I've had this in my head for a while and I've been in bed sick all weekend and bored so started writing and somehow managed to write about half of this story. I thought I'd start posting it now. I was going to wait until I finished posting Endless Dawn but I couldn't wait lol
This is pre-Twilight and a prequel to my story Endless Dawn. Any of the people, events, etc etc you recognise from any of the Twilight Saga books obviously don't belong to me they belong to Stephenie Meyer. I'm just borrowing them for entertainment purposes. M rated for safety.
Nathan Whitlock took a large spoon of the hearty stew in front of him and chewed on it contentedly as he glanced across the table at his new bride of only two months, Eleanor. He noticed her face looked a little flushed and even though the fire behind him was warming the room he still thought that was a little strange.
"Ellie, are you feeling unwell?" he asked.
"I'm fine," Eleanor said and offered him a weak smile as she took a small spoon of her meal. She seemed to have problems chewing and Nathan noticed instantly.
"I don't think you are," he argued and stood and walked around the table and knelt beside her. She smiled at him again, a shy smile and he couldn't believe she was still so withdrawn from him. They had been married for two months but he still hadn't managed to pull her completely from her shell. They loved each other dearly and his mother had promised him that in time they would have the close, carefree relationship his parents had but marriage was still so new for both of them.
"I am a little, um, indisposed," Eleanor admitted. Nathan nodded his head as he felt her forehead gently and then suddenly her words sunk in.
"Ellie?" he murmured, sorry to ask her such a delicate question. "Are you with child?"
Eleanor's cheeks flushed red and she lowered her eyes to the floor but she nodded her head softly.
"Oh sweetheart," Nathan grinned and pulled her into his arms and she giggled as he pressed his lips to hers.
Eight months later Nathan was pacing the floor in his study, trying not to hear the moans and screams coming from the master bedroom. Eleanor's mother had arrived the night before but since she had her first pains and been ushered away by both their mothers he had heard nothing except the sounds of her agony.
He walked to the table and poured himself another whisky and then resumed his pacing across the rich burgundy carpet. The door behind him opened and he spun quickly and watched in awe as his mother stepped into the room holding a small, wrapped bundle.
"Nathan," she murmured.
"Is Ellie all right?" Nathan asked instantly.
"She is fine," his mother assured him. "She is resting now and you can see her a little later on. Right now there is someone here to meet you. Your son."
"A boy," Nathan gasped in disbelief.
"Yes, a healthy boy," his mother nodded and walked over to him. Nathan looked down and smiled as he looked at his newborn son. The tiny baby had his mother's blonde hair and his father's dark blue eyes. Nathan looked at his mother and grinned and held his arms out and his mother carefully placed the tiny baby in his arms.
"I'll leave you two alone," his mother murmured and walked out of the room as Nathan held his son close and looked down at him in awe. He walked carefully to the sofa and sat down and just continued to watch his son as the small baby slept peacefully in his arms. He wasn't aware that nearly two hours had passed until there was a soft knock on the door and his mother in law, Leona, walked in.
"Ellie is awake," she murmured.
"Thank you," Nathan nodded and carefully got to his feet and carried the baby towards the bedroom. When he knocked on the door his mother pulled it open and smiled at him as she stepped out.
"Go in," she nodded and Nathan slipped past her and stepped into the room. Eleanor was sitting in the bed, propped up by lacy pillows, and she smiled when she saw him and the baby.
"Is he okay?" Eleanor asked eagerly.
"He's perfect," Nathan smiled and walked over and lowered his son into his mother's arms.
"My beautiful boy," Eleanor whispered as she stroked the baby's soft cheek and then looked back at her husband, what she had endured over the past twenty hours making her less shy with him. "Have you named him yet?"
"I had thought of a name," Nathan nodded. "Jasper Nathan."
"Jasper Nathan Whitlock," Eleanor murmured. "I like it."
"Then Jasper it is," Nathan smiled.
"Jasper," Eleanor whispered and leaned down and pressed her lips softly on her son's head. "You will have the best of everything darling, a wonderful life, full of happiness and hopefully, not a moment's sorrow or heartache."
Nathan smiled at his wife's sentiments and he sat back and watched as the baby continued to sleep in his mother's arms.
"Jasper!" Eleanor chided as the four year old raced ahead of her. "Don't you jump in that…"
Before she could finish Jasper landed in a puddle and the water splashed up and drenched him.
"Oh you silly boy," Eleanor laughed as he turned and flashed her a cheeky grin. He reached up and pushed his blonde curls from his face and she couldn't contain her joy.
"You are such a handful," Eleanor smiled lovingly as she reached her son and swooped him up into her arms. She ignored the muddy water covering his clothes as she hugged him close and rained kisses on his face.
"Mama!" Jasper wriggled in protest. "Big boy!"
"My big boy," Eleanor smiled and set the wriggling child down. Jasper ran off and bent down near the edge of the field and then came running back towards her. He stuck his hand out proudly, and Eleanor grinned when she saw the yellow sunflower in his hand.
"Thank you," she smiled as she took it.
"Love you Mama," Jasper grinned and then turned and raced off towards the house again as Eleanor felt tears prickle her eyes at his heartfelt gesture. He was such a sweet, loving boy and she was so thankful Nathan and her had been blessed with him.
Jasper was now climbing up on the rail of the porch and he swung easily up onto it and sat as he watched her walk towards the house. He swung his legs as he chanted a song he had learned from his father and Eleanor giggled at him.
"Guess what my little monkey?" Eleanor smiled as she walked up the stairs, lifted him off the rail and set him to his feet and walked through the front door with him.
"What Mama?" Jasper asked as he turned his serious blue eyes to her.
"Tomorrow we are going into town with Papa," Eleanor announced. "And then on Saturday Grandfather and Grandma Whitlock are coming to visit."
"Yay!" Jasper squealed as he jumped up and down. "Can I show Gramma my chickens?"
"I'm sure she'll love to see your chickens," Eleanor smiled. "Now upstairs and change out of those wet clothes before you get sick."
"Not sick," Jasper chanted as he bounced up the stairs. "No sick, sick sick!"
Eleanor laughed as she watched him and then turned and rushed to the kitchen to start preparing their supper.
The next day Nathan took them both to town and Eleanor took Jasper with her as she ran her errands. Like always everyone commented on the mischievous little boy with the gorgeous blonde curls and blue eyes and Eleanor's heart swelled proudly. When she was finished Nathan found her and helped her load their goods on the wagon and they headed back home.
Early the next morning Eleanor was in the kitchen baking for her in-laws visit. She was lucky to have such a loving father and mother in law and she actually got on better with them than her own parents. She heard Jasper bouncing down the stairs and moments later he appeared in the kitchen doorway.
"Here yet?" he asked hopefully.
"Papa has gone to get them now," Eleanor laughed.
"Here soon then?" Jasper frowned.
"Soon," Eleanor nodded and grabbed a basket and held it out to him. "Why don't you go get me some fresh eggs from your chickens?"
"Okay Mama," Jasper nodded happily and took the basket and skipped out the door and Eleanor turned back to her baking.
By the time Jasper got back to the house Nathan had returned with his parents, William and Caroline, and Jasper dumped the eggs in the kitchen before racing out to meet them.
"Gramma!" he squealed as Nathan helped his mother from the wagon.
"Jasper, dear boy," Caroline grinned and caught him up into her arms. "Haven't you grown."
"He is nearly two inches taller than when we last saw him," William commented and glanced at Eleanor. "What do you feed him?"
"Everything!" Jasper squealed and the adults all laughed at him.
Caroline set him back on his feet and followed Eleanor into the kitchen and while Nathan busied himself tending the horses Jasper sat on the porch with his grandfather.
"Here son," William said suddenly and held his hand out to Jasper. "Next time you go to town with your parents get yourself a treat."
Jasper looked down at the silver coin William had pressed into his little palm and grinned.
"Thank you sir," he answered politely.
"Your Eleanor has done well with this one," William commented as Nathan walked up the stairs.
"She has," Nathan nodded.
Eleanor announced that lunch was ready and they headed inside to eat. After lunch Nathan and William retired to Nathan's study and Jasper sat playing in the corner of the kitchen while the women worked.
"Nathan tells us you are expecting again," Caroline murmured.
"Yes," Eleanor smiled. "It should come around June."
"Lovely," Caroline grinned and Jasper frowned, not sure what they were suppose to be expecting. The happiness in his mother's voice suggested it was something fun but he wouldn't dare question her while his grandparents were there.
"Okay, nap time," Eleanor announced and Jasper stood up and reluctantly followed his mother up to his room. He laid down and pulled the silver coin from his pocket and turned it in his fingers as he thought. He suddenly remembered the candy he had seen in town the day before and he decided that he would use his coin to buy some.
He jumped up and raced from his room and the adults were all missing, obviously taking naps themselves. Jasper walked from the house, ignoring the hot summer heat as he walked towards the barn. He walked inside and noticed his father's horse saddled up and ready to go.
He grinned as he walked over to it and climbed the railings and jumped to land on the horse's back.
"To town Bronco," he announced cheerily and spurred the horse on as it galloped from the stable and out onto the road. He rode for a while and then frowned when he saw an approaching rider coming towards him. As the man drew closer he recognised the man as his Uncle Ryan, his mother's younger brother.
"Well, what do we have here," Ryan smirked as he drew to a stop beside him.
"Going to town," Jasper announced proudly.
"Are you just?" Ryan laughed. "Do your parents know this?"
"They sleeping," Jasper told him.
"Oh I bet they aren't," Ryan smirked, sure by now his sister was beside herself. "I think your fun is over little guy. Come on, home we go."
"But my candy?" Jasper started to protest but Ryan reached over and grabbed the horse and turned it around and Jasper had no choice but to follow him.
When they galloped up to the house Jasper saw his grandparents and parents standing on the porch. As they got closer he noticed his mother and grandmother were crying and his father looked furious. The expression on his grandfather's face was strange, it was like he was trying not to laugh but the little four year old didn't recognise the look of amusement and pride William had for his grandson's daring adventure.
"Jasper Nathan Whitlock," Nathan roared as soon as they drew up at the front of the house.
"I caught the little monkey heading into town," Ryan said as he slipped from his horse and the lifted Jasper down. "I figured you didn't know he was gone."
"No," Eleanor sobbed. "We were napping and when we got up he was gone."
"Oh Jazzy," Ryan laughed, using the nickname only he ever used for his nephew.
"Get to your room, now!" Nathan yelled and Jasper scampered up the stairs and into the house.
He sat in his room nervously turning his coin in his hand as it got dark and he heard his grandparents leaving and then finally his father walked in the door. He cowered as he noticed the strap in his hand and when his father walked to him and began to lash his backside he could hear his mother's sobs from the next room over his own.
Jasper recovered well from his first real taste of discipline and within a few days was the bright, mischievous boy he had always been. The day of his fifth birthday his mother sat him down and explained they were getting a new baby, a little boy or girl for him to play with and he secretly hoped it would be a boy.
Six months later he was awoken in the middle of the night by his mother screaming. Both his grandmothers had come to stay the week before and Jasper stepped out into the hallway and noticed his grandmothers pushing his father from his bedroom.
"The baby is coming, go back to bed," Nathan said curtly as he walked past his small son and Jasper stood watching wide eyed as his father disappeared into his study and the bedroom door shut firmly.
He raced back to his bedroom and sat on the bed all night as he listened to his mother's scream and cries from the room next door. Finally she was quiet but moments later he heard his father yelling and doors slamming. He jumped from his bed and walked warily into the hallway and stopped when he saw Caroline coming out of the bedroom.
"Gramma?" he whispered.
"Oh Jasper, sweetheart," Caroline gasped when she saw him and raced over and picked him up.
"I want Mama," Jasper murmured as he glanced at the bedroom door.
"Darling," Caroline sighed as fresh tears spilled down her cheeks.
"What's wrong Gramma?" Jasper frowned.
"Jasper, honey," Caroline murmured as she pulled him closer in her arms. "Mama has gone to heaven."