I shifted under my seat so that Bella's head wouldn't fall from my lap. We were aboard the plane more than thirteen hours now, and would be touching ground soon. I felt the pressure of her ear crushing the cell phone in my right pocket. Careful not to distract her, I lifted the phone from my right pocket preparing to switch it to my left. But I noticed the call log before the screen faded to black. An outgoing call made to a number at the top of the call log stood out more than the others. It was a call that shouldn't have been in the log at all, at least not in the last two weeks. That call was made more than 10 hours ago, which lasted all of two minutes and fifty-seven seconds.
And it was a call that I didn't make.
Thinking back, I remembered going to dismiss Gustavo from clean-up after receiving the devastating blow about a pregnancy that I didn't know could even happen. And then I remember arguing with Kaure about the food and the..."baby". The last person I spoke to was Carlisle and that was in the bathroom, when I was nailed to the floor. No. I made a call to the airport, scheduling a difficult red eye flight back to Washington. The representative had given me a hard time, until I demanded to speak to her superior. After giving her my - our - credit card information for the flight and making sure that everything was settled, I hung up the phone.
And left it on the bathroom countertop.
If that was the case, then that means that someone made a phone call. And since I was outside with Gustavo and the luggage at the time, that meant that Bella would have made that call. She was the only one in the house at the time - the only one with access to my cell phone.
But why would Bella call Rosalie?
It must have been an accident. Two minutes and fifty seven seconds of an accident. An accident that involved dialogue that I didn't know about. And this specific dialogue wasn't intended for my ears.
What is Bella up to now? And why did it involve Rosalie out of all people?
Sure, they got along at the wedding. And it was more than a gesture that Rosalie offered to do Bella's hair while Alice applied the makeup (I tried hard not to listen, but even the strongest of us have our own weaknesses). However, I wasn't shallow enough to believe that those few moments of bliss could have turned them into 'Best Friends Forever' overnight. I knew my wife well enough to know that when she had her mind set on something--no matter how inconceivable it may be--she stayed fixated on it. If she didn't want me to know about it, then I wouldn't know about it. I entertained myself with the thought of beating it out of Rosalie in a literal fashion, then quickly dismissed it altogether. No sense in getting into a scuffle with Emmett over something that was between me and my wife.
My beautiful, loving wife. My life and my whole world. I racked my brain endlessly trying to figure out what could have been said that I wasn't supposed to know about. Nothing came to a halt; nothing registered. The only thought that had a conclusion was the reason why Bella would go to Rosalie and not the others.
The others would have told me by now. In any event, no matter how grave it was, the others would tell me anything they saw fit to be told. Especially when it came to my Bella.
Whatever Rosalie knew, she blocked it from the rest of the family. Surely Alice would have called me by now if she saw something.
As I stared at the black screen, Bella coughed, her body flexed in a fetal position.
"Agh!" She screamed.
"Bella, what is it"
But she didn't respond with words. Instead she fumbled out of her seat and bolted towards the bathroom door, with me right on her heels. I didn't need to ask if she was okay; her gagging could be heard from thirty feet away as the contents from her stomach spilled over in the toilet. With every choking sound, I wanted to rip out this stupid door that stood between her and me. Back and forth, during every agonizing hour on the plane, Bella ran to and from the bathroom. It was devastatingly surprising that she even had any fluids in her body to regurgitate. I loathed that "thing" growing inside her body. Worse than that, I hated the fact that I'm the one responsible for putting "it" there in the first place.
I did this to her.
As hard as I tried not to, I couldn't help but sulk in misery. How could she ever forgive me for doing this to her?
"Bella?" I put my head against the the door and listened, waiting for any response. After her last heave, I could hear her body slump to the floor.
"Bella, please. Open the door"
"I'm fine." she weakly responded through her strained voice. A terrible liar she was. Bella struggled to retrieve her body from the floor and failed, collapsing once again. The stewardess walking by paused for a second to listen to the struggle as well.
"Is she alright?" the young lady asked in a thick accent. " She's been in and out of there for quite some time now"
"She's fine," my tone was sharper than I expected it to be. The stewardess frowned at my tone, yet still mesmerized by my face as I could hear in her thoughts. Now was not the time or the place for such ridiculous mind innuendos. Still, the stewardess stood there as if she didn't hear a word I'd said.
"It's my wife," I explained, putting an extra emphasis on the word wife. That caught the stewardess' attention. "She's....we think she's...pregnant"
Her eyes lit up at the sound of the monstruous word. A wide smile appeared across her face.
If looks could kill, the one I just gave her definitely would have. A horrid expression crossed her face, her smile vanishing almost as fast as it had registered. Her eyes blinked several times before she responded.
"Well, if theres anything you-she needs, then don't hesitate to ask."
Then I heard the latch to the door unlock. Bella's face peeked through, her eyes making contact with the stewardess from the floor. There was no trace of the blushed rose color I so loved in her cheeks. Her face now was pale and ashened, almost as white as me. Her eyelids hung low just above brown eyes filled with pain and exhaustion. Almost lifeless. Her belly, unknown to the naked human eye, expanded a few more inches since we'd boarded the flight. The thing was making its existence known. The more it grew, the sicker Bella got. Her arm extended towards me after finally coming to accept that she couldn't pick herself up from the floor. I kneeled, whisking her up swiftly, yet not to fast where anyone would know the difference.
"Water, please. Thank you." Bella leaned her head towards me, her hand resting slightly on my chest. It took me a second to realize that she was talking to the stewardess and not me.
I didn't know how much more of this I could take. The plane needed to arrive to our destination soon before the waiting drove me mad. Carlisle needed to be at the airport and ready to take her as soon as we stepped foot from this hell hole.
And I needed to find out what Bella was hiding and why she confided in Rosalie.
Touching down, Bella rose from her seat quickly passing me to the plane door. It didn't take long for me to catch up.
She must have been as eager as I was to get this done and over with. I was side by side with her as we walked off the plane, staring at her profile. I knew she could see me, but she refused to make eye contact with me at all. She was trying to mask the secret, but I knew that she wasn't telling me something. My mind went back to months ago, to the time I chased her down the road after coming from La Push to see that mongrel, Jacob. I'd specifically informed her that she was not to trespass on their land, for the danger was too great for her. And my Bella definitely knew how to find trouble when she wasn't looking for it. Somehow, it always seemed to head directly for her. I'd stared her down through her rearview mirror, waiting impatiently for her to meet my gaze and pull the truck over. But--to my surprise--she didn't, and that pissed me off more than she could ever imagine. She'd never made eye contact with me that day. And like deja vu, she wasn't making eye contact with me now.
I didn't have a good feeling about where this was leading.
Coming through the door first, I watched as Bella search frantically for my family. Not that she needed to because I'd already spotted them as we walked out of the door. Carlisle and Esme clenched arm in arm. Alice and Jasper with their arms locked around their wastes. Then there was Emmett standing partly in front of Rosalie. That was strange. Normally, they'd be hand in hand. It was if he was preparing himself for something. Now I let my eyes wander around to see if there was any threat to be worried about. I couldn't sense or smell anyone.
My peripheral vision allowed me to see Bella take off in a speed so fast that even I wasn't all too clear about how to react. My eyes focused on something I wasn't prepared for.
Bella wrapped herself into Rosalie's arms.
A single thought slipped through Rosalie's mind. It was almost a whisper, but I caught it before it suddenly passed. My sister's eyes locked with mine as I attempted to approach her and the gaze she threw upon me was one of immense warning.
'Stay away from Bella, Edward. And I will do EVERYTHING in my power to prevent you or Carlisle from taking this away from her.'
What the f-- NO! Rose, what the HELL are you doing?
Rosalie put a great deal of effort into keeping me out of her head. But as Bella's arms chained a deathlock around her neck, her body collided into Rose. A look of shock and the smoldering in Rosalie's eyes said it all. The 'thing' that bulged out of Bella's body beneath her clothes imbedded with Rosalie's torso, creating a look of awe that disgusted me with every ticking second that passed.
And that's when I heard the worst few minutes of my life in her head.
"Rosalie? It's Bella. Please. You have to help me."
"Bella? What's wrong? Where's Edward? Does he know you have his phone?"
"I don't know. No, this isn't about Edward. It's about me. I can't let them...you have to help me!"
"What are you talking about? Bella, what's wrong? And why are you whispering?"
"Just listen! There's not much time, he'll be back soon."
"Bella, slow down"
"They're going to kill him! Carlisle and Edward..they're...they're going to take him away from me...I can't let that happen!"
"My baby! Our baby. I'm...pregnant. And I don't know how. I mean--I know HOW-- but honestly, I don't know how this happened. But it did. And now there's a bump and its moving all the time and they're going to kill him. You can't let them kill him. You have to help me! Please! Please, Rosalie. Please say you'll help me. He's our son. Rosalie? Are you there?"
There was a long pause before Rosalie spoke.
"A baby?" she breathed out, gasping in shock.
"Yes. Edward's baby." Another pause.
"They can't do that. No....no. They WON'T do that!" Rosalie responded in a crazed state. In her eyes, this was a miracle. A chance to be a part of something she'd always dreamed of. And to let Carlisle kill it--with Edward's help at that--was not an option. No chance in hell would Rosalie every let that happen.
"Ok. I will help you...both."
"Thank you! I swear to you on my life, I will do whatever I can to repay you for this."
"Don't worry about a thing, Bella. I'll do everything in my power to keep both of you safe. I won't let them get near you or the baby."
Now I understood Emmett's position. He was guarding Rosalie and Bella. The threat wasn't some stranger--It was me.A low growl erupted through me. I focused on my brother and his wife with such a rage that I almost lost control and tackled them. How could they do this to me?! My own brother and sister betraying me for that monster dwelling inside Bella's womb. They didn't even know what it was to an extent! It could kill her--no--it would kill her! They couldn't possibly know what they were doing. I could take Rosalie without a blink of an eye. But getting past Emmett would take great skill and effort. I didn't want to do this. Not here, with all these witnesses.
Panic in my eyes, I searched through the rest of my families eyes for help, some type of solitude. Surely all of them weren't in on this. But as I read through each of their minds one by one, I felt a sharp twinge of pain, like a knife twisting through my heart.
'Edward, they just want to help.' Esme's thoughts raced. 'Emmett doesn't want to fight with you. He wants what's best for Bella.'
"And you think that...this...is what's best for her?" I said in low voice filled with anger and anxiety.
"It's foolish. They don't know what they're doing!"
'It's what Bella wants, Edward.' This time Carlisle answered. 'I've tried to convince Rosalie that she shouldn't be doing this without your permission. It's the child that she fights for. Their minds are made up. There's nothing we can do.'
'The Hell there isn't!" Suddenly I was yelling through the rage. All around us, onlookers were watching, some excited, some fearful. My eyes stayed fixed on Emmett as my body slightly crouched in attack mode on its own.
'Don't make me do this, man. Not here. Not now.' Emmett pleaded. 'Edward, this is not the time or place. Please.'
As much as I was ready to rumble with the beast, I had to admit that he was right. Too many people were now looking at us, wondering who was going to attack first. I stood upright and turned my attention to my other sister, the one with the "visions".
"Did you know about this, too, Alice?" I could feel the fury roll off my tongue as I said her name.
"Edward, you don't understand. The thing is, I can't--"
So Alice was in on this as well. Great! I could feel my body tense up. A wrath was bubbling from deep within me.
And then it happened. A sudden rush of calm washed over me against my will. My eyes flickered over at Jasper, who was shaking his head repeatedly. Damnit, I couldn't help but to succumb to its power. Jasper would never leave Alice's side, so his decision was already made.
I was alone.
'Edward,' Carlisle broke through my thoughts. 'Lets just get in the car and make our way home, where We can discuss this in a more controlled environment.'
"And Bella?" Distress quickly overrode the calm. My eyes shifted to her. She still held on tightly to Rosalie, but her body switched to Rosalie's left side, her face half hidden in the traitor's neck. I could see her eyes peer through the blond hair, looking at me apologetically. Almost as if she didn't know of any other option. And before she walked through the door, she didn't. Because I would have never given her one. Now, without me there by her side to rightfully protect her, and my family deceitfully backing her up, she had the one thing she wasn't supposed to get. A choice.
Isabella Marie Cullen, what the hell have you gotten us into?
'When we get home, Edward.' Carlisle stated matter-of-factly. so this was it.
Emmett began to back up into the direction they had come in. Rosalie took the hint and locked Bella's arm with hers tightly, leading the way back to her car. Before I could think to intervene, Jasper immediately washed that emotion away. I shot him a look that would have killed if he hadn't gotten to me first.
"Thanks a lot, Jazz."I sarcastically replied.
He shrugged as if that was all he could do. But that wasn't anywhere near the truth. They ALL could have done something about this. They made their choices, and it was the WRONG one!
Alice followed behind Emmett, Rosalie, and my wife. It was evident they were riding in a different vehicle from the rest of us. Carlisle, Esme, and Jasper headed in the opposite direction. Seems they parked on different sides,also. So that's why Alice ran to the other car. They'd already known what I was up to. I had to get out of here. And one way or another, Bella was getting that demon out of her whether she liked it or not.