All Twilight characters belong to Stephenie Meyer
Dollybigmomma does it beta-style!
Chapter 50 - Living the Dream
My dad had rearranged the basement a little, fitting a queen-sized bed in it for Edward to sleep on. There was a twin and a toddler bed in my old room. I was sure he expected me and Jake to sleep up there, but he didn't fight us when we changed and cuddled up on the bed with Edward.
He gave Edward a nod as he watched him pull me closer, with Jake between us. I think he understood that as a family, we needed our time together before we lost Jake.
The next morning, my dad navigated through the streets of La Push. Edward was in the front seat, and I was in the back, talking softly to Jake about seeing his grandpa. The little rundown house looked quiet, and I wondered if anyone was home.
Dad had worn his uniform and gun. He'd said it was just to be on the safe side. "You never know how someone is gonna act when you drop big news on them."
"I'm not sure anyone is home."
"He's here," Edward said without question and headed up to the house, knocking on the door with a bit of determination.
I stood back by the cruiser, letting the men handle the first part.
"What's this, who are you? Why are you here? You have no jurisdiction here," the older man glared at my father.
"Sir, if you'd…" my father started, but Edward cut in.
"We have your grandson. Chief Swan brought us here as a courtesy."
"His daughter, Bella Swan, and I were on the same plane as your daughter that crashed off the coast of Florida several months ago. We were able to make it safely to an island, where we were rescued and just returned home last night. I believe your grandson's name is Jacob, correct?"
He looked at Edward stunned, unable to answer. Edward waved me over, and I brought a nervous Jake up on the porch. The man covered his mouth, trying to hold back his crying when he saw him.
"This isn't a hoax. He and his mother were in the seat next to mine. She died on impact, painlessly," Edward said the last part softly.
"Edward worked quickly to get him out of the plane, there were eight of us, besides little Jake, but the storm tore apart our little group. Edward was able to keep him above water somehow. I was lost as well, and it was sheer luck that I was washed up on the island where Edward was with your little Jake."
I looked over at my father when I heard him sniffle. He pulled me into his arms. I realized I'd never mentioned to anyone how we had arrived on the island. Only Edward knew what had happened.
"The only reason I was able to keep Jake above water was because of Bella. During the storm, my floatation device was yanked from my grip by the rough sea shortly after our group was scattered. I was struggling to keep Jake and myself above water. Bella gave up her floatation device, throwing it to me, because we were so far apart from each other. I was able to grab it just in time for the next wave to hit, and then she disappeared. I was sure she was dead. There was no way she should've survived that, but I've found that she's very resilient." He pulled me into his arms and kissed the top of my head. "I don't know what I would've done without her."
I looked to the old man, and his watery eyes were fixed on Jacob. He finally reached out to him, but Jacob curled away from him, not wanting to leave my arms.
"Maybe we could sit inside for a little bit, get him used to the new surroundings," I offered.
The man glared at my father, who put his hands up in surrender. "I'll be in the car waiting. Holler if you need anything."
Once he was in the car, Mr. Black led us into his home.
"From what we understand, you're all that's left of Jake's biological family?" Edward asked.
The man nodded his head, watching us closely as we took a seat on the couch. Jake's curious eyes started to look around, but he hadn't climbed off of my lap yet. "He's been having a hard time adjusting to civilization. On the island, everything was very simple. He played with the animals and stayed close to either me or Edward. There were no buttons or doors. There wasn't a lot to get into like there is here." To prove my point, Jake slid off my lap and toddled over to a shelf with movies and started taking them off. He had himself an armful, looking at the pictures and then discarding them on the floor for more. Edward quickly sat on the floor next to him. "What did you find there?"
"Dis!" Jake held up a movie proudly, showing Edward the picture on the case.
"That's a cool picture. How about we look at more and then put them all back."
Jake held up a different movie, "Dis!"
Edward nodded and then picked a couple off the floor, sticking them on the shelf. Jake smacked them down off the shelf. "NO! MINE!"
"Hey, now," Edward gave Jake a stern look and opened his arms to him. "Come here." Jake dove into them and hugged him tightly. "It's okay, Jake, I've got you." Edward kissed the top of his head and then turned him, keeping him on his lap. He pointed to his grandfather, "That's Grandpa, these are his. He's being nice and sharing. Can we be nice and pick up his movies?" He handed one to Jake, who toddled over to his grandfather and handed it to him.
"Thank you," his grandpa was holding back tears as he took it from him.
Our interaction with Mr. Black felt stunted at best. I could tell he wanted us to leave, but at the same time, he wasn't sure if that was a good idea yet.
"Jake isn't used to sleeping alone. He slept in the hut with us and then in the cave for a while. We eventually moved him to a separate alcove, but he slept with Sam and Ollie."
"Sam and Ollie, were they rescued as well? It sounded like you were the only ones…"
"They're a dog and a monkey, we're the only ones who survived," Edward answered quickly. "We can see about bringing our dog and monkey over. Even in the hotel rooms on our way here, they shared a bed." He was rubbing his forehead.
"Or we can stay, or me. Whatever you feel comfortable with," I cut in.
Edward narrowed his eyes at me. He dropped his scowl as soon as Jake leapt into his arms, shouting, "Da-Da!"
"He calls you both Ma-Ma and Da-Da."
"Yes, well, we were on the island for nine months, and saying 'Edward' and 'Bella' was a bit of a challenge. We consider him our son, we love him like one," Edward attempted not to snap at him. "He sees us as his parents. We've been the only people he's been in contact with. We were his sole caretakers for over half his life. It was only natural that we formed a bond as a family."
"You can't have him!" Mr. Black snapped.
"We're aware of that," I added trying to cool everybody down. "We're living in Forks, not far from here, and were hoping to stay in contact with him."
"I don't trust…" Mr. Black started, but didn't get to finish what he started.
"Chief Swan will not interfere with your custody of Jacob. He has no desire to start trouble. He was just worried you might not respond positively to the return of you grandson."
"Why wouldn't I respond positively?" he shouted at us.
"There was always a chance you wouldn't believe us, and your emotional loss over your daughter and Jake could've had this reunion turning out bad. Our return would be unbelievable, even in the best of circumstances. Chief Swan just had his daughter returned to him. He wasn't going to risk her being put in danger again," Edward explained.
Mr. Black ordered take-out and watched as I gave Jake a bath and dressed him for bed. Being in a new place was not conducive to settling him down. The diaper change after dinner was pretty wicked. His little system was struggling with the processed food, and it was obvious by the smell. Mr. Black actually backed out of the room, covering his face. It made the stink worth it, though, if it showed him one more challenge he'd have to face.
He agreed to let me stay and sent Edward home with Charlie. I fell asleep on the couch, with Jake stretched across my chest, just like how we used to sleep in the hut.
I woke the next morning to pancakes being made. I thanked Mr. Black profusely and told him how much I'd missed real pancakes on the island. We talked a lot about our time on the island and how there was so much we had taken for granted until it was gone.
I told him silly stories about Jake playing with the animals and how Ollie was almost like a mischievous little brother. I talked and talked for weeks, letting him know of the fun and excitement we'd had on the island. I reassured him that it wasn't torturous, but nice in some ways.
I spent most nights at his house, and the few nights I didn't, I was a mess, and Billy didn't look much better. Edward came over to visit as much as possible, but he had taken a position as a surgeon at the hospital. His wild hours left me open to spending most of my time at Billy's, and when Billy was at work, Jake was with me at my dad's house.
It took some doing, but we finally got Billy to warm up to my father. They both spoke the same fishing language.
Edward brought over a few different house plans one evening and asked me to go over them. "What going on with this stuff?" Billy asked.
"I've bought a piece of land between here and Forks. I'd like to build a house on it, and since I plan on asking Bella to marry me very soon, I think it'd be best that she pick the floor plan."
The mixed emotions on Billy's face had me worried. I found out why a month later, when I showed up with an engagement ring on my finger. I excitedly told him about the cheesy proposal. It had an island theme that involved our animals and Jake, who had spent the night, because Billy had a poker game.
"How is Jake going to fit in with all this? Do you plan on having kids?"
"I don't know. I suppose we'll probably give him a brother or sister." I kissed Jake's little dark curls. "He'll have his own room, with toys and everything he could need or want, just like any other children we may have. He'll always be our son and have a place with us. "
Billy looked at the floor, as if reflecting on something, before nodding his head, "That's good, and I think it's time we made the pair of you his parents permanently, because I've realized I'm really only cut out to be a grandpa."
I literally leapt into Billy's arms, nearly knocking him over, and squished Jake between us.
"I'll take that as a yes, you're interested in adopting him?"
"Yes, the answer is a huge yes!" I thought it'd take an eternity to get Billy to let us adopt Jake, but thankfully, it only took six very long months.
Alice called and told me the Volturi law group and the dirty judge had been taken care of. My medical license was officially reinstated, and she wanted me to take the job at the local hospital. I didn't think it would show that I was committed to being Jacob's father if I just brushed him off and worked a surgeon's schedule. The hours were erratic and not conducive to parenting. I planned on quitting as soon as possible. With Alice's financial advice, I had become very wealthy while in Black Land. Her continued tips kept my account growing. At this point, I was only working as a surgeon to kill time. I had more important things to do with the second chance at life I'd been given.
I still hated being around people, and when Charlie suggested we buy some land between here and La Push, I nearly kissed him. Okay, not even close, but Bella loved the idea and pointed out that if we picked an equal distance between the two places, I'd be well away from both of the small town's noisy minds.
We looked up properties online, and I stood out on the plots, listening to see if there were any annoying minds nearby. There was just a mild hum in the distance. It sounded more like Bella's crazy bees than people. So the land was purchased and plans picked.
I made a call to Alice after I heard Billy's mind worrying about us leaving Jacob behind. He'd been hurt before. He had originally been a foster child himself. When he saw the floor plans and heard Bella and me talking about building a house, he became nervous. He didn't want Jake to be hurt like he had.
I let Alice in on that little tidbit and asked her if there would be a way to reassure him. I didn't want him to panic and shut us out, because by the tone of his thoughts, he was on the verge of it.
She shocked me by saying that it would be me proposing that would make him relinquish Jacob. I was sure it would have had the opposite effect, but Alice was always right.
Alice assured me that I already knew the answer to the question I'd ask Bella. I had seen it in Charlotte's head, when she met us for the first time. I hadn't been lying when I told Bella that every possible future Alice had seen had her and I together. I knew the answer, and it was time I got her to actually verbalize it.
I had gone out to our little piece of land, where I planned to propose. The construction workers thought I was nuts when I insisted the outdoor fireplace be built first. Outdoor décor usually came last.
I built us a makeshift hut and set out our few clay dishes from the island, along with a few dried fruits she had made, on the log table I'd fashioned from one of the cleared trees. The dishes were easy to find in the trunks. We didn't really need them anymore, but we kept them, mostly for nostalgic reasons.
I made a fire in the backyard fire oven, so I could cook dinner in it, and then I started another in a fire circle. I laughed when Charlie reminded me of the camp toilet he'd gotten Bella. We would be "roughing it" for the most part, but I knew Bella would appreciate having it. I had a couple of air mattresses with me in the hut, which would have to do, since I didn't have any soft moss available. We'd be spending a couple of nights out on our own. Luckily for me, I'd managed to make it a two-room hut, so Jake would have his own bed.
Charlie helped me take all the animals out to the property. He hadn't seen much of the stuff we'd made on the island and was impressed by the mats, baskets and clay dishes Bella had made. He helped me set up, and I told him a few stories about our time on the island. Bella didn't talk to Charlie much about it. I think she didn't want to upset him, because she talked just fine with Mr. Black. I think that was different, because she was talking to reassure him of his grandson's happiness and safety. When she talked to her dad, it would just remind him of how unsafe it really had been on the island.
Charlie held the fort down, while I went to pick up Bella and Jake from Billy's house. She was confused, but not suspicious when I turned down the road to our land. She just assumed I was going to show her the progress the construction workers had made. She never expected to see her father there tending to the fires.
There was a large flat boulder on the edge of the firelight. I had decided it was very fitting for what I was doing. I collected all the things she'd wished she'd had on the island and set them there, toilet paper, sitting on a picture of a toilet, being the first, followed by light bulbs, a bottle of water labeled "hot," toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, fast food and grocery receipts, my stethoscope, a pillow with "real bed" written on the pillowcase, a disposable diaper and wipes, a picture of a washer, dryer, dish washer, and lastly, a house.
"These are all things you went without, and did so with very little complaint. You stuck by me and helped me work for our family on the island. You shouldered the load, and once done with your chores, you often offered to help me with mine. Your creative thinking, adventurous spirit and bravery benefited our family in so many ways, even if it did scare the crap out of me on a regular basis. Your compassion made our family grow." I petted Sam's head, rubbed Ollie's back, and pointed to Polly, "Your friends showed me that I needed to do more for you." I motioned to the chickens she'd chatted with so often, "And I'll never forget the goats that gave us that extra little push, changing our friendship forever," I waggled my tongue at her, making her giggle. "You forced me to open up and let you in, and you taught me how to be a good father, friend and lover. You're everything to me, and I promise you'll never go without again. I'll give you everything, every part of me, for the rest of my life, if you'll marry me."
She threw herself into my arms, kissing my face all over, and finally claimed my lips. She pulled back, nodding her head yes, and I was ecstatic as I slid the ring up her finger. She was finally going to be mine. "You owe me cookies," I whispered against her lips, causing her to laugh. We spent a couple of days reliving our time marooned, and I'd never dreamed I would have said it, but I missed our simple island existence. However, every time Bella smiled when she grabbed the toilet paper made being back worth it.
It was only a short time after we returned before Bella called me and let me know that Billy was ready to give us Jacob, and I shouted a loud, "YES!"
I was alone in the break room when I did it, but there were several minds wondering what the hell was going on in there.
Billy wanted to wait until we were married to put the adoption through. We decided to get married quickly, not wanting to put off the adoption any longer.
Our wedding was perfect, in its own twisted way. I knew Bella was happy, and that was all that mattered. I think any outsiders would have been appalled, but for us, it was just right.
There were chuckles from the audience as Oliver and Jake came down the aisle, followed by the goat, only to round things out with the chickens, or "the girls" as Bella called them. It was just perfect. My best man was a little annoyed with the mess of it all, but I think that was because he was an old fuddy-duddy. I smirked to myself, looking down at Sam. He was man's best friend and my best man. He sat stoically by me, until the last of the pictures had been taken, and I snuck off with him to get him his own little treat. I'd made sure the caterer brought a plate just for him. It was a meat sampler.
We decided to get married quickly, and Alice had obviously seen it coming and planned accordingly. She promised that Jasper would forgo the sock eye patch for our wedding, but I'd heard from Edward that he'd worn one for theirs, as playing pirate and cabin wench had become a favorite thing for them. To each his own, I suppose, not that I was judging. I did have a surprise of my own for Edward for our honeymoon. I was looking forward to being treated by my own personal witchdoctor and being sacrificed by impaling as his pseudo-virgin to the fertility gods…repeatedly.
I stood with my dad at the back of the church, not really nervous, per se, but excited.
"Come on now, you have a gentleman waiting at the end of the aisle, and I know your monkey and Jake are ready to run down it."
I peeked around the corner of the door and saw Billy holding Jake on his lap, waiting for my dad and me to make an appearance, before he released Jake to run up to Edward. I smiled as Billy double-checked the knots that were holding our rings tied to the pillow. Alice was holding Ollie, whispering something to him, but I had no idea what it could have been. When the guests turned and saw us, they all smiled, and I heard the music start. Emmett and Rose were sitting next to the aisle, and I saw him wrap his arm around her shoulder, pulling her close and kissing her head, making me smile. It looked like they wouldn't be too far behind us.
I looked up the aisle to see Edward smile brilliantly at me, and suddenly, my nerves were gone. It was just him and I. Of course, that was short-lived, as Ollie was let loose to drop flower petals, and by dropping, I meant he was throwing them at the people sitting on either side of the aisle and chattering softly as he looked back to Alice, who seemed to encourage him to keep moving forward. Of course, when he realized his basket was empty, he started back down the aisle, picking up the petals and started over again. Billy let Jake go, and he ran up the aisle screaming, "Daddy!" and waving the pillow as he went. Edward squatted down and caught him in his arms, picking him up and kissing his little cheek, smiling widely.
Reverend Webber was smiling and chuckling at our odd but wonderful wedding procession. Baby, my goat, wandered up the aisle and started eating the petals Ollie had been throwing at people. Once Ollie saw this, he started chattering angrily, screeching at the goat.
I was trying hard not to giggle, when I heard Edward yell, "Oliver!" sternly and saw Ollie was getting ready to throw something else at Baby. Polly flew to Edward's shoulder and squawked, "Stop throwing shit!" Percy started to screech something I was sure would have been obscene, but thankfully, Jasper managed to muffle him quickly. Reverend Webber seemed to be a fairly liberal guy, but I really didn't think one of Percy's lewd exclamations would have gone over very well.
"Ollie!" I called to him, and he climbed up my dress with ease. He grabbed my face with his hand and held up his basket with the other, chattering excitedly.
I nodded in understanding. "Come on, Baby," I called to my goat, holding my flowers out to him. He trotted forward and followed me up to the altar. My dad was chuckling next to me and kissed my cheek as he gave me over, smiling widely.
The only thing missing was my girls, but I should've known Alice would know this, because halfway through our vows, the girls came clucking up to us, wondering what the fuss was all about. Sam was at Edward's side, wearing a bow tie as his best man, and he let out a huff as the last of our crazy family came forward.
Reverend Webber was very helpful, taking the ring pillow from Jake and pulled out a pocketknife and cut them off the pillow. He handed Edward my ring and then took my bouquet to keep Baby busy so Edward could put it on my finger.
Our vows were short and sweet, and the reception was a wonderful blur. Billy planned to babysit for the weekend, and my dad was taking all the animals on.
Everything was signed, marriage license and adoption papers. I couldn't wait to record this in my journal, and who knew, maybe I would finally get around to typing it out and publishing it somewhere. Maybe the story of how a grumpy, angry man and a girl with no direction in life found each other would be a hit. It would have a happily ever after, I knew that much, since we were finally getting our happy ending, or rather beginning, one I knew Edward deserved. We were a family, one Edward had thought he could never have, but now he had everything he'd ever dreamed of, and I would give him and our family everything I could, for the rest of my life.