Things got weird, really weird. Bella and I continued on in ignorant bliss as Jasper and Alice began to fight constantly. I never offered to help, because I was bitter and petty. Bella didn't want sex on a regular basis. She usually fell asleep the second her head hit the pillow. I was willing to wank off in the shower before admitting I wanted Jasper.
The weekend of our makeshift wedding arrived and I was excited to let all my friends and family see me in a tux. Bella made all the plans with my mom; I just planned on showing up. I waited in my dad's office until I was called to the living room. Jasper and Emmett waited at the front of the room wearing their own tuxes. I groaned and walked up to stand by them. Jasper patted my shoulder and I refused to acknowledge him. If he wasn't going to stay and do me, I wasn't going to be all cheery about him being my best man.
The music began and Rose and Alice walked down the stairs in matching dresses. Both women glared at me and I was tempted to grab my unit and give them a 'bite me' gesture. Finally Bella came down the stairs holding onto Charlie's arm. He was glaring at me too, but Bella was smiling. She never had any taste but she looked amazing in my mother's wedding gown. Her hair was pulled onto her head in loose curls and I nodded in appreciation.
Luckily her flowers hid any hint of a baby bulge. I reached for her hand and Charlie gave me a look that told me he would love to shoot it off. Bella placed her hand in mine and then gave her dad a kiss, while I offered him my award winning smirk.
"You look beautiful," I told Bella, and really meant it.
"We're going to do this," she said with a slight giggle.
Well, yeah, that was the whole reason for the wedding. I wasn't purposefully going hetero; I fell into it by accident. I turned to face the minister and caught the look on Jasper's face. He looked….broken, or dejected, anything but like a happy best man.
It caught me off guard and I felt the urge to hug him. Instead I gave him a quick wink and he smiled at me. The minister began with his lecture about the solemn nature of marriage, but he was too late to warn us about making a mockery of the institution. We said our vows and I looked more at the audience than at Bella, but I had to make sure they all got an equal look at my hotness in a tux.
We were pronounced man and wife and I almost vomited down the front of her dress. Bella, my best friend was now my wife. She kissed me softly and whispered, "You're shaking."
"No shit," I said back. Shaking was nothing; my ass was closed so tight I felt like a virgin.
People began stepping forward to offer their congratulations. Emmett pinched my butt, Carlisle kissed my ear, and Jasper held on tightly when he hugged me. Rose gave me a high five and called me a prick, while little Alice tried to take a slap at my family jewels. This had disaster written all over it.
We opened our gifts and encouraged everyone to eat and drink. That was it, the wedding of unstylish Bella and gay Edward. We didn't have a honeymoon or even a wedding night. Bella stayed up to talk about baby things with her mother and I passed out drunk on my bed just after midnight.
I woke up alone the next morning and looked at the band around my third finger. "Oh God," I groaned and stumbled my way into the shower. I woke up enough to walk decently and headed into the kitchen with fresh clothes on. The house was empty and I was glad. I didn't want to face anything right now. I made some food and looked away from the flowers lying on the table.
I headed back to my room to eat and it was then I noticed Jasper sitting still in the chair next to the sofa. He didn't move, only his eyes watched me. I swallowed and sat my plate down. "What's up?" I asked.
"I'm drunk," he slurred.
I laughed, if anyone had a reason to be drunk it was me. I was the one married to a woman and expecting a baby. "Why are you drunk?" I asked and almost dared him to mention my name.
He stood and swayed a bit before pointing a shaky finger at me. "You, Edward. You are such a lucky bastard and you don't even know it. You live like a freaking child as everything falls at your feet."
I swung at the hand he had pointing at me and knocked it down. I wasn't putting up with his shit today. I was terrified and if he wanted to play the martyr he could do it somewhere else. "You're the one who is leaving," I said hatefully.
"And because I'm being mature you tossed me aside," he said with a sad voice.
"No, I got pulled into your 'have it all' bullshit and that is exactly what it is. Now you're running away and I'm stuck here in a life I never wanted."
He stared at me for several moments and then turned to leave the room. "Call me when you grow the hell up," he said and had to hold onto the wall to make it to Alice's room. I headed to my own room and slammed the door harshly.
That was how I spent the weekend of my wedding; sex was the furthest thing from everyone's mind. I concentrated on school and made sure I was never in the lab when Jasper was. Alice finally moved to his small apartment and Emmett moved in with Rose.
One day Bella came home and told me I needed to attend a doctor appointment with her. She seemed a bit nervous and I wondered if there was some physical I needed to have and she was keeping it from me. I didn't care if I had to turn and cough. I rather enjoyed that sort of thing.
We sat in an exam room when an elderly, white haired man walked in, totally undoable. He looked over Bella's chart and then looked up with a frown. "You need to gain more weight," he said and I wanted to punch a wall. She already had a tiny bump, what more did he want?
"She eats yogurt and an entire slice of toast," I said, and hoped he would smack his forehead and tell her to back off the toast.
"She needs to double her calories," he said sternly and Bella nodded.
It was par for the course. Bella would balloon into a totally undoable slob and I would be an unsexy father, never scoring again. My life sucked.
We left the appointment and Bella stared out the window. "What's wrong," I asked her.
"Nothing, I'm worried about finals," she said and I knew she was lying. Bella was a good student and she would graduate regardless of how finals worked out. We pulled into the driveway and she glanced at the house and said, "I think I'm going to see my dad this weekend."
I rubbed my eyes and took a breath to steady my reaction. I was pissed she wanted to run off instead of tell me what was really going on, but I planned to hit some clubs so I nodded and got out of the car. She pulled out her phone and remained in the car as she talked.
I got in the shower and when I got out she was packing a small bag. "I'll be back by Monday," she said and then walked over to hug me.
"You don't have to go, I'll stop being an ass," I said although I wasn't sure exactly how to stop.
She smiled and gave me a quick kiss. "I love you," she offered and walked out of the room.
I felt guilty so I yelled a quick, "I love you, too."
I fell onto my bed and stared up at the ceiling wondering if I could follow through with my intentions tonight or if the ring on my finger would keep me home. The door opened and I expected to see Bella, saying she had forgotten something. Instead Jasper looked back at me.
I sat up with shock and he smiled shyly and walked over to my bed. "Bella sent me," he said softly and sat down.
"My Bella?" I asked stupidly.
"Yeah, she said you're feeling down and she wants us to have a weekend together," he said and I realized just how much I truly loved Bella. She knew deep down I was missing Jasper, and she sent him to me, without making me make the decision. I grabbed him by the cheeks with both of my hands and kissed him with all the force of how much I missed him. He responded in every way, quickly removing his own clothing and rolling me on top of him. This was too much, too much happiness and too much pleasure. I began to cry and he never laughed or seemed revolted by me. He kissed my tears and told me over and over again that he loved me. I didn't deserve him or Bella. She amazed me and I wished she was here so I could tell her how I felt.
We spent the weekend together, never leaving the bed, we even ate there. I finally found the nerve to say what I had wanted to say for four months. "Jasper, don't go to Georgia. I can't go on without you," I begged.
He kissed me softly and said, "Give me one year Edward, please."
One year didn't sound like much, but realizing I would be a father and law student the next time I saw him, it sounded like a lifetime. "Can we see each other during the year?" I asked him, planning to book a flight right away if he said yes.
"I'll be teaching, so I won't have a lot of free time," he said, as if law school would be full of free time.
"Can you make time for me?" I asked forcefully.
He hesitated and I was just about to tell him to get out of my bed and go do himself, but he finally looked at me and said, "Alice is expecting."
I couldn't believe he didn't tell me that the moment he walked into my room. It was what he had been working for and he said it like an afterthought. I punched his arm and laughed, "Way to go Whitlock."
He groaned and said, "It was the hardest thing I have ever done."
"Really, it just kind of happened for me," I laughed and he finally laughed with me.
I felt a sense of relief knowing he was going to be a father too, putting us both in the not doable category. I kissed him and he tried to push me away. "I have to go," he finally admitted.
Our weekend suddenly seemed too short. The next week was finals and then school was over. Bella and I would graduate and Jasper and Alice would leave Washington. If I could find some way to hold him hostage in my bed, I would.
"Can I see you before you go to Georgia?" I asked with just a hint of fear.
"I'll talk to Bella," he said as he pulled his jeans on. It sounded like Bella was my mother and he had to get permission for a sleep over. I watched him dress and mentally compared every inch of him to me, finding only admiration.
He pulled on his shirt and then looked down at me. "Are you going to be faithful for the year?" he asked.
"To Bella?" I clarified.
"To me," he said and watched for my reaction.
"I've been loyal to Bella until she sent you here. I'm not a complete loser," I said with a roll of my eyes.
He bit his lip and finally reached into his pocket and pulled out another band and held it out to me. "If you wear my ring you can't be with any other man. Do you want it?" he asked and I stared at him in shock.
"Can I get one for you?" I asked and reached out to take the ring.
He pulled his hand back and said again, "Will you be faithful?"
I laughed and nodded so he let me take the ring and put it on the opposite hand of Bella's. He leaned over to kiss me one last time and headed out the door. I wondered if I could actually go a year without a man. It would be a first, and if Bella sent Jasper here after three months she would be flying him in on a regular basis.
I tried to fill my head with a new mantra, Edward Masen won't cheat, but I wasn't sure I was buying it.
Graduation was a time to celebrate. We had a big party at the house and spent the day drinking a keg and stuffing ourselves with food. People came and went throughout the day, but by evening it was me and Bella, Rose and Emmett, Jasper and Alice, and Carlisle and Esme.
I looked around the room and began to laugh. A room full of gay men with their women, it was comical. I raised my glass and said, "All the men have done each other, what about the women?"
Esme looked confused and Carlisle glared at me, causing me to laugh even harder. I was drunk but I was clear enough to realize how messed up everything was. "Bella, my love," I said with a laugh. "How is our little nugget doing?"
"You're drunk," she said angrily.
"Of course I'm drunk," I said loudly. "I graduated from College. I'm a man now with a wife and child on the way. What better reason to drink?"
"Edward," Jasper said and shook his head.
"Oh Jas, my love," I said and raised my glass to him. "We're the perfect pair, out of the closet and hiding behind babies. You sir, are the biggest of all hypocrites."
"Go ahead, if it makes you feel better," Jasper said softly and the room grew quiet.
I knew what I was saying, I wasn't that drunk, but I now had the courage to say it. I stared at his face, the one I had dreamed about for years and then kissed in my bed. He was sitting with his arm around Alice and she stared at me with a mixture of hate and guilt. My eyes moved to Emmett who looked totally natural with Rose on his lap. I finally moved to look at Bella. She was wearing a maternity top and her eyes wouldn't meet mine. She never forced me into this, she was willing to stay away but I pulled her back in. I walked up to where she stood and waited for her to look up at me.
I smiled softly and leaned over to kiss her tenderly. "I'm sorry," I said and wondered if she knew exactly how sorry I was for the mess we were in.
"I love you," she whispered and I nodded and swallowed deeply. "Yeah, and I love you," I said in response.
Music was playing and I put my hand on her back and pulled her against my body. We began dancing slowly, existing in a world all of our own. I felt safe in Bella's arms and I wanted her to feel safe in mine. I felt a soft kick come from her belly and we both laughed and moved even closer to each other.
Esme and Carlisle left, but we continued dancing. Rose and Emmett moved into her bedroom and Alice and Jasper got ready to leave. He walked up to where Bella and I were dancing and said, "Edward, we're leaving. I want to say goodbye."
"Goodbye," I mumbled without looking at him or moving out of Bella's arms.
"Edward, please," he said with an emotion filled voice.
I pulled his ring from my finger and held it out for him, but kept my face buried in Bella's neck. I knew it was cruel and it hurt him, but it was nothing compared to how much it was hurting me. He took the ring and walked out the door. Bella kept me in her arms as I cried from the confusion I was suffocating from.
Life move forward, no matter how much I wanted it to slow down it marched on. I went with Bella to an appointment for a sonogram. We hoped to find out we were having a girl, but instead found out we were having a boy. The box I was stuck in just got smaller.
I honestly didn't think I would have to interact very much with a girl. She would be Bella's responsibility, but a boy added pressure. I wasn't athletic or enjoyed things like fishing and camping, so how was I supposed to interact with a son?
I was having a hard time sleeping at night and it only got worse when we attended parenting classes. I found out babies cry….a lot. They cry when they are hungry, dirty, or simply for exercise. How was I supposed to study with a baby constantly crying?
We practiced changing diapers, which I wasn't going to do. We practiced holding a baby close since they can only see the distance from the mother's breast to her face. We even practiced swaddling them in blankets so they would feel safe, like in the womb.
After every class Bella would spend the drive home assuring me she would handle everything until I felt comfortable. I never told her I didn't plan on ever being comfortable. The empty spot on my right hand where Jasper's ring used to be haunted me. It felt like a ghost constantly pulling on me. I was slowly becoming undoable, I never smiled anymore, or laughed, or joked around. I was worried all the time and spent the summer studying to get a jump on my classes, and to keep my mind off the impending doom. Bella got bigger, but only in the stomach. She still had her long, thin legs and arms. I stopped looking at her when she dressed and we only had sex twice all summer.
I vacillated between hating Jasper and missing him so much it hurt, but I never picked up a man. I wouldn't do that to Bella. She was my only link to sanity and I couldn't blow it.
School started and we were waiting for the birth. Bella was miserable, but I was wallowing in my own misery. I came home from class to find my father's car waiting outside my house. It was shocking on so many levels. Dad never took time away from the office, and if he did it wasn't spent with me. I walked to the car window and looked at his controlled face.
"Edward, may I take you to lunch?" he asked and I looked at my watch to see it was two in the afternoon. What the hell, I got in the car and waited for him to speak. We drove to the Four Seasons and went into the restaurant without saying a word to each other.
He ordered a drink and so did I, this must be a liquor worthy discussion heading for me. He finally looked at me and said, "Edward, are you happy?"
I couldn't remember my father ever wondering about my happiness. It shocked me, and touched me at the same time. I tried to be a brave man and hold my ground, but I folded like a kid. I began to cry and my father sat stoically until I calmed down.
"Son," he said with a tight voice. "This should be the best time of your life."
Was he trying to purposefully hurt me? This wasn't the best part of my life, it was terrifying. I cleared my throat and asked, "Were you scared when mom was expecting me?"
"A bit, but we wanted a baby so badly," he said with a slight smile.
"See, I never wanted a baby, and now I'm expecting a son. I'll be a horrible father," I said with disgust at myself.
"You only have two choices, walk away or be the best father you can be." He made it sound simple, as if a firm decision would make everything better.
"I can't walk away from Bella, and I have no idea how to be a father," I said with a sigh.
"Are you in love with Bella?" he asked me bluntly.
"No, but I love Bella," I answered honestly. I was in love with Jasper, but he only managed to hurt me.
"The greatest gift you can give a child is to love its mother. I wasn't a very good father, but I was an excellent husband," he said with a hint of regret. "Edward, it is natural to look at other people with…lust or desire, but a real man knows love is more important than sex."
"I'm not sleeping around on her," I said quickly to stop his speculation. I couldn't stomach the thought of hooking up or being hurt again.
"From where I sit, you're a pretty lucky man," he added and actually touched my hand with his.
I stared down at his fingers and wondered if my son would feel the warmth from me I was feeling from my dad. This was love and so much more fulfilling than sex. I stood from the table and came over to hug my father, the first hug I could ever remember giving him.
We ate and chatted about law school and when he pulled in front of my house I smiled at him, "Thanks, dad." Our connection was way too late, but we managed to make one regardless.
"You're welcome, and son, we are only a phone call away," he added. I nodded and got out of the car.
I came into the house to find Bella lying on the couch with Rose massaging her feet. I walked over and told Rose I would take over now. She leaned over to kiss Bella's ankle and then left the room. I sat down and began rubbing her feet as she moaned in pleasure.
"I went to eat with my father," I told her and her head snapped up in surprise. "He told me the best thing I could do for our son is to love his mother."
"I always knew your father was brilliant," she laughed.
"He admitted being a weak father, but he was a great husband. I'm afraid I'll be weak at both," I said sadly.
"Edward, haven't you wondered why I would be willing to marry a gay guy and share him with a man?"
I shook my head, because I never thought about anyone else. My world was all about me.
"My parents divorced with I was four. I don't trust love or marriage. I wanted a baby because I would have someone who loved me unconditionally. I don't believe we'll work out, but I'll have a part of you forever."
"I haven't made you happy, have I?" I asked with a first glimpse of self awareness.
Bella smiled and rubbed her large stomach. "I'm so proud of you, Edward," she said and I felt even worse. She was proud of me for sticking with her even though I was brooding and moody. I had managed the one thing she never thought I would, I stayed loyal.
I placed my hand on her stomach and then leaned over to kiss her bulging flesh. It wasn't just a baby, or a reason I was stuck, it was part of me and Bella. I felt I could do this if I had another year to prepare but I didn't, I only had a few days.
"Have you picked a name?" I asked her since I left that up to her, too.
"I was thinking about Charles Edward, after both of our fathers," she said hesitantly and I cringed but kept my mouth shut. If it was what Bella wanted, I would go along with it.
"I'll put the crib up tonight," I promised since he would be coming any day now.
Bella moved over to lay her head on my chest so I wrapped her tightly in my arms. "I had a dream," she said softly. "He was born but nobody would let me see him."
"I would never let that happen," I told her, feeling very protective of both her and the baby. "He'll be beautiful, Bella."
She tightened her hold on me and said, "Yes, he will."
We never left the couch the entire night. We slept off and on in each other's arms, feeling an intimacy I had never experienced before. I thought about our child and about Bella's abilities as a mother. I thought about my parents and how much they were going to love being grandparents. I even thought about Charlie and how he would take my son camping and fishing if it was what he was into. The only thing that never crossed my mind was Jasper.
I stared at the crib and then back at all the extra bolts lying on the ground. I tried to follow the directions, but I was more into fashion than construction. I couldn't put a baby in a crib that was put together incorrectly. I grabbed the directions in frustration and tried to start over.
Emmett peeked his head through the door and I had never been so happy to see him in my life. He was gay too, but he could maneuver the world of tools better than me. We spent the next hour reworking the instructions and got the crib put together.
I ran to find Bella to show off our handiwork. She was in the kitchen, leaning against the counter holding her stomach. I felt a chill run through my body. "Are you okay?" I asked as my knees shook.
"I think I'm in labor," she said softly and I felt an overwhelming urge to run. Emmett yelled for Rose and she came in and helped Bella into a chair.
"Do you have a bag packed?" Rose asked.
"No," Bella admitted.
Rose glared at me and said, "Pack her a nightgown, clothes to wear home, something for the baby to dress in, and toiletries."
"Huh," was all my brain would say.
"Come one Edward, you're gay, pack a bag," she yelled at me.
I could pack for a romantic weekend, or a cruise, or a vacation with a lover, but packing for a hospital stay as you had a baby was way beyond my capabilities. Rose finally ran to my room and began packing for me. I sat next to Bella and begged her to keep her legs tightly closed.
"It's going to be fine," she said, but I could see her shaking.
I tried to come up with something to say to comfort her, but the only words to leave my mouth were, "I hate the name Charles Edward."
Her mouth opened wide and she said, "Do you want Edward Anthony Jr?"
"That's worse," I blurted out and her eyes filled with tears. I was upsetting her instead of comforting her. I struggled to find something appropriate to say, but I was at a loss.
Rose ran back into the room with a small bag and handed it to me. "Okay, go," she commanded.
"Wait," I yelled, too afraid to face what was coming. "Are you sure this is real?" I asked.
Bella took my hands and said softly, "Edward, let's go meet our son."
I stared into her eyes and gathered the strength I needed before standing and helping her to our car. She became more and more uncomfortable as we drove and I began to drive faster and faster. Bella was taken right to a room as I stayed to fill out forms. When I caught up to her she was lying in bed with a smile on her face.
I instantly relaxed to see she was out of pain. I sat next to her and held her hand. I expected a baby to come crawling from under the covers, but we waited, and waited, and waited. A nurse would come check on us every half hour, but nothing was going on.
I was exhausted emotionally and began having all kinds of doubts. I began to imagine Bella and the baby dying, and how it would be my fault. I was slowly unraveling and didn't know how to stop myself from imploding.
Bella finally looked at me and said, "Edward, go call Jasper. I think you need him right now."
I shook my head emphatically. I wasn't going to betray her when she needed me. She finally said, "Edward, you're making me nervous. Please go call him."
I left the room and wasn't sure what to do. I headed to the end of the hallway and dialed Jasper's number. He answered right away. "Edward?"
"Yeah, um….Bella's in labor," I said awkwardly.
"That's great," he said with a laugh and I felt sick inside. "Is everything going well?"
"It's slow, we've been here for hours," I said.
"God, I bet you are so excited," he said wrongly. "Just think, by tonight you'll be holding your son in your arms."
"Yeah," I said quietly.
"I miss you," he said in response and I felt my stomach wrench. He had called a few times, but I never answered the call or listened to his messages. I was bitter and angry, but the sound of his voice wasn't giving me the lift Bella expected.
"I better get back," I said and he remained quiet for a moment.
"Edward," he said, "Give Bella my best and congratulations to both of you."
I never even asked about Alice, because I really didn't care. I hung up and looked back at the room. I couldn't go inside right now, so I headed to the gift shop. I looked at the tiny baby things and finally picked out a large blue bear and a soft blue blanket. I got a bag of peanut M&M's for Bella and went back upstairs to see if anything was progressing.
She looked at my purchases and said, "You spoke with Jasper?"
I didn't want her to think I bought her something because he told me to, which he didn't, so I lied. "No, he didn't answer."
Her smile widened and she reached out for my hand. We waited through the evening and suddenly everyone got serious. Bella's bed was broken down into a delivery table and the doctor sat between her legs with a bright light. I kept my eyes closed; there was never an urge to see childbirth regardless of whose baby it was.
When they asked if I wanted to cut the cord I shook my head vehemently. Bella took my hand and said, "Edward, look at him."
I finally opened my eyes to see her holding a crying baby on her chest. He was covered with some white yucky coating and I could feel my face pull into a grimace. A nurse took him away and began weighing him and cleaning him off. I followed her to stare at the wailing, tiny thing. Once they had him wrapped in a blanket with a funky hat on his head, they held him out for me to hold.
"Oh, no," I said quickly. "Give him to Bella."
I looked over to see Bella with an oxygen mask on her face and the doctor working furiously on her. "What's wrong?" I asked with terror.
"Come on Mr. Masen, follow us to the nursery," a nurse said and pulled on my arm. I yanked away from her and rushed over to Bella's bed. She was pale white and a nurse pushed me out of the way.
"We're taking her into surgery," she said and the bed was pushed from the room. I stood there dumbstruck as my son screamed for his mother. I couldn't move. I couldn't even feel my legs. A nurse walked up and handed me a small bundle. I looked at my arms and saw a face that looked like me and Bella. He had her dark hair and my long nose. His mouth had my shape but Bella's thickness. We were alone in the world, and only had each other. I moved to a chair and sat down as he calmed in my arms.
"I'm sorry," I said to him, hoping he knew he deserved someone better than me.
"What's his name?" A nurse asked me.
"Lane Anthony Masen," I said out of the blue. I don't know why I named him that; it was as if he chose his own name. It was who he was, and I wanted him to always be comfortable with who he was.
The room emptied and I was left alone with my son. It was just me and him and I was so afraid Bella would leave us and it would always be just me and him. I spoke to him softly, "Mommy will be fine, and she'll be back soon." I wasn't sure who I was trying to comfort more, me or him.
Lane squirmed and made weird noises, each time scaring me he would break into loud cries. I continued to talk to him, convincing myself it would make time pass quicker. "You have a great mother," I told him. "She's funny and pretty and so uncoordinated. She stutters and trips and dresses awful, but she is the greatest woman in the world."
I didn't bother telling him anything about me. It was Bella he should know, not me. I never once thought to call for help. I sat with my son and waited. I didn't think about Charlie or Renee, or even my own parents. It was me and my son, waiting for our strength to return. Nurses came and went and I honestly can't remember what we talked about. I was consumed by my worry for Bella.
Lane never cried, he slept in my arms as I studied his face. I wanted to remember every detail and know for a couple of hours of his life he was content to have me as his dad.
When the doctor walked into the room I remained seated. I watched as he pulled a chair up in front of me and sat down. "Mr. Masen," he started and my heart was racing. "Your wife is having problems with her heart. Her pressure dropped and her heart began skipping beats. We think she will stabilize after the transfusion, but right now she is very ill."
I looked at the baby in my arms and felt lost. The doctor smiled softly and said, "I suggest you give the baby formula until your wife is stronger."
I had no idea what it would mean to Bella or if she would be angry for giving our baby formula. I needed her to tell me what to do. "Can I see her?" I asked.
"Yes, but she isn't responsive right now," he said and I nodded as tears filled my eyes. A nurse reached for Lane and I reluctantly gave him up. I followed the doctor to a room to find Bella hooked up to various machines. She was so pale and looked so tiny among the machines.
I walked up to her side and leaned over to kiss a small bare patch on her face. I moved my mouth to her ear and whispered, "Come back to us, Bella. We need you."
I sat by her side until people began to arrive. Rose and Emmett sent a nurse for me. I walked to the waiting room and they both circled me with their arms. It felt odd coming from Rose, but Emmett's arms were familiar and comforting. I held onto his large body and let him hold me up.
"What can we do for you, Edward?" Rose asked.
"Can you sit with Bella while I check on Lane?" I said and they both nodded. I left and went to the nursery. Lane was lying in a crib and I picked him up and sat in a rocker. A nurse brought me a bottle and I had to coax it into his mouth. She showed me how to burp him and I felt like my hands were too big to maneuver him, but he burped and fell right to sleep.
I walked him back to the crib and the nurse handed me a tiny diaper. I took off the blanket and looked at his long skinny legs, just like Bella's. I changed the diaper easily and felt a boost of confidence by performing such a simple duty.
He cried as I rewrapped him, so I held him to my shoulder and bounced him until he quieted. It was just me and my boy, and so far we were fine. I placed him back in the crib and went to Bella's room. The oxygen mask was still on but her eyes were now open. I took her hand and smiled at her. "Rest Bella, I'm taking care of Lane, don't worry about a thing."
For the first time in my life I felt like a real man, not a gay man, or a selfish man, by a man capable of being a father.
I was trying to keep very quiet as I pulled hanger after hanger from Bella's closet. She was lying on the bed with Lane as I cleaned out her offensive wardrobe. I held up a blue shirt that buttoned down the front.
"I like that one," she whispered.
"Really, because white haired women in Florida like this shirt, too," I answered and dumped it into the 'no' pile.
"I don't have money for a new wardrobe," she complained.
"We'll go in debt, it will be worth it," I told her and pulled out her favorite pair of jeans which I despised.
"No, Edward," she said forcefully.
"Come on, I'll give you something you want if you'll get rid of these," I bargained.
"Fine," she said and I smiled. "I'll let you throw them out if you call Jasper."
My smile fell and I turned back to the closet so she couldn't see my face. "I don't want to talk to him," I said.
Bella got off the bed and walked over to stand behind me. She kissed my back and let her hands circle around my waist. I took hold of her clasped hands and said, "I love you, Bella. I don't need him."
"It is easy to say when you're angry and he is so far away. You need to know for sure, Edward." I turned so I could hold her in my arms and looked into her eyes. She placed her hand on my cheek and said, "I can share you with him, but only him."
I opened my mouth to say something to convince her I was fine with things the way they were but she put her finger over my lips. "I want you to go see him, for me."
"Why?" I asked.
"Because you're still here and you seem happy, I need to know it is a choice and not forced," she said and then pulled out of my arms. She went back to the bed and spoke sweetly to our son. I closed my eyes and tried to picture myself with Jasper. My heart sped up and I grew hard at the thought, but maybe it was only sex I was missing.
I waited for two weeks, when there was a school break and then flew to Georgia. I didn't tell Jasper I was coming, and wasn't too sure I would even speak to him. I found his address and sat in my car for several moments, until the heat sent me to the door.
Alice answered with her own bulge in front of her. She jumped up and down and gave me a big hug. Jasper came from the other room and leaned against the doorframe to stare at me. He was still gorgeous, looking like an angel with his golden curls. His shirt was tight over his flat abs and his jeans fit perfectly on his hips.
"Hi," I said with a weak voice.
He tossed his head toward the hallway and I followed him into a room. It was stylish and manly and something told me it was his room, with Alice sleeping in another. I shut the door behind me and turned to find him right in front of me. He grabbed my neck and pulled me to his mouth. I felt attacked and held back as he devoured my mouth.
"God, I missed you," he murmured and began running his hands over my body.
I finally pushed him away as I tried to catch my breath. I realized it was usually me who took whatever I wanted, but I wasn't sure what I wanted or if Jasper was even part of the equation.
"How's Alice?" I asked as my mind was reeling.
"Good, we're having a girl," he said as his eyes burned into me.
I reached in my pocket and pulled out my wallet. I handed him a picture of Lane and he glanced at it. His lack of attention angered me. "Look at it," I yelled. "He's my son, my everything."
"He's adorable," Jasper said and looked at the picture for a couple of moments.
I ran my fingers through my hair and said, "He's real, not some concept of having it all. I'm his father and that's real, too."
"Do you know what I meant now?" he asked and I had to resist the urge to punch him.
"You don't have a clue what you meant. It is all a show for you. The perky wife you can't screw, the baby who will never know who her father really is, and the idiot gay guy willing to wear your ring so you can have him whenever you want. It doesn't work that way."
"Is that why you traveled all this way, to tell me it won't be what I expect?" he asked and sat on the edge of his bed.
"No, Bella sent me. See, she's the real angel and you're just a good fuck."
"So is that why you're here? Because I'll accommodate you if you need a good fuck," he said hatefully and I laughed. There was a time when his words were all it would take to spend an hour in his bed, but I wasn't that person anymore.
"I used to blame you for messing up my life," I said sadly. "But it isn't messed up. I just needed to grow up and realize what love really is."
"So you're not gay?" he asked with a smirk, "Because I'm pretty sure once your gay, you remain gay."
"Oh I'm gay. I'm attracted to men, but I also understand that I love Bella, because she is good and everything I want to be. I never realized Emmett was a better man than you."
I turned to leave and Jasper grabbed my arm. He looked scared and desperate. "Don't go," he said quickly. "I was wrong, I can't make this work. I need you, Edward. I can't stand being here with Alice."
I took hold of the back of his hair and held his face right in front of mine. I smiled and licked my lips before saying, "You sicken me." I walked out and drove right to the airport.
When I walked through my front door later that night Bella looked at me with shock. I held open my arms and she moved quickly into them. I held her tightly as I kissed her neck and made my way to her mouth. I wanted her, not just sex, but her. My hands moved to her butt and I pulled her legs around me.
I carried her to her our bedroom and saw Lane lying in our bed. "Bella," I said teasingly. "Another man is in my bed."
She laughed and dropped her legs. "I just fed him," she said and I walked over to pick him up. I carried him to his own room and placed him in the crib. We stood together and watched as he resettled and went back to sleep. I turned to look at her and she smiled and then took off running to our room.
Chasing her down got me hot, really hot and I tackled her onto the bed. She pulled off her own shirt and I began kissing her chest as she wiggled out of her pants, God awful, ugly pants. I resisted the urge to turn her over and kept all images of Jasper out of my head. It was Bella I wanted and I watched every second on her face. I was the one giving her so much pleasure and for a gay man it was an indescribable sight. She moaned and sighed and when she fell over the edge I followed right along with her. We were tangled in each other's arms and legs when she finally asked me about the trip. "How's Jasper?"
"A blind fool," I said hatefully. "They don't even share a room."
"How did you feel when you saw him?" she asked.
I thought for a moment and then said, "I felt like my eyes had been opened and he was nothing but a pretty face."
"Did you…um…you know…like…."
"Bella," I laughed, "You haven't stuttered with me in months. Are you nervous?"
She smiled and nodded her head so I tightened my arms around her. "I love the mother of my son," I said with conviction. "I didn't do anything with Jasper."
She raised her head and looked at me with a smile. "I have amazing news for you," she said and I couldn't imagine what it could be.
"Your mother is taking me shopping for clothes," she said and I threw my hands into the air in praise. I trusted my mother implicitly to dress Bella in a stylish way. I rolled over onto her and looked down at her smiling face.
"I love the color dark blue on you," I admitted, "And skinny jeans, with tight, low shirts."
"God, who would believe you are gay, you perv," she laughed.
"Just listen to my mom, I'll agree with anything she says," I said and kissed her again.
When Lane began to cry I jumped up and pulled on my boxers in case Rose and Emmett were home, and then ran to get my boy. I picked up the screaming baby and held him to my shoulder. "Come on little guy, Daddy's got you." I carried him to our bed and Bella pulled him to her breast. I watched her feed him and felt another level of love for her.
I realized my life was so full because of Jasper. He turned my life in another direction just because I selfishly found him doable. I laughed at the thought of having it all, but somehow, some weird confused way, I ended up with just that.
I was married to my best friend, who because of her own insecurities understood I was gay and never expected me to be faithful. We had a child who changed me the first time I held him and turned me into a man. I didn't need my lover, because I had the love of more important people in my life. And then to top it all off, I was going to be one heck of a lawyer. It wasn't my love of the law, but my desire to provide for my family.
I was walking through the sea of graduates looking for Bella, and Lane, and Lisle, our six month old daughter. It turned out Bella and I were pros at procreating. We held off on sex, not because I was gay, but because she got pregnant every time I touched her.
I saw her coming out of the bathroom holding Lane's hand and carrying Lisle on her hip. She was pale and looked exhausted. I rushed over to her and took our daughter from her arms. "Are you okay?" I asked.
"No, you ass," she mumbled and I knew what she meant.
"God Bella, you were on the pill this time," I complained.
"Obviously it doesn't stop gay sperm," she said angrily.
"Three kids with the oldest one only three?" I said and felt a bit weak in the knees. It was a good thing I had a job waiting for me. Dad's firm was successful and we would be able to finally buy our own house.
"From now on we only have gay sex," she said adamantly and I nodded in agreement. She shushed me when my parents approached. I gave Lisle to my mother and then hugged my father. Bella picked up Lane and I quickly took him from her.
"Daddy, you wook funny," he said about my cap and gown.
"I'm rocking the robe," I told him and tossed him into the air. "Did you see daddy graduate?"
"I hungwy," he said with a pout. We quickly headed out to dinner and I tried to handle the kids since Bella looked ready to barf and any moment. I sat Lane in a high chair and helped him eat as I held a bottle in Lisle's mouth and managed to eat my own food, too.
My mother watched with pride and I was sure it had nothing to do with graduating from law school. After Bella's third time to the bathroom my parents grew suspicious. "Is Bella okay?" my mom asked.
"Well, she might be expecting," I admitted.
"Son, can you refrain from, I mean I thought you were gay?" she said with anger at me and sorrow for Bella.
"It isn't my fault she gets pregnant every time I look at her. We hardly ever have sex, but I guess I'm just extra potent," I said with my famous smirk.
When we got home I bathed the kids and got them both put to bed before coming into the room. I expected to find Bella either head first in the toilet or sound asleep. Instead she was dressed in one of my dress shirts and tie, her long bare legs extending from the shirt. Her hair was pulled back into a tight bun, making her appear to have a crew cut.
"What's going on?" I asked her as I got very excited.
She tossed a bottle of lube on the bed and then turned around and bent over to look at me through her legs. "You aren't getting the chance to knock me up again, so get used to this view Mr. Masen. Is this doable?" she said with a husky voice.
I walked up behind her and held her hips tightly, "Oh yeah, Mrs. Masen, you are totally doable."