Disclaimer: We do not own Twilight or any of its characters. They belong to Stephenie M.
This story is a joint work between myself and HeartofDarkess. It is the winner of the best baby belly award!
Well, this is the final chapter, which is also the longest of the story! We've loved bringing you this story, and thank you to all who have supported it.
Isle of Enchantment
Even having seen the pictures of our property, and having traversed the world, I was not prepared for the vision that greeted my eyes as our small plane circled low over the area. Giant waves crashed over large boulders, disturbing flocks of seagulls, causing them to rise into the air as they shrieked in annoyance.
The spray of ocean water was white and foamy as it collided with the ancient stones of the shore. It rough water surging over and over against the rugged stones as if seeking to reach into the sky.
A large white lighthouse stood out among the dark grey rocks, it was wind worn, but still straight and strong against the grey skies and the wind's powerful gusts. As we circled briefly over the land, staying close to the water, I saw cars and busses parked nearby a large building, and noted the people recklessly scampering over the rocks, clearly ignoring signs that warned them against the dangers of being careless on the slippery stones. I could not help but roll my eyes as we pulled away, wondering why humans so readily risked their lives pointlessly.
Careless humans aside, I turned towards the window and held Beth up so she could look out at the land, and see her first glimpse of our new home. As we flew by the agitated waters became calmer, and the larger stones gave way to pebbled beaches, and sandy inlets. It was beautiful beyond words.
As we continued down the coastline I looked out of the windows noticing the lush growth of the forests, intermittently interrupted by luxurious homes. Even from my high up place I could see the odd deer racing into the undergrowth, confirming that the area was heavily populated with the appropriate wildlife to feed our growing family.
"Did you see that?" I heard Emmett ask excitedly and I turned my head towards him. He sat on the opposite side of the plane, his window facing out to what seemed to be endless shimmering water. Curious eyes raised toward him, and the only face that did not seem to be curious about his response was Edward.
"A whale…it jumped right out of the water…I have never seen one before!" he added, his voice awed.
"The information I read over said that the ocean wildlife is very varied here. There are whales, sharks, seals and even some types of sea turtles," Jasper responded, his face reflecting the excitement of those surrounding him.
"Come sit with me Rosie, maybe we will see another one!" Emmett said excitedly. Rose slipped over to his side, and he gently swept her into his lap. Their heads were so close together, that they touched as they looked out the window studying the ocean together.
The trip had been a long one, requiring numerous stops and starts along the way. The fact that we were using a smaller plane meant more refueling, and that meant a longer wait to arrive at our new home. Beth had surprised us all, travelling like a seasoned professional. The only issue that had popped up on the trip was that our daughter obviously had a gift and was trying to use it. She seemed able to levitate things at her will, and though she had not learned to master her gift, she tried it out constantly.
It had been funny when she lifted Alice's sunglasses off of her head, and even humorous when she had accidentally dropped them in Carlisle's lap. It had not been nearly so funny when she had tried to use her ability to open the door to the cockpit. I quietly had to scold her, reminding her that our powers were not something we could use around humans…humans like the one who was currently flying the plane.
Her little chin had wavered but she did not cry. Edward informed us that she was only sad that she had upset me, causing me to kiss her rounded face over and over again, and tell her how wonderful she was. I ensured her that I was not upset, but reminded her that we should save her special game for when we got to our new home.
Tanya and Miquel had been silent during most of the trip. They sat quietly together, watching one another, each entranced by the other. Their hands were clasped together as tightly as I was sure Miquel was able, though I knew it was barely a slight grip for Tanya. I knew that they must have had many anxious thoughts and questions filling their minds, but I chose not to interrupt their privacy.
After what seemed endless hours, we finally landed and were on our way home, Bella and Edward particularly excited by the prospect, considering who would be visiting us in a matter of days.
Settling into the new house went very smoothly, the new houses were under construction. Each house was close by enough to visit easily, but far enough apart to grant privacy to each individual couple. I had been happily explaining to Beth that we were expecting special company, and she was in very high spirits. When we heard the car come down the immensely long driveway, everyone rushed outside to greet our visitors.
"Grandma!" Nessie shouted, her stomach showing now as she rushed right over to me, her excitement positively contagious as a smiling Jake followed behind, his hand clasping hers as Bella, Edward and I greeted them on the front porch. We had called them to inform them of Miquel's arrival, and with that news, and the possible news of Rose's impending pregnancy, Jacob and Nessie decided to come visit before she was too far along to travel.
Renesmee pulled her parents in for a hug, and it was such a joy to see them together once more. "How have you been, sweetheart?" Edward asked.
"Sick as a dog. Pun intended," she responded with a hearty laugh.
"She's been dying to tell that joke ever since she thought it up on the plane ride here," Jake interjected with an eye roll.
"Really though, I've been fine. No sign of sickness, and I actually feel pretty good," she assured me, her expression turning serious.
"Good to hear. Now come on, let's get you inside so you can meet the rest of the family," I said as I opened the door.
"Welcome to our humble abode," Carlisle greeted with a smile as he held baby Beth in his arms.
"Oh, she's beautiful!" Renesmee cried, blinking back tears as she kissed her grandfather.
"Yes, she is," Jake admitted with a grin, staring in wonder at our beautiful girl.
"Let's go sit. The others are in the dining room and we have much to discuss," Carlisle said as he led the way. We all headed through the atrium style foyer and down the hall toward the formal dining room.
Greetings and hugs were exchanged between Jake, Renesmee and the rest of the family, and as she spotted Miquel, she immediately made a beeline for him.
"Hello Miquel, I'm Nessie. So you're the human that finally turned old Tanya's head, eh?" she enquired with a chuckle as she shook his hand.
"Yes, I am," Miquel answered with pride, wrapping his arm around Tanya's shoulder. "Nice to meet you…and congratulations," he said with a nod and a warm smile before turning toward Jake. "I gather you are the dog that Rosalie spoke of?" he asked innocently as he shook Jake's hand, his eyes widening for a moment as he undoubtedly felt shocked by the difference in temperature of his skin.
Rosalie burst into a fit of laughter. During the drive home, and to distract herself, she used the time to brief Miquel on Jacob and the wolves, including the affectionate name she had for Jake. Considering everything that he'd been expected to absorb, Miquel was amazingly accepting of the entire situation, and I welcomed Rose's happier disposition even thought it was at Jake's expense. Her mood had become unusually lighter over these past few days, and though I did not dare voice my thoughts, I prayed it had something to do with a possible pregnancy. Carlisle had asked if she had any other physical symptoms and insisted on examining her, but she assured him that she was fine, and told him if anything changed she would let him know. Even Edward could not make out her thoughts as she retreated into herself somewhat, her outward demeanor seemingly shielding what I knew she felt inside.
Jacob scowled at Rose before letting out a small grunt.
"Yes, I guess I am. Nice to finally have another human join this crazy family. Since Bella, well there's been no one else who doesn't stink around here," Jake said, directing a scowl toward Rosalie.
"Dude, don't even go there," Emmett said, smiling while holding his nose.
"Anyway, the pack needs to know. When do you intend to change him?" Jake questioned Tanya.
"Not until he's been prepared and the rest of the family is ready," Tanya replied, her voice brimming with conviction.
"Good to know," Jake said as he turned toward me and Beth, smiling as he placed his finger in Beth's tiny hand. She wrinkled her nose but clasped it nonetheless, her response causing Rose to snort. "Trust this family to get around the whole 'no biting a human to create a vampire' part of the treaty," he said, pouting sweetly as he stared in wonder at my daughter.
"How did the pack take the news?" Carlisle asked, the conversation suddenly turning serious, while Edward appeared to be searching Jake's mind.
"Edward, that just never gets old. Now get out of my head, will ya?" Jake admonished, eliciting a laugh from Edward.
"Well they're not exactly jazzed about it, but considering Nessie's expecting a child that's also part vampire…well there's not much they can really say without offending me. They're pleased that you've chosen to isolate yourselves until we know what sort of control little Beth has, but they were actually more concerned about any others finding out about it. We don't exactly want baby leeches popping up everywhere."
"Already taken care of," Carlisle assured in a calm voice. "There won't be any more vampire pregnancies occurring, I can assure you."
Rosalie let out a small growl in response, and Carlisle stared at her apologetically.
"Good to hear," Jake said with a relieved expression, his worried eyes darting toward Rosalie. "Oh don't tell me you're…" Emmett's eyes widened and he shook his head, silently willing Jake to let the matter drop.
My granddaughter picked up on the tension right away, and Jasper as ever helped things along as well.
"Enough shop talk. Now that you've had Beth and moved here, how are you going to be my doctor?" Renesmee asked as she turned toward Carlisle.
"I will fly down as often as I can until your due date," Carlisle assured, before adding, "Speaking of which, I want to examine you to calculate that as accurately as I can. I imagine your vampire genetics will play a part, but how much that will affect the length of your pregnancy is what we need to determine. How about I start earning my keep as your physician and give you a quick check-up?" Carlisle suggested as he handed Beth to me.
Edward stared at his daughter longingly before grasping Bella's hand tightly. I knew this was killing him, not being able to be close to her for the birth, considering what Bella had endured. I also knew I had the means to find a solution to this problem.
"It's okay," Bella whispered. "Our daughter isn't completely human, Edward…and I'm sure everything will be fine…"
I smiled assuredly at Edward before I turned toward my granddaughter. I didn't know why I hadn't thought of it before, and as I did, Alice clapped her hands and squealed while Edward gave me a thankful smile.
"It's settled then. You have to stay until your baby's born," I insisted.
"I don't think that's wise." Jacob countered quickly. "The pack will not want me gone that long as their alpha, but we can stay for a bit, go home then come back maybe…why don't we figure out when the little guy here is due? Then we can start to make…"
"How do you know it's a boy?" Alice broke in with a smile. "When did you become the one with future reading abilities?" she asked seriously, but was unable to hold her straight face for long.
"Well, I have a fifty percent chance of being right, don't I, Pixie?" he answered with a grin. It was so nice to see how close our family was. Despite being mortal enemies and on opposite ends of the food chain…we were just that, a family.
"Well, the sun shines on a dog's ass every once in a while too…but I don't see you bragging about that fact!" Rosalie quipped in irritation.
Jacob turned to look at Rose, raising an eyebrow at her.
"Now Blondie, I know you want to see my fine ass, but it has only ever belonged to your little sister," he said with a bark of laughter.
"In your dreams, Lassie," she growled back. I saw Nessie touch his arm, and he stopped egging Rose on even though I knew it gave him great joy to do so. He walked away with Nessie, following Carlisle to his office.
"Like I never heard that one before," he groused to his wife who rubbed his back soothingly, smiling at the pout he was making.
"Dumb dog," Rose hissed as she moved away from where Jacob has sat, wrinkling her nose in distaste. "He smells even worse than usual," she complained as she moved over to sit with Emmett on the large sectional sofa in the grand sized common room.
"Is that even possible?" Edward replied with a small smile at his sister.
"I didn't think so, but right now he smells so badly I feel like I could actually be sick," she complained with obvious irritation.
"Carlisle," I said with a laugh. "I think when you are done checking out your great grandchild, you might need to bring out your stethoscope." I could not help but remember that right before I realized I was pregnant I had had similarly heightened senses.
Rose's eyes darted to mine, widening perceptibly as she registered what it was I was saying.
"But," she began softly, her hands slipping protectively around her middle. "I haven't had any nosebleeds, or any skin softening," she said with a small whimper.
"Rosie, every pregnancy is different, and you have refused to even check, or to let me check for you…so how could you be so sure?" Emmett whispered softly to her. He reached up to stroke a loose strand of hair behind her ear, and at the same time, he tried to duck his head to gaze at his wife.
"If I don't look, I can't be disappointed," she said so softly, I almost missed it…and my heart clenched at her explanation. I walked over to her side, Beth held firmly in my arms, and I moved to sit beside her.
"How do you feel?" I asked hesitantly, waiting for her to look up at me.
"Scared," she responded as her anxious eyes met mine, not giving me any insight into how her body might be reacting to know if she might possibly be pregnant as well. Beth lurched out of my arms suddenly, and launched herself into Rose's lap. Rose didn't say another word, but held her small sister close.
After a warm hug and a much needed snuggle, Beth began to grasp at Rosalie's hair to play with the long golden strands. As we waited for Carlisle's return, Beth bored and decided to inspect the shiny fabric of the top Rosalie was wearing. But, as she tried to get a good look at the shimmering cloth, she squeezed her small hand, effectively pinching Rosalie's skin beneath the fabric.
"Ow!" Rose exclaimed in surprise as Beth reached for me in alarm. I scooped her up and eyed Rose, unsure of exactly what had happened.
Rose looked at me with a furrowed brow before she lifted the hem of her shirt up slightly, revealing two small, red lines on the low left hand side of her belly button.
Beth had scratched Rose accidentally, something she never would have managed if her body was not altering. My eyes met hers and I smiled, my heart filled with joy at the realization that Rose's greatest wish was at long last going to come true.
"Carlisle…bring the stethoscope, and hurry!" I exclaimed, knowing that until Rose heard the sound of that small life inside her, like me, she wouldn't believe it.
Finding out that Rosalie was indeed expecting changed our family once more, for Rose was an entirely new person. She was always smiling and good humoured, and willing to do anything and everything Carlisle requested that she do. She drank her concoctions, even going as far as adding in other ingredients that she thought would help the baby grow strong and healthy. Emmett would grimace at the mixtures she made, but at the same time, his smile grew wider with each passing day.
Jake, once he realized that Rose was expecting, had to return to meet with his pack in La Push to explain that aside from the two Cullen women, they need not be concerned about preparing for an onslaught of vampire babies to flood the world. Once there, they came to the decision that Jacob should temporarily leave La Push in the hands of Sam and Jared, so he could closely observe the small vampire children and ensure the safety of any nearby human population while also trying to ascertain if the area held any supernatural beings of its own.
Jacob was all for the time away, allowing Ness to be with her family as her time neared, while thankfully still being able to keep in touch via the link that all wolves minds seemed to share. Alice was in her happy place as she helped me design everyone's individual homes while planning wardrobes for Beth and for Rose and Emmett's child.
Beth seemed overtly interested in Rose's ever-widening belly, telling Rose constantly that she loved the baby. Rose and I thought it was very sweet to watch her stroke and kiss Rose's abdomen. It was more alarming, however, when Jasper explained that Beth did not simply mean that she cared, but that she truly loved the babe.
Eventually, Edward was asked to speak with Beth to figure out why she loved the baby so. Beth sat in Edward's lap, looking like a perfect, two year old angel, even though she was only weeks old. He held her as she curled up against his chest, explaining that she loved the baby because he was her Bella.
Edward became silent as he listened to her thoughts before he was able to explain to the rest of us that somehow Beth seemed positive that Rose and Emmett's baby was a boy, and that he would be her mate, just like Bella was his. Beth told Edward that the baby would love her forever too.
"Cause his heart told me so!" she added shyly.
"Emmett, can you bring me another?" Rosalie asked in a strained voice as she lay sprawled out on the couch, her hand resting on her bulging stomach. She was near to term, and going by the length of my pregnancy, only had days before she would be delivering. Beth continued to remain by Rosalie's side at all times, and because it was a risk to have her hunt while still a child, we continued to feed her animal blood brought home by various family members.
"Of course, sweetheart," Emmett cooed as he leant over and kissed Rose on the forehead before heading to the kitchen to prepare Rose's concoction. It warmed my heart to see these two become even closer since discovering they were expecting, and although Emmett retained his good humour, also emerging was a more serious undertone to his personality…one that even rivalled Edward's.
Bella had stayed close to Rosalie as well, offering her words of comfort and encouragement as her pregnancy had progressed. It was as if Bella was trying to repay Rosalie for her support during her own traumatic pregnancy, and I often found myself smiling as the two of them bonded further over their shared experience.
Though construction of the other accommodations had progressed well and most of the new buildings were close to completion, we had Rosalie stay at the main house with us, to enable Carlisle to monitor her more closely, while Jacob and Nessie stayed with Edward and Bella. I had managed to build a cottage very much like the one they had in Forks, except this time, the elaborate nursery would be accommodating Nessie and Jake's baby…and because the baby would be a baby for a far longer period of time, and would be more human than vampire and therefore requiring sleep, it would easily accommodate a human/vampire/wolf hybrid child.
Emmett and Rosalie's home was far more modern, everything white and with sleek lines, and the nursery, at Beth's insistence, was designed in the palest of yellow, because it was the colour she saw when she thought about him. Beth was now what, I would imagine, a two year old child would be if human, but of course, her intelligence was far superior. She continued to come along in leaps and bounds, growing far quicker than Nessie had, and also absorbed everything Carlisle and I, and the rest of the family taught her. It broke my heart in once sense that she, as well as Rosalie's baby, would not experience what it would be like to be a child for an extended period of time, or attend school. Until their growth stopped, they would both have to be hidden from the world until they appeared old enough to be accepted without rousing suspicion among our kind.
To compensate for that, Beth not only had at her disposal a family filled with well-educated vampires, but also had the benefit of beginning her life as a complete vampire. Though she was not human, just as a human child did in their early years, Beth continued to absorb a staggering amount of knowledge. She would speed-read various books, and be able to repeat sentences from them verbatim, after having developed a perfect recall of everything she laid her eyes on.
Then, of course, there was her gift. Her ability had grown in strength and control, and with that, came along a brand new set of problems.
No longer satisfied with levitating small items, her thirst for meeting new challenges caused her to attempt the far more daunting challenge of moving things such as large rocks, cars, and even members of her family…all with mixed results. We only gave her permission to hone her gift outside and well away from all buildings, but even then, she managed to drop a rock on Emmett's head during one of her attempts after barely missing crushing Alice's beloved Porsche.
Given the right training, I could envision Beth having the ability to defend herself in a fight without ever having to touch her opponent, but in the meantime, we had to watch her carefully and help her every step of the way, as her attempts thus far had created some particularly messy and sometimes dangerous situations.
Edward had explained her thoughts when he read her as she focused, in that her mind wasn't quite developed enough to control her gift, but he also knew that when she was fully grown, her abilities would be something to be reckoned with.
I smiled with pride as I watched Rosalie let out a small groan, recalling the discomfort I had indeed experienced not very long ago whist carrying Beth, thinking about how our family would be expanding once more.
All the others hunted regularly in preparation for our newest arrival, leaving Jacob and Miquel behind, their time together ensuring they became fast friends. Even Tanya had felt comforted by the fact that her mate had developed such an easy friendship with young Jacob, and her reaction to this unexpected outcome had once again surprised me. It was a well-established fact that vampire nature did not alter once they were made, but yet, Tanya's reaction was among the many examples of change within this family, refuting that theory, once more proving that only one's mate could change the unchangeable nature of our kind.
Tanya and Miquel had decided to wait to change him until after all three children were born, making it easier for everyone to focus on having a newborn vampire in our midst. We felt their choice a wise and prudent one. Time moved quickly with Jacob and Nessie leaving on weekends to meet with Mic Makq and Apache elders in small local communities. It was entrancing to listen to Jacob share the tribal stories and histories he had learned during his visits.
Our family met together every night in the big house, sharing stories from the past and the present as we prepared for the arrival of the two newest members.
Another week passed and found Rose feeling cumbersome and uncomfortable. When Beth announced that the baby was ready to come, no one questioned it, and instead we prepared for his arrival. Rose laid down in the delivery room that Carlisle had prepared for her, and even when her body began the process of labour, she did not utter a single sound to voice her discomfort.
A short while later, a weary, yet elated Rose held a robust baby boy that had his father's dark curls in her arms. Never had I seen Rose look so complete. It was as if every ounce of negativity she had held onto throughout her new life as a vampire had left her body with the birth of her child.
It was then I realized that it was possible for children to change their vampire parents as well, but how on earth would our kind have ever have known that?
Rose and Emmett named their son Evan. A name with an E to honour the love of her life, Emmett, who gave her everything she had ever wished for. He was his father's joy, and the sparkle in his mother's eye.
Beth never left Evan's side, and from the moment of his birth he always looked for her. Beth was very protective of him, constantly watching over him as he took his first steps and when he began to explore. She even used her gift on him occasionally to make sure he would not get himself into mischief.
As he grew, and quickly became larger in size than her, Evan reversed their roles, becoming Beth's protector, placing himself closely by her side at every waking moment of their day. Though he did not possess any obvious gifts, his nature was so different than that of his parents. He was quiet, reflective, but most of all fiercely loyal to those he loved.
"Is it possible that they share something beyond what any of us comprehend?" Rose asked one day as she washed out the metal cups the children used until they would be able to hunt with the family.
The children were lying together on the floor, drawing pictures. Every time Beth finished using one colour, Evan would select another as if he knew what colour she would want, and she always took it happily, thanking him for helping make her picture just right.
Jasper has been in the sitting room nearby reading the newspaper as Alice worked on something on the computer.
"I think they have what it is we all have...they just had it from the start. They will never have to go through life wondering if they will be alone, or if they will have love. They have it now...and it is purer than pure, because they are so young. I've never felt anything quite like it. They are so assured, so certain, and they trust each other implicitly," he explained.
"Is it certain, then...are they mates?" I asked in wonder.
"As truly as any of us, they are meant for each other," Jasper said, nodding in the children's direction.
We turned our gaze back to them and noticed that as they worked, their free hands were now joined, small chubby fingers entwined without them even realizing it was so. It was just how they were, it was natural for them…they loved each other.
My cell buzzed in my pocket as I arrived in the clearing. Rosalie and I had just finished hunting, and as I dropped the carcass of the buck and answered my phone, the irritated voice of my beautiful, daughter rang through the line.
"Mommy…where have you been? I've been trying to reach you for ages! Next time hunt within cell range," Beth admonished, dramatically as always.
"Is it Nessie?" I asked.
"Yes…the baby's finally coming, so please hurry up!" she said, squealing in excitement. Rosalie squealed as well as she took off for home.
"I'll be there as quickly as I can, darling," I said with a smile as I put my phone away and followed, wondering with excitement what our newest addition would be like. Renesmee and Jacob had chosen to not find out the sex of their child, wanting it to be a surprise, and Jake was nothing but amused that Alice's lack of foresight made us more than curious about our newest addition.
It stood to reason that Alice hadn't seen a thing about Nessie's future, or anyone's for that matter, since her and Jacob had settled here with us. And if Edward knew anything about his grandchild, he was keeping it to himself as his daughter had asked. So, for the last few months we had been on twenty four hour a day guard duty, making sure that either myself or Carlisle was with Nessie at all times, everyone frustrated over the fact that no one had a clue as to when she would deliver. Carlisle had done his best to try to gauge Nessie's due date, and, going by her size and the slightly higher heart rate of the child, had estimated it to be one to two months shorter than a human pregnancy.
As we drew closer to home, the sight of Emmett and Evan play wrestling greeted us as we made our way to the clearing south of the main house. Everyone was there, watching on except for Bella, Alice, Edward and Carlisle. I smiled as I watched the rocks crack and crumble under the force of their antics.
"Never bet against the younger, stronger and far better trained version of Emmett," Jasper laughed. Young Evan was a quickly growing boy, and his dark curls had grown long enough to cover his ears, giving him an angelic appearance. He and Beth grew even more rapidly than Nessie had, as at only five months of age they seemed to look like five year olds, but they were far more ingenious than they appeared.
"Hee hee," Evan giggled as he tried to climb over his father's hulking frame. Emmett's booming laughter filled the clearing, causing birds to take flight.
"Give up, Daddy! You know he'll escape you every time," Rose said with a loud laugh as she threw her head back. Beth giggled, covering her mouth with her hand as she watched the goings-on with amusement.
We had come to the realisation that Evan did in fact possess a gift…the gift of superior strength, his strength had increased to an unfathomable level…far exceeding that of any other vampire in existence, even at his young age. It had nothing to do with being born a vampire babe, as Beth's strength only equalled the others in the family, but for Evan, nobody in the family could better his power…including his father.
Indeed, both Beth and Evan together would be a force to be reckoned with, and Jasper had taken the both of them under his wing to train them, using games of skill to help them hone their gifts, masking fighting skills with games of fun and evasion. His joy over training a vampire who not only possessed superior strength but also had the focus of a mature vampire was immense. He likened it to training the smartest newborn in existence.
Even a simple wrestling match like the one I was watching showed Evan's immense skill.
"Why aren't you with Nessie?" I asked, interrupting, curious as to why everyone was outside when a momentous even was taking place inside our house.
"Are you kidding? With all the potential blood, Jake's only allowing Dad, Edward and Bella to be in the room. Nessie's been asking for you, though, Mom," Jasper said with a laugh while Beth grumbled, folding her arms, obviously feeling slighted at not being allowed to be present for the babe's birth.
"Sweetheart, you may be a big girl, but yours and Evan's thirsts have yet to be fully tested," I said with logic.
She huffed in annoyance, giving me her best pout as I gave her a hug before making my way to my granddaughter's side.
Inside it was easy to pinpoint where the action was taking place. While we had set up a labour room, Jake and Nessie's child had chosen to makes its appearance rapidly, in its parents' bed.
I rushed to the room, and my heart swelled to see Nessie in such an anguished state. She had voted for natural childbirth, figuring that due to her vampiric nature it would be fine, but it was apparent that she was in pain. Jacob sat behind her, rubbing her back and quietly whispering words of encouragement into her ear.
The sight was tender and breathtaking, seeing the couple working together to bring their child into the world through joy and pain. I held my breath and froze in place, afraid to interfere, but at the same time awestruck by what I was privileged enough to witness. I had seen many children being born, but never had I witnessed a couple work together so well to see the job to its completion.
Nessie's body tensed up, and Jacob reached forward to help draw her thighs towards her body to help her bear down. His aid seemed to be what she required, and as she grunted and leaned her body forward, she accepted his strength and used it to set about the task of bringing their child into the world.
As they focused on delivering the baby, I finally stepped forward, wanting to get a better look. I saw Nessie reach out a hand for her mother, and Bella readily accepted it, holding it tenderly between her own as Edward flanked her. They both stood with excited expressions as they prepared to meet their grandchild.
"I see hair!" Carlisle exclaimed, his voice strong and sure. We could hear the child's strong heartbeat, but the ultrasound had shown, that as it had done with Nessie, the membrane would not allow us to see anything else of the child's development or gender, so everything was a complete mystery.
Nessie and Jacob worked as one, her breathing deeply, and he supporting her rapidly tiring body with his powerful one. As her body shook with a particularly intense contraction, Nessie released her mother's hand and brought her arm up, reaching behind her head so her arm encompassed Jacob's neck, holding him close to her. She leaned into him as he curved forward, using his body to provide the leverage she was quickly becoming too tired to muster on her own.
Baby's crowning!" Carlisle exclaimed in part to inform us, and in part, I was sure, to let Nessie know she was almost done.
A strangled cry from Nessie rent the air and her body fell back against her mate. A muffled whine resounded through the room, and everyone looked at Carlisle, waiting for him to look the baby over to announce whether it was a boy or a girl.
Nessie was smiling at her husband as she looked towards her grandfather, but Carlisle had an odd expression on his face.
Nessie's eyes widened in fear, and she struggled to sit up. I could see that Carlisle did not want to cause our grandchild alarm and so he spoke up quickly.
It's...a...a...pup?" he said questioningly.
"A pup?" I parroted in confusion. What did that mean?
"A wolf pup!" Nessie said softly as she reached for the small, reddish bundle her grandfather held awkwardly in his hands. Nessie gently took the small pup and cradled it against her neck, where it snuffled and whimpered piteously. Jacob looked on in surprise, watching his wife and child as they regarded one another.
Nessie gently eased the pup on its back, revealing a blaze of white fur that ran the centre of its belly.
"It's a girl." Jacob said slowly, and then he elaborated when he felt our questioning eyes on him. "On a boy this would be there." He said blushing as he gestured towards the pups nether regions.
As Nessie picked up the pup again it began to nuzzle at her chest.
"Ummm, Jacob, I think it might be best if you phase and try to explain too our child how to phase, so I can feed her. That is if she can phase." Nessie said, her voice beginning to rise as concern toned it.
"What if she can't?" she whispered as she held the snuffling pup close to her bosom. Jacob slipped off of the bed, and out of the room, leaving the door ajar. A moment later he was back, his large, reddish furred form, barely fitting through the door.
He paced over to the bed and nuzzled the pup with his muzzle. Edward laughed aloud for a moment, as Jacob turned and snorted at him.
"What?" Bella inquired, raising an eyebrow at her husband.
"She likes the form she is in, and wants to nurse that way, but Jacob is explaining to her that Nessie can't phase like he can, so if she wants milk from her mother, she needs to do so as a little girl," Edward said, smiling at his grandchild, who appeared to be as headstrong as he was.
His explanation sent a chorus of giggles through the room, but the moment the small figure in Nessie's arms began to shimmer and contort, all sounds fell away and eyes were riveted to the small wolf-girl.
Jacob stayed by the bed, his focus intent on his child as her fur seemed to lengthen and shorten at the same time. Her limbs bent at unusual angles as the fur receded into her skin, the deep red and brown fur giving way to smooth light caramel toned skin. Her small toes stretched and lengthened into flexible fingers, and in a suddenly flurry of change her face shifted and morphed into a smooth, sweet child who began to cry for her mother.
"Hush now, sweet cub," Nessie said as she held the child to her bosom, and the babe began to nurse lustfully, as ravenous for food as her wolfish father. The relief on Nessie's face was obvious. She had her child safe and sound, and even if the child was an enigma, arriving in wolf form, she was still there, alive and well.
"What are you going to name her?" Edward asked, biting his lip, smiling down at his beautiful granddaughter as she fed.
"Sarah, of course," Nessie answered confidently, her long-gone mother-in-law's name rolling sweetly off her lips. "Sarah Marie Black," she added more precisely with a smile, her declaration causing the large wolf to let off a soft whine before retreating from the room to transform.
A combination of sighs and approving whispers echoed through the room as a pleased as punch Jacob returned in human form, a solitary tear formed in his eye, and as he leant down and kissed his wife on the top of her head and his hand stroked Sarah's red-black hair, he whispered, "Welcome to the pack, Sarah Marie."
Time seemed to fly by quickly, the children growing in the blink of an eye. Beth and Evan were always on the move with the red wolf cub hot on their heels. They were a close trio but as they grew, the two vampire children began to grow at a more rapid pace and their focus became one another, as they discovered their romantic feelings for the mate that had grown up at their side. Sarah grew more slowly and as she grew, she became fascinated by the forest and it was there her true nature showed itself, as she blended into the wildlife and learned from the earth about all that dwelled there, always returning home to Jacob and Nessie with questions and comments about what she saw on her adventures.
As the children grew and became less dependent upon us, we turned to Tanya and Miquel, ready to assist them in any way we could. Tanya and her mate had come to a decision as they had waited for the time that her mate would be able to be changed by Carlisle. She wished to go home to the North, and to take her mate with her. Carlisle agreed to accompany them there and to be the one to change Miquel, but the rearing would be left to the Denali clan.
While we were saddened to see them go, it ultimately was their choice, and we understood that Tanya would want to be surrounded by her family and to be near her sister as she ventured into this new chapter of her life.
The goodbyes were sweet and simple, everyone wishing one another the best as we wondered what the future would bring for one another. Not even Alice would know everything that we might expect, but the thought of our future made me smile in excitement, for we had time to spare to sit by and enjoy it with one another.
By Sarah's fifth birthday, both Beth and Evan's growth had ceased to progress. Carlisle studied their development ever since the day they were born, and had diarised every new step they took with vigilance. Though their development occurred more rapidly than that of a human, he found they had their major milestones at the same equivalent age of a human child.
And then, to my relief, it happened.
Their skin began to harden from the texture similar to mine and Rosalie's when pregnant, to the skin of a vampire. This was quickly followed by their slow-rated hearts ceasing to beat at all, all of these things heralding the completion of their growth, and their proper introduction into the vampire world. There were times I doubted this eventuality would ever occur, worrying irrationally that their lives would be over in the blink of an eye, but of course, neither Carlisle nor the rest of the family ever doubted what had now occurred for a moment, even without the aid of Alice's clairvoyance. To celebrate their collective milestones, we were finally able to take them hunting, safe in the knowledge that if a nomad, or heaven forbid, a member of the Volturi came across them, they would just appear to be vampires who had been created in the conventional manner.
Their first hunt had been an adventure…and even Jacob and young Sarah attended in case any trouble occurred. Thankfully, their hunts were successful, albeit brutal on the part of Evan, as he accidentally tore apart his first buck when he wrestled it to the ground. Of course, Beth attempted to 'bring' her kill to her, but her impatient nature combined with her thirst finally forced her to hunt as we all did.
Sarah, now spending her time with her father or on her own, had fit well into the pack, and had developed an affinity with Seth whom she had only spoken with through the mental link the wolves all shared. The connection she had with him was stronger than with any other member aside from Jake. We all suspected that when the two of actually them laid eyes on one another, they would instantly imprint, and plans were underway for them to return home.
Jasper took it upon himself to instruct not only Evan and Beth, but also Sarah on the best way to destroy a newborn, and had spent many nights regaling them all on the newborn wars. Sarah, in particular, had an insatiable thirst for knowledge of vampire lore. Thanks to her mental connection with the pack, she learned quickly of the Quileute ways and the tribe's history, and wanted to interlink that side of her with the vampire side of her heritage.
If Renesmee's connection with Jacob had brought the wolves and us together, Sarah's birth only served to strengthen that bond for eternity, but we were saddened when they finally had no choice but to return home. Sarah's growth was a bit faster than a regular human due to her vampire genes, but slower that her mother's had been and at seven years old she resembled a youth of ten, and as she began to spend more and more time in wolf form, choosing to rarely change unless she was home, Jacob and Nessie decided it was time for her to be surrounded by her pack in the physical sense as well as the mental one.
Her dominant wolf nature had Jacob and the rest of the pack suspecting that she might become the first female alpha the pack had ever known.
We were saddened to see them go, but they promised to return yearly and invited us to visit them as well. We were family now, actual flesh and blood and the wolves decided to amend the treaty to allow us onto their land as long as no human hunting ever took place. It was a moment worthy of celebration, and we did not let the milestone go unnoticed, choosing to start up an education bursary to allow any youth from the tribe to attend college or university. The pack was humbled by the gift, but thankful that it would allow their people to grow stronger.
Sitting in my chair I think back to how much the world had changed since those hectic, exciting days. Our family is currently spread around the world, our children scattered to the four corners of the globe. Carlisle and I actually live on the Quileute reservation now, perpetual parents to every growing youth there. Carlisle is their doctor as they cannot go to regular clinics, and in return we are surrounded with love and family.
Generations of wolves have come and gone, only Jacob, Sarah and Seth still remain from the tribe we once knew so well. Wolves ceased phasing once they felt there were enough others to keep the tribe safe, and marriages led to children who in turn led to new wolves to fill the ranks, creating a self fulfilling cycle.
Sarah and Seth have numerous children, as did Nessie and Jacob. Their children and grandchildren are among the new pack, the vampire genes keeping them young and vibrant far beyond normal human years.
I have become the pack mother of sorts, watching over the babies and children as their parents go to school, or for those whose parents monitor the reservation, and the surrounding towns. My life is a joyful one, surrounded by wet kisses and crayon coloured pictures, and I couldn't be happier with everything I am blessed with.
I never would have imagined those many years ago that the sadness I had felt in my life would have been so thoroughly filled with love, but it has.
I can remember my past with regret, but cannot be sad for the future it brought me…
A/N: We thank you so very much for reading and all your wonderful reviews. Thank you for joining us for this adventure. Jen and Lisa.