A/N: Story written by Charlotte.
Originally this was meant to be a Christmas one-shot, but it got longer and longer as I was writing it and took longer because I was also writing chapters for Missing Alice… So I've decided to separate this short story into four chapters and an epilogue instead of one huge long one. It's Easier to read then! Good news though, I've written them all and I will update every couple of days.
Boy or Girl? : Christmas is three days away and Bella and Edward still haven't bought any Christmas presents. Their going to Esme and Carlisle's cabin for Christmas break, in Alaska… but there's one problem. Bella's pregnant and her due date is a month away. Will there be an early Christmas surprise?
Sound good? Then read on and please review! I'd love to know what you think, I'm a little nervous with writing this on my own with no help from Carrie-Ann, so I hope you all like it!
Oh and one more thing, I've made some Boy or Girl? graphic art for this story. So if you want to take a look at that, just click on the link provided on our profile along with a few other photos of presents and things to go with the story!
Disclaimer: Copyright of original story & characters Stephenie Meyer.
POVs: Bella and Edward
Christmas, a time of year I dread the most. If there was the one celebration in this world… actually, scratch that. Two celebrations in this world that I wish I could just erase forever, this would be one of them… along with my birthday. I'd be happy to just age, know I've aged on that specific day, September 13th and just carry on with my everyday routines; there was just no need for the theatrics that came along with that day, or this coming holiday… especially with a hyperactive pixie as a sister-in-law, who insists on going over the top and makes it her mission to embarrass me to high heaven. I sighed heavily, alerting my beautiful husband, letting him know that I was awake.
"Morning, love." He pulled my body up his carefully until my head was slightly above his so he could access my neck where he trailed light kisses from my collarbone and up, stopping at my jaw, then repeating the cycle going back down. My whole body felt like it was melting into jelly. I chuckled lightly; I loved how he could take away all my stress with just one simple loving gesture.
"Morning, beautiful." I smiled as I called him that for the second time today, he was truly breathtaking. "What time is it?" I looked over this shoulder at our alarm clock which read 9:00am. I turned my attention back to him, enjoying the way his lips moved swiftly over my skin, leaving a trail of goose bumps.
We've been together for ten years since we were both sixteen years of age and I moved to Forks after my mother's car accident. Her tragic death crushed me completely when she left me at age fifteen, but Charlie's love and affection soon made me feel at home there. I'd forgotten at the time how much I truly missed him after growing up in Phoenix with my mother since they separated when I was three. Forks was never a place I longed to visit, so my dad used the summer holidays as a time for him to get away from the cold and he took me off to various countries, always surprising me each year with a new destination. I had the best times with him growing up; he always made me look forwards to those holidays… and I'm not a girl who likes surprises.
But when my mum died, that all changed… I had no choice but to move to Forks. I was so distraught over what happened that it wasn't something I cared about, I didn't even give it a thought… I just simply knew that that was going to be my new permanent home. It never bothered me though, even when the odd thought slipped threw my numb state of mind that it was going to be cold, as long as I was with my dad I wouldn't have cared if we lived in a cardboard box. With him I was home.
It took me a while to get my life back on track, to finally take in what people where saying around me. I was a walking zombie… that was until I met Edward. I finally looked deep within and found the old Bella, the Bella that was sometimes sarcastic, clumsy and down to earth, all with the help of this fantastic human being currently tangled up with me under our bed sheets.
"What are you thinking about?" His warm breath on my neck sent more goose bumps up my arms as he pulled away to dazzle me with his crooked smile.
"About when I moved to Forks and I met you… I don't think I will ever get used to the fact that your mine." I giggled and he nuzzled his nose into my neck, taking in my scent and humming with pleasure before he pulled away to give me yet another heart stopping smile.
"You are silly sometimes. The way you think of me is just ludicrous." He chuckled to emphasize his point but I saw the sparkle of joy behind his eyes, no matter his statement, he loved the compliments. He hated it though when I said I thought I wasn't good enough for him, that he was meant for someone with much more class, better looks and a lot more grace. He always reminded me that I was everything he ever looked for in a girl, choosing those moments to make me blush scarlet, as he would continue with his compliments until I moaned and had to shut him up with a hard kiss… which I felt coming right now. "I'm the one who should be-" He was cut off as we both stared down at the large bump in-between us. "I swear our little nudger is going to be a football player the way he kicks at you, are you okay? I hope he didn't hurt you." Worry etched his face and I laughed at his petty worries.
We had taken to calling our baby, our little nudger. We didn't want to know if it was a boy or a girl, but Edward had convinced himself it was a boy. Again, to say I was a girl who hated, loathed and despised surprises, this was one surprise I was excited about. I was currently eight months pregnant and ready to pop sometime after new years… I had one more month left of waiting, just one month and our little nudger would be born to this world…
Either, our charming little prince, Edward Junior Carlisle Charlie Cullen or our beautiful princess, Elizabeth Isabella Esme Renee Cullen… I know, there a mouthful… but we couldn't decide who's names to pick for the middle names, so we decided to just add them all in; which caused a divide in the family. Edward, Carlisle and Charlie were rooting for a boy, while me and Esme were praying for a girl. If we were to cave in to the rest, Rosalie, Alice, Jasper and Emmett would have their names in too, but the names are long enough as it is…
Many nights we had spent coming up with first names, Edward argued about Edward Junior, insisting it wasn't fair that he had credit in our little nudgers name if it was a boy and I had nothing in the title if it was a girl… truth be told, I was never a huge fan of my name. Isabella annoyed me to no end and what annoyed me further, was having to remind people to call me Bella. So he put his foot down and told me that I had no choice but to have Isabella in the name, if it was the baby girl I was hoping most for. I wanted to argue but his authority was as major turn on, so I didn't push it further, instead I took advantage of the heat we shared in that moment.
I shook my head and blushed as my thoughts run off course. "You worry too much, you know that?" I didn't give him time to answer as I pressed my lips firmly onto his. Being pregnant was a wonderful experience, but was a major buzz kill when I wanted to kiss Edward. It was awkward and uncomfortable… I couldn't just launch into a kiss like I used to be able to do. I couldn't mould my body against his; feel the electric pull as our skin made contact. No, instead my huge bump had me straining my neck just to give him one simple tender kiss in the morning.
He sensed my mood swing, as my lips became less urgent and my body tensed. "Just one more month to go…" His velvet voice trailed off in a whisper against my lips, his voice melted me once more.
"I can't wait." I whispered back, giving him countless small, chaste kisses.
"Me… neither." He whispered back in-between them, until a painful kick hit my bladder. I pulled apart from him and he chuckled as he watched me sprint from the bed, as graceful as Bella Cullen could be; which nearly had me fall flat on my ass. I was bad with co-ordination and having this huge bump hiding my feet from my view didn't help one bit. "Hurry back, its cold without you." He called as I reached our en-suite bathroom, before I shut the door.
I sat down on the toilet and called back. "Oh shut up you. You don't have a damn wannabe ballerina kicking and thrashing at your bladder." I snapped and I immediately felt bad. "Sorry love." I called and my mood instantly went calmer once I was relieved from the pressure. Another thing I disliked about pregnancy, besides the disappointment that I couldn't kiss my husband properly, was the fact that I went to the toilet about fifty times a day because this little nudger lived up to her name. I flushed the toilet and glanced at my reflection.
My skin was glowing, with what people called the 'pregnancy glow'. Being pregnant made my cheeks slightly fuller, my breasts have gone up two bra sizes and my ass has ballooned. Another bad thing about pregnancy was the weight I had gained, it constantly made me self-conscious. But Edward, being lovable and knowing the right things to say, said it was perfectly naturally and it only added to the attraction he held for me before. There was no denying the sincerity in his words every time I moaned and ranted at him. The first time this happened, when he threw those compliments my way, I couldn't help but let him squirm a little at his words. I suddenly giggled at the memory…
"Look at this." I grabbed as my ass as I stared in the mirror. "And this…" I continued to grab the places where the weight gain had hit me the most. "I look like a giant balloon!" I continued to moan as I circled in front of the mirror, my eyes growing wider as I took in my new body… it wasn't so bad, in fact I always hated how thin I was before, I always wanted to put a bit of weight on my bones. My mother always tried to pack food down my throat, saying she didn't think I was being healthy enough… but I was healthy! I even ate junk food as my guilty pleasure everyday, snacking on a chocolate bar and other crap; I just couldn't for the life of me put on weight.
"You look fine; stop stressing yourself out, it's not good for the baby you know." He pointed out while standing behind me and giving me glares that told me he thought I was completely crazy with my judgments.
"How can you find me attractive? I look hideous!" I moaned as I turned to face him, my huge stomach sticking out a mile long… I knew I was being silly, I wasn't even that big yet but my hormones were all over the place, it was hard to keep just one emotion under control.
"You." He took a step towards me, lust taking over his gaze. "Look." He closed the gap, wrapping his arms around my waist. "Incredibly." He brushed his lips against my neck, my breath catching in my throat. "Sexy." He whispered below my ear, kissing the spot passionately, sending a chill down my spine. "In fact…" He pulled away, running his hands down my hips and wrapping them around my ass, making my eyes almost pop out of my head. "You've never looked sexier." He whispered in my ear again before pressing his whole body against mine and crashing his lips hard and roughly to mine. While my head swam at his words, boosting my self-esteem, I couldn't resist the opportunity to wind him up and make him squirm. I remembered Rosalie telling me about the time she did this to Emmett; I nearly wet myself laughing and I told myself I'd do this to Edward one day when we were having a baby of our own… Here's my chance.
It took all my willpower to pull away from the kiss and force a fake angry glare his way. I saw the surprise in his eyes and I almost cracked right then, but I fought against my laughter. "What did you say?" I snapped back, my voice harsh; I was impressed with my acting.
"I said… that you have never looked sexier…?" He trailed off making it a question, confusion laced every word as he said them slowly, thinking about them as he said them. I looked down and forced myself to huff at his words, my lips twitching as I looked down. "Bella love, have I said something wrong?" Hurt and shock were obvious in his voice and I almost cracked again.
I looked up at him, throwing him an evil glare as he took his hands off of me and backed away. "Never. Looked. Sexier?" I said between my teeth. "So what… I wasn't as sexy before? Huh, Edward?" I stalked towards him, fighting every step not to laugh uncontrollably.
He backed away, his hands holding up in front of him in a defensive position, as fear prickled his expression. "I didn't… I didn't mean it… that way… Bella… love… please… you know I didn't…" And then I laughed as his legs collided with the edge of the bed and he fell back onto it, his face worried, scared and shocked at my sudden mood swing. I launched myself on top of him, straddling his hips.
"Oh my god." I gasped between my laugher. "You're… face…" I cracked up, no longer able to speak as I gasped for air and when he soon realised I was joking, his face was comical.
"Why did you do that?" He shot back angrily through clenched teeth.
"I couldn't resist." I wrapped my arms wound his neck and sighed as my laughter eased away. "I'm sorry." I chuckled and I could feel a new round of laughter building up as I remembered his expression. "But that was the funniest thing ever!" Just as I predicted, I rolled off of him and grabbed my sides in pain as my laughter took a new level. After seeing my new lighter mood he joined in and started to tickle me.
"Think it's funny, huh?" He laughed along as I thrashed under his body… and then the baby kicked for the first time, stopping me from laughing and bringing shock back to his face. "Was that… did that… did the baby just kick?" He finally stuttered out, his mouth wide open as I nodded my head, my hand automatically grabbed my bump in the spot were it move. "Oh my god." He breathed out, moving his head to my stomach. As soon as his cheek pressed against me, I felt a kick again, right in his face.
"Wow, that's a weird feeling." I finally found my voice.
"It doesn't hurt does it?" He sounded worried and I shook my head, hoping our baby would do it again. And as Edward placed his hands on my stomach, the baby kicked again. "I think the baby hates me…" He sounded really hurt and I thought quickly to bring back the happy mood.
"The baby loves you, silly. I bet it's because he or she can feel your presence…" My words cheered him up as he looked at it from my perspective and as he pressed against me for the third time, I felt the baby move again.
"Our little nudger." He sighed and kissed my stomach, over and over again, all around my bump. "I love you little nudger… I can't wait to meet you." Tears welled in my eyes at his words and he looked up at me. "I love you."
"I love you, too." I looked away and down at my bump. "I love you, both." I brought my bottom lip into my mouth and smile at my little family.
That was one of my favourite memories. I sighed as I pressed my hands against my bump. "Are you coming back to bed or what?" His impatient tone sent butterflies fluttering in my stomach.
"Yeah." I called back. I washed my hands before going back to the bedroom; he was lying on his side facing me, his hand cupping his head as he stared at me with an expression which I couldn't quite place… "What?" I asked suspiciously.
"I'm finding it very hard not to pin you down and-" He was cut off by his damn beeper. We both sighed frustratingly, knowing what it meant.
"Edward… you do realise what day it is don't you?" He looked up at me, apology written all over his face as he moved the covers off of him, but I wasn't ending it there. "Edward, I mean it!" He kept moving to shuffle off the bed. I waddled my way over and crawled up to him, trapping his gaze with mine. "Edward… its three days until Christmas. THREE DAYS!" I exaggerated.
"I know… I know…" He trailed off, rubbing a hand over his face.
"We haven't bought any of the presents, for anyone!" This was partly true, we'd bought and already given a present to Rose and Emmett's kids but that was only one present out of the whole family. We had left everything until the last minute, we knew this was dangerous, we knew this would come to bite us both in the ass… but our lives have been so hectic these past few months; that we had completely forgotten about shopping. He was always called away at the hospital, he was one of the best along with Carlisle and he was very much needed there. I was busy being pregnant while trying to work from home. I worked for a book publishing company in Seattle where Edward and I, along with Esme, Carlisle, Rosalie, Emmett, Alice and Jasper currently live. My dad chose to stay in Forks, his job and his life is there, but the rest of us decided one by one to move to Seattle.
Emmett, Rosalie and Jasper moved there first, being the older three they went to university before Edward, Alice and I. Jasper studied history and is now teaching at a school near where Alice and he live… it killed her to be away from him for a whole year while she finished her high school years at Forks, but they were so strong they managed to survive the ache of a long distance relationship. After Emmett and Rosalie both came away from university, as the best new mechanics in Seattle, they opened up a garage with help from Carlisle and Esme, which is now known as the Cullen and Hale garage.
As soon as me, Alice and Edward were of age, we decided to go to university in Seattle too. Esme and Carlisle choose to move with us as they didn't want to be away from their children and they knew we would end up staying there. Alice studied fashion and now owns her own shop, which is filled with her own designs. Her shop is truly amazing and the best part is that I don't have to buy a single item of clothing; she passes them all onto me for free… it got better than that. When Rosalie first fell pregnant, Alice designed a whole range of maternity clothes wear for pregnant women, so I got all my free clothes whilst being pregnant too, that girl is a life saver.
I studied English whilst Edward had the long tiring course of studying to be a doctor… As soon as we both turned twenty, we knew we would be spending the rest of our lives together, so we bought our first house together, again with help from both our parents and side jobs whilst still studying. We're still living in it now, its cosy and perfect and the best family home. I never want to move from this place.
I took maternity leave at the beginning of December; my boss insisted that I finally took my leave as soon as it struck December 1st… Even though I had been working at home for a few months previous to that, I was thankful to not have to stress over my job and deadlines, it was nice to finally just concentrate on being pregnant. That didn't stop the fact that we still continued to leave buying presents until the last minute, we had seriously screwed ourselves over. Big time.
"You can't go in. You just can't, Edward." I whined at him, my panic setting in.
"I know." He growled into his hands. "I'm going to have to go in and have a word with my dad. I think he's working today and he should be able to get me the day off earlier for the holidays…" His face frowned as he trailed off. "I've just been so exhausted with the long hours that I forgot to ask him earlier this week; now Thomson's paged me saying that they need me in. Oh Bells." He brought me closer. "I'm sorry, that was thoughtless of me… This is going to be hard, especially if my dad's not in. I wonder if I could get Jake or Seth to cover for me." He was mumbling to himself now as he hugged my bump; resting his head on the top. I wove my fingers in his bronze hair, pulling lightly and scratching his scalp the way he loves it.
"You're not thoughtless, never think that. You've been stressed, it's understandable." I soothed him.
"You're too good to me." He pulled away and I instantly missed the contact, as did he by his expression and grumble. "How are you feeling today, anyway?" He cupped my cheek and he pulled his doctor tone on me.
"I'm a little uncomfortable today, not worse than yesterday… about the same. So I know I won't be so bad later on, I will be able to handle walking around for the day as long as we make some stops at coffee shops and the ladies room." I giggled; my bladder and our little nudger were both uncontrollable. Resting was vital as the heavy weight of my stomach hurt my ankles and quick rests made it easier to walk around longer. "The flushes haven't started yet, but I just don't have time to worry about that, we need to-" He cut me off with his hand.
"You don't need to do anything." He growled, I could tell he was in a sour mood.
I moved his hand from my mouth. "Yes, I do… were not going to your parent's cabin with no presents, that's just plain embarrassing." This is what I hated about Christmas. Presents… ugh, I even hated the word. I hated the fact that you had to buy the presents, which meant shopping and stress and boredom and thought and more stress when you buy the damn thing, to think, wait, do they actually want this? Do they need this? Will they like this? Then when you settle around that damn, taunting tree – which screams what day it is – with your family, to pass the presents around, then there's worry over what you bought them again and if their going to like it and you know that's what everyone else is thinking. So now you have eyes on you, watching your every move and expression, as you rip open your presents… it's just an awful experience and I want this holiday banned forever, along with birthdays. There's just no need for the embarrassment and attention.
Edward could read me like a book. "Stop over thinking it… if they don't like what we get them, then you know what?" He caught my attention. "Fuck 'em." I giggled at his sour mood, he never swore unless he was pissed off.
"Go to work… walk out if you have to, we need to go shopping. Today." I spoke the last word slowly, making sure it sunk in.
"Oh I will. We have seriously screwed up on this one, huh?" His mood hadn't improved, if there was one thing we had the most in common, it was our passion for shopping, we both loathed the experience… this was going to be a shopping day from hell. We hadn't even discussed what we were going to get everyone. I moaned loudly as he left the bed.
"I hate this time of year." I groaned.
"Me too… well, the buying presents part anyway." He walked to his dresser and pulled off his boxers, pulling on some fresh ones. "I can't believe I have to go in." He mumbled to himself and I had to chuckle at his mood swing.
"You know… the way you change moods so suddenly, people will start to question why your not the one carrying the baby. If anyone suffers from mood swings between us two, it's you." I knew it wasn't a good idea to push his mood, but I couldn't resist.
"Ha. Ha." He said, sarcasm lacing his tone. He pulled on some socks and a pair of black trousers and then moved to his wardrobe where he pulled out a fresh blue shirt and quickly put it on and walked over to me with a navy blue tie in his hand. I practically gaped, open mouthed at his abs as he walked up to me… nope, I'll never get used to his beauty. I crawled to the end of the bed and sat up on my knees, I reached out for him and then I pulled him as close and my bump would allow. I ran my hand up his chest causing him to moan and soften at my touch. I kissed his pecks, leaving a trail down his stomach and then back up; his eyes were full of lust, lost in the moment of passion. "You shouldn't do that to me, not now…" He growled again, but it wasn't a moody growl, it was a growl that said, I-want-you-right-now.
I giggled and started to button up his shirt as he tried to protest. "You need to get to work, the quicker you get there, the quicker you get back, the quicker we get shopping over with, the more time we have here…" I trailed off suggestively, quirking an eyebrow and giving him my best, sexy smirk.
"You're going to be the death of me." His tone was playful; I had done my job in making him happier. When I finished buttoning him up, I tied his tie for him and then he eagerly placed a tender, soft kiss on my lips before he was forced to part with a groan. He kissed my bump and whispered a "goodbye" before walking out of the room. "Hurry back." I called when he disappeared through the doorway.
"Promise." I heard him call. "I love you!"
"Love you too!" When I heard the front door shut, I sighed and sunk back, resting my hands on my bump. "One more month little nudger." I smiled happily as I felt the baby kick as a response. "Yep, four more weeks…" I moved back to the top of the bed and pulled the sheets back over me. I pulled out a pad from my bedside table drawer and a pen… "Hmm, now to make a list." I brought the pen to my mouth and bit the end, chewing it in thought. I knew this was going to be useless; I was never going to think of stuff on my own.
"Goodbye, baby boy." I whispered quietly, hoping she didn't catch the last part. I have been waiting for my boy to be born, for what feels like an eternity. I am so damn excited to become a father, the suspense is truly killing me! When I found out that my Bella was pregnant, I had made sure she got the best doctor on the job (Jacob Black) to take care of her check up appointments, as I wasn't allowed to fulfil that duty myself, to my annoyance. I was there every time though, and as the weeks grew on and the time came when Jacob asked if we wanted to know the sex, we both refused to know and I've stayed true to my word…
But what Bella doesn't know is that my father and mother, along with my annoying brother Emmett and his wife Rosalie and my tiny pixie sister Alice and her husband Jasper, all know. Yep, that's the killer part. So many times I've bumped into my father at the hospital, he would beam with pride and it would be on the tip of my tongue to ask, is it going to be a boy? But I stayed quite, I couldn't do that to Bella, it was hard enough keeping the secret that they all knew… Even Charlie knew after big mouth Emmett called him. It was horrible watching them all pretend that they either were praying for a boy or praying for a girl when they all knew what the little nudger was but they were good at hiding it… I still had no clue if it was a boy or girl and thankfully, neither did Bella.
I knew it was wrong to get my hopes up, but either way I would be thrilled if it was a boy or a girl. If it did turn out to be the girl Bella was praying for, I would treat that baby girl like the princess she would be born as. I would be more than happy to have two women in my life that I could adore and cherish and love so deeply that I would literally die for them. But that goes without saying even now, Bella is everything to me, I couldn't imagine my life without her.
"Hurry back." She called and my heart swelled.
"Promise. I love you!" I called as I descended the stairs, heading out into the chilly air of December.
"I love you too!" I waited until she called back before I shut the door and locked up behind me. Snow was everywhere, which only worried me more. We had been so careless this Christmas leaving shopping until the very last minute. I groaned at the thought of having to ask my father to give me the day off early. I didn't know what it was going to be like today at the hospital, Christmas was a time full of joy and happiness, but also a time for accidents and trips to the emergency room. This was the only time of year that I hated working at the hospital… I've been so happy caught up in my life at the moment with Bella and our little nudger, that when a patient is wheeled in, that is in a life critical condition, it really puts a downer on my day when I have to tell their family that they either might not make it thru the night or they have already lost their loved one.
The snow and fresh ice crunched underneath my feet, I didn't like the idea of bringing Bella shopping in this. She was uncomfortable as it is without having to watch her step, which she was struggling to see at the moment because of her bump. I sighed again; I'll probably have to bring home a wheelchair, not like she would even take the option, not tough as nails Bella. Stubborn Bella… she always made things more difficult for herself. I walked up to my silver Volvo, snow covering her up and making me slightly angry. I loved this car, she was the first love of my life, until I met Bella that is. I've had her just over ten years now and she still runs smooth, I tapped the hood when I finally reached her. "Hey girl." I chuckled at myself.
I opened the back door bringing out a bag of salt for the path. I didn't want Bella tripping up when she came out here, I knew the streets in Seattle town would be clear for her to walk on, but out here it was thick with ice. Worry etched my face again, what were we thinking leaving this until the last minute? I sighed as I walked back up the path and sprinkled salt generously down it making sure I didn't miss one bit for her to catch her feet on. She was clumsy as it is, she didn't need ice to add to that. I laughed lightly and finished with the task at hand.
I climbed into my car once I was done, leaving the bag of sand next to the bin at the end of our pathway. I slammed the door shut causing shattering snow to fall to the ground in a heap, I shivered at the cold. I checked my beeper one more time. Edward it's Thomson, you're needed in.I sighed and threw it down on the empty seat next to me; I gripped the steering wheel and took in a few deep breaths… I just couldn't see how I was going to get out of this. I looked up at our bedroom window, through my now clear window. "Fuck, Edward!" I cursed loudly, growling as I did so. Shit, shit, shit!!! This was just not good, what the hell am I supposed to do? It's not like my job is working at a clothing store or a book store… no, my job involves saving lives, if they need me to stay, there was nothing at all I could do.
I had a strong feeling my father wouldn't be in today, which would make my life complete hell and it would just be my bad luck. I had a stronger feeling that this day was going to be stressful and I was going to be doing some major grovelling if he wasn't in. I remembered Bella's words: "Go to work… walk out if you have to, we need to go shopping. Today." I knew we had to, I really didn't want to turn up to my parents cabin tomorrow night with no presents to share… the embarrassment of that thought was just unbearable to think of. It was a no, no. Presents were essential and they were getting bought. Today.
We were setting off in the early hours of tomorrow morning, heading over to Alaska where my parents beautiful log cabin stood proud in knee deep snow. I was worried about the trip, what with Bella only a month away from giving birth and I was dreading the possibility of early labour, especially with it being so cold over there and snowy this time of year… but my parents really wanted us all to be there as a family, even Charlie is flying up with us. When my mother asked us the first time I'd turned down the offer because of my worries but then big mouth Emmett phoned to give me an earful. Let's just say it wasn't exactly the best night of my life.
"That feels good." She sighed as I rubbed her feet.
"How are you feeling?" I ask her this about fifty times a day, I knew she hated it, but I was genuinely concerned and I wanted everything to be as comfortable as possible for her. The idea of Bella suffering pained me to no end…
"Comfortable, the same as the last time you asked me… five minutes ago." She chuckled. "You honestly worry too much about me." She sighed but there was no mistaking the love and adoration in her eyes. I still don't understand how she can look at me that way… I was the lucky one! Yet she looked at me like she had just won the lottery.
"It's because I love you." I winked at her and she blushed.
The phoned shrilled near her ear and she picked it up after two rings. "Hello?" She answered while smiling at me, resting her head on the back of the couch. She was stroking her bump unconsciously as she studied her feet which were propped up on my legs where I was massaging them. "Hey Em." Emmett? What's he phoning for, I waited and stopped rubbing, expecting him to ask for me, but when Bella looked into my eyes I knew it wasn't. "I haven't heard anything about that." A frown slowly started to appear on her face. "What?" The frown turning even deeper, I wanted to rub the frown marks away, it didn't suit her. "Why did he say that?" She moved her feet from my lap and turned so she was sitting up. "Well I'm going to phone Esme and tell her otherwise." Emmett! I growled in my head. He would land me in it deep… I was going to tell her about the trip to Alaska for the holidays, but I was too anxious about the idea with her being pregnant and due soon. She still kept her eyes locked on me, she was angry now. "Yeah, I'll talk to you later… I'll try not to." She said through gritted teeth. I gulped quite loudly and prepared for the worst.
When she put the phone down I didn't give her chance to speak. "Bella I was going to tell you." It all came out too quick, I wasn't sure she understood me.
"Worried over the baby, Edward?" She threw a pillow at me. "I'm due after new years, not Christmas! Why the hell did you turn your parents down?" She didn't give me chance to answer. "Do you even know how upset your mother is?" I didn't want to think about that… just the idea of her being hurt pained me, but knowing I caused her to be upset made me feel like a criminal. "Well she's pretty upset, she really wanted the whole family to be together in Alaska; her and Carlisle booked their tickets months ago and as part of their Christmas present to all of us they bought us tickets to go up there for three days with them." She sighed and threw me a glare. "How could you turn her down like that? It's just utterly ridiculous the way you worry over the stupidest things-" I cut her off.
"What if the baby comes while we're there?" I asked her, my anger getting the better of me now. I hated to feel guilty when my reason for turning them down in the first place was over her and the baby!
"I'm sorry… are you really that thick?" She asked in a mocking tone.
"Excuse me?" Anger bubbled up inside of me, I was trying to keep it under control; I didn't want to be angry with Bella. I knew her hormones were making her anger worse and her irrational behaviour to spiral like this… but still; there's only so much a man can take!
"What the hell have you been studying to be nearly all your life? What the hell are you currently doing right now as a job? Because I'm pretty sure you're not a hairdresser, unless your whole life has been one big fucking secret!" She was turning red in the face now; she stood up and started pacing around the room. It finally clicked what she was saying… she thought that I could deliver the baby?
"Are you insane?!" I shouted.
"No I'm not." She said again through gritted teeth.
"I know that me and my father are doctors, but think about what you are talking about! Do you even know the complications of what could happen if we can't get you to a hospital in time? Sure we are doctors and my father has delivered baby's before, but there's more to it than that, you need more than just a pair of hands and someone to tell you to push!" My voice raised with each word until I was shouting.
She looked at me for a very long time, her body heaving in her anger. "It is not going to be born while we are there; I am due a month after Christmas." Hello, I'd like you to meet stubborn Bella.
"Why take the risk?" I asked her more calmly now.
"Because this is a time for family's to get together, our last Christmas together before our baby is born… I want it to be special before we welcome him or her into the world. I don't want to be stuck at home, while the rest of our family is in Alaska away from us!" She was still angry and I kind of understood her point. I didn't want to be away from them either… it's not like I could ask them all to not go, just to stay here with us. The tickets had been bought and it would be selfish to ask.
"But… what if the baby comes?" I sighed asking again, my voice low and it sounded like I had been defeated, which I truly felt.
She walked over to me and sat on the couch next to me. She placed her hands on my cheeks and kissed me softly before pulling back. "Its not-" going to come; that just wasn't good enough…
"But what if it does!" I repeated a third time, cutting her off. She sighed, shaking her head.
"It might, it might not… I have complete faith that you and Carlisle could deliver the baby if it does happen to make an early appearance." I shook my head protesting. "We can tell Carlisle our worries, I'm sure you could work something out just in case that happens…" And that's when I caved.
"Ring my mother and tell her the news, then pass the phone to me so I can talk to my father. Your right… I don't want to be away from them either, and if the baby comes, were going to be prepared. I'm not happy about this." I saw her face light up with excitement.
"Then make yourself happy. We're not going if you start getting all grumpy and nervous." She raised an eyebrow and I had to chuckle at her. "I love you." She whispered before she kissed me again.
"I love you too." She really is going to be the death of me one day… I don't think there's anything I wouldn't do for her.
My father was fully prepared… he knew it would be highly unlikely that we would make it to a hospital in time if the baby did decide to come early, we knew what the weather was like in the area where their cabin was, and the hospital is miles away. He understood my stress over the idea and was quite worried himself, but he's going prepared because if the baby does come, the chances of him delivering the baby are pretty high. It was risky, really, really risky, there was a chance that something horrible could happen to the baby or Bella during the birth, especially if it does come while were there it would be premature… but I couldn't think negative, I had to think positive and that the baby wasn't going to come and nothing bad will happen. Easier said that done.
I glanced once more at our bedroom window before I started the engine and waited for the car to heat up a little. I climbed out and scraped snow off each window and when I was done I was ready to face the gruelling mission of getting time off work… Oh the joy. I turned on some music to ease away some of the stress I was feeling and let holiday songs fill the car as I set off, singing along to Jingle Bell Rock. If the boys at work saw this I would never live it down. I laughed freely and sang loudly.
I was tensed up, my shoulders slightly hunching over the steering wheel and my back straight as I pulled up in the car park. I turned off Bella's favourite Christmas song, All I Want For Christmas Is You and let out a breath I hadn't known I was holding. I was slightly shaking as I searched the lot for any sign of my father's car, but it was useless, there was just too many. I groaned, "Just get it over with Edward." I turned off the engine and I felt my face scrunch up in my bad mood, like a child who had had candy taken away from them. In my case, I was torn away from my beautiful wife on a morning where I was just wanted to cuddle up to her and take care of her and our little nudger. But nothing is ever as simple as that, especially if you forget to ask for the time off. What an idiot I am! Well this will teach me…
I stepped out into the chilly air and caught my foot on some ice causing me to nearly fall flat on my back side. I grabbed for the door of my car and saved myself from a lot of pain. I cursed out loud and heard someone laugh behind me. "Watch your step Eddie." Jacob.
I turned around and smiled at him, his laugh infectious as I joined in. "Damn ice." I rolled my eyes and locked the car door. "How come you're in today?" I asked as he joined me, walking in the direction of the front doors.
"I'm not supposed to be, but I got a beep from Thomson." He turned his gaze to me with a puzzled look. "I thought you were off today too?"
"I forgot to book the time off…" I trailed off and he could I tell I was pissed as he didn't press the matter and call me an idiot. I felt it, no need to rub it in. Jacob was a close family friend to all of us. I'd known him most of my life and with Bella and Jacobs fathers being best mates they grew close too… They came close to dating too until I finally made a move while Jacob sat back and watched us. He's a good friend and he knew I was madly in love with her from the moment my eyes laid upon her, but there was a time where Jacob and Bella had a shared a kiss, it's still hard to think about it.
"I wonder what he wants us in for." I was starting to wonder the same thing, if Jacob wasn't meant to be in but was called in, maybe it was an emergency? I gulped and hoped to high heaven it wasn't.
"You would think they would lay back on the decorations. This place doesn't exactly scream 'Come on in and have a jolly, Merry Christmas. Ho, ho, ho'." I laughed at this sarcastic Santa voice. My eyes caught the huge Christmas tree by the entrance, not like you could miss it. It was real and towered next to the doorway. Lights, baubles, the works decorated it nicely, from purples, to blues, to greens...
"I know. I think it's mainly for our benefit though. It's not exactly my favourite time of year working here. I suppose it makes it slightly more comfortable and welcoming, even slightly happier…" He hummed in agreement with me and we walked the rest of the distance in a comfortable silence.
As soon as you walk through the door, the smell hits you. It's not a smell that is quick to get used to, in fact I was still getting used to the disinfectant smell. It smells overly clean and it was, this was to reduce risks of other patients catching other stuff. It was constantly cleaned; everywhere you go you see someone with an instrument trolley pushing along their cleaning materials. As a doctor I knew the chances of you catching something here was pretty slim, as nearly every patient here was being treated for a physical injury, not a common cold or anything like that, but it was still necessary to disinfect every surface and area. Health and Safety.
We made our way towards the lift where Thomson was waiting for us on the forth floor. As we got in the lift, Jacob pressed the button. "So how's Bella today?" He asked casually. I forget to mention he still has a crush on her, it never completely left him and he still secretly lusts after her but sticks by her as a best friend and a brotherly figure whenever she needs him.
"She's doing really well. I can't believe there's only a month left, time flies. I think were both beyond excited now and just anxious to meet our little boy." I smiled. I enjoyed talking about my family. Jacob knows the sex of the baby and he respected mine and Bella's wishes but he had told me a theory on the position of Bella's bump. It was a 50/50 chance of being right, an old wives tale known as Carrying high or low, or wide or narrow. If the bump is high and wide, it's supposed to indicate a girl. If the bump is low and narrow, it's supposed to indicate a boy. It wasn't always right, but Bella was carrying low and she was quite narrow. I still wasn't getting my hopes up on a boy, either way I don't care as long as the little nudger is born healthy and has ten fingers and toes.
"Are you still going ahead with this plan to go the cabin?" He knew my worries, he shared these with me; he also didn't believe it was such a good idea. Bella shouldn't really be allowed to fly at 32 weeks pregnant. Normally doctors advise mothers to be to avoid flying after around 28 weeks. But with me being a doctor on board they are allowing it, all she needed was permission from her doctor here which was Jacob and he'd given his consent.
I sighed. "Yes. She's insistent and as stubborn as ever. The worst part is, were heading there sometime tonight in the early hours of tomorrow and we still haven't been Christmas shopping." I moaned at him. "Sorry, I don't mean to drag you into my mood."
"Don't apologize to me; I understand you must be stressed." His forehead creased.
"I'm trying my best to make everything easy on Bella, but with her being so close to her due date and the fact we have today and only today to go shopping, she's flipping out." I groaned and stood up straighter as the lift 'binged' signalling our stop. He was quiet as we walked out of the lift and he remained that way as we walked towards our staff room. "What are you thinking?" I asked him.
"How to make this easier on you two." He smiled and turned his head away from me, deep in thought.
"You don't need to do anything." I said.
"If I can help out, I will." That same smile appeared on his face and I frowned at him. "Cheer up dude, it's Christmas!" He laughed as he opened the door to the staff room and I followed him in.
"Morning." Thomson greeted us. He was what you would call, 'The world's best boss.' He was a good guy and it was rare to see him in a bad mood and I've never once seen him curse out loud or shout at anyone. Which makes it harder to ask for what I'm about to ask him… I didn't like putting him in this position and making everything awkward. This was all my fault and dragging him into this wasn't fair, especially with us being short staffed at this time of year, unlike me, most booked their time off. "I'm glad you two boys are both here, I need a word with you both, together." He came up to me and put his arm around my shoulder, a friendly gesture.
"What's up Big T?" Jacob had a funny sense of humour. Thomson really liked the nickname he had been given by him. Thomson wasn't big; in fact he was rather thin, the reason Jacob called him Big T because he was the boss, the higher staff member on this floor. Thomson was edging towards sixty now, he was a lot older than us and we knew it made him feel young to have a nickname like that.
He chuckled lightly and walked us over to the sofa and two chairs. "Sit down boys." He called everyone boy. I took one of the chairs, while Jacob and Thomson took the sofa, Thomson in the middle so he could talk and see us both. "So I've been told about your situation at home Edward." I raised an eyebrow and he chuckled again. "About Bella… Christmas… Shopping…" He trailed off each word as if it was blatantly obvious what he was getting at. "Your father told me about the time you need off, that's why I've called in my boy Jacob here." He patted him on the shoulder. "Now were short staffed as it is today, we need as much help as we can get here, so if Jacob here is willing to fill in for you, you can go. If not, your father has offered to fill in instead." I opened my mouth to protest but Jacob got in first.
"I'd be happy to." He smiled at me again, that warm friendly smile.
"Jake, you don't need to do that, I-" He cut me off.
"I said if there was anything I could do to help you guys, I'd be willing to do so." I opened my mouth again but he shook his head, whilst holding up his hand. "Look, you guys mean the world to me, you're my best mates and I care for you both. I don't want Bella anymore stressed than she is; it's not good for the baby. I know Carlisle and Esme will be wanting to head off to the cabin before you lot go up and I have no plans for today anyway. Leah won't be home until tonight, she got called in at work too." Leah was Jacobs long time girlfriend, he was actually planning to propose this new years, finally! "I'd just be sat at home, kicking back a few beers while playing on the XBOX, when I'd rather be here saving lives." He finished his speech and I didn't know what to say. "And you don't need to say anything, so get out of here." He laughed and Thomson looked at him full of pride, if I hadn't known them I would have thought they were son and father. I now realised I'd worried about nothing.
"Thank you Jacob, I owe you one." I got up and held out my hand, but he patted it away. He stood up instead and wrapped his arm around me.
"You go have a lovely Christmas before the little nudger is born and your both up all night long." He laughed as he pulled away. "And pass along my love to Bells and the rest of family."
"I will do." I turned to Thomson. "Thank you." I held out my hand and he took it, giving me a firm handshake. "Merry Christmas guys." They both wished it back as I walked out, a new feeling fluttering in stomach. I knew it was because I would get to see my Bella in about twenty minutes. I would make this shopping trip as stress free as I could, we both hated shopping, but it was rare we got to spend this much time together, besides weekends and I was going to enjoy every second of it.
I loved writing this chapter. It makes a huge change from the two stories I've written with Carrie-Ann… and writing pregnant Bella has been so much fun! I hope you liked the little flashbacks from both Bella and Edward's memories, two more next chapter.
So that's chapter one over! Now on to chapter two… Make sure to read and review each chapter please! Time to go shopping…