I waited until Edward had slipped into the kitchen with Carlisle to do the dishes before I let my guard down. My cheeks ached from the smile I had kept plastered on for his sake. Esme, my fiance's mother, patted me on the thigh and smiled.
"Care to tell me what's on your mind, Jazz?"
The sigh that left my chest belonged to a defeated man. "Esme, we both want to be parents so badly, Edward especially. We're not having any luck with the adoption agencies."
Our most recent visit had us treated very rudely by the staff, and while they could not directly discriminate against us, the woman we met with made it quite clear that we were not welcome. It would be easier for us to be single and adopt than it was as a gay couple. All we wanted was to share our home, our lives, and our love with a child. We just wanted to be parents.
I continued on as Esme nodded sadly. "The ones that actually do call us back haven't had any mothers interested in adopting to a couple like us. We want to have an open adoption so that our son or daughter can meet the birth parents later on, if so desired. It's just so damn frustrating."
I had to take a breath to calm myself down. My hands were clenching and I felt heat rising in my cheeks. "Esme, I'd give Edward the world if he asked. All he wants is for us to be fathers, to become a family. I want to give him this, to give us this. I get stupidly happy walking by a kids' clothing store in the mall while I'm holding his hand; picturing us with a stroller, and later with a child clinging to each of our hands as we play that 'one, two, three, jump' game. I just can't take watching him cry anymore." As I thought of my loving fiance, sitting at his piano, tears running over his cheeks, I felt my own start spilling down.
Esme reached forward and wiped my tears with the hem of her sleeve. "Oh, Jasper. You'll get to be parents. Nothing is ever easy. Maybe an adoption agency isn't the way you and Edward are meant to find the right baby to be my grandchild. Maybe you should go another path, like with a surrogate."
Esme reached forward and grabbed a slip of paper from the coffee table. As she held it out to me, I smiled at the state of her once immaculately manicured nails. Her nail polish was chipped from a day in the greenhouse; she and Carlisle had gone into a semi-retirement a few years ago and had been living mostly off their savings, his inheritance, and what she makes selling flowers and produce. Carlisle, unable to give up the hospital completely, continued to work one day a week as a consultant in Neurology.
"She's a receptionist in pediatrics. Isabella has been through quite a lot with her father dying last year. I've seen her while I volunteer, and she's finally smiling again."
I tried to picture her but kept failing. It had been months since Edward or I had done a shift as volunteers in the hospital. All our free time had been spent on our endeavors to become parents instead of helping out at the medical center.
"I'll talk to Edward about it tonight. He's barely holding it together right now. He didn't even want me talking about all this with you. But, you're Mom; you've been here for me, for us, for the past ten years. I can't stand having you out of the loop."
Warm arms came around me and the comfort I felt as the only mother I've known held me, made the world melt away for a few minutes. Even after a day of working in the earth, Esme smelled of Elizabeth Taylor's White Diamonds perfume. That scent had become synonymous with home, second only to the combination that made up Edward. While we embraced, our men came back in.
"Dishes are done. We should head for the city if we're going to attend Emmett and Rose's brunch in the morning and not be dead on our feet, Jasper."
Two wet hand prints were visible on the thighs of his jeans, making me smile. He was meticulous about the house and chores, but never his clothes. That task was always on me.
"I guess so. Thanks, Mom," I whispered as I quickly kissed her cheek.
We were only halfway home when he sniffed. Reaching for the radio dial, I let the bass beat wash over me as I organized my thoughts, before turning it down. I knew that once he started talking, it would take a while.
"What's wrong, Edward?" I reached for his hand and found it was wet with tears. "Oh, Sweetie, no; talk to me."
Seeing a parking lot of a closed department store, I pulled in and parked beside one of the security lights. The thump of his head on the window had me unbuckling my seat belt and then reaching for his so I could pull the center of my world over the center console into my lap. My lips sought the furrow between his brows that I knew would be there, and sadly, I was not disappointed in my search.
"Jasper, I've had enough. We've gone to almost every adoption agency in our region. I give up." Edward's green eyes were shimmering with tears that reflected the yellow light. "Maybe we just aren't meant to have a little one of our own."
The pain I felt at so few words, sensing his defeat, went beyond compare. I was going to do whatever it took. "Fuck that, Honey. I promise you, we'll have a child in our arms. I'm not going to give up on us becoming parents." I thought back to the number I'd been given by Esme. Maybe it was time to try a different route.
This is the first chapter in my final FGB auction novella. Many thanks to TwilightDramaTeach for being such a generous (and patient) donor. The remaining chapters will be posted, one weekly, beginning after she's received them all.
I do not own Twilight, nor its characters. No copyright infringement is intended.
That said, please do not copy my stories or story lines. Lost and Found was recently ripped off and it does not make for a very happy author. Just because you change the title, story location, and child's name, and paraphrase my work, it does not make it a new story.