I was too late, I knew I was. Bella had been through far too much to be able to withstand the pain that the change would bring. I'd made the last minute decision to inject the venom into her heart, hoping that would make all the difference. But watching Bella's lifeless body I wasn't so sure, Carlisle had reassured me I had done the right thing, even commended me on what he called my stroke of genius, me? I wasn't so sure. I never I would never be sure that I had done the right, not in all my days. Changing Bella had been the most heartwrenching decision of my life, to change her from something so pure and full of life into a cold, statue seemed cruel, unbearably so. I brushed my fingers against hers, it had been just hours I had injected her, I remembered from personal experience how overwhelming and unbearable the pain was at this moment. I hoped Bella's suffering was less, me and Carlisle had decided that by injecting her with morphine aswell the venom might be less painful, but there was no guarantee. There was no guarantee she'd even make it through the change.
The sound of a baby crying came from downstairs. Renesmee. I hadn't seen her since she had been born, she was in safe hands with Rosalie I knew that. She was beautiful I knew that much, my eyes in Rosalie's thoughts I could see her. Her face was like mine, the pale skin and features. But her eyes? All Bella's. The little miracle that we had created together combined us so efforlessly. Everyone around her was fussing after her, she was going to be the most spoilt infant in existence. But what difference did that all make if her mother wasn't there? Carlisle had tried to convince me to leave Bella and go attend to Renesmee, your daughter he reminded me. But I had simply glared at him and returned my attentions to Bella. I couldn't leave Bella, not now, not whilst it was my fault she was going through this unadulterated agony. I knew the logistics, Renesmee was my daughter, and by the laws of the world I was supposed to love her. Supposed to being the key words, but it was hard to love someone who had put the person I loved most through the pain Bella had suffered. For Bella it had been easy, it was her baby, our baby, and therefore it was an instant bond. It was as if she hadn't cared that it had been destroying her inside out. But I on the other hand had seen the devestation the baby was causing, up until the dog Black had come up with the idea of Bella drinking blood, I was convinced the child was going to kill her, I stil hadn't shook off that notion completely. My resolve had softened slightly when I was able to hear Renesmee's thoughts, to know she had no intention of hurting Bella, that she adored her almost to the extent that I did, that had been some comfort. But in my mind I could still see the horror of Renesmee's delivery, when for a few pure terror filled moments I honestly thought I'd lost Bella, and if I had, the fault would have laid at none other than Renesmee, innocent as she may have been, it would have been her that had killed Bella and how could I love a monster that had killed Bella? That had been my reasoning to Carlisle earlier.
"Bella isn't dead though Edward" argued Carlisle. "She's going through the change, you know that."
Of course the logic in me knew that but it didn't help when watching a lifeless Bella.
"What if I didn't do it right? What if something went wrong?" I said.
"From everything you've told me, and from my own examination of Bella, it looks like everything went aswell as it can, better than any of the changes I've conducted myself even. Not many would have gone on as long as you did" Carlisle replied. "These things take time Edward, you know that".
I did, but still I wanted her to wake up, to know that I had done the right thing. That she didn't hate me for making her into a monster, that she still loved me with the intensity that she had in her human life, that she didn't blame me for the pain of the last month.
Carlisle placed his hand on my shoulder.
"I know that this is difficult for you, but Bella isn't going to wake up for another couple of days at least, in the meantime there is a little girl downstairs who needs you, you're her father Edward".
I looked up at Carlisle and gave him the same look I gave animals just before I snapped their necks.
"Renesmee has you all, Bella needs me" I replied and refocused my attention back onto Bella, ignoring Carlisle until he eventually left the room.
Deep down I knew Carlisle was right, I had a duty and a responsibility to perform. A father? The words got caught up in my chest. Of course as a young man I had once envisiged a family, that was the done thing. But unlike Rose it wasn't a bitterness I had carried forth into my new life, it was just something I had excepted would never happen, yet here it was, unavoidable. I ran my fingers across Bella's, her body blazing under my touch, temperature increased rapidly during the change until it dropped along with the heartbeat. Bella, Bella, Bella I thought. I knew Bella would be disgusted with me for not seeing to Renesmee, even in the most wretched days of her pregnancy Bella had tried to be upbeat about what was happening, loving what was growing inside unquestionably and unhesitantly. I focused my thoughts off myself and into Rosalie's, Renesmee was asleep, Rose had rocked her to sleep with a lullaby with a bedtime bottle of human blood, oh the irony.
"I'll watch over her".
Alice's voice came from the doorway. She walked closer to me and Bella, motioning for me to get up off the chair on which I'd sat guard.
"Nothing's going to happen to Bella, I promise you".
I got up off the chair and Alice took my place. I kissed the top of Alice's head, thanking her for watching Bella, the only way I'd be able to leave to see Renesmee.
"You know where she is don't you?" Alice asked.
I nodded, I'd watched Rose put her to sleep.
She was even more beautiful than in my thoughts. Her hair fell in beautiful ringlets, a dark contrast against her beautiful pale skin. Her cheeks were tinted with the redness of the blood that flowed through her veins, and I could see her little heart rising and falling with each breath she took. If I could breath she would have taken my breath away. I brushed my finger against her cheek, it was warm, so like Bella's it startled me. The blush in her cheek was so reminiscent of what I was used to seeing in Bella, something that would be gone forever now. I never thought anything would be able to top Bella's beauty, but Renesmee was putting up a good fight. I watched her sleep, just as I had done so many times with her mother. Lost in the perfection that was her. Suddenly everything I had gone through in the past month, every emotion that I had felt suddenly felt worth it. The temptation to hold her was too much, even though I knew I ran the risk of waking her, carefully I picked her up, blanket and all to protect her against my chill and held her in my arms. Just like Bella she slotted into them perfectly. Thankfully her scent was nowhere near as intoxicating as Bella's, I was able to breath it in with minimum burning in my throat. Her eyes began to open as she realised she was no longer in the comfort of her Moses basket, those beautiful, wide, brown eyes that looked like they'd be stolen out of Bella's head and been placed into hers. The resemblance was uncanny. To my surprise she didn't cry when she realised I wasn't Rose, instead her mouth formed what looked like a smile. A smile I noticed that was a tiny bit crooked, just like my own, the smile that Bella loved. I took reassurance in the traits I could see of both me and Bella in her. Renesmee raised her open palm towards me and placed it against my cheek. I gasped, I could see into Renesmee's thoughts. She was thinking back to when she had been born, she could see me, she knew who I was. Her Dad. I smiled down at her and nodded, the picture in her mind changed, Bella. Her Mum. I nodded a second time. She wanted to know where Bella was. Something inside me panged with guilt, Carlisle had been right. Renesmee needed me more than I had ever thought. Deprived of the mother she so desperately needed, it was my responsibility to take Bella's place until Bella was fit to do so herself.
"Soon" I whispered.
I bent over and placed a kiss delicately on Renesmee's forehead, how could I have been so scared of something this small and perfect I asked myself? Already I could feel the instinct inside me to look after and protect her build and build to an unrivalled extent. Just like with Bella I knew there was nothing I wouldn't do for this little bundle of perfection I held in my arms. I may not have wanted to or expected to but I had fallen head over heels in love with the little girl who I was privileged to call my daughter. More importantly, our daughter. Her perfection arose from the fact she was what we had created together, the ultimate symbolism of our eternal love to one another. Had Bella felt this from the beginning? Was that why she had protected Renesmee so fiercely, holding on for as long as possible to give her the best possible chance. I wouldn't know until Bella reawoke, and holding Renesmee in my arms I had now had faith that Bella would reopen her eyes, after all how could she not? She had pure perfection to fight to live for now. Our beautiful daughter.