Author's note: Wow, I know it's been a while and I apologize. I got stuck; serious road block. Good news is I think I found a detour. Thanks for sticking with me and sharing your thoughts!
I awoke as if from a nightmare, but I couldn't remember the dream. I was drenched in sweat and my blankets were all tangled around my feet. I was alone in the dark room and immediately realized I was going to be sick again. Somehow I made it back to the bathroom and dry heaved into the toilet. Edward came in rubbed soothing circles on my back with his cold fingers. I flinched only slightly at his touch, still acting on instinct in my partially awake state.
Once I had composed myself I went back to the sink to freshen up. "I need a shower." I said simply
Edward nodded to me. "It would probably make you feel better, but not alone, I don't want you to fall. Would you like me to get Alice or Esme- or would you allow me?"
"Just you." Edward was my husband after all and for whatever reason, his touch seemed to bother me the least of his family.
"Alright, let me go get some towels and a robe for you." Edward left the room after turning on the shower to warm up the water. I leaned down to take off my socks, but Edward rushed back in before I had a chance. He set the towels in the sink and knelt down in front of me. "Allow me, love." Edward helped me undress and removed the bandages to check again on my wounds.
"We'll be able to take out the stitches in a couple days," he commented. I just nodded in acknowledgement, they did look better now that the signs of infection had faded away. Edward quickly freed himself of his clothing and stood before me offering his hand of assistance into the shower.
A once long lost memory surfaced in my mind taking me back to Isle Esme. I remembered the excitement, anticipation and the sensations of that first night with Edward and what it felt like to be loved by him. My heart skipped a beat as I gazed as his flawless body and I couldn't help the desire that suddenly flowed through me. I tentatively reached up a hand to his chest and placed my palm over his still heart. Edward remained still, watching my hand as I trailed it down his abdomen and rested my hand at his hip.
Edward looked up at the same time I did and his gaze caught my eyes. Slowly, he brought up his hand to cup the side of my face. I was hypnotized by his beauty and I managed to not move or flinch away from his cold touch. He moved his hand down my neck and rested it on my shoulder, not breaking eye contact with me.
"So beautiful," he said simply. His hand trailed down my arm and took my hand and guided me into the shower with him. Edward was gentle and slow as he helped me shampoo and condition my hair. His fingers massaged my scalp gently in a way that forced my eyes to close in contentment. He took a soft mesh sponge and lathered my body, amazingly avoiding contact with any open sores or stitches. Once he seemed satisfied, he quickly washed himself and turned off the water.
When we were dry, Edward wrapped the robe around me and walked me back to the bed. He had already dressed himself and looked perfect once again- except his hair was a little more tame when wet. There was a soft knock on the door that it seemed Edward was waiting for.
"Come in, Carlisle," Edward announced.
"Hope I'm not interrupting you." Carlisle seemed stiff and not his usual self.
"Not at all," I replied. "It's fine." After my shower I was feeling fairly relaxed and more like myself.
"I wish to share my findings with you," Carlisle said. Edward nodded in response. "I would have never thought it possible, and I promise you I have run every test I can think of- twice. All the symptoms match and all the blood markers are there."
"Dad, please just come out with it," Edward begged.
Carlisle's eyes drifted to me. "Bella, you're pregnant, and there is no doubt that you, Edward, are the father."
Edward laughed unexpectedly. "Carlisle, it's impossible! Ridiculous!" Edward paused and seemed to be reading his father intently. "How?" he blurted out.
"Well, it would seem that your semen remained viable through your transformation. Obviously you are more compatible than I realized."
"What do we do?" I asked.
"You can't possibly be suggesting she carry it to term, Carlisle." Edward stood up to his father and seemed angry.
"I don't know if it is possible," Carlisle replied, "but the choice is yours, both of yours. We can run more tests, try to gather as much information as we can, give you the tools to make the best decision possible."
"I'm going to have a baby." My mind suddenly started to process the information of what that could mean. Somehow, Edward and I- our love, made a new life. It was part Edward and part me- hopefully mostly Edward.
"It's a miracle, it truly is, Bella," Edward began as he sat back down beside me; I could tell he was leading to the big but. "But we don't even know if it's safe for you. It's part vampire- part monster."
"Edward, you are not a monster. Our baby is not a monster."
"Bella, you just barely survived a horrific kidnapping, I am not putting your life at risk." Edward spoke with evenly, as if his decision was final.
I had lost so much in the past few weeks: my father, my sanity, my passion. I couldn't lose anything else. "Edward, I-" my voice hitched in my throat as tears started to well up in my eyes. "I need this baby."
The pained expression that crossed Edwards face told me that he did not have the strength to deny me. "Bella, please, ask for anything and it's yours, anything but this. I can't stand the thought of more harm coming to you."
The tears were running down my face and dripping on my robe. "Edward, please- please don't take this away from me."
"It is encouraging that the fetus was not rejected while you were with Jane." Carlisle's statement did not please Edward, and he seemed hard pressed to find a decent rebuttal. "The risk of miscarriage was amplified by your trauma. All things considered, it's very encouraging. Though there are certainly risks, I think you have a decent chance at carrying the child to term with the proper care."
Carlisle looked at me a while longer before he gathered himself to stand up. Without really thinking, I reached out my hand to grab his. I squeezed his cold hand gently and he did the same in return. I knew Carlisle was safe, but the cold touch still made my heart chill. Grasping his hand was a great move of trust from my side and it seemed the gesture was not lost on my second father.
As Carlisle left the room, Edward's attention turned back to me. "Bella," was all he said. He seemed at a loss for words. He couldn't deny me this and neither could Carlisle.
The next few days brought with them many trials of my new found fragile trust of my family. Thankfully Carlisle and Edward were nothing but patient and compassionate.
"Bella, love what are you thinking?" It was Edward's most common question to me since I eluded his mental power.
"I was thinking how thankful I am for you and your family, how lucky I am to have your support."
"We have been blessed by you as well- it seems we've been blessed all around: your safety and continued health. How do you feel?"
I think on some level Edward expected me to be in constant pain or distress, but I wasn't. I had all the typical symptoms of pregnancy and then some, but it wasn't as bad as he expected it to be. "I feel good, Edward." I knew better than to use my mantra of I'm fine. "I'd be better if you came and sat by me." Edward had got in the habit of not pushing my boundaries, instead he awaited my invitations.
Edward took a seat beside me on the bed and put his hand on my leg. Sometimes I still wondered if he truly still felt the same for me even though I had been so damaged. In the darkest corner of my heart, doubt lingered still. That doubt was fueled by Edward's early insistence of terminating my pregnancy, in that dark corner I wondered if he was cutting ties with me and didn't want to be attached to me through the life of another.
"Bella?" Edward interrupted my chain of thought. "Bella, what's wrong?"
"I'm just tired." I wasn't going to bring up my insecurities; Edward would just shoot them down again and again.
"Your body has a lot of healing to do, you need your rest. Would you like to go back to bed?"
"No, I'm tired, but I don't want to sleep. Can we watch a movie or something?"
"Of course, love, what would you like to watch?" Edward asked.
"Something happy." Edward flipped through countless on-demand channels before finding something he deemed suitable. The opening credits rolled on a familiar musical that I recalled seeing back on the Isle. I cuddled close to Edward, determined to keep him there for the entire length of the movie.
After about thirty minutes I started to grow anxious and cold. I wanted to make it through the movie though. But he was cold. I didn't like cold; cold was pain.
"Bella, your heart rate has increased, are you alright? Do you need me to move?" Edward moved his weight away from me.
"No, please!" I looked up at him wanting to reach out and stop him, but unable to gather my courage to. I scrunched my eyes closed and focused myself on my breathing, a trick Carlisle had shown me to help ease my recent panic attacks. I felt ridiculous, and knew my skin was turning bright red in embarrassment.
"Ohh Bella, tell me what I can do, please tell me how to help you."
"Just stay, please?" I knew he was in essence the cause of my fear, but even in this state I refused to push him away. Somehow, he had to also be the source of my comfort.
"Bella, it's okay if you need some space, it's expected for you to take time to acclimate. Maybe I should get Carlisle."
"NO!" My fear and anger bonded together in a new emotion. I wasn't angry at Edward though, I was angry at myself. "No, I was fine earlier, in the shower and before…" I gasped in a breath. "This is silly, I'm fine. I'm fine." I thought if I just kept saying it, believing it, then maybe it would become true.
But it wasn't true, and I couldn't bring the sea that raged inside me to calm. My hands were shaking, my breath coming in gasps, and my skin was covered in a light sheen of sweat.
"I'm so sorry Bella, but it's dangerous for you to be this upset in your condition and with child." Edward stood from the couch and walked across the room. It broke my soul as I felt my body calm down once he was out of reach. "It's not your fault, love. Give yourself time, you've come so far. We have all the time in the world, please don't worry."
I was so disappointed in myself, all I wanted was to make it through one movie, little over two hours and I couldn't even do that. I wasn't about to give up though. I closed my eyes and pictured our honeymoon. That first night I walked out into the warm water to Edward, scared and yet so excited. Happiness. I recalled his cool embrace in the warm water. I drove out all the dark nightmares with my happy memories. Jane could never take those from me.
I opened my eyes and saw only him. I saw the man I loved. Though I was still weak, I forced myself to my feet and walked across the room again, forcing myself to reach out and take his hand. I looked up into his concerned eyes and demanded of him, "Don't leave me."