A/N: Well kiddo's, this is it; the last time I welcome you to a chapter of 'Never Again'.
Is it sad that I have tears because of this? Yeah, probably, but this was my baby, my first time attempting to put myself out there for others to see. And no, it wasn't perfect, there were errors, many actually, and I probably still won't get things right in the next story, but it was fun. And that's what FF is supposed to be about. And, now I know that I can indeed put my work out there and feel proud of it. So, a huge thank you for those who have been there with me through the past 5 crazy months. You know who you are, and how much I appreciate you.
More notes on the bottom, because I'm sure you have more important things to read, like what ended up happening to our favorite couple.
Disclaimer: SM owns all things Twilight. I own the ideas that are floating in my head about what happens to Tatward and Bella Barbie.
September 12th, 6:45pm
"Bella? Bella baby, talk to me!" Her face scrunched up as she doubled over in pain, crying out for me to help her. My hands went to her back, trying to think of anything that could make this a bit easier for her to endure, but I came up blank.
I hated seeing my wife in pain, and if I could, I would take it for her, but this time it wasn't possible and I was just a bystander to what was happening.
"Edward, it hurts! It hurts so bad!" I had absolutely no clue how to make my Bella feel better. I was an idiot. I should have paid attention more so that when d-day actually arrived, I would have been prepared, but I wasn't, and here we stand with me feeling like a jackass and Bella thinking I was a jackass for not doing anything but stand there and watch her as she was screaming in excrutiating pain.
After a few more minutes of thinking to myself, my mind started to function a bit more, now that the panic of Bella screaming in pain wore off a little.
"Come on Love, it's gonna be ok. I promise." I wrapped my arm around her waist as we walked towards the garage and out to the car.
Her cries, as much as she tried to hide them from me, got louder and louder as I buckled her in. If I didn't know any better, I would have thought she was being torn limb from limb. We waited too long. We should have gone sooner, but Bella's stubborn and doesn't listen very well.
But her stubbornness is probably one of her best qualities and one of the things I loved most about my wife.
5 years ago
"Baby, talk to me. I don't know how to make you feel better if you don't talk to me about what's going on." We were lying on our bed, Bella's back to me as I listened to her quietly cry to herself.
We had just gotten back from a month long trip to Brazil earlier today. I'd taken Bella to a private island where we spent the entire time alone, just the two of us and I thought that we had an amazing time, that is until we returned home and I found Bella laying in bed, crying, not uttering a single word to me.
It had been a rough first year of our marriage to say the least. Our wedding was amazing, one of the best nights of my life, and our time in Jamaica was something neither of us would ever forget, but coming home and trying for a family weighed heavily on both of us.
Alice and Jasper's wedding was off the hook, and now our family was complete. Well, complete in the sense that we had each found someone that we couldn't live without and all the weddings were over. Not complete in all other senses of the word.
In the months leading up to their wedding, Alice hadn't been herself. We all figured that with having free reign on her own wedding, she would be excited and overly chipper about everything, but that was not the case. She was bitchier than I figured she could be, but we all chalked it up to the fact that she was bridezilla to the extreme, that is until she didn't toast with champagne at their wedding, and my loving brother Emmett shouted out 'You're pregnant?' in front of about 300 people.
Little Jackson was born about two months ago, and that's when I decided that it was a perfect time for Bella and I to have some alone time together. Alone. I thought that if we were in a relaxed atmosphere, it would help things along, but like usual, I was wrong.
Rose and Emmett found out they were expecting again when Emma Rose turned one, and that put a damper on Bella's already ever changing mood. It's not that she wasn't happy for them, but they were now working on their second child, when we had yet to be blessed with our first.
Alice and Jasper moved out of the apartment building to their own house just outside the city so they would have more space for their expanding family about a month before Jackson was born. Rose and Emmett followed suit a few months later, moving in about 5 miles down the road from them. We'd been looking for our own house, but with the wedding, Alice and Jasper's wedding, the births of Jackson and Kellan, and trying to start our own family, it just didn't work for us to continue looking at the time.
Although we still saw everyone on a daily basis, our nights were spent just the two of us and that left Bella with lots of time to think about the fact that it was just the two of us. I loved Bella with everything that I had, but we'd been trying to conceive for the past year with no success and it was literally killing her.
The day we got the call to come to the hospital to meet Jackson, I could tell that I needed to do something. Bella cried a lot that morning, and when she actually was able to hold him, feeling the tiny infant in her arms, the tears only got worse and my entire family looked at me for answers, feeling her pain, but unsure how to help her.
Bella wanted to be pregnant, I wanted to get her pregnant, but her body just wasn't cooperating.
So, in an effort to get Bella's mind off of what was happening in the real world, we spent the last month in Brazil being tourists. And for the most part, we had an amazing time. We spent endless hours on the beach, making love on the sand, in the water and on the boat. Bella was happy. She was actually genuinely happy for the first time since our wedding.
But the moment we came home, she took a pregnancy test, which wasn't much different than any other month, seeing that she had been taking them regularly since the attack just to make sure she wasn't pregnant. But now that we wanted her to be, it just wasn't happening.
"Baby, please, just let me in. I…I don't know what else to do for you." I wrapped my arms around her waist pulling her to my chest, nuzzling my nose into her hair, trying to hold back the tears I felt for my own pain.
"I'm sorry, I just really though that this time was different. I mean, I was getting these really weird cravings while we were there, never had I wanted eggs so bad in my life. And the cravings made me think of the last time I was pregnant and I really wanted to be pregnant. I'm sorry that you married a nut job Edward. You deserve so much more!" She rolled over to face me as I cradled her to my chest, letting her cry, knowing there wasn't a damn thing I could say right now that was going to make it better.
"Baby. We've tried it on our own for a year. What do you think about asking for some help now?" I didn't know if she would get more upset with what I was suggesting, or if she would actually like the idea. I had been pondering it for months now and had to get it out in the open before my own head exploded.
Bella's head lifted and her red, tear filled eyes met mine as the biggest grin spread across her face.
"You mean it? You don't think it'd be weird getting a little help?" The smile on her face was so genuine and real, I cried. I cried for the fact that I was able to make her smile, when she had been so depressed.
I placed a kiss on her forehead, holding her to me tighter than before.
"I'm positive. I want a family with you B, I know how hard this last year has been on you, and I want us to have this together. I want you to be happy. I want us to be happy again, just like we used to be."
"Where do we begin?"
September 12, 6:59pm
Her skin was pale and I was really starting to wonder if we'd waited too long. I called Carlisle as soon as we were in the car and told him her symptoms and he was meeting us at the hospital.
"Edward, drive like you did when I first met you!" She screamed from beside me as her hands held onto the seat belt so hard that I thought she was going to rip it from the side of the car.
I chuckled, thinking her comment was funny, but when I looked over to see the angriest expression ever across my wife's face, I realized apparently it wasn't so funny after all.
"I'm sorry for laughing, Love. I just…never thought I would hear you say that, B. You've told me to slow down so many times in the past few years, that I didn't realize that you still had a wild bone in your body."
She didn't think that was funny either.
This was going to be a long night.
4 years ago.
3 failed attempts at invitro.
Bella's happy mood didn't last long when time after time we came up empty handed. Each time she took the 6 pregnancy tests that she insisted on taking, and finding that they all came up negative, I learned to let her have her moment, before going through the familiar routine of buying a gallon of ice cream, a bottle of Jack and a pack of cigarettes.
Shortly after the wedding, we both quit smoking knowing that it wasn't healthy, and we wanted to have a clean environment for our future family, but after the first invitro was negative and Bella asked me to stop at the gas station to grab her a pack, I wasn't going to turn her down.
No one in their right mind would have said anything at that moment that she didn't agree with.
So, this was our routine, and I was more than happy to try and make her feel good, knowing that what she wasn't letting me see was that I was slowly losing the Bella I knew and loved little by little.
September 12th, 7:48pm
"Is everything alright Carlisle? Please tell me everything's fine, I don't think I could take it, if you were to tell me anything else." Bella looked like she was about to cry, and I couldn't let her get even more stressed out. Her heart couldn't take it, and I wasn't just going to stand here and let it happen.
"Dad?" I grabbed Bella's hand as I waited for my father to finish checking her over.
His smiling face reassured me that everything indeed was fine, and that my Bella was just getting herself worked up over nothing. I couldn't blame her for thinking that something bad was going to happen, but I didn't want to think like that right now. We were so close that I wouldn't think any bad thoughts until this was all over.
With his hand on her knee my father calmed her down with his soothing voice. "Everything's just fine dear, I promise."
3 years ago.
The plane ride had been long, but one we were more than happy to endure. Hell, it had been a long damn year, the process and paperwork taking for fucking ever to clear.
But in a matter of hours we would be in China and it was going to be worth all the tears, breakdowns and stress that our marriage has had to undergo over the past few years.
"How ya doing Bell? We're almost there, are ya ready for this?" Jasper's hand on Bella's was soothing. He had always been a relaxer for her, and had decided to accompany us for the next week while we were in China. Jasper still played a huge role in Bella's life as her brother and best friend, and was here for emotional support for our girl, knowing that she was going to need all that she could get.
Bella gave him a small smile in return as she squeezed his hand back.
"I'm good. Just feeling a little like this isn't really happening, ya know? Like my life isn't going to change in 2 hours when we get off this plane, but I know it will."
Bella held the picture in her hand as tears ran down her face. The same picture she hadn't let out of her sight for the past month.
I kissed her head as she leaned against my shoulder.
"Just you wait beautiful, our lives are about to change in the best possible way."
Bella looked at me before placing a soft kiss on my lips. The pull I felt towards my wife hadn't changed one bit from the day I first met her all those years ago.
"I love you baby. I'm so excited, I just…wow. I can't wait. Can't this plane move any faster?"
I chuckled into her hair at her impatience as I kissed the top of her head.
"I'm sorry my love, but I don't think I can bribe the pilot to fly any faster than he already is."
"Remember what Mama always said Bell, 'good things come to those who wait', and well, you two have waited long enough. It's your time, and Mama was never wrong. Only good things from here on out." If Jasper wasn't making my wife feel better right now, I would have totally kicked his ass for acting like such a pansy, but truer words never rang so loud than the ones he spoke.
Bella and I had been patient, we waited for our chance at a happy life, and now we were going to get it.
After unloading our things at the hotel, Bella got really quiet. She grabbed the plush duck that she'd bought the day we found out that we would be going to China, and the three of us were out the door and in a cab. With our translator giving directions to the cab driver, we were off. Even though Bella and I had both been studying up on our Chinese for the past year, hoping and praying that this trip would actually happen, we still wanted someone with us that could speak the language fluently.
"This is it." I whispered to Bella as I pulled her against me tight, trying to calm her nerves a little so she would stop shaking so badly.
"This is it." She whispered back, more to herself than anything, but I heard her.
I knew exactly what she meant.
As we pulled up in front of 'Caring Hands', my heart rate was going a mile a minute. I couldn't wait one more second; we had waited so long already.
We were led in to a small room, and Jasper stood off to the side with a video camera in hand to capture every moment for us.
Edward had his arm around my waist as I clenched that duck tight in my hands, tears running down my face in anticipation.
An elderly Chinese woman came in the room with a tiny little black haired baby in her hands, and I all but leaped at her, wanting to feel her in my own arms.
Our translator said something to the woman, and the next thing I knew, I was holding my baby.
"She's so beautiful." I moaned as I held her head to my chest, shaking us both with my emotional overload. I had a hard time seeing her clearly due to the fact that I couldn't control my crying, but I knew that she was absolutely perfect.
After the invitro treatments failed us, we started paperwork for the adoption process. I knew that we wouldn't have much of a problem trying to adopt within the US, but I'd always wanted to, if I had the chance, adopt from China. There were so many little girls that were abandoned, unwanted because of the fact that boys were the dominant sex, and I knew we could and would give a little girl a happy home where she would be loved and cared for.
And now, this little girl, all 12 pounds 3 ounces of her was in my arms. Mine.
I was so thankful that Edward was standing behind me as my knees buckled and my legs felt like jello.
For the past few years, going through heartache after heartache, I was starting to think that the idea of being a mother wasn't ever going to be mine. Esme had asked if we looked into adoption after seeing what we were going through, and helped us in finding a great agency to work with. With Edward being adopted, she knew the process well and understood where I was coming from better than anyone else.
"Hi Carlie, I'm your mama. You're absolutely amazing little girl, and you have no idea how much your papa and I have wanted you, waited just for you." With one arm still around my waist, Edward's other hand came up to brush away my tears, then took her little hand in his.
Her brown eyes looked up at him, and even though she was only three months, she had lots of smiles to give her papa, which made us both smile back in return.
He sniffled back some tears as his hand rested on her little head.
"Hey baby girl. We're so glad to finally meet you. Your picture didn't do you any justice, you're more precious than I could have ever imagined. Your mama didn't let go of it for one second since the moment we found out that we were lucky enough to have you. We love you so much." When he placed a lingering kiss on her forehead, I about lost it, watching the love he had for his daughter.
I looked up at Edward as he wiped away tears from his reddened eyes and gave him a kiss on the lips.
"She's really ours, huh?" I couldn't help the smile that spread across my face at the realization that she was actually coming home with us.
"She is. Congratulations on becoming a mama." Edward kissed the side of my head as I held Carlie tighter to my chest, wanting her to feel every ounce of love I felt for her.
After the initial crying died down a little, Jasper met his niece and the 4 of us sat together getting to know one another the best we could. I did what any new mother would do and counted all 10 toes and fingers, took in the fresh baby smell of her little head, and rocked her in a chair while I fed her a bottle. Edward and I took turns holding her, both having a hard time giving our little girl up when our turn was over.
Because of the legal paperwork that still needed to be filed, we weren't allowed to take Carlie with us that night. We would have to wait until our court date in the morning before she was legally our daughter.
Leaving her that evening, only 4 hours after we had met her, was the single worst thing I had ever had to do. I would take that night in the alley with James 10 times over, than to have to give up my daughter, my heart and soul, for the night. I trusted the women that worked at the agency, but I'd waited so long for her, that I felt that I couldn't wait any longer and she needed to be with me.
After one final last kiss, Edward wrapped me in his arms and walked us back to the cab. Jasper whispered in my ear one more time that good things come to those who wait, and I could only nod in agreement, knowing that what he said was true, but was feeling impatient.
The following morning, Edward dressed in a nice black pantsuit and myself in a black dress, armed with a diaper bag, we were on our way to officially become parents to our daughter.
As the translator spoke the words from the judge that Carlie Isabella Cullen was legally our daughter, and she was handed to us, I bawled like a baby. Jasper was next to us, catching the entire thing on camera to show our family when we got back.
We walked out of that courtroom hand in hand with our daughter in Edward's arm, sleeping soundly like the angel she was.
We stayed the rest of the week in China trying to take in as much of the culture as possible so that we could understand a little more of where Carlie came from. And on our return, Carlisle, Esme, Emmett, Rose and Alice, along with Emma Rose, Kellan and Jackson were at our house to greet us and meet Carlie for the first time. A few months after filing the paperwork with the adoption agency, Edward and I moved out of the city in the same neighborhood as Alice and Jasper, Emmett and Rose and we found a cute 5 bedroom house that was officially ours, ready and waiting for children to fill those rooms.
The first room was being filled tonight.
If I thought my tears were dried and gone from already getting my alone time with my little girl, I was dead wrong. Seeing our family with our daughter tore at my heartstrings, realizing how much love was in the room for that little girl. We had the most supportive family anyone could ever ask for, and were both blessed and fortunate to have people like that in our lives.
Edward and I finally had our little family, and I would be forever grateful for the chance to become a mama.
1 year ago.
"Mama, I hungy." Carlie was in her car seat in the back of the Navigator as we drove through town.
She was wearing little pink sunglasses with her pigtails and designer jeans that Alice insisted on buying for my two year old. Why a two year old who was just going to spill on them needed designer jeans was beyond me, but she had an aunt that had a knack for fashion, so I usually rolled my eyes and let Alice do what Alice wanted to do.
"I know baby, we're almost there." We were on our way to pick up Edward from the shop to go out for lunch before his next client came in. Business had been great and the guys were working lots of hours to fulfill all the requests by their regulars. I was starving too, and knew just the place to go.
After picking up Edward and pulling into the parking lot, Edward got Carlie out of her seat and held her in his arm as we walked in, hand in hand like the love struck couple we still were.
"KFC again, B? We were just here last night." Edward and Carlie were making faces at one another as he spoke. He stuck his tongue out at her, and she wanted to know when she could get a 'petty ting' like daddies.
Edward told her when she was 35.
"I know, but I had a craving." Actually, what Edward didn't know was that we had it last night, and I had gone with Rose and Alice yesterday for lunch as well. I just couldn't get enough chicken lately.
"You and your cravings. Mama's funny, isn't she?" Edward was tickling Carlie as she let out a high-pitched giggle.
It wasn't only chicken I had been craving; ice cream was on the list as well.
After eating quickly and dropping Edward back off at work, I stopped at the drug store and picked up a few tests.
Maybe…no, I wouldn't let my mind go there. I wasn't going to do this to myself. There was going to be no disappointment if I wasn't. I was content with Carlie if it wasn't in our plan to have any other children.
Shutting the door to the bathroom on our return home, locking Carlie and I in there so she didn't get into any mischief, I tore open the box of three and peed on all of them.
"Mama, what you playin wit?" Carlie was sitting on the floor with her doll and a brush looking at me curiously. I guess this really wasn't the way to teach her potty training, by watching me pee on a stick, but it was better than pulling gum out of her hair again like the last time I took the luxury of going to the bathroom in private.
"Mama has special…markers that she got from the store today, because she was a good girl." We had been using the reward system lately to try and get her to go on the potty herself, so that was the best I could come up with in the short time I had.
Carlie's face looked interested as she stood and made her way to stand in front of me.
"Papa say I can't pay wit markers. They bad." I tried not to laugh at her, but if only she knew how special these markers were.
Just as I was trying to come up with some witty excuse for my two year old and why I had special markers in the bathroom, I took a look at the first test, then the second and finally the third.
"I don't think papa will have any problems with mama's markers. I think he will be very excited to see mama's markers." Tears flowed from my eyes as I wrapped my arms around Carlie and pulled her into my lap, hugging her tightly to me.
"Mama, don't cy. I sorry if I bad." Carlie's bottom lip jutted out and her eyes filled with tears.
I wrapped my hand in her long locks and pulled her head to rest against my chest.
"You did nothing wrong sweetie, mama's happy. Sometimes big people cry when they are happy too."
That night, I asked Esme and Carlisle to watch Carlie for us as I made a romantic candlelit dinner for Edward and I.
I was dressed in a tight black dress with high heals, and as I took the chicken out of the oven, I felt hands wrap around my waist and I knew it was game time.
"This is nice." Edward kissed my neck over his tattoo as he pushed himself against me, making all sorts of wonderful feelings appear in my stomach and down below. "Not that I mind, but where's my girl?"
I turned around and placed my hands on his chest as I kissed his lips, slowly before dipping my tongue into his mouth.
"She's with your mom."
He looked at me curiously as he ran a hand across my cheek.
"What's the occasion B? You obviously have something planned. And I see we're having chicken again, are you against cows or something?" He gave me the crooked smile I loved and adored as I could only laugh back at him.
"Nope. I like cows, just have been craving chicken…and ice cream." I hoped he would understand where I was getting at, but wasn't so sure from the look on his face.
We stood there for a few moments as the light bulb slowly went off and his face looked excited, and nervous.
"You're…please tell me that this isn't just a craving of yours…B, are you?" My poor husband looked like he was going to have an aneurysm waiting for the answer.
"Say it. I want to hear you say it. Out loud." I knew this was just as much a shocker to him as it was me, but I wanted to hear him say the word.
"Are you pregnant Bella?" His eyes filled with tears as I nodded my head yes, then went and got all three of my special markers from the bathroom and proudly showed them to him one by one.
Needless to say, the chicken got served cold several hours later and I never thought I would say this, but Carlie stayed at grandma and grandpa's and I had my husband to myself, not thinking about anything but him and I for the rest of the night.
September 13th, 12:01am
"Breathe baby, just a little more and the it'll be all over." Edward held my hand in his as I blew through another contraction.
He's telling me to breathe, while I'm the one who's going to try passing a watermelon through a hole the size of a lemon? Is he out of his fucking mind?
"No baby, I'm not. If I could take the pain away I would." I guess I was talking out loud as Edward answered my thoughts for me.
The next hour was long and painful, the minutes ticking by ever so slow. The anticipation to meet our baby was making us both anxious, and if I hadn't had the epidural put in, I would have been pacing the room alongside Edward.
At 1:24 in the morning, I gave my final push and heard the sweetest sound there is in life.
The cry of our child.
I thought that the happiest day in our life was the day we were married, but then when I held Carlie in my arms for the first time, that trumped the wedding, and today, hearing the sound of our baby, the life that Edward and I created together, well, that I think tied for first place with Carlie.
"It's a boy!" Carlisle announced with a shaky voice as he handed Edward the scissors to cut the cord. He was a grandpa again!
I looked over at Edward who proudly wore his tears, falling from both eyes as he cut the cord and handed the scissors to one of the nurses. He took my hands in his and bent down to place a deep kiss on my lips as we cried together.
"He's here." Edward wrapped me in the best hug he could from where he stood at the side of my bed as I took in the fact that our son was actually here, with us. "Our little EJ."
"EJ?" Edward looked at me curiously as I smiled back.
"Yeah, I hope you don't mind, I named him after his papa. Edward Jr." The smile on my husbands face couldn't be wiped off if you tried at the thought of his son being named after him.
"Edward Jr." Edward whispered to himself as our baby was placed in my arms, the familiar green eyes staring back up at us.
Edward and I were elated with joy as we basked in the glow of our little man. As I reached down to rub across Anthony's name on my wrist, I saw Edward doing the same. Anthony now had a sister and brother, and as much as we wanted him here with us to share in the joy, we knew he was up there, with Charlie and Mama watching over us.
Esme brought Carlie a few hours later, still in her jammies and looking like she needed a few more hours of sleep. She crawled up on the bed with the help of Edward and nuzzled into my side as EJ lay across my other side, latched on to my breast, watching me with a serious expression across his little face as he ate.
"Mama, is dat my baby broder?" Carlie asked as she gently ran her little hand over his face. We had prepared her the best we could over the past few months, and she'd been practicing her gentle touches on her dolls.
"It is, baby girl. What do you think of him?" Edward asked, as he leaned over the bed and wrapped his arm around her.
She looked up at him before looking at me with a smile on her face.
"I tink I wov him. Tan I keep him?" Only a three year old would ask if she could keep a baby, her innocence playing so strong.
It took a few years, a lot of heartache and sadness, but we finally had the family we were meant to have. As I held my son and daughter in my arms, Edward at my side, I couldn't think of a single thing more that I needed in that moment.
Mama was right as usual; good things did come to those who wait. And we waited, our time came, and our family was finally complete. Edward whispered 'I love you' to me as he picked Carlie up and sat with her in the rocking chair next to the bed, holding my hand in his as I finished feeding our son and he rocked our daughter to sleep.
I never did finish the book I started all those years ago. It wasn't important any longer. My priorities had changed over the years, and it only brought back bad memories of what was happening in my life at the time thinking about that book. I did however, start a line of children's books that Carlie draws pictures for. My creativity for that line of work has been in full swing and with the inspiration from our new little addition; I think I'll have plenty to write about for years to come.
A/N: So that's it, that's all I wrote.
I don't really know what to say, most of the time authors write a really long closing note, but I think you all know how much I appreciate the fact that you took the time to even read and review this little ditty to begin with.
I started writing on FF because I was trying to get myself out of a rut I'd been in for months due to my husband getting laid off because of the 'economic recession'. (I have come to hate those words by the way.) Never did I think it would give me an outlet like this, letting my imagination run free and brighten my spirits as much as it did. I've met some amazing people on the journey through writing 'Never Again' and I am forever grateful for each one of you.
So, I'm done, if you're still reading this, then a big kiss to you for that. I tend to ramble which if you ever PM'd me, or reviewed, you already know.
There is no sequel planned for this story as of yet. I think I need to be done with it to move on to new projects. Many of you already are reading it, but if you didn't know, I have 'Give and Take' out right now which we're just getting started on. I also have several other stories in the works that will be making their way to FF in the near future. Put me on author alert if your interested in reading any more of my rambles.
It's been fun kids. For old time's sake, push the review one last time and let me know what you think. We made it over a 1,000 which I never thought in my wildest dreams would happen.
I hope to see each of you down the road through my other stories.
Monika, it's time for a big glass of wine, see you on the ship. I'll be the one in blue!