Chapter 62 – It's a Wrap!
The council was in a tizzy over this new development. A human had been kidnapped and raped by a vampire to produce a child. From what I could pull from the woman's mind, he had done it to obtain the child, not caring whether she survived the process. He was not "playing with his food," either, which would have fallen under a different law all together.
Charlotte was doing her best to care for the woman, but she tended to shy away from our kind, which posed another problem; she knew what we were. The bastard who had done this to her hadn't bothered to hide his nature from her. So, by our own law, she would have to be changed or killed. No one was happy with doing either.
In the end, it was Athenadora who decided we should ask the woman which fate she would choose. I could tell by the poor woman's thoughts that she would most likely wish for death, and it weighed heavily on my mind.
It didn't help that my Bella was upset that her father was still not happy with us. He was sure I was some sort of con-artist, using his daughter and hurting her. Once I saw the bruises little Charlie had left behind, I stopped letting her hold him, causing her to spiral into a depression. I hated that I was hurting my love.
Carlisle came to our room, and I noticed right away he was blocking his thoughts. "Bella, dear, may I see you down in the clinic?" he asked, and a sudden realization clicked in her head. Her eyes widened, and she looked at me.
"Oh, my goodness! I was so wrapped up with everything going on with Pamela that I completely forgot to tell him!" she said referring to the woman who had been kidnapped.
Carlisle smiled widely. "I was wondering about that. I was worried you'd changed your mind, since you hadn't told him," he said, continuing to block me.
"Tell me, tell me what?" I asked worried and frustrated.
Bella shushed me so I wouldn't wake the baby and pushed herself into my arms. "It is nothing bad, honey; I just forgot to give you your Christmas present."
I looked at her even more confused. "What does Carlisle have to do with my present?"
She blushed lightly. "Not much, really, he was just, um…"
Carlisle let out a laugh. "You'll know when she tells you. I'll leave you to it," he said and patted my shoulder, slipping out.
I looked down at my wife and let her pull me to our bed. She kissed me softly. "I know you want a family, but I want to be changed soon, so..." she said with a little eye roll and a hand wave that really clued me in to nothing.
"So…what?" I asked.
She pulled her shirt off, completely distracting me from the conversation at hand. My hands, like titty magnets, found her nipples, and soon my lips followed. She moaned my name, but not the way I wanted. I looked up to see her flushed face smiling at me. "That was not why I took off my shirt."
I frowned at her and tweaked her nipple for good measure.
She giggled and wove her hands into my hair. "Come here," she said, guiding my head down to her tummy and ran her fingers through my hair softly. "Now, tell me what you hear."
I took a deep breath and blocked out all the surrounding creaks and groans of the building and all the other noises that came from an over-populated castle. I was listening intently to her tummy, when it dawned on me. She wanted me to listen to her TUMMY! I gently pressed my ear to her abdomen, listening intently. The soft whoosh of two little heartbeats made me jump up excited. "We're having twins!" I shouted.
She tried to shush me, but it was too late, the baby was awake. "You hear that, baby boy, you're going to be a big brother," I said picking him up and kissing his little head.
He liked my excitement, kicking and wiggling while he squealed. This was just what I needed to pick up my day. My Bella was still my saving angel.
Edward was thrilled I was pregnant again. The fact it was with twins just seemed to excite him even more. He spent the rest of the day discussing what we could do to accommodate the children in our quarters. He started moving furniture excitedly and ordering other pieces online. I sat smiling, playing with little Charlie on the bed. I dangled his toys for him as he cooed at me softly. I still was not allowed to let him touch me, but I would touch him. I would tickle his little feet, and when he rolled over, I would rub his little back. It had taken some time, but I had found ways to kiss and love on my baby without getting hurt myself.
Edward looked up at me smiling, and then he pouted briefly, as I played with his son. I knew what he was thinking.
"You're going to have to change me after the twins are born," I said dodging the baby's hand, as he reached for me again. It was not his fault he could break my finger if he caught it.
Edward came over and lay down with us, looking at us troubled. "We can work around it," he said.
"No, Edward. I want to be able to hold my children! I want to cuddle with them! I need to hold my babies!" Our son started to whimper, and I kissed his little head and rubbed his leg so he would know it was okay, always staying just out of reach of his hands.
Edward reached forward, letting him grab his finger, and I frowned. "It's not fair that you can let him love you and hug you and reach for you, but I can't. I want to let him show me he loves me, too, Edward," I explained. "All three of them are going to need me, too, just like I need them."
Edward looked down at our little one, who was now sucking on his knuckle, holding it tightly in his little fist. He let out a sigh. "Very well, but you must let me do a little research on the newborns in the castle and how they feel around the babies first. I think they have control, but I want to be sure. I know you'd never want to hurt our children."
I leaned forward, kissing my husband. "Thank you," I said against his lips, and he smiled in return.
It was almost two years later that word of vampires running amuck in Seattle led to our return to Forks. The guard was much larger and stronger now than ever. The newborns were more in control of themselves. Even I could handle humans in small doses, and I was the youngest vampire present.
I was nervous about seeing my father. I didn't want to hurt him, but I still had to see him. I crossed the newly fallen snow and perched myself in a tree in the backyard, watching him move around in his shed. He was getting his snow shovel out. I hopped from tree to tree, until I was posted in front of the house; still back a ways in the trees out of site. The cruiser was snowed in. My father looked more tired and worn than I remembered, and I longed to go to him.
I noticed the boat we had given him was sitting in the yard covered, and I could see the faded red ribbon still attached. He had gotten our gift, but had refused to use it.
My phone vibrated, and I opened it to hear Alice talking to Edward. "Just go already! I'm on the phone with her now," she told him and turned her voice back to me. "Bella, go see your father. It'll be fine. Edward is bringing the children. It's time to make amends."
I snapped my phone shut and moved across the tree tops, dropping languidly down onto the boat we had given him. "Did you not like it?" I asked.
He turned, and his eyes widened, as he took in my new pale form and sharper features. "Bella?" he asked.
I smiled. "Yes, Daddy, it's me. Are you still upset with me?" I asked.
He set down his snow shovel and moved closer to me. "You look more like them now," he said.
I smiled and hopped down in front of him gracefully. "Yes, they live much longer, Daddy, the change was necessary if I was to live and be able to care for my children."
He shook his head, and I knew he thought it was forced.
"I asked for it. Edward struggled with the idea. It was me who wanted this, Daddy. I love him; I wanted this so I could stay with him, so I can stay with my family."
"I'm your family!" he argued.
I frowned. "You're still my family, Daddy, but so are your grandchildren. I told you little Charlie was strong. He could hurt me in my human form, but the children can't hurt me anymore."
"Human form? What, are you really some kind of alien?" he asked confused.
I shook my head no. "We're not aliens, just different," I said and gave him a smile, hoping to stop this line of questioning.
I heard the guard arrive and surround the area. I smiled. "They're here."
"The guard, that means Edward has arrived with the children," I said excitedly and carefully took his hand, making sure not to crush it. I sniffed the air and caught wind of them coming through the forest. "Come on, Daddy, come see my children," I said and startled him when I easily lifted him, cradling him in my arms, and took off into the forest at vampire speed.
His stunned brown eyes locked on my golden ones and stayed that way, until I stopped and carefully set him down.
"Momma!" my daughter called to me from my husband's arms.
"Abigail!" I answered reaching for her, and she leaped to me with ease. She looked so much like my human self, even at only a year old. Her brown hair and deep brown eyes would always remind me of whom I was before the change.
"Grandpa?" Little Charlie said looking up at my dad with his lovely green eyes.
"That's right, Charlie, that's the grandpa you're named after," Edward spoke smoothly.
I saw my father's eyes shift from Abigail's to his namesake, and he smiled. "He's grown a lot."
"Yes, he has, he's two and a half now. The twins are just fifteen months old right now."
"Can I hold her?" he asked of Abigail.
I looked at her worried. "I don't know if that's a good idea, Dad, they're very strong and young, they might hurt you on accident."
Little Charlie came forward, holding his arms out. "I soft," he said reaching up for him.
I smiled at my son. "Okay, be soft and gentle, like you are with kitty, okay?"
He nodded yes, and I turned to my dad, "You can pick up Charlie. You should be okay."
My dad picked up his grandson, smiling widely. "You're a big heavy boy."
"I growed," Charlie said proudly to his grandpa.
"Yes, yes you did."
We walked back to the house and sat by the fire. The children would not get sick, but they could feel the cold temperatures, so we did our best to warm them. Charlie brought them some hot cocoa, and I smiled.
"Would you like some, Bells?" he asked.
"No, Daddy, I'm fine, thanks," I said smiling at Edward.
There was a knock at the door, and Edward looked at me and frowned. "They want to speak with you," he said, and I stood up and nodded.
"What do they want with her?" my father asked.
"She's my wife, and when she was changed, she took her place on the royal council with me. She's known for her compassion," my husband said, and I could hear the soft smile in his voice.
Charlie peeked into the foyer as I opened the door, and the guard bowed to me. "My Lady, a woman has arrived and requested your assistance."
I looked back at my father. "I'll only be a minute, Daddy," I said and hurried out into the snow.
I was met by a pair of vampire mates and a human woman.
They all bowed to me. "My Lady," the woman started, "I requested an audience seeking your help. We wish to gain approval to have a child and have found a willing surrogate."
I looked at the woman and waved her forward, holding my breath. "You do this of your own free will?" I asked.
She nodded yes.
"If they're holding you against your will, tell me now. We can remove them and get you home safely."
"No, My Lady," she said nervously. "They're very kind to me and said they'd pay for my college if I do this for them. It's only nine months of my life, and it'll benefit me in the end."
I nodded in agreement and took a few steps back and took in a breath of fresh air. "Please fetch Edward for me," I told one of the guards. I turned to the mates. "He'll know if you're lying," I warned them.
They nodded, but held their smiles. He came alone, and I half wondered how Charlie was handling my three children. Edward looked to me and then the woman and smiled. "Her intention is clear, dear. She's not been forced." He looked to the mates. "You've gone through the proper channels. I'll call and have a place arranged for you in the castle. Did they explain to you that you'd have to go to Italy and give birth there before you returned?" he asked the woman.
"They said it would be a possibility. I'm okay with it. I've never been to a foreign country," she said a little excited.
"Very well, you may proceed; they'll be ready for you when you arrive," Edward said and wrapped his arm around me.
More mated pairs were seeking out surrogates, and as we, the Volturi, had done the same, we could not deny others. But approval was required, and Carlisle or Edward would be the ones to care for and deliver the children. Also, as Alice pointed out, our children would need mates themselves eventually. Edward was not so keen on that idea, especially since our children had been so fond of playing with Tanya's twins. Little Marcus was very taken with our Abigail, and it was driving Edward nuts.
We made our way back to the house, only to panic when we heard our son, Charlie, yelling at his little brother. "Wet go, Maeton, no hurt Gwampa!"
We rushed inside to find little Mason holding my father's hand and whimpering because his grandpa was crying out in pain, and his brother was yelling at him angrily.
Abigail, the sensitive soul she was, was crying along with him for good measure. Edward quickly removed Mason's hand from my father and hugged our son to him to settle him, as I picked up our daughter. "Oh, Daddy, I'm so sorry. I should've warned you to stay out of reach of them."
"That boy of yours has some grip," he said grunting in pain, as he moved to get some ice.
"I told you they're strong. Do you believe me now that it was little Charlie who gave me my bruises?"
He looked at Edward, who was setting down a calmed Mason and walked over, kissing my head. "I suppose, but that doesn't mean I won't keep an eye on you!" he threatened.
Edward kissed his daughter's head. "Believe me; I fully understand the need to protect your daughter."
Charlie smiled at him.
"Now, why don't you let me have a look at that?" Edward said reaching for his hand.
"His family has opened a medical clinic in Volterra, he's one of the doctors," I explained.
Charlie looked at Edward warily, but let him take his hand.
Edward handled it lightly and smiled. "I think there's only been some hairline fracturing. You should keep it in a splint for the next six weeks, and then it should be fine," he said and replaced the ice pack my father had gotten himself.
The kids were going on five and six when we visited again. We came for the summers, and my dad took them out on the boat to go fishing. They knew how to be soft with their grandfather now, and I was glad to see my father did not hesitate around our children. He wrapped his arm around Mason, helping him reel in his catch, and I snickered silently, as I knew Edward, whom we had left on the shore, had dove in stealthily and placed the biggest fish he could find on the hook. He didn't want the children to get bored. Silly boy.
We tried to make it a tradition to come on a fishing trip every year with my father for his birthday, so when the children were turning fifteen and sixteen, I was not surprised when they asked if their friends could come along.
Charlotte's daughter, Pamela (she was named in memory of her birth mother), along with Caius and Athenadora's twins, Marcus and Dee, asked if they could join us. Edward wanted to say no. He didn't like that our children were starting to keep company of the opposite sex, but I put my foot down. I knew the kids would have lots of fun at the lake if they came.
To keep people from noticing our lack of aging, we had bought a little lake house cabin not far from Forks. My father would drive out there and meet us. It took him a while, but he finally got used to the differences in me and our family. I worried about my father's health; he seemed to be aging fast, and I often asked him to retire and come to Volterra and stay with us. He technically didn't know what we were, so we weren't breaking any laws. We could pull it off, but he always refused.
Five years later, he and Edward both stood staring sternly at Marcus, as our daughter, Abigail, made her way down the aisle to him. The wedding was beautiful; Violet was her maid of honor and worked with Alice to make it quite grand. I hated giving up my daughter, but I knew that in the truth of it all, she really was just moving to a different part of the castle. We were all still together.
After the wedding, I asked my father to stay in Volterra with us. I didn't plan on letting him leave, and he finally gave in. He lived with us for several years, happy and content, and it wasn't long after his first great-grandchild was born that we celebrated his ninetieth birthday with a huge party. He passed away that night quietly in his sleep. Edward did what he could to comfort me, but I missed my father. I was glad he had stayed with us those last few years. Before he died, he knew that I was truly loved, happy and safe.
To honor him, Athenadora suggested we start an annual celebration called Swan Day, like they had on Saint Marcus day. And so it was on the yearly anniversary of his birthday and passing that everyone wore brown robes the color of his hair and eyes, and every type of fish imaginable was served for those who would eat. The guard would also be evaluated, and the ones who showed exceptional worth and valor were given the Silver Swan award to pin on their cape. It felt good to honor my father that way.
And now, as I sat here, one hundred years after my father's passing, I couldn't help but smile, as I listened to my children and grandchildren tell Swan Day stories of my father.
"Love, come on, I'm kidnapping you. I need you for good luck," Edward called to me.
"Again?" I couldn't help but giggle. "You know, luck has nothing to do with it. It's all in the bait."
"Yes, but I'm sure when all the fish see my beautiful wife, they'll be lining up to jump on my hook, and I'll win the fish wrangling contest," he explained pulling me to the pond.
This tradition had only started during the past century or so, and the children loved showing up their father.
"I have a feeling I'm going to win this one," he said, and I watched curiously, as he took off his shirt. He was still perfectly arousing. I raised an eyebrow in question, but he just winked at me before he handed me the pole. "Wish me luck," he smirked and dove in. My silly husband was cheating again.
"Dad is so weird sometimes," Charlie said next to me with a huge grin on his face.
"That's what your Grandma Renee thought, too," I replied. I called my grandson, Ryan, over. "Hey, your granddad is cheating again. Want to have some fun?"
Ryan nodded his head, so I whispered in his ear my idea. When Edward sheepishly reappeared, Ryan launched in.
"Papaw, you want to know what I'm going to be when I grow up?" Ryan said with a totally straight face.
Edward smiled and ruffled his hair. "What's that, buddy?"
"I'm going to be a scientist and study UFO's and probe people to make sure they're not aliens!" our grandson announced proudly. I thought Edward's eyes would pop out, as his hands instinctively moved behind him. Yep, decades later, and his sphincter still remembered…
"That's…that's…interesting, Ryan, science is good. Maybe you could consider going into medicine, though?" Edward stuttered, still covering his butt with his hands. Charlie and I were both shaking with suppressed laughter. He had heard the horror stories of Grandma Renee and her probes.
Edward noticed our faces, and we couldn't hold it anymore, as we burst out laughing.
"Pains in the ass," he muttered under his breath.
"You should know all about that, sweetheart," I teased, still giggling. Edward grabbed me around the waist and pulled me into a delicious kiss.
"Do I need to steal you away for a little punishment, Mrs. Cullen?" he growled under his breath.
"You can abduct me anytime you'd like, and this time, I'll go willingly," I said as I captured him in my arms.
And I meant it.
And they lived happily ever after. I hope you like my little tale. If you did, please take a moment and let me know. Thanks for reading, and please review!