"
"Maybe," he smirked. "Maybe not."
I pouted, but I soon recognized the bittersweet melody evolve into a happier, yet similar, melody.
"Is it finished?"
Edward frowned, "No. It will never be."
"What do you mean?" I inquired.
"It's always going to be evolving, Bella. I have found that any song I write based on a person I love never is quite finished."
"So if it's not finished, why are you finally playing it for me?"
"I'm not playing it for you."
"Hmph," I pouted. "Well, then why are you playing it?"
A smile small appeared on his face. "Because at this point in your pregnancy, our baby may actually be able to hear. So I'm playing him his song."
"Him? Are you sure it's a him?" I teased, although I have to admit that my eyes were watering at his gesture.
He shrugged as he gradually ended our baby's song. "Would you rather me call him an 'it'?"
"No. But I would like to know if you would prefer a boy or a girl."
"What difference does it make?" Edward asked me. "Nothing is going to change whether our baby is a son or a daughter."
I rolled my eyes. "Can't you answer a simple question?"
His eyes lit up playfully as he retorted, "You never asked a question." As he said this, he slid off the bench to kneel down before me.
When he reached to pull my shirt up, I went to stop him. "What are you doing, Edward? A little impatient, aren't you?"
This time it was Edward's turn to roll his eyes as he pushed my hands away. But as he reached down to kiss my belly, tears really did start to fall as I witnessed what proceeded.
"Hey baby," he cooed to my stomach. "I don't know if you can hear me yet, but it's your daddy. Don't mind your mommy too much. She's silly, but I'm sure you will find out soon, but not soon enough. You stay safe in there, you hear?"
Kissing my belly again, he looked up to see me smiling through my tears. "Hey, babe," he reached up to wipe my tears away. "Don't go crying on me. I might have to tell our baby that not only are you silly, but emotional too."
I laughed, enjoying the loving look in my fiancée's eyes. "There's nothing really new with that one."
"No, there isn't," he whispered as he reached up to gently kiss me.
A gruff voice was what broke our kiss apart. "Come on kids; dinner is ready."
I looked up just to see my father's back retreating into the dining room.
"Hey Dad," I greeted quietly as I sat down on the swing next to the man that raised me.
After dinner, the Cullens and my family retreated to the living room downstairs to continue to get to know one another. However, after twenty minutes, I watched as my dad quietly slipped upstairs and out onto the porch.
We sat in silence for a moment, just gazing at the sky that temporarily opened up so we could see the stars.
"Are you disappointed in me?" I could not help but ask.
"Wait.. What?" Surprised, Dad turned his face towards me.
"You've been acting all… off," I shrugged while I aimlessly dragged my foot against the floor.
Dad sighed as he leaned his head back against the bench. "Bells, if I'm disappointed in you, it's because you didn't warn me before I came."
I looked down at my hands. "I know," I sighed. "I wanted to tell you, but I was scared, Dad. I didn't know how to tell you over the phone."
"I could understand that, Bells, but you need to see how I feel in this situation. I was just thrown into a situation where I had to come to grips that my little girl was not only getting married, but also had a baby on the way."
"I'm sorry," I sniffled, my eyes watering.
Dad sighed again, putting his arm around my shoulders and pulling me close. "I know, kiddo, I know."
We sat in companionable silence again, until curiosity got the best of me. "What do you think of Edward, Dad?"
His only response was a gruff, "Hmph."
"Dad," I sighed, resting my head on his shoulder. "Please," I repeated my request from earlier that day in the airport. "You don't understand what we've been through."
"Why don't you tell me, then?"
"Well, I need to tell you that Edward and I were only friends when this happened."
"You mean you weren't even dating when you two…" Dad's face turned red just as mine does when embarrassed. Even though I spent my teenage years living with my father, he never even gave me the "Birds and the Bees" speech. I knew this conversation had to be difficult for him.
I spared him even more embarrassment by answering his partially unspoken question. "No. I avoided him for almost a month afterward until I found out I was pregnant. It forced us to discuss our feelings for each other, and not long afterward, we decided to get married." I paused before continuing. "Well, you know that Carlisle is the pastor of the church, and I obviously was the youth minister. When we first became engaged, people just assumed we weren't openly dating before the engagement, but then it became obvious…"
My father finished for me, "That you were pregnant."
"Yeah," I sighed. "I was forced to resign from my position, which I knew I would have to do anyway, and people just started treating us differently. Some members of the church have been great, but others…"
I realized that I had begun crying again when Dad pulled me even closer, kissing the top of my head. "I'm sorry, Bells. It hurts me to see you in pain."
"I know, Dad. But at the same time, I know I got myself in this mess…"
"But that doesn't give other people the right to judge. Those people obviously don't know you enough to truly love you like I, as well as the rest of your family and friends, do."
"For being a dad."
"Hey, you will never guess who is taking my spot, though," I suddenly brightened up.
"Remember my friend from high school? Angela?"
"Well she applied for the position and yesterday we decided to offer her the job. Carlisle is planning on calling her tomorrow to offer it. She could very well be moving close to me again."
"That's great, Bells."
"Yeah," I smiled. "By the way, you never told me truthfully what you think of Edward."
"As much as I want to hate him for what he did for you…"
"Dad, obviously I had as much a part in it…" I began, but Dad held up his hand to stop me.
"Please, Bella, I don't want to hear any more of that. I still consider you my little girl." I nodded before he continued, "I have to confess that before I called you to dinner, I witnessed some interaction between you two."
"Oh?" I felt my face redden as I wondered exactly how much he saw.
"Bella, the way that I saw him talk to your baby and treat you so gently," Dad's voice turned rough with emotion. "It's obvious how much he adores you."
"He does, Dad."
"And it's just as obvious how much you adore him." I nodded against his shoulder. "Despite the circumstances that brought you two together, I have no doubt about your marriage."
I reached up to kiss my father on his cheek; something that was rare for me to do. "Thank you, Daddy."
"Welcome, Bells," he kissed me back on my head before he gently disengaged himself and stood up. "Now, I think I should go to bed and rest. After all, the men and I have a busy day ahead of ourselves."
"Oh?" I raised an eyebrow as I stood to follow him into the house.
"Yeah," he continued, talking over his shoulder. "We're all going to the shooting range to fire a few rounds." He chuckled when he saw me stop in my tracks. "'Night, kiddo."
Oh dear Lord, I silently prayed up to the sky. Please let nobody die tomorrow.
away, butterfly fly away Butterfly fly away,
butterfly fly away
Flap your wings now you can't stay
Take those dreams and make them all come true
We've been waiting for this day
All along and knowing just what to do
Butterfly, butterfly, butterfly, butterfly fly away
Butterfly fly away,
butterfly fly away
End Notes: (Some relevant, some not)
1.) Thank you all for reading even though my updating is sporadic at best. You have been understanding in knowning how RL sometimes is.
2.) I'm proud to announce, that I am going to an aunt for the first time! My sister is due in March, and I'm already planning to spend my spring break at her house so I can help around the house and give her time to do stuff on her own... like take a shower once in a while. I did talk to her belly two weeks ago, too, and introduced myself to the little one. (They're calling him/her "Taylor" after Tylor Swift for now... until they find out if he is a boy or girl.)
And... I was a complete geek and managed to actually slip a line from my story into conversation... My parents were telling her she didn't have to walk us down the long driveway and across the street (because she was pregnant) so I retorted "She's pregnant, not an invalid."
3.) I finally figured out who I want Edward to look like as a "grown-up." For now, he can look like Colonel Shepherd from Stargate Atlantis... but with auburn hair. As he gets older he can look like Colonel O'Neil (AKA Colonel MacGyver) from Sg-1.
See? I said I was a geek.