A.N: Okay lovies, read and review. Thanks Lulu for betaing. Thank you Jessie for holding my hand when I refused to write. This is not the end there is one more chapter and an epi.
Chapter Twenty Two
The sky was an eerie yellow with a hint of green. The color the sky sometimes gets right before a huge storm. I looked up confused by the lack of clouds; yet warm raindrops fell randomly out of the sky. The hot, humid air smelled foul with death and fire.
I looked around frantically, knowing somewhere they were here. "Where are you?!" I called out, "I know you're here! Come out and show yourself!" I yelled, spinning in a circle.
I was in a field enclosed by ice covered trees, it resembled a dream I had before. Only there was no fire, no people, just the smell, burning my nose and throat with every inhale. I lifted the bottom of my shirt, filtering the smell.
I heard a crunching noise coming from behind me, I quickly spun. Greeting me was Jacob. I stepped back, my heart racing with fear and panic. "Leave me alone," I said, sternly pointing at him with a shaky finger. He smiled at me, revealing a yellow and black toothy grin. His eyes were covered with a hazy film, making his once colorful eyes, dull and milky.
He would step forward, I would step back, one step forward, another step back… This continued until I found myself pinned up against a large round tree trunk. He leaned in, placing his bruised skinned hands on either side of me, leaning in he whispered "Run."
Beep, beep, beep.
I opened my eyes, groggy and weighed down. Edward was practically lying on top of me. I smiled at the sight of him. Today was a big day. Today was our anniversary. It has been a year to the day that I met Edward Cullen.
"What a year it has been," I thought to myself. I placed a soft kiss on Edward's head, leaned over and turned off the offensive noise.
I wanted to go back to sleep, but my body and mind was not allowing me to do so. My thoughts raced with memories, both good and bad. Our first time meeting, our first kiss, our first time making love… But with all the good memories, the bad one's tagged along. Jacob, my parents, the ghosts, our baby…
That one will always be the hardest. My stomach churned and I felt as if I might get sick. "Our baby," I thought again. With another stomach role, I lurched up out of bed and to the bathroom.
After thoroughly throwing up, I quietly did the walk of shame back to our room. I was thankful that Emmett was still asleep and did not hear me get sick. I was about to open our bedroom door when Alice poked her head out her bedroom door. She looked tired and irritated.
"Sorry," I said, with an unconvincing smile.
"Are you sure you're not getting sick?" she asked, raising her eyebrow at me.
Edward's family came back from their vacation three days later, just in time for school to begin. School…ugh the mere thought makes my stomach ache more. Rose has been dying to go shopping, and I've been avoiding her 'chipmunk on crack' mode for three days now.
I was in the clear for two more days. Perhaps tomorrow I'll call her for a day of shopping. Today was all about me and Edward. For the past few days, I heard hushed whispers between him and Emmett. I ignored them, acting as if I didn't know he had some sort of surprise planned.
Even knowing how much I dislike surprises, he always seemed to have them for me. I think I'm starting to like his surprises. And if I'm right, I'll have a surprise for him later as well.
I tip toed to my dresser, quietly pulling out the top drawer where I hid the home pregnancy test that I brought yesterday. My period is now three days late and with the morning sickness this morning, I was pretty positive that I was indeed pregnant again.
I smiled down at Edward, sleeping peacefully in bed. My heart beating loudly in my ears as I again quietly left our room. I ran to the bathroom once in the hall, afraid of someone, or rather Alice seeing me again. I locked the door behind me and anxiously opened the box.
I relieved myself on the tiny little pee stick and let it rest on the counter as I nervously took a shower.
I wasn't sure if I was completely ready for this... to be pregnant again. Part of me felt as if I was betraying the baby I lost. As I rinsed the shampoo from my hair, I tried to wash away all the doubts from mind. This time would be different. This time, Jacob couldn't hurt me.
After shaving and washing my body, I stepped out of the tub, wrapping myself in a large yellow towel. I couldn't contain the excitement long enough to wrap my hair or even really dry myself off. I took a few steps to the place where a five inch long plastic stick held my future. I looked down and cried.
I was pregnant!
Quickly, tears of joy, fear, and forgiveness streamed down my face, running together with the bits of water dripping from my hair.
I hid the empty box in the bottom of the trash can and hid the stick in the towel I had wrapped around my body. When I returned to the room, Edward was gone. In his place on the bed, were a white and pink dress and a pair of cute white flats. On top was a sheet of paper folded in the shape of an origami heart.
I have big plans for you today.
Love you Mi Amour
I held it up and looked at myself in the mirror, not surprised that Edward knew my size. I placed the dress back on the bed and slipped on a pair of shorts and a t-shirt. Opting for my flip flops instead of sneakers and made my way back to the bathroom.
I pulled out the trash bag in the tiny bathroom trashcan and tied it in a knot. I walked down the stairs, humming to myself and obliviously happy. Opening the front door I was greeted by warm rays of sunshine. Yes, today is a good day. I skipped over to the large black trash cans beside the garage and put in the tied trash bag, closing the stinky lid with smile.
Back inside I walked to the kitchen, expecting to see my angel waiting for me, instead I found a large bouquet of white and red roses, just like from homecoming. I buried my nose on them, inhaling their beautiful scent.
"Big plans today?" a voice spoke from behind me. I jumped just a little at the sound of his deep voice.
"Yeah, Edward and I have been together for one year today." I said, to Emmett proudly. He smiled half heartedly and walked to the fridge, pulling out the orange juice and drinking straight from the jug. "Please tell me you don't do that often." I laughed.
"That's for me to know and you to never find out." He winked at me as he placed the jug back in the fridge.
"You know, Rose has been talking about you a lot lately, are you two kissing and making up again?" I asked, going to the pantry, looking for something sweet to eat for breakfast.
"We've been talking these past few days." He said, with a hint of hope in his voice.
"Well, with it being Rose, talking is good." Looking at my options in the pantry I sighed in disappointment. "Is there anything sweet to eat?" I asked.
"Why having cravings?" Alice said. I turned around to see her in her robe, walking to the coffee pot.
"She couldn't possibly know", I thought to myself. "Good morning." I said perplexed. "Could she? The stop at the drug store and asking me if I were sick on more than one occasion…" I let my thoughts trail off when I heard soft music coming from down the hall in the library.
Picking up a banana from the bowl of fruit on the island, I walked down the long hall and peeked in the library. Edward was sitting at the piano, singing as his fingers glided effortlessly along the ivory keys.
He truly is a sight to behold. Even with his unruly hair, he was perfection.
Looking up at me, he smiled my favorite smile, and bit his bottom lip. I knew he was thinking something unmentionable in his mind. That was the only time he bit his lip. I took a bite from my banana and I noticed his adam's apple bounce up and down with a hard swallow.
"Come, sit with me," he said moving over. I did as asked and rested my head on his shoulder. Closing my eyes I listened to the familiar song...our song. "You look beautiful this morning. It's almost looks like your glowing." I looked up at him, kissing him softly on his lips. Smirking just a little because, I was indeed glowing. Not wanting to distract him, I laid my head back down and continued to eat my banana.
As the song reached its end, I smiled in the warmth that surrounded me. My life, right now, couldn't be any better and I couldn't wait to tell Edward about my own little surprise.
"Get some breakfast, I have a few things to tend to and then we'll start our day," he said as he placed a kiss on my head and closed the lid to the keys.
"We don't have anything sweet." I stated simply.
"Well then, we can't have that. Let me get my keys, we'll go out to breakfast. One order of chocolate chip pancakes coming up."
I waited by the door as he ran upstairs, I briefly worried that he would look in my drawer, but quickly diminished the thought. He'd have no reason to go in my dresser. I made a mental note to wrap it up as soon as we get back from breakfast.
We drove in an awkward silence, the energy between us seems dense with expectations. Morning rays of sun, made his already bronze highlighted hair, shine like silk.
We pulled in to a small pancake house, my stomach growled loudly in hunger. Edward smiled at me as he stepped out of the car, walking quickly to open my door. He held his hand out for mine. Eager to feel his soft hands I gratefully gave him my hand to help me out of the truck. He smiled and kissed the back of my hand, causing me to blush. There was something in the look of his eyes that made my stomach clinch and heart race.
Eating breakfast was normal. We talked of small insignificant things, I on the other hand was dwelling on my newly found information from this morning. So many times just in the one hour breakfast date, I had to stop myself from blurting out our good news.
After breakfast, we arrived home to find an unfamiliar car in our drive way. I looked puzzled at Edward; he just shrugged his shoulders and gave me a mirroring confused look.
"Emmett?" Edward called out, once we were inside our house. I pointed up the steps where I heard loud music floating down the stairs. "Wait here," he said, and ran up the stairs.
"Hey!" I heard a familiar voice startle me from behind. I screamed slightly as I spun around. Rose began laughing at my theatrics and pulled me to her for a friendly embrace. "That never gets old," she laughed.
"You're such and ass you know that right," I said, hugging her back. "What are you doing here?" I asked, giving her a raised eyebrow.
"Oh, no, I'm not ruining the surprise," she quipped, and walked toward the living room.
"There's a surprise?" I asked, with a smile on my face, sitting down on the large comfortable couch.
"Crap! You didn't know he had a surprise for you? Damn it." She mockingly smacked herself on the forehead. "Do not let him know you know and I won't let him know I know you know, that way he won't know I told you, ya know?" she rambled and flopped down beside me.
"God, I've missed you." I laughed. "So, you and Emmett back at it again? Or are you here simply to see the wondrous sight that is me?" She flushed a pretty shade of pink and I know right then, that she and Emmett were on again. "That good huh?"
"Oh, Bella…it's beyond that good! It's like he's there now, like he finally gets it." She smiled and ran her fingers through her hair, pulling it up to a ponytail.
"In Emmett's defense, your really are difficult to understand. Plus, you never give clues or hints or actually tell him what you want. You expect him to just know. Men never just know!" I gave her a knowing look and she agreed.
"So, tell me, what's new? You look like you have a secret," she said. I didn't answer, I just smiled and looked around, and making sure neither Edward nor anyone else was around.
"I'm pregnant." I said, with a wide smile. She screeched loudly, clapping her hands and bouncing lightly up and down. "Shh! Edward doesn't know yet. I have my own little surprise in store for him."
Her face fell, going from elated to sorrowful in the matter of moments. "What?" I asked.
"Are you still… ya know… seeing them?" she asked fidgeting with her hands. I nodded yes and a ripple of goose-bumps spread across my skin. "Me too, but is different now. They don't scare me like they use to, and I think they are trying to tell me something really important, and I just can't figure it out." I grabbed her hand in mine, smiling encouragingly at her.
"I'm sure you'll figure it out." I said, hoping to calm her nerves.
At the mere mention of the ghosts my stomach felt queasy. Not wanting to ruin my breakfast, I took in three large deep breaths and the unsettling feeling in my stomach soothed.
"Come on, let's go find our men." I said standing up, not wanting to dwell on the sore subject that she had mentioned.
We found Emmett and Edward engrossed in a video game in Emmett's room.
"I'll be right back, okay." I whispered in Rose's ear. I slipped down the hall, closing our bedroom door quietly behind me. I went to the closet and pulled down some red left over wrapping paper from Christmas. I took out the test, placed it in a small bracelet box I had from an old gift from Edward and wrapped the test up. I placed it on top of my dresser so I wouldn't forget it later.
We hung out with Emmett and Rose for the majority of the day. We all ate sandwiches on the patio, basking in the warm late summer sun. I watched as Rose's face lit up when Emmett would say something sweet, or kissed her hand. I could tell Edward was indeed giving him some pointers. For his sake, I pray that he continues his actions.
By late afternoon, I was beginning to feel tired. I excused myself and went to lie down. Rose gave me a knowing smile and hugged me. I soothed Edward's concerns by telling him I wanted to be well rested for tonight.
I changed into a nightgown and crawled into bed. My sleep was restless; visions of Jacob floating in the murky brown water, eyes open, and toes being bitten by fish. Dreams of rotting bodies and brutally beaten babies startled me awake an hour later.
"Go away, go away, go away…" I thought with my eyes closed. "If I just remain in bed, eyes closed, and pretend to sleep, they'll go away." I told myself as the air began to be filled with the unwelcoming stench of death. The hairs on the back of my neck stood straight as the temperature in the room dropped a few degrees.
I grudgingly opened my eyes, floating above me was Jacob. His mouth open, water dripped out only to disappear before it hit my face. His pungent eyes, stared down at me knowingly. He lifted a corner of his lips in an evil smile.
I screamed and threw the covers off me, getting out of bed. Jacob followed me as I backed my way toward the wall. With every step I took back, he took one forward. Soon I found myself flat up against the wall, trapped. Just like in my dream.
The ghost of Jacob was inches from my face. The stench of his breathe burned my lungs and made my stomach role.
Our bedroom door flew open, Edward, Emmett, and Rose all filed into the bedroom. Rose let out a loud scream and gripped Emmett by the front of his shirt. "Help her! Help her Edward!" she said, panicking.
"What is that smell?" Emmett asked.
"It's Jacob," Rose answered, in a whispered voice. Edward and Emmett both looked at Rose as if she had gone mad. I wanted to agree, to confirm with them that it was Jacob, but fear gripped my voice and all I could do was stare.
Jacob turned toward Rose at the sound of his name. He screeched in a high pitch tone, and disincarnated right before my eyes, floating away in a plume of smoke.
I collapsed to the floor. Whether from fear, exhaustion, or relief I'm unsure. Edward quickly picked me up and carried me to the bed.
"Are you okay? Bella, answer me?" I looked at him expressionless. He pulled me onto his lap and held me for an immeasurable amount of time.
Soon Edward ran his hand along my face, forcing me to look at him. I stared at the oceans of green, specked with blue and gold. He smiled, showing off his bright warm smile. I couldn't help but smile back.
No matter what, my angel will keep the demons away. Of that I was certain.
He looked at me as if asking if I were okay. I nodded yes and kissed his awaiting lips.
"I better get ready. I hear someone has something planned." I said, kissing him again.
"Me too. See you downstairs in say an hour?"
"Perfect," I answered. Edward turned to walk to the closet, as he passed my dresser he noticed the wrapped box.
"For me?" I giggled slightly and nodded yes. "Can I open it now?"
Why wait? I asked myself. I nodded yes to him again and waited for his reaction. He tore off the paper letting it fall to the floor. When he discovered the bracelet box he looked at me perplexed. "Just open it." I said, smiling.
I held my breath as she slowly opened the lid. His eyes grew wide and his mouth dropped open. His hands shook as he continued to process what he was holding in his hand.
"Is this…? Are you…? We're gonna…?" he asked, babbling off incomplete questions. I nodded yes again, not trusting my voice to not crack. "I'M GONNA BE A DAD!" He yelled joyfully. He ran over to me picking me up and spinning me around. "I love you," he whispered in my ear.
"I love you too, with every fiber of my soul." I said back, and then kissed him with all the love I had.
He walked me back to the bed, laid me down, and took me to places far above heaven, where only Edward and I existed.
Edward was in the shower as I proceeded to get ready for our night. The dress fit perfectly. Rose helped me put my hair up and left saying there were things to be done. I hugged her and thanked her for her help.
Edward came out of the bathroom wearing a pair of black dress slacks and a dark blue button up shirt. He had a tie hanging around his neck untied. My heart fluttered erratically and my stomach knotted up with nervousness. Even after a year together, Edward still has the same effect on me as he did the first time I saw him.
"You're perfect," He said, kissing my forehead, nose, than lips. He ran his hand over my stomach and smiled. "Absolutely perfect."
"You're not to bad yourself." I quipped back. "Where are you taking me?"
"I'm not telling, so you can stop asking now."
I huffed and pouted, hoping it would make him cave in and tell me. It didn't work. "Fine, I'm ready when you are." I sat on the bed and put on the little flats.
He just smirked at me and sat beside me putting on his new dress shoes. "I'm going to make this the best night of your life."
I was sitting in the passenger seat of his silver Volvo. Listening to the latest hit station; blaring through his sound system. Everything seemed so surreal. The fact I was even sitting beside Edward was a miracle. We turned into the state park near our hometown just as the sun was beginning to set. I saw Rose's new car parked by itself near a gazebo that was lit up with white Christmas lights. Now, I understood why he had me dress up. I looked at my Angel with wide, surprised eyes. He had his classic crooked smile plastered on his face. His smile just intensified my love for him. I couldn't speak, the whole drive I had been bugging him about where we were going, and never once did he give me a tiny clue. He parked his car and walked to my side to open my door the way he has always done. Rose smiled at us and drove off, waving and blowing us a kiss.
Taking my hand he led me to the gazebo. It was painted white and had built in benches on every side. Soft classical music was playing through a radio I could not see. A table covered in white linen sat in the middle of the gazebo. The table was set for two, with white and gold china plates, and real silver utensils. In the center was a vase full of white and red roses. Looking down, the floor was also covered in red rose petals. I felt like I had walked in to a Disney Princess movie and was being sweep away by my Prince Charming.
Pulling out my chair I sat down still not speaking. Leaning over me Edward kissed the top of my head and ran his fingers though my curled hair. "I hope you're hungry, Love," he whispered to me. It was the first words spoken since we pulled up to the state park. I looked at Edward and I was so overwhelmed with joy, I started to feel tears sting my eyes.
"Starving," was all I managed to say with out breaking out into tears. He walked away heading toward his car. I watched him open the hatchback and fumble with something that sounded like metal being clanked together.
A minute later, he was walking back to me carrying a covered silver tray; like a waiter from a fancy restaurant. I fidgeted with my dress, pulling it up, making sure I was not busting out the top. He set the tray down on the bench next to where he was going to be sitting. Lifting off the top I heard him mumble "perfect". Turning around he sat down a Reese's peanut buttercup sundae in front of me. I covered my mouth hiding the laugh that was threading to ruin the most perfect moment; as the tears I'd been fighting spilled over and ran down my cheeks.
I stood up and wrapped myself into his arms. I never wanted him to let go, I never wanted this moment to end. I was a Princess and I had my Prince Charming.
We started dancing with the music. Not having to speak, our eye met and spoke for us. Leaning in, he tipped my chin up and placed a sweet soft kiss on my lips. Looking deep in my eyes he said "I love you beyond comprehension Isabella Swan, and one day," he brushed his nose against my cheek moving toward my ear and whispered "I'm going to make you my wife," he kissed my lips again and pulled me closer to him. He led me around the gazebo, our bodies moving as one.
Releasing his kiss he let me go and dropped to one knee. My heart pounded as if it were going to explode. He dug in his pocket and pulled out a black ring box. I instinctively covered my mouth with one hand and placed the other over my heart, trying to prevent it from beating out of my chest. He opened the box and inside was the most beautiful engagement ring I'd ever seen. I couldn't hold it in, I started to cry.
"Bella, you are the most important person in my life. I never want a day to pass without you in it. Will you honor me in being my wife?" Edward took my left hand.
I shook my head yes, still unable to speak. "Yes," I finally said through my tears, "Yes of course I'll marry you!"
"Read the inscription on the band," he handed me the ring to read.
"Your Angel is never far away," I read aloud. I handed it back to him, and he placed it on my finger. I was going to be Mrs. Edward Cullen. He stood up and grabbed me in a big hug lifting me off the ground.
We heard a noise from near his car. We turned to see someone approaching us.
"What is this? Another surprise?" I teased.
Edward's face looked confused as he shook his head no.
"Then who is it?" I asked.
"I'm not sure. Stand behind me though." I did as told and stood behind him.
The car door opened and closed and a small figure blocked the headlights as they made their way toward us.
"I think its Rose," I whispered. But, you know the feeling you get when you just know something is off kilter? That was the feeling I was having now. And I did not like it.
"Hello?" Edward asked.
There was no answer, the person just walked steadily toward us. Finally we were able to see who it was.
"Hey, what's up?" I asked stepping out from behind Edward. That is when I got a good look on her face. She was angry and crying. "Oh, God what's wrong?" Edward and I both asked at the same time.
"You. You are what's wrong," she said. Confused I looked at Edward. "You just don't learn do you? First I had to get rid of that one whore, Lauren. I bet you don't know about her do you, Bella?" she asked rhetorically. "Edward knocked her up too. And because of it I had to kill her. Then you come along. Precious, Perfect Bella. Emmett was right about you, he knew you were different and that you'd interfere with the whole deal."
"What is she talking about Edward?" I asked, my heart was racing and I felt sick to my stomach.
"You need to leave." Edward said angrily. "Now!"
"No, I don't. Did you know Emmett helped me get rid of her body? See him and I have a deal. Just like Emmett and Edward have or rather had a deal. We get rid of you," she pointed at me, "and him," she pointed at Edward, "I get pregnant and I inherit the money, giving Emmett forty percent for his half of the work... of course."
"Edward, I want to leave, please." I pulled him with me as I walked out of the gazebo. That's when I seen it…the gun.
"NO!" I heard just before I felt Edward push me forward milliseconds before I heard the deafening sound of the gun being fired.