Partially co-written and beta'd by Dollybigmomma
This story was originally posted as four separate stories, All Boys Camp, ABC: Bella's Return, ABC: Project EDEN and Isle of Dreams. We've compiled all four into one anthology so as to reduce the confusion on which one to read first. However, if you've already read these stories, we would highly recommend re-reading this offering, as much has been added to it, plus the focus of the story has been shifted from Bella to actually make it Edward's story. Thanks for giving it a chance, and even if you've already left comments on the others, please leave us some love now and let us know your thoughts! Enjoy!
I was looking forward to seeing my wife. I had been away at a convention for a week in Florida, and I was planning to enjoy a nice long weekend at home with her. She had sent me some pretty hot texts. Sexting, I think they called it nowadays. My little calendar notified me that she should be ovulating this weekend as well. We had been trying for a baby for two years now. We'd finally agreed to try for one more year on the drugs before we went with in vitro. It was such an invasive procedure; I really hoped we could do it on our own.
I was relieved when we finally were able to board the plane. I knew I was getting closer to my wife, and I was itching to get my hands on her. I leaned back and closed my eyes. I figured a catnap would give me the energy I would need to keep her happy tonight.
I heard a soft murmuring, and after a while, the voice got closer. "Hi, I'm Erin, I hear there are a lot of doctors on the plane, are you one of them?"
The man she was speaking to said no. Was she looking to hit on a doctor? I made sure my wedding band was in sight. I was not available, and I was not afraid to say it.
"Hi, I'm Tammy," the woman said. I had just heard her say her name was Erin a few minutes ago. Was she mental? "I hear there are a lot of doctors on this plane, are you one?"
"Yes, do you need medical assistance?" I asked in my no-nonsense tone.
She eyed me for a minute and actually smiled when she saw my ring. Those were the worst kind of women. What surprised me was she sat down and seemed to ignore me after that. I decided to go back to sleep. I wasn't out long, though, when I felt someone grab my hand and squeeze it tight. I thought maybe the woman was frightened of turbulence, but I realized there was none. I looked over at her and saw her face was red, and she was perspiring heavily. Her breath was shallow and hard. I quickly sat up in doctor mode.
"Miss, can you tell me what's wrong?"
She nodded yes, so I waited patiently for her to catch her breath. "The baby," she gasped.
I quickly took in her form, but it was still covered by her heavy coat. I pulled it away from her body to find a belly of a full-term pregnant woman. At least that was what I was hoping for.
"Ma'am, how far along are you?" I asked.
"Thirty-nine weeks," she panted out.
"What are you doing on a plane? The altitude is what's causing your labor. This is no place to deliver a baby," I scolded. She looked at me and burst into tears. This was not good. "Just hold on, we'll fix this," I said. I called the flight attendant and had them bring me their first-aid kit and asked if they could get to my luggage. I'd had to check my doctor's bag, because of the scissors and scalpels.
"You're married?" she panted between contractions.
"Yes," I answered wondering why she was bringing that up.
"Do you love your wife?" she asked.
"More than anything in the world," I answered.
Another contraction hit her hard, causing her to scream, and she burst into tears. When she was able to get her breathing under control, she spoke again. "Do you have kids?" she asked.
"No, we've been trying for a couple of years, but we've decided to try for one more."
"NO!" she screamed, startling me. "This baby," she cried.
The flight attendant brought my bag, looking exhausted and disheveled. I quickly pulled out what I would need and tried to find a heartbeat on the baby. I was rewarded with a nice steady one and looked up at the woman smiling. "It's fine."
"It's yours," she said confusing me.
"I think you…" I was going to say she had me confused with someone else, because I knew I had not been intimate with another woman since I'd met my wife five years ago.
"No, you have to…" she was gasping for breath, "He's yours, a little boy…just please, keep him," she finally got out.
"Ma'am, I'm not the father of your baby."
"Please…" she gasped, "adopt him." I looked at her surprised. "Please, take him," she begged. I looked up at the flight attendant next to me. She nodded her head yes at me.
"You want me to adopt your child? Don't you want to keep him yourself? What about his father?"
She shook her head no. "His father's gone, and I can't keep him, please, take him."
"Do you have a name for your baby?"
"I would've called him Edward, Edward Masen," she said smiling slightly.
Another contraction hit, and her screams filled the cabin. "You have to adopt him. You have to. You want kids, you can take this one," she insisted.
To my surprise, the man who she had tried to sit next to earlier came forward, holding up a recorder on his phone. He had a paper with something vaguely written on it. He put a pen in the woman's hand. "I'm a lawyer, I've been recording this. If you want this to hold up in court, you need to give your name and his full name."
She nodded okay and looked to me.
"Carlisle Sean Cullen, that's my name."
"Elizabeth Anne Harper," she said and then panted through another contraction. "I want Carlisle Sean Cullen to adopt my child in a closed adoption," she said looking right at the phone the lawyer was holding.
He slid the paper forward to her. "This is just in case you don't make it. It says you aren't doing this under duress and willingly want to give Dr. Cullen your kid."
She nodded, saying, "Okay," and took the pen, signing it.
He surprised us next by standing up, "Does anyone believe this woman is giving up her child under duress?" he asked the other passengers. He held the camera high, and they all seemed to shake their heads no.
He pushed the paper to me and had me sign under where it stated I would be taking custody of the baby to raise as my own child, still recording the whole thing.
I looked up at Elizabeth, very worried. "I'll take the baby, but you have to help me get him here. Can you do that for me?" I asked. I could see something in her eyes, like she had no hope left.
She smiled sadly at me. "I won't survive," she gasped. I checked her pulse. It was racing rapidly. "Just keep him safe, please."
"You have to hang on. Just let me get you to a hospital. We can work this out there."
She smiled and shook her head no. "I need to push. We all die when we push."
"We?" I asked.
She smiled sadly. "The baby will be safe with you. Please, love him," she begged.
I nodded yes.
Another contraction hit, and I checked her. Sure enough, she was fully dilated, with the baby's head descending.
"Get behind her," I instructed the flight attendant. She got behind her, helping Elizabeth to sit up.
I noticed Elizabeth's color had started to pale. I jumped up, checking her heart rate. It wasn't good. "Hang on," I told her.
She smiled sadly. "It's okay. He has you. Keep…him…safe. He's…yours now."
"Just hang on," I said and nodded to the flight attendant to help her push. I reached up, checking her pulse. It was thready at best. "I need you to stay with me. You have to help get the baby here."
Her eyes drooped, and her lips parted, "Don't…don't let them get him."
"Who?" I asked.
"The brothers, they'll come after him," she growled pushing hard with the last of her strength. The baby's head popped out, and I quickly turned its body. She didn't ease up until the baby was out and in my arms.
I quickly clamped the cord. "Someone take him," I said holding out the baby.
A woman stepped forward quickly, taking the little boy into one of the airline blankets. I checked Elizabeth's pulse again, feeling none, and started compressions. I still had yet to deliver the placenta. "I need someone to take over."
The flight attendant took over, as I tried to assess the rest of the woman's body. The placenta came out cleanly, but I noticed it was abnormally-shaped, thick and huge. I felt around her stomach, checking for a second child, worried there was a twin, but there was none.
"We need to land now!" I shouted as I took over compressions on the woman's chest. "We're losing her."
"We have paddles," the attendant informed me.
"What are you waiting for, get them!"
She ran off then returned with the paddles. I quickly tore open Elizabeth's shirt, placing the paddles where they went. This was a system that was for untrained techs, and I had quickly assessed that Elizabeth needed shocking. I told everyone to stand back and hit the button. Her body jolted, but it didn't work. The system called for another shock, setting itself with a higher charge. Her body jerked with the force, and it did the trick, she had a faint but steady heartbeat. I checked her vitals again; she was still unresponsive.
She was hemorrhaging now, and I put firm, steady pressure on her abdomen to slow it down. The flight attendants brought blankets and towels, and I wrapped her up, trying to keep her warm. She was still alive, but barely. I still couldn't believe she had given me her baby. She'd gotten on a damn plane to force herself into labor and gave up her baby. She acted like she knew she was going to die, and it was possible that she still might, but I had done all I could.
The crying of the baby pulled me out of my mental ranting. I stood up bleary-eyed, fighting back tears. The woman who had taken the little boy, my little boy, into her arms after the delivery was standing there nervously. The umbilical cord was still attached, the placenta at her feet. She was holding the baby turned out a little, trying not to disturb the clamp I had hastily clipped on my baby boy.
The pilot announced that we were making an emergency landing in Colorado, and that we all needed to fasten our seatbelts. I quickly snipped the cord with the help of the flight attendant, and my son was handed to me. I stepped over to my seat and buckled myself up, holding my new son tightly.
We were met by an ambulance at Denver International Airport, and I watched as they loaded Elizabeth onboard, trying to keep her alive the whole time. I knew it turned the attendant's stomach, but I told her to save the placenta and cord for analysis. It was odd, and I suspected the reason for Elizabeth's decision to do what she had done would be hidden in the medical waste.
I was surprised when the lawyer who had recorded everything on the plane asked what hospital we were going to and followed us. I found him in the waiting room. "How's your little boy?"
"He's really healthy, small, but fully developed and very alert. He's eaten a whole four ounces of formula, which is a lot, if you're not familiar with baby tummies."
"I'm not, but it sounds like you are."
"No, I feel in over my head, but the nurse reassured me that little Edward is a very healthy boy."
"That's a nice name. I wanted to make sure the hospital knew you were given custody of the child while his mother was still of sound mind. I'm a family lawyer. This should all hold up in court, but if a man comes forward and claims to be the father, there might be some issues. We'll need to put out a query, asking the father to step forward and sign over his rights, and if there's no response, the baby is yours."
I rubbed by face, worried. "Do I get to take him home?"
"Yes, you'll have custody of him. Do you live in Seattle where we were headed?"
"Yeah, I do."
He handed me a card. "Keep in touch with me. I have an office there, and I'll help you handle this pro-bono. I'm Timothy Davis, by the way."
"Dr. Carlisle Cullen."
"It was nice to meet you, Dr. Cullen. I've got to get a move on. There are two more flights this evening, and I'd like to catch the earlier one."
Baby Edward was given a clean bill of health. Timothy had been good on his word, and the hospital released me and my new son with a car seat, a sleeper that said the hospital's name on it, along with a complementary diaper bag with formula, diapers and other sample baby products. They let me have a swaddling blanket, so I wrapped up my new son and made my way to the airport, where I was catching the late flight. I called and left Esme a message. She hadn't answered her phone, so I just texted her the time of my new flight's arrival.
Little Edward was fussy on the plane, so I held him for most of the flight, encouraging him to suck on the pacifier they had given him in the hospital. My heart broke a little, as he hid his face in my chest. He was such a tiny little thing, and it scared me to know I was responsible for him now. I knew that was what happened when you had kids. I knew I had been working towards this with my wife, but to have that responsibility here in my arms so suddenly was sobering. The words of his mother still echoed in my mind as well, although I still had no idea what "brothers" she had been speaking of, or why they would come after this child.
Exiting the flight, I was struggling with my carry-on, diaper bag and car seat. Edward was fussy when I tried to put him in it, and his sad little cries tore me apart. I couldn't force him into it until it was for his safety. The woman next to me offered to carry the car seat for me, and I tucked the diaper bag into it. I was only pulling my carry-on and carrying my son.
Son…that was so scary, but I loved Edward already.
I saw Esme standing by the luggage claim. She was bouncing excitedly on her heels. She quickly leaned up and kissed me. "Who do you have here?" she asked, her eyes shining brightly.
"This is Edward."
Before I could say anything more, the woman who had been helping me out stepped up next to me. "Your son is adorable," Esme cooed.
"Oh, it's not my child," she said looking at me confused.
"Thank you, my wife is in for a big surprise."
"I should say so," she offered with a worried grin. She backed away, but I knew she was still watching.
"Carlisle, whose baby is this?"
By the look on my wife's face, you would have thought I'd slapped her. "Yours?"
The hurt was evident, and I realized that she most likely thought I'd been unfaithful. "I delivered him on the plane."
Esme looked at the stairs where passengers were still exiting. "You were bringing her back to what…tell me it was over?"
"No, no, his mother didn't want to keep him," I tried to explain.
"And that's going to make it all go away, that you were…"
"He's adopted," I cut in before she could make a scene.
She looked at me so confused. Little Edward started fussing again. I was sure he was sensing the tension. "How…huh?"
"On the first flight here, a woman sat next to me. She went into labor. While she was in labor, she asked about you, about our family. I talked to her. It seemed to help. She insisted that I adopt her son in a closed adoption. I agreed, hoping that she'd hang on. Unfortunately, she slipped into a coma and was carried away by the Denver airport EMT's." I closed my eyes, rubbing my baby's back, trying to keep myself together. I hoped Elizabeth survived. She had given us the greatest gift anyone could have, and I wished her all the best.
I felt my wife's arms come around me. I watched as she ran her fingers through little Edward's peach fuzz hair.
"So, we have a son."
"Yeah," I confirmed, as she took him from my arms.
We went to the luggage carrousel to pick up my bag, and I had the distinct impression I was being watched. I turned to look around, but no one seemed to be actually looking at me. It still sent a shiver up my spine. The woman who had assisted me was standing close by and overheard Esme say, "Of all the souvenirs you could've brought me, I'd never have guessed a baby would be one of them."
"I did bring you a music box," I joked, trying to shake away my nerves.
"I think I like this one better," Esme said, as she kissed our son's head. I glanced around discretely again, still seeing no one suspicious, as I quickly collected my bag from the turnstile. I hurried my wife and new son out to our car, ready to head home, still unable to shake the odd sensation. I shook my head; convinced it was just the excitement of suddenly becoming a new parent that had my nerves on edge. I was certain that was all it was…