Chapter 1: Understanding
And then, like my vivid nightmare last night, the scene abruptly transformed. Everything I saw in the mirror looked completely different, though nothing actually was different.
What happened to change everything was that a soft little nudge bumped my hand – from inside my body. (Breaking Dawn, Ch. 7 pg. 115)
I jumped, and the nudger knocked my hand again.
Looking over my shoulder in the mirror, I saw Edward standing behind me, his eyes locked on my hand.
I couldn't speak.
His eyes rose slowly to meet mine. He saw the tears, and his frozen pose broke.
He was suddenly right in front of me, wiping away my tears and cradling my face. His words came in a jumbled rush.
"Oh God Bella, I'm so sorry. Are you hurt? I'm so stupid, I should have known..."
I put my hand over his mouth.
"Edward," I croaked, my voice as steady as I could make it; which wasn't saying much. "Stop. You're panicking, and that isn't going to help anyone."
Edward gently moved my hand to his cheek and held it there with both of his. He took a deep, unneeded breath.
"I'm sorry. It's just... I've heard stories, Bella, legends about this kind of thing, and they... they don't end well. I'm... I'm scared." The last part was no more than a whisper.
"Hold on," I said, holding up one finger. "What do you mean 'this kind of thing'?"
He breathed again, deep and slow, before he spoke, as if determined to calm himself.
"Children... creatures... made by sadistic vampires with their human prey. The... the mother never... never survives." He seemed to struggle with each word. Then suddenly, he was absolutely focused, gripping my face again tightly.
"If I lose you... I can't even... Bella, this thing could kill you. We have to get you to Carlisle, get it out."
I was abruptly furious.
"Thing?" I growled. "Did you just call our baby a thing?"
Edward blinked twice, astounded.
"You heard me." I was really mad now. I pushed away from him.
"This isn't some horrific monster from a story Edward. This is you and me. We've made something, together, that's special and magical and... and..."
The tears began again and they choked the words. I wrapped my arms around myself, around my baby.
"I won't let you take him from me." I said fiercely, my eyes daring him to try.
His eyes were wary as he approached me.
"Bella," he said, his voice soft. " I don't want to hurt you. But I can't stand you being in danger. I won't stand it."
I crumbled, whispering so softly that a human wouldn't have heard.
"Please Edward. I... I... I need him. I can't live without him, any more than I can live without you. Please."
I knew I was begging, but I didn't care. Tears flowed relentlessly down my face and sobs racked my body.
Edward slowly came to me, wrapping his arms gently around me. I clutched him close, drenching his shirt.
"Alright Bella, it's alright. You're right. It is special. I'm sure – if I could just not be afraid- I would feel exactly the same as you do. Calm down sweetheart, everything's alright."
He rocked me gently, sitting on the bed and pulling me into his lap. He continued to murmur soothing words into my ear until the tears subsided. My arms relaxed, one hand slipping back to my stomach while the other stayed around his neck.
"You really love it, don't you?" he whispered, and I nodded, lightly stroking the bump.
"You think it's a boy?"
I smiled. He had obviously picked up on my use of the word 'him' before. He spoke quietly, and if I hadn't known him so well I wouldn't have heard the barely concealed interest in his voice.
"I dream about a boy." I said, speaking just as softly as he had. "A beautiful little boy, with big green eyes and crazy bronze hair." I smiled up at him. "What do you think?"
Edward looked startled for a second before he buried his face in my hair and placed a tender kiss on my neck.
"I don't care really. But, boy or girl, they have to have your eyes. I want to still be able to look at them once you are changed."
I shook my head at him and laughed a little. "You're going soft."
My tone was light and teasing, but inside I was elated. He wasn't going to fight me any more; he wanted this too.
He chuckled with me, then stopped abruptly.
"What?" I asked, worried.
He held up a finger and cocked his head to the side.
"I hear it," he whispered, his voice barely more than a breath. "I can hear its heartbeat next to yours."
I smiled wider than ever, and gently stroked his cheek. He smiled too, tentatively, and moved his hand slowly downwards until it hovered over mine.
"May I?" he asked; always the gentleman.
I nodded, taking his hand and pressing his palm flat against my belly, over my t-shirt. Almost instantly, I felt the baby press the point where Edward's cold skin touched it. He felt it too. His eyes widened and he stared at our hands.
"Someone knows their daddy." I murmured. There was another nudge, as if my little one agreed with me.
"Wow," was all Edward said before he kissed me.