A/N: Awwww, it's done. Complete. Finito. Hope everyone enjoyed it, and will drop me a line. I'm toying with an idea for a one-shot, but it might be a little too kinky for here.
Chapter 28 – Epilogue – BPOV
5 Years Later
I thumbed through a magazine I'd found on the coffee table, not really seeing the images before me. I was incredibly nervous. I had gnawed on my lip enough to draw blood and my leg wouldn't stop bouncing. I heard the outer door open with a jingle and I glanced up briefly before returning back to the page in front of me. It took a moment to register who I'd seen and I whipped my head up to look a startled Alice in the face. We had to have had identical expressions: Caught!
She went to inform the receptionist that she had arrived and cautiously came to sit down next to me. I put the magazine back onto the table and we just sat there for a moment, waiting for the other one to speak first. Finally, I couldn't wait any more. "Alice, why are you here? I don't remember you mentioning that you were going to see Carlisle."
"I could ask the same of you. I didn't see the car in the parking lot, how did you get here?"
"The bus. I got Mrs. Stevens to cover my last class today." I was working part-time at the area Elementary school. We had all graduated the year before, but only Alice and I had joined the work pool. Alice was working with Esme now, decorating to her heart's contentment. The others were continuing their education. The Hale's had gifted us the house, in equal thirds, for graduation, much to our shock. The guys wanted to object at first, but finally agreed to accept the most generous gift graciously. Even with the guy's pensions and Alice and I working, we couldn't afford as nice a place if we'd tried to buy a home of our own. It also gave the others the leeway to focus on their education and not on financial matters.
Rose was going for a master's degree in Mechanical Engineering. She already has a job with General Motors designing sports cars in her spare time. She told them up-front that she wasn't moving away from Seattle, and they wanted her so badly that they agreed to let her work from home with only occasional travel to the home office. Emmett has two more years to get his physical therapy certification. He's decided to focus on helping veterans with physical disabilities regain their independence. Jasper is planning on getting his doctorate in psychology. His focus, like Emmett and Edward's, is on helping returning soldiers deal with their experiences. He's started several group therapy programs and has already gained recognition throughout the nation as an expert on helping traumatized people regain control of their lives. Edward has decided to follow in Carlisle's footsteps and is becoming a doctor. He actually began medical school in the Spring of our senior year and then went through the summer, so he's actually in his second year of medical school. He'll finish with his coursework in another ten months and will then start his internship. Carlisle is, of course, helping to pave his way through school, and we think intends to offer Edward a position in his private practice, which we are ecstatic about. Edward wants to also work with veterans suffering from illnesses attributable to the time spent serving their country. He has gained a great deal of respect in the medical and military community, despite, or perhaps because of, his vocal assertions that the American government take responsibility for and admit that the use of Agent Orange has damaged thousands of our own troops.
I returned my attention to Alice. "How did you get here? Aren't you supposed to be working on the Hinman house today?"
"Yeah, I got finished with them early, so I called to see if they could work me in. I took a cab. Are you here for a regular check-up or something? You're not sick, are you? I don't see any wounds…"
"No, not sick, not injured for once. Um, well, I didn't want to talk about it until I was sure but…"
"Let me guess. You never started your last period." Taking my stunned face as agreement, she continued. "I'm in the same boat. We've been on the same schedule for years, so it doesn't surprise me that we're both screwed up. I wonder if Rose's is…" she trailed off as the door opened again, and Rose walked in.
Rose skidded to a stop when she saw us. She blinked in shock for several seconds before shaking her head and beginning to laugh. She informed the receptionist that she had arrived and came to sit next to us. "Let me guess. No period." Alice and I both nodded. "What are the fucking odds of all three of us getting pregnant while still on birth control?"
I was still trying to wrap my head around the possibility when the nurse opened the inner door and called my name. I stood up and motioned for Alice and Rose to come with me. At the nurse's confused expression, I told her, "Mrs. Whitlock and Mrs. McCarty will be joining me as well, so you might want to grab their charts." She nodded, still obviously confused, and grabbed their charts. She led us to an examining room, and told us that Dr. Cullen would be joining us shortly.
We sat there quietly, not knowing what to say. Carlisle bustled into the room after a short knock but skidded to a stop when he saw all three of us sitting there, with anxious looks. Like Rose did earlier, he blinked a couple of times, before closing the door behind him and sitting on his stool. "Good afternoon, ladies. I can guess what would bring all three of you in at the same time with anxious faces. Do you all take " and he rattled off the name of our birth control pills, something I still couldn't say even after years of taking the medication. At our nods, he rubbed his hands over his face in a frustrated gesture. "I'll tell you something I won't other patients. I've been hearing through the grapevine that they had a bad batch go through. Apparently all of the pills for the month were placebos, or placeholder doses, rather than actual effective pills. Of course, the company will never admit this openly, since it would open them to all kinds of trouble, but we've had women coming in all week who use it and are now pregnant. Am I right in my assessment?" Again, all we could do was nod. "Okay, I'll need a urine sample from each of you. Please be sure to label the cup clearly. We're swimming in urine back in the lab. I'll move yours to the front of the line and will call you myself to let you know what the results are. Is there anything else you needed to talk with me about?" We all shook our heads. "I don't think I've ever seen you three so quiet in my life. Are you okay?"
Rose was finally able to squeak out a response, "Shock. All three of us, pregnant, at the same time? I can't even imagine. The guys run when it's PMS time."
Carlisle laughed, shaking his head. "Well, no matter what, you know that we'll all be there to help. I know Esme and Beth have just been itching to start hinting about babies. They have been for several years now, but did want to pressure you before you were ready." He stood up, giving us each a hug and kiss to the forehead. "I'll call you as soon as we have the results. In the meantime, stop taking your pills if you restarted, and use a different method of control until we know for sure. If your tests come back negative, I'd like you to consider changing to a different brand. I really don't like how the company is handling this situation."
We all agreed with his assertion and followed him as he pointed the way to the bathroom. The supplies we needed were already in the room and we took care of business quickly. When we'd all finished, we filed out of the office, stopping to give Carlisle a final kiss on the cheek before leaving. Being the last in line, I noticed that the nurses were staring at Carlisle with a shocked look. I decided to try to get him off the hook, so I said, "Tell Aunt Esme hi for us, okay, Uncle Carlisle?" Carlisle flashed me a grateful look and nodded his agreement.
The rest of the day passed excruciatingly slowly. We were all done for the day and wanted to stay around the house in case Carlisle should call, so we hung out chatting about nothing important. We had agreed to not tell the guys until we knew for sure. They gave us an odd look when they came back from class, but didn't say anything about it.
The next day was a regular off day for me, so I stuck around the house all day. When the phone finally rang around two, it startled me almost right out of my skin. Luckily, no one else was home to see my reaction.
"Good afternoon, Bella. It's Carlisle."
"Hi, Carlisle. How are you today?"
Carlisle chuckled for a moment, "Bella, I know damn well you're dying to know the results. Sometimes you're so polite you tickle me."
"I know. Blame my dad. So…" I let the word draw out, asking without voicing the question.
"They're all positive. Congratulations, ladies, you're all pregnant." There was a long moment of absolute silence as Carlisle let me digest the news.
"Holy shit!" This caused a full laugh to issue from him.
"Yes, indeed. I'd have to guess you're all due about the same time, too, early October. You'll need to come in for a prenatal visit so we can discuss diet and vitamins and all that. Bring the guys if you can get them to come. It's important to get them involved early to give them time to adjust."
"Them time to adjust? How about us!?"
Another laugh. "You'll do just fine, Bella. All of you are wonderful women, and I have no doubt that you'll make wonderful mothers. For that matter, the guys will make great dads. It may be tough with them still in school, but I have no doubt that it will all work out."
"Thank you, Carlisle. You always know exactly what to say. You'll make a great Grandpa. Um.." I hesistated a moment, "can you not tell…"
"Of course not, Bella. This is your news, and I will keep it to myself until you are ready to share. Just take care of yourself and call me if you have any questions, okay?"
"I will, Carlisle. Thanks again."
"My pleasure, dear. Enjoy your evening. You'll have to tell me later how you broke it to the guys."
"Oh, we came up with a plan yesterday. Which reminds me, I need to get to work on it if I'm going to get it done before they get home. Bye, Carlisle."
"Goodbye, Sweetheart," he replied before hanging up.
I stood there staring at the phone for a moment before shaking myself from my reverie. I called Alice at the house she was currently working on, simply telling her "Yes" when she answered. I had to hold the phone away from my ear at her incredibly loud squeal.
I could hear Esme in the background asking if she was okay, which calmed Alice down immediately. We didn't want anyone else to know besides the guys just yet. We wanted to get used to the idea together before sharing with the world.
"I'm fine, Esme. I just got excited about dinner tonight. Bella's cooking steak. Which reminds me, I need to go pick it up, is it okay if I go for the day?"
"Of course, dear," I could hear Esme answer in the background. Her voice indicated that she wasn't exactly buying the explanation for Alice's excitement, but she wasn't going to push.
Alice hurriedly said, "Bye!" and hung up. Just as I was replacing the phone on the hook, I heard the front door close. I came out of the kitchen to see that it was Rose. The guys would probably be home in about an hour and a half. She saw me looking at her and just raised her eyebrows, to which I simply nodded.
"Holy shit!" she muttered, plopping into a chair. I merely nodded again, and returned to the kitchen, knowing that when she was ready to talk, she would come to me. I had a cake to bake.
An hour later, all three of us were in the kitchen. I was working on the dinner, which consisted of steak, potatoes, and baby carrots. Alice and Rose were frosting the cake as fast as possible, though they were having trouble with it because it was still too warm. Unfortunately, we were running out of time. We had to get the cake iced and decorated and covered before the guys got home. We didn't want them to see what was on it before we were ready.
Luckily, we were all done by the time the guys came home thirty minutes later. They were more than a little surprised that dinner was ready so early and even more surprised when they saw what it was.
"Bella, I don't remember getting steaks at the store this week," Edward mumbled to me, clearly confused.
"I know. I had Alice pick them up on the way home. I wanted tonight to be special."
"Oh, okay. What's the occasion? We didn't miss a birthday or something, did we?" Obviously, anniversaries weren't a problem, since we all had it together. Birthdays, however, were another issue altogether. Emmett was stuck on the couch in their study for a full week when he forgot Rose's, even after I'd reminded him repeatedly. I bet he'll never forget it again.
"Oh no, nothing bad. We're going to have to do some redecorating soon, and probably move some rooms around, too. We'll have to pull out the plans after dinner and do some planning."
Edward was now even more confused. That was okay, though, because that was exactly what I wanted. "Okay, I think. Wh…"
I cut him off as quickly as I could to keep him from asking the question. I couldn't lie to him, and he would keep asking until he knew exactly what was going on. "Let's eat so the food doesn't get cold. There's nothing worse than cold steak." The rest of them agreed, so we sat down and ate our dinner, for which I received many compliments, though some confusion regarding the baby carrots. The girls and I just laughed under our breath at that one. Once dinner was over and the dishes were cleared, we decided that it was time.
We had the guys move into the living room, which they did willingly. They weren't so willing when Alice turned off the TV before they really got into the game showing. I carried in the cake, still covered, and Rose brought the plates, forks, a knife to cut it, and a lighter. When we got everything laid out on the coffee table, I carefully pulled off the cover, revealing a rectangular cake, with half of it iced in blue and the other half in pink. There were three candles placed in separate parts of the cake, and little plastic baby decorations scattered all over. Rose lit all three candles, and then we stepped back.
As agreed, Alice instructed the guys to prepare to blow a candle out each. They were now completely confused, but moved into position to do as asked. The three of us glanced at each other as we prepared to tell the guys of their impending fatherhood in the cheesiest way we could imagine.
"Happy future birthday to them! Happy future birthday to them! Happy future October birthday to them! Happy future birthday to them!" we all sang. We then had to burst out laughing at the astounded looks on their faces. Each of their mouths hung open, their eyes wide. We weren't sure if it was the singing, the song, or the message that had them so dumbfounded. Either way, the candles were about to drip wax on the cake.
"Blow the damn candles out before they drop wax on the cake!" Rose snapped at them, which snapped them out of their daze and prompted them to follow the instruction. Edward and Jasper sat back in their seat, still obviously either stunned by the news or trying to figure out the message. Emmett, on the other hand, grabbed the knife and started cutting a huge piece for himself. "Figures, Emmett doesn't even notice that there was a message to the whole thing. He's too worried about the damn cake."
Emmett looked up at us as he shoveled in the first bite, mumbling, "Huh? What message?" around his bite. Disgusting, but typical Emmett.
Meanwhile, Jasper's eyes started bouncing around the three of us but Edward was staring at me like I was the only person on the earth. "Bella?" he whispered. I gave him a soft smile and nodded my head. None of us were sure how they were going to react. We knew they wanted kids, but we hadn't planned on having them until each was done with school, much less all three of us at one time. That plan went out the window with the bad batch of pills.
Slowly, a smile grew on Edward's face, until it was so wide I was surprised his cheeks could stretch that far. He launched himself at me, picking me up in his arms and twirling me around in the air, laughing between kisses he landed anywhere he could reach. All I could do is hold on to his shoulders and laugh with him.
"Really? Are you sure?" he whispered to me.
"Yes, Carlisle gave me the test results this afternoon. We're pregnant, Baby!" He began laughing and twirling me around again, this time with tears streaming down his face. He finally stopped twirling, gently putting me back on my feet, but kept his arms locked around me, kissing me deeply. I felt one of his arms release me, and his hand coming around my torso to rest on my lower stomach. He was saying "Hello" to his baby for the first time.
Meanwhile, Jasper had carefully approached Alice before dropping to his knees in front of her, framing her face with his large hands. As was usual for them, their conversation was shared completely through eye contact. Both of their faces broke into wide grins as tears tracked down their faces. Jasper pulled Alice in for a tight hug, and then a deep kiss, before leaning down to place a gentle kiss to her still-flat stomach, whispering something that we couldn't hear.
While this was happening, Emmett continued to sit on the couch, just holding his cake now, staring at Rose. Apparently something had finally clicked for him. She walked around the table to sit down next to him. He continued to stare where she had stood, looking eerily like a statue. Rose finally took the plate and fork away from him, which garnered no reaction whatsoever. Becoming concerned, she called his name several times, waving her hand in front of his face. Still no reaction. Apparently, Emmett was in shock. Finally desperate, Rose hauled back and smacked him across the top of his head. This snapped him out of it enough to get him to blink and start talking.
"Seriously, Babe? You're pregnant? We're going to have a baby? You and me?"
Emmett's words weren't reassuring, but his tone of voice, full of wonderment and excitement, was. Rose finally smiled and nodded, saying, "Yes, baby, you and me. We're going to have a baby. Actually, all three of us are."
"What?!?" was the response from all three of them. That fact hadn't quite sunk in yet, apparently.
"Yep," Alice replied. "The batch of pills we used last month were bad, and all three of us are pregnant, likely due in October." At that point, Emmett was lucky he was already sitting down, since both Edward and Jasper collapsed to the floor, nearly taking Alice and me with them. They hadn't passed out exactly, but they were clearly stunned. After several minutes of trying to get them to revive, Alice and I just shrugged at each other and sat down in one of the other couches. "I want some cake," she said, bouncing out of her seat, looking to see if I wanted some as well. At my nod, she cut two pieces, and gave me one when she returned.
We were just finishing our second piece each when the guys on the floor began to stir. They remained dazed for the rest of the evening as Rose, Alice, and I pulled out the floor layout of the house and rearranged rooms. We each decided to move our studies to the former guest rooms down the hall, making the former studies into nurseries. The downstairs bedroom would become the daytime nursery/playroom for the little ones. Oddly enough, with the rearrangement, all of the upstairs rooms now had an active use. I would have never have imagined we would find a use for all those rooms when we first moved in, but here we are, five years later, with no guest space.
"Maybe we'll build a guest house out back, if it's really necessary. I mean, really. How often do we have people here in the first place?" Rose was muttering. She had a point. In the five years we'd been here, Alice's parents had visited overnight twice and my dad and Sue once, both over holidays. The Hales stayed at the Hilton in town, saying they didn't want to "cramp our style". As it was, if anyone we knew wanted to visit, they could likely stay with Carlisle and Esme, since they had plenty of room. Beth and Aro had married three years ago, and were living in Aro's house not ten minutes away. They had room there as well.
"Good point, Rose. Hell, if nothing else, they can camp out in the game room or the library. Let's not worry about guests at this point. We've got kids now," I responded. Alice cringed a bit, but had to agree with the practicality of the decision.
With that, I'd had enough for the evening. I pulled a still-punchy Edward along with me as I said goodnight to the group. I got him upstairs and sitting on the bed, though he was still more-or-less unresponsive. I sincerely hoped he snapped out of this soon. He was starting to worry me.
I stoked the fire I had lit earlier in the evening before I went about my evening routine: pulling off my clothes, washing my face, and brushing my teeth. As I had hoped, the sight of my nude body finally made him snap to attention. He stood up and came to stand behind me. We could see both of us in the mirror. He lifted his hands to my breasts, testing their weight and sensitivity. I was stunned to realize that they had already begun changing when he brushed a thumb across one nipple and it hurt more than it felt good. He noticed my flinch and asked, "Tender?" I nodded, my question plain on my face. "It's normal for your breasts to become fuller and very sensitive, even to the point of becoming painful. That's usually the first thing most women notice. That and frequent urination. We just went over obstetrics in class. I'm really glad now that I paid attention."
"You always pay attention, Sweetheart. That's what is going to make you a great doctor. And it's reassuring to have someone with medical knowledge living with me, which we've discussed before. Especially now that you know how to do stitches," I had to quip. I'd been in Carlisle's office several times a year since moving to Seattle for various injuries. It drove Edward nuts at first that I injured myself that often, but he's finally just come to terms that it happens, and does his best to foresee possible risks and prevent it from happening. After yet another deep cut in my hand, which Edward happened to be home for, Carlisle had taught him how to do my stitches himself, and given him the supplies necessary to do so. Once Edward was in his residency, he could get the supplies himself, but for now, we just let Carlisle know when we needed more of something. Edward has actually gotten quite good practicing on me. And it's kind of sexy to have him work on me.
Edward just shook his head at me, reflexively checking my last set of stitches. It'd been more than three months since I'd last cut myself. I was on a roll. "You're strange."
"I know. I like wearing your scars. It's almost like a bite mark, like you're showing your possession of me."
His body shuddered behind me. He like the idea of showing his possession of me. "Just don't go cutting yourself on purpose. I've stitched you up five times in the last year and a half. You have no idea how difficult it is to not overreact when it's you that is injured."
"I know, Baby. I don't do it on purpose." His hand drifted down to cover my lower abdomen in the cradle of my hips. "We didn't do this on purpose either. Are you okay with that?" I had to know.
Edward's eyes jerked up to look into mine. "Bella, of course I'm okay with us having a baby. We might not have planned to have one so soon, but you know I've always wanted a family with you. I can't wait to see you round with my child. I love you, Bella. I love you more with every passing day. I can't imagine my life without you, because I would have no life. You are everything to me, you, and now our little one. You two are my life."
His sweet words brought tears to my eyes as he swept me up in his arms, carrying me to the bed, before gently placing me on top of it. He quickly shed his clothes before crawling up beside me, pausing briefly to kiss my stomach, before lying down but making sure not to put much weight on me. I could tell already he was going to be treating me like spun sugar for the entirety of my pregnancy. He is so very sweet, a truly wonderful husband. He was going to drive me mad.
We began kissing in earnest, the passion between us igniting quickly. My needs flared to a roaring blaze immediately, making me realize that I needed something more than the soft, sweet lovemaking my husband obviously intended for the next nine months. That was going to get frustrating quickly.
I pushed him onto his back, moving quickly to straddle him. With an abrupt movement he was not yet ready for, I slammed myself down onto him, relishing the feel of his hard cock stretching me as I bathed him in my flowing juices.
"Oh, Baby!" he ground out, clenching his jaw in his effort to control himself. I knew he was just as needy as I was. We hadn't made love in several days, with his classes and homework and stresses. We both needed to let go. "Please, I'm trying to be gentle!"
"I know you were," I purred back at him, beginning a hard and fast rhythm above him. There was nothing gentle about how I was riding him. "The baby is perfectly safe right now. In five months, I'm going to be getting fat with your child, and we are going to have to figure out how to please each other sexually around my belly. We can be gentle then. Until then, when we need it, like right now, Baby, I want you to fuck me!"
He groaned loudly at my words, before grasping my hips in the hold I loved so much and began pounding into me from below. I leaned backward, tilting my head back as far as was comfortable, knowing that the new angle allowed his cock to rub that special spot within me, and caused my hair to brush and tickle his balls and thighs. We were guaranteed to come hard and fast in this position.
"Yes, Baby, come hard for me. Clamp down tight on my hard cock!" he grunted out at me between pants. His words triggered my orgasm, as he'd intended. My body began convulsing above his, tightening incredibly as I howled my pleasure to the world. His body thrust into mine twice more before his own orgasm overtook him, making him shudder below me and shout my name in ecstasy. A few more moments of intense pleasure later, we both relaxed downward, my body sprawled over his. Once we regained enough strength, I moved to his side, still struggling to regain my breath.
When he had stopped gasping, he got up to get a warm washcloth, cleaning me as he always did. He brought the brush back with him, pulling me between his legs as he brushed out my hair. We spoke softly about our day. He was intensely curious about everything Carlisle had said, about how I felt about the whole situation, about what the girls thought about us all being pregnant at the same time. He told me about how he felt when he figured out what we were saying, what was going through his mind when he and Jasper were essentially passed out on the floor, about what was on his mind that had him so preoccupied throughout the rest of the evening. We shared everything, as we always did.
When we were finished sharing, we laid down in our usual drifting off position. After a moment, he scooted down to place a sweet kiss to my belly, whispering, "Good night, Little One." He then climbed back up behind me, wrapping me in his arms and intertwining his legs with mine. He moved his top arm down to place his hand protectively over my still-flat belly. With a sweet kiss to the side of my head, he whispered to me, "Good night, Sweet Girl. I love you so much. Thank you for making me the happiest man in the world again."
I could only whisper in return, "I love you, Edward. You're going to be a wonderful daddy." I turned my head far enough for him to reach to kiss my lips. I snuggled back down into his chest, my favorite place to be. "Good night, Sweetheart. I love you."
"I love you, Bella," he breathed to me. I could feel his body relaxing behind me as he slipped into sleep. His hand never strayed from its spot above my pelvis. I closed my eyes and basked in the warmth of his love, smiling gently as I, too, drifted off to sleep.