Author's Note: All characters belong to Stephenie Meyer. The lines that were taken from Breaking Dawn belong to her too.
He had a peculiar dream many, many years ago. It was most certainly peculiar for his age, because he was in the midst of being enlisted into the army. A dream that had a wife, children and a house with white picket fences. Children that were the exact replicas of him with green eyes and reddish brown hair.
It made no sense to him at the time so he kept the dream in his mind and locked it away in his memories, deciding that perhaps after the war, he may have some use of it. He kept his thoughts on the war and instead, began to dream of coming home from it victorious.
He had no such luck. Within the year, he had caught the Spanish influenza and was dying.
The dream he had once locked away so long ago made the odd appearance here and there. No longer as a dream but as a mental picture for he was now in a perpetual state of sleeplessness. He laughed bitterly to himself when he finally managed to dimly recall the reason as to why he was still clinging on to it. Now that he counted himself as one among the undead, the dream served no purpose except make his lifeless heart ache for the longing of what could have been.
The American Dream. That phrase had run through his mind a thousand times, either through his own thoughts or others but he never gave it much consideration. After all, what good would it do now? It wasn't as if it could ever happen to him.
Not by natural means anyway.
Conceivably, a lifetime ago, it might have. If he had met the right girl, he would have been that guy. The man who would have dropped his ideals and ambitions of joining the war in a heartbeat, just to be with the woman of his dreams. But only if he had met the right girl.
But what was the point now? Even if he did meet the right girl, that dream could never come true.
Over the 80 years he has since wandered amongst both humankind and the supernatural, he has never met anyone that brought back the yearning he had long since try to forget. The yearning to be human once more and to live a life he could have had.
Impossible. Impossible was the only word to describe the situation. Whatever that was happening right now, simply couldn't be happening. He was a vampire, for crying out loud.
But apparently, he was an incubus too.
His guilt tormented him whenever he was reminded of what he had done to Bella. Every time he lay eyes on her, he saw her weak, pale face and the life slowing draining out of her. He hated himself, loathed himself for his transgression. He should have listened to himself, he should have never agreed to make love to Bella while she was still human. He should have stayed away from her from the beginning, from the moment he saw her in Forks. The moment he breathed in her scent.
And now, she had to pay for his sins. It was hardly fair.
The demon was going to kill her. He knew it would bring her harm the moment Carlisle said that they had to get remove it at the soonest. He promised Bella he would get it out of her. He swore to himself that he would kill it before it could kill Bella.
But Bella was stubborn. She wouldn't let him get rid of the thing that was killing her. She even enlisted Rosalie's help, of all people. She would coo at her bulging stomach, whisper comforting words, pat it lovingly. He wanted to scream at her, scream reason so that she could no longer blind herself to the fact that it was killing her. But he could not. She was already suffering, suffering for him. He could not bear to even raise his voice at her.
He was proven right when Bella's body was unable to accommodate the creature. He begged Bella to let him kill it; he didn't want to see her die before his eyes. But again and again, she refused. Then, he started having more malicious thoughts that were fuelled by his desperation.
"Knock Bella out. Hurt her if you have to. Just kill the monster."
But Rosalie wouldn't even let him anywhere near Bella alone. Damn Rosalie. Smug, arrogant, self-righteous Rosalie. How dare she keep him away from his own wife! He refused to take it lying down. He was not going to watch his wife die with his sister was encouraging her.
So he waited. He had to, for he didn't want Bella to be in even more distress. He waited for Bella to be asleep for his confrontation. It was difficult because even though Bella was weak for most of the times, she was also in pain and that made it hard for her to get proper sleep. When she did finally sleep, and Rosalie started fussing over her, making sure the pillows were comfortable enough, she was properly tucked in, Edward wasted no time in coming into the room and hissed, "Rosalie, I want a word. Outside. Now."
"I need to be with Bella." There was that supercilious tone again.
"Esme can take care of her." Without waiting for an answer, he grabbed the blonde roughly by the arm and dragged her out.
"Take your hands off me." Rosalie wrenched her arm out of his grip. They kept their voices low in order not to wake Bella up, but the urgency, anger, frustration and more still remained.
"You keep your hands off Bella! How dare you touch her!!" He spat out the words, as if they were leaving a bad taste in his mouth. "You only want the beast inside of her. You don't care about Bella at all!"Rosalie had been careful of her thoughts around Edward, thinking about nonsensical random thoughts whenever he was around. But there was lapses here and there and it was no secret how badly Rosalie wanted to be human. Having a "child" would mostly certainly help.
"Bella wants this child! She loves him. The only person who can't see that is you! And she was the one who asked for my help. I never offered it." The words came from Rosalie's gritted teeth. "I may want to be a human again, a mother even, but Bella's the one calling all the shots here. Get that into your thick skull!" She turned on her heels and sulked back into the room.
Was that true? Was he the only one who couldn't see that Bella wanted this child too and not because she was stubborn and deliberately against him?
Was it wrong of him to just want his wife alive and well again?
He was not expecting the day when he could read the thing's thoughts. He had grown accustomed to simply putting on a show that he was tolerant towards it for Bella's sake. And then, suddenly, as clear as day, he heard a new "voice" in his head.
Not like Emmett's unsophisticated one. Or Esme's kind, motherly one. Not even close to Alice's whimsical one. He heard it and when he had ascertained that it was the fetus', it was no longer "the thing". It became a "he". Bella was delighted. Finally, they were a real family.
He had been wrong. All along, he had been adamant that the fetus was trying to kill Bella but now, he realized that it was only because he couldn't understand the fetus which had only fuelled his misguided hatred. The fetus loved Bella so he can't be that bad, after all. He couldn't possibly hate what loved Bella.
"In that moment, I knew that I was alone. All alone. I'd counted on him to be on my side. I'd counted on him to suffer more than I suffered. And, most of all, I'd counted on him to hate that revolting thing killing Bella more than I hated it."
Jacob's voice roared through his mind. Jacob hated him and he had every reason to. Grabbing the car keys, he threw them to Jacob.
"Go, Jacob! Get away from here."
There were no words for this.
He had foreseen that the birth would be an extremely difficult one, even under normal circumstances. But then again, their situation could hardly count as normal. He had planned for it. He asked Jacob's permission, as Ephraim Black's heir, to allow him to change Bella into one of his kind. He knew Bella couldn't pull through the birth as a human. But she could if she were a vampire afterwards. The venom would heal her.
But he didn't expect the blood. Bella vomiting a fountain of it. The placenta detaching. The unearthly scream Bella screeched. "Get him OUT! He can't BREATHE! Do it NOW!" He would never forget that, it echoed throughout his mind.
Bella suffering. Bella dying because of the newborn and he couldn't even hate it anymore. He loved the child, their child.
Bella's spine cracking. Him having to get their child out of her. The terrifying sound, metal on metal, his vampire teeth cutting through vampire skin.
"Renesmee." He whispered. It was not the baby boy Bella was expecting. The baby girl had warm brown eyes, just like Bella's, enchanting but cold as ice because she had a bit of him in her too. She was so pale and beautiful; he wanted nothing more than to start getting to know their daughter with Bella.
But Bella's heart failed and he had to give Renesmee very reluctantly to Rosalie. He had to save Bella; she became his number one priority. He shoved the needle of a syringe containing his venom, straight into her heart. He had to do more. He started biting her at as many points as possible. Her throat, her wrists, into the crease at the inside of her arm.
"The venom would heal her. The venom would heal her."
About a month has since passed and Renesmee was maturing so fast that she was scaring Bella and him. But the Volturi didn't know that. They thought her to be an immortal child and was now on their way to dispense "justice" as they saw fit.
Bella was behaving a little suspiciously but perhaps, it was just his nerves. Alice and Jasper were gone but he was sure they wouldn't abandon their family. Regardless, he would take down Demetri when the time came; to give them an easier life after all they had done for the family.
Perhaps he and Bella could keep Renesmee safe long enough… Maybe Alice and Jasper would come back and take care of her. He hoped Jacob would survive too. Renesmee would be terribly upset if Jacob were unable to be by her side. He tried hard not think about the fact that Jacob had imprinted on his technically-still-a-newborn daughter.
He would protect Renesmee; he would protect his daughter. The daughter he never imagined he could ever have since Carlisle changed him. The child he lay awake at night thinking about. "Just how wonderful it could be if Bella and I were to be able to have a child together."
The Volturi almost took one of his loves before; he would not let them succeed this time.
Renesmee would be worth the fight.