No, I'm not Stephenie Meyer, no I do not own Twilight. I am glad she allows us to play with her imaginary friends, aren't you? So much better than Barbie and Ken...
1. Pain and Happiness
She wasn't writhing and she wasn't screaming. Where was the screaming? This was torturing me, more than if she had been screaming. I wanted to scream for her, but I was afraid it would alarm her. At least if she were screaming I would know she was in pain. The nothingness was unbearable. Even her fingers weren't twitching. I hadn't killed her, at least I didn't think I had, I could still hear her heartbeat. It was there, the only sound in the room, other than the sounds of her breathing.
For the third time in my married life to my angel I wished I could sob. I would be sobbing uncontrollably for the pain I put her through. I was a monster through and through and now she was turning into one as well, because of me. I knew she desired this, but I wished I could burn for her. I'd burn for a hundred years if she didn't have to go through this for herself. Once again, I probed her mind, hoping her guard was slipping; maybe, just maybe I could start to hear her thoughts. I ached to know how much pain she was going through. I hit that same solid wall of silence. It was deafening.
Alice came to help me clean up the bloody mess and put clothes on Bella once I had finished forcing venom into her veins. She would appreciate not being seen naked by the rest of the family. But I argued with her about the tightly fitted ice-blue silk dress, and stiletto heels. She reminded me that Bella once thought this would be a black tie affair. Alice pouted when Carlisle and Esme put their feet down about having the rest of us wear tuxes and formals for when she woke up.
She'll thank me later. Somehow I doubted that. Bella would have preferred sweats and a t-shirt. Her comfort was on my mind and I was sure she wasn't comfortable in whatever Alice had put her in.
I sat there watching her. It's all I could do. I held her hand, I wasn't sure if she could feel my hand. I remembered the pain of my transformation. Those were the longest three days of my existence. I remembered my screaming, my writhing; my begging for death. I remembered how Carlisle buried himself in rotting potatoes and suffered through his transformation in silence. His was out of necessity; he didn't want his father to find him. Bella didn't need to hide. We all ached to know what kind of pain she was in. As much as it would torture us, we wanted to hear her make some kind of noise; that she was still with us. Why wasn't she screaming? Everyone's thoughts in the house echoed mine. We had all braced ourselves to hear the torment from Bells lips. We had decided to stay in the house to comfort her as she burned. We were more tortured as we never heard a sound from her. Not even a twitch of pain from her littlest finger.
The only thing that tore me away from watching her in silent pain was our daughter. I had created a baby, a baby I almost destroyed. Now that she was here, I would kill myself before I let someone hurt her. Just when I thought I could only hold love for my Bella, my dead heart swelled again to hold more love for another girl, Renesmee.
Renesmee had a gift, we discovered this shortly after her birth. Rosalie had given her her first bath, as she was cuddling with her, Renesmee lifted her tiny hand to Rosalie's neck to show her what just happened to her. She replayed her birth and her bath. She showed her the warmth of the water and how it felt good to her. She showed Rosalie her mother while asking where she was. Rosalie was shocked, to say the least. We all were. We were all taken in by this new angel in our life. Just when we thought our existences couldn't be affected any more by Bella, the human in my life, she brought us another gift. My daughter. I loved that, even as a vampire, I had given life to someone. My life was complete. Whatever god looks over immortal creatures blessed me three times; once with Carlisle, twice with Bella, and now a third with Renesmee. I would forever be grateful for the blessings in my life. But like every blessing in my life, there was an undercurrent of turmoil to those blessings. As we all loved Renesmee, so Jacob loved her the most. That mongrel had the audacity to imprint on our lovely baby. He was never going to leave her side. His dog smell scent would forever linger on her; this was something I had not taken into consideration. No one did. The treaty was officially broken now that he had imprinted on a half breed.
I never left Bella's side; someone would bring my beautiful, gifted daughter to me. I requested that Jacob never come into this room, I couldn't stand to see him, first Bella and now Renesmee. This was my own personal hell.
"She's asking for her daddy," Esme brought her up to me this time. Daddy. That's something I'd never expected to hear, especially directed towards me; that thought always made me glow. Esme and Carlisle were beyond ecstatic to be called Grandma and Grandpa. Though, at their age, Mimi and Papa, seemed more fitting. As I held my daughter I hummed Bella's lullaby to her. I wanted to show her how beautiful her mother was-is-I corrected myself. I didn't want to think of her in past tense until I absolutely had to. That thought made the ghost of a whole ripple with memories of the first time I thought I'd lost Bella. Even with our daughter here, I couldn't live without Bella. I fought back tearless sobs as I held my baby and watched Bella in her unmoving struggle to accept this life. I was torn, once again, between right and wrong. Everything about this was so wrong, but it felt so right in my world.
Somewhere during the night I heard Bella's heartbeat speed up. Carlisle heard it, too, from somewhere in the house. He rushed up to my side. I looked at him with pained eyes. He used his stethoscope to check her heart.
"There's nothing I can do for her, Edward. She's changing. The morphine seemed to have worked, you gave her enough, she's not in any pain, see? If she were we would all know it," Carlisle thought towards me.
I nodded at him, I couldn't answer. I only hoped the morphine was the reason for the silent suffering she was going through. It pained me I couldn't hear her thoughts, I would feel better if I could at least have that much. To hear her internal screaming would make me feel better, maybe, maybe not. I wasn't sure if I'd rather hear her internally or if I needed her screams to fill the heavy silence of the house. Even Emmett didn't joke during this time. We all loved Bella, we all wanted her around; we all felt like we were at a funeral. I wasn't the only one she had altered, she touched all of our lives, and none of us could ever dream not having her around. No one wanted to talk, but the silence needed to be broken with something. The TV was turned on for background noise; no one really watched it though.
Occasionally Alice would sit with me, her visions would flip to the future, but Bella wasn't present in those visions. That pained me more. The fissure in my chest threatened to open up again. I couldn't imagine my life without Bella, I tried to for six months and that was pure hell on my heart, it made me feel hollow. I felt hollow now, even with her near, even with her heart strongly beating, she was a shell of herself, this was worse than when she was in a coma after James attacked her. I wanted to read her eyes to see what kind of pain she was feeling. But I couldn't. Other than holding her hand I didn't dare touch her. I was afraid my touch would bring her pain to the forefront and then the screaming would commence.
Carlisle came in again during the day. "Still no change?"
"None," I said quietly, with sadness in my voice.
Carlisle leaned in to smell her still pulsing throat. "There's no scent of the morphine left," he assured me.
"I know," I said, trying to hide my anguish. I only hoped that she wasn't in any pain. I had no clue.
"Bella? Can you hear me?" Carlisle asked her in a subdued tone.
She didn't answer. She didn't move. She didn't twitch. This was killing me. I wanted something. I was ready to hear screaming, I was ready to hear panting, I was ready to hear something, anything, other than this painful, deafening silence.
"Bella? Bella, love? Can you open your eyes? Can you squeeze my hand?" I was anxious, I hoped if she heard me coaxing her out of her silence she would make some noise or at least squeeze my hand. I wanted her to know I was here for her. I couldn't leave her. I had hurt her, again. My worst fears were surfacing, I was too late. She was slowly dying and her body was shutting down never to wake, mortal or immortal.
My voice was heavy with anguish as I voiced my concern, "Maybe...Carlisle, maybe I was too late."
"Listen to her heart, Edward." Carlisle reassured me. "It's stronger than even Emmett's was. I've never heard anything so vital. She'll be perfect." No, I'm proud of you, she really will be perfect.
She already was perfect. But I had to be selfish and have her for myself. I had broken her. I wanted to know about her other injuries from that torturous birth of our daughter. I had to know if she would be okay.
"And her—her spine?" I felt my voice crack at this. I couldn't imagine her broken again.
"Her injuries weren't so much worse than Esme's. The venom will heal her as it did Esme," Carlisle patted my shoulder as he said this.
"But she's so still," I argued. "I must have done something wrong," I conceded. I was always doing something wrong with her.
Carlisle kept his hand on my shoulder, in an attempt to comfort me. "Or something right, Edward. Son, you did everything I could have done and more. I'm not sure I would have had the persistence, the faith it took to save her. Stop berating yourself. Bella is going to be fine."
I could only whisper my earlier thoughts, "she must be in agony."
"We don't know that. She had so much morphine in her system. We don't know the effect that will have on her experience."
I had to reassure her that I was still there. I remembered my agonizing change all too well, "Bella, I love you. Bella, I'm sorry." And I was so sorry. Sorry again for ever meeting her, for being selfish and wanting her for myself, sorry for leaving her, sorry for impregnating her, and sorry for this hell I knew she was going through.
As I apologized a thought flitted across my mind. Was this her final act of human selflessness? She was in utter agony and to spare me she wasn't screaming or writhing in her burning pain. She was holding it in. I hoped I was wrong, that the morphine really had helped with the pain, but I had a feeling that she was holding it all in to spare my feelings, my regret and my sorrow. Always so selfless, her soul was beautiful. I was going to miss that about her.
Carlisle hadn't left; he was still looking over Bella with me. I didn't want him to leave me just yet. I needed someone else in that room. The rest of the family was downstairs. The dog was there, too, he wasn't going to leave us, ever.
"Edward, I know Bella can hear us, I don't want to say this out loud. Sam needs you downstairs to interpret for them. They don't want to be in human form to work out Jacob's imprinting," Carlisle said to me in my head.
"No, I'm staying right here," I whispered hoping her ears didn't pick that up. "They'll sort it out."
"An interesting situation. And I'd thought I'd seen just about everything." Who would have thought Jacob would have imprinted on your half-human half-vampire offspring?
"I'll deal with it later." I didn't want to deal with it by myself; I couldn't think like that, I had to amend that thought. "We'll deal with it." I squeezed Bella's hand again. I needed her to know we were still in this together. I was still with her, I couldn't leave her.
"I'm sure, between the five of us, we can keep it from turning to bloodshed."
I sighed as I considered the different arguments Rosalie and Jacob were having, "I don't know which side to take. I'd love to flog them both. Well, later," I still wasn't leaving my Bella to suffer alone.
"I wonder what Bella will think—whose side she'll choose," Carlisle said with a smile in voice.
I couldn't help chuckling at this thought. "I'm sure she'll surprise me. She always does."
Carlisle left to take care of the wolf problem downstairs.
I went back to pondering what I would miss about Bella. I would definitely miss her flushing red, to watch her blood swirl beneath the surface of her pale skin, and the aroma her blood had. But I wouldn't miss fighting off the monster within to take her life. The monster won. But since we had collected my venom in a syringe I didn't have to bite her too much, but fighting the monster off to not drain her was the hardest part.
I would miss her soul. I just knew that was going to be missing. This is what I feared the most about changing her. I sat there watching the steady rise and fall of her chest and the sound of her thumping heartbeat. I would definitely miss that. But to have her more durable, I couldn't wait to show her all of my love, to be able to not hold back with her. I couldn't wait for our first real kiss. If she thought what we had before was bliss, she would be surprised what she was missing. I would be surprised at what I was missing. I mused on that thought for awhile. It helped keep my sanity as she silently suffered.
I heard Alice come up the stairs.
"How much longer?" I asked as she entered the room. I was panicking; I didn't know how much longer I could take this torture. She was hurting; I needed her to not hurt anymore. I knew that now, she was staying silent for my benefit. I would have to talk to her about that later. But did it matter? Maybe I didn't want to know how much she suffered. I was sure Carlisle would pepper her with questions, I'd let him ask as much as he needed to know, I wouldn't add to it. It would add to my sorrow and pain of hurting her.
"It won't be long now. See how clear she's becoming? I can see her so much better," she said as she sighed. I saw into Alice's mind, and I could see Bella. She was never this focused before in her mind. Renesmee, on the other hand, she couldn't see at all, this frustrated Alice to no end. She was getting bitter about it. I had to tease her. It helped take my mind off the suffering.
"Still feeling a little bitter?"
"Yes, thanks so much for bringing it up. You would be mortified too, if you realized that you were handcuffed by your own nature. I see vampires best, because I am one; I see humans okay, because I was one. But I can't see these odd half-breeds at all because they're nothing I've experienced. Bah!"
I had made her vision slip from Bella with that distraction; I wanted to focus on that. I wanted to see her again, alive.
"Focus, Alice," I urged.
"Right. Bella's almost too easy to see now."
This made me sigh, I was content. I could see her through Alice, she was much clearer and I was happy I did do something right by her. Though, it still pained me to have her changed at all. "She's really going to be fine," I smiled as I said this.
"Of course she is," Alice snapped at me.
"You weren't so sanguine two days ago."
"I couldn't see right two days ago. But now that she's free of all the blind spots, it's a piece of cake."
I needed to know how soon she'd wake up. I was being selfishly impatient; I had to know when I could hold her again. I glanced up at Alice after looking at Bella, "Could you concentrate for me? On the clock—give me an estimate."
"So impatient," Alice said as she sighed at me. "Fine, give me a sec-"
I waited while her visions swirled and solidified. I was ecstatic, two more hours to endure her suffering; my suffering. I was never more grateful to have a sister who could see the future as I was at this moment. "Thank you, Alice," I said with renewed hope.
"She's going to be dazzling," Alice murmured to me.
This made me mad, she never was anything but dazzling to me, I wanted Alice to know that, "She always has been," I growled at her quietly, I knew Bella's hearing was getting better.
"You know what I mean! Look at her."
I was looking at her. It's what I had been doing for two days straight. Never moving, other than to squeeze her hand and to pray to whatever god vampires pray to in time of comfort. But Alice was right; Bella was becoming more radiant, if that were possible.
Downstairs Rosalie was sitting impatiently next to Emmett while he watched the Mariners baseball game. She was trying to get Renesmee back from Jacob. I reflected on the earlier conversation I'd had with Carlisle. What would Bella say? Now she'd always have her Jacob around, how would she feel about that? I couldn't be sure. Would she snap his head off? I certainly wanted to. How the hell did that happen? I questioned for the hundredth time since the birth. Of all the people in the world, that mongrel imprinted on our daughter. Would Bella accept him as a future son-in-law, to always have him in our family? I knew whatever she would do and say, she would surprise me.
I sat there contemplating the transformation, her exquisite beauty and the troubles that were about to ensue when her heartbeat started racing.
"Carlisle." I said calmly, though I wanted to frantically run down the stairs and find him. Something was happening to Bella. Carlisle and Alice soon came in.
"Listen," I said to him. I stopped my breathing so they could be sure to hear her quickening heartbeat.
"Ah, it's almost over," Carlisle said.
"Soon!" Alice agreed. "I'll go get the others. Should we have Rosalie..." stay downstairs with Renesmee?
"Yes—keep the baby away," I didn't need my new bloodthirsty wife attacking our newborn. I had two newborns now...her fingers twitched, causing me to lose my train of thought. The first movement I'd seen in two days from Bella. I frantically glanced at Alice, then Carlisle. He nodded at Alice so she could get the family. She didn't immediately run away, she was in the same shock as I, waiting for the next movement.
I wanted something more, now that I knew she could move I knew she could hear me, "Bella? Bella, love?"
Alice finally broke from her shocked stupor. "I'll bring them right up," Alice said as she dashed from the room. We didn't know how out of control Bella was going to be. But we had agreed we wanted the whole family there, sans Rosalie and Renesmee, to reassure her that we were still here for her. She needed us.
Her heart was beating faster and louder, like she was running a marathon, her heart racing to keep up with the blood her body needed. But her body was about to crave a new kind of blood. Suddenly her back arched high off the hospital bed, it landed back with a thud on the table. The first time in two days any part of her body had moved, other than the minor hand twitch a moment ago. I was frantic again. Was she hurting? Was this the end?
The rest of my family was back in the room, against the far wall by the door, Esme and Alice in the back, Carlisle, Emmett and Jasper in front, ready to help me, if help was needed when she awoke. Rosalie had muted the TV; she wanted to be able to hear her new sister wake up. We were all holding our breath. We didn't know what to expect. Bella had been mentally preparing herself for this for two years. Would she jump off the bed, screaming, never to return to us and wreak havoc all over Forks? No, we wouldn't, couldn't allow that. We had to be ready to show her our way of feeding, the vegetarian way.
Her heart stopped. It thudded once more, twice more and then nothing. There was total silence. We all stopped breathing waiting for Bella to awake in her new life.
"Ready, Edward? She's about to open her eyes," Alice told me with wide smile. She was more excited than anyone to finally have her sister back.
Bella's blood red eyes slowly opened, staring straight up. I was going to miss those deep chocolate brown eyes, too.