The pain was immense. Everyone was in the room. Everyone. The room was not that large. In fact, it was so small that there wasn't any room for anyone to move. Not even Carlisle who was supposed to deliver this child. My mother was on my left, trying to show me how to breathe correctly, like she should talk. My dad was next to her, staring at Carlisle, no doubt hearing my status and my baby's status before I did, maybe even seeing what Carlisle did. Emmett stood slightly behind my dad, taking up a lot of space but also feigning boredom. Truth was, I knew he was just as excited as the rest of them. He even bought my baby a little stuffed bear. Alice and Jasper stood in the doorway. Alice looked content and I could feel Jasper's calming powers wash over me, helping me not to scream. Jacob was on my right, squeezing my hand and looking annoyed, concerned and fiercely happy all at the same time. Esme stood next to him, murmuring encouraging words. Rosalie was next to her, eyes animated and happy. I had a feeling she would have no problems babysitting. Next to her was Nahuel of all people. He looked stoic, disinterested but also as if he had to be here. Sitting on the floor beside Nahuel was Lacey who was trying not to throw up. Carlisle took the obvious position at the foot of the bed.
The temperature was rising, the contractions were coming faster, the pain more intense and my vampire, feel-no-physical-pain family was staring at me panting and heaving and pushing to no avail. "Ok everyone out!" Carlisle finally yelled out. He was getting frustrated by everyone bumping him, asking questions and hindering the birthing process. Well that made two of us. Everyone but Jacob began filing out. Nahuel picked the green Lacey up and carried her out. They had been inseperable since Lacey's near death experience. Zafrina had gone home to the Amazons before anyone could really talk to her about the incident. She did leave a message for Nahuel though. He never told anyone would it said. I'm sure my dad knew but he never said anything, at least as far as I knew. If I was honest with myself, I was pretty out of the loop so who knows, maybe they all know what it says. My mom kissed my forehead and began walking towards the door.
"Wait mom, dad, where are you going?" I asked them quickly, between contractions. "You can't leave you're the only ones who know what the hell is going on!" My dad laughed. We all knew that wasn't true. Delivering a human/ shape shifting baby from a half vampire body was new for everyone but the Lacey's parents and they were not here. They went to Alaska to visit Anne's father, Garrett and her new step mother, Kate. I screamed after Jasper left and frantically tried to communicate that I wanted him back. My dad seemed to get it and he disappeared from the room.
"Does it hurt very bad?" Jacob asked me. I rolled my eyes.
"No, I'm just screaming because I like the sound." He smiled then and laughed. I laughed with him but only for a second. Another contraction shook my body and my dad reappeared with Jasper. I welcomed the pleasant sensation of calmness. It was like a drug. I couldn't wait until I could go out hunting again and I couldn't wait to go back to see the rest of the pack. Jake missed them. Carlisle put me on bed rest right after Lacey's accident. Seven months of bed rest. I couldn't even argue, the pain was incredible when I moved. Not as bad as it is now, but bad enough that we couldn't travel back to Forks. My vampire family was ecstatic but the in laws, the pack, were not as pleased. Seth, Quill, and Embry had all visited throughout the long seven months. I felt a little cheated that my mother was pregnant for a few weeks and here I was, swollen and bruised after nine months. Humans. Well at least my child wasn't going to kill me. My dad cut me a scathing look. He hated when I had those thoughts. After all, it had all worked out, everyone had got what they wanted. That's what they tell me but I can never be sure. It's not as if they can share their stories with me. Sometimes I wished I could loan my gift to them or borrow my dad's.
I realized during my bed rest and my hours of thinking, that I couldn't be away from my family for very long. I needed them. All of them, pack and coven. They were all my family and I wanted my child to have both of them too. Jake and I decided we would make it our jobs to smooth tensions between the two. After all, if we trace our heritages back, way back, vampires and werewolves lived in harmony, at least some of them. It was time for that history to repeat. I figured, by the time my parents were graduated from high school again, all tensions would be history. In the meantime, we would spend equal time in Washington and Vermont. The kinks weren't all worked out but I was confident that my family would be an active part of our child's life, for better or for worse.
My mother was still trying to help me breathe properly. "Gee, breathing lessons from a vampire, how constructive." Jake said to my mother. She stuck her tongue out at him and continued though with less enthusiasm. I suspected she was just trying to annoy him now. I had come to terms with Jake talking to my mother like that. I would have elbowed him before, and probably would have been upset. I was growing up and I was realizing that Jake and my mom were friends, they were family in a way that had little to do with me but that was okay. It made my family more unique, special, some may even say twisted, but aren't all good families a little dysfunctional?
Jasper couldn't keep away the pain of the next contraction. I screamed so loud I was sure the people driving on the highway could hear me, even with their music on full blast, with a screaming child in the back, and a DVD playing from the little screen that pops out from the ceiling. "Ok Ness, the baby is coming, you need to push right now!" Carlisle called. I did as I was told. My whole world focused on just pushing. I screamed until I was red in the face. My dad went to the foot of the bed, unable to contain is curiosity anymore. "Ok relax for a second."
"What do you see dad?" I didn't hear his answer, Carlisle told me to push again. Finally, after what seemed like hours, a little cry came from down south. A little baby, a little healthy baby. Jacob left my side and took the child from Carlisle. "Is it okay?" I asked. Jacob was smiling down at the bloody body.
"She's perfect." He said as he stared in awe at our daughter. He put her into my outstretched arm and the world faded as I stared into her perfect face. Her skin was soft and warm and the same honey color as Jacob's. Her rich brown hair was already curling and her eyes matched my own as well. They were my mother's eyes. My mom was staring down at the baby too. I knew she would have tears in her eyes if she could. She didn't ask to hold her but I held her out to her anyway. She was a grandmother now. I giggled a little at the thought and I saw my dad's smirk. I wasn't concerned for my daughter's life. She was in the safest place possible.
The pain continued for a few more days as my body snapped back to its original position. Our baby was passed around through every person in the family. Surprisingly, Lacey and Rose were often fighting over who got to care for her. "You better watch out Nahuel, it's only a matter of time." My dad had joked. He was completely serious though, everyone could see it. She was only a senior in high school and she would be married in just a few weeks and was sick with baby fever. The wedding would be in Forks, on the exact day that Charlie's funeral had been. Lacey's parents as well as the Denali's would be there and it would be at the old Cullen house as well and some of the wolves would attend as well. Nahuel seemed to get along well with them.
When I was finally able to move I stood at the kitchen table where Lacey was begging Alice to tone down the wedding. Bella and Esme sided with her but Rosalie and Jacob sided with Alice. That was a first and also a surprise. Our wedding had been small and had been done with little help from Alice. Perhaps this was his way of making up for pushing them away. He wasn't completely to blame, I had done the same. Nahuel just stood in the background, staring adoringly at Lacey. I smiled, they would be happy together. Lacey was becoming more outspoken as the days went on and I quite liked it. She was comfortable in our family now and she complimented Nahuel's silence beautifully.
"Lacey, it's your day! No regrets okay? I promise it will be perfect, I've seen it." Lacey rolled her eyes and the others laughed.
"I would never bet against Alice," my mom said, it was a private joke but we all shared it. Alice clapped gleefully.
"Ok, the only thing I'm not sure of is your family, Nahuel." Alice turned her attention to Nahuel who was suddenly nervous. He didn't like attention. "I assumed from that letter that Zafrina was not coming?" So they did know what the letter said. "What about your sisters?"
"I'll tell you later." Jacob whispered to me as he handed me my baby, my nameless baby. He knew too? This was annoying.
"My sisters are not coming to the wedding but Huilen, Senna and Zafrina will all be there." He said this with complete confidence and blushed slightly at all the astonished stares, my mother was the only exception. It was very unvampirelike of them. I looked at Lacey who looked perfectly content. My dad and Alice recovered the quickest, probably seeing the future. The rest followed suit.
"Well we're going to leave you guys to work out the kinks, Bella and I are of no use here so we're going to go um…pack." My dad said. My parents slipped out and headed towards our little house. Gag. My baby cooed. We needed to name our little miracle.
Jake led me out of the kitchen and into the quiet sitting area. It was just the two of us. We hadn't been alone in a very long time. I smiled at him and he kissed my forehead. "So what did the letter say?" I asked him. He laughed at my eagerness.
"Well, as soon as Zafrina recovered, which was minutes after the attack, she got up and disappeared. You know that," He said as he took in my expression and hurried on, "well she left this note telling Nahuel that he was no longer part of her coven, because you know Huilen and him joined them obviously, and that she would get revenge on him for attacking, blah blah blah. She said it was unnatural to protect Lacey over his own kin and told him that he would end up killing her if she didn't do it first. It was an overall nasty letter. She wrote a nicer one to Carlisle thanking him for his hospitality and that she hoped he understood that she couldn't possibly stay in the same house as the abominations." I had expected as much. Zafrina had stopped in to my room to say goodbye though and I knew deep down, Zafrina didn't think it was an abomination, I knew she loved me, Nahuel and even liked Jacob. She was just hurt. "But it looks like she changed her mind."
"Obviously." I said.
"I think Bella talked to her." Jake said surprising me.
"She and Nahuel disappeared for a few days. I think they went to talk to Zafrina but they didn't want anyone to know in case she didn't come or change her mind."
"Then how do you know they went to the Amazons?" I asked.
He shrugged, a perfect Jacob shrug, "I heard Edward talking to Alice. He was anxious, said something about danger in the Amazons and Zafrina being overly dramatic or something."
"Well if my mom couldn't get her to come around I don't know who could. She has a way with people. It's strange."
"Yeah, Bella's freaky."
"We need to name her." I said, ignoring his last comment and looking at my little girl. "Any ideas?"
"Not for first names but I have a middle name." I was surprised, he had never mentioned anything before.
"What is it?"
"I want it to be Cullen." Again I was shocked and my mouth hung open this time. He pushed my chin up with his finger and closed it. He kissed me. "That is nonnegotiable. It is an important part of her identity and this way she will always have it. Besides, I know it would mean a lot to you and it's my lot in life to make you happy." He smiled and despite his joking tone I knew he was serious and sincere. I felt tears prick my eyes and didn't wipe them away.
"Sure, Sure." He said. "Do you have a first name?"
"What about Aquene?" It was his turn to look surprised.
"That's a Native American name, Peace." He said. I nodded.
"Fits, doesn't it?"
"It's perfect." He kissed me again.
I was no Alice, I couldn't tell the future. I would never be able to protect my family like my mother or hear what those around me think like my father or feel their emotions like Jasper. I could never run through the wind on four legs like Jake, Lacey, and the pack, never have the discipline of Carlisle, the patience of Esme, Emmett's playfulness, Rosalie's determination or Nahuel's curiosity. I smiled down at my daughter, held my husband's hand and knew that none of that mattered because we had them. We were a family and I would share our history and stories with Aquene. Everything was perfect.
Thank you everyone for your support of Eternal Sun, I appreciate your comments and questions, it helped me write each new chapter. I hope you enjoyed the story. I didn't know where it was going when I sat down to write it and I am pleased with how it came out. I thought it was fitting to end in the same way it began, with Renesmee. Although Lacey occupied much of the story, her story ended when she met Nahuel. I'll let you decide their future, it's more fun that way! Maybe I'll write another story with Aquene and Lacey's child! Let me know what you think. Thanks again!