Title: Everyday Hero
Total Word Count: 9,942
Summary: When Bella Swan finds herself seemingly drowning in life, one man will step up and pull her safely to shore. After a couple years of indecision, she finally brings herself to give her hero exactly what he wants. Chosen as Judges Choice first place winner (Trying for a Baby Contest)
Rating: Rated M for some language and a very sweet lemon.
Beta: EllelovesEdward—I love, love, love this girl for helping me out with this beast!
Disclaimer: I do not own anything Twilight!
Bella stood in the kitchen reading over recipes, trying to figure out what to make for Edward's birthday dinner when the door leading out to the yard burst open and in stomped two very muddy little boys. "Mommy, we're hungry." (Though it came out "Mummy, we hungwy".)
The look on her smaller son, Alex's, face made her bust out into a huge smile He was trying to pout but couldn't exactly mimic how Edward always did it. "Alright, what would you like for a snack? It's only two in the afternoon and you just ate lunch about an hour ago..."
"Pancakes!" cried Jace, Alex's older brother by only five minutes.
"No pancakes. What about some pretzels?"
"Okay," Jace said reluctantly.
Grabbing the bag of pretzels from the top of the refrigerator, Bella peered out into the large yard and saw Edward putting the boys' toys away in the shed. It had been raining on and off for the past three days and Edward finally talked her into letting him take them outside, promising to send them in if it started to pour again. He must have been true to his word because while it hadn't been raining at all five minutes ago, it was now coming down in sheets.
Having only a few minutes before he'd be walking in, drenched in rain, Bella turned and knelt down so she was eye level with the boys. "Tomorrow night daddy's going to come get you. You're only staying one night with him."
"How come?" Jace asked, crossing his arms. Bella knew they loved their father but they preferred to stay at home.
"It's Edward's birthday in two days and mommy has a special surprise for him."
"Cake?" Alex asked, hopefully.
Bella laughed, "No, but we'll have cake when you get back from your daddy's the next day. So will you be good and stay the night with daddy? He's excited to see you both and I bet he'll even take you to see Grandpa Billy."
"I guess so," Alex said, trying to do his fake pout again.
Bella shook her head and stood up to get their snacks. Once they were munching away, she knew they weren't even thinking about what she'd just told them. While she had no qualms about sending them with Jacob, it was always hard for her and Edward both to let them go. This time - she had to admit -she was slightly excited about it. Tomorrow, she would give the man she loved what he had been wanting since she'd brought her two little sons home from the hospital.
Busying herself with putting a casserole together, Bella jumped when she felt wet hands clutch her waist through her thin, tight top. "Hello Princess," Edward whispered in her ear.
"You're getting me wet!" Bella giggled, trying to squirm away from him.
"That's definitely not a deterrent," he smirked.
"I'll show you a deterrent," Bella laughed, smacking his arm playfully.
"Eddy, we want to go back outside now," Jace said, standing up on the kitchen chair he had just been sitting in.
"Whoa Buddy, sit down before you fall," Edward said, walking over quickly and helping the toddler sit back down. Bella's heart melted when she saw moments like this that proved just how much he cared for the two boys that weren't his. "We can't go back outside yet. How about we watch a little SpongeBob?"
"Yeah!" Both boys cheered, lifting their arms into the air.
"Finish your pretzels while I dry off. When I get back, I'll turn it on." He returned a few minutes later and picked them up, one under each arm, carrying them into the large family room. Earlier that day, the three of them had built a fort and as the two boys climbed in, Edward grabbed the remote and found an episode he had recorded for them. Going back to her casserole, Bella hummed to herself and thought about how things were going to work out the next night.
Edward had been there for her when her life had been turned upside down. One day, she was engaged to be married, teaching an art class at the local community college, and planning to travel the world with Jacob once the 'I do's were said. The next day she was holding a pregnancy test in her hand. This shouldn't have been the end of the world. This should have been a happy time for her and her hubby-to-be. The problem was Jake didn't want kids. He had told her that from the beginning. She thought he'd get over it and be excited now that a baby was on its way and he didn't have a choice. She found out how wrong she was.
"What do you mean you're late?" Jake asked, annoyed.
"I haven't gotten my period in almost seven weeks, Jake. I took a test. We're going to have a baby."
"Bella, I don't want kids!"
"Well, this kid is coming..."
"I thought you've been on the pill this whole time. Did you quit taking it?" he accused.
"No! I think it was from when I was sick last month. The Doctor told me it was possible that the antibiotic could mess with it. I told you that, remember?"
"Oh," Jake had mumbled before looking at her again, "look, I really don't want kids..."
"Just wait until you decide that for sure. When he or she is here, who knows? You could absolutely learn to love it!"
It hadn't worked out that way. When it came time for her first appointment, she'd begged Jake to come with her, but he came up with some stupid excuse as to why he couldn't. The wedding was only three months away at the time and yet he was still dodging this responsibility. He was staying out late, not coming home until well after four am every night. They barely had enough for rent on the house they planned to move into together, let alone money for diapers. He started missing work and on the day before her twenty-third birthday, she went to his house only to discover Billy had gone on a trip, and Jake was in his childhood bed with some girl.
She called off work for a whole week straight before getting the nerve to call off the whole damn wedding. She was a hormonal mess and knew she had to talk to someone. Her friends were Jake's friends and Jake had made her seem like this was all her fault—even Charlie, her father was unhappy about the pregnancy. So, the day she called it quits for the wedding, she also called the town psychiatrist. By the town psychiatrist, she meant the only town psychiatrist—Forks was really that small.
Dr. Carlisle Cullen had helped her more than anyone ever could and she knew she would be forever grateful to him. His wife, Esme, even volunteered to come over and help her after the babies came. That's right—babies—as in two. Bella was having twin boys. With Dr. Cullen's help, Bella came to realize that she needed to make a decision. Either Jake stayed in her life and helped her raise his sons or he backed off and let her deal with things on her own terms. After months of frustration, she finally asked him outright.
"Do you want to be there when they're born? Do you want these babies or not?"
"Honestly?" Jake asked her quietly.
"Yes!" Bella exclaimed, completely frustrated and at this point not even caring about the answer.
"No, I don't. I'm sorry."
That had been it. While Renee, her mother, had taken off and not spoken to her father or her years ago, Esme seemed to step in and fill that motherly role. Alice - Carlisle and Esme's daughter - along with Alice's best friend, Rosalie, helped her pick everything out. They would spend whole Weekends together baby shopping. The nursery was ready to go—well at least it was ordered—everything still needed to be put together. This is where the guys came into play. Carlisle showed up with his son, Edward. According to Esme, Edward had lived in Chicago but was moving home after a bad breakup. Bella just shook her head and laughed, "Has he heard my breakup story?"
He hadn't, but when he had, he seemed genuinely annoyed about it. She and Esme told him the story over pizza later that night after setting up the nursery—the pizza was Bella's treat for all of their help. After her story, he told her his. Basically, his now ex-girlfriend was caught by him in bed with another guy. It was their bed, in the house they had lived in together for six months, and the other man was his now ex-best friend, Marcus. After laughing at their misfortune, he'd invited her out with him that night and after some coaxing, she eventually agreed.
Emmett and Jasper were his childhood friends. They weren't very mature - something Bella figured out very quickly - but they were kind. She would never forget the first time she met them. They were sitting in two of those top-notch gamer chairs with the joysticks attached to it and both had a headset on. When they came in, Edward walked directly over to the refrigerator and pulled out two bottles of water. Once they were sitting on the couch, Edward reached over and grabbed the remote—turning off the TV. Both guys spun around, looking for the culprit. They stopped swearing when they saw Bella on their couch. "She's pregnant! Did you knock her up?"
Edward just rolled his eyes. "No, Emmett, I did not knock her up. Guys, this is Bella. Bella, this is Jasper and Emmett. I'm actually moving in with them."
"Hi," Bella smiled sweetly, finding their nerdiness slightly adorable.
From that point on, she came to know these two goofballs as a strong bond formed between her and the sexy Edward Cullen. At first, it was just friendship but soon, their hands would become intertwined and on a few occasions, their lips would meet. Each time this happened, they'd realize it a few seconds too late and things would get ridiculously awkward. Neither knew it if was what the other wanted.
When Bella was eight and a half months pregnant, hormones had gotten the best of her. They were sitting in Esme and Carlisle's kitchen going through baby names with Alice, Rosalie, Emmett, and Jasper when Edward ran upstairs to get something. For the thousandth time that day, Bella had to pee like no other and took off for the bathroom. Coming out, she saw him standing in front of his bedroom window talking to someone on the phone. She recognized his tone immediately—he was talking to Tanya. "You did this. Don't you dare try and put this all on me!"
Bella was hormonal, tired, and had developed a pure hatred for anything that made him upset. Walking over, she grabbed the phone from him, snapped it shut, and kissed him so hard she was surprised neither of their lips was bruised afterward. When she finally pulled away, she was panting, and he helped her sit in his desk chair. "What was that about?"
"I really don't like her?" Bella said but it came out as a question, unsure if he was even okay with the kiss.
"Well, can I let you in on a secret?" he asked, running his hands through his hair.
"Yeah," Bella said shyly.
"I really, really like you," he admitted, the words coming out with a shaky voice.
Bella snorted and muttered, "Yeah, all eight hundred and fifty pounds of me..."
"First, you do not weight eight hundred and fifty pounds. Second, you could be bound to a bed for the rest of your life with no exercise and on a strict diet of nothing but Cheetos and I don't think you'd weight eight hundred and fifty pounds. And third, even if you did… I'd still love you."
He froze, realizing the admission he'd just made. Bella nearly fell off the bed, her mouth agape, shocked as hell. "You...you..."
"Forget it. We should go back downstairs..."
"Come here," she said quietly, patting the bed.
Sitting down, his fingers found hers, and neither knew what to say. Eventually he let go of her and shifted so he could look at her. "I think we should name one of the babies Alexander. I don't know why, I just like that name."
"I like it too," Bella said with a kind smile, "Alexander Swan. It's beautiful. I also like Jason. Jason Swan. What do you think?"
"I think whatever you want is perfect."
"Then we have our names. Alexander and Jason," Bella beamed, proudly, rubbing her belly.
"What about middle names?"
Bella wanted to tell him what she planned but just couldn't. She was still unsure about it and there were times when she worried he only stayed with her because he felt bad for her. So, she didn't tell him that day but they went downstairs together and announced the first names. Everyone hugged her—even the boys—who were completely entranced by Edward's sister and her beautiful friend.
The very next day, through a text, Edward made a stunning confession. I want to be there when they're born. Bella promptly sent him a text back; I want their middle names to be Anthony, after you.
And so he was, and she did and from the minute the boys arrived, she began to fall more and more in love with him. They weren't even twenty five yet, he could've easily been out partying with his roommates, but he was up at all hours of the night for different reasons. Diaper changes, burping, feeding—after breastfeeding two boys became too much for her to handle- bathing, doctor's appointments, more diaper changes, late night runs to the store for diapers and wipes...he was there for it all. At first, she had been reluctant for him to move in with her until Rosalie put things into perspective, "It's two against one now, Bells. It's not like you're being a bad role model. They don't care what you do as long as they have clean butts and full tummies."
So, Edward moved in with her a week after she brought them home. Her father flipped and to her surprise, Jake's dad even called her to voice his concerns. Bella was too angry with both of them to care—neither had even stopped by to see their grandsons yet. In fact, Jake hadn't even stopped by until the boys were almost nine months old. With a much darker skin tone and black hair, there was no denying that they were Jake's, but you wouldn't know it from the way Edward loved them like his own.
After Bella very hesitantly agreed to allow Jake to see them more often she was put into the most difficult dilemma of her life. Jake wanted to pay child support, giving him the right - if the Courts agreed - to have shared custody of her sons. Edward had gone ballistic when he found out. There was nothing either one of them could do.
The poor guy had asked her to marry him time and time again since they came home from the hospital. Bella loved him but couldn't bring herself to say yes—she still felt as if he was being tied down by her and the boys—who weren't even his. He was deeply hurt and the Court hearings pushed him too far. For the first time since a week after Alex and Jace were born, he left. He broke up with her, went back to Jasper and Emmett's, and threw himself into work. It only lasted a week. He was back the next Friday, begging her to let him come home. They both stood on the porch and cried for almost fifteen minutes before she agreed. He hadn't left again.
The judge did decide to award Jake every other weekend with the boys, something Bella figured Charlie had a hand in, but it was better than Jake having them for weeks at a time. Edward was heartbroken but tried to be positive about it. Child support money came in regularly. Edward made enough to support them and Bella was still teaching at the community college. The money from Jake would go into a joint savings account in hers and Edward's names—it would go towards the boys' future. Bella knew Edward would use it if they fell on hard financial times or if the boys ever needed it—he wasn't too proud. While Jake became daddy, a situation that made Bella's heart twist for Edward, Edward became Eddy and he meant the world to her two little miracles. Names meant nothing to her kids, it was actions, and Edward was the one actively involved the entire time.
"Hi daddy," Alex yawned as he came padding out of the living room and toward the front door. Both boys had been sound asleep in their makeshift fort when Jake showed up. Edward was holding a sleeping Jace as Bella stood in the foyer, sliding his limp arms into his jacket.
"Hey little man!" Jake beamed, holding his arms out to him. Alex walked over and gave him a quick hug before turning to Bella.
"Mommy, don't forget about the cake."
Bella burst out into laughter and Edward chuckled. Of course he'd remember the cake. Edward walked over and after kissing Jace on the forehead, handed him to Jake. Jace woke up and began to cry, reaching for Edward again. "I'm...um...I'm sure he's just a little confused from waking up..." Edward began.
"Yeah, I'm sure," Jake said, obviously unhappy that his son wanted Edward and not him.
"I packed some gas relief drops in his bag. His stomach has been bothering him today."
"Thanks. Well, I guess we'll see you tomorrow. Come on, Alex," Jake said, holding his hand out to the smaller of the two boys. Before taking Jake's hand, Alex turned to Edward, "Will you take me to the park tomorrow?"
Edward smiled, "Sure buddy. Have fun with your dad. I'll be here when you get back."
Alex ran to him and hugged him. Edward hugged him back and then pulled away. "I'll see you tomorrow. Come on, your dad wants to leave."
After a less animated hug with Bella, Alex finally left with Jake. As soon as the door was closed, Edward asked, "Why is he taking them? Why tonight? On a week day?"
It had been true that each time the boys were taken by someone else it was either to celebrate something outside of the house—like going to a bar or somewhere the boys shouldn't be, or when she was upset with him but didn't want to fight in front of the boys. She felt bad when she realized he thought this was a bad thing. "I'm not upset with you, relax. I just thought you'd like some alone time with me for your birthday and that you'd want the boys here on the actual day. I arranged this with Jake a while ago."
"Oh. I'm sorry; I didn't mean to get angry. I just hate when he picks them up."
"I know, I hate it too," she agreed kissing him and then pulling away, "Now, I have a few things that I have to do. Why don't you run down to the store and pick out your favorite cake and icing so we don't disappoint Alex tomorrow. He really wants that damn cake."
"Alright, but I'm picking up extra icing. I can think of some much better places to put it than on a cake..."
"Just go," Bella said, laughing and giving him another quick kiss.
As soon as he was out the door, Bella sprinted to the kitchen and threw the taco bake she prepared into the oven, setting the timer. When she was finished setting the table, putting only sparkling cider out and forgetting about the wine, she raced upstairs. Finding the pink striped bag from her closet, she set it on the bed and stripped down. Once the deep purple dress was on—with an even deeper blue corset and panty set underneath—Bella let her hair down and ran back downstairs. Everything was ready just as he walked through the door.
His face was priceless as he took her in. "Hell, if me running to the store gets you this worked up all the time..."
Bella laughed and wrapped her arms around him. "Do you like?"
"I love," he said, kissing her cheek, her neck, and the tops of her breasts.
"Dinner should be ready soon, why don't you have a seat?"
"Alright," he said, reluctantly pulling away.
When he was seated, Bella opened up the bottle of cider and poured it into his wine glass. "Mmm... good year," he said, laughing at his own joke.
"It was imported from...Vermont..." Bella said, holding the bottle up to read the label. Slightly feeling dumb that he didn't laugh at all - she thought it was at least a little funny; she put the bottle down and looked over at him. His mouth was open a little, like he was trying to process the hardest physics problem he could in his head. "Edward, what..."
"Are you...are we...is there going to be another baby?" His voice was so drenched with hope that Bella began to feel bad, not realizing before that he would jump to this conclusion.
"No," she said, going around to sit in his lap, "not right now...but I'm hoping...soon?"
"Really? You're really considering this?"
"No. I'm done considering it. I want this."
His smile was enough to make her expensive panties wet but she had to wait a little longer to jump his bones. There was something else she needed to give him first, and it wasn't just dinner. Holding her left hand out and opening her fingers she said nonchalantly, "Esme was right, your grandmother's ring fits my hand beautifully."
Edward tensed beneath her as he looked at the same ring he'd presented her with at least four times in the past two years. She hadn't been ready for another engagement, not until a few days ago when she realized there was no way in hell she could live without him and there was no way he could live without her or the boys. In wearing that ring and agreeing to marry him, she was not only giving him herself, she was giving him his son's as well. It turned out that names meant nothing to her either. Alexander Anthony and Jason Anthony were Edward Cullen's sons. She would defend that statement like her life depended on it—Jake was just like the screwed up uncle who like to pretend he was a father.
"Is this for real? Is this really happening?"
"Yes. I'm sorry it took me so long. I love you so much and the boys love you too. You mean the world to all three of us. I couldn't have done this without you and I was afraid that you knew that and felt we were a burden..."
"Bella, you never..."
"I know that I was wrong. I know it. I hope someday you can forgive me..."
"You're forgiven," he said effortlessly, kissing her lips gently, "now why don't you let me prove to you just how forgiven you are?"
"Mmm...I'd like that very much."
Carrying her upstairs, Edward was careful not to rip the expensive dress and gently slid down the zipper in the back. He undressed her slowly, kissing down her back before turning her towards him and kissing her neck and chest. She pulled him down on the bed and he pulled her panties off, breathing in her scent. Just the proximity of him being that close to her arousal made her squirm. It was rare that they got alone time and Bella wasn't fond of messing around when the boys were home—even if they were asleep. "Edward, please..."
"What's wrong, Mrs. Cullen?" he asked, his voice low as he swept his tongue along her already wet slit. She cried out, her fists clenching his hair. He stopped on her swollen clit and bit down gently. Arching her back, she cried even louder, her hands leaving his hair and grabbing the sheets. Sliding back up her body, Edward began fumbling with the drawer beside the bed.
"Edward?" Bella looked at him, a confused expression clear on her face.
"Oh," he smiled sheepishly, "habit."
Bella laughed as he tossed the condom box he had just successfully pulled out onto the floor. For whatever reason, Bella felt nervous, as if this was their first time together. To her surprise, he was acting the same way. Condom-free, Edward ran his hands up and down her thighs while she opened them expectantly and waited. "Are you sure about this?"
"Absolutely. Come on, baby, I want to feel you. Just skin-on-skin."
She felt him rub himself against her clit before sliding down to her entrance. She arched again and pushed his hips towards her at the same time. Without the latex and with her wetness, he slid in easily and she marveled at how much she loved him while her body adjusted to his. Soon, he began to move inside her and it took everything in her power to hold out for him. She wanted him to have this moment, having no idea if they would create a new life or just got a really good workout. He deserved the world for giving her the strength to go on. "Bella," he sighed into her ear as he began to pick up his pace, "I can't last much longer. Come for me, baby."
Finally, she allowed her muscles to relax, except for the ones that she had no control over—not when she had this amazing man on top of her. Crying out, Bella had to stop herself from scratching her nails down his back. By the time they were laying side by side in post-coital bliss, Edward already had his hand on her belly. "I can't believe how amazing that was. Sorry I couldn't go longer."
"You were amazing. I actually could have come on like the third thrust."
"I vote no more condoms. Ever."
"Oh, shit!" Bella yelled, sitting up.
"We left the oven on!"
Edward had to laugh at the irony of that statement. "Let's go turn it off. Who needs dinner when we have icing?" he asked suggestively.
As promised, Alex got to eat his cake the very next day while they sat at a picnic table at the local park. Edward had been absolutely beaming since Jake had dropped them off that morning. Bella wasn't sure if it was due to the fact that he had gotten lucky four times over the course of the night before, if he was glad to have his boys back, if he was letting his ego get the best of him since Bella broke the news of their engagement to Jake that morning, or if it was a mixture of all three. Then again, maybe he was just thinking about what they had done with the other tub of icing the night before.
"Boys, Eddy and mommy have something we need to talk to you about," Bella said, hoping this was going to go well.
"We're getting a puppy?" Alex asked. Bella shook his head, this kid was a total open book and she reminded herself to remind Edward they had both already agreed on this—no pets until the boys were older.
"No Sweetie, something even better." Alex gave his little Edward pout while Jace looked back and forth between them as if to say 'Something better than a puppy? Try me.' "Eddy and I are going to get married."
The boys turned to look at each other, as if silently conferring on what their response should be. Finally, Jace asked with a hopeful smile, "Can he be our daddy now?"
Bella's mouth dropped open and even Edward seemed a little surprised by this request. Of all the questions she expected them to have, this was not one of them. Totally caught off guard, Bella looked to Edward for help. He gave her a deer in the headlights look that said, 'I'm staying out of this one.'
"Jace, Alex," Bella said, walking around the picnic table to the bench they were on and sitting between both of them, "Eddy loves you two more than anything in this entire world. Sometimes, daddies aren't always called daddy. Sometimes, daddies are called by different names. You two lucky little boys have daddy Jake and daddy Eddy. They both love you."
"So, we can call Eddy daddy?"
Bella sighed, trying to come up with the best answer, "I think you should call him what you feel in your hearts."
Watching as her little two and a half year olds chewed this over, Bella had to smile. It was the same physics-solving look Edward got when he was thinking about something. When neither boy said anything, Bella figured it was forgotten about and walked over to sit down next to Edward again. They finished their cake in silence, as if they all needed time to process things. When Bella began to clean up the table, Alex and Jace stood up and walked over to Edward. He wiped their faces like he did every night after dinner and Bella watched contentedly as they climbed on his lap.
Alex was the first one to speak, "Daddy, we want you to marry Mommy."
"Yeah," Jace agreed.
Bella felt the tears coming before she could stop them, to her surprise, Edward had them in his eyes too. "Don't cry Daddy. We're sorry..."
"No, Jace, Daddy's just very, very happy right now. Come on, let's help Mommy clean up."
Bella and Edward had completely quit keeping track of their non-condom usage. She would never know if it was the night before the boys decided to officially call Edward their dad that they had conceived their first child together. She would never know if it was the quick tryst they'd had in the hallway while the boys were sleeping three days after Edward's birthday, if it was the heavy session they ended up having in the kitchen the day after that when Jake had them for the weekend, or if it was one of the countless other times in the past month that they'd gone at it. No matter which time it was, today she was spending the morning on the bathroom floor.
It was a typical Tuesday. Edward had gone to work after helping her get the boys ready to go to his parent's for the day. Bella had just run upstairs to jump in the shower after he left with them and halfway through her shower she jumped out, making it to the porcelain bowl just in time. She threw up until there was absolutely nothing left to throw up. So, on a Tuesday morning, home by herself, Bella sat naked as a jaybird on her bathroom floor wondering how quickly she could get to the drugstore for a pregnancy test.
Calling off work and putting some clothes on, Bella figured she should call her mother-in-law and let her know she wasn't going into work. If the boys needed her, she wanted to make sure Esme could find her. She assured Esme that her cell phone would be on, that she had a migraine causing her to be nauseous, and that there was no need to worry.
A half-hour and a thirty dollar drugstore bill later, Bella returned home with five different pregnancy tests. She figured she'd have them for later if this was just simply a touch of the flu. She would find that she wouldn't need four of them, the first one she took was positive. Immediately, Bella wanted to call and tell Edward but knew it wouldn't be the best to tell him over the phone. Instead, she busted out the candles, the same dress she'd worn the night of their little icing escapade, and went back to the store to buy everything she needed to try the taco bake again. Leaving the dress on the bed, Bella ran to the store and was back just before twelve o'clock. To her surprise, so was Edward.
Worried that something was wrong, she bolted into the house, only to find him sitting on the steps leading to the second floor. He was holding something and at first, she wondered if he had come home early for some more icing fun. Getting closer, she realized he wasn't holding a white tube of frosting, he was holding her pregnancy test. "We're having a baby," he said quietly.
Bella could only nod her head happily before walking over and kissing him, "You're home early."
"Alex called me," he said with a sarcastic nonchalance, finally looking up at her.
"What?" Bella gasped.
"Yup. Our little Alex was worried about his Mommy. So, when Grammy Esme wasn't looking he grabbed her phone and..."
"He didn't!" Bella exclaimed, her hand going to her mouth in amazed shock.
"He did. He called my work number and my secretary answered. He told her and this is a quote according to her 'My Mommy throwed up and Daddy needs to go home."
"Oh my God," Bella said, trying not to laugh.
"Needless to say, I kind of, sort of overreacted and left the meeting this message was announced in for everyone to hear. I was worried something was really wrong. I got here and you were gone so I called my Mom and explained what happened. She feels bad and promises to not let them get her phone ever again but she also told me that you had a migraine. I went to use the bathroom before going back to work and found this on the sink."
"I was going to surprise you..."
"How long have you been getting sick like this?"
"Today was the first day it really hit me. I picked up five tests this morning after I called your Mom."
"Five?" he asked like she was completely nuts.
"I figured we'd have them if this was a false alarm," Bella shrugged while wondering if five tests really were necessary.
"We don't need them," Edward said proudly, standing up and taking her in his arms.
"I love you."
"I love you too."
While they didn't do another pregnancy test, they did confirm it at the OB/GYN. Bella wanted to wait a few months to tell everyone because God forbid, she didn't know if she could handle having to tell everyone she lost a baby. Edward was thrilled and wanted all of Forks to know—which wouldn't be that hard considering there wouldn't be that many people to tell—but he understood and kept his mouth shut. Well, he did until three weeks later.
Bella was teaching her regular Thursday night class and he was bathing the boys. Jace was being incredibly cranky and Edward couldn't wait to get him down for the night so he could get a little peace and quiet. Bathed, snacked, and pajama clad, the boys were tucked in but Jace was getting more and more fussy. He'd get them settled in but as soon as he'd walk back out, Jace would get up and follow him. "Jace, you need to go back to bed Buddy! We have to get up early to see Grammy in the morning." He tucked him back in again. This time it was Alex that came to find him.
"Daddy, Jace is too noisy..."
With a sigh, he led Alex back to the room and tucked him in before trying to reason with Jace by saying he was keeping his brother up. The problem was both boys were exhausted but fighting sleep. Edward felt himself getting frustrated. He used the method he had been using since they were babies when things became too much to handle. He told them he'd be right back, went into the bathroom, counted to twenty and came back out. Calmer now, he sat in between their twin sized beds and read them a story. Still, they wouldn't go to sleep. Both of them were crying and reaching for him. Tired of fighting with them, he picked both of his boys both up and carried them downstairs to the fort. He had just gotten them settled in when he muttered to himself, "I hope there aren't too many nights like this when the new baby comes."
Alex heard him, "Daddy?"
"Yeah Buddy?" Edward asked, completely depleted of energy.
"We don't want a new baby," Alex cried, jumping out of his sleeping bag and gripping Edward's shirt.
Wanting to kick his own ass, Edward froze, not knowing what to say. Jace had begun to cry again. Looking at the clock, it was another fifteen minutes until Bella would be home. Debating on whether he should tell them or lie about it, he felt guiltier and guiltier, wondering if maybe it was too soon to bring a new baby into the house. "Come here, guys," Edward said, crawling right into the fort with them, "Mommy and Daddy love you very much. Now, you're going to have a new little brother or sister who will love you too."
"But I'm the baby," Alex said, giving the pout that warmed Edwards heart—the one that said 'I might not have been there for the conception but this is so my kid!'
"Alex..." Edward began but was interrupted by a string of questions.
"Is there a new baby?"
"Where do you get a baby?"
"Can't we give it back?"
"Boys, why don't we talk about this another day?" Edward asked desperately, knowing that he really messed things up this time.
"Will you sleep with us Daddy?" Jace asked, sitting on Edwards lap and snuggling into him.
With a sigh, Edward sat back and got comfortable as each of the boys curled up in the crook of each arm. After kissing them both on the head, he told them goodnight, and tried to relax. Before he could really drift off, Jace asked one last question, "You're not leaving, right?"
"What do you mean, Jace?" Edward asked with a yawn.
"Daddy Jake left us when we were a baby."
"Jace, look at me. I don't care what happened with Daddy Jake, or any other daddy in the entire world, I'm here to stay. No one is ever going to keep me away from you. Now, let's get some sleep. We'll all be in trouble if Mommy gets home and we're still awake."
Bella woke up in bed by herself and padded downstairs to wake up her sleeping boys—all three of them. When she had gotten home last night, all three had curled up in the makeshift fort and had been sleeping soundly. Disappointed Edward wouldn't be joining her; she couldn't help but smile and remember just how lucky she was. "It's just me and you tonight, little bump," she had whispered, heading upstairs to put on the comfiest pajama set she owned.
Careful not to wake Alex and Jace, Bella leaned over Edward and kissed him on the cheek, working her way to his lips. He opened his eyes, disoriented at first, but smiled when he realized what was happening. "How'd they talk you into this one?" she asked in a whisper.
"Um...it's a long story," Edward said, as if he didn't want to tell her something.
Ignoring it, she moved so he could sit up and he stretched while she went to pick up the boys. "Bells! Let me get them."
"Edward, I'm fine..."
"No. You have to be careful lifting them. No strenuous activity," Edward said sternly, mocking the OB/GYN.
"Edward, they are two years old. If I want to hold them, I will."
"I'm sorry. I just want to make sure you're being careful."
"Here, you take Jace. Let's get them upstairs and ready for Grammy's."
As soon as they were upstairs, Alex woke up and looked at her before smiling the biggest grin she could imagine, "Mommy!"
"Hi, Baby. Were you good for Daddy last night?"
Just then Jace woke up and walked over to her, rubbing his eyes while Edward picked out clothes for them. Bella watched as he reached up and poked her stomach. "Jace, what..."
"Is it in there?"
Bella's jaw dropped and she saw Edward spin around quickly to face them. "I...um...yes, Jace. Who told you?"
"Daddy," he said shrugging.
"Mommy, can't we just give it back?" Jace asked like it was the most logical thing in the world.
"No," Bella said as firmly as possible, trying her damnedest not to let him see her laugh.
When you have two year old boys, there is no such thing as a secret. Esme found out the second Edward left her house for work. Alice and Rosalie knew before lunchtime. They had a bouquet of flowers sent to the Community College for Bella—the entire school knew before one o'clock. They also called Jasper, who told Emmett, who told Edward's secretary while he was in a meeting. Bella realized that evening that the only person who didn't know—and should—was her own father.
Bella and Charlie's relationship had been strained since Jake backed out on her and Edward stepped in. She figured it was because of how close he and Jake's father were that he wouldn't give up hope on Jake becoming his Son-in-law. Bella still had trouble seeing how it was her fault that it hadn't happened. Quite frankly, it pissed her off that he treated Edward like some young kid who just wanted in her pants. Hell, sometimes she still felt like a young kid but she now had two of her own to raise.
"Hello?" Charlie answered, sounding like he was chewing on something.
"Oh. Hey Bella. What's going on?"
"I um, have some news to tell you."
"That's never good..." she heard him mutter.
Already getting angry, Bella just cut to the chase, "Look, I know you know Edward and I are getting married. Well, I found out that we're also going to have another baby."
"Yeah. Remember, we already have two," Bella snapped back.
"No. You have two. He has zero. Bella, is this really what you want? I mean, Alexander and Jason are only a couple years old..."
"So they'll have someone else to play with. Dad, I wasn't calling for your opinion. I was calling because I was hoping you'd want to know. I get that I was wrong..."
"Bells wait. You just don't see it the way I do. He's young..."
"He's a year older than Jacob! Do you not see how much he's done for the boys? They love him. He's the one that provides for us. If I wanted to quit my job now I could."
"Do you really think he's going to love those two boys that aren't his the same as he loves this new baby? Do you? He's not, Bella. Jace and Alex are going to be pushed aside and you know it."
"Dad...you know what...I have to go. I never should have called. I just want you to remember that Edward was the one that was there. He's been here since the day he met me when the other men in my life-Jake, Billy, and even you- weren't. He is more of a man than Jacob will ever be. He was there, IS here, and will always be a part of our lives. Deal with it."
After the initial excitement of the pregnancy, Bella realized they really had yet to talk about a date for the wedding. At first, she dreamt of the wedding she never got to have with Jake. It had been planned to a tee. The cake, the flowers, the church, the hall, the caterer—it was all set up and ready to go. She truly didn't know if she was so upset about calling it off because of her and Jake's demise or because she never got her day. She imagined Edward now at the end of that altar instead of Jake and realized just how ridiculous it all sounded. A wedding was about the sacred union of two people, not the material things that people wanted to come and look at.
"Edward," Bella asked on an unusually sunny day while they watched their two sons playing in the sandbox, "What do you think about just going to church in a couple weeks and saying our vows? We can just invite your family and a few friends."
"Um..." Bella saw the physics problem look again and tried not to smile. "What's that smirk for?"
"Nothing," she laughed as he reached over and pulled her into him so he could tickle her ribs. When he stopped, she was sitting between his legs and he was rubbing her five month pregnant belly.
"What are you thinking about?" she whispered.
"Just how much I love you."
"I mean about the wedding. Do you think it's a good idea or not?"
"If that's what you really want, then...sure. I want the boys there, though."
"Definitely. They're going to be so excited."
"Let's hope more excited than they were for little bump," he said chuckling.
"I know. Jace still thinks we're giving it back," Bella laughed.
"Yeah, he told Emmett and Jasper that the other day. Why don't we wait until next month? Things are picking up at work."
"What?" Bella asked, confused.
"The wedding, not giving back the baby!"
Her face turned red as she laughed again and leaned back against him. "Alright. One month from tomorrow."
"It's a plan," he said with a smile.
While they both believed in God, neither had been raised to attend church on a weekly basis. So, when Edward suggested to her that they meet with the pastor a week prior to the scheduled wedding, Bella agreed that it was probably a good idea. "As long as we spend time together after the service. I feel like I haven't seen you in forever!"
Edward had been working on two big projects at work which took serious time with him away from her and the boys. From what Esme told her when she picked them up after work one day, Edward had been coming there for lunch so he could at least eat one meal with them before heading back to the office. She knew he was concerned about having things in order when the baby came so he could take some time off, but she missed him.
So one week before the wedding, Edward surprised her with a flowing white dress. It was something that reminded her of a Greek Goddess's dress and she loved it. The material was a sheer satin that flowed down and took the focus off of her growing belly. He told her he felt bad for all of the time he'd been kept up at work and he figured she should have something pretty to wear to meet the pastor who would marry them. The night before this meeting, Edward explained that he would be stuck at work most of the night and if she needed him to call. Frustrated, she tried not to get upset but she was lonely—it was even Jake's weekend to have the boys.
When he came home around eleven that night, he seemed nervous about something and Bella began to suspect that there was something more going on. The painful memory of Jake in bed with another woman began to come back full on and she tried desperately to push it away. While she was getting ready in her new dress the next morning, Edward came in with a funny look on his face. "Bells, hey, I just got a call from work..."
"No, not this time. Edward, we're meeting the pastor today..."
"Alice is on her way now. She's going to go with you. I want to take next week off because of the wedding so I need to help finish this before then. I'll even call and talk to the pastor myself this week. Please, please forgive me."
Bella knew then that he was up to something. Her heart was breaking as she watched him walk out the door. A few minutes later she heard Alice downstairs, "Bella?"
"Wow! You look...wow!" Alice said with wide eyes. Bella gave her a small smile, trying to act like nothing was wrong. There was no way she was going to admit to Alice that she thought Edward was cheating on her—Alice was his sister after all. When she didn't say anything, Alice asked, "Do you know what would be perfect? If you let your hair in curls and pinned up the front a little bit. Here, we have time, let me do it!"
Bella officially wanted to smack her husband-to-be, he knew how much she hated playing Barbie doll for his sister. Twenty minutes later, Bella slid on a pair of white flats, and followed her future sister-in-law out to the car. They arranged to meet the pastor after the church service so they found a seat close to the back and Bella tried to get comfy on the hard, wooden pew. The service was beautiful and Bella noticed the beautiful, purple flowers that lined the front to be her favorite. She could totally see marrying Edward here. It was perfect.
During meet and greet, she felt completely awkward, not knowing anyone, but knew she wanted to come back—even after the wedding. Everyone was very kind and welcoming. At the end of the service, the pastor asked her if she would meet him in the little office in the back of the church. She and Alice followed him in. He was a kind old man with a wife and three grown sons. Tyler was an engineer like Edward, James was a fisherman, and Benjamin was a dentist. Bella found the man also liked to talk. An hour later, she said thank you and he walked her out, asking if she wanted to see the front of the church a little more closely.
It wasn't until the doors opened into the church that she realized she had been lied to by her Fiancé—big time. There was no way they would be married next week. The first thing she saw at the front of the church was her Edward, tuxedo clad, standing with Jasper and Emmett beside him. It was definitely not going to happen next weekend...it was happening now. Feeling slightly faint, she felt a hand take her arm and turned to see that Charlie had come up beside her, "Dad?"
"You look beautiful, Bells."
Turning the other way, she saw Alice and Rosalie, both wearing the same dress Alice had on earlier. It was a deep violet purple that flowed like hers. Looking back towards her, taking up every pew in the church, were friends and family. If her father being there was a surprise, she was absolutely flabbergasted with what happened next. Jake stepped out of a pew, closer to the back, and walked her two sons towards her. They were in little tuxes with violets pinned to their lapels. That was all it took for her to begin to bawl—in front of two hundred people.
They hugged and kissed her before walking over to her bridesmaids and reaching out their hands. On cue, the music started and she watched as Jace and Alex were walked to the front by Alice and Rosalie, who handed them over to Edward and went to stand opposite the guys. Edward bent down and handed them each something, then directed them so they were each standing in front of a Groomsmen. Then, the music became louder and Charlie moved forward. The walk felt like it went on for miles that she'd never get to Edward but when she did it felt like she was floating.
Charlie reached out, shook Edward's hand, and said, "You take care of all of them," before placing Bella's hand in his.
Edward smiled, "I always have and I always will."
The ceremony went fast. The vows were exchanged, the boys handed them their rings—Edward's and Bella's wedding bands were what was given to them when they'd gotten to the altar- and the first kiss was had. To Bella's shock—and guilt—she learned there was more to come. Esme stood and announced to everyone that there would be a reception at the local ballroom in two hours—which gave plenty of time for pictures. By the end of the night, Bella had never felt more guilty and more in love with her new husband. To think that just that morning, she'd jumped to the painful conclusion that there was another woman, when really, he was trying to plan her the wedding he knew she'd wanted in only a month. He'd thought of everything from making things right with Charlie, to arranging for Jake to help get the boys ready that morning.
Jasper and Emmett had been assigned the duty of playing bodyguard for Bella during the bridal dance. As was customary in Edward's family, people would place a dollar in a big sack and in return get a dance with the bride. It wasn't a whole dance—just long enough to exchange a few words. When finished with the line-up of people—which lasted for about four songs, everyone danced around her, trying to keep Edward away. Jasper and Emmett kept asking her as they brought people over to dance if she needed a break, if she was feeling tired, if she needed a drink, and of course they gave her Groom more trouble than anyone else when it came to him getting to his new Wife.
Carrying her outside, he set her down gently and in the privacy of a small alcove, she gave him a proper thank you kiss. "I can't believe you managed to do all of this..."
"I knew you wanted your fairytale wedding and when I told Mom and Ally my plan, they jumped at the opportunity. I didn't tell the boys, I let Jake do it this morning."
"Learned that secret-keeping lesson the hard way, didn't you?" Bella said laughing.
"We should get back into the boys. Jake's plastered and I need to make sure they're okay."
"Your Dad has them. I checked before we came out here."
"So, I guess they'll be coming home with us tonight," Bella sighed, slightly frustrated that the one time she kind of wanted Jake to have them, he was too drunk.
"I...um...need to talk to you about something. My mom and dad volunteered to keep them overnight... for the next couple of days..."
"Edward," Bella began before he interrupted her.
"I know we haven't been away from them much but I thought maybe we can get away before the little comes along. Just for a few days. It's not like we'll be gone for a whole week and it's not like they'll be with Jake."
Bella wasn't sure of what to say at first. While Jake had taken the boys every other weekend for a while now, she'd never left them overnight for days at a time; only once or twice did they even stay the night at Esme and Carlisle's. Since they were born, she made it known that they were hers and she wasn't going to let anyone else do the parenting for her. It had been just her and Edward since the beginning. For them, they never had that chance to just be together and enjoy each other's company. When they started dating, she had been going through a rough pregnancy and any idea of intimacy made her cringe back in self-consciousness. Then, the boys had come along. They had been dating for months before they'd slept together and even then it was quick and to the point since there was never a second that a bottle didn't need heated or a diaper didn't need changed.
Knowing it would be ridiculously hard to leave them, Bella wanted to give Edward the honeymoon he deserved, even if she was pregnant again. "Where are we going?" she asked, standing on her tiptoes to kiss him on the cheek. A huge smile crossed his face as he explained his plan. They would get a hotel in Seattle that night and then head out to a lake house he rented along a private portion on the Puget Sound. "That sounds amazing, Edward. Was the beach house expensive?"
"Yeah, only because I found one that would be big enough for all four of us. Just in case you couldn't bring yourself to leave the boys," the way Edward said this last piece of information, she realized it wasn't just for her benefit—he was struggling with the idea just as much as she was.
"I think they'll be fine spending a few days with your parents," Bella smirked and sent him a conspiratorial look. As they walked back in towards the mostly drunken guests, Bella sought out her two little miracles. Not only had these two tiny boys given her the chance to realize how big of a mistake she was making by marrying Jake, they had won the heart of the best man she'd ever know. A man who could have walked away gracefully and no one would have blamed him. A man who easily could have let well enough alone. He hadn't though, and for that- more than this perfect wedding day, more than his amazing family, more so than even how good he was in bed-Bella would love him, irrevocably, for the rest of their lives.
Please let me know what you think :) Letzy xx