WARNING: THIS OUTTAKE CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR 'THE HARD WAY TO LEARN A LESSON'
Disclaimer- I do not own any publically recognised characters or items. Ethan, Mason and THWTLAL, however, are all miney-miney-mine :P
A/N: What? An outtake for THWTLAL more than two years after it was finished? Yeah, I know but it's Christmas and I wanted to and I think you guys still like this or there are still some people reading…? I don't know, but I hope you like it anyway :)
*PLEASE NOTE* This has not been fully edited, thus may be a little scratchy in places but hopefully is acceptable in standard haha.
*ALSO IMPORTANT* This is a tad dirty towards the start. Don't panic, it's nothing too bad, definitely not worthy of an M rating but I felt the need to mention it :)
'The Hard Way To Learn A Lesson' Outtake 2 – Best Christmas Ever
3 and a half years later...
Edward's hot breath fanned across my face in short pants. It smelled like toothpaste, so I happily inhaled and cupped my palm around the back of his neck, pulling him down for a kiss. As our tongues danced a passionate tango in our mouths, I drug my hands down his bare back, digging my nails into his skin; hard but gentle.
His mouth detached from me but his forehead remained pressed against mine as he hissed quietly in pleasure, grunting my name softly and grinding his hips closer, making me whimper, hitch my legs higher and clutch him tighter. His lips trailed my throat, kissing and occasionally sucking, but not hard enough to leave a mark. With one last kiss to the base of my throat, he whispered, "God, I love you."
Unable to help myself I replied with a snicker, "My name's Bella, not God."
He shot me a glare. "Way to ruin the mood, Bell."
I smiled softly and brought one of my hands back to his jaw. "Sorry, baby." I guided his mouth back to mine and kissed him again. "I couldn't help it." I giggled quietly.
"But this is important," he whined, thrusting against me as though to emphasise his point.
"It's always important to you," I replied, but he did have a point; although I'd been feeling a tad off recently so I couldn't help but wonder if the 'point' had already been fulfilled. But I scraped my nails against his back again to rile him up all the same.
He growled – actually growled – and seemed to get back into… things pretty quickly. Thankfully I managed to keep my mouth shut the next time he muttered profanities. But by then I was quite 'into it' as well so it was a moot point really.
This had been going on for about a month and a half now; it was the twenty-second of December and, aside from for the third week in November when I had gotten my period, we had been having sex every opportunity we could. It had all started on the second of November. A Monday. I knew I'd remember the day forever.
I'd picked Ethan up from his pre-school and listened to him chatter all the way back to our little apartment. It was very small; the bathroom was no bigger than the smallest closet and one of the bedrooms wasn't much better. Two bedrooms because Edward and I refused to share with Ethan any longer; he'd been almost two when we'd saved enough money to move out of our parents' homes about a year and a half before. Plus he'd moved around in his sleep far too much to share for much longer; I'd sustained too many kicks to the gut and Edward had sworn on more than one occasion that he didn't think his privates would ever work again. So, naturally, we'd had to get a bigger space to stop that from happening. As much as we loved Ethan, sharing a bed with him just wasn't appropriate anymore. And it did put a bit of a dampener on our sex life.
But I digress.
When we'd gotten back to the apartment, I'd settled him down with some colouring so that I could get on with some work for my third-year project and when I'd checked on him a while later, he'd drawn a pretty big picture.
"Wow, what's all this, honey?" I'd asked, being able to recognise some of his wobbly drawings, like the police car beside a wonky number two, and baseball bat by the number four, but I couldn't work out the blue blob by the number one.
"It's my list for Santa," he'd replied, a little of the "well duh" about his tone. That would explain the police car; he'd desperately wanted a remote control police car for a very long time.
"Oh, I see," I'd said, like it had been obvious the whole time, but I had to fight to keep the panic from my tone. We loved our son more than life itself and wanted to give him everything he ever asked for (within reason, of course; no child of mine would turn out a spoilt brat) but money was tight. I honestly couldn't see how Christmas was even going to happen. I wasn't entirely surprised that Christmas was on his mind almost a whole two months before the occasion, though. Stores were already trying to con kids into begging for Christmas presents and Alice was… well, Alice was Alice. She'd been planning the Cullen Christmas party practically since July. "What's this one?" I asked Ethan, pointing to the blue blob.
Ethan turned his green eyes to the page and then rolled them at me. "Mommy, you are silly. It's a brother. Like Ryan at pre-school's got; Ryan said they play together all the time so I want one."
My mouth went dry. "Oh. Right."
Edward and I had spoken about more children before. Of course we had. We were married now, man and wife, together forever and all that. Children were practically an unwritten rule in the wedding vows weren't they? In fact, the first time it had been brought up properly was on our wedding night. We'd married just over a year after Ethan was born, just after I'd finally graduated high school; a year behind my classmates but at the same time as Jane. It had been a small ceremony, nothing too grand. Or, at least, that had been our plan. We hadn't been reckoning upon the force that was Alice; she'd made it quite the day to remember.
We hadn't had enough money to spend on a proper honeymoon abroad but Carlisle, Esme and my parents had kindly clubbed together to pay for us to have a weekend away in the sunnier state of California. My dad had bid us farewell with gritted teeth which was ridiculous as we were both long past eighteen now, and we were married. Plus, we had a son which was a bit of a giveaway concerning our sex lives.
But that night, as we lay together in a hotel in California, Edward had murmured, "Do you want more kids, Bella?"
He had shocked me silent with that statement.
"I… um… gosh, I don't really think I'm ready for-"
He laughed. "Not now. We couldn't do that now, I know, especially not with you going off to college and me… you know. In the future. When we're a bit more stable."
"Well… sure, I guess. I know I always wanted a big family." I looked up at him, into his eyes which still somehow managed to dazzle me. "Like yours."
"Me too. And I want a girl who looks just-" he punctuated each word with a kiss then "-like-you. Ethan looks too much like me. Plus, I want a daughter to spoil rotten."
"Hey, there will be no favouritism in my family, mister," I said, poking his nose gently. "If you spoil our daughter, then Ethan will need to be spoilt too."
"Of course," Edward agreed, like it was obvious. "We'll spoil all of our children."
"All? How many do you want?"
Edward thought for a moment, blowing up at his widow's peak making me smile and reach out to carefully run my fingers through his hair. After a moment, he answered my question with a devious smile. "Seven."
I huffed. "I don't think my uterus can cope with creating seven lives."
At that, Edward shuffled onto his belly and kissed down my chest to the bottom of my belly where he traced the hideous stretch marks with love and murmured, "Yes you can, can't you? You can make seven wonderful babies, can't you?"
I pouted. "Are you seriously talking to my uterus right now?"
"Well, she's the one who'll need to create my children."
"It takes two to tango," I muttered.
"Well if you want to get on your knees and talk to my baby-making devices, I won't mind."
I hit his shoulder but couldn't help laughing just a little. Edward grinned his lazy lop-sided grin and crawled back up the bed, hovering over me and reaching over to gently take my lips between his, kissing me tenderly. "Well, we have years to decide," he told me quietly.
"That we do," I agreed. I stared deep into the eyes of my… my husband and felt my heart thud unevenly as I saw the love I had for him reflected right back at me. I lowered my voice and whispered, "Kiss me."
We didn't do much more talking that night.
I'd had to force myself out of that memory before it overtook me altogether, which wasn't a good thing to happen whilst my three-year-old son was in the room. And, with that, I put Ethan's list for Santa back on the table and told him that he could watch some TV for a while, desperately hoping that it would take his mind off of his request because I certainly couldn't get a baby before Christmas, just a little over two months away.
But nothing would stop Ethan once he'd got his mind set. I supposed that with Edward and myself as his parents, stubbornness was a trait he was bound to inherit.
I waited through four days of his hopeful chatter about brothers before realising that his request wasn't going anywhere and I should probably speak to Edward about how best to let him down. I didn't really want to do it myself for fear that he'd ask where babies came from. I was barely twenty-two and there was no way in hell I wanted to have that conversation with my kid already. Hell, he wasn't even four yet! No way was I telling him about the birds and the bees. And thank Jesus he was a boy; I'd be leaving the sex talk for Edward to do later. Much later.
On the other hand, Edward probably wasn't the best man for the job. His sexual relations in high school had been… well… numerous. And probably not hugely safe either. Maybe I'd man up and give Ethan the sex talk myself… in eleven years. He wouldn't need to know anything before sixteen, would he?
Anyway. Fridays were the days Ethan and I spent entirely together, since Mondays and Wednesdays he went to pre-school and I to college, Tuesdays he spent with Grandma Esme while I worked my one-day-a-week part-time job at a local diner and Thursday mornings Charlie took Ethan while I cleaned the house or did work for college. So the fourth day was a Friday and Ethan and I were baking fairy cakes when he turned to me and said, "When can we send my letter for Santa, Mommy?"
I looked at him and then back at the mixture, feeling my cheeks tinge pink. "Um… I don't know, baby. Why?"
"Bucoz I want to make sure he's still got some brothers left or that he has time to make one for me," he told me, with all the innocence of a three-year-old, looking up at me with wide and unblinking green eyes.
Thankfully, the timer had gone off then and he'd been sufficiently distracted by icing the cakes and then Edward had come in from work and Ethan became the centre of his attention until bedtime so he hadn't brought it up again.
"I'm gonna go change out of my uniform," Edward said to me when we left Ethan to sleep.
"Okay, baby, I'll go put the dinner on," I replied.
Edward grabbed my hand and pulled me back close to his body. "Are you sure that you don't want to help me get out of the uniform?" His eyebrow arched suggestively.
"Okay, no for several reasons. First, I'm hungry. Second, Ethan's not anywhere near the land of nod right now. And third…" I hesitated and then said, "Third we need to talk."
Edward released me and ran a hand through his hair. "Uh oh, that's never good." But he smiled and kissed my forehead. "I'll be back in five."
I stared after him as he retreated to our bedroom, my gaze lingering on his fine backside. For a moment I regretted not agreeing to help him get undressed. I did love his uniform.
A few years ago, about three weeks after he'd graduated high school and when Ethan was about four months old, Edward had surprised almost everybody with his choice of career. I say almost everybody because there was one person who had known for a good few months exactly what Edward intended to do after high school. And that person, unexpectedly, was my father.
When Edward had spoken to him about his worries about being a good father and partner, apparently my dad had regaled him with a little advice. Or, rather, a life story. He'd told my boyfriend about when he'd been in a similar situation when my mom had been pregnant with me. And he'd told Edward that he'd joined the police force and never, ever looked back. So when an opening came up in their training program, the good Chief Swan informed my baby daddy right away and Edward took it without even talking to me about it.
I'd been a little annoyed at first, to be honest. All I could think was that my baby daddy – and the love of my life – would be working in close proximity to both my still-fairly-angry father… and guns. Plus, how on earth was I supposed to find him sexy anymore if he wore the same uniform as my dad?
But it was all okay in the end because Charlie and Edward bonded over work. I mean, the first day on the job he came back white as a sheet and very scared-looking but after that he was fine. He still hadn't told me what had happened that day, but in some ways I thought I'd rather not know.
And because Edward wasn't the Chief of Police, he didn't have the same uniform as my dad so all was well in that department. Maybe even better since I'd shocked even myself with how keen on his uniform I had become.
Additionally, Ethan loved having a police officer for a dad. He thought it was cool to no end. I wasn't stupid though; as the daughter of a police chief myself I knew he'd grow out of that.
I was standing in the kitchen (well, I say kitchen but it was really the corner of the family room with the kitchen counters in), staring into space deep in thought when Edward's arms came around my middle and he kissed the side of my neck. "What is it we need to talk about?" he asked softly.
I turned round to face him but remained in the nest of his arms. I buried my face in his shoulder and inhaled the gorgeous smell that was my husband. Husband. That would never get old. We had paper to prove it this time, too. And rings; though they were simple and relatively low in price at least the symbols of our love for each other were no longer edible. "Your son-" I started.
Edward chuckled in my ear.
"I know it's gonna be bad when you call him my son and not ours."
"Yes, well… your son has decided what he wants for Christmas," I told him carefully.
Edward stepped back from me slightly so he could see my face. "Oh really? What does he want?"
I sighed, and felt butterflies in my stomach. Which was ridiculous. This was Edward I was talking to. I could tell him anything and vice versa.
I pulled a face. "He wants a brother."
I stared at him. "'Oh'? That's it?"
He smiled slightly. "What do you want me to say?"
"Edward, we can't do that! He's going to be so disappointed!"
His smile got bigger. "Bella. We're twenty-two. No, you're twenty-two. I'm still twenty-one. I think we're perfectly able to make that happen."
I swatted him with a tea towel. "That's not what I meant. We can't do that in a month and a half and even if we could there's no guarantee it would be a boy!"
Edward sighed and finally became serious. "Well… if we could…" He trailed off.
"If we could make it happen… would we?"
I felt my brow furrow in confusion before what he was asking became clear. "Are you asking me if I want to…?"
He flushed a little, for once. "Um… yeah?"
"But can we afford to…?"
Edward shrugged. "It takes nine months, right?"
"You'll have finished college in nine months. I've got a decent job."
I frowned. "Edward, we don't have the space…"
"We can make space."
"Or the time-"
"You'll have finished college. I can take leave; I have a lot of holiday saved up."
"What about Ethan?"
"What about him?"
"He might get jealous… or left out… or forgotten…" I chewed anxiously on my lip.
"He asked for this. And there are an awful lot of adults to go around. My parents, your dad and Sue, Alice, Jasper, Emmett-"
"Ethan asked for a brother," I reminded him, cutting his list short. "It could be a girl."
"I hope it is a girl. Ethan will understand one day. Sisters are nice. Besides, the next one might be a boy."
"The next one could be a girl too. He could be overrun by sisters."
A huge smile swept across Edward's face. "I'd like that." He bent his head down and kissed me and the next thing we knew, we were in our bedroom and Edward was pulling my shirt over my head. The dinner was burnt, but it was worth it.
The next morning over breakfast, I reached into the cupboard for the pill as had become routine. But then my eyes met Edward's as he drank his coffee leaning against the counter and I looked back down at the medication in my hand. And I put it back in the cupboard.
Suddenly Edward was right beside me. "Are we really doing this?" he whispered.
I smiled and glanced over at our oblivious child who was eating peanut butter toast (so much like his father) and humming to himself. Then I turned back to Edward. "Yes," I replied. "I think we are."
And that was that.
"And they all lived-"
"ISABELLA MARIE CULLEN!" came the shriek that cut me off.
Ethan's eyes widened and he looked at me. "Uh oh."
I ignored both of them and finished my sentence. "-happily ever after. The end." I smiled down at Ethan. "Come on, little man, bedtime."
"But I don't want to go sleep! I'm too e'sited for Santa." Ethan stuck out his bottom lip in the most adorable and irresistible pout. That had clearly come from Alice. Speaking of whom…
"Bella!" The door burst open and my pint-sized sister-in-law stood in the doorway. "What… is this?" She held up something fluffy and red and I bit back a groan. I should have known she'd sniff that out.
I sighed instead. "Alice, I'll be with you in a minute, okay? Just let me say goodnight to this one."
"I won't sleep," Ethan insisted.
Alice's furious expression morphed instantly to one of adoration and happiness as she came over to the bed and perched on Ethan's other side. "Do you know what I used to do to try to get to sleep on Christmas Eve?"
"What?" Ethan looked up at his aunt with wide eyes.
"I'd sing Christmas songs in my head and eventually I'd fall asleep," she told him, "and I'd imagine what was going to happen on Christmas day and think of all the nice presents I'd get."
"Hopefully," I added, throwing Alice a half-glare.
"Hopefully," she agreed, holding back a laugh. She knew exactly what Ethan wanted for Christmas despite our discouraging. She didn't, however, know that Edward and I had quickly begun to long for the very same thing.
Ethan considered what Alice had told him for a moment.
"If you don't sleep, how's Santa supposed to leave the presents?" I asked. "He only leaves them for sleeping children."
Ethan sighed but lay down. "Okay," he said reluctantly.
"Good boy." I took the book and put it back on the shelf before reaching over, tucking him in and placing a kiss on his forehead. "Night, baby. Daddy will come say goodnight in a minute."
"Night, Mommy. Night Aunty Awice."
Alice beamed at him. "Goodnight Ethan."
The moment we stepped outside, Alice whirled around to face me. "What?" She held up the red jumper from earlier.
I held up a finger in response. "One sec." I poked my head into the family room where Edward and Jasper were having a beer. "He's ready for you."
Edward put his drink down and came over. He paused by me in the doorway, placed his palm flat on my belly and murmured, "Don't let Alice kill you yet, okay? I need you."
"Are you talking to me or my uterus?" I muttered back.
Edward laughed. "Both of you."
Alice had finally had enough and dragged me to my bedroom. "Explain," she said, throwing the jumper at me. "Now!"
I unfolded the fluffy wool jumper. It was red and looked hand-knitted and had a huge cartoon reindeer on the front with a red pom-pom for a nose. I shrugged. "It's cute."
Alice's mouth gaped like I'd just kicked her puppy or something. "Bella. Even you should be able to see that that's a hideous monstrosity."
I just shrugged again. It was pretty bad. But… you know… it was Christmas. You can get away with these things.
"And you were going to wear this on Christmas day?"
I bristled. "I am going to wear this on Christmas day," I insisted.
"No, you're not." Alice huffed and turned to a bag in the corner of the room. "I bought you this dress for tomorrow and you have to wear it."
"You'll like it, I promise." She lifted the dress out carefully handling it like a newborn and passed it off to me in the same manner. "It's going to be released in the Spring; but I thought you could have it as an early Christmas present…"
Since graduating high school Alice had (surprise, surprise) become an intern for a fashion design company. She was now already in a senior position and looking in good stead to being able to begin her own line in a couple of years, as was her aim. For now, though, she had to be content with being one of the company's best designers. She did manage to wrangle her way into getting clothing that she'd designed months before their official release, like this dress, but not too often.
"Wow, Alice," I said when I saw the dress; and I meant it. It was jade green and very long; the bottom almost touched the floor. It was elegant and yet understated at the same time, with a halter neck and strap just around the rib cage, under the chest, to emphasise the boobs. It was gorgeous. And very me. "Okay, yes, I love it. Thank you."
Alice rolled her eyes. "When are you going to stop being surprised that I'm right?"
"When you start to compromise."
Alice glared at the red jumper as if she could burn it with her steely gaze. "Never."
I laughed. "Come on; let's get our drink on with the boys."
"Uh uh." Al shook her head. "You've got to try it on so I can make changes if they're needed."
I rolled my eyes but knew better than to fight. I willingly stripped down to my underwear and let Alice slip the dress over my head. It floated over my body in a way that was almost unreal. Alice did up the zip at the back and I turned to inspect my reflection. It was so pretty… and tight. I frowned at myself in the mirror, gently tugging the dress down over my body. "Alice is this smaller than usual?"
"No," she replied, "it's your usual measurements…" Alice's eyes narrowed for a second and then her mouth dropped open. "Ohmigod. Bella… are you…?"
"No!" I said straight away, but my hands flew to my stomach. That was where it was tightest… "No," I said again, more to myself as I tried to fight off the hope, "I wouldn't be showing."
Alice's eyes inspected my reflection as I did. And I noticed more and more subtle changes about myself. I couldn't describe them. There were just… differences. No one else would notice. Not even Edward who knew me better than anyone.
"But…" Alice said after a second. "Are you guys… you know… trying?"
I sighed. Edward and I had agreed not to tell anyone, just in case it took a while or something happened. Or my dad decided to shoot him. "Sort of," I confessed quietly, "but you can't tell anyone!"
"I won't," Alice swore and I knew she wouldn't. Her eyes met mine in the mirror. "Could you be…?"
I bit my lip. I hadn't had a period in a long time. But I was always irregular and coming off of the pill had to have an effect on that, didn't it? "I don't know. Maybe? But I couldn't be showing; we haven't been 'trying' that long."
We were both quiet for a moment.
"What-?" Alice was cut off by a knock at the door.
"Don't come in!" we said in unison.
"Okay," Edward chuckled from the other side of the door. "Just checking that Bell's still alive. And wondering if you guys are joining us?"
"We'll be there in a bit," I called.
Once we'd heard him leave, I sighed and looked back at myself in the mirror.
"It's fine, Bella. It doesn't look like anything. Just a little tight."
"Yeah but… I wasn't expecting this. Not now, not really."
Alice reached out and squeezed my hand. "It's fine, Bella. You and Edward are the best parents I know… alongside my own and Emmett and Rose, of course."
I smiled and nodded a bit. But really I was still shocked. This wasn't supposed to happen so fast!
"What are you gonna do?"
I took a deep breath and relaxed. "I'm going to leave it until after Christmas, I think. We can't overshadow the holidays like that. I'll enjoy the holiday and then worry about getting… tests and stuff."
"Okay. Well… I'm here for you whatever, Bella." She squeezed my hand again.
I smiled at her, and then pulled her in for a hug. "Thanks, Alice. I don't know what I'd have ever done without you."
I changed back into my jeans and t-shirt and we went back to the boys, potential pregnancies and the like pushed to the backs of our minds… for now. But despite telling Alice that I'd forget about it and enjoy the holiday, I went to the kitchen and poured myself a wine glass full of Ethan's red grape juice as an unsuspicious alternative to alcohol.
Better to be safe than sorry.
Christmas morning came like any other morning; Edward and I were woken far too early by a little body bounding into our bedroom and bouncing on our bed. Except this time, he came with a stocking full of presents. Edward made us a breakfast of pancakes in bed and we sat in our bed as Ethan opened his little presents from Santa. He was a little disappointed by the lack of a brother, but we'd given him more than enough preparation for that and the remote control police car seemed to make up for it as he drove it around the apartment pretending that his daddy was inside the car.
At ten thirty we changed to go to the Cullens' for the rest of the day. I uncharacteristically opted to change in the bathroom under the guise of wanting to surprise Edward with my dress but really I just wanted to inspect myself. Once I was standing in just my underwear I stepped closer to the mirror and looked in side-on. I stared when I saw that there was a very small but indisputable bump jutting out from in between my hips.
All kinds of emotions sprung up within me. Hope, happiness, relief, pride, worry, fear… all on a suspicion.
So I pushed it all down, took a deep breath and got ready to go.
As Edward and I walked hand in hand up the Cullens' front path to the house where Ethan was already knocking excitedly, he squeezed my hand. "Are you okay?" he leant in to whisper.
I looked up at him, feigning surprise. "Yeah, I'm fine. Why?"
"You're acting… funny."
I smiled softly and squeezed his hand back. "Don't worry. I'm fine."
But then the door opened and Esme greeted us with a smiling face and hugs and kisses. We stepped inside and Esme took our coats and hung them up. And then the smell of turkey assaulted my senses and I knew that Edward wouldn't believe that I was fine for much longer.
"Excuse me," I managed to splutter before pushing past Esme and dashing for the bathroom where I somehow managed to vomit neatly into the toilet.
A second later there was a hand against my forehead and a worried voice in my ear, "Bella? Bella, are you okay? What's the matter?"
I choked up a little more in the toilet as his probing questions continued. "I'm fine," I coughed weakly as soon as I could, before clearing my throat and repeating myself a little clearer.
"Like hell you are!" Edward hissed. "Bella, sick is not the same as fine." He moved to stand up.
"No!" I grabbed him and held him down with me. "Please don't make a scene," I begged.
"What? I just want to get you home, or in a bed."
"Edward, really, I'm okay," I insisted.
He pouted at me.
I sighed. "I just… I think…" I lowered my voice even more. "I think I'm… you know… pregnant."
He stared at me, speechless, for almost a whole minute. "What?"
I rolled my eyes. "Pregnant? With child? Bun in the oven?"
"Yes, Edward. I'm fairly sure. I feel… different."
We were both quiet for a moment, and then he said, "Okay."
"Wait here." And he stood up and left the room.
I wondered briefly where he had gone but I didn't have to wonder for long for he returned not long after he had left holding a small present. He held it out to me. "I was going to give this to you later, at home in private but… you should have it now."
I narrowed my eyes at him cynically but took it and carefully began to open it. I only had to peel off one side before I laughed once in disbelief and looked at my beautiful husband with questioning eyes.
He smiled and shrugged. "I noticed you hadn't been you know… had your monthly visitor in a while. I thought it was maybe a bit premature but… what harm could it do?"
I pressed my lips together but suddenly another emotion passed through me. One I hadn't felt earlier, or the last time I had discovered I was pregnant with Ethan. One that was contagious and I was sure I had just caught from Edward: excitement.
"Let's do it," I said enthusiastically.
Edward nodded and I saw the excitement in his eyes as he sat back against the door and slid the lock across. He politely looked away as I peed on the little stick and then we sat, together, fingers linked on his parent's bathroom floor on Christmas morning. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting to see if our lives were going to change again.
Once my phone buzzed to signal that the time was up and we could look, I silenced it and Edward and I looked deeply into each other's eyes. "Ready?" he asked softly.
"As I'll ever be," I replied nervously.
He smiled and bent his head to kiss me, softly, sweetly, quickly; we couldn't wait any longer. And then we took a collective deep breath… and turned the stick over.
"Well…" Edward said with a heavy exhale and a huge grin. "Merry Christmas, Bella."
I grinned back at him. "Merry Christmas, baby."
"No," Edward murmured quietly, reaching over to rest his hand on my stomach. "Merry Christmas baby," he cooed cutely.
I giggled and the sound was slightly hysterical, slightly scared and entirely happy. Because those two little lines confirming my pregnancy hadn't told me anything I hadn't expected, but they were sure to be the best gift I'd get all day.
Christmas day was amazing, made all the better by our little surprise. We kept it to ourselves, but I was sure that Alice caught our sly grins at each other and maybe even noticed how Edward tried to brush my stomach with every move he made so she might have guessed something.
Everyone was there. Of course there was Carlisle, Esme and Alice, and Jasper joined us because his parents were on holiday in England or something… he'd spent the last couple of Christmases with the Cullens anyway so they didn't have any qualms about leaving him on Christmas.
Emmett and Rosalie joined us as well, even though they had moved to Seattle a good few hours away where Emmett worked as a PE coach at a high school specialising in sport. They had a daughter now, Elodie; she'd be one in February and she'd had Emmett wrapped around her little finger ever since she'd entered the world. She was the absolute apple of his eye and seeing them interact was adorable.
Naturally, Jane was there too since the Cullens were her family, and by default Mason and his family were too. The two of them had been in a steady relationship for a while now. They'd gotten together at Christmas actually; Mason had gone away to college in California and Jane had been the moodiest, most miserable cow you could ever imagine for the entire first semester he was away. Which was a pain in the butt for me especially since she already rather detested me and I had to spend more time with her in school while we both finished our last years. But then Mason had come home for Christmas and Edward and I had done a little… plotting and they'd gotten themselves together. Somehow, they'd made the long-term thing work for the rest of the year and then Jane had followed him to California.
At first we had wondered if she had been running from her problems after recently discovering that Mr Marshall was her father, but she'd kept in contact with him and us and they'd sorted it out and, as a result, Mr Marshall – or Steve, as we all now knew him – was coming by briefly later for dinner and a drink.
And, of course, Ethan gathered the hugest pile of presents a young boy has ever owned; the only member of the family more doted upon perhaps was Elodie.
All in all, it was a good day. Okay, it was amazing.
The highlight, though, wasn't Esme's incredible dinner. It wasn't Mason's sister Mackenzie leading us all in a giant conga around the room. It wasn't Emmett's joke cracker which he had filled with strawberry jelly and left in Alice's place. Nor Jane's embarrassment when she'd opened some lacy underwear from Alice in front of her father ("that's your present, too" Alice had said jokingly to Mason). The highlight of the day wasn't even our surprise in the bathroom. The best bit happened when we tucked Ethan into bed at night.
"Momma?" he'd said tiredly as I tucked the duvet under his chin.
"I've been thinking," he said, "I don't mind that Santa didn't bring me a brother."
I exchanged a look with Edward. "Oh? Why not, baby?"
"Bucoz I quite like Elodie so maybe next year I'll ask for a sister instead. He might not run out of those."
I looked at Edward again and we both smiled hugely at each other. Girl or boy we'd find a way to make sure Ethan accepted and loved this baby.
"Okay, baby, good idea," I said quietly, brushing his hair from his face and kissing his forehead. "And merry Christmas."
When Edward and I left Ethan's room, Edward swept me into his arms and kissed me passionately and when we eventually parted, he grinned at me. "Best. Christmas. Ever," he said breathlessly.
"Ever," I agreed, and I let him sweep me along to our bedroom to make it an even better Christmas.
Hey guys! I'll keep this brief because I promised an update before Christmas and it's half ten Christmas eve where I am so I don't have much time! Haha :) And I'd like to point out that this 14 page whopper has been churned out in less than 24 hours, excluding obviously sleep and an eight-hour shift at work. I have no idea where I've found the time tbh :L
But MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE! :D I've been desperate to write a Christmassy one-shot for weeks now but had NO inspiration. And then these guys (THWTLAL E&B) were just there in the back of my mind despite it being two and a half years since I wrote any of this now (that's crazy!) so I just wrote it out :)
Like I said at the top, this is probably quite bad (and maybe an abrupt ending? :/) because it hasn't been fully edited but I'll try and edit and re-post after Christmas :) In the meantime, I hope it's given you some insight as to what I imagine E&B to be doing after Ethan and I really hope you liked it.
I'm hoping to do a couple more outtakes like this in the coming weeks; one set after this with more details about the baby (I totally have plans which are implied in this outtake but very subtle and if someone can guess I'll give them… well they can have a virtual Edward because that is the only prize worthy of such a good guess lol :P) and then another of the wedding and earlier years of Ethan's life, which would look more closely at Alice and Jasper and Jane and Mason as well :)
So yes. Merry Christmas and a happy new year! A review would make a wonderful gift (hint hint ;)) and I'd love to know your thoughts both on this and which outtake you'd like next :)
Please leave your thoughts!
Thanks so much :)