A/N: This is my first fanfic. Although I've read 100's and have had this story in my head forever, it's still taken me until now to gather the courage to write it. It's lightly based on real life experiences and feelings, but by no means is it truth. I'm not sure right now of how my updates will go but I want you to know that I have the entire story mapped out and I know exactly how I want it to go. I will finish and update regardless of reviews. Reviews will always be appreciated and welcomed however they are not required. So if you're a reader who finds pushing that little review button difficult (I tend to be guilty of that) then I understand. I do however hope you enjoy it.
Disclaimer: I don't own it. Stephenie Meyer does. I just like to place her characters in the stories in my head.
I watch as the light of the rising sun tries feebly to break its way through the nearly constant cloud cover and rain that exists here. I find comfort in the rain. It hides the tears that come more often than I'd like.
Town is quiet this time of day. It's just before eight on another Wednesday morning. It's strange to think I've been here for two months already. Two months to the day in fact since I left my life behind. Not sure I'll ever be far enough away, but 2700 miles was the best I could do.
I glance once more at the rain soaked emptiness outside the motel window and with a sigh decide to get ready for work.
Now my job, that I love. About two weeks after I arrived in Forks I interviewed for a job at the local daycare. There weren't many jobs available here in town with it being so small, and even though I'd never worked with children before I just felt drawn to it. I was lucky enough to get the job and now I'm what they call a Lead teacher for the infant room at Sunshine & Rainbows. It couldn't be more perfect. I spend all day taking care of and cuddling babies. It's peaceful, quiet and just what I needed.
After a nice warm shower to chase away the melancholy feelings of this morning, I throw on what has become my staple outfit since moving here. Jeans, a t-shirt, hoodie and uggs. I usually like to wear my converse but we're not allowed to wear shoes in the infant room at work and the uggs are just more practical to take on and off, besides they keep my feet warm. I throw my hair into a pony tail and call it done.
After locking my motel room door, I head to the lobby and grab a cup of coffee for my walk to work.
"Good morning, Bella." The receptionist, Jeanne, says as I walk in.
"Hey, Jeanne. Just grabbing a coffee before work."
"You may want to drive today instead of walking Bella. It's supposed to rain pretty bad this afternoon. Worse than normal I mean."
"Thanks for the warning, Jeanne." I say as I wave and head to my car in the parking lot.
I don't usually drive to work. It's only about 4 blocks away and a little rain isn't a big deal but I've learned that when the locals talk about the rain being bad, then it's going to be really bad.
When I get to work I prepare myself before heading in. See, first thing in the morning I like to head into the kitchen and gather my necessities for the day before my babies arrive. The thing is…Mike works in the kitchen. He's the cook/handyman here at the daycare and well let's just say, he's a little too friendly for my liking.
Upon opening the door and walking in I notice that the kitchen is Mike free. I release the breath I didn't realize I was holding and smile while walking to the cupboards to pull out my bowls and baby spoons. After filling a jug with hot water to use for making bottles later I pile my things in an empty bin to carry to my room.
I turn away from the counter and smack into something solid. I fall back dropping my bin of dishes and landing on my ass.
"Oh God, Bella, are you ok?" says a voice that makes me cringe.
I look up and realize I've run smack into Mike and now he's hovering over me and attempting to touch me. I swat his hands away and push myself off the floor.
"I'm fine." I say, while he continues to try and check me over. "Mike, stop! I'm fine. What were you doing right behind me anyway? Next time give a little warning, ok."
"Bella, are you sure you're ok? I didn't mean to scare you. I'm so sorry, really. What can I do to make it up to you?"
"Seriously Mike I'm fine. What you can do though is wash all my dishes real quick before my kids get here, because I obviously can't use them now that they've hit the floor."
"Oh…yeah, sure. Um, Bella…I was thinking that maybe we could go to a movie on Friday as like an apology for today."
"Sorry, Mike but no. I've told you every time you've asked me out that I'm not dating right now, or anytime in the foreseeable future, so stop asking. Just wash the dishes, Ok? And make sure you bring them all because I'm getting another baby in today. Not sure how old she is or what I'll need, and I really don't want to run out later." I turn quickly and walk out of the kitchen toward my room before Mike can make another attempt at asking me out. It's a regular occurrence and I'm not sure how I can be anymore clear.
Upon entering my 'classroom' I start to get things set up for today. I'm so excited about getting a new baby. I wasn't given much information but I know it's a girl and that she'll be here five days a week from open to close and that she's here later today because the Aunt will be bringing her in. I really wish I was meeting the parents. I find it much easier to establish a good routine for both the child and myself if I can find out first hand how things are handled at home. Oh well, I guess I'll just have to keep my questions in mind for when I do meet them.
As I'm getting the crib sheets and blankets out for the three babies I'll have today, I hear my name being called from the door that connects my room to the toddler room next door. I turn and see Alice bouncing slightly in the doorway, looking a bit like a kid on Christmas. I tilt my head and raise an eyebrow in question.
"Bella! Oh I'm so excited!" she squeals. I swear she's going to hurt herself if she doesn't stop the bouncing soon.
"I can see that Alice. May I ask why? I mean after almost two months here I've gathered that you're a little excitable normally, but this is a level I haven't seen before." I really like Alice actually. She's the one person I'd consider a friend if I was allowing myself to get that close to people, but I'm not so…yeah.
"You're getting a new baby today!"
"I know that, but why is that making you excited?"
"Because silly, she's my niece."
"Oh. Um, ok. Well Vicky told me she was being brought in by her Aunt, is that you?"
"Nope. Well I mean, yes, I'm her Aunt, but it's Rosalie that'll be bringing her in. In fact they should be here any minute."
Ok now I'm just confused. I had no idea that Alice and Rosalie were related. I mean they look nothing alike. Alice is tiny and energetic with short spiky black hair and beautiful blue eyes. Where Rosalie is a tall gorgeous blond with an amazing body. She seems nice enough but I don't think I've said more that a hello to her. I guess they do have the same eye color though. The confusion must have shown on my face because Alice answered my unasked question.
"Rose is my sister-in-law. She's married to my oldest brother Emmett. You know the police chief?" Oh um…should I tell her I still have no idea who she's talking about. I decide not to voice my complete disinterest in her family and just shake my head no.
"Really Bella? Don't you listen to anything when I talk to you?" I turn my head away from her and I can feel my cheeks heat with my embarrassment. This is why I don't talk to people.
"Well we'll worry about that later. My niece Lilly will be coming in with Rose today, she's my brother Edward's daughter. He's the middle child just so you know. Anyway, Lilly is 2 months old today and can be a bit of a handful. She not been much of a sleeper and tends to throw fits quite often. Edward would have been here to explain all this to you but he had the overnight shift at the hospital last night and asked Rose to bring her in."
"Um, ok. Well thanks Alice. I guess I better get everything ready then if I'm going to spend most of my day calming a fussy baby." I turned quickly and prepared three cribs for the day. We have a total of five in the room so I made sure to separate Lilly's crib from the other two just incase I'm unable to calm her down today. While placing a blanket and toys down on the floor for my two older babies I couldn't help but wonder a few things about what Alice had told me. Why is Rose bringing Lilly in and not her mother? What exactly does Edward do at the hospital? And are Alice's brothers anything like her?
Stop it Bella! It's not any of your business and besides why do you want to know things about people you have no intention of getting close to anyway.
Sighing heavily, I rub the heels of my hands into my eyes and will the tears away. My sub-conscious is right. There is no point is letting anyone in. I just get hurt that way.
Just as I'm finishing up my pity party, Mike shows up with my newly cleaned dishes. Thankfully, Rose is right behind him carrying a very upset little baby. I can't exactly see her yet but I can certainly hear her from underneath the blanket that is thrown over her baby carrier to keep out the rain. She is loud, very loud. Mike clears his throat and looks a little uneasy as he hands me the dishes and says, "here Bella. Well, um, have a good day dealing with…that."
Mike quickly turns and leaves the room. Hmm…maybe a screaming baby is the only way to keep his advances on me in check. I'll have to try that out if Lilly is as fussy as Alice said she is.
"Hi Bella. I'm so sorry about this. Edward was hoping that she wouldn't be as bad today, but she didn't really want anything to do with either Emmett or myself last night and has done nothing but cry the whole time. She did finally sleep a little bit but then wouldn't take a bottle this morning. I'm not sure what to do. Edward's usually the only one that can ever calm her down when she's like this and he doesn't get off work until 10am. Please let me know if you can't handle her and I'll give him a call." Rosalie stated while gently setting Lilly's carrier on the table. She looked like she was about to tear her hair out and have a breakdown.
"It's ok Rose. I'll give it a try. Have a seat and take a breather for a sec. Let me get her out of the carrier and then I have a few questions for you real quick." Rose just nodded her head while plopping herself into the chair at the table.
I slowly took the blanket off the carrier so I didn't startle the baby with the bright lights of the room. Once the blanket was removed and the carrier's handle was lowered I was met with a very red faced, tear stained, tiny baby girl. Her little fists were balled up by her face and she was taking big gasping breaths. I gently unhooked the straps of her carrier and lifted her up into my arms. Once I had her tiny head situated in the crook of my left elbow I used my right hand to brush the tears from her cheeks and spoke gently to her while trying to calm her down.
"Shh, my pretty little thing. It's not so bad. Tell me what's the matter. I know you miss your Daddy but I promise you'll see him soon. He had to work so you can have all the pretty things you deserve in life. Hush now little bug, I want to see those pretty eyes of yours."
While I was speaking, Lilly unclenched one of her little fists and grabbed onto my pinky finger. When her skin touched mine I felt a strange sensation creep up my arm. Almost like the fizz of bubbles in a champagne glass. It was right at that moment that I realized her crying had quieted to hiccoughing breaths while she calmed herself.
Rose stood from the chair quickly and rushed over to see what was happening.
"Oh. My. God. Wh-what? How did you do that?"
"I'm not sure. I was just talking to her." Just then I realized that Lilly had shifted slightly toward my chest and was rooting around like she wanted to feed.
"Um, Rose? Is Lilly breastfed?"
"No. She takes a bottle. Why?"
"Well, because she's definitely looking for something." I stated while looking down at my chest.
"Oh! Let me grab the bottle I made before leaving the house." She went and grabbed the bottle from Lilly's diaper bag and brought it to me.
As soon as I got the bottle close to Lilly's lips she latched on like she hadn't eaten in days. Giggling I looked up at Rose, "well, I guess that solves that problem."
"I'm completely floored. She's never calmed so quickly for a stranger, not even for Edward."
"Well, all I know is that babies can sense when adults are frustrated and it keys them up even more. It's not anything we can help really, and because I don't have any experience with her fussiness I wasn't already tense thinking it was going to take a while to calm her down. With all of you being so close to her and knowing how bad she can get, unconsciously you already tense up so it can affect her."
"Oh, I never thought of it that way. Bella?"
"Do you have kids? Or have you had experience with this before?"
"No to both questions. But I do love babies. It's just natural I guess."
"Well I'm impressed. Did you have questions for me?"
"Oh, yeah. Does Lilly have any kind of schedule for feedings or napping? Any special needs or anything that I should be aware of?"
"Well no, not really. As you can see we have a hard time getting her on any sort of routine and then Edward tried while he was home with her but he was having a hard time adjusting so now that he's back to work things have changed all over again."
"Ok well then I'll just establish one for while she's here and then hopefully it'll help things out at home."
"Thanks Bella, I hope she stays like this for you, but let me know if things change and I'll call Edward." Rose turned to leave the room and just before she was out the door she turned back and said "Oh, and well, Alice and I are next door so if we can help at all let us know. Although, you're already doing better than either of us." With a sad little smile she turned and left.
Grabbing a burp cloth from Lilly's bag, I went to sit in the rocking chair. Checking the clock I noticed it was only 9:15am. It was hard to believe I'd only been here for a half hour. Knowing I still had 45 min until my next baby arrived, I decided that Lilly and I needed to get to know each other better. Looking down at her sweet little face I saw that her bottle was empty. Setting the bottle aside, I adjusted Lilly so she was lying in my lap with her head cradled in my hands, and the stare down began. She just looked at me, almost like she was trying to figure me out but I knew it was too soon for her to really see much. While she continued to stare, I took the moment of calm to really get a good look at her. She was absolutely stunning. She had a very light dusting of coppery blonde hair and the most perfect little face. Her eyes were still the blue color most babies have at birth, but hers seemed to have an undercurrent of green in them. It made me wonder if one of her parents had green eyes.
"You are a beautiful little girl, sweetpea. Now, you're gonna be a good quiet baby for me today right? I know you can be."
She just looked at me and smiled. It could have been a real smile but my guess was that it was just gas. Either way, the look on her face in that moment had me hooked. I fell in love with that little girl right then. I felt connected to her, as ridiculous as is seemed. I just wanted to make sure she had the best of everything. I knew I couldn't really be in her life like that, but as long as she was attending this daycare and was under my watch, she would know how much she was loved.
I pulled her to my shoulder and gently patted her back to get out the burp I knew she had in her. Once that was done I just cradled her to my chest and rocked. I'd never felt more whole in my life. My heart was telling me that I was meant to love this little girl and my brain was telling me that it would be a mistake to develop the attachment. Everything I love goes away. I'm not meant to love or be loved. The sooner I accept that the better off I'll be.
Trying to ignore the battle of feelings going on inside my head, I pulled Lilly closer to my heart and closed my eyes. Basking in the warmth of the tiny little body curled on my chest, I let the tears fall. Tears for what should've been, what could've been and what will never be.
A/N: These first few chapters will more or less be about getting to know Bella and Edward. Both of their stories will be slow to unfold, but through their interactions with those around them you'll get to understand the pain they are in. Next will be your first glimpse into Edward.