Steph owns, killerlashes betas. This is the last chapter. Remember - this is a prequel, so if you haven't read Secrets, Lies, & Family Ties... I'm sorry for the ending?

ILY! Thanks for reading!

Chapter 14 – A New Beginning


March 2004

"Are you sure you want to know?" Sue asked quietly.

I sighed and looked up at her, her dark eyes worried. Looking down, I rubbed a hand over my belly and smiled. "Yeah, I really do. I want to be prepared," I explained.

"Lord help us if it's a boy. Your brothers will be over the moon," she said and went back to the magazine in front of her. I smiled, though it was a sad one. I was excited to find out what the baby was, but it was difficult doing it alone. Everyone was anxious to find out what I was having – both Emmett and Seth were really hoping for a boy. Truth was, having a boy would be very difficult for me. Knowing that I would be bringing a son into the world where his father was absent was something that had weighed on my mind since I'd found out I was pregnant. With my luck he would look just like Edward, too.

But being alone was my choice. Edward was gone. I hadn't heard from him or his family since Christmas and I had no interest in talking to them either. I was angry and upset at him for leaving, for not letting me explain, or trying to talk about our options.

When I made the decision to not tell Edward about the baby I didn't think twice about it. My family didn't agree, but my mind was made up. I knew it was selfish but part of me was really proud of Edward for following his dream, for doing something with his life.

Of course…the other part of me hated him.

"Bella?" The nurse called my name and led Sue and me back to a small room. I settled myself on the chair and lifted my shirt up. I'd had a sonogram before but it was just a routine one, nothing to see yet. Today was definitely more exciting.

"Okay, Bella. We're going to try and find out the sex today, hopefully your baby will cooperate," the nurse said while she squirted the gel over my belly and rubbed the device over it. I inhaled sharply and Sue grabbed my hand. I squeezed it tightly and smiled at the sight of my baby on the small screen.

"Can you tell?" Sue's voice was quiet. I knew she was just as nervous as I was.

"Yep. Looks like we've got a boy," she said with a smile. I tried to smile at her but my vision was blurred and my tears were falling before I could compose myself. Sue wrapped an arm around me and tried to soothe me.

I shouldn't have reacted that way. I should have been happy that I was having a healthy baby boy. But I was too distraught at the fact that my son was going to grow up without a father to see the positive in the situation.

I knew that I couldn't take all of the blame for that, though. Edward had chosen to leave, he had chosen to cut off every tie we had. I knew my baby would be loved, and that was going to have to be good enough for me.


August 13th, 2004

"Is he okay? Is everything alright?" My voice sounded foreign to me; it was hoarse, exhausted, and too raw to be my own. People bustled around the room, busying themselves with the baby and not answering my questions. He'd been ceremoniously ripped from my grasp to be cleaned and wrapped. I really wanted him back.

Finally, my dad appeared at my side. He kissed my forehead and smoothed my hair.

"He's perfect," he said softly.

I nodded and let out a sigh of relief. Eventually he was back in my arms. I held him close and breathed him in. Nervously, I pulled the little striped cap from his head and stifled a groan.

Thick auburn hair covered his little head.

Sue laughed from behind me. "We should have known that was going to happen," she said softly.

I smiled and kissed his head, too content with having him in my arms to worry about it. The more I studied him, they more I saw it though. The shape of his eyes, the slope of his nose… Edward was there and very prominent in my baby boy's features. I realized then that I didn't hate Edward, not really. He made a decision that was best for him and for the most part I respected that. I couldn't hate him, though. In that moment, as I held my little boy, I was grateful for Edward.

He had given me the most precious gift I'd ever received.

"Does he have a name, mom?" the neonatal nurse asked. I looked from Dad to Sue and nodded.

"Masen. His name is Masen," I told her.

Sue kissed my forehead and Dad gave a loud sniff.

"Masen Charles Swan," I said to placate my dad. I knew he wouldn't be happy about the name, but Edward and I had talked about it before. I had always known what his name would be.

"Well, that's not so bad," Dad said gruffly. "He's kind of cute."

"He's beautiful," Sue said while elbowing him gently. I laughed and looked down at Masen, completely mesmerized already.

I knew that my life would never be the same.