A/N: This was the second epilogue I wrote for the Fandom Fights the Floods compilation. Thank you everyone who donated! But now, here it is for the rest! Enjoy :)
Story: The Cullen Sutras
Rating: M for lemons/language/birth scene
Chapter 36: Epilogue Two
"Edward?" Bella calls from the kitchen. I'm in the dining room helping set out breakfast—the last of the fall raspberries and some yogurt and granola. Our weekend guests are getting ready to leave, and with Bella so pregnant and nearing her due date, we decided it was better to close the Center until after the baby is born. It'll also give both of us a much needed time to rest and prepare for what Emmett assures me will be the most tiring day of our lives. That is, unless we have another.
Setting down the last few plates, I take the tray and retreat back to see what she needs. She's stretching up on her tippy toes struggling to get something on one of the higher pantry shelves.
"Help," she calls.
"What do you need, sweetheart?"
"That," she says, pointing at a jar of my mother's homemade strawberry-rhubarb preserves. I grab it easily and tease her by holding it over her head.
"Yes! Hey! That's no way to treat your pregnant wife. Gimme!"
I kiss her on the head and hand over the prize—for the past two weeks, she's been living on bread and jam.
She kisses the jar and I laugh.
"You love that jam more than me."
"Yes I do," she says in all seriousness. "This stuff, I need the recipe. It's the food of the gods."
"Well, you'll have to pry it from Esme's cold, dead fingers," I quip. My mother is pretty protective of her "secret" recipes.
Bella laughs and rests against the counter, patting her belly. She's so big she can barely get her arms around her middle. It's crazy—you can actually feel the baby's head, sometimes his—or her—feet as they press against her from the inside. Our baby.
"Well, once her grandson is born, I'll have some leverage for a trade-off. The recipe for visiting rights."
"What a little cutthroat you are," I smile, trapping her between my arms and nuzzling at her neck. She sighs a little and gives me better access, threading her fingers through my hair. I go right for the place under her ear that drives her crazy and she murmurs. Even nine months pregnant, she's so fucking sexy. But I miss being able to get close to her, fully against her without the belly in the way. That's one thing I'm definitely looking forward to.
"Gross. You guys are gross," comes a voice from near the door. I reluctantly release Bella and step away as Alice sweeps into the kitchen, taking the jar from Bella's hands and grabbing a loaf of bread from the counter.
Alice and Jasper moved to Portland the month before, right after their small wedding in New York. Bella and I had gone and, while the trip was a little stressful for me, I'd been glad I did it.
But Alice insisted she come and help during the end of the pregnancy, since she wasn't starting up her new job until the beginning of November. I know Bella is thankful—she loves Alice and misses her. Of course, my mother has also been around, but it's good for her to have her friend here as well.
"Woman," Alice says reprovingly. "Go and sit down. I'll make your toast. How many slices?"
"Um . . . two?" Bella says hesitantly.
"Three. Got it. With butter?"
"Yes please," she murmurs.
"Out of my way, daddy," Alice says. I'm blocking the toaster. "Why don't you go sit with your wife and get out of my hair? You want some toast?"
"Yes please," I reply, echoing Bella. "But just two for me."
"Oh, I'm such a hog." Bella's voice is forlorn. "And don't give me any of that crap about eating for two."
Alice pats Bella's tummy. "Don't worry. I'm making him three."
Later that evening once the last of the guests have gone, Bella's tired early. I decide to retire with her, just wanting to be close. We snuggle under the warm down comforter and I pull her back against me, wrapping my arm around her.
"Ooomf," Bella complains when I attempt to slide my other arm underneath.
"Ugh. I can't wait for this baby to be out of me," she says.
For the past week or so, we've been playing this little game at night. Since it's safe for Bella to deliver at any time, we've been attempting the whole "orgasm to induce labor" thing our doula suggested. It all starts out rather innocently.
"How come?" I whisper in her ear. She smiles devilishly.
"Because . . .I'll get to ride you, baby. Just how you like."
"Hmmmmm . . ." I murmur with a smile. "And how is that?"
"I'll push you down on the bed."
"I'll crawl up your body so I'm straddling you. Umm . . . I'll be naked."
"Of course," I chuckle, "What next?" I press my growing erection against her backside and she moves against me.
"I'll be so wet . . . but I won't fuck you yet. I'll turn around and let you watch me suck your cock."
It's been months since she's done that . . . and the memory of her mouth on me makes me groan.
"Just for a little while. You like watching, don't you?" she purrs. "You like watching me suck you off?"
"Yesssss," I hiss, rubbing against her a little more. But I need more friction. I take her hand in mine and thread my fingers through hers, guiding her down to where I am swollen and needy. She moves her hand against me lightly, teasing me. We're not done yet.
"Well, I'll suck you really good, baby. I'll use my hands too, just like this," she says, moving her hand more forcefully. I groan into her neck when she rubs the head with the palm of her hand. God, I'd give anything to fuck her right now, but I don't want to hurt her, even if everyone says it's okay. I'm content with her hands on me.
"And then what?"
"Then, when you're getting close, I'll stop. Because by that time, I'll want you too badly. I'll want you inside."
"Fuck, Bella," I pant.
"I'll show you how wet I am," she says, breathlessly. "I'm so wet right now."
"Let me feel," I ask her. "Please."
It's a little difficult to maneuver, but I come around from behind, feeling her ass before dipping my fingers between her cheeks, urging her to part her legs slightly. It's hard with the belly, but we make it work. I find she's exactly as she said—so fucking wet. I find her swollen clit with my fingers and rub lightly and she gasps.
"Oh, baby," she says, turning her head to me. "Kiss me."
I do, searching my mouth with her tongue as she writhes against my hand. I slip a couple of fingers inside and she moans. Even though she's not touching my dick anymore, I don't care. I just want her to come, but gently.
"More," she gasps.
All dirty talk forgotten, I rip the covers off and travel down the bed between her legs, making quick work of her maternity sweats. She has to remain on her side because of the baby, but I fit my head right in between there, palming my erection before licking her gently. As long as I don't blow any air inside, oral sex is completely safe and, with her legs clamped around me, hot. In both senses of the word.
I lick again, a long, slow movement from the front to the back and she moans, her hands blindly grasping behind her for my cock. It would really like to oblige her.
"Maybe I should switch sides," I murmur. This whole angle isn't really working in my best interest.
"Please, please. Just do it, please."
I switch around until I'm in front of her in a sixty-nine position, both of us now on our sides. Now I can get better access to her, and my dick is about four inches from the Promised Land. I try not to hope too hard as I return my ministrations to her clit, alternating light sucks and licks with the slow movement of my fingers inside of her. I hate that I can't see her face.
All of a sudden, I groan in relief as her wet mouth finds my cock. She doesn't take me in all the way, but that's okay—just the head in her mouth feels so good. She knows exactly how to apply pressure to the underside, how to touch the base and spread the moisture all around to relieve the friction. I resist thrusting and concentrate on her as she opens for me. I love how wet she is, how responsive. She groans again as I suck her clit into my mouth a bit harder now she's less sensitive.
"Soooo fucking gooood," she sighs, releasing me from her mouth. She continues to pump my dick her hand and I allow myself to thrust now. Once and a while she licks me, takes me inside. It feels incredible; I'm nearly there.
"Bella, baby," I pant. "I'm gonna come."
"Yessss," she whispers. "Oh my god. Keep doing that. Right there."
I'm twirling my tongue around her clit, alternating the movement with light taps.
"You like that?"
"Uhhhhh, you think?" she says. What a smartass. I give her bum a playful slap. She picks up her pace, and I'm almost there . . . .
"I love watching you when you're about to come, Edward. I love how hard you get."
Those words push me over the edge. "God, fuck . . . here it is," I warn her. Hot streams erupt somewhere on the bed, on Bella. She moans and continues to milk me 'til the end. But she's not finished yet.
"Please. I need . . ." she pleads. "Keep going."
Coming down off the high of my own orgasm, I return to Bella in earnest. I know just the way to get her there with my fingers, working them quickly inside as I suck her clit relentlessly. She writhes against me, clamping her thighs around my ears and cutting off my hearing. It's kinda funny, kinda hard to breathe, but she's almost there. I feel her muscles start to flutter as she calls my name, her orgasm hitting her with intensity.
Finally, she releases me from her death grip and I flop to my side. For a few minutes, we lay there, head to toe, utterly exhausted. Then Bella gives a little moan.
"Edward?" Her voice holds the edge of concern.
"What is it, sweetheart?" I say, bolting upright. If I hurt her . . .
"I feel something."
"Pressure. In my back. It hurts. I think . . ." she moans again.
"A contraction?" I ask, my forehead furrowed with worry.
"I think so . . . holy shit."
"So this is it?"
"I don't know. It could just be Braxton Hicks."
She had a false labor start last week, but it hadn't lasted long.
"Well, we'll have to time them. Where's the pain?"
"Here," she says, feeling for her lower back. "And here," she rubs the top of her abdomen.
"On a scale of one to ten?"
"I don't know . . . 3?"
"Okay, baby," I say, smoothing down her hair. I grab a couple of tissues from the bedside to clean us up and find her pants, helping her into them. Then I scoot up the bed to hold her and wait.
After about ten minutes, she seizes again in my arms.
"Another one?" I ask.
She nods, her face looking serious. I help her to breath through it, all the while silently panicking. Holy shit. I don't know if I'm ready for this. I have to be ready for this. Stay calm, Bella's counting on you. So is the baby.
We stay in bed, waiting and talking . . . Bella holds my hand tightly, even when the contraction subsides.
About ten minutes later, there's another. We wait a while and she experiences a few more. Yep. These are happening in regular intervals. This must be it. She's only two days away from her due date, and from the look on Bella's face, though they're still relatively mild, this last one was stronger than before.
"Okay, baby. Do you think we should go?"
"I don't know," she says in a small voice.
"Here. I'll call Ann."
I grab Bella's nearby cell phone and dial quickly. Our doula picks up on the second ring. It's still pretty early in the evening. I inform her of the situation and she says we can come in with the birth bag whenever we want, that we can wait a while longer until the contractions are closer together if we'd like. But I want to get over there soon—I don't want anything to happen to her.
"Bella," I say, snapping the phone shut. "Ann says we can come in if you want." She nods, her eyes wide. "Do you want to go?"
"Yes. Edward?" she says. "I'm scared."
"I know, baby. Me too."
"Will it be all right?" I kiss her forehead and hold her tightly.
"Of course it will, of course."
"I love you."
"I love you, so much. And we're gonna have this baby."
"We're gonna have a baby," she repeats, her eyes glistening with tears. I kiss her again and try to hold mine back . . . I'm so overcome with love for her.
"Okay. Let's go."
Forty-five minutes later, Bella and I are settled in our birthing room. Alice had wanted to come along, too, but we'd decided we just want it to be the doula and us.
I put on some music as Bella paces the room. Ann draws a warm bath and pours Bella a glass of red wine, urging her to take a few sips to relax herself. Her contractions are coming more quickly now, at about seven or eight minutes apart, but Ann tells us it's still early and warns us not to try counting them just yet. It's a relief how laid back she is about the whole thing, because even though I'm not showing it, I'm freaking out at this point.
She takes a long, leisurely bath and nothing much changes. I rub her feet and we talk, listening to music during the intervals between contractions. Once in a while, Ann comes in to check on us and smiles, patting me on the shoulder.
"You're doing great," she says. "Both of you."
Another couple of hours later, Bella's water breaks and the contractions begin more strongly. Now, they're coming every four to five minutes, and I watch in fascination and amazement as Ann checks her dilation. She's at four centimeters and things are really "starting to pick up."
We soon find out what that means. It's a long night, and Bella's been in labor for almost twelve hours when she reaches eight centimeters—the last active part of labor. Ann comes in now and checks the baby's progress. It hasn't descended yet but things are getting intense.
The contractions are coming often now, and even with the breathing techniques we've been working on, the pain is intense. If I could have this baby I would in a second. I tell her so, wiping the sweat from her brow.
"You'd make a really silly looking pregnant woman."
"Well, I'd do it for you."
"I'd let you," she says earnestly. "This really sucks. But to be honest, I don't think you could handle it."
"Fuck, why did I agree to a natural birth?"
"You wanted it!"
"You pushed me into it, you asshole," she grits through her teeth as a new contraction begins. They're lasting about sixty seconds now and she's shaking and shivering with the effort. I hate watching it.
"I feel sick," she says. "Like I'm gonna throw up."
"That's okay," Ann says, materializing from nowhere and passing me a bedpan. I love this woman. "It's natural."
"Fuck natural," Bella seethes.
"You're doing so good, baby," I whisper, holding her hand and kissing her forehead. She turns her head away with a grimace. I'd been expecting her to start calling me names at any moment. I know she really doesn't think I'm an asshole. Does she?
"I'm sorry," she pants, once the next one subsides. "I love you. I'm sorry. That just really fucking blew."
"Okay. I know. Call me anything you want."
During the next one, she does just that. "!"
That's one for the record books.
An hour later, finally, finally, the baby starts to descend. Bella's fully dilated and we're ready to start pushing. I'm pretty much babbling nonstop at this point, touching her, whispering words of encouragement. I probably sound like an idiot, but Bella doesn't seem to mind. She's panting and moaning and, yes, has already thrown up a couple of times. But she looks fucking beautiful and I'm so proud of her. I keep telling her so. She smiles wanly as the next contraction sets in, and Ann makes a little pleased sound from down below.
"Your baby's head, momma, daddy. I can see the scalp. Do you want to see?" she asks. I nod, but I nearly pass out when I see it—a little swath of dark, wet hair between her legs. Bella moans and struggles to sit up.
"You want to feel?" I ask her. She nods, tears welling in her eyes, as I guide her hand down to where the baby is. Ann gets a mirror and I watch in delight as Bella's eyes widen further as she lightly touches the soft hair.
"Oh my God," she whispers in awe.
"I'm gonna tell you when to push, okay?" Ann says. Bella's eyes are still glued to the mirror. "You just keep doing what you're doing. It's going really well. You're doing so good, darlin'. But don't push until I say, okay?"
"Edward," Bella whispers, tears coursing down her face. I realize I'm fucking crying too.
"I'm so glad I'm having a baby with you."
What happens next is a blur. Ann asks Bella to push and she does. I'm pretty much good for nothing, staring as more of the baby's head emerges. A moan from my wife makes me spring into action, though, and I help her to breathe. She squeezes my hand so hard I'm pretty sure she does permanent damage.
"Okay. Hold it, hold it," Ann says. "Pant. Can you pant for me?"
"I want to push," Bella pants.
"Not yet, sweetie. Not yet. Blow or pant."
I whisper in her ear and touch her face, wiping tears and sweat as she pants.
"Okay girl," Ann says. "This is it. We're gonna try and see your baby's face with this next one. Are you ready?" Bella nods, still panting as Ann instructs her to push.
The baby's head is now visible, and oh my God, his forehead . . . his nose. I just know it's a boy now. I just know it. I'm fucking overwhelmed.
"Push, baby, push," I tell her. She grimaces and squeezes and grunts and finally, the whole head is visible. Ann quickly works to suction his mouth and nose—there's no umbilical cord around his neck, thankfully.
"My baby," she says, looking at the mirror and reaching down, touching him. "My baby."
"One more, and we're going for the shoulders," Ann tells her. "You're almost there. Your baby's almost here, sweetie. Now pant."
Bella does, but I can see she's weaker now. I offer her more of the ice chips she's been so fond of during this whole thing, but she grimaces and shakes her head, her eyes focused on the mirror.
"Okay, you ready?" Ann says cheerfully. "Let's have this baby!"
With a final, excruciating push that I can feel in my own body, the shoulders are maneuvered out—it's surprising how quickly the rest of the body follows. A lusty, long cry fills the room and Bella's eyes roll back in her head as she collapses against the pillows, her face exultant and shining with tears.
"A boy!" Ann says triumphantly, clearing his nose and mouth once again before depositing him directly on Bella's bare stomach. I climb onto the bed next to them and touch him—bloody, but perfect. Beautiful. Brown eyes, like Bella's. I know I'm crying like an idiot.
"Jacob," she whispers.
The baby in question wails, acknowledging his name, and Ann covers us all with a blanket before returning to clamp and sever the umbilical chord. Bella has Jacob up on her chest now. She can't tear her eyes away from her son. Our son.
"You did it, baby," I whisper.
"We did it," she says. "Well. It was mostly me." I love how she can still joke at a time like this.
"Yes, it was. You're so beautiful."
A few minutes later, after the afterbirth is delivered and disposed of, Ann suggests Bella try to get Jacob to nurse. He doesn't really seem all that interested at first, but she assures us he will eventually if we keep trying. Then she slips quietly out of the room, leaving us alone, exhausted, and happy.
Back at the Center later that afternoon, a veritable welcome committee greets us. My mother and Alice are the first ones out of the house, running down the steps. A great amount of squealing and cooing and congratulating occurs while my father emerges from the house.
"Emmett, Rose, and Emma are on their way. And Charlie's taking the next flight out of Seattle. He'll be here by the morning."
He pats me on the back, a huge grin on his face. Everyone stares at Jacob in awe, sleeping safely tucked in his car seat. I still can't believe he's mine, and after all this waiting, he's finally here.
Luckily, there was no major tearing during delivery, but Bella's still having difficulty walking. I let my mom assist with Jacob and I help Bella up out of the car and carry her to our room.
"I'm too fat," she protests sleepily.
"You're perfect," I whisper, kissing her on the head.
"No, but he is."
The rest of the afternoon passes in a blur. My parents and Alice help us get settled in while Bella takes a much-needed nap with our son. My brother and his family arrive just before dinner—impeccable timing, as always. Dinner, of course, is take-out pizza.
Bella wakes up and is ecstatic to see Rose and Em, and of course little Emma who, in turn, is fascinated by Jacob.
"Baby," she says, clambering up on the bed with Emmett's assistance.
"Yes, baby," Bella replies. Jacob stirs in his sleep, his little face scrunching angrily. Emma reaches out to touch him and Rose immediately goes to stop her, but Bella smiles and waves her off.
"Gentle," she says, showing Emma how she can pat the baby lightly.
"Genwol," Emma repeats.
"Yes, that's right."
"Baby," Emma says again, this time pointing at Rose. Bella gives her friend a questioning look and Rose smiles at Emmett. They squeeze hands.
"Three months along," Emmett says proudly.
"Holy sh—nikes!" Bella exclaims, remembering the sensitive ears in the room. Rose beams.
"Congrats, man," I say, shaking my brother's hand as Alice enters. Rose and Bella immediately fill her in.
"Jeez, before you know it there'll be enough freaking kids around here for our own reality TV show," she observes, rolling her eyes.
"Oh, come on Ali," Bella laughs, her attention focused on a waking Jacob. "Don't tell me you guys aren't having kids."
"Maybe someday," she replies. "But right now, I'll leave that up to you ladies."
Jacob breaks up the conversation with a plaintive wail. Someone wants his dinner.
"All right, everyone out," I say, ushering them towards the door. "You too, pumpkin." I pluck Emma off the bead and she squeals as I lift her high over my head before depositing her in Emmett's arms. My mother pokes her head in to see what's going on.
"You all right, dear?" she calls to Bella.
"Yes. Better than," Bella replies. The two of them share a glance I almost feel guilty for observing as Jacob wriggles in Bella's arms.
"Well, let me know if you need anything."
"I will. Thanks," Bella replies. My mother squeezes my arm lightly before retreating. I shut the door and sag against it with a sigh.
"Oh, Edward," Bella says, shaking her head at me. "They just want to help."
"I know. It's just a little much."
"Well, we better get used to it," she says with a giggle. "Charlie's coming tomorrow. And I'm sure Seth will want to stop by, too. It'll be a full house this weekend, for sure."
She adjusts herself, preparing to nurse Jacob as I watch on in fascination. He's already fed twice, and it's incredible how he seems to know just what to do. Once they seem settled, Bella casts her sleepy eyes on me and yawns.
"Come here," she says.
I don't need to be told twice. I kick off my shoes and climb onto the bed, moving so that Bella can lean against me. She sighs in contentment.
"Silence is good," I agree.
Jacob waves his little fist in the air and I marvel at his tiny hands. Everything about him is small and perfect.
"I think there's red in his hair," Bella says, gently caressing his head.
"God help him."
She gives me a sideways glance. "I like it. It's very becoming."
"Well, it's a good thing you do," I say. "Or else he wouldn't exist."
"That's right, Edward. I only love you for your hair."
"Good enough reason as any," I joke.
"Stop it," she says, turning her head to kiss me. "You're the best man I know. Thank you for being there for me. I couldn't . . . have done this without you." The emotion in her voice makes me serious. There are so many things I'd never have been able to do without her.
And I'll spend the rest of my life showing her how grateful I am.
A/N: Hope you enjoyed! And just a note, studies have shown that a little wine during birth is perfectly safe, and in fact many doctors recommend it for its relaxing effects.