Over 800 reviews?! Thanks to flecour for pushing me to the big 8-0-0! You guys are awesome, keep it coming people! I'd love it if this one can make it to 1,000!
As a mother – actually, someone who's been dreaming of being a mother for some time – I can't imagine how horrible it would feel to lose your baby before it was even born. But, then again, I'm not Jessica. And, I honestly don't know how attached she is to her fetus. I knew I shouldn't care so much about whether or not her fall made her lose the baby, but something inside me – some morbid curiosity – forced me to keep myself glued to the TV for updates on Jessica's condition.
A part of me did speculate as to whether or not she hurt herself on purpose. It's not something a decent human being would do. But, again, this is Jessica. Calling Jessica decent is an affront to even the worst among society's lowlifes. That didn't mean her child deserved to suffer, though.
Considering this was Edward's first Friday to sleep in for quite some time, I let him stay in bed for as long as he wanted. I got Sadie up at 6:30 a.m. for a diaper change and feeding. She didn't even need to cry to wake me anymore. My body has just become accustomed to getting up at that time to feed my baby. I watched TV while Sadie fed contentedly. Oh, what it must feel like to get such pleasure out of the simple act of eating. And, I like to think my presence played a role in her calm disposition.
My phone rang, bringing me out of my reverie like it always does. It was a vaguely familiar number that flashed across the screen. "Hello?"
"Bella, it's Rosalie. How are you?"
"I'm good, Rose," I said, slightly taken aback she would call out of the blue. Rosalie had managed to make something of amends with me, but that didn't mean we were friends now or anything. "What's up?"
"I just heard about that girl, Jessica; how she fell and is in the hospital right now," she explained.
"Yeah, I heard that, too," I replied.
"Well, you know I have some friends who do professional hair and makeup, right?"
"A couple people I know were at that photo shoot Jessica did for OK Magazine," Rosalie said. "One of them said they saw her fall, and it didn't look like an accident. I just thought I should let you know what I heard. I mean, if that bitch is crazy enough to try and kill her unborn child, who knows what else she's capable of?"
I was silent for a moment. "You know, the idea she might have done it on purpose did cross my mind. But, I didn't want to believe any human being capable of such blatant infanticide. And not even for money, just because she couldn't pin paternity on Edward."
"Oh, I'm sure she's getting money out of it," Rose replied. "The wardrobe lady on the shoot said Jessica's bragged to a few people how OK Magazine gives her money for interviews."
"That doesn't surprise me," I quipped. "Well, thanks for telling me all that, Rose. Hey, you and Emmett should come over for dinner some night. We've never had a chance to do anything like that."
"How about tonight?" She suggested. "I know it's short notice, but Emmett and I are free. You and I could go shopping together and I'll help you make everything. Plus, I really want to see Sadie. I bet she's getting so big."
"That sounds like fun," I said. "How about we meet around three o'clock? Call Emmett and see what he wants for dinner."
"Will do," she chirped happily. "See you then."
"Why do we need to know what Emmett wants for dinner?" Edward's voice drifted in from the hallway as he shuffled sleepily into the living room.
"That was Rosalie," I said as he sat on the couch next to me. "She told me some interesting news, and then suggested we all have dinner together tonight."
"What's the news? Emmett didn't propose, did he? I always thought it would be a cold day in hell before my brother settled down."
"The subject wasn't matrimonial," I replied with a slight smirk. Then my expression turned somber. "She told me something about Jessica."
Edward was mid eye-rub when I said that horrid name. He slowly lowered his hand as he cautiously asked, "And, what did Rosalie have to say?"
"Apparently Rose knew some of the people who were at that photo shoot with Jessica. They said the fall didn't look like an accident."
His expression turned exasperated. "What won't that woman do to get attention?"
"Well, maybe if she loses the baby, it's better that way," I said. "If she doesn't love it or want it, why bring it into the world just to have it pushed into foster care?"
Edward shook his head dismissively. "Whatever, she's not our concern."
"No, she certainly isn't," I replied. Sadie finished feeding and I snapped my nursing bra back into place before burping her. I chuckled a bit at the sound of her belch escaping before turning her to lie in my lap. Edward leaned over my shoulder and shucked Sadie's chin gently with his index finger. She grabbed at his finger and, upon securing the digit, put it in her mouth.
"Hey, I think I feel some teeth starting to grow in," Edward said, resting his chin on my shoulder.
"Yep, for the past couple of weeks now," I replied. "Luckily, we're still in the early stages. It won't be too long before the teething makes life difficult for our little angel."
"We could always do what my dad did," he suggested with a snicker. "Mom said he used to put a couple drops of whisky on my gums when my teeth were growing in."
"No way," I laughed. "If I have anything to do with it, she won't have any alcohol come into contact with her mouth until she's 21."
"Good luck with that," he replied sarcastically.
"Well, here," I said, gently passing Sadie into Edward's arms. "I need to go take a shower. I'm going to take Sadie out with Rosalie this afternoon to shop for dinner. Hey, what do think we should make?"
"I don't know, babe. It's," he looked over at the clock, "Wow, it's noon already? Why didn't you wake me up earlier?"
"Because you haven't had the chance to sleep in much as of late," I told him. "You deserved one of those days where you get to sleep until noon."
"Well, I certainly was exhausted," he said as he bounced Sadie gently on his knee. "We didn't even get a chance to make more headway on the new baby situation."
"We've got all the time in the world now," I said, pushing myself up off the couch. In the bathroom, I turned on the faucet and held my hand under the spray until it hit the right temperature. Before stepping into the shower, I turned on my iPod and set it to a dance mix I had created. I know how Edward loves it when I play my guilty pleasure music when I'm taking a shower. He knows when the not-so-soulful strains of Britney Spears fill the air, I'm dancing like a maniac.
Oh yes, I am going to savory every minute I get with my family until the next round of filming for the show starts up again. While Bella took a shower and blared that god awful pop music, I laid on the floor with Sadie. I set her down on the play mat and grabbed her teething ring. Sadie lifted the plastic ring to her mouth and gnawed on it while gazing at me with those gigantic, brown eyes – her mother's eyes.
"Little Sadie, what are you thinkin' about?" I asked her in a sing-song voice. She made a gurgling noise and lowered the teething ring, dropping it to the floor. I was about to grab it to hand back to her when I noticed the corners of her mouth turn upward – her first smile. And yes, I completely freaked out. "Oh my God! Bella, Sadie just smiled!" I lifted my daughter into my arms and ran into the bathroom with her. "Bella, you have to see this!"
"What? What's going on, Edward?" Bella asked as she shut off the shower faucet.
"Sadie smiled," I replied as Bella put a towel around herself. I turned Sadie to face her mother, and the little smile grew even bigger.
Bella gasped. "Sadie darlin', are you smiling at Mommy?"
"I believe she is," I said. Bella scooped Sadie into her arms and gave her a big kiss before twirling her around in the air a couple times. As she did, her towel fell to the floor and piled around her feet. I couldn't help myself; seeing my wife naked always gets me a little excited. "Bells, if you don't get some clothes on, you're never going to make your shopping date with Rosalie."
"Why is that?" Bella asked with sincere innocence coloring her voice. I cleared my throat and pointed towards the tent in the front of my boxers. She snorted a cute little laugh before taking Sadie out of the bathroom. "Well then, we'd better let Daddy take care of his little, um, problem."
I heard her musical chuckle echo throughout the house as she carried Sadie into the nursery. My own laughter filled the bathroom as I turned the shower back on and stepped under the water. I did have to do something about this erection, but I haven't actual given myself any pleasure for a while. Why would I have to? I have a beautiful wife who's more than happy to do that for me. And, frankly, the idea of masturbating in the shower while my wife and infant daughter were just a room away was beyond disgusting. There was another option, however – ice cold water. That was the kind of sacrifice I was willing to make for my family. After I had the situation under control, I was finally able to turn the knob and let the warm water once again create that wonderful steam. Once I was all cleaned up, I wrapped a towel around my waist and strutted into the bedroom, feeling quite proud of myself for showing such amazing restraint. That feeling was cut short, however, when I found Bella sitting on the bed looking rather miffed about something. "What's wrong, love?"
"I've been waiting for you," she said in a slightly whiney voice. "I put Sadie down for a nap because I thought you needed some help taking care of that little problem."
"Um, could you not call it a little problem?" I pleaded, "You're going to give me a complex."
"You know what I mean," she snapped. "I thought we could have a little alone time. You know, since we're trying to have another baby."
"I'm sorry, babe," I tried to placate her as I sat on the bed next to her. "I didn't catch on to your signs. But, like you said, we've got all the time in the world."
"I know, you just got my hopes up," she said, putting her arms around my neck. "Now I'm the one who needs to find some kind of release."
"Well, we do have plenty of time before you go shopping," I told her. "And, since Sadie is fast asleep," I began removing her robe slowly, "let's get to baby-making."
And then, I heard something I'd never heard come out of my wife – a low growl. She pounced on me and pushed me back against the bed like a lioness going after a gazelle. The robe and towel once covering our bodies were thrown haphazardly to the floor. Bella began kissing slowly down my body, stopping at my chest to lavish attention on my nipples. "Ah," I gasped lightly, "That tickles."
"Now you know how I feel when you do this to me," she laughed evilly before trailing her tongue across my chest before suckling roughly on my left nipple. While she sucked, her fingernails grazed down the flesh of my stomach until her soft hands made contact with my penis, once again painfully hard. Bella kissed, bit and licked her way down to my lower abs. Her hand wrapped around my shaft as her tongue flicked across the tip of my cock, causing my hips to jut up slightly.
"Fuck, Bella, don't tease me like that," I moaned as I glanced down to see what pleasures my wife had in store for me. She was gazing back at me with hooded, lust-filled eyes. Bella bit her lower lip softly before lowering her eyes back to my dick. She swirled her tongue around the head, and then took almost all of me into her mouth. The cold shower had been the worst idea ever. Why didn't I realize I could have solved all my earlier issues had I just followed my wife into the bedroom? Bella continued her wonderful ministrations until I exploded inside of her mouth. As good as a blow job from my wife is, however, I couldn't help but feel like an ass. She was the one who needed a release, and I just laid here while she gave me a fantastic orgasm. OK, I had to take the lead now. I pulled Bella close to me before rolling us over so I could begin to show her how much I love her.
Bella wrapped her legs around my waist before I had a chance to give her the same experience she had given to me. "No," she said. "I just really, really need you right now. Please Edward, just make love to me."
How could I argue with that? I did exactly as my wife instructed me, but I kept our love-making at a slow pace. I wanted this to last for a while, for Bella to writhe in pleasure beneath me for as long as we both could hold out. It turned out I had more restraint than I thought I was capable of – we lasted for about twenty minutes of nice, slow pleasure until neither one of us could take it anymore. "Edward, I can't hold on much longer," Bella gasped just seconds before she climaxed. I fell over the edge soon after her, and then we both lay in bed holding each other close. It would have been heavenly if we could have stayed like that forever, but Bella and Sadie had a date to keep with Rosalie. As much as I hated watching my wife and daughter walk out the door without me, no matter how short a time it might be for, I was glad there seemed to be a change in Rosalie. She was no longer the spoiled brat she once was, and I wouldn't be surprised if she and Emmett do tie the knot one day. That is, if Emmett ever decides to commit.
Once Sadie awoke from her nap, I changed her diaper and put her in the little dress Rosalie bought for her. It was a purple sundress with flowers all over it – cute, but I prefer Sadie in pink. It just really brings out her brown eyes, I feel. I set the baby girl gently in her car seat before giving Edward a kiss goodbye. Even when I know we will only be parted for just an hour or so, I make sure my husband knows how much I love him before I leave the house. Though, I'm pretty sure he could tell by the hummer I gave him just an hour ago. Edward showered Sadie with little kisses all over her face before I reluctantly walked out the front door. Rosalie was waiting down in the parking lot, and I was shocked to find her little Porsche 911 nowhere in sight. When I asked her about it, she started beaming with pride. "I traded it in and got this." She gestured towards some kind of BMW crossover.
I was not just a little surprised. "Wow, Rose. This is an interesting choice. You were really attached to your old car."
"Yeah, but I can't carry around my soon-to-be niece in a Porsche," she said.
I turned to her with a fully furrowed brow. "I thought you were an only child."
"I meant Sadie, silly," she said as she flashed a gigantic, sparkly diamond ring. "Emmett finally popped the question."
"Rose, why didn't you say something earlier?" I asked as I took a closer look at her ring.
"Well, I wanted to wait until tonight to surprise you and Edward together, but I figured you can keep a secret."
"Yeah," I replied with a smirk, "I can certainly do that."
Rose drove us to Whole Foods where, upon arrival, she produced a list of items from her ever-present Louis Vuitton. "So, Emmett wants lamb stew with a spring salad, freshly baked bread and then something called Gateau Breton for dessert. Apparently it was something their mom used to make that Em really liked. Oh, did Edward want something special."
I felt a dark blush spread across my face. "We never got around to discussing that."
She smirked before turning back to her list. "Well, I called Esme and got all the ingredients for everything. And, she e-mailed me instructions this afternoon. None of these dishes are supposed to be too difficult to master."
"Yeah, but if Emmett expected us to make the bread ourselves, he's out of luck," I said. "It would take too long to make that on top of everything else – bread dough needs to rise for a few hours."
"Well, then he just gets this," she replied grabbing a baguette from a basket in the bakery. We set out further into the store, picking vegetables and other necessary items. I asked a woman in the bakery what a Gateau Breton was, and she told me it was a French butter cake.
"So, what would be a good topping for that?" I asked, thinking a butter cake sounded too plain.
"Oh, any kind of fruit compote would be nice," she said. "Just a simple sugar sauce with some raspberries would be very tasty. Although, if it's made right, Gateau Breton is just fine on its own."
I thanked the woman before finding some nice berries to put over the cake. She might be right about it being fine by itself, but I wanted something to pour over the top just incase. Rosalie was over by the meat department with Sadie. As the butcher went to cut her some chunks of mutton for the stew, she made funny faces at Sadie. My daughter gazed back in wonder. This change in Rosalie was really nice. Maybe her problem before was Emmett didn't want to settle down. She was a bitch to everyone who crossed her path, but she was really upset with her boyfriend. And, Rosalie being Rosalie, she took out her frustrations on the world. I think it's probably time for both her and Emmett to settle down. And, it's more than a little obvious she wants to start having kids.
"Alright," I said once we gathered everything we would need for dinner. "Let's pay for this stuff and get on home."
I was beginning to think Sadie hadn't napped long enough. She was getting a tad irritable, and she's usually such a quiet girl. Rosalie and I managed to pay for the food and get out of the store without any trouble, but getting through the parking lot was a different matter. Swarms of paparazzi were just outside the store waiting for me with their inane questions and their flashbulbs that made Sadie begin to go into hysterics.
"Ms. Swan, how do you feel about Jessica losing the baby?" That question stopped me.
"When did you hear that?" I asked the man.
"That's what her agent said just an hour ago," the photographer said.
"I'm very sorry to hear that," I told the assembled party sincerely. "No matter what our differences, she didn't deserve to lose her child."
"Now, why don't you all just leave us the hell alone?" Rosalie snapped at the paps as she blocked them from getting too close to the car. "If I find so much as a scratch on this baby – the car, or the kid – I will hunt all of you down and scratch your eyes out."
I strapped Sadie's car seat in on the rear driver side of the car while Rosalie loaded the groceries into the back. We got back home to find Edward watching TV, clearly upset.
"God, why do I feel so bad about this?" He asked as photos of Jessica flashed across the screen. "I mean, it wasn't my kid, and I hate that woman with every fiber of my being. But, I just wish the baby didn't have to be the one to pay for the childish drama of foolish adults."
"You care because you have a conscience, Edward," I told him as I slid myself onto his lap. "Anyone with a heart would be upset about this situation."
Rosalie walked around the kitchen with Sadie in her arms. "Did those bad old photographers scare you, Princess? Auntie Rosie will never let those meanies hurt you, she promises."
"Photographers? At the grocery store?" Edward asked giving me a confused look.
"We do live in a big city with a lot of celebrities, Edward," I told him. "I bet someone in the store spotted me and tipped off the tabloids."
"And they upset our poor little girl," Rose said as she sat on the opposite couch with Sadie. Edward eyed Rosalie suspiciously for a moment, but shook off that feeling as his phone started ringing.
"It's Aro," he said before answering. "Hey, what's up? Uh-huh…yeah, we heard. Well, I guess there is some speculation as to whether or not the fall was intentional. What?" He suddenly sat up straighter with a shocked expression. "Are you sure? My God, I can't believe the woman would go to such unbelievable lengths for attention. Thank you, Aro. Yes, we'd love to have dinner with you and the wife sometime. Bye."
"What was that about?" I asked as Edward set his phone on the coffee table.
"You're not going to believe this. Well, maybe you will. But first, you're going to be unbelievably flabbergasted."
"What? God, Edward, tell me already!"
"It turns out Jessica was an even bigger liar than we thought," he said. "She was never pregnant."
"WHAT??!!!" I screamed as I leapt off of his lap. "You've gotta be kidding me!"
Sadie began to cry again, which made me immediately turn to calm her down. I lifted her out of Rosalie's arms and paced around the room with her, rocking her gently. "What was she playing at? I mean, if she was never pregnant, how long did she think she was going to keep up the charade?"
"According to Aro, she had planned to take the pregnancy lie as long as she could to get a good amount of publicity, and then she was going to take the fall and make it look like an accident. Unfortunately for her," he added with a humorless laugh, "She also broke her collarbone in the process. Now that is dedication to a cause."
"No, that's mental illness the likes of which have never been seen," I replied. "At least there wasn't any real child involved."
"Speaking of real children," Edward said. "How about I take this one away for a little bit while you two are busy rustling up some grub."
I handed Sadie to Edward and he carried her into the nursery while Rosalie and I began making dinner. Rose said she was much better at baking than cooking, so I let her make the cake while I made the stew. Really, it wasn't that difficult. Plus, I like to pretend I'm Ina Garten in the kitchen – sautéing onions, deglazing pans with wine. I'm thinking maybe I should write a cookbook someday. I was just covering the stew to simmer when the buzzer sounded, indicating someone was at the front of the building wanting to be let in. Rosalie ran to push the button. "That must be Emmett."
"Well, then I'd better go put something more presentable on," I said gesturing towards my jeans and t-shirt now dotted with little grease stains. As I walked towards the bedroom, I was stopped by the sight of Edward and Sadie sleeping on the floor of the nursery. He had nestled her in a blanket and curled his body protectively around her. It was the sweetest sight I had ever seen, so I quickly ran for my camera to capture the moment. Once I snapped the photo, I closed the door to the nursery quietly before heading to my bedroom. My clothes changed and my hair straightened, I finally felt refreshed again. Then, I noticed Rosalie was sitting on the couch by herself. "Where's Emmett?"
She looked up, startled as I pulled her away from the program she was watching. "Oh, right, I guess that wasn't him at the door."
"It had to be," I told her, "We're not expecting anyone else today."
"I'll call him," she said. Rosalie dialed Emmett's number and put him on speaker phone. "Babe, where are you?"
"I'm just leaving work now," Emmett said. "I'll be there in five minutes."
As soon as Rosalie hung up, a cold shiver ran down my spine. "Then, who rang our buzzer?"
Rosalie shrugged. "Maybe someone pushed the wrong button. I mean, if it was someone looking for you and Edward, wouldn't they have knocked on the door by now." And, wouldn't you know it…*knock, knock, knock*
I closed my eyes and shook my head in disbelief. "Tell me this isn't happening. Please say that's just a Jehovah's Witness or something."
"Stay here. I'll see who it is." Rose sauntered over to the door and glanced out through the peephole. "There's no one out there." She opened the door slightly and looked down to the floor in front of the threshold. "It's a package."
"Not again," I whispered to myself. Then I looked up and said, "Leave it there. I'm calling the cops to come take a look at it."
She nodded and closed the door, locking it behind her. When Emmett finally arrived, Rose told him to leave the package outside until the cops showed up. This upset my brother-in-law tremendously. "I can't believe this! People are still trying to mess with you two? Don't worry, Bells, I'm going to find a way to put a stop to it once and for all."
I wasn't sure what Emmett had in store, and I knew better than to ask. Edward woke up when he heard his brother's voice and carried Sadie into the kitchen. They both still looked so sleepy and peaceful, I didn't want to tell them what had happened. But, when the police showed up, the situation had to be explained. "We had another mystery package," I told him. "The cops are coming to check it out."
After a few moments, the officer knocked on our door to deliver the news. Edward let him in, and he told us all that was inside of the package was a photo and a note. Edward glanced at the photo before nearly breaking down in frustration.
"What is it?" I asked before snatching it out of Edward's hand. It was a Polaroid of Jessica with her swollen, broken collarbone prominently displayed. On the bottom of the photo was written the words: This isn't over. I assumed the letter conveyed pretty much the same sentiments. And, frankly, I didn't want to know what it said. I turned to Edward with a look of beleaguered resignation. "Call Aro and tell him we need that security team back."
He nodded. "To say the least."
The officer told us to let him know of any other suspicious findings in the future, and he went on his way. Dinner was a silent affair, with no mention of Rosalie and Emmett's recent engagement. I was too upset to speak, or even eat much. Edward was similarly sulky, while Emmett seemed deep in thought. Rosalie tried to remain chipper, but failed brighten anyone else's spirits. Those words just kept running though my head over and over again: This isn't over.
Oh, you know the shit's about to get real! Read and review!!