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Chapter 6: Feeling the Pain, Seeing the Future
Although I'm sure there were a million things running through his head, Matthew easily fell into a deep sleep. I couldn't help but hold him in my arms as I kissed his forehead and whispered sweet nothings into his ear. Knowing that he wasn't obscenely pregnant and in pain sent waves of relief over me.
But the relief wasn't slated to last. Matthew began dreaming and I caught flashes of the dream he was having. The first scene was of the nursery. I saw that the walls were painted a tropical blue with yellow pinstripes. A rocking chair and bassinette stood against the window. The cribs were made of wood and were adorned with deep red sheet sets that were no doubt from Rosalie. I could make out the boys in their cribs but I couldn't find Matthew or myself in this dream.
The second stream showed Emmett playing horse with the boys. However, unlike the previous movie, I could see myself in the distance – shoulders hunched and head down in distress. I could feel the sadness radiate from the distance.
Now that I was synched with Matthew, I watched his dreams like a movie in my head. He was imagining the boys' life without him in it. A part of me wanted to dismiss this as depressed thoughts but I couldn't. From what Matthew had shared with me, death was common for children of mixed birth. Carlisle had begun to research the matter and found similar results.
Unwrapping myself from him, I climbed out of our bed. I needed to find out if Carlisle was able to come up with a plan for saving Matthew. Our time together felt like a whirlwind and yet there were other moments where it felt like we've been together for years. I reminded myself that I needed to send a thank you note to Bella.
"I think we're gonna head out on our own for a while." I heard Emmett's booming voice carry to where I stood on the second floor. Instead of heading to Carlisle's office, I turned to go downstairs, figuring Carlisle would be there.
"I trust your judgment Emmett." I was right. "If that is what you feel is best, then you have our support." Carlisle's voice was reserved and devoid of emotion. Without seeing her, I could sense Esme's sadness. She hated it when any of us decided to leave.
Standing at the top of the stairs, I made my presence known. "What is going on?" I looked down to see most of my family, minus Alice and Jasper, standing in the living room.
"Emmett and Rosalie have decided to leave us. They want to go and live their lives for a little while. Just the two of them." Carlisle took the lead on explaining, knowing how sensitive Emmett and Rosalie would be.
I looked at my siblings and could see an air of sadness about them. I didn't need to pry into their thoughts to know why. "I'm sorry Rose. I've been so caught up with Matthew that I haven't thought about how you must feel. I'm sorry for that."
I watched as Emmett pulled Rose into his arms. "It's not your fault. I'm just a little jealous right now and I wouldn't want Matthew to see me like that. I really do like him." Her voice came out as a whisper but we all heard her loud and clear.
"That's very noble of you Rose." This time it was Esme who spoke up. It wasn't hard to feel the emotions running high without Jasper here.
As if hearing my thoughts, Jasper and Alice glided in through the front door. In seconds, their carefree demeanor changed. Jasper went rigid as the onslaught of emotions hit him. Alice froze scrunching her face wondering why she hadn't seen this. Jasper quickly jumped into action calming the family down.
It was Alice that broke the silence. "Rose you can't leave. Things are going to work themselves out." I watched the words comfort Rosalie but then her hesitancy took over again. Emmett grinned but I could tell that he was responding to Alice's words and not his wife's distraught face.
"I'd never bet against you Alice. Trust me I've learned my lesson there. But I can't sit back and watch Matthew get the one thing in the world that I can't have." The sadness shone through her ocher colored eyes. I mouthed my apology to her, earning a small nod.
Catching glimpses of Alice's thoughts, I knew she was right. I could see Rosalie beaming, happier than I've ever seen her. She was happier than I ever thought possible.
"What if Alice and I could swear that if you stayed, you would be happier than the day you found Emmett? Would you stay then?" I asked, finally descending the stairs.
Rosalie looked stunned. When Alice and I agreed on something, no one dared bet against us, especially in times like these. Times where family were involved. I was relieved to see her resolve breaking and that she would postpone her leave. Now I just had to figure out how to save Matthew. I mean I had some thoughts but…
"STOP!" Alice screamed, her eyes glazing over in the throes of a vision. Although it temporarily pulled me from planning, I quickly returned to it. Working over all of my options. "Whatever you did Edward, undo it." Alice said through clenched teeth looking like a truly feral vampire.
Jasper fell to his knees in pain, unable to bear the brunt of Alice's anger. Esme ran to Alice's side trying to comfort her. Next to Esme, Alice was the calmest member of our family. To see her like this surprised us all.
Taken aback, I looked at her and watched her calm down. "Alice, what did you see? What made you so angry?" I questioned, nervous about how ominous this conversation became.
"You saved him. Matthew, I mean. I saw him wake up with red eyes and he looked so happy as he held your children." Sounds of relief and joy could be heard but I just kept my glaze locked on Alice. She did not join in the celebration. "But then the scene replayed but different. He killed himself, blaming you as he tore himself limb from limb while standing in a fire."
Carlisle looked at me deeply concerned, "What were you thinking about when this happened? What are you planning, son?" Carlisle placed his hand on my shoulder as a fatherly sign of reassurance.
"Why don't we go to your office? We can discuss it there." Turning to Esme, I asked her to bake some cranberry muffins for Matthew. They were his favorite and I knew that he would be hungry when he woke up.
"Of course, Edward." Esme responded. "Rosalie, why don't you join me? I know how much you love pounding out the dough." And just like that my family dynamic was back. It was good to see a smile on Rosalie's face again, especially so soon after dealing with her jealousy issues.
I could feel the warmth returning to our household. The light within each of us grew and it humbled me to know that the person I loved enhanced my family. Matthew integrated himself so seamlessly.
He became another son for Esme to dote on. One that could actually eat the delicious food she made. Matthew was interested in studying genetics and could often be found in Carlisle's study reading all of the books on genetics, which seemed to grow every day. Some days he could be found on the couch with Emmett arguing over football games or on the porch playing chess with Jasper or even shopping with Alice. But more often than not he was somewhere with Rosalie forming a great friendship. He was meant to be here with me and my family.
Knowing that I had a newfound confidence thanks to Alice's vision, I knew that Carlisle and I could save him. Once we entered his office, I go right down to business. "I think that our venom can save him. It's just a matter of when to do it."
Carlisle, ever reserved, took the seat behind his desk listening to my solution. "But son don't you realize that the venom is exactly the same thing causing his death. From what information I have been able to gather, the venom in his system, and in others like him, will systematically cause organs to fail leading to death by the hosts 18th birthday."
A heavy sigh left my lips before I knew I was doing it. Didn't Carlisle see that our venom can save those lives that were set to be lost? We were all an example of that. "True. I think that they're dying because their organs fail one by one. When we turn someone it's all instantaneous. I'm thinking that if we bit him, we could turn him." The longer I allowed my quasi tirade to continue, the more my heart swelled and my confidence grew.
However, my confidence diminished as time went by without Carlisle saying anything. I tried prying into his mind but he was currently naming the bones of the body. I hated it when Carlisle tried to block me out.
"Edward, I understand your need to save Matthew but have you thought this through. Have you spoken to him about this, about what this life entails?" I heard his words and understood his hesitation, but didn't he see how much I loved Matthew already. How much I wanted a family with him? I have waited a century for someone to love, and now here he is with the ability to defy the laws of nature and give me a child. I know that Carlisle wouldn't force this life on anyone and he wouldn't cooperate unless Matthew was on his deathbed, but didn't he foresee that that was exactly what it would come to.
"No, we haven't discussed the more intimate details of this yet. But Carlisle, I see physically and telepathically that he wants these children. He wants to opportunity to see them grow and mature. It's all we think about now." I don't think I could have contained my frustration anymore. My lips quivered as I held back a snarl. I needed Carlisle to side with me on this. I couldn't save Matthew without him. I don't think I'd have the self-control necessary.
"Look Edward, I know that Matthew means a lot to you. But first you need to be honest with him about what this life entails. You won't be here for the first year of your children's lives. You'll be helping him adjust. Do you think either of you can handle that?"
My stomach tossed because I knew that I couldn't. Matthew could very well murder our children if we stayed and yet I didn't want to go and miss a minute of my children's growth. "But Carlisle…"
The wave of his hand stopped me mid-sentence. "Edward you know that I will do whatever I can to save him and your children. But as you put it before, timing is everything. I now understand Alice's reaction. We have to be absolutely perfect about this."
I couldn't believe what I was hearing. "You mean her outburst? But she said that Matthew killed himself. He wouldn't do that to me or the children. He loves us too much for that."
"Edward even though you are not biologically mine. I think of you as my son. If I had lost you it would break my heart. For Esme, it would be total devastation. When she lost her son, she jumped off of a cliff. If we time this wrong, Matthew could lose the children. He might take the same action, if that were to happen."
I leaned against the wall, thinking about what Carlisle just said. I'm sure Jasper was pained feeling my worry, anger, and gut-wrenching sadness. "So how do we prevent that from happening? I can't lose them Carlisle. Neither my heart nor my mind can handle that."
"When we first discovered that Matthew was with child, I knew then that once the child was out, we could bite him. The same applies now but we have to monitor him daily. We may have to remove the babies prematurely." I could see the wheels in Carlisle's head turning. He thrived on two things, his work and his family. This was another opportunity for those two to meet.
"So why can't we bite him now to prevent his death?" I mean it seemed like the most logical answer and the easiest way to keep anyone from dying.
"If we do that then the venom kills, it could terminate the pregnancy. If it doesn't kill them, it would make it almost impossible to get them out." I felt like I'd been run over by a semi. Why hadn't I thought of that?
This plan would work. We would have to be vigilant but I knew, if the cries of joy from downstairs were anything to go by, that we would succeed.