There are no happy endings, because nothing ends.
The Last Unicorn
I finally stumble through my doorway at seven-o-clock. After a long day at work and a horrible accident on I-5 that tripled the time it usually takes me to get home, I am beat. I kick the door closed, and toe off my shoes. My apartment looks so strange and kind of empty.
"Bells?" I call out, but no answer comes.
She must have already left on her date. I feel a tightening pain in my chest when I think about it, so I try to distract myself with rooting through the refrigerator for something to eat. Work was so insane that I ended up skipping lunch, not that I was thrilled by the prospect of another glorious banquet of crackers and ginger ale. Now, though, I'm regretting it. My stomach is cramping like a motherfucker. I must be hungry.
The fridge is pathetically empty, a few pieces of cheese and a half eaten container of Pad Thai that Bella ordered last week. None of it looks good. I grab a bottle of water and chug half of it in one gulp, scanning the cupboards for something. An unopened box of Goldfish crackers sits like an angel of mercy, and I grab it, tearing it open without hesitation. After shoving two handfuls into my mouth and chugging the rest of the bottle of water, my bladder decides to inform me I'm about to piss myself. I drop the box of crackers and do a mad dash to the bathroom.
"Fuck, fuck, fuck," I chant, stumbling through the bathroom, and practically collapse onto the toilet.
I fucking hate being a girl. The feeling of relief is so incredible that I groan out loud, like a mooing cow. It's ridiculous, and it's only going to get worse. I reassure myself with a shake of my head and look down. The sight of bright red sends me off balance and makes me lightheaded.
"No," I whisper, panic seizing me full force and making my hands shake as I grab the toilet paper.
I frantically try to wipe up the streaks of crimson covering my underwear and the seat of the toilet, like somehow that's going to stop what's happening. The tears are already blurring my vision while I tear off my jeans and stained underwear, stuffing them both in the trash. I'm insane and close to hysterical, stumbling into my bedroom to dig through my dresser for fresh clothes. As I pull them a sharp cramp twists my stomach...no, it's lower. No.
"Shit," I choke around my tears and run back into the living room to find my cell phone.
My sight is blurry, and my fingers a slip on the keys; As soon as I see Emmett I quickly press the key to make the call. It rings one time and a familiar voice answers, but it's not Emmett. They're right next to each other on my contact list. Leave it to me to fat finger it at the worst possible time ever.
"Leah," I answer my phone as soon as I hear the beginning chorus to Adele's Make You Feel My Love.
I changed the ring tone from a horrible Alanis Morissette song in a moment of whimsy. At the time I was sure I would never hear from Leah again. Now, I'm dumbfounded and dizzy with excitement.
"Edward," she replies hesitantly. Something is wrong. She sounds strange; her voice is strained, and her breathing is erratic. Is she crying?
"What's wrong?" I jump up from my desk, silently gesturing to Julia that I needed to wrap things for the day.
"It's nothing; I didn't mean to interrupt," she answers too quickly.
Something is definitely wrong, and there is no way she is going to shake me that easily.
"You're not interrupting anything," I insist and turn away from Julia, who is getting up to leave and continue to speak in a hushed tone. "Leah, are you crying?"
"I'm sorry, I just...I need help," Leah stutters and finally crumbles into soft sobs.
I catch Julia's attention and write her a quick note asking for a car to be downstairs immediately. She takes the note and rushes out of my office. I check the time on my watch, close my laptop, and grab my jacket from the back of my chair.
"Where are you?" I whisper, swallowing back the mixture of fear and excitement that's fluttering inside my stomach.
"Home, my apartment, but Edward..." she pauses, and I feel every muscle in my body freeze in anticipation of what she is about to say. "I need to go the hospital."
"Are you hurt?" I take off running through the office and hit the door for the stairs without breaking my stride.
Panic is pumping through my veins as I take the stairs two at a time, trying to get to the ground floor as fast as I can without giving myself a heart attack.
"No, but...it's complicated." Her voice sounds raw and choked. "I think, I mean I'm pretty sure that I'm having a mis-"
I hit the exit door so hard that I jostle the phone and nearly send it flying out of my hand, but I manage to keep a hold of it. Once I'm outside, I race toward the black Lincoln town car that I prefer to use over the limos Volt gives its executives. I'm thankful that I chose to use them; I can only imagine Leah's reaction if I were to pull up her apartment in a limousine.
"I'm sorry, Leah, I didn't catch that," I apologize, sliding into the car, and cover the receiver for a second to give the driver her address, insisting that he get me there in five minutes.
"Miscarriage!" Leah yells it through the phone in a shrill tone that leaves my ears ringing.
"Oh," I reply and sink back into the seat.
"Yeah," she says so softly that I almost don't hear her.
We're both silent for a moment, while I watch the city pass by in a blur outside the windows of the car. I feel like a stone, unmoving and frozen in this terrible moment. Finally, the distant sound of Leah sniffling pulls me back to reality.
"I'll be there in five minutes," I tell her, trying to sound confident.
"Okay," she replies, and the line goes dead.
I drop my phone to the seat beside me and continue to stare out the window at the passing traffic. People hurry along on the sidewalk, chatting into their cell phones, cars honk and seagulls peck at garbage on the gutters. It's just another normal day in downtown Seattle. It strikes me as wrong. There should be some kind of indication that there is a hole in the world. That some part of me is gone, another part of my heart has been taken away, just like Alec. I cover my chest with my hands, even though I know the pain and the emptiness in my chest isn't physical. It still hurts all the same.
I hate waiting rooms. They're cold, too bright, and smell like sweat and antiseptic. The TV is playing some stupid crime show, where some slick fucker is staring at the bloody body of a young girl. He says something that is supposed to sound philosophical, but he just sounds like a fucking douche who cares more about how he puts on his sunglasses than the dead girl at his feet.
I check the clock on the wall for the millionth time, and it's only a minute later than it was the last time I checked. It's been fifteen minutes since we arrived, and I explained everything that has happened to the intake nurse. She sent me to the bathroom to take yet another pregnancy test, insisting that they needed to confirm that I was, in fact, pregnant, or that I had been pregnant. Whatever.
As I held the test between my legs I noticed there wasn't any more blood, but I didn't take much hope from that. I still had those weird sharp twinges of pain in my abdomen that signaled something was rotten in the state of Denmark. After I plunked the test down in front of her, she told me to go wait for them to call my name, without even looking up. Bitch.
So here I sit, staring at the faded pink bathrobe of an old Hispanic lady sitting a few feet away. She has a little girl curled up in her lap, and they're both sleeping. I wonder which one of them is sick or if they're waiting for someone that is in seeing a doctor.
"Are you thirsty?" Edward's voice pulls me out of my random thoughts and forces me to deal with the fact that he is here right now.
I had been doing a damn good job of avoiding dealing with him.
"Sure," I reply lamely, watching him stand and stretch.
His shirt is wrinkled, but there is still no mistaking how very nice and expensive his suit is. The whole thing, from the pants to the jacket, looks like it was cut to fit him perfectly. Like he was born in silk and fine cotton. His black leather shoes are so shiny that I can actually see my face in the tops of them.
"What would you like?" He kneels down in front of me, and all I can see are his clear green eyes.
This is Edward, not the suit and fancy fucking car that carried us here. These eyes, the gentle smile, and the way I can tell he wants to touch me, to comfort me. I want to lean forward and press my face into his neck. I want to go back in time and make this turn out differently, but it's too late for that. He has Bella now; I need to accept it, and in the end losing the baby will make that easier. The thought makes me sick and angry, but mostly guilty.
"Surprise me," I reply, managing to give him a weak smile in return.
He stares at me for a long silent moment, like he wants to say something, but then he stands and walks over to the row of vending machines lining the other wall of the waiting area. I watch him for a moment, trying to cheer myself up with the sight of his ass in his tailored pants, but it's pointless. There is no cheering up in these kinds of situations. This is what endings feel like. I should know, I'm all too familiar with endings.
"Clearwater," someone called out, and I took a deep breath, before standing up.
"Do you want me to go with you?" Jacob looked like he was about to puke, but he hadn't run away, yet. I had to give him credit for that at least.
I was about to tell him no, that I'd be fine, but something made me pause. Sure, he was a little runt cousin, but he was also the only person I could trust to bring me here. Sam cannot know, especially since I'm pretty sure it isn't his. Seth is just a kid, and Dad would have a full out stroke. Uncle Charlie and Uncle Billy were out of the question too. Jake is all I've got.
When he found me bleeding all over the bathroom, Jacob scooped me up and drove me to the hospital in Forks. He didn't even ask me if I wanted to go to the clinic on the rez. Jacob knew I wanted to keep it quiet, and he did what needed to be done.
"Please," I sighed and waited for him to stand with me.
He rose. At sixteen he was already taller than me. I could see the tell tale shadows of stubble on his chin and cheekbones. It struck me at that very moment that little Jacob, the baby boy that I used to rock to sleep in my arms was growing up. The thought made me want to cry, but I held it together while we walked to the exam room.
"Remove all your clothes. Here's a gown and place this over your lap," the nurse rattled off while she dropped a pile of cloth on the skinny exam table, and disappeared out the door.
Jacob awkwardly turned his back to me so I could strip and looked even more awkward when I told him to turn around, once I was changed and on the table. He sat on a tiny metal stool and pretended to be interested in the pattern on my gown. We sat in silence until the doctor came in, and started to explain the procedure. I nodded but let his words wash over me. The baby was dead; this procedure to remove it was just the final humiliation.
"Are you ready?" the doctor asked while setting up, and I just nodded.
Jacob took my hand, and I closed my eyes, wishing I could be anywhere but there. The doctor told me to relax, and I let out a long breath. He warned me that I'd feel pressure, but nothing prepared me for the deep, aching contractions, that reverberated through my body. I hissed but kept still while he continued to work.
"Lee Lee? Are you okay?" Jacob whispered, as his concerned expression loomed into view.
I nodded as I felt the tears begin to fall. It was like that last good thing that I had ever had, and all my hopes for the future were being ripped out of me. I wanted to scream at how unfair it was, but all I could manage was a low stuttered exhale. I was a failure, an empty, barren woman. Jake kissed my forehead, and it pushed me over the edge into hysterical sobs.
"Clearwater?" A short blond nurse with a name tag that reads "Candy," calls out my name, and I reluctantly stand.
Edward is by my side with a bottle of water in his hand and an anxious look on his face. Candy waves at us to follow her, and leads us down a long corridor that seems to stretch on forever. Finally she turns a corner and leads us into a tiny little exam room.
"Take a seat." She gestures toward the bed, and I ease myself up onto it, ignoring Edward's offered hand to help me. "The doctor will be with you shortly," Candy says brightly and retreats from the room.
He takes a seat in a chair beside the bed, facing me, and does his best to look encouraging. It looks so strange on him. We haven't really talked about the pregnancy, us, or anything since the phone call. When he arrived, I just grabbed my jacket and followed him to his car. We rode the whole way in stunned silence, and after we arrived in the waiting room it slowly progressed into an awkward silence. I suppose I should say something, but I don't know where to start. This will sever any connection we had, so why talk at all?
He has a whole new life now, obviously. After this last bit of business we can continue on without each other.
"Must have been a hot date," I finally manage to speak, and end up sounding as bitchy as ever.
Oh well, might as well make this easier for one of us. If being a cunt will make him feel better, I can manage that much.
"What?" He frowns, looking genuinely confused, until he notices I'm pointing at his suit. "Oh, this is just for work."
"Work? Were you taking the kids on a tour of Neiman Marcus or something?" I actually manage to sound comfortable, like I used to when we were frenemies, and he even gives me a little chuckle for my trouble.
"No, I'm back at Volt," he says, the smile slowly disappearing from his face.
"Who's running the shelter?" I ask. I can't believe Edward would walk away from those kids this quickly. I can still remember how intensely protective he was of them on the night we dropped Alec and Lauren off. He was so dedicated to them.
"Dad," he replies, looking down at his hands, and shrugs.
"What about his patients?" I ask, honestly curious. Even I know that Doctor Cullen loves his work and genuinely cares about his patients. I can't imagine him being away from his work for long. It's doesn't make sense; it's not like Edward to ask his father to take on a burden like the shelter.
"He has a friend covering for him, just until I can find a permanent manager for the shelter," Edward says, looking guilty.
I'm about to ask why the fuck he's back at Volt anyway, when a tall dark haired women in a long white jacket walks through the doorway. She looks tired but manages a half-way believable smile.
"Leah?" She offers me her hand, and I shake it, while I nod. "And you are?"
She glances at Edward, and he immediately stands to shake her hand. "Edward, her...uh, friend."
The word is small, harmless, and kind of true. It doesn't mean it doesn't sting me to hear him say it. I turn to look at the doctor.
"I'm Doctor Kline, but you can call me Alicia," she says and moves along the side of the bed. "Can you lie down for me and unbutton your jeans, Leah?"
She pats the pillow, and I do as she asks. Alicia pulls on bright blue gloves and grabs a clear plastic bottle that looks like a ketchup bottle.
"Please lift your shirt a bit," she says as she pulls back the sides of my jeans. "Now, this is going to be a little cold. We're going to see if we can pick up a heartbeat, okay?"
I nod as she squirts cold, slick gel over the skin of my belly, and I fight the urge to wipe it away. She pulls a small odd looking device from her pocket; it looks like a little recorder and microphone. I don't know what to expect when she presses it against my skin, but it startles me when a loud scratching sounds erupts from the box. It sounds like someone blowing into a microphone, but it quickly dies down into nothing.
I don't realize how tense I am until I feel Edward's hand on mine. He carefully uncurls my fingers from the bed rail and wraps his hand around mine. I allow myself the small indulgence of holding his hand and soak in the feel of his skin, but I turn back to look at the doctor.
I watch her face closely as she rubs the weird device around my belly and wonder what the fuck we are waiting for. She smiles slightly and turns to look at me. I frown, because I don't understand why she looks so excited. Then I hear it. At first it sounds like a soft hush, like how water sounds when it's being running through a faucet, only this is muffled and really fast.
"What is that?" I ask.
"That's the sound of our baby's heart beating," Edward replies, and suddenly the sound becomes the most beautiful thing I have ever heard in my life.
"What do you think of your baby brother?" Mom asked and brushed my hair away from my face.
"He's okay," I replied and crawled up on the hospital bed to sit beside my mother. "Can I hold him?"
"Of course, Baby," she said, leaning toward me and gently placing the tiny squirming bundle into my arms.
"Momma," I blurted out, suddenly frightened that I was going to drop him.
"Shhhh, Lee Lee," she said, while she arranged my arms around him. "Just make sure to support his head and keep him close to your chest."
"Like this?" I asked, holding him tight.
"Yes," she nodded and pulled her hands away.
He was so tiny, smaller than my baby dolls. His pink, puffy eyelids were closed tight, and his mouth was pressed into a grimace. He looked mad, and his nose was crooked. I was a little disappointed; I thought all babies were supposed to be pretty, but Seth looked kind of ugly. Then he opened his eyes and looked up at me. The corners of his mouth pulled up into a smile.
"See, you're a natural," my mother whispered in my ear and kissed my cheek.
"Leah?" Edward squeezes my hand, and I shake my head, while my brain struggles to catch up.
"Alive?" I turn to look at him, and he nods, a sympathetic smile spreading his lips.
I nod with him, as if to convince myself that it's really true. The baby is still alive. As soon as the thought solidifies in my mind, calm settles over me. My breathing slows, and I make myself focus. There will be time for tears later. Right now, I need to take care of the baby.
"Alicia!" I blurt out as something my regular doctor said pops into my head. I moving to sit up, which Edward makes difficult by trying to help me. "My regular doctor told me that I was a risk for miscarriages because of something to do with my blood...shit! I can't remember the name of it."
"RH Negative?" Edward says, like he can read my mind.
"How do you know?" I snap at him. He looks so calm and relaxed like it's not really fucking scary.
"I was in med school, and my father's a doctor," he replies like a freaking smart-ass. "It's actually rather common. You'll need to get some shots to prevent complications, but the baby isn't in any immediate danger."
"He is right, you just need to make sure your OB knows about it, and they will take care of you," Alicia backs up Edward with an equally reassuring smile and finishes washing her hands. "Congratulations."
With that she walks out of the room, and I'm left alone with Edward. He is still holding my hand, and the fingers of his other hand are brushing over the tops of my knuckles. The room is so quiet I can hear him breathe. In and out, slowly, his eyes fixed on my hand. It feels good, too good.
If things were different, if Edward wasn't with Bella, this would probably the happiest moment of my life. I'm having a baby with someone that I really, truly love; only he's dating my best friend. This is so fucked up, and it's going to get worse. Edward's taking a deep breath, and his eyes shift to look up at me. He's going to say something. In my mind, I can hear the whistle of the impending bomb that is about to drop, the conversation I don't want to fucking have about to hit, and I panic.
"I need to pee!" I jump off the bed and dash out the room in desperation, not bothering to look back.
I just need to gather my strength for whatever poetic brush off he's going to give me. Or worse if he attempts to "do the right thing" even though he hates me. I just need to shore up my confidence before I hear it. Plus, I really do have to pee.
I stare at the closed door of the exam room and finally allow myself to exhale. My heart is pounding so hard I'm worried I might pass out.
It's an impossible thought to wrap my mind around. Leah is pregnant, and the baby is mine. I'm going to be a father. The thought has weight, enough so that I feel it pressing me back into my seat. Where do we go from here? Leah looked like she couldn't get out of the room fast enough. She was so grief stricken when she thought we'd lost the baby, but after she realized it's fine she was terrified. Does she want the baby, but not me? Is she worried about what her family will say? Is she scared that I don't want the baby?
Why wouldn't I want this baby? I ask the question of myself and come up with nothing. Or rather I come up with a million reasons why I want this child. The thought of a child, our child is staggering. My chest swells with the prospect of holding him or her, of what he or she will look like, and how I can't wait to see him or her. I want this child, and I need to make sure Leah understands that no matter what happens between us, the baby has to be our priority.
All my feelings for Leah need to take a backseat to the baby. It won't be easy to be with her, and not be with her, but I will do it...for the baby.
My phone chirps in my pocket, and I pull it out. The text is from Demetri, at least he didn't call. I don't think I could handle talking to anyone right now. I open the message and see what I already knew was the truth.
Results are back.
She's your sister.
I smile as I type my response.
Let her know.
I hit send and chuckle a little, knowing how hard it is for Demetri to tell me the truth about the results and how he's going to loathe telling Gianna about them. The last time I spoke with him today, he was insisting he was going to change the results to "save me from myself." He has been so very strange and protective since I took over the company. It is very sweet, and so unlike him. My phone chirps again, and I shake my head as I look at his reply.
Say the word and the results will change.
Don't answer right away.
Just think about it.
I laugh softly, but wait to respond. He is right; I should think but not about changing the test results. Leah and I are going to have a child. I'm going to have a family of my own.
It's what I've always wanted, even before Tanya. There's a lightness in my chest where I used to feel pain at the thought of that day she took that pregnancy test. I never realized how really painful it was for me until now.
Now, I have a family. This baby, Leah (in whatever way we work out) and Jane. Jane.
What am I going to do about Jane? This is going to be interesting to explain, and it's going to change everything in our lives. I don't know how she's going to react. She was upset when I told her that Leah and I were not longer seeing each other. Maybe this new development could be good for Jane, too. She does like Leah. Jane did tell me, while I was making all our travel arrangements, she didn't care where we lived as long as she lived with me. I'm pretty sure Leah isn't going to be as accommodating.
She would never leave the West Coast, and I wouldn't want her to. I treasure her heritage, our child's heritage, too much to take them too far away from the reservation. My mind fills with the image of a burning canoe floating out into the dark waters of the Pacific Ocean and the words of Sam Uley.
"We are a small tribe, but we are a great people. Quileutes are legendary whalers, fisherman that ruled this coast for countless generations..."
Leaving Washington is out of the question, which is going to make running Volt extremely difficult. It is strange how something that seemed so easy quickly becomes so complicated. Though, if I'm honest, it isn't complicated at all. I smile as I type out my text message and imagine the expression that will transform Demetri's usually relaxed expression.
I want you to be my proxy.
Volt is yours.
I turn off my phone and tuck it into my pocket. It shouldn't be this easy to toss aside a multi-billion dollar company, but it really is. Leah and I are having a baby. We are going to be a family, and while I'm not sure what shape that family will take, I know that it is now my highest priority.
I try to jam my key into the lock three times before I finally give up and allow Edward to take it from my hand. He slowly slides it into the lock and twists. The latch gives way like a wanton whore, and the door opens without protest. Even inanimate objects are slaves to the Edward Cullen rule of attraction. Everything wants to fuck him.
I grumble, snatching the key from his hand and walk into the apartment. He follows me with a smirk, but thankfully doesn't say anything. He has been silent since we left the hospital, but his content expressions have been silently mocking me. He carefully closes my front door and engages the lock. I toss my jacket onto the floor and try to figure out what to do next.
I have successfully avoided serious conversation through the entire car ride here, but now it's inevitable. Edward has the look on his face, and he is taking a deep breath like he is preparing to blow out the candles on a birthday cake. This is my cake that he is about the blow to oblivion, and I still can't handle it. I open my mouth to interrupt him with a pathetic excuse about needing rest before we talk. It's all I've got, but it's better than getting the gentle let down from Edward.
"I don't know if I'm okay with borrowing my cousin's condoms," Jacob's unmistakable voice breaks through the tense silence as he walks out of Bella's room into the living room.
"Whatever. It's not like she's using them right now," Bella says, walking into the room after Jacob.
She is wearing a Wedgewood auto body t-shirt that I know for a fact is Jacob's. I stare at them, especially Jacob's bare chest and unbuttoned jeans, the realization that I have just walked in on them either about to, or in the process of, fucking strikes me like ice water.
"What the fuck?" I blurt out, gaping at both of them.
Bella stops, turns to look at me, and screams shrilly before running back into her room. Jacob just stops and stares at me. I give him a stern look and wonder what the fuck is going on.
"Wait, I thought you were with Bella," I say turning to glare at Edward, who is about to explode with laughter until he hears me.
"What? Where would you get that idea?" He gives me an incredulous look, and I turn back to see Jacob charging toward us.
"What in the fuck is he doing here?" Jacob seethes like an angry bull that's ready to kill. I sigh and step between him and Edward.
Jacob's bumps into me and sends me stumbling back into the Edward's arms. I feel like I've been pressed between the panels of an industrial press. Fuck me running.
"Be careful!" Edward shouts, placing a protective arm around me, and puts out his other arm to push against Jacob's chest.
This is not good. They both look they are ready to fight, and I'm getting twitchy from the close quarters. Men! What the fuck is wrong with them?
"Back off!" I push at Jacob's chest and slap Edward's hand away from my waist. "Jacob, if I'm not mistaken you are about to close the deal with the girl that you've been in love with since you were six years old. Fuck off, and let me take care of myself, okay?"
That catches his attention, making him finally look at me with an expression of confusion and frustration. Jacob is a jackass, but he is well-intentioned. He just needs to get it through his thick skull that I'm a grown woman and can take care of myself.
"Jake, please, just this once trust me to take care of myself," I plead with him and gently shove him in the direction of Bella's room. "She needs you more than I do, right now.
"Fine," he relents with an exasperated grunt and stomps off.
"There are condoms in the bathroom under the sink. USE THEM!" I yell after him, and he heads down the hallway to the guest bathroom.
"Oh god! I did not hear you say that," Bella yells, as Jacob opens her bedroom door and then slams it closed.
I grab Edward's wrist and drag him into my bedroom before any more drama can erupt in our face. Once we're safely inside my room I lock the door and allow myself to process what just happened. Edward looks amused as he hovers in front of me.
"So you're not with Bella?" I have to ask, because it kind of seems too good to be true.
He frowns at me, like I'm jerk. I think it's a fair question, but shit, maybe I am a jerk. He lets out a grunt, and rolls his eyes before finally answering.
"No," he answers with an angry sigh.
I'm dizzy with excitement. They're not together. He isn't with Bella. This is really happening. Shit! What the fuck do I do now? Panic seizes me, and makes my stomach flip flops while I start to sweat. Edward on the other hand is still looking pissed.
"Leah, I think that it's time that we talked." He sounds so grave, so resigned. My stomach immediately ties itself in a million knots.
"Okay," I mumble, leaning against the door, and stare at the floor.
"Please look at me," he whispers, tilting my chin up and giving me a sympathetic smile before he continues. "I love you, but I know you are not interested in a...romantic relationship with me, and I accept that."
"Edward," I start to speak, ready to tell him that I'm an idiot and want him back, but he holds up his hand cutting me off. Fuck!
"Please let me finish," Edward says and combs his fingers through his hair before continuing. "That doesn't change the fact that we are family, and even if we weren't having a baby we would be a part of each other's lives. To be completely honest, there is no one I would rather have a child with. You are going to be a wonderful mother."
The tears start to flow down my face, and I shake my head, still unable to keep from arguing with him. He places his hand on my cheek to stop me and gives me the most earnest look I have ever seen. It's like he is using some kind of voodoo to make me believe his words.
"Yes, you will. While we didn't work out together, I know that this child will be worth all the shit we put each other through. Knowing that there will be a little piece of us in the world," he pauses to press his hand just below my belly button, and a tear slips from the corner of his eyes. "This is a gift, a blessing that I will treasure for the rest of my life. We don't have to be together to raise this child. Please, let's just forget about the shit in the past and start from scratch, be...friends. Can we do that?"
I sigh heavily and tilt my head back to rest it against the door. My voice doesn't seem to want to work, and I can barely see him through all the tears. He gives me a sympathetic smile, gently wiping at my face with the back of his hand. How could I have ever thought I could live without him? What was I thinking? I was scared shitless. I still am, but the possibility of being without Edward is far more terrifying now.
"What if I don't want to be friends?" I finally muster the courage to speak and end up sounding angrier than I intended.
"Well, I guess-" Edward steps back, looking shocked and a little deflated.
"No, I mean, what if I want to try at a relationship?" I grab his wrist and pull him back. "I'm sorry. I was a complete jackass. And you deserve so much better than my dumb ass, but I...I love you."
Edward looks stunned for a second, then he wraps his hands around my face and presses his lips to mine. He kisses me like he's drowning, and my mouth is feeding him oxygen. It's overwhelming and amazing. I wish I didn't have to breathe, but I do, and I finally pull back to gasp for air.
"Hey," Edward complains, pulling my body closer and kissing my cheeks.
"Need to breathe," I explain and lean my head against his cheek.
"I need you to say that again," he whispers, rubbing his nose along my jaw and peppering my cheeks with kisses.
"That I need to breathe?" I'm confused and giddy to have him so close.
"No," he grumbles, gently pulling me over to the bed to make me sit down. "The part where you said you loved me."
Edward lowers himself to one knee in front of me, his hands are wrapped around mine, and my heart is about to explode. I can feel my face fill with color and heat. The dizziness and sweating has nothing to do with morning sickness. Everything in me is screaming to run, because this can't be real, only it is.
"I love you." It comes out in a soft whisper, but my voice is steady as I say it.
No one dies. Lightening doesn't strike, and Edward is smiling like he just won the lottery. He rises up to kiss me again, laying me down on the bed in the process, and reminds me of how much I've missed every square inch of him. He feels so right pressed against me, his lips dancing over mine, while he cradles my head in his hands. I want him so bad that I'm clawing at his clothes to get him naked. He chuckles and leans up to pull off his jacket and unbutton his shirt.
Then I hear an all too familiar giggling accompanied by a throaty moan echo through the wall. We stop, and I turn to stare at the wall. It takes me another couple of seconds to realize where the sound came from, or rather, from whom it came. Ew!
"Shit," I groan and go limp, wishing I was deaf.
"What?" Edward pulls off his shirt and looks down at me in confusion.
"I can hear them," I exclaim, cringing and making a face.
Edward laughs. He sits back on his heels and shakes his head. Jerk!
"It's not funny," I say, slapping his thigh and wishing we could be back at the beach house.
"Actually it is, but it's also weird. I can hear them, too." He grimaces and shifts away to stand up, next to the bed.
"Make it stop," I say, putting a pillow over my head.
"I am not going in there to make them stop," Edward replies, pulling the pillow off my face and placing a kiss on my forehead. "But I will grab a movie."
"Thanks," I say with a smile.
He winks, and turns to walk toward the door. I take a moment to enjoy the sight of his ass in his tailored pants, when a silly thought pops in my head.
"Edward," I call out, before I can second guess myself.
"Yes," he stops to look at me.
"Can I have one with a happy ending?" I know I look sheepish, and I sound like one of those lovesick girls from a cheeseball romantic comedy, but this how Edward makes me feel.
Edward returns my smile, and says, "Of course."
Author's note: First I must thanks Chele681, Jessypt, and TippyL for being a great beta team on this last chapter. It was a bear, but with their help I wrestled it into submission. I would also like to give a huge thank you to my regular beta Kimpy0464. You've been with me since the beginning and I wouldn't have made it to the end without you.
Thank you to everyone that has been reading (and reviewing) this story. I really do appreciate all the support even if I don't always have the time to contact everyone of you. It means a lot to me that you all enjoy the story and love the characters. So again, THANK YOU!
PS Yes, this is the end. I may post a epilogue at a future date, but not until stuff in my person life calms down. I will also eventually make a PDF version of the story available for download on my Live Journal (link in my profile). It will be a better edited version with better formatting (I hate Ffnet's restrictions) and will include pictures (yay). Before you ask I have no intention of pulling this fic to publish it. If you have other questions feel free to contact me on twitter, at my Live Journal or through PM on Ffnet. Thanks again for reading.