A/N: As usual Twilight and all its characters do not belong to me they belong to the talented Stephenie Meyer – thank you for allowing me to play in your world
A/N: Just something that spilled otu of my brain last night. I was up until 2 am writing it so there are probably mistakes. I am not a doctor nor do I have children so some of the things in this story may not make sense but that is the beauty of Fiction. Just go with it.
It was early evening when they wheeled me into what would be my new home for the next three months. It was too white, too clean and occupied? What the hell?! I could make out the outline of a body in a bed across the room. From the long brown hair that I could see on the pillow and the small lump under the covers I guessed it was a woman. Fuck!
I looked up at the nurses that were pushing my bed. "I was supposed to be in a private room."
"I'm sorry Mr. Whitlock we just don't have the room right now. As it is Ms. Swan should be in the maternity wing, but we're just too full and this was the closest we could get her. This is the largest room we have." The woman was very apologetic but that didn't make me feel any better.
Fuck! It was bad enough that I was stuck in all these casts and tubes and shit and now I was going to have to have my room invaded by a pregnant woman and her entourage of loving relatives and over protective husband. Perfect!
"I think you'll like Ms. Swan, she's very nice and quiet enough that you probably won't even notice she's there." She said
They set me up and drew the curtains around my bed leaving me to stare at the ceiling. I heard the nurse go to check on my roommate and offer to help her to the bathroom. I barely heard the woman's response but it must have been positive because the two of them left the room and I heard a shower turn on.
I must have dozed off because I woke up to the sound of the women returning along with the tantalizing smell of strawberries and some kind of flowers. The smell was enough to make my mouth water. I heard the nurse leave the room and I drifted back off to sleep.
In the days that followed I was left pretty much to myself with only the nurses to keep me company. They knew that I had asked for a private room so the curtains around my bed were left closed. I was puzzled to find out that the nurse had been right about the quiet Ms. Swan. She never had any visitors and the only way that I knew she was even there was the nurses coming to help her to and from the bathroom and the occasional turning of a page.
I was bored stupid. The only visitors I had were my brother Peter and his wife Charlotte, but that wasn't often because after my accident with the tractor they were left to run the ranch on their own. Fuckin stupid accident! I went over everything that happened that day and I still couldn't see how I could have avoided it. It was the first till of spring and I was driving the Deere out to the south pasture. The spring rains had left the ground wet enough to turn the soil really well. What I didn't realize was the sink hole that had formed just off the side of the pasture road. I noticed the old tree had fallen and made a mental note to have one of the hands come out to clean it up when the right side of the tractor had just started to tip. I tried to correct it but it was too late, I felt it start to roll and tried to jump out but the damn thing just rolled right over me. I woke up god only knows how long later in blinding pain. Thankfully I had put my cell phone in my breast pocket and it wasn't damaged. I managed to call Peter before I passed out again.
The next time I woke up I was in the hospital in Austin. Apparently they had airlifted me here and rushed me into emergency surgery. Now I was stuck in this boring hospital bed with a broken pelvis, broken leg, and – fuck it I wasn't even going to think about all my broken bones. I couldn't use either of my arms and one of my legs. I was beyond bored.
I smelled the wonderful aroma of strawberries as one of the nurses helped my roommate back into her bed after her shower. I waited until she was gone before I spoke.
"So have you been here long?" I had raised my voice a bit to make sure that she heard me
"I got here about a week before you did." Her voice was soft and didn't have any kind of accent so I knew she wasn't from anywhere in the south. "Did you need me to call the nurse for you?"
"Naw, I'm just bored out of my tree and tired of starin' at the ceiling" I thought for a minute "Am I botherin' you?"
"No not at all I just know that you had requested a private room and I feel bad that you got stuck with me. I figured you would want to be left alone." She sort of hurried out her explanation and it almost sounded like an apology.
"Actually I'm kinda glad I didn't get the private room. I would have been bored out of my tree without anyone to talk to. Unless you need me to shut up. I can leave you alone if you need to rest." Maybe I was disturbing her
She chuckled softly and the sound was musical "Sir, I have been confined to a bed for the last two weeks with nothing but the same two books to read and my iPod, believe me I am tired of resting."
"Well then how about a game of twenty questions? If we're gonna be roommates I feel like I should know somethin' about you and god knows my manners over the last four days leave somethin' to be desired." Anything to interrupt the boredom!
"Okay, you go first"
"Alright that's easy. What's your name?" I figure introductions were in order
"Isabella Swan but I prefer Bella. And yours?"
"Jasper Whitlock. I can tell you aren't from around here so where are you from?" An innocent question surely
"Damn and here I thought my Texas accent was getting better." She laughed "I'm from Washington State, a tiny town called Forks actually. My turn. How did you end up in the hospital Jasper?"
This was interesting. Getting to know someone when you couldn't see their face "Tractor accident. The fuc-. Scuse me, the stupid thing rolled on me and I broke a few bones." Momma taught me not to cuss in front of women and I wasn't gonna forget my manners just cause I couldn't see the lady I was talkin too.
"Crap that sounds painful. How long are you in for? Geez it sounds like I am asking how long you jail term is doesn't it?" She laughed again and I couldn't help but join her
"A couple of months. I have to heal up and then relearn how to walk again I guess. The tractor broke my pelvis and busted up one of my legs pretty bad. So why are you here? I mean I heard you were pregnant but you have been here a long time already." I really hoped this wasn't too personal
"I was always told that I couldn't have children so when I got pregnant my doctor said that I was at a very high risk to miscarry. If the baby makes it to full term it will be a miracle. I have three months left to go but my doctor put me on bed rest until I deliver because of my blood pressure." She sounded happy and not at all frustrated with being in bed.
"Couldn't they have let you stay in bed at home?" Isn't that where most women were? They stayed at home with family
"I could have but there are too many possibilities for complications and I live alone, so here I am. Do you work on a ranch Jasper? I mean I assume so because of the tractor thing, I wouldn't think that you would drive a tractor instead of a car." She rushed past the explanation on living alone to asking me her question I didn't want to pry but I was curious as to why a pregnant woman lived alone.
I didn't want to offend her so I just answered her question "My brother Peter and I own our family's ranch just outside of Smithville. I live there with him and his wife Charlotte. They live in the main house and I have the guest house."
"It sounds lovely. It must be nice to be so close to your family." She sounded sad and I wondered again why she hadn't had any visitors
"How old are you?" I hoped it wasn't rude but I was trying to get a picture of her.
She laughed "Normally I would scold you about never asking a woman her age but I will let it go this time. I'm 26. And you?"
She was younger than I thought "28 this past March. So you've said you have two books to read, what are they?"
"Umm…Pride and Prejudice and Wuthering Heights." She sounded shy about telling me this maybe she figured I wouldn't know what they were
"I've read Wuthering Heights but not Pride and Prejudice. You like classical books? That's not very common." Most women I knew only read the cheap Harlequin romances or in the case of my ex-girlfriend, fashion magazines.
"I minored in English lit in University. I love books and poetry. Did you go to college?" a fair question for an educated woman and she didn't seem stuck up about it
"Nope, I joined the Marines right out of high school. After my second tour I came home to help my brother with the ranch." I wondered what her reaction would be. In my experience women either loved the uniform or hated it.
"Wow, that's great. My dad was the police chief in Forks, he got the job because of his time serving in the Marines as well." Her voice went from impressed to very sad and I guessed it was because she either didn't talk to him or he was gone.
"Are you still in touch with him?" Insensitive? Maybe, but I had to know more about her.
"No. He was killed in the line of duty four years ago. Bank robbery." I could barely hear her and I felt like a heel for bringing it up
"Bella I'm sorry." I would have said more but she interrupted
"So what do you do on your ranch?"
We talked for the rest of the morning until lunch came. She kept the focus pretty much on me and all I really learned about her was that she moved here a month ago and didn't know anyone. She majored in Business at the University of Washington. And she had a mother in Phoenix somewhere that she hadn't seen since she was two.
This woman was a mystery. She was smart, funny, warm and caring and for all intents and purposes was completely alone in the world.
After the nurse finished feeding me my lunch, yes I had to be fed, I had two broken arms in full casts. Anyways after I finished my lunch I asked the nurse if she would pull back the curtain. I had to be able to see the woman that I had been talking to all morning.
After confirming that it was alright with Bella the nurse pulled back her curtain as well and the most beautiful sight I had ever seen sat in front of me. She was sitting up in her bed and the first thing that hit me was her deep brown eyes. They looked like pools of melted chocolate. Hair that I had glimpsed and called brown was actually a beautiful mahogany and hung in soft curls almost to her waist. Her skin was the finest porcelain and was just as pale. She looked like one of my mother's beautiful antique china dolls.
She smiled at me and I fell in love "Well it's nice to meet you Jasper Whitlock."
I managed to stutter out "Likewise ma'am" Thank god for momma's manners
Over the next month and a half we talked about almost everything. Our families, places, we've lived, places we've travelled. I told her about my time in the Marines and she told me about living in Seattle and her work for a publishing house. I dreamed about raising champion cutting horses and she wanted to write a book while she raised the baby. She read me Pride and Prejudice to pass the time and we talked about baby names. She wanted it to be a surprise so she didn't find out the sex of the baby. I was getting more and more excited to see what it was.
Every day that passed had me falling more and more in love with her. Her smiles, her laugh, the way she would tease me out of a bad mood from being in bed for so long. Her joy over the baby. The only thing she didn't talk about was where the father of her baby was and why she was alone.
The day that I got the casts off my arms and pelvis was the greatest and worst day of my life.
While I was getting my casts off Bella passed out. Her blood pressure skyrocketed and the doctors were freaking out. I was wheeled back into the room to find her arguing with them. They wanted to take the baby early and she wouldn't hear of it. I listened to the arguments back and forth, it ended with Bella agreeing to be moved to a room closer to the nurses station in the maternity wing and getting hooked up to heart monitors and other shit to make sure she didn't die.
I had the night to be with her before they were going to take her to another room. I looked at her beautiful face and watched the tears as they trailed down her cheeks in a never ending flow. She never made any noise.
"Bella." She looked over at me and smiled sadly
"I guess you're going to get that private room after all." Her lip quivered and she bit it trying not to cry
"Aww Darlin I don't want a room to myself. Who's gonna read to me now?" She let out a shaky laugh and then went quiet again
My heart damn near broke when she looked at me with those tear filled eyes "I don't want to lose my baby Jas."
Damn it! I wanted to take her in my arms so badly. In the near two months I had known her no one had come to visit her. She had no one to hug her and kiss her forehead in support and love. No one to tell her that it would be alright. She watched as Peter and Charlotte came in every couple of days and we tried to include her in the conversations but she always said she didn't want to intrude. She was alone and scared and I was stuck in this damn hospital bed not eight feet from her and I couldn't help her the way I wanted to.
"Angel you're not going to lose the baby. Everything is gonna be fine. That little miracle is gonna come out and be just as healthy as a spring foal and ready to take on the world." I tried to reassure her but those tears just kept falling and I watched helplessly as she cried.
Well Fuck This! I was a US Marine damn it! I could do this!
The nurse had left the wheelchair beside my bed. I carefully and painfully managed to maneuver myself and the cast that was still on my leg into it over Bella's protests. I wheeled myself over to her bed and took her hand for the first time.
I felt a spark pass between us and she gripped my hand for all she was worth and broke down. She lay on her side and cried as I stroked her hair back off her face. I didn't know how long it took but finally she cried herself out. I gazed into her beautiful brown eyes as she lay there staring at me. I carefully leaned forward and kissed her forehead. "It's gonna be fine Angel. I promise."
Tears welled up again but didn't fall as she held my hand and stared into my eyes like they were her lifeline. A while later she started to speak.
"He told me to abort the baby. I couldn't do it. I was told I couldn't have children and then this miracle happened." Her voice cracked and I just kept petting her hair. "I thought he loved me. He was smart, good looking, successful. We had been together for almost two years. I thought he would be happy and we would finally move in together and be a family."
The tears started again and I knew her heart was breaking all over again "He told me that I was to have an abortion. He would arrange it and everything would be fine. I told him that I wanted to keep it and raise it as a family. He laughed. He fucking laughed at me!" I had never heard Bella swear. She looked back into my eyes "He told me he already had a family. A wife and two kids and that our relationship wasn't anything more than sex on the side. His wife was from good stock and there was never any question of a divorce."
I wanted to find the guys and rip his limbs off. What kind of asshole does that?
"We argued for almost a month. I refused to be with him. I had no idea he was married and once I found out I was horrified. He kept pushing for the abortion. He didn't want anyone to find out about his mistake. I finally signed a legal document that stated I would never contact him again in exchange for him paying all my hospital bills up until I gave birth. The birth certificate is going to say father unknown." She started to cry again and tried to let go of my hand
"Bella, don't push me away." I couldn't understand what she was doing
"Please Jasper I can't…I just don't deserve…" Holy fuck she thought she had done something wrong.
"No Angel." I grabbed her hand and then turned her face to look at me "You listen to me. You've done nothin' wrong. That piece of shit deserves to be horse whipped for what he did to you! Paying your hospital bills is the very least of what you should be gettin' out of him! You could have ruined his life, gone to his wife, demanded child support!"
"His wife and children didn't do anything wrong. I wouldn't put someone through that pain." She was sad
"And that just proves the person you are. Jesus Bella, you are choosin' the hardest road I have ever seen someone walk and you're doin' it alone. You are so much better than him." I held her as she started to cry again. I couldn't hold her like I wanted to because of her hospital bed and my wheelchair but I stayed where I was for the rest of the night. I loved her.
The next month saw me getting stronger and my rehab was getting to and from Bella's room every day. She greeted me every day after my physical therapy with a tired smile. I watched as the baby seemed to drain the life from her as she got paler and thinner. Now I was the one reading to her as she dozed in the bed. She seemed to be shrinking everywhere but her tummy. My beautiful china doll was getting more and more fragile and it killed me.
One morning on my way to Bella's room her doctor stopped me. The doctors and nurses were used to me coming and going from her room at all hours of the day and night. All the nurses and doctors had fallen in love with the quiet lonely woman and they teased me constantly about my hospital romance.
Dr. Morgan looked at me and she looked worried. "Jasper I need you to talk to Bella. We need to take the baby before it kills her. I shouldn't be telling you this but damn it she won't listen and I want the two of them to walk out of here together." I could practically feel her worry and anger. Dr. Morgan talking about Bella's death terrified me
"She thinks it'll kill the baby." It was an argument that I had heard her have repeatedly
"It won't. I guarantee you Jasper if we don't get that baby out soon it will be an orphan. The baby will survive the birth, Bella won't"
"I'll talk to her." I wheeled my way into her room and looked at my beautiful girl laying there hooked up to tubes and monitors and I.V's
"Jasper" she smiled, her voice was thin and quiet and I took her hand in mine.
I couldn't be strong anymore. I couldn't sit here day after day and pretend she was fine. The doctor had told me the cold hard truth and I couldn't bear it. "Bella you have to have the C section." She started to protest but I cut her off "Please Angel. The baby is healthier than you are right now. If they don't get it out soon you'll die." I couldn't help the tears that fell from my eyes as I pleaded with her.
"But it's too soon." She protested weakly
"No darlin she's only a couple of weeks early. Some babies come that early naturally. Please, you don't want to leave her by herself do you? She'll end up in the foster system. She needs you to do this for her now. You kept her safe until she could live on her own and now you need to keep yourself safe for her." I could see she was waivering
"Please Bella. I can't lose you." I dropped my head onto the bed where I held her hand
I felt her fingers run through my hair it was the first sign of real affection she had ever shown me and I would have danced if I hadn't been so afraid that she was going to die. I looked up at her, my tears making her blurry. "Please Bella. I love you. I love the baby. I want to be with you and take care of you and the baby. I want to make a family with you but I can't do that if you're not here."
She smiled at me "Jasper. I love you to."
I kissed her hand and her cheeks and then her lips very carefully. I pulled back and rested my forehead on hers "Please Angel. Let them take the baby. I promise everything will be fine. I can't lose you two now that I've found you. Please, stay with me."
I watched as tears filled her eyes and she nodded "Okay Jas."
I damn near fell from the relief that I felt. I reached over and used the call button to call the nurse. Dr. Morgan came in instead. I didn't look at her I stayed looking in Bella's beautiful eyes "Bella's agreed to the C section."
"Finally! Here sign these while I go get the O.R." She pushed a bunch of forms at us and was about to rush off when Bella spoke
"I want Jasper in the room with me. I want him to stay with me and the baby." Her voice was only just loud enough for the doctor to hear
"Done." Was all she said as she rushed out of the room.
After that things happened very , very quickly. Before I knew it we were in the O.R. and Dr. Morgan was delivering the cutest healthiest baby boy I had ever seen. Bella had told me to go with the baby and I was looking down at him in absolute awe when I heard it.
That god awful long beep that the TV dramas called a flatline. The doctors were rushing around and I was trying to get some answers. All I heard was "We're losing her!" before the baby and I were wheeled from the room.
I sat in the nursery with the baby rocking him and waited for news about Bella. The nurses and doctors had put a wrist band on me that matched the baby boy in my arms and rushed off to try to save my angel.
I sat and talked to him for what felt like hours. He was beautiful and looked just like Bella. He had a full head of the beautiful mahogany hair that I loved so much, her cute little nose and his lower lip was just a bit fuller than the upper one, just like his mom's.
I told him about how I had fallen in love with his mother and how much she loved him. I talked about her love of books and poetry and music. How she was both the strongest and the gentlest person I had ever met. I told him about the horses I was going to teach him to ride and the ranch he was going to grow up on. And I told him that I loved him and his mother more than anyone else in this world.
"Jasper." I looked up to see Peter and Charlotte.
"She's dying." My voice broke and I started to sob. I felt Peter take the baby from me as Charlotte pulled me into her arms. They had grown very fond of Bella over the last few months and quite often the three of us could be found in Bella's room rather than mine.
"No Jasper. She'll be alright" Charlotte's voice was comforting but I had seen the desperation on the doctors faces and heard the sound of the flatline.
"Jasper" I looked up into my brother's eyes "That little girl didn't fight this long and this hard to have this beautiful little boy to give up now. Where's your faith?"
Peter and Charlotte sat with me waiting for the news.
"Tyson, Morgan, Trey, Emma!!" I stood in the barn looking at the dirty stalls and water everywhere. Those little monsters had obviously gotten in a water fight again when they were supposed to be cleaning the barn.
I heard a noise behind me and saw little Emma come shyly into up the alleyway with her little hands behind her back. Her beautiful blonde curls were a stark contrast to her big brown eyes. At six she had me wrapped around her little finger. "Yeah daddy?"
"Where are your brothers?" The little demons had probably sent her in here to soften me up knowing full well I couldn't stay mad at her.
"Please don't be mad daddy. We were comin back to finish." Damn it she hit me with those eyes and I melted again
"I want you and your brothers to have this barn done my lunch time young lady." I looked over her shoulder at the barn door "You boys hear me!"
Three faces appeared around the door "Yes, daddy." Chorused from them
"Well?!" I watched as they all scampered to work and walked out to stand in the yard.
"Hey cowboy. You having trouble wrangling the kids again?"
I looked up to see my Angel sitting on a bale of hay with two glasses of sweet tea. She smiled and offered one to me.
I leaned down and kissed her deeply. Seven years of marriage and I still couldn't get enough of her.
When the doctors had come into the room and told me she was going to be fine I could have danced. It was a long recovery because she was so weak but we made it together. I helped her fill out the forms for the birth certificate and we named our son Tyson James Whitlock. I insisted on being named the birth father.
A month later I moved her in with me over all her protests. She was reluctant to impose but my argument won the day. I only asked her if she loved me and when she said yes it was a done deal. It took me another six months to convince her to marry me.
Our wedding was held a year to the day after we had first met, on our ranch that she had fallen so in love with. I watched her raise our son with patience and love. A year after we got married she one of our ranch hands was coming home from a wedding in La Grange and he and his wife were killed. They had left their twin boys with a sitter but now those same boys were all alone in the world.
My Bella being the Angel she is just scooped those boys up and never let them go. The adoption was finalized a year later. So now we had three boys all three were 2 years old.
Then Bella surprised me with the news that she was pregnant again. I was terrified. I begged her not to take the risk. I had damn near lost her once and I was petrified that this time she wouldn't make it. After many, many doctors visits and Bella's determination I finally gave up. We had gotten into a terrible fight and Bella accused me of not wanting the baby.
She watched as I broke down and admitted that I wanted the baby more than anything but that I didn't want it at the cost of her life. She just held me and admitted that she was scared too but that this time it would be different.
She tolerated me treating her like the fragile china doll she reminded me of but she had been right this pregnancy had been different. Bella glowed with health and even though she was bedridden for the last month, this time she didn't waste away. She again opted for another C section and this time she had her tubes tied. Four children was definitely enough.
When they put my little girl in my arms for the first time I was in awe. I loved all my kids but when Tyson was born I was too stressed about losing Bella to appreciate the moment. And Emma was my little girl. I always had a soft spot for little girls.
I came back from my walk down memory lane when my Angel leaned into my side and I smelled the sweet smell of strawberries that was pure Bella. There was a ton of work that still needed to be done today but it didn't matter. As I sat there and held my wife and listened to the laughter of our kids I sent up a prayer of thanks to whoever pushed that tractor over on me so I could find my destiny.
A/N: Not my usual but the damn story just wouldn't leave me alone until I wrote it down! Stupid burning plot bunnies! Hope you all enjoyed it. The next chapter of Insecurities should be up soon.