Disclaimer: Characters belong to Stephenie Meyer
This story was last published on 6/18/10.
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I quickly went back to my routine. I worked long hours and began a renovation project on my condo. I was content for most of the hours of the day. It was the moment right before I would drift off to sleep that my heart ached for Edward. I hoped he was safe and he wasn't headed into a depression.
I was looking forward to Jane coming and planned out activities for every day she was here. I was working in my office when a coworker knocked on my door. "Bella, my brother is coming to town next week and I would love to introduce you to him."
I laughed and was just about to tell her thanks, but no thanks, when I caught myself. "Sure Leah, that sounds like fun."
I wasn't looking for a relationship, but it was all part of my swimming in the deep plan. She smiled and then handed me a cup, "Your name came up for the random screening."
I groaned and took the cup from her. I headed to employee health and signed in for my check up. I had some blood drawn and gave a urine sample and went right back to work. I was walking out of my office at the end of the day when my phone rang.
"Bella, can you stop by the clinic?" a nurse asked. I immediately began trying to remember if I had eaten any poppy seeds or anything that would give me a positive drug screen.
"Is there a problem?" I asked in fear.
"No, not at all."
"I'll be right down," I said and grabbed my briefcase.
I was brought back to an exam room and several people came in. "What's going on?" I asked as my heart sped up.
"We don't want to pry into your private life Bella, but we have to take legal precautions if you choose to remain in the lab."
"Legal precautions?" I asked as my mouth went dry.
"We don't want to be responsible for any issues that could arise from the various compounds you come into contact with."
"I'm lost, I have no idea what you are talking about," I said in frustration.
"Ask your obstetrician if it is safe for you to continue in the lab."
"What?" I asked in a hushed voice.
"You're pregnant, Bella, didn't you know?"
I shook my head in disbelief and suddenly had to get out of that room. I pushed past everyone and ran down the hallway. I saw Leah walking in the parking lot and I tried to calm down enough to talk to her.
"I won't be able to meet your brother," I said with a shaky voice. "I'm really sorry but something came up and I will be busy next week."
I didn't wait for a response and ran to my car before I collapsed in tears. I had no symptoms at all and was used to having unpredictable periods. I knew I should have taken more precautions, but it was Edward and I wasn't thinking clearly that weekend.
I drove home in a daze and the chaos of my condo remodel made my situation seem so much worse. I was lying on my bed when the thought finally hit me, I needed to tell Edward. I couldn't expect him to change anything, and wondered what the thought of having a child would do to him.
I decided to wait until I knew what I was going to do. As the night wore on the thought of having a baby began to sink in, and I started to feel amazing joy.
I imagined and little girl with Edward's copper hair, or a boy with his strong jaw and green eyes. By the time the sun began to rise I was totally bonded with my child and wanted him or her more than anything I ever wanted in my life.
I took the day off of work and made an appointment with an obstetrician. I found out I was two months pregnant and she suggested I stay out of the lab and away from the chemicals I was subjected to. I wanted to share my news with someone but didn't want to admit my situation to my mother or father.
I called the only person I felt would be happy for me, I called Jane.
"You're having a baby?" She screamed into the phone.
"Yeah, crazy isn't it?" I laughed.
"I can't wait to see Edward changing diapers, that is going to be hysterical," she laughed.
"He doesn't know," I admitted.
She was quiet for a minute and I explained, "I haven't seen him since Chicago, he is on assignment."
"Bella, you have to find him and let him know. Edward would rush right to your side, I know he would."
"That's the problem Jane, I want him to want to be with me, not force him into it. I'm not strong enough to face him and have him walk away again. I can't do it right now."
"Do you want me to come early?" She asked.
"No, I'm very happy about the news, Jane. I'm going to start nesting," I chuckled. We went over our plans for her visit in two weeks and I thanked her for being there for me.
"Bella, you were there when I needed you, of course I would be there for you," she said.
"I was having the room you were going to stay in remodeled, now I need to turn it into a nursery," I laughed.
"Go ahead and change it, I can stay in your room with you," she said.
I instantly began making nursery plans and had to admit I was becoming more excited by the day. I knew being a single mother would be hard, but this was most likely my only chance at becoming a mother and I wasn't about to let it pass.
I found a woman who painted murals and hired her to paint a nursery rhyme theme on the walls. I began shopping on my lunch hour for tiny clothes to hang in the empty closet, and baby furniture to make it all so real. I chose items that could be for a girl or a boy and the room began to quickly fill.
The day Jane was to arrive I was bouncing off the walls. I had left a key under the mat and told her to make herself at home and I would leave work on time. I picked up Chinese food on the way home and called out for her the second I got in the door.
I sat the food on the table and grabbed some dishes and silverware when I heard footsteps coming slowly down the hallway.
"What did you think of the nursery?" I yelled to her. "Isn't it precious?"
The plates dropped from my hand, crashing to the floor, when I saw Edward step into view. His face was pale and he looked like he was about to pass out. I had to grab onto a chair to keep myself from falling.
"Tell me," he said and then swallowed dramatically, unable to finish his sentence.
I didn't respond so he added, "Is it my baby?"
I nodded hesitantly.
His jaw tightened and his eyes narrowed, "Were you going to tell me?"
"Eventually," I said quietly.
"Eventually," he repeated and leaned against the wall for support.
"Where's Jane?" I asked.
"She sent me," he said shaking his head. "She said it was a surprise from her. I didn't realize I would be the one getting the surprise."
"I didn't know how you would take the news," I admitted. "I wanted to be better prepared when I told you."
"Better prepared," he said angrily, "The whole damn nursery is set up."
"I don't want anything from you, Edward; you are free to live your life without interference from me."
He turned to face the wall and then punched it hard, making a hole where his fist connected with the drywall. It angered me and I wanted to retaliate. "You marked me," I yelled at him. "You knew you were walking out of my life and you left me with a mark to haunt me. I'm sorry if I chose to keep the news of what you really left me with to myself for a bit."
My anger built as I spoke so I kept going, "How dare you walk in here and act hurt. I didn't invite you here and I didn't walk into your assignment and act like I was some gift you should be happy to receive. And then you have the audacity to ask me if it is yours. I don't sleep around and I don't appreciate the accusation. This is my baby, Edward, and we don't need you."
"Your baby," he screamed back at me. "This is our baby, Bella. We made this baby out of our love. And I had to ask because nobody thought to notify me of the fact I was going to be a father. Don't you dare try to cut me out of this."
"Since when did I ever have the power to cut you out of anything? Our whole relationship is on your terms, when it is convenient for you. I love you, Bella, but I have to pretend to be in another relationship. I love you, Bella, but I'm sending you home. I love you, Bella, but I have another assignment. I will not let you do that to my baby."
"Are you stupid," he screamed loudly. "I'm here; I'm standing in your house without a net underneath me. I walked away."
"I am three months pregnant," I laughed angrily. "Where the hell have you been? You didn't come to me, Jane sent you."
"Does it really matter how I ended up here?" he asked.
I walked to the door and opened it as I stepped aside for him to leave. "Yeah, it really does," I said hatefully.
"I'm not leaving," he said appalled. "This is something I will not walk away from."
I only stared at him so he walked over and slammed the door shut again. I headed into my bedroom and slammed the door, locking it behind me. I took a long bath and cried through the entire thing. When I got into my pajamas and dried my hair I came back into my bedroom.
A tray was on my bed, with food and a bottle of water. A note said Edward was gone for the night, but would be back tomorrow when I was calm enough to talk. I ate some food, for the baby's sake, and lay in bed with my hands on the small bump on my lower abdomen.
"I'm so sorry baby," I said softly. "You deserve a mommy and a daddy who are healthy and in love."
I walked to the nursery and ran my fingers over the crib. I picked up a small blanket and held it to my face as the most bizarre memory filled my mind. I thought of Tanya. I pictured her as I pointed the gun at her and squeezed the trigger. She would never know what it felt like to carry a child. How would I ever tell my baby that I had taken a life?
Then I thought of Rose and how close she came to losing Will. A baby changed things for her; maybe it could do the same for Edward.
I sat the blanket down and touched the mother goose mobile hanging over the crib. I felt so alone although a child was growing in my womb. I had made this incredible nursery, trying to give my child everything I could, but I left out the most important thing…its father."
I went back to my room and picked up the phone. "Hello," a deep voice answered.
"It's Bella," I whispered, trying to gain control of my emotions.
"Hi," he said in surprise. "Are you okay?"
I began to cry and it took me a moment to speak.
"Dad, I'm pregnant."
Charlie was quiet and not sure how to respond. I'm sure he was excited about having a grandchild, but he could tell I was struggling. I finally told him what he was dying to know. "Edward Cullen is the father."
"I didn't know you were still seeing him," he said in shock.
"I saw him the end of May, we are not together," I admitted.
"Oh," he said uncomfortably.
"Dad, I want the traditional family. I want the picket fence, family dinners, summer vacations, the whole thing. Do you think Edward is capable of that?"
He took a deep breath before answering, "I did it the opposite of Edward. I had the family first and then became an agent. He built his career and reputation as a young man, I honestly think he could be ready to quit…maybe."
"I am so afraid to trust in him," I admitted. "Women all over the world can trust Edward, but I'm not sure I can."
"Are you asking for my opinion, Bella?" he finally asked.
"Yes, dad, I need to hear the truth from you."
"It is worth it to try. When a child is involved you have to try everything to make it work."
"Did you?" I asked with my own childish heart aching.
"Yes, honey, I tried like hell."
I knew he was right and I knew my baby needed Edward more than I did. I just wanted him. I promised to let my father know what was going on and hung up to call my mother. She was thrilled and didn't care if Edward was in the picture or not. She was trying to talk me into moving to Florida when I heard the front door open.
I walked to the hallway and saw Edward carrying a rocker into the nursery.
"Mom, let me call you later," I said softly.
I walked to the nursery door and watch him situate the chair in the corner next to the crib; he turned to see me watching and let his head drop.
"I thought you would be asleep," he said with a slight shake of his head.
I didn't respond and he looked up to see me smiling at the rocker.
"I noticed the room didn't have one," he said.
"You noticed that?" I asked.
He reached out for my hand and led me to the rocker. I sat down and he smiled. "Now only one thing missing," he mused.
I looked into his gentle eyes and nodded, "You're right…you," I whispered.
He got onto his knees and leaned on my lap to kiss my stomach. I laid his head down and ran my fingers through his hair. "Bella, you will be an amazing mother," he moaned.
"Edward, I lied earlier."
His head snapped up and he looked at me nervously. "We do need you," I cried. "I'm just afraid you will hurt us."
"Bella, we're having a baby…" he choked up and couldn't finish his sentence.
"Are you going to blame me years from now?" I asked him.
"Blame you for what?"
"For causing you to walk away from your work, are you going to miss it and grow to resent me," I said.
"I would not be able to make the choice to be a father, but since it happened I realize I want this, I want this more than anything in my life. And not just a child, but a child with you," he said as he buried his face in my lap.
"Why did you take the assignment? Why didn't you come to me?" I asked as my heart tightened.
"I didn't take it, Bella."
I stared at the back of his head in surprise and then the familiar ache set in. He didn't take the assignment but he didn't come to me. I thought only his job kept him away from me.
I pushed him off of my lap and walked out of the room. He followed and I turned and said, "You can let yourself out."
"Can I stay here tonight?" he asked my stunned face.
"You're joking right?"
"Are you mad at me?" he asked.
I exhaled loudly and shook my head. He was staring at me with a confused look and I wanted to slap him across the face. I held out my hands for his and he hesitantly took mine. I turned his palms upward and leaned over to spit in his hands.
He jumped back and held them like they had been dipped in poison. "What the hell, Bella."
"That's for the hickey, I need some shit to get even for the other stuff," I said in anger.
"You want to cover me with shit for getting you pregnant?" he punctuated.
"Why are you so stupid," I screamed at him. "You are an educated man of the world, but emotionally you are an idiot."
"Can you explain these mood swings, because I am at a loss here," he said as he continued to hold his hands out in front of him.
"Go wash your hands and get out of here," I said as I headed to my room.
I heard the water running and I climbed into bed. I was listening for the door but never heard it open or close. I finally fell asleep and had the funniest dream. I had my baby, but it had Edward's head. I sat in the rocker holding a baby with an adult size head. I woke up and laughed at the thought.
I went to the nursery to look at the rocker before dressing for work and was stunned to find Edward lying on the floor with a thin blanket. He was using a stuffed rabbit for a pillow and I couldn't stop myself from grabbing my camera and snapping a picture.
The flash woke him up and he looked at me with sleepy eyes. "What are you doing?" he asked.
"Saving something for posterity," I laughed.
"Man, I feel like I took a beating," he said as he sat up on his elbow.
"What are you doing sleeping on the floor?" I asked.
"You threatened to shit on me when I asked to sleep with you," he pointed out.
I walked over and sat on the floor next to him. "I had a funny dream that our baby had your head," I laughed.
His face frowned and he looked sad, "What's wrong with my head?"
"I mean your actual head, like it is right now," I explained.
"Glad you're giving birth, not me," he laughed.
My smile fell and worry took its place, "I didn't think about childbirth," I mumbled.
His face pulled into a big grin and he lay back down onto the rabbit. "It will be just like swimming lessons," he teased.
"Do you have any idea how messy childbirth is?" I told him.
"I get scrubs and a mask, it is my biggest wish come true," he teased.
"So," I said softly, "after the birth what happens?"
"I'm pretty certain they let us keep it," he said, trying to appear serious.
"I mean with us," I said as I stared at my lap.
"I'm not here just for the birth, Bella."
"Where have you been?" I finally asked.
"I've been in therapy and working on issues with my father," he explained.
"Why can't you tell me these things?" I asked him.
"I wanted to be…fixed, before I came to you," he admitted sadly.
"They told you it is a lifelong process didn't they?"
He put his arm over his eyes and said, "Yeah, I thought I was advanced though."
I fell back in laughter and he glared at me. "If you were half as special as you think you are," I laughed.
He rolled over onto me and looked at my laughing face. "You don't think I'm special?" he asked.
"Yeah, I do. In a helmet wearing kind of way," I teased.
He dropped his mouth to my neck and I began screaming and kicking, "No, don't you dare," I threatened him.
We were laughing and wrestling around on the nursery floor, much too immature to be expecting a child and it was glorious. We finally ended up with me on top of him, as we tried to catch our breath. I knew I had to get ready for work and I hated leaving him. I also had to admit I wasn't sure he would be here when I returned.
I climbed off the floor and headed to the kitchen to make breakfast with Edward following me. "You get dressed and let me get the breakfast," he offered.
I stood in the doorway and tried to decide if I wanted to tell him something or not. He looked at me a couple of times and finally asked, "You don't trust me to make breakfast?"
"I was expecting Jane, so I have the week off."
He smiled as he broke the eggs and said, "In that case go get in bed and I will serve you breakfast in bed."
"You're going to let me eat in bed?" I challenged.
"Sure, and I'm going to watch too."
I climbed under the covers and nestled into the pillows, feeling full of hope. I was dreaming of a life with all of us together when he brought in a tray. He remained standing awkwardly as I took a bite of the toast.
"If I asked you to join me would it gross you out?"
"Yes," he admitted, "but I would do it anyway."
My eyes widened in surprise and I patted the pillow next to me. He walked around to the other side and sat on the edge of the bed.
"Take your clothes off and climb in," I suggested.
"Are you going to seduce me?" he asked.
"You would probably just get me pregnant," I teased.
He began to undress and I watched him like I was going to identify him in a lineup. He climbed in the bed and I held out of bite of eggs for him. I was shocked when he actually opened his mouth. I was suddenly much more interested in feeding him than feeding myself, so he took the fork from my hand.
"Do you have any suggestions for names?" he asked.
"I love the name Edwina," I said with a serious face.
"Me too," he said and I gasped. "But only for a boy."
"Do you want a boy or a girl?" I asked between bites.
"Yes," he answered.
"Which one?" I asked.
"Three of each," he said and lifted the fork to my mouth.
I pushed his hand away and stared at him in shock. "Who are you and what did you do with Edward?"
He laughed and picked up the tray and moved it to the dresser. He came back over and lay on his stomach next to me. "I think doing things backwards seems to work for us," he said as he leaned over and kissed my stomach.
"Getting married scared me, being a father calmed me. But it isn't just being a father; it is having a baby with you that thrills me beyond explanation."
"You know I'm going to get fat, right?"
"I don't care," he shrugged.
I smacked his arm and got a little offended that he didn't refute my statement.
He grinned and looked at my chest, "You're going to get huge boobs."
"They don't stay huge, you Neanderthal," I said in disgust.
He kissed my fingers and chuckled. I felt a chill run through me at the feeling of his lips against my hand. He sighed and stared at my ring finger.
"I want to do it right though," he said with his nerves showing through.
"What does right mean?"
"I want you to marry me," he said finally looking into my eyes. "Before the baby is born."
"I need to know I can trust you first," I said truthfully. "What if you get another assignment you feel is too important to pass up?"
His phone rang at that exact moment to accentuate the point. He looked at me nervously and stood to get his pants. He pulled the phone from his pocket and glanced at the screen. I began to shake when he didn't instantly put it back in his pants. He took a deep breath and looked up at me.
I stood up to face him and narrowed my eyes. The phone continued to ring and he finally mumbled, "Sorry," and answered it. I stormed from the room and slammed the bathroom door. I got in the shower and was too angry to cry yet.
I washed my hair and scrubbed my body harshly before throwing on a robe and coming back to my room. Edward was lying on the bed fully dressed and only glanced at me quickly.
"I'm going to work," I said to give him the hint to leave.
"No you're not," he said forcefully. I froze and looked at him in shock.
"You couldn't make it one day, could you," I yelled. "I will never depend on you, ever."
"I'm not turning down this assignment, Bella. I'm going to Seattle and I am going to do my job," he screamed at me.
"Get out," I demanded.
"Pack your stuff," he demanded back, and began pulling my clothes from the dresser and tossing them on the bed.
"What?" I asked.
"My assignment is you, and this time you are the one that is finished. I will not allow you to go back to the lab. We're going home Bella, where I can protect you."
"I'm in danger?" I asked in shock.
"Not anymore," he said adamantly. "You're not getting out of my sight."
"The nursery," I said in sorrow.
"I'll have it all moved, come on move," he yelled.
"Edward, wait, I can't just walk away," I said in a panic.
"Don't give me problems," he said as he opened my closet and began pulling clothes from the hangers.
"Wait," I cried.
He turned to face me and his eyes flashed with rage. "Bella, does the lab know you are pregnant?"
"Yes," I whispered.
"Please, please let me get you out of here," he begged.
I nodded as I stared at his adamant eyes. He was a father protecting his child and I knew I had to trust him. I placed my hands on my abdomen and began to cry. "I'm scared," I admitted.
"Bella, this is just stuff," he said sweeping his hand around the room. "Let's walk out the door, it can be replaced, you can't."
I nodded in agreement and held my hand out for his. He pulled me into his arms and said, "I'll take care you both, I won't let anything happen to you."
I grabbed my photo box and my file with all my important papers and walked out the door. Edward told me to follow him to the airport so he could turn in his rental car and then we would head out in my car. I was shaking as we fought our way through heavy traffic.
Edward's grip on the steering wheel was so tight his knuckles were white. When we got to Buffalo Edward stopped to make a phone call on a pay phone. When he got back in the car he looked at me with fear.
"Bella, I'm going to pass you off to someone and then meet you in Seattle," he began to explain.
"No," I screamed, "I'm not leaving you."
"Don't argue with me," he yelled harshly. "You are not just the package this time; you are my wife and mother of my child."
I raised my eyebrows at him and he rolled his eyes, "Don't nitpick," he said.
"I don't even have a ring," I pointed out, "I don't think I am nitpicking."
"Take the wheel," he instructed.
"What?" I said.
"Take the wheel so I can get something out of my pocket," he said and leaned forward.
I grabbed the wheel as he lifted off the seat and pulled something from his back pocket. He began driving again with one hand and held the other one out to me.
"Here, now shut the hell up," he demanded.
I looked at the ring stuck to the end of his finger and my mouth fell open. I turned to look out the window and he called out for me.
"I'm not taking it like that, Edward. You have to do it the right way," I demanded.
He growled in frustration and turned his attention back to the road. We drove in silence for awhile and I finally cleared my throat and said, "Edward, please let me stay with you. I have a really bad feeling about this; I am begging you to let me go with you."
"Bella, I'm great at my job. I need you to believe in me and do what I say," he said as he took my hand and kissed it.
"Where are you going?" I asked.
"I'm setting up a diversion," he answered.
"Is it dangerous?" I asked.
He refused to answer and changed the subject. "Let's talk about names," he smiled.
"My grandfather's name was James," I started.
"My grandfather's name was James," Edward interrupted with astonishment.
"Well that was easy," I laughed.
"What about grandmothers?" he asked.
"No way," I said.
"Yeah, not mine either."
"I like Kai," I offered.
"I like Kaia," he countered.
"I'm good with that," I said.
He laughed loudly and shook his head. "That was way too easy."
When it got late he began looking for a hotel and I began to feel a bit nervous. He let me buy a toothbrush, something to sleep in and a change of clothes but the feeling of déjà vu was so strong. I remembered the nights years ago when it terrified me to sleep in the dark.
We crawled in bed and snuggled up together. He wrapped his leg around me and I held him tightly in my arms.
"Bella," he said softly. "I am completely serious and I am asking you to accept my ring. I want you to be my wife."
I kissed him tenderly and said against his lips, "I want nothing more than to be your wife."
"I want to get your ring, but I don't want to move," he chuckled.
"I'll get it," I said and tried to move but his arms tightened around me.
"You are missing the point," he laughed. "I'm not too lazy to move, I don't want to let go of you."
"Then let's move together," I offered.
He rolled me over and I reached with my arm to pull his pants from the chair. He took them from me and pulled the ring from his pocket. "This is the ring I bought you ten years ago, if you don't like it you can pick out another one."
I stared at him in shock and kissed him hard. "This is the ring I want," I cried. "I can't believe you didn't give it to anyone else," I teased.
He face looked serious and he frowned at me. "I have only been in love once," he said adamantly.
I smiled like a school girl at his admission and he shook his head at me. "You are frustrating, exasperating, disgustingly gross at times, and the love of my life."
"You are picky, compulsive, unbelievably immature at times, and the only man I will ever love."
He laughed and said, "Who would ever let people like us have a child?"
"Can we hire Erna?" I asked.
"I wish," he said as his eyes lit up. "She passed away long ago.
"Dang, I guess our kid can just get messy," I said with a shrug.
He looked at me quietly for several minutes and I stared back, getting lost in his eyes. I realized he was being very careful not to instigate sex and I began to feel a little sick to my stomach.
"Edward, am I here as your client or as your fiancé?"
"I don't let clients in my bed," he said.
"Is there a reason you aren't making love to me?" I asked quietly.
"Is it….allowed?" he said in embarrassment.
"Allowed? By whom?"
"I mean, can the baby tell?" he asked as he looked down at me.
I laughed so hard I was sure the room next to us could hear me. "The baby is the size of your little finger, and as much as you rock my world, you are not that gifted," I laughed.
"I just didn't know if it was safe," he tried to cover.
"Orgasms strengthen the uterus," I told him.
He smiled and rolled over onto me, "I think we need to make sure you have an Olympic strength uterus."
"I think you're right agent Cullen," I said as his mouth covered mine.
The next morning we were dressed and ready to leave as I stared constantly at the ring on my finger. Edward seemed antsy about something and he was making me nervous. I jumped when a soft knock sounded on the door.
Edward opened it and I screamed loudly. The last person I expected to see was my father standing there. I ran into his arms and began to cry as he hugged me tightly. Then realization hit me. I was leaving with Charlie and not with Edward.
I turned to look at Edward with sad eyes and he wouldn't meet my gaze. He grabbed my plastic bag full of dirty clothes and carried them to my car trunk. I got in the car and watched as Charlie and Edward had a heated discussion on the sidewalk. I couldn't hear their whispered words, but both men were upset.
When Charlie finally came to the car I stared at Edward as he remained on the sidewalk. I got out and walked up to him slowly. I took his hand and placed it on my stomach before saying, "This is your last chance Edward, your very last chance."
He nodded and I leaned in closer. "Do you understand me?" I asked him. "If you hurt me again, we are through."
"I have to make sure you are safe," he said, not grasping what I was telling him.
"My father can protect me, I need you to love me and you can't do that when you aren't by my side. You will lose me and you will lose your child, do you understand what I'm saying?"
He nodded and said, "I love you, Bella."
I shrugged and said softly, "We'll see."
And then I said the one thing I knew would hit him where he lived. It was the only way to make him truly understand I meant what I was saying. I held his face in my hands and said, "All the years away and the only thing you've managed to do was turn into your father."
I got back in the car and refused to look at him as we drove away. I was so resolute this time. I wouldn't wait for long and if he didn't show up, I would never let him near his son or daughter. I wouldn't put a child through the pain he had put me through.
"Dad," I said softly, "Did I just lose him?"
"I don't know what you said to him, but something stunned the shit out of him," Charlie said.
"What were you guys arguing about?"
"Work," he said bluntly.
"His, mine or yours?"
"Right now they're all the same thing," he said cryptically.
I turned to look out the window, not really caring to understand what he was talking about. It took us almost a week to finally end up at Edward's house in Seattle. I tried to stay busy by finding a new doctor and shopping for baby things.
After another week things from my condo began showing up. They came on different trucks from all over the county. I got busy setting up the nursery in one of Edward's empty rooms, knowing I should wait to see if I was going to be staying or not. It helped fill my days, so I went ahead.
I knew it must have taken him awhile to arrange to have my things moved, so I tried not to stress over the fact he had been gone for over two weeks.
Charlie was going crazy babysitting me. I finally convinced him to leave and that I was perfectly safe. I was far from the lab and any potential threat it imposed. The only danger I faced was the possibility Edward would not return.
I couldn't sleep one night and felt like the house was full of electricity. The hair on my arms was standing on end and the rain beat loudly on the roof outside. I sat in the nursery for a bit as I rocked to steady my nerves. I finally headed to the living room and stared out the large window at the eerie fog.
I began to see movement and my heart sped up in fear. It was in the form of a man walking stealthily toward the house. He moved fluidly in the darkness and when his hand reached up to run through his hair my heart leapt for joy.
I ran into the darkness getting drenched with rain as my feet sunk in the wet dirt. My nightgown stuck to my body accentuating my nudity underneath as I ran in tears toward him.
He began running when he saw me and caught me in his arms as I collapsed and cried. I clung to him with all my strength, which was growing, as the realization he returned worked its way through me.
He kissed me over and over again as I repeated his name in my cries. He finally lifted me into his arms and carried me bridal style as I buried my face in his neck. He kicked off his muddy shoes and carried me into the house, taking me directly to the sink to clean off my muddy feet.
I sat on the counter top shivering as I watched him clean my feet. He removed his jeans and threw them into the sink before picking me back up and carrying me to a hot shower. It was difficult to allow him to take his hands off of me to soap his own body. I needed to feel him and prove he was real.
When we were clean and dry and snuggled in front of a fire I finally asked him, "Are you home to stay?"
He smiled and kissed me gently, "We are both unemployed, unmarried, and expecting a child. And I couldn't be happier."
"You quit completely?" I asked in a stunned voice.
He looked at me with wide eyes. "I thought that was what you wanted."
"It was, I just can't believe you did it."
"I did it," he said proudly. "You really woke me up when you said I had become my father. You were right, everything except my family came first and I decided to end the cycle."
I reached over and pinched him hard. "Ow," he yelled and rubbed the spot.
"I have to make sure you are real," I cried.
"I have a better way," he said seductively and pushed me back on the couch.
His hand moved to my stomach and he felt the hardened bump which had grown and smiled at me. "Our baby," he whispered.
We both watched the screen trying to make out the fuzzy black and white images of our baby. I could see the steady beating of a little heart and once in awhile I could make out the spine, but the rest could have been static for all I could tell.
The young girl performing the sonogram held the wand still on my stomach and said, "See that?"
"No," Edward and I answered in unison.
"You are definitely having a boy," she announced.
"Are you sure," Edward asked as he looked harder at the screen.
"That right there is not a finger," she laughed as she pointed to the screen.
Edward turned to look at me and grinned from ear to ear. "There's James," he said proudly.
"I think I knew it all along," I said through tears. "I just felt him in my heart."
He kissed me and jumped when his hand accidently touched the gel on my stomach.
"It's okay," the young girls said. "It doesn't burn or anything."
I laughed because she had no idea why Edward was most likely feeling sick to his stomach at the idea of touching my messy abdomen.
We stopped for lunch and decided to go tell Esme and Carlisle the news that evening. We shopped for some little baby shirts that said, 'I love Grandma and I love Grandpa' in blue, before heading over to their home.
When we pulled up, Edward didn't get out of the car, but instead took my hand. "Bella, lets get married this weekend," he said.
"I can't throw together a wedding in two days," I told him.
"So what," he shrugged. "Let's go to Vegas. I don't want to spend another week without knowing you are mine."
I wanted to tell him I have always been his, but I knew he meant legally. "Okay," I smiled.
"Seriously?" he asked in shock.
"I already think of myself as your wife, we might as well make it legal," I laughed.
Esme opened the door to see what was keeping us and we grabbed the little bag and went inside.
"Is Dad home?" Edward asked.
"He's in the den," she said leading us down the hallway.
We walked into large study and sat across from them with big smiles on our faces. "First of all," Edward began. "We're getting married in Vegas this weekend."
"It's about time," Carlisle said, causing Edward's enthusiasm to wane a bit.
"I agree," I teased, trying to deflect a bit of the sting Edward was feeling.
"And we also have some news," Edward added and handed them the gift bag.
Esme pulled out the tiny shirts and covered her mouth. "You found out it's a boy?" she asked.
"James Edward," I announced.
Carlisle looked at Edward in shock and his eyes got a little watery. "That's my father's name," he said softly.
Edward stared at his father for a bit and finally said, "I love you, dad."
Esme's tears began to fall and Carlisle got out of his chair and came over to hug Edward and this time he didn't let go first. I stood and hugged Senator Cullen and watched Edward hold his mother tightly.
"Now," Edward said, wiping his eyes. "For the most important question, does Erna have a living relative?"
I laughed and smacked Edward's arm. "You are changing diapers, Edward Cullen, so just get prepared."
"Son," Carlisle said, "I found out there is an opening for a criminal justice professor at the university. I think you should apply."
"You're on the regents board, wouldn't that be a conflict for you?" Edward asked Carlisle.
"I would only offer a recommendation," he winked.
I felt like our world was suddenly falling into place. I could picture Edward as a professor, making all the young coeds swoon. We were going to be married soon and then welcome our child the end of February. We were truly going to be a family and the thought of my dreams coming true pushed my hormone riddled body right over the edge.
Edward held me and rocked us softly as I sobbed against his chest. When he felt my tears soak through his shirt he pushed me away and stared down in disgust. I laughed and shook my head as I feared for his poor nerves as he tried to care for a baby.
We flew to Vegas Saturday morning and checked into the Mirage. I wanted to try to find a dress to wear so we could at least take decent pictures for the wedding. "Let me see if I can get someone to help you shop," Edward offered.
"I'm not shopping for a dress to get married in with a stranger," I said decisively.
He put his hands on my shoulders and turned me around to see Alice and Rose heading toward me. I screamed and ran at them. "What are you doing here?" I asked as I cried.
"We came for your wedding," they informed me.
I looked at Edward and he laughed, "I didn't know what I was going to do if you said no."
"You planned this?" I asked him.
He kissed my crying face and nodded. "Go find a dress and let me win some money," he teased as he headed off to meet Emmett and Jasper.
"I can't believe you got pregnant in my house," Alice said with mock anger.
"Aren't you a little old for a shotgun wedding," Rosalie teased.
"Don't judge, I had to wait ten years and get knocked up just to get him to marry me."
They both hugged me and I said, "We found out the sex of our baby."
"A boy," Alice said, "No wait, a girl."
"Yes, one of those," I teased.
They both waited anxiously until I said, "James Edward."
The screaming commenced again and Alice said she was jealous and Rose assured me boys were easier than girls. We spent the day laughing and catching up as I tried on dress after dress.
I finally settled on a cream colored gown with a sheer covering giving it an antique look. We stopped by a salon and got our hair and nails done before showing up at a small chapel. Edward and I filled out the necessary paperwork and when we were ready to begin he said, "I got you some flowers for a bouquet."
I turned to see the door open and someone came forward holding flowers in front of her face. I reached out to take the bouquet just as Jane peered out from behind them. I cried so hard the wedding got pushed back so Alice could fix my make-up.
It was perfect and when we were pronounced man and wife all the heartache and disappointment over the years disappeared. All I could remember was his love and I knew we were going to last forever.
He pulled me tightly and kissed me as Mrs. Cullen and then we both jumped as we felt James give a big kick in approval. It was the best day of my life.
Edward was hired as the criminal justice/political science professor and I was even approached about a possible chemistry position coming up when a professor retired. My attention was on my baby and didn't put too much thought into the possible job.
On February 26th I woke up with a horrible back ache. I began my waddle into the bathroom when a gush of water ran down my legs. Edward looked at me in horror and I gasped, "My water broke."
"Why?" he said in shock.
"Are you kidding me?" I yelled at him.
"No, I mean, shouldn't you be at the hospital when it breaks?"
I began to get very scared and pulled out a dress to throw on as Edward grabbed my small suitcase. "I have a backache, I didn't realize I was in labor," I told him.
He helped me to the garage and then stopped, "How am I going to get you to the hospital?" he asked in confusion.
"What do you mean?"
"I mean, you're….leaking," he said uncomfortably.
I grabbed his shirt in my fist and pulled him to my face. "I will shoot you with your old service revolver if you don't let me in your car."
"Well, let me put some plastic down," he said as he grabbed a garbage liner.
"I am divorcing your ass," I said angrily as I sat on the plastic.
When we arrived at the hospital the contractions were in full force. I had to work on my breathing just to remain calm. Edward filled out the paperwork as I was wheeled to a room. I was lying in the bed waiting for the anesthesiologist when Edward finally made it to my room.
"Are you okay, love?" he asked.
"I can't do this, Edward," I said in a panic.
"Sure you can," he said lovingly.
"Tell them to just give me a c-section," I begged.
"Bella," he said calmly. "You've taken a bullet and were in the middle of a shoot out. This is nothing."
"I'm terrified," I admitted to him.
"Would I let anything happen to you?" he smiled.
I tensed up as another contraction hit and squeezed his hand tightly.
"Bella," he said softly. I opened my eyes to see him close to my face and smiling at me. "Breathe with me," he said taking long, loud breathes.
I tried to follow along as he rubbed my lower back with his strong hands. "Perfect," he said in a gentle voice. "I love you so much."
My entire body relaxed as I stared into his eyes. I couldn't speak but his words held me captivated. "Our baby boy is coming. He will be in our arms soon and all he will ever know is love."
I nodded as tears fell from my eyes. Edward leaned over to kiss them from my face and spoke in a whisper into my ear, "I'm so proud of you, you are an amazing woman."
I tensed again with another contraction and he continued to speak in my ear as he massaged my back, "You had on jeans and a layered white and blue t-shirt the first time I saw you. I was so glad the pop machine was empty. You walked over to my car and gave me a reason to exist."
"You thought I was kid," I said as the memories flooded my mind.
"You can't image how I felt when you showed me your I.D." he chuckled.
"I knew you were a pervert," I teased.
"How did I get so lucky," he said as his own tears formed.
The doctor finally came in with the epidural and I couldn't believe how easily Edward had distracted me. I loved him even more. Four hours later I was ready to push. This was the part I worried about losing Edward. I was sure he would run from the room or need smelling salts.
Instead he watched in fascination, giving me a step by step account, on the final push I heard James cry loudly in protest and Edward gasped as his face lit up with joy. James was placed on my chest and I reached out to hold his terrified body as Edward bravely cut the cord.
The nurses carried him away as Edward kissed me over and over again as he cried. "He's beautiful Bella."
"Go see your son," I said to him, giving him permission to leave my side.
Edward watched as they cleaned him off, placed a small cap on his head, and wrapped him in a warm blanket. When they held James out for Edward to take, everyone laughed as Edward pulled him quickly from the nurse.
He held him nestled in his arms as he stared with wide eyes at his tiny child. I was having a hard time staying awake and felt like my body was becoming numb. I noticed Edward turn toward the doctor and his face turned white, as I drifted off to sleep.
I woke up to a dark room and felt Edward's head lying against my arm. I looked over to see him sitting in a chair and leaning against the bed.
"Edward?" I said softly.
He sat up quickly and smiled in relief.
"Where's James?" I asked.
"He's fine, he's sleeping," he said nodding to the isolette in the corner.
"What happened?" I asked him.
"You had some bleeding, everything is fine, don't worry."
"Is he perfect?" I grinned.
"Better than perfect," he said and walked over to get him for me.
I pulled him to me and cried for joy. I looked at his little hands and feet and when he cried out and I placed him to my breast, he instantly began to eat. Edward stared with a smile frozen to his face. I reached out and took his hand.
"Everything I dreamed was just a shadow, a mirage, of what this is really like…" he said before losing his ability to speak, but he didn't need to, I knew exactly what he meant.
Surrogate a/n...would love to hear what you thought of this story. Reviews are love...and I'm sure that Sandi would like to see some!