Daddy's Little Nudger

Written as a birthday present for the lovely LilMissGoldenEyes.

Happy 21st, Kris! *hugs*

It was an ordinary morning - the same as any other - though at the same time, it was extraordinary. It was just breaking on dawn; the sounds of birds chirping and calling to one another, announcing the new day, broke the silence of the night, while the sky outside hovered in that kind of glow that was just between darkness and light. The bedroom remained dark, however the increasing illumination of the sun's awakening allowed me to faintly make out the silhouettes of the various items of furniture that filled it, and the steadily breathing form of my heavily pregnant wife, Bella.

Bella's stunning beauty was captivating, even in the darkness, but that wasn't what made the morning extraordinary. No – it was the little being growing inside her gently nudging my hand that had my complete attention.

It was this moment every day that I cherished the most. The alone time I had with my tiny son or daughter while my wife slept made all the trials and tribulations that had led us to this point completely worth it, and any issues that arose during my workday seemed to just brush past me, as they paled in comparison. Six grim years of miscarriages, failed fertility treatments, and dashed hopes of ever starting a family of our own had finally paid off. Our little nudger was my everything; my happiness, my laughter, my reason for walking through the office door with a permanent smile on my face every day. Nudger was my miracle. Our miracle.

My hand rested gently on Bella's extended stomach and - as if sensing my presence, my touch - Nudger soon began to push lightly against it.

"Good morning, Nudger," I whispered softly, a smile already affixed to my features. "Daddy loves you."

A quick triplet of kicks followed my admission, and I took them as an excited, "I love you too," from my little miracle. The excited kicks continued and began to grow stronger, causing Bella to stir. I gently rubbed the taut skin in soothing circles in the hopes of settling Nudger down and prolonging Bella's sleep.

"Shh, little Nudger … you'll wake Mommy. She needs her rest, so you need to behave," I whispered.

The kicking stopped and all was still. I halted my hand's movements and let it rest once more upon Bella's stomach.

"I hope you're this easy to deal with after you're born," I chuckled softly to myself.

I felt another few quick nudges before it stilled again.

I sighed. "I know, little one, I'm excited to meet you too. But that's all up to you now!" I smiled. "You've had your nine months in the warm comfort of Hotel Mommy, it's time to check out. Mommy and I are more than ready to welcome you into Casa de Cullen. You've even got your own bedroom! You've got all kinds of wonderful toys and teddy bears waiting for you …"

Nudger began to kick excitedly again.

"I know!" I laughed. "Mommy and Daddy have been very naughty. You are going to be spoilt rotten, little one. And not just by us, either. You have a very excited Aunt Alice and Grandma Renee waiting for you, not to mention all your cousins and your other aunts, uncles and grandparents! We're all just waiting for you to decide to grace us with your presence."

The nudging returned to a steady, calm pace, causing me to roll my eyes.

"Oh, I see how it is. You know how much we want to meet you, so you're going to keep us waiting. Little tease."

I felt a little 'thump thump' of confirmation against my palm and I grinned. I leaned down and placed a soft kiss atop the skin separating me and Nudger, then whispered, "Just don't keep us waiting too long. We've spent the last six years waiting for you, little one."

The thumping under my hand suddenly turned forceful once more, rousing Bella from her slumber. She stretched her arms above her head as she yawned, before bringing her hands down to rest upon her active stomach.

"See? Now you've woken Mommy," I scolded gently, tapping Bella's stomach lightly. "Good morning, Mommy," I murmured, capturing her lips with my own in a tender kiss.

"Mmm …" she mumbled in response. "What on earth have you been saying to this child this morning, Edward? It feels like Nudger has taken up pre-natal acrobatics …"

I shrugged nonchalantly. "I was just … hinting … that maybe it was time Nudger did some work around here. You know, made an appearance, said hi, checked out all the cool stuff we've bought …" I smirked at Bella as she rolled her eyes.

"Ha, if only. Instead, you've succeeded in convincing Nudger to press right up against the perfect spot on my bladder that makes me feel like I'm going to explode if I don't get to the bathroom in the next thirty seconds," she said, struggling to sit up in bed.

I reached over to help her up, and she was half to her feet when she froze. A deep moan escaped her lips.

"What is it, Love? What's wrong?" I asked, worried. I scrambled across the bed and leaped over the edge to kneel down in front of her.

"I think I spoke too soon," she breathed, her breath coming in shallow pants. "Look."

I followed her gaze down to her feet, where a puddle of liquid had formed. I looked back up at the pained expression on her face. Brushing her hair back out of her eyes, I pressed a quick kiss on her forehead.

"Oh, Bella, it's okay. I can clean it up. Here, I'll help you to the bathroom so you can clean yourself up."

She shook her head quickly and let out another moan.

"I didn't wet myself, Edward. I think your "hinting" worked. My waters broke."

I stared at Bella for a moment, stunned.

"Are you sure?"

She nodded in reply. A huge grin spread across my face.

"I'm going to be a daddy? Today?"

Bella nodded again, squeezing her eyes shut in a grimace as a contraction rippled through her.

"Edward, we need to get to the hospital."

I nodded and helped Bella to her feet. Kneeling quickly before her, I held onto either side of her stomach and pressed a kiss against the bulge.

"I love you, Nudger. You have just made me the happiest man in the world," I whispered excitedly, before rising to my feet to help my wife prepare for what was going to be the happiest, most anticipated day of our lives.