SM owns it all … I just like playing with her toys…
Balti K… Thanks Chickie for all of you help as my Beta… Read A/N below! Hugs~Izzy ;)
Mama4dukes, also Beta'd this as well, so I am sending Carlisle over to your house to check y'all out! Thanks, for your help even though you're sicky! Hugs~Izzy
The Last time … We ended with …
The last thing I heard before I fell into the deepest sleep of my life was, "Happy Valentine's Day, Mrs. Whitlock!" God, I loved the sound of my new last name…
Happily Ever After…
It's been six weeks since JJ was born, and I can't believe how fast time is passing. It's the end of March and the snow has finally decided to melt, though I can still clearly see it on the tops of mountains around me. It's been a hard adjustment for both Bella and I with JJ, but it's easier day by day.
Today's my first day back on the job as a ranch hand with Peter. We used to do this type of shit when we were human, and here we are doing it again. It feels right for me to be sitting here saddled to my favorite horse, Tink. Yes, I have a horse named Tinkerbell! Char named her. With my gift, animals aren't that hard to tame. Back in the day I'd had to break horses in the hard way, but not now. Being an empathic vampire does come with its advantages.
Peter and I have been herding the cattle back into their pen for close to three hours now. There's a fence around the perimeter of the ranch, though we move them from paddock to paddock to try to get some fresh new spring grass to feed off a couple a times a week.
Rose has been working on the tractors, getting them up and working better than when they were new. She's loved getting her fingernails dirty with more than just car grease. Emmett's been working on the barns, adding to new hinges to doors and whatnot. Alice won't come within a mile of the barn (I think she's worried about her shoes getting messed up or something), but she has been helping Esme with the main house so no one is complaining about her not helping out down here. Edward's been going over the last owner's books, and trying to reconnect with the previous owner's distributors and connections. Peter's been helping me get the horses settled and the cattle organized. Char has been helping out everyone, so things seem to be going well so far.
A few weeks ago the Cullen ladies (minus Bella) went to fashion week in France and then in New York. They came home with even more clothes for JJ. How they found them I will never know, but damn! That boy's closet has almost as many clothes in it as Alice's does. When I complained about it, they all said that his clothes were so small and didn't take up that much room so I should go with it.
Earlier this morning, Emmett drove the tractor down to a pasture just off the main road to load a huge circular bale of hay for the cattle. We had one up by the barn, but every month or so we need a new one brought up to us. He walked out of the barn wearing bib-overalls and the sight was enough to make Peter and I both laugh til we almost passed out.
Ashling is helping Bella with the baby, and helping her get back to her pre-pregnancy size 8. I don't understand why she's worried about losing the weight, but it's a pretty big deal to her right now. Swimming, walking, and yoga seem to be the mix of exercise styles they are going with. The cool part about it is that everything Bella does, JJ is right there with her. Aaron has agreed to leave us alone for the most part, and only calls once a week these days. I don't think that girl has let Josh outta her sight yet, and I know that when we go out on our date tonight, it won't be too easy for her to leave him.
I must have been projecting, because Peter was a couple hundred feet from me laughing his ass off.
"What is it now, Asshole?"
"That wife of yours sure does have ya by the short ones, don't she?" Peter asked in between snorts. Oh, shit! A snorting, smug assed, motherfucking vampire.
"Like yours don't. I saw you holding her purse the last time we went to the mall, Fucker! I got the picture here of it on my phone. Wanna see it?"
That shut the fucker up! God, he and I both are in over our heads with our mates. They say jump and we say how far. It ain't like they ain't the same way about us though. We got them trained just as well as they do us. I guess that's just what it's like with your true mate.
After rounding up the last of the herd, Peter and I made our way back towards the barn. Emmett had been trying to help with the stalls but his work was only piss-poor if you asked me. He tried, and I'd even showed him how I wanted it done a few times, but he never did them right. So once he'd leave I'd just do them over again.
Tink needed to be brushed and fed once we get back. I knew that was gonna take some time, but the thoughts of Bella and JJ just kept my mind too busy to do a better job than what Emmett could've done.
"So, where are you takin' that girl of yours tonight?"
"Well, we've known each other for six months tonight, and I thought that we'd needed to go somewhere special. She's still eating human food 'cause of JJ, and I made some reservations at a place in Helena. Then there's a spot a found a few miles upstream from here that I wanted to take her to," I said, thinking back on the day JJ was born.
I'd taken off for a few hours to hunt. Bella was so wiped out after having JJ, and he was sleeping so soundly in his lil crib that I felt it was safe for me to go hunt. While I was out, I came across a clearing not too far away from the main house that I wanted my wife to see with me. The clouds had parted just a bit, and the sun's rays were streaming down to the middle of the clearing. I couldn't help but stop right there, drop to my knees and thank the good Lord above for bringing my son and wife through the birthing process safely.
It's moments like that one that have shaped the man that I am today, and I wanted her to see where I'd found the most peace that I'd felt without her in over a hundred and fifty years. It was a profound moment that will stay with me until my last day, and I want to share it with my wife.
After getting everything in the main barn done, Peter and I took off for the main house. We could run faster than the ATVs we were riding could go, but we raced each other every time we got on them so it made the betting more interesting.
I couldn't hear Bella or JJ's heartbeats so I knew that they were back at our house for the moment. Everyone was really trying to put forth an effort to give us our space since we ran away from home a few months back. Even Esme and Rose, who'd taken it the hardest that the baby wouldn't be staying with everyone else in the main house, were trying. Sure, people were calling constantly to come over, but it gave Bella and me enough time to make sure that her shields were in place.
We'd found out that as long as Bella had herself in one of her bubbles, her shields could keep people's emotions from overwhelming her. She had an advantage that I never did in the beginning of being an empath. She wasn't the only one to have a shield in our house either though.
"Jasper, I know that you never had it done, but JJ is still half human!"
"Bella, I will not allow Carlisle to do that to our son!" I yelled.
I am a man that was born almost one hundred and seventy-five years ago, and in my day what she wanted our son to go through was NOT the norm. My thoughts kept going back to the word 'OUCH' on a loop in my head.
"Jasper, all boys in this day and age are circumcised. Welcome to the twenty first century, my husband!"
"You know what? Listen, when I hear words like all or always I just want you to know that they don't usually mean squat to me!"
Her face was turning a color of plum that I knew couldn't be doing her any good, but we'd been having this same fight for close to two weeks now. Every man that I knew, of course they were all vampires, but every man that I knew was UNcircumcised, and she and Carlisle just needed to get over this idea of theirs because my son was going to be just like his old man, in every way!
JJ acts like most newborn human babies, but he has what I'd consider an old soul. He could make out everyone emotions already. If Bella was uptight or nervous before a feeding he'd calm her down a lil before he started to nurse. He had instincts that were better than most decades old vampires that I'd known over the years.
He must have understood what we were saying better than we thought, because when Carlisle went to lift him off of the bed he couldn't. JJ had blocked Carlisle from laying one hand on him. You could see a slight sheen over his entire form, but only if you knew what you were looking for.
Not only had my son inherited my empathic abilities, he inherited his mother's shield. Alice couldn't see his future, and Edward couldn't read any thoughts. Though we originally thought that Alice was blocked by Bella, and that Edward just couldn't read JJ because his thoughts were too immature at the time. We found out rather quickly that JJ could shield just as well as, if not better than, Bella.
"See! Even JJ doesn't want to be circumcised!" I yelled. At least he and I agreed on it, and that was all the proof that my wife and father needed to agree as well. I loved winning that fight!
**End of Flashback**
"So what are you and your wife doing tonight, brother?" Emmett asked as Peter and I entered the house. It looked like he and Edward were taking a break from their video games and were just lounging in the front room. Emmett was wagging his eyebrows at me.
"Wouldn't you like to know? Where is everyone else at?"
"Esme and the girls went shopping and Carlisle is down at your house doing a check up on your wife. Why aren't you there with her?" Edward asked.
Carlisle was at my home, checking my wife, and I had no clue about it. Why? Is there something wrong with Bella? I mean, it's been six weeks since the baby was born; why would there be a problem now? God, I need to get home.
I dashed out the back door, and was almost to the cottage when I watched Bella walk Carlisle out of our home and onto the front porch. He had his medical bag in one hand, and was hugging her around her waist as I ran up the stairs to find out what in the hell was going on.
"What is it? Is it bad?" I asked, as my hands instinctively started roaming my wife's body, looking for anything that could be wrong.
Carlisle sighed and then laughed quietly as he watched me go into mate mode in front of him.
"She's perfect, son. I just needed to do a six week check up on to make sure that her body has recovered from having JJ. She is doing well, though I am not happy with the amount of weight that she already lost. I know that I cleared her three weeks ago for some light exercise, but what she's doing is not good for either her or JJ. She needs to be eating more calories per day if she is going to be breastfeeding plus exercising as she has been doing," Carlisle told, as he leveled a look at my mate.
"I'll make sure that she does," I said, giving her a warning look of my own.
JJ must have sensed that I was close, because he chose that moment to wake up from his afternoon nap. I could hear him wailing through the baby monitor on the living room end table. As I pulled away from my mate, Carlisle spoke again.
"Esme, Charlie, Kate, and I will be here around five. I hope that gives each of you time enough to get ready to go on your big date," he was staring at me, and just like Emmett he wagged his eyebrows at me. He started walking back to the main house as I lost myself in my thoughts.
I mean, everyone knows that Bella and I haven't had sex since JJ was born. It's not that I didn't want to; it's just that her body did need these past few weeks to not only heal, but to adjust to being a new mom as well.
Fuck, the combination of the sweet smell of her breast milk, the scent of her bleeding from having JJ, and then just her natural elfin scent was enough to drive a man insane. Then add on top of that her breasts were now bigger than they had ever been before, and I my poor balls were as blue as a clear sky in the middle of summer. I stayed hard constantly, the only relief that I ever felt was when I used my own hand in the shower every couple of hours.
See, I had my own trouble leaving JJ and Bella here at home for the first few weeks. I'm still not sure if it's because he was so new and defenseless, or if it was just the dad in me coming out, afraid that I'd miss some important milestone that I could never get back. Whatever it was, breaking away from the two of them nearly did me in. Peter, Carlisle, Emmett, and Edward all tried to help me out, but it was Charlie that made a whole world of difference in separating myself from them.
He talked me into going fishing with him one morning, and would not take no for an answer. I found out later that I'd been driving my girl nuts, and she finally broke down and asked her dad for some help. We talked while we fished. Sure, we didn't catch anything but it was nice to be out there with nature, just him and me.
Charlie told me about how he'd taken six weeks off of work when Bella was born to help the Hippie Bitch out with the baby. How it took his chief sitting him down on his first day back to work to keep him from running back home to recheck on his wife and baby girl. He told me that each man seems to put up an act when they have to leave their mate after being so connected to them by the birth of their child. But under the act, they're all just as nervous as I'd been.
He chief did the same thing that Charlie was now doing for me, and he said that it made him happier than he ever thought he could be to help out a new dad the way someone had once helped him. He said it brought back memories of those long ago days, and then spent the next several hours telling me cute stories about my mate when she was a babe.
He talked about how when the Bitch left, she took more of his heart with her then anyone could've ever thought possible. That made me thankful for the mating connection that Bella and I share. We both know that there was no way that either of us could be without the other, no matter what the situation might be.
I was brought out of my thoughts by the sounds of my son cooing at me, as his momma brought him over to me while we both went to sit down on the couch.
"You alright? You looked a million miles away when we walked in," she said, as she handed JJ over to me.
We'd gotten into a routine since Josh was born. She'd hand the baby off to me while she got herself set up to feed him after his naps, and I'd change his diaper when she'd change breasts that he'd fed off. It worked out great, and with me going back to work today, it kind of started bothering me that I'd missed at least three of his feedings today.
"I'm fine, Sug, just worried about you two. How'd your day go? Were there any problems with the baby while I was gone?"
She reached over and after getting JJ settled she started talking about her day. She and Ashling had gotten some kingdom business done during his morning nap, and she'd even managed to walk a couple of miles with JJ in his sling, before his afternoon nap.
I couldn't help but run my hand over Josh's lil head as he fed from his mother. He looked like a lil angel nursing the way he was, and I loved knowing that his and his momma's bond was getting stronger and stronger ever time she'd feed him.
You could watch the love in his eyes as he looked up at her face, and I just couldn't get over the fact that God had given me, the Major of the Southern Wars, a wife and son that no one could ever take away from me.
Bella was still talking when I caught the last bit of her last sentence, "… but I'll talk to you about that later tonight, if that's alright?" she looked at me was she spoke.
"Sounds good, Darlin'. I'm gonna go and get in the shower. Can you handle changin' him while I'm gone?"
"No problem, we got our little system worked out, don't we, Big Guy?" she cooed at, causing him to giggle slightly.
He's been giggling for about a week now, and I hope the sounds of his lil voice will never leave my ears…
"…and there are at least twelve bags of breast milk frozen in the freezer out on the back porch. Oh, I almost forgot, there is a new package of diapers under the crib in JJ's bedroom, if you need them…" I knew that I was repeating myself, but I really didn't want to leave. Why Jasper thought that leaving JJ home while we had some one on one time was beyond me.
If I had it my way, that little boy would never be out of my sight. No skanky girls were ever going to take him away from me, and college was just going to have to be done online. Nope, he was mine, and no one should be taking me away from him right now.
Jasper knew that I wasn't happy about leaving the baby, but he promised that we'd only be gone for a few hours, and we'd be back in time for his midnight feeding. I hoped that Jasper kept to his word, because I wasn't bringing my breast pump with me, and in four or five hours I'd have enough milk in breast to write my first and last name in the snow, at the same time!
Oh, the day my milk came in I thought that I was going to die…
Someone was screaming close to me, but I was too far-gone to know who it was. I was warm, content, and comfortable with Jasper's and my blanket tucked under my chin. You couldn't have moved me if the President himself wanted a meeting with me.
"Darlin', someone's yellin' for ya," someone said close to my ear. I removed my hand from under the blanket to swat away whatever it was that was trying to wake me up. The baby had me up at least four times the night before, and all I wanted was a full night's sleep. I could live without a shower, time to myself, and even food but take away my sleep and I was not worth an American dollar in China.
The baby kept me up all night, I thought. The baby… THE BABY! I shot right up in the bed, and started looking around. Jasper was on his side of the bed holding a screaming blue blanket that was squirming more than a cat in a room full of rocking chairs.
That's when I saw that the front of my sleep shirt was wet all the way down the front of it. When I turned to look at the bed it too was soaking wet and the blanket too. Damn, I thought that I'd peed myself when my water broke, but now I really had wet the bed, just not pee!
"I'll fix the beddin' you just feed him. I think he can smell your milk, which seems to have come in," Jasper drawled as he handed me Josh. I quickly whipped off my shirt throw in the floor, and took my bra off with it.
After feeding Josh, Jasper changed him and laid him back down. He helped me get into the shower. Since Josh was only three days old at the time, I guessed that Jasper didn't really want me in the shower alone yet.
He'd been watching me like a hawk, and following me around like a lost puppy since I'd given birth. I knew from his thoughts that he was just worried that everything had gone too well with the birth and he was just waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Not that I could blame him for that. Since we'd met, it seemed that every time that something had gone right, two things would go wrong in no time at all. It's like that old Springsteen song my mom used love, One Step Up.
When I got in the shower my breasts both leaked like a sieve, I couldn't believe how much milk I seemed to have. Jasper was listening to my thoughts and just laughed lightly, I guess he'd been expecting this. I sure as hell hadn't!
**End of Flashback**
"Isabella, you have a doctor, two grandmothers, and a grandfather who raised you watching over one little bitty baby. I am sure that we can all handle whatever he throws at us, now go!" Charlie said, pushing me towards Jasper out the front of the cabin door.
"But… what if I forgot to tell you something?" I questioned.
"Then we will call you on your cell phone. You have that in bag right?"
"Yeah, but maybe I ought to bring my car charger with me just in case!" I was panicking.
Esme was holding JJ in her arms and Carlisle was bent over her, making funny faces at him. I couldn't take my eyes off of him, and I knew that he'd be in good hands, but letting go was not coming easily to me.
I heard my father mutter under his breath, "Maybe, she's the one I ought to have had a chat with." I straightened my shoulders, walked over to Esme and kissed my son on his forehead before walking back to my mate without looking back. I'll show him, I thought.
Jasper had the car pulled right up to our house. Thank God it was a 4x4 or I don't know if we'd ever get out of there again, but knowing my husband, he'd just lift it over his head and carry it back to the main road. Jasper was laughing at my mental rambling. Whatever Asshole! I thought at him, which of course made him laugh even harder.
We made our way to dinner in a town about an hour away from home, and I checked my cell phone every few minutes. My obsessive-compulsive behavior was driving my mate nuts but I couldn't help it.
"What happened to making sure that our relationship came first, Sug?" he questioned me as me made our back to the Hot Springs. He was right of course, but I was having hard time splitting myself right now.
"It'll get easier. You need to start letting everyone else help you with him. I'd say that you could start by letting one of the girls watch him while you workout with Ashling every day. You'd still be in the house, but you'd let him get to know the others while you dedicated some time to yourself," my mate suggested. It made sense, but thinking it and doing it were two completely different things.
As we made our way up to the main house Jasper said, "There's one more place I wanted to take ya tonight," and with that he stopped the car. After opening the trunk he pulled out our blanket and a small basket. He picked me up bridal style and ran south, a few miles from our cottage.
"you know, I can run just as fast as you can now," I commented after he set me on my feet.
"Yeah, I know, but I love the feel of you in my arms, Darlin'."
I huffed and turned around, that's when I saw the most perfect clearing that I'd even seen in my life. Talk about a fairytale, this was it. The trees were separated perfectly, and the early spring flowers were just starting to make themselves known. It was a complete circle, at least two acres wide and completely still in the moonlight.
"Oh my God, Jasper! When did you find this place?" I asked. Jasper laid our blanket out, and sat himself gracefully upon it.
"The day that Josh was born. This is where I found myself thanking God for bringing you and Josh through the birth in complete health," he said looking a little sheepish. I'd known that the birth had weighed heavily on him, but I had no idea the depths to which his fear had taken root.
That's one of the many things that Jasper and I could talk about tonight, but I could tell that he had more than talking in mind when he brought out a bottle of wine for me. Of course, he couldn't partake in it, but I sure as hell could.
"Jasper, do you think that it'll be alright to drink while I'm…"
"Breastfeeding? Hey, in my day women were told to drink a beer a day to help with their milk production. I know my momma must've drunk one a day with me, and look how well I turned out!" he laughed out. "Seriously though, I asked Carlisle and said you'd both be fine with you drinking a few glasses of wine."
I sat down in between my mate's legs, and after a few drinks and about an hour, his hands started moving over my arms, and onto my legs. We'd both wanted to start making love again, but I wanted to make sure that I was all healed beforehand. That's why I asked Carlisle to come and recheck me today, while Jasper was working. Luckily, I had been given the all clear. There would be time for talking later. Right now, I needed my mate, and he needed me.
I turned my body around to stare up into his eyes, and our gentle kisses turned more passionate within a heartbeat. His hands were making quick work of my clothes, as mine were doing the same with his. When his hand grazed my tender and swollen breasts I was lost in the sensations running through my body.
I couldn't help but reach down and wrap my hand around his thick column of hardened flesh. He moaned into my mouth as my warm hand began pumping him, making him even harder than he had been before. He was working me to my first orgasm with his left thumb rubbing my nub, while his fingers where probing my opening. He laid me down gently on top of blanket, and I found myself thankful once again that the cold no longer bothered me.
"This might hurt ya again, since it's the first time after having JJ. If it's too much, just let me know," Jasper grunted out. He was using all of his control not to just bury himself within me with vampire speed.
He slowly pushed into me, causing us both to moan with pleasure as we became one. I too had thought that there would be pain, but there wasn't much to be had. The pleasure was more intense that any lingering pain that might have been.
He started out slow at first, but was building steam as our movements became so full of need. We both needed to reconnect, as our Resolute had been screaming at us since just after JJ was born, but with me still healing there was nothing that could be done about it until now.
I was getting closer and I knew that Jasper wasn't going to be lasting much longer by the sounds he was making.
"Do it, Jasper, mark me, please!" I begged. That was one sure fire way to bring me to my peak, and we both knew it.
"MINE!" He growled before his teeth broke through my flesh right above my left breast. I screamed his name as I lost my senses to a sea of ecstasy. I watched as Jasper pulled away from my now bleeding breast and roared out his own release. I could feel our Resolute spark as we both rode out the aftershocks of our orgasms.
I'm not sure how long we laid there still connected as the stars over head twinkled above us, but Jasper knew that I was starting to think of Josh more and more with each passing second.
"You were mine first!" he laughed as he pulled out, and started gathering our now half shredded clothing.
"Jasper, I can't go and face your parents in these," I gaped at him.
"That's why I brought us another set! They're in the basket. I'll be right back, I'm just gonna go and get something for Josh," Jasper said, as he took off towards the woods completely dressed in an outfit that almost matched the one he left the house earlier in.
We'd taken to giving Josh blood a couple of times a week in a bottle. Jasper was the one to feed him those, and that was usually while I slept. He'd give him a bottle of blood instead of waking me up for his three o'clock feeding usually.
I was redressed and ready to head back home when Jasper reappeared with a Thermos filled with Josh's 'midnight snack' as he called it. I'd placed the blanket, the half drunk bottle of wine, and our old clothes inside the basket before following my mate back to our home.
When we got there Charlie was slowly pacing the floor, while holding a sleeping newborn in his arms. It was a wonderful sight to see, but I really just wanted to get my hands on my son to make sure that he was alright for myself.
"You know I thought that you'd have called at least twenty times by now. Good job, kiddo! He did fine with us. Kate fed him, Carlisle changed his diaper, Esme changed him into his PJ's, and I got to spoil him rotten! Damn, it's good to be the Grandpa!" Charlie said smugly.
Jasper's phone rang, and he was talking to what sounded like Peter as the parents left to make their way to the main house. But only after they kissed Josh a least ten times each.
"That was Peter asking if I was still goin' back to the barn tomorrow," Jasper laughed as we made our way to the bedroom.
"Why wouldn't you be going back to work tomorrow?" I questioned.
"'Cause he saw in what bad shape I was in today, I guess. You ain't the only one with separation anxiety, Darlin'," Jasper said, as he pulled Josh from me and snuggled him a bit before laying him in the cradle next to his side of the bed.
I took a quick shower and after dressing in one of Jasper's shirts, I crawled into bed where he held me close to his side.
As I was just about ready to fall to sleep, I lifted my head off of his chest and said, "There is one thing that I'd like to talk about."
Jasper looked at me with concern written all over his face, "What is that, Sug?"
"Two years," I yawned out.
"Two years what?"
"I want you to change me, in two years," I said as I laid my head back on Jasper's chest. His elation was off the charts, and I knew that there was one more thing I needed to say before sleep completely took me over. "And thank you, Jasper."
"For what now?" he asked.
"For giving me a True home and with you I have a True heart…"
** ~ The End ~ **