Well, here it is the end of my story. For those of you have read and reviewed, added me to favourites or alerts, etc – thanks so much. I love the fact that people are interested enough to read this story even if it didn't get a whole heap of comments.
Hopefully this last chapter will tie up any loose ends of what happens for everyone. I've loved writing it and hope you enjoy reading. If you have been reading but now reviewing, would love to have your last thoughts on how it all went.
Cheers and again thanks!
The bronze haired man burst through the doors and instantly gained the attention of those around him. Nervous giggles could be heard from the nurses behind the desk and even a few suggestions were made that they were willing to approach him to 'help'. He remained oblivious to their inappropriate whisperings and ran his hand through his hair, messing it up even further. Turning right and left he seemed to work out what his next move should be and headed towards the twittering women in the hope that they could help him with what he actually needed. His white coat gave them the impression that he was something to be noticed in the hospital environment but the truth was they would have noticed him regardless. He was drop dead gorgeous and there was not one of them there who wouldn't do anything possible to make him see them as something special back.
His approach towards the desk was watched carefully and probably not without a few daydreams occurring in the process. If they thought he was good looking before, it was nothing compared to the perfection they witnessed when those emerald eyes pierced theirs as he looked around ready to address one of them. Leila was the one who spoke first and it was with the surprised gasp of someone who had just realized something important.
"Edward Cullen. Oh my god, you're Edward Cullen."
"Um, yes. That's me,"
He was used to the attention even though he was no longer in the direct limelight as he once was. It had been years since he had finished performing in front of his band, 'Cullen Alliance' but he was still recognised quite readily and now was not a time he wanted to deal with that.
"My wife has been brought in to emergency. I need to know where she is," He looked around the large room for the umpteenth time, maybe expecting to see someone he knew and quite disconcerted that no one was there ready for him.
The nurse became quite professional in that moment, searching through a number of folders on the desk, and he sighed in relief. All he could deal with right now was that his wife had been brought into the hospital and he needed to be with her. The prospect of there being something wrong with her made him reel in distress.
"Cullen….Bella. Yes she has been taken up to the maternity suites Dr Cullen. Third floor. Dr Allen is with her now."
His thanks were lost in the flutter of his coat as he sped towards the lifts and ultimately towards his wife on the third floor. He had been at work in the children's hospital across town, and getting here had been an extended affair that he could have done without. Edward felt the adrenaline course through him as he thought of the many scenarios that could be taking place as he waited to get to his wife. Very few times in his life had he felt this nervous and he didn't want to think too deeply about the bad things that had previously happened which had led to such a negative feeling. The lifts opened and he stepped in, impatiently pressing the button with a shaking hand.
On departing the lift, he noticed the people he had been expecting to see downstairs and although they didn't appear to be overtly distressed, they each had their own small mark of worry outlined in their postures. Edward took in his own soothing breath and walked towards them quickly. It had been Emmett who had rung him so he directed his question to him.
"What's happening? Where is she?"
Emmett stood straighter as he addressed the anxious man in front of him. "She's in labour, Edward. Dr Allen is with her. We got her here as quickly as possible, once Claudia rang."
Edward looked at the young girl sitting beside Rosalie and noticed that she was almost curled in on herself. She appeared to have been crying. Edward motioned to her and she was instantly in his arms. He knew he needed to get into Bella but he also recognised that Claudia needed his affirmation that she had done nothing wrong.
"Her waters broke as we were getting back from the shops, Uncle Edward. Maybe I made this happen by asking her to come shopping with me."
Edward put his hand under the chin of his sixteen year old niece and forced her to look at him. "Bella was looking forward to shopping with you Claudia. This has nothing to do with you. I know it's a little bit early but everything is going to be ok." He smiled at her through his own worry and Rosalie looked over the shoulder of her foster daughter and mouthed thanks to him before saying 'go'.
He didn't need to be asked twice. Handing Claudia over to the arms of Emmett he raced towards the door that Rosalie indicated was where Bella was. When he opened the door the first thing he saw was her eyes – those beautiful, chocolate, soul revealing eyes and at the moment they were drawn into a furrow of pain and concern.
"Edward." She breathed, gulping in a huge amount of air as if it was her only way of surviving the pain she was currently feeling. She closed her eyes tightly and Edward was instantly at her side holding her hand. Her eyes opened, searching for his to give her the support she had been waiting for. "It's too early Edward."
Edward knew that it was true; she was early to be starting the labour but he also knew that the pregnancy was more than viable at this stage. He needed to calm her down so that she could endure whatever happened next.
"It's going to be fine Bella. Dr Allen has told us all along that it is possible you will go early because of the twins. Just breath honey. We can get through this together." He reached out and stroked her cheek lovingly. "We always do."
Bella stared at Edward as if searching for the honesty in his proclamation and something she saw in his eyes must have convinced her that he spoke truthfully because she relaxed fractionally and allowed herself to rest against the arm that had now drawn her to him. For a brief time between the pain of contractions they shared a moment of calm as they readied themselves for what was to come.
Edward felt the tension come over Bella as the next wave of pain hit her. He felt useless, knowing that there was nothing he could do to alleviate her pain. It was something that she would have to endure and all he could do was be there for her.
"I love you Bella Cullen," He muttered against their combined clutching hands. "Just a little bit longer and we will have our babies with us. You are strong. You can do this."
Through the sweat and the tears, Bella managed a weak nod because no matter what, she had to believe that she was strong enough to bring these little miracles into the world and Edward's trust that she could do it meant everything to her.
Out in the waiting room Emmett, Rosalie and Claudia were joined by a nervously agitated Alice and an equally calm Jasper who was holding their 21 month old daughter in his arms.
"We got here as soon as we could," declared a bouncing Alice. "Is there any news? Did Edward get here yet? What are the doctors saying? It's normal for twins to come early, right? There really isn't anything to worry about when it comes down to it. Dr Allen is the best there is, according to dad and we all know that dad would never allow Bella to be with someone who couldn't deal with these kinds of situations and he did a wonderful job with me and Georgia so it will all be…"
Jasper placed his free arm around the shoulders of his overly excitable wife. "Steady on darlin. You haven't taken a breath and no one can answer any of the multitude of questions that just came from your mouth." Alice looked at Jasper as if he was mad and he smiled at her in encouragement.
"Ok, ok I know I am a bit over the top but there is so much to worry about and poor Bella must be beside herself and god, imagine what Edward will be like with the thought that something was…."
Jasper squeezed Alice's shoulder and she instantly stopped her next tirade so that she could hear Jasper's soft words. "Dr Allen will be doing everything needed to get Bella and the babies through an early labour. I guarantee that."
"As for your other questions; there is no news yet, Edward got here about an hour ago and is obviously with Bella, I do believe that twins can come early so I am sure it will all turn out in the end and of course Carlisle would not allow Bella to be with someone he didn't trust." Rosalie raised an eyebrow at her almost sister. "And lastly hand me my niece, who by the way I am surprised is here, so that I can get my hug."
Jasper handed Georgia over to Rosalie and the little girl instantly grabbed onto Rosalie's long blonde locks with a huge grin on her face. Undecipherable words came from her mouth as she attempted to speak to her aunty and everyone looked at her with amusement. There was nothing like the innocent sounds of a child to make the situation seem like it would all be alright in the end.
"Mum and dad are on their way and mum offered to take Georgia and Claudia back to our house so that they don't have to stay here while we wait." Alice explained. She smiled at the picture Rosalie made with Georgia in her arms and Claudia oohing and ahhing at her little cousin. Alice prayed that they would all be holding two more little healthy bundles of joy soon with the safe arrival of Bella and Edward's babies. Lord knew that those two did not need any more tragedy in their lives; not after everything they had been through with James and the subsequent court cases and media attention. Years had passed since those hard times and Bella and Edward had made a happy life for themselves; Bella getting a job as a screen writer for a large movie company and Edward going to university to start the long process of becoming a doctor. They had both worked hard to get to the point where they were comfortable that they could bring children into their lifestyles and Alice knew it would break their hearts if anything happened to either of the twins that Bella was carrying.
"Did you ring Bella's parents Emmett?" Jasper questioned.
"Right after I got off the phone from you. Charlie is on his way; he was trying to organise someone to take over his shift. I am guessing it is going to take Renee a lot longer to get here given the distance but as soon as she can, she will be here. I also rang Jacob and Seth and they both want us to keep them updated when we know something. Jacob and Irina are at home in La Push but Seth and Ellie are in Canada visiting her cousin or something."
Alice's phone rang and she looked at the caller ID before answering it.
"Angela. You got my message." Alice listened and responded a few times before hanging up.
"Angela wants us to give her updates as well. She can't leave Oliver and Tahlia and Ben is in some important meetings until later this afternoon. Once he is home for the kids she will head over here."
The four adults, teenager and baby sank into a silent period of waiting, each of them making their own quiet appeals to god to make this all work out for their family. When the waiting room became further occupied it was with their parents and it was a relief for them all that the two people who had brought them up so successfully, as a strong group of individuals, was now with them. Carlisle and Esme were their rocks in so many ways and having them beside them helped them believe that everything would be alright.
Claudia was the first one to Esme's arms and she reveled in her grandmothers loving embrace. Esme pushed Claudia's hair away from her forehead so that she could see into her eyes and noted the concern there.
"Bella and the babies are going to be just fine sweetheart. You did so well, ringing your dad straight away and making sure that Bella got to the hospital quickly. I am sure when this is all over with Bella will be telling you how proud she is of your clear thinking."
"But I shouldn't have made Bella come shopping with me," Claudia's soft voice was all concern.
"Nonsense. This didn't happen because she was shopping Claudia. Nature has its own mysterious ways and obviously her body felt it was time for her babies to make themselves known." Esme looked at her whole family and stated with absolute conviction. "Everything is going to be completely ok. I can feel it. Very soon I will be introduced to my third and fourth grandchildren and I can not wait."
"Esme's right. Bella and our grandkids are going to be just fine." Carlisle agreed with his wife as he held his arms open for Georgia to be passed to him. "How is my beautiful girl today? Ready to meet your new cousins?"
The baby cooed at him and pulled at his nose which elicited a laugh from all those around him. Everyone was still worried but there was a feeling of hope pervading through the room now and when Charlie walked in moments later he was treated to a view of a family who was no longer bogged down with anxiety.
"Am I too late? Has she had the twins yet? Is everything ok?"
Carlisle was about to answer when the delivery room doors opened and a tired but exuberant Edward came trailing out behind two nurses pushing incubation cribs.
"I'm a dad," He exclaimed in awe to the people who were waiting for just such an affirmation. "They're fine but need a little attention so we're heading down to the NICU now for tests." The nurses did not pause long enough for anyone to see much more than the smallness of the little ones in the cribs but Edward's face told them everything they needed to know. He turned back to them as he walked backwards after his babies.
"Oh my god I have a daughter and a son. She did it. Bella is an absolute legend."
And he turned back to the two new loves of his life.
If there was one thing very evident about the brown haired girl who lay contently in the hospital bed, with numerous people surrounding her, it was that she was very much loved; by her doting husband, be her large family, by her loyal friends. Her shining eyes were appraising as they landed on each and every one of the people crowding her room. She returned their love tenfold and now there were two extras to be added to the mix; her babies who were now being cooed over as they were being held by their father and their grandmother. A massive surge of pride and love and relief ran through her as she noted how they had already grown stronger in the few days since their birth. Today was the first time they had been out of the cribs and everyone was in a celebratory mood. The doctors said it was a miracle that they had thrived so quickly and had assured Bella and Edward that they had two strong babies to take home soon. It was only fitting that two such strong people would have strong children to follow in their footsteps. At this moment in time nothing could make Bella Cullen happier than that knowledge. Bella's children were survivors too.
"Look at Mia's hair. It is exactly the same as Edward's." Alice exclaimed in a hushed tone "and Cooper's is the same as Bella's. In the NCIU I didn't notice the difference in colour."
"I hope they get their father's eyes," Bella looked at the darkness of Mia and Cooper's eyes and sighed softly "I love the greenness of his eyes and always imagined our kids with the same eyes."
"Well funnily enough I am kind of partial to their mother's chocolate brown eyes and would prefer them to have those," Edward laughed as he ran his free hand down Bella's arm. She looked up at him and beamed. It didn't really matter one way or another; maybe one child would have brown and the other green. That seemed fair, even though they would have no control over such an outcome.
Esme passed Mia over to Renee gently and the little girl closed her eyes again to sleep contently in her other grandmothers arms. It had been agreed that at this early stage only the grandparents and Bella and Edward would be holding the twins so that they wouldn't be too unsettled after their prolonged time with very little human contact in the incubation cribs. That didn't stop the others from leaning over to watch the little ones make their baby noises and baby movements. Mia and Cooper had no idea yet how their lives were going to be filled with indulgent family members who would offer them all the love in the world but Bella did, and it made her smile even more widely.
"Is everything alright, love," Edward had passed Cooper over to Carlisle and was now sitting at Bella's side drawing her closer to himself.
"More than alright. It's perfect. Look at them Edward; our babies are getting stronger and soon we can take them home. Our family and friends are here with us and they love Mia and Cooper unconditionally. I can't imagine it getting any more perfect."
Emmett interrupted their quiet words as only Emmett could. "Well while we have you all here in the one place, Rosie, Claudia and I have something to tell you all. We were going to tell you this next week when we met up for family lunch but since Bella went and had herself some babies early that will no longer be on, so….." He pulled his two girls towards him; Rosie in one arm and Claudia under the other. Rosalie looked at him lovingly and Claudia's face only showed excitement.
"Rosie and I are going to give Claudia a little brother or sister in approximately six months time." The grin on Emmett's face was a marvel to see. "We're pregnant."
Squeaks could be heard around the room as everyone took in the news and Bella turned to Edward. "Ok so I was wrong. It just got so much more perfect. Come here you two. This is the best news ever. Congratulations." Emmett disentangled himself from Esme's tight hug and made his way over to Bella and Edward. Edward clapped him on the shoulder and Bella embraced him with as much love as she could muster.
"Oh my god Jazz that means I am going to have another niece or nephew to use as a muse for my baby design collection. All these babies are making my head burst with inspiration," Alice was jumping up and down as Jasper laughed at her words. Her design collection had recently branched out from women's clothes to baby wear and she was enjoying the change immensely. Everybody who was anybody was pleading for her to design clothing for their children, just as they had been when she was designing intricate dresses for adults before. Alice's business had taken off and it was only getting bigger and better every day. Jasper was her greatest support, of course. He felt he owed her after all the time she had travelled with him and kept him grounded during their famous years. Now he was a counselor working with kids in need and loving the new direction his life had taken.
"Looks like it honey. Congratulations Emmett and Rose. We've already seen that you make great parents so I know it will be the same for the little one. I guess this means the solo career will be on the backburner for a short period then hey Rose?"
"I think I have had enough now anyway," Rosalie answered and everyone looked at her in surprise. "What, all of you left the fame behind and look how good your lives are turning out. Let's just say I think there are going to be other things for me to concentrate on over the next few years. Claudia will be finishing high school and trying to decide on what university she wants to go to, our baby will need me at home not travelling around the world suiting other people's whims and Emmett wants to do some car tinkering on a more professional basis so….."
"I've always wanted to be a big sister," Claudia let everyone know with pride and quite a few people in that room thought silently about how glad they were that she was so excited about the new member of her family. Claudia's presence in their life was now embedded. She was part of their family; a part of their life and the fact that she was comfortable with Rosalie and Emmett bringing a new dynamic into the situation spoke volumes. She felt part of it all too and she wasn't concerned that a baby would rock the boat for her position in the family. She was embracing it instead.
"And you are going to be the best one ever honey," Rosalie stated encouragingly as she hugged her daughter tenderly. "We couldn't ask for anything more."
Continued congratulations occurred and then Emmett turned to Jacob and Irina with a wicked gleam in his eyes. "So since this is a day of good news is there something that the two of you would like to let us know?"
Jacob glared at Emmett and muttered something under his breath about not accidently telling Emmett anything whilst under the influence of drink.
"Well I didn't really want to step on anyone's toes with the good news proclamations but since you have put us on the spot. Yes there is. I asked Irina to marry me last night and she said yes. We're getting married in August." Jacob looked down at Irina to confirm what he was saying was real and she tilted her head up for a small kiss. They lost themselves in one another for a few seconds before they realized that everyone had started congratulating them too.
"Wow, we are all one big explosion of happiness right now aren't we?" Bella declared with sincere joy. "Another baby to look forward to and another wedding to enjoy. I don't think we've had one since Alice and Jasper's wedding three years ago. This is a long time in coming Jacob. Glad you finally got the guts and sense to make it formal, my friend."
A soft squawk could be heard from baby Mia who was now being held by Charlie and it brought everyone's attention back to the fact that they were in a hospital room and that there were babies needs to be addressed.
"I think it is time we gave mum and dad some alone time with their babies everyone," Esme asserted and everyone showed their agreeance by saying their goodbyes and trailing out of the room one by one. When the final person left and the two new parents were left alone they looked at one another with happiness and a tinge of relief. They loved their family and friends but now was their time and they wanted to enjoy the new feeling of being a family rather than a couple.
"Well that was an eventful day, wasn't it," Edward reached out to affectionately touch the heads of both his children.
"Sure was. Everything is falling into place. Rosalie is finally going to get the one thing she had always wanted more than her singing career – a baby and my best friend is going to marry his soul mate. Best of all our babies are here and we are actually holding them the way I have been dreaming of for so long."
"An ideal day."
"They're beautiful aren't they Edward," Bella's eyes devoured the small bundles that were encompassed within her arms now and watched them with marvel.
"Just like their mother. I never knew it could feel like this; being a dad. So many emotions run through your head; love, protectiveness, awe, the list goes on and on but the absolute best thing Bella is that they are a little piece of you and a little piece of me and as far as I am concerned nothing could be better than that."
"I am in full agreeance Mr Cullen. Nothing is better than the two of us together and they are our proof. I love you for so many reasons Edward but Mia and Cooper…. I will never stop loving you for giving me the gift of them. Thank you so much."
Edward leant down and kissed the tops of each of their heads; Mia's, Cooper's and then Bella's before leaning down further to take Bella's lips in his own.
"Thanks right back at you Bella. I feel like everything is as it should be. We have our kids. We have our careers. Only a few more years and I will be out on my own as a pediatrician and I know that you are going to get the recognition you deserve with your screen plays soon." Edward paused to make sure his wife was looking right at him.
"And most importantly I have you. I will never stop loving you either, Bella Cullen. Although I have to share it a little more now, my heart belongs to you. You're the one that made it bloom."
"Perfect," Bella whispered into the neck of her husband.
"Absolutely perfect," Her husband muttered as he held tightly onto the family he had worked so hard for and he knew that their life ahead would be good because they all deserved it.
There was not a single person they knew who would say differently!