A/N Stephenie Meyer's owns all Twilight characters
I realize now I probably should have put some kind of warning on the last chapter. I'm sorry if that offended anyone...I seriously contemplated not putting it in the story at all, but I thought it was important for Bella to go through that. I feel like Ron from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: "you're gonna suffer... but you're gonna be happy about it..."
I want to thank ShelbySue for being such an amazing beta and always offering helpful advice and making me look good...lol. Thank you everyone who has read and reviewed all these chapters...it's been awesome getting to read all the reviews and see you guys love Jake as much as I do! (even those who say their team edward..laugh with me..muahaha welcome to the dark side...lol)
There are things that happen in every person's life. These things are tragic, they are happy, they hurt, and they teach. These things are never easy. They are complicated mysteries wrapped in riddles and surround by enigmas. No one knows why these things happen. They just do. And it's up to us to either become or overcome.
* * *
Three years had passed and whenever I thought about it, about how much time had gone by, it just surprised me. It didn't seem like that long. Life with Jacob was sweet. There's no other way to describe it. He was so in tuned with me. He knew when I was in a bad mood and how to remedy it. He was always there when I needed him. He never hurt me or let me falter in anyway. He was all that I ever could have asked for and so much more.
"I know it's hard, but sweetheart you have to sit still," Jake said smiling; a strand of hair fell into his eyes. I laughed because he looked like Leonardo DiCaprio in Titanic, his shaggy hair hanging in his face.
"I'm sorry," I said taking a deep breath and trying to remain still.
Jake nodded and would look from me to canvas periodically. "We have to go out later and find something for Macy's birthday," Jake mumbled.
I yawned. "I know. Her birthday party is this weekend. I have to be there early to help Alice decorate. How much help I'll be to her is beyond me."
Jake nodded sympathetically. "I'm sure she'll appreciate whatever you can do for her."
Macy was Alice and Jasper's daughter. She was a beautiful girl who looked exactly like Alice, from her elfin features to her mop of dark curls; the curls of course came from Jasper. And she was turning a year old this Saturday.
A few feet away I heard Jake set down his brush. "Okay," he sighed. "We need to get ready for your doctor's appointment. It's in forty five minutes."
I nodded and struggled to my feet. I felt like I swallowed a whale and it decided to set up residence in my uterus. Jake quickly crossed the room and helped me up.
"So," I said as we climbed the stairs. "Do you want to know what the baby is going to be?"
Jake shrugged. "I'm not sure. The last few times, the little bugger wouldn't cooperate. So I'm betting it's a girl."
I was eight months pregnant and we had no idea what the baby was going to be. The last two times we went in for an ultrasound the little wiggle worm would roll around or over or put his foot in the way so the ultrasound tech couldn't see the sex. I had the feeling it was going to be a boy. Of course I didn't know for sure, but that's what my gut was telling me.
I was stunned when I found out. We hadn't been trying nor had we even talked about it. It was late February and Jake and I had just gotten home from the Showbox Market where The Airborne Toxic Event had just played a show. It was late, I was tired and not paying attention and when I got out of the car I slipped on the ice and broke my ankle.
So off to the hospital we went. The doctors encased my ankle in a neon pink cast and delivered a sheaf of prescription papers.
"There's one in there for prenatal vitamins," the harried doctor informed me.
"For what? Are they going to help my ankle heal faster?"
Okay, I know, total dumb blond question. But what the hell did I need prenatal vitamins for? I wasn't pregnant. Obviously the doctor thought the latter of me, that while I may appear to be a brunette, I was hiding some seriously golden locks under there somewhere.
"They're for the baby," he said dryly. "You're about six weeks pregnant."
I dropped the prescription slips he handed me and stared blankly at him. I. was. Pregnant. The shock didn't take long to turn to joy.
Happy tears slid down my face and I practically jumped off the paper covered table and into Jake's arms. He stopped me before I had the chance to do further damage to my ankle.
"Congratulations," the doctor said and left the room.
* * *
So here we were now, eight months pregnant. It had been an easy pregnancy after I got over the fear and stress of the first few months. Sometimes I worried I would lose this baby too, but at each checkup my doctor, Dr. Ultra Fine, as Alice and I secretly called him- seriously the man looked like he just stepped right off of a cheesy daytime soap- assured me that my baby was developing right on schedule and that everything looked normal and in this case, normal was good.
Jake and I went to the appointment together, and yet again, baby Black decided to be uncooperative. As we left, reassured that all was well, we resigned ourselves to the fact that it was going to be a surprise.
At home, I went upstairs to take a nap and Jake went down to the studio. When I woke up it was dark. I shuffled down the hall and found Jake in the living room. He was watching some show where they basically steal someone's car then fix it up.
"Hey," he said softly, "did you sleep well?"
I nodded and carefully lowered myself to the sofa.
"Good. I have something I want to show you. Stay here okay?"
I nodded and wiped the sleep out of my eyes. I was still tired, but it was hot in the apartment and it woke me up. I got up to mess with the thermostat and sat back down.
He came back a few minutes later with a large canvas in tow. "What's that?" I asked as Jake set the painting down against the wall.
"Come see," he said.
I pushed up off the couch and waddled over to look at the painting. It was the painting he'd be doing this afternoon. It was finished. It was a very pregnant oil painting of me.
When he first came up with the idea, I was about five and half months pregnant. Jake carried the camera with him his every waking second and was constantly snapping photos of me.
"You should come downstairs and let me paint you," he said offhandedly.
I nodded, consumed with a client who had an issue with the curtains that had been ordered for her loft. "Yeah, sure," I had said, not really listening.
The next thing I knew he was dragging me away from my computer and down the stairs. I sat on the newly salvaged thrift store chaise that he found one afternoon. It was a lot more comfortable than the one that had been down here which, unfortunately, broke when we tried to take it up to our room.
The new one had a wavy design to it and was pleasantly stuffed so that when you laid back on it, it conformed to your body. It felt like sleeping on a cloud.
He started painting me that afternoon. It took a while to complete the painting. Work had been demanding. I had a list of clients as long as my arm and was well on my way to junior partner at my design firm. The gallery in New York had decided not to do a full show, but a different gallery wanted to so he was flying to New York every other week it seemed.
"Jake that looks amazing," I said reaching out to touch the images.
"I just painted it," he said. "You're the one who did all the work. You're beautiful," he whispered into my ear.
Tears welled up in my eyes. Damn pregnancy hormones, I thought and wiped my eyes.
The version of me in the painting was lying on the chaise, one hand on the top of my stomach, the other cradling the bottom. A small, yet distinct foot could be seen pressing on the side of my stomach. A discreet Mona Lisa smile played at the corners of my mouth.
"It's gorgeous. Where are you going to hang it?"
Jake shrugged. "I'm not sure. Maybe there," he pointed the wall behind the couch. "Or there. I don't know."
"I think you should hang it here." I pointed to a space on the wall that, when the sun set each afternoon, was lit making the paint shimmer in the heat like it was on fire. It would look perfect there.
* * *
It was another stormy night when I was awoken once again by a searing pain in my abdomen. Only this time I knew it was different. This time, we would leave the hospital with our baby.
Between the pains I woke Jake, who jumped out of bed and shouted, "It's time to make the doughnuts!" then he shook his head and looked at me. I sucked in a great gasp of air as the contractions came, and blew out, praying that it would end quickly.
"It's time to go to the hospital!" I wheezed. Jake nodded once and grabbed my suitcase out of the closet. "I'll be right back," he said and darted out of the room.
I got out of bed slowly and pulled on a pair of sweat pants and a sweater. I stopped at the door as another contraction came. I breathed through it and went to the living room to wait for Jake.
I heard him running up the stairs. He threw open the door and helped me down the stairs. He was frantic, his hands were sweaty and he had this wild eyed look, almost like a deer in the headlights.
We managed to get into the car with no issues and on our way to the hospital Jake called the doctor who was already there with another patient.
By the time we got to the hospital my contractions were five minutes apart and felt like they lasted for ten minutes, but Jake said it was actually on about fifty-five to sixty seconds.
The nurse hooked up a band to my stomach to monitor the baby's heart beat, and Dr. Ultra-Fine came in to see how I was. I grinned at him.
"It hurts like a son-of-a-bitch but I wouldn't trade it for the world," I replied, then grimaced as another round of contractions started.
Jake offered me his hand which I gladly took and squeezed the hell out of. He whimpered once, but didn't say a word.
Time seemed to speed up and stand still all at the same time. It seemed like doctors and nurses were coming and going at warp speed, but their movements were slow and exaggerated.
Then Dr. Ultra-Fine came in and checked to see how dilated I was. He flashed that soap star grin and announced it was time to bring a baby into the world.
"When I say push, you push. When I say stop, you stop. Dad, you hold Mom's hand and help her any way you can. Ready…push."
I pushed, groaning and straining to get this baby here one way or another. Jake held my hand and murmured encouragement and wiped my forehead with a damp cloth. After fifteen minutes the doctor looked up.
"Okay Bella, one more push. You got one more left in don't you?"
"You bet your ass I do," I growled.
"Okay, go ahead and give me one more."
I pushed like the doctor asked. Jake kept repeating how much he loved me and how I could do this. Then the sweetest sound filled the delivery room; the shrill wail of a healthy, new born baby.
"Congratulations," the doctor smiled. "It's a girl."
A girl we named Hope.
Because every love story should end not only with love, but hope as well.
Reviews are better than happy endings.
I hope you all enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it. I have the first chapter of the new story, its been edited and ready to go up; I just need to give it a title..lol...I have three to pick from...I might just give in, toss them all in a hat and pick one..lol.
Chapter title: Love You 'Til the End by the Pogues