ERHMAGHAD! A new chapter! It took a little longer than 2 weeks to finally hit publish and I may or may not feel like a total fraud. I'm going to need kind words and chocolates to feel like this was worth it. I hope you enjoy this chapter!
Surprise of a Lifetime 18
I leaned up on my toes and put my lips against his ear. "I'm ready," I breathed as quietly as I could.
The shudder that traveled through his body was almost nonexistent, but I knew how much I had blown his control that I'd been able to feel it at all. Without a word, or a glance back at the family still cheering and staring at us; Jasper closed the distance to the truck and was pulling onto the road before I had even blinked.
"Bella, I." He stopped. "We." Another frozen sentence. "Are you?" He seemed to be choking on words that he didn't want to say, but was too gentlemanly not to.
I took the opportunity to slide over the seat until I had melted into his side. I brought a hand up to his hair and began lightly tugging it. I forced my fingers to calm down as I pushed my fingers onto his scalp to grip the hair tighter. I moved his head in fractions until my lips were flush with his neck. I opened my lips to swipe my tongue quickly across his neck before kissing my way up to his ear.
"I'm ready." This; more matter of factly and calm, so that he understood it wasn't something I was offering lightly.
Jaspers foot inched closer to the floor as he pushed the accelerator down. His right hand moved to my thigh and began rubbing light circles there. Things were beginning to heat up when my cell phone began to ring.
"You've got to be kidding me." I groaned as I leaned down to pluck the offending phone off the floor. I didn't recognize the number but I flipped it open anyway.
"Bella?" Emily was breathing harsh and sounded tired.
"Emily? What's up?" I asked quickly.
"Bella, the baby's coming. I need you to get to the hospital. I need you here." I looked at Jasper with what must have been a mixture of disappointment and excitement. Jasper looked deceptively neutral as I replied.
"Of course. Jasper and I are on the way. We will be there shortly." I answered. She thanked me and hung up quickly as another contraction seemed to take hold.
I looked over to where Jasper was carefully staring at the road. I scooted closer to his body.
"How shitty is the timing? She's almost 2 weeks early." I looked up at him and shrugged a shoulder.
"It's probably for the best. I know we both want this, but it would be nice to wine and dine you a bit first." Jasper ducked his head and smiled a shy smile.
"Aww, you sweet talker you! How many times have I told you that my pregnancy hormones are not to be messed with? I'm telling you any other guy wouldn't have any qualms about 'taking care of business'. You sir are a true southern gentleman. I am lucky to have such a wonderful guy." I leaned under his lifted arm and he gave me a tight squeeze.
"Bella, I am the one lucky to have you in my life. You deserve to be pursued. As much as I would love to be intimate with you I know how easily you could see that I don't deserve you." Jasper whispered into my ear with conviction.
I felt my protest rising in my throat but as I looked up to speak, I saw that we were in the parking lot of the hospital. I pulled Jasper's face closer to mine and kissed him quickly on the cheek. "We will resume this discussion later. I have a lot of valid arguments I think you need to hear." I waggled my eyebrows suggestively before sliding to my side of the truck to climb out.
The walk into the hospital was short and we arrived at the maternity ward in no time. I looked at Jasper and was sure my apprehension was a palpable thing.
"It's normal to feel anxious. You don't know what to expect. I'll be just down the hall in the waiting room if things get too intense and you need some help." Jasper led me to the room number Emily had given me and I knocked quietly on the door as Jasper made his way to the waiting area down the hall.
The door opened quickly and a frazzled looking Sam stood taking up almost the entire doorway. "Bella, thank goodness you made it. Emily was beginning to say that she wasn't going to push until you got here. I think she was serious." He pulled me into a half hug and dragged me bodily into the large delivery room.
"Bella! Oh my gosh, I am so glad you made it! I thought I was going to kill Sam. I need you to talk to me. He is such a wuss that he would wait out in the hall if he could." Emily looked tired, but immensely happy as I made my way over to wrap my arms around her tightly.
"So how far along are you?" I asked as I pulled back.
"9 centimeters and too dilated to have the epidural. We didn't realize I was in active labor until we called and Dr. Cullen said I needed to come in. The contractions weren't that bad, until just about an hour ago. I feel like I'm going to die every time I have one." Her grip on my hand got tighter until my fingers turned white as her voice trailed off.
"Are you having one now?" My voice was higher than normal.
"Yes…." She grunted as she took stuttered breaths. Her grip loosened slowly as her breathing righted itself. "Bella, I don't know if I can do this." Her eyes pleaded with mine and I looked over to where Sam looked on helplessly.
"Sam, you hold her hand and talk to her. I have to go talk to Jasper for a second." I didn't wait for an answer as I made my way to the door. I found the waiting room quickly and sighed in relief when I found only two people in there.
"Bella" Two voices spoke in unison.
"Hey Jake, I need to talk to Jasper about something real quick." I pulled on Jasper's arm and he rose smoothly and followed without questioning me. "Jasper I need your help. By the time she got here she was too far dilated for an epidural. Please tell me there is something you can do for her?" I looked up at him like a child might look at a mall Santa while asking for a pony.
"Of course. I'll need to stand outside the door, but I can take most of the pain from her. It's not going to be pleasant by any means, but I can make it tolerable for her. I have had some success with being able to ease the pressure almost entirely." Jasper wrapped his arms around my waist.
"Won't that mean you will have to feel all of that pain?" I questioned with tears dotting my eyes.
"I'll feel it anyways, this will be a bit stronger for me, but Emily is your friend and I would do this for any of my patients. I like that my gift can help women in labor. It's part of why I went into the field in the first place." He paused briefly. "You better get back in there. The doctor is checking her and it is time to begin pushing. I'll be right outside the door."
"Okay. Thank you Jasper. You don't know how much this means to me." I replied as he led me back to Emily's room. I pushed the door open without knocking and found my spot beside Emily.
"Oh gosh, oh gosh…." Her groaning tapered off as she pulled my hand to her chest. The doctor began gloving up and nurses poured into the room.
"I'm here. Things are going to get better, okay? Trust me; you are stronger than this Emily. You are one tough woman." My mind went on autopilot as I began a litany of encouragement.
"No, I'm not. Bella I can't do this without an epidural. I am not strong enough." She spoke loudly between contractions.
"Yes you can. Jasper is going to be helping. Things should start to get easier soon. This won't last long. You are going to be holding that baby boy of yours soon enough. He is going to be gorgeous just like you." I couldn't keep my mouth shut as the doctor pulled up a stool and sat between Emily's legs.
"Okay I'm going to show you what we are going to do during each contraction. We are going to lift your legs all the way up to your chest, breathe in deep, hold it and push for 10 seconds at a time. Then we will put your legs back down until the next contraction starts. Once the head starts to fully crown, if I tell you to stop pushing I want you to listen. I want to do everything in my power to prevent any rips or tears. You are in really good shape and this should be a pretty quick and easy labor." Doctor Evans spoke confidently and calmly as he described the process and Emily's face seemed to relax as he spoke.
"Okay." She answered before looking up at me. "He's doing it. The contractions don't hurt as bad. The pressure is almost gone. Jasper is a lifesaver." She whispered to me while the Doctor was distracted with something.
"I told you he would be able to help. Now let's do this." I squeezed her hand gently and Sam walked over to the other side of the bed.
"I love you Emily. I am so proud of you baby." He swept a tear from under her eye and took hold of her hand.
After that things became a blur of activity. Emily pushed during each contraction, bearing down for 10 seconds at a time while Sam and I each held a leg up to her chest. I thought it would be a lot harder to see. I thought it might be gross, or weird. But everything was so beautiful and natural that it all seemed to be amazing to me.
After only 25 minutes of pushing Jerad Alexander Uley was born. He was 7 pounds 12 ounces and 19 and a half inches long. He was amazing. The whole experience was too beautiful to describe. As the new parents doted on their son I slunk out into the hallway to see Jasper.
"Jasper." I was speechless. His arms fell open and I leaned into them without thought. "Emily said to thank you for everything. How are you doing? It was so wonderful. He's adorable." My mind flew through topics too rapidly for my mouth to keep up.
"Calm down Bella, you've got the rest of the night to tell me all about it. But it's getting pretty late and you still have work tomorrow. Want to go spend a little bit of time with them?" He asked lightly as if worried he might hurt my feelings.
"No, I'm just going to pop in and let them know we'll be taking off. I know Sam and Emily probably want a little time to digest everything and enjoy Jerad to themselves. Besides you and I still have that discussion to finish. I hope you didn't think my emotions were going to take me too far away from topic."
As Bella and I made our way out of the hospital I wrapped my arm around her shoulder and drew her as close to me as possible. She seemed to unknowingly mold herself to my side and my ability to think rationally was once again impeded. The stress of the day left me drained but happy to be with my Bella, proud that she felt comfortable enough to come to me when things got difficult. I helped her into the truck with my thoughts running in a thousand different directions.
"JASPER!" I turned to look at Bella and realized we were halfway to her house.
"I'm sorry, I was somewhere else." I looked away quickly, feeling shame at having been able to disappear so fully into my own head.
"I'll say. I've been trying to get your attention since we got into the truck. What were you thinking about?" She looked perplexed and I felt her curiosity along with a healthy dose of apprehension.
"I was just thinking about today. It's been a long and eventful day. It's been a lot to process even for a vampire." I shrugged quickly.
"That's not like you Jazz. Did something upset you today?" I could feel her worry and it made me feel like a complete and total jerk.
"No, nothing upset me. I was just thinking about you. About us. You have no idea how much time I devote to worrying about that sort of stuff." Bella pulled herself to me and laughed lightly.
"I thought only girls did that sort of thing." She elbowed me before laughing brightly.
"Yeah, yeah. Pick on me because I'm sensitive. I see how it is with you. Screwed if I do, screwed if I don't." I smiled down at her and she wrapped her arm more tightly around my middle.
"I wasn't picking on you, just teasing mercilessly. There is a difference, however subtle it might be." I could almost taste her mischievousness and I felt more carefree than I had since before we left the house that afternoon.
"Is there anyway I can weasel my way out of that long conversation tonight? I feel like I'm going to need a chance to shore up my slipping defenses against the onslaught you've prepared." I liked the easy banter between us, and felt comfortable broaching this subject in jest.
"Why Jasper, are you accusing me of fighting dirty? How dare you treat a lady like that!" Her mock anger was overplayed and her immediate chuckle made it seem even more unrealistic, but I played along.
"Absolutely not, merely stating that you have nature on your side in this battle of wills. Obviously I want you. The things I want to do to you shouldn't be spoken of in public. I just want a chance to woo you. To show you exactly how much those things mean to me. I want you to know 100 percent that I am what you want before I take this to the next level." What started off in a joking manner lead to a very real confession.
"Okay. I can understand that. I'm willing to do whatever it takes to go at the pace you set Jasper. I want you to have the chance to woo me. But can we compromise on what we will and won't do? I am dealing with these crazy hormones after all." She pleaded with her words and her actions as her hand began slowly trailing up and down my thigh.
"Bella, Bella, Bella…you test my resolve simply by existing. I would travel to the end of the world and back for you. I imagine we can come to some sort of agreement about physical limits. Thank you for understanding though. It means a lot to me." I slowed the truck to a stop as we pulled into her driveway.
"Mmm, I think we should have that conversation inside." Bella slid to her door, and I moved quickly to catch her as she stepped out.
"I'll start the tea while you get ready." We made our way inside and I began fixing her nightly tea in the kitchen. The routine of boiling the water and steeping the tea allowed me to think through possible outcomes of the upcoming conversation. I knew where I felt comfortable, but was sure I would be compromising some in an effort to make Bella happy as well.
"What kind of tea did you make for me tonight?" Bella inhaled deeply as she stepped into the kitchen.
"Cinnamon spice. It smells heavenly, doesn't it?" I answered as I turned to hold the cup out to her.
"It really does. This smells like fall to me. Want to sit in the living room or can we go into the bedroom?" I could see that she was exhausted from the long day we'd had and I reached for her elbow to lead her towards her room.
"It's been a long day, I'm sure you are ready to lay down. We can talk in there." When she was settled in bed, the air seemed to carry a tension that neither of us could bring ourselves to break for a few moments. Bella spoke.
"Jasper, I want you to feel comfortable. I don't want to feel like I'm pressuring you into anything, but I need more than chaste kisses and hand holding. I have needs and I want you to be there for me." Bella spoke with a quiet confidence and I could see how much she had grown in the time we had been gone. She had found her voice and wasn't afraid to ask for the things she wanted.
"Would you be alright with stuff similar to what we did the last week? I can bring you pleasure without actual intercourse." I spoke stiffly; talking about sex wasn't something I looked forward to. My upbringing hadn't prepared me for it.
"I would be fine with that. Although I want you to know that I'm ready whenever you are." She looked into my eyes for a moment before bringing the cup to her lips and taking a small sip. "This is really good. I still can't believe how awesome all of my gifts were. I've had an amazing weekend. I really can't imagine what I've done to deserve such an amazing guy." She looked up and smiled.
"Stop you're going to give me a big head." I laughed at the face she made.
"It's true. You don't know how hard the past couple of months have been. Then I come back home and in less than 2 weeks I'm happier than I've ever been. It's just shocking to say the least. I'm so lucky to have all of you back in my life. Oh, you want to know what Emmett's gift is?" Her smile grew as she finished speaking.
"That was quite the transition."
"Consider it mild ADD; my brain seems to be jumping through topics at a mile a minute. I have so many things I'm looking forward to that I'm having a hard time keeping them all straight." Bella spoke excitedly and reached out to take my hand.
"So what is this gift?" I finally asked.
"I'm going to take him to the monster truck rally. I know there are a couple that come through right after school starts so I'm going to buy tickets. You think he will like that?" She seemed to genuinely want my opinion and I was happy to give it.
"I think that is one of the best gifts you could give him. Emmett loves monster trucks, and he will have a blast hanging out with you." I could feel how good hearing my words made Bella feel.
"That's awesome. I figured it would be something he would enjoy. You know what I would enjoy though?" She quirked an eyebrow at me and grinned.
"No, what would you enjoy?" I asked with a bit of smile.
"I would kill for a shoulder rub right now. My neck and shoulders feel like they've got knots in them." She looked at me with puppy dog eyes and even batted her lashes a bit for extra measure.
"Are you really trying to flirt with me to get a massage?" I asked.
"Is it working?"
Yeah, I guess it is, but you didn't have to. All you had to do was ask." I moved to the bed and pushed her forward until I could move my legs to either side of her. Once I was sitting behind her I moved her hair out of the way.
I leaned in close to her and set my hands softly on her shoulders. I used the technique I had learned in school to work my thumbs into her muscles, and she moaned appreciatively. I used slow, small circles to loosen the muscle around her shoulder blades and her head fell forward without warning. It brought me a great deal of pleasure to see how much she was enjoying the massage.
"Oh, Jasper. That feels amazing." Her voice was raspy and soft.
"Should I have gone into massage?" I teased.
"Hell no, then everyone would know how wonderful your hands are. I want you all to myself. A girl could get used to having her own personal masseuse." She turned to smile at me and then rushed on to continue talking. "That is, if you don't mind giving me massages. I don't want to take advantage of you."
"Trust me when I say that I don't feel taken advantage of. I'm enjoying this just as much as you." I worked my fingers deeper into the now pliant tissue in her neck. "Are you ready for bed?"
"Yeah, I guess it is about that time. I've got school in the morning, and I have to talk to Alice tomorrow night. It's been a long day and I feel exhausted." She leaned her head back against my shoulder and opened her eyes to look up at me.
"How does your neck feel?" My hands moved to cradle her waist and Bella wiggled slightly to get more comfortable. Her warmth seeped into my chest and I smiled as she closed her eyes.
"It feels fantastic, thank you. Can I have a goodnight kiss?" Her words spurred me into action and I closed the slight distance between our lips. Her lips were already slightly parted and I wasted no time sliding my tongue against them.
"I'm telling you a girl could get used to this." She murmured against my lips as she twisted in my arms.
"You'd better get used to this. I don't plan on going anywhere." I moved down the bed until we were lying facing each other. Bella placed her hand on my cheek and spoke quietly.
"Good, because I don't want you going anywhere." Bella found a comfortable position and it didn't take long before her breathing evened and her muscles relaxed in sleep.
I woke feeling calm and peaceful. I knew Jasper was laying beside me and I could feel his eyes on me. I spoke without ever opening my eyes. "I can feel you watching me. It's kind of creepy."
"You think so?" Jasper seemed to think he was so damn clever.
"By the way, I haven't really asked if you have other stuff you'd rather being doing at night. I'm sure it must get boring just laying around watching me sleep. We should probably figure something out later. Want to come over after Alice and I have dinner tonight?" I spoke the words without much thought and realized they must have been on my mind before falling asleep.
"I used to spend my nights reading the same hundred books over and over. I watched movies, and played games with Emmett. There is nothing more important going on between the hours of 9 at night and 6 in the morning. That said, I'd still love to come over after Alice leaves tonight." He leaned closer to capture my lips and I pulled away quickly.
"My breath is rank. There is no way I'm kissing you until I've brushed my teeth. Yet another point in favor of immortality." I pushed myself off the bed and towards the hall.
"Not having to deal with morning breath is a point in favor of immortality? What are some of the cons?" Jasper seemed to think this was hilarious as he struggled to get his question out between giggles.
"There's the whole blood lust thing of course; and a whole bunch of other things. I've got a spreadsheet on my laptop." I reached the bathroom as I was finishing my reply.
"Are you joking? You really have a list of pros and cons for becoming one of us?" Jasper asked incredulously.
"Mmm hmm." I hummed an answer as I brushed my teeth. Jasper found me in the bathroom and leaned against the door jamb looking at me with something I couldn't quite place. I looked back at him and raised my eyebrows. "What?" I spit quickly and rinsed my mouth.
"How long have you had this list?" Jasper asked quietly.
"Jazz, I've got to pee. I'll be in the living room in just a second." I smiled as I pushed the door shut. My thoughts raced as I realized the can of worms I had just opened. Might as well get this over as quickly as possible. I finished my morning ritual quickly and walked slowly into the living room to find Jasper sitting on the couch, waiting.
"So." I stood there self-consciously
"So, how long have you had a list of pros and cons? It's not a hard question, and it's not a trick question." Jasper beckoned me. I crossed the room and sat further down the couch than normal.
"Since I found out the family was back in town." I tried to disappear into the couch.
"Before we had even seen each other again?" He seemed genuinely confused by my answer.
"I had a lot of unanswered questions and I wanted to be better prepared this time, just in case the oppourtunity arose. I had this gut feeling that I couldn't lose you all again. If I'm being completely honest I've had a list in my mind since you all left last time." My answer was slow and I looked up, from the thread I was messing with, to gauge his expression.
"Did you think I would be upset? Bella, I'm glad you are thinking about a future with me. I'm glad that you love the entire family. That means more to me than you can understand. Tonight I'd like to talk to you about my past. We don't have time this morning, but I'm ready to tell you about my demons." His eyes were sad but seemed to be filled with determination.
"Thank you for trusting me enough to share with me Jasper. I look forward to tonight. I need to get ready for work and I'm sure you do too. See you tonight?"
"Absolutely. Have a good day." He stood and pulled me to him abruptly. "I'm not leaving without my morning kiss though."
"I guess…." I trailed off as he pushed his lips to mine and my words died on my lips. The kiss was short and sweet and I regretted the loss of contact as Jasper pulled away to leave. We shared another kiss and he was gone to get ready for his day and I began preparing for my own.