"Are they supposed to be this tiny? I mean… ´tiny` is the understatement of the year. Just look how…," Jacob's voice trails off into silence, his lips pulling up into a warm smile again as he marvels at his daughter, securely resting in his arms, eyes closed, yawning contently.
"Jake, they're three hours old, four weeks early and twins. What did you expect?" Bella answers with a loving gaze at her husband before she turns all her attention back to the bundle in her arms, looking into the big, brown eyes of her son.
"I know," Jacob sighs, his index finger brushing softly against the almost invisible fluff of dark brown hair on his daughters head, smooth as feathers, " but just look. My smallest fingernail is three times the size of her toes."
Jacob lifts his arms slightly, causing his daughter's feet to dangle freely, escaping the soft, warm blanket.
"Cover her up," Bella demands, her voice raspy and her eyelids heavy with the exhaustion of the past twenty-four hours.
Gently swaying the tiny baby in his arms, Jacob turns to sit on the edge of the hospital bed, carefully wrapping the blanket back around his daughter's tiny feet, his hand brushing against the incredibly soft and creamy skin.
His heart swells to unknown sizes when the baby's short, knobbly fingers spread during her sleep, grasping thin air and he quickly places his index finger between them, the soft pressure that he feels as his daughter's hand wraps around his finger causing the sweetest pain inside of him.
"Are you crying?" Bella's strained voiced echoes in Jacob's head and before he is able to answer properly, he feels his wife's body moving closer to him, her head resting against his shoulder a second later.
"They are perfect, aren't they?"
He only nods, trying to take in the beauty of his daughter and son, who was still drinking eagerly at Bella's right breast, at the same time. It was so otherworldly, too beautiful to be true. To be real.
Noah is slightly bigger than his six minutes younger sister Mara, his thick black hair already a mess, his big eyes the same dark brown as Jacobs´. Being Jacob's son soon proved in his immense appetite and temper. He had been the one screaming loudest after he was born, tearing at Bella's already dead nerves sooner than she would have liked.
Mara is the exact opposite: calm, serene, quiet. From the moment she was cuddling against Bella's heart she had been dozing, her hazel eyes soon closing, her breathing slow – but unconsciously she is wild awake. Her hands exploring their surroundings constantly, her eyes flickering behind her lids.
"They are," Jacob sighs, dropping his head to his side so it rests upon Bella's.
"You should get her to bed, or you'll probably wake her," Bella says with the slightest hint of remorse in her voice, the longing to have her daughter either in her own or Jacob's arms too big, too natural for her now.
Bella cuddles her son, who's eyelids are slowly sinking lower and lower, the grasp of his fingers on Bella's skin loosing its force, and leans over to drop a butterfly kiss on her daughter's forehead, the caramel-coloured skin smooth like satin, almost like nothing underneath her touch, soft and easy.
Getting up carefully, Jacob steps towards one of the two beds next to Bella's, his heart aching a little as he places the tiny bundle into the transparent box with the pink sign that states:
Mara Alice Black
August 20th 2012
Jacob's russet hand moves across his daughter's tiny frame, devoting a last loving smile before returning to Bella's side at the bed.
"He's asleep," she whispers huskily, watching her son in her arms, a look of pure love in her teary eyes.
Jacob brushes his finger across Bella's cheek, rosy and warmer than usual before placing a chaste kiss on the top of her head and wrapping his arms securely around his wife and son, his family.
Bella leans her head in the crook of Jacob's neck and Jacob supports her arms, pushing them upwards slightly, knowing how exhausted she is.
"Thank you," he whispers, admiring the image in front of his eyes, the contentment in his heart, the tingling feeling that still runs through his entire body, the last debris of adrenaline, the vanished pain and defeat from the last day.
It had all been worth it. All the fight, all the tears, the heartbreaking and mending, the screams and arguments.
This moment was worth the entire world. And the tears of joy which now gather in Bella and Jacob's eyes.
"No, thank you."