A/N: This is my entry from the Beautiful Bellies Contest. The prompt and picture I used were surrogacy & #7 (milkshakes).
To Read all the other entries, visit www . fanfiction . net / u / 2791564 / Beautiful_Bellies
Huge thanks to saritadreaming for holding my hand on this one and pushing me in the right direction and working her beta magic with my abuse of the comma. If you haven't read any of her stories, run now.
I admire those who chose to be a surrogate and those that decide to use that method to bring a child into their lives. I've thought about being one myself, having enjoyed both of my pregnancies (I know, not everyone has the same pregnancy experience), but now that I'm older, it's no longer an option. Hope you enjoy this one shot.
There is something to be said for having the right to pretty much eat anything when you are pregnant.
That is one of the major reasons I agreed to do this. The ability to eat whatever I want, without regards to my weight or anything else.
That and to give my best friends the gift of life.
Why else would I agree to allow someone to purposefully impregnate me and give me the freedom to eat whatever I want?
What I didn't agree to was meeting him. But I'll get to that later on.
See, right now, I'm sitting in my favorite ice cream parlor—and not just any ice cream parlor—Palmers. They have over 50 homemade ice cream flavors, fudge and the best thing for a someone like me—chocolate.
I come here at least once a week. Well, once I got over the morning it-should-be-called-all-the-fucking-time sickness.
I'm sitting at my regular table by the window, so I can watch people walk along the street as I enjoy my treat for the day.
When Jake and Eric found out how much I loved this place and how often I came here, they opened a tab for me to order on. It was the least they could do for the woman carrying their child.
Sorry, I'm getting off track here.
Where was I? Oh, yes... sitting in Palmers, at my favorite table, with a delicious chocolate shake, topped with homemade whipped cream and two cherries on top, crying my eyes out.
And yes, I said crying.
Which is the opposite of what I prefer to be doing, which is eating with a smile on my face.
So, why is it that a young, twenty-eight year old girl, eight months pregnant with the love child of her two best gay friends, is sitting alone crying with the best chocolate shake in the world sitting in front of her?
But like I said, I'll get to him.
I guess I should start from the beginning.
~The Question & Decision~
Springtime has arrived and Jake and Eric decide it's time for their annual garden party. I'm wearing a cute, light blue sundress, strappy sandals and have the thirst of a racing horse for drinking.
The party is lovely; cocktails, wine, and there is some food floating around somewhere. But I don't remember eating much of anything.
My glass is full, and that's all that matters tonight.
The party starts as the sun is low in the sky, casting a beautiful collage of pinks, reds, and oranges. The yard is immaculate; trimmed grass, floating lights in the pond, and twinkling lights draping in the gazebo.
These two boys always know how to throw a great party.
All of our friends are here and some people from work. I mingle, saying hi to Victoria, Tanya, Paul, Seth, Rose, and Emmett. Conversations are light and laughter fills the air. And as the evening wears on, I remember feeling very drunk.
The next thing I remember is waking up in their guest room, Jake sitting on the edge of the bed, rubbing my back.
"What happened?" I ask.
"You got drunk, and we put you up here instead of letting you drive home."
"Oh, God." My body is definitely not wanting this right now. I normally treat my body like a temple, but right now it feels trashed, like a hotel room after an 80's band has partied in it.
"A thank you is all I was looking for, Bella. No need to call me names."
I glare at Jake from the slits that are my eyes. "Ass."
"Come on, get freshened up and come have some lunch."
"Lunch? What the hell time is it?"
Jake holds in a laugh and stands. "You still have some clothes in the bottom drawer."
He walks over to the dresser and opens the bottom drawer just a touch. I used to be Jake's roommate. He owned the house, and when I desperately needed a place to stay, he took me in, no questions.
After Jake leaves, I crawl out of bed and take a quick shower and dress. Slowly making my way downstairs, I overhear Jake and Eric talking in the kitchen. Their voices are low, but all I can make out is something about 'should we ask her now.'
"Morning, sunshine," Eric cheerfully greets me. He gives me a warm hug and a quick kiss on the cheek.
I take a seat at the table and start to spoon my plate with a small helping of fresh fruit and half of a chicken salad sandwich. As I finish pouring a glass of water from the pitcher on the table, I turn to see Eric and Jake watching me.
"Nothing," Jake answers.
Eric takes a seat across from me, taking a quick sip of his ice tea. "Um, do you have a few moments?"
The next thirty minutes turn out to be one of the weirdest in my life. Eric calmly asks me to be a surrogate for their baby. They explain that they are ready to start a family, they have the egg donor, and are going to mix their sperm so that they couldn't say that the baby came from one or the other. Then they explain that they couldn't think of a better person than me to carry their child for them.
Yes, I'm shocked. Stunned might be a better word, and I about shit myself.
I ask them to give me a few days to think about it. They tell me they will pay for everything and that they also want me to be the Godmother of said child.
Boom! Why don't you put a little pressure on someone all at once?
I take some time. A little more than I think they expected me to take.
Two weeks later, I find myself sitting in their suede, charcoal oversized chair, my feet propped up on the matching ottoman, with a nervous Jake and Eric on the couch watching and waiting for me to speak.
Taking a sip of my margarita, I look at both of them and say the word that will change my life. "Yes."
I'm standing in the doctor's office in a gown that is supposed to cover me and make me feel comfortable. Instead, it makes me feel even more naked than I am underneath as I wait to be poked and prodded at.
Jake and Eric are staring at me. Jake is in the one seat in the room, and Eric is standing against the wall next to him.
I don't feel modest around these two; they've both seen me naked more times than I prefer to admit to, so modesty around them has never been a problem for me.
The doctor comes in, gives me the full checkup, feeling my boobs and giving me the 'yes, you really shouldn't be waxing all of your hair off' look.
I give him the 'fuck you' look back.
Ass, who has never had to wear a bikini in his life.
By the end of the hour, I'm deemed perfect for Jake and Eric's love-child and a date is set for next week for insertion.
"Bella, do you plan to, um, eat regularly and change your workout while being pregnant?" Eric softly asks.
"Why the hell would you ask a question like that, Eric? Of course I'm going to eat healthy for the baby. And what the hell is wrong with my workout?"
"He doesn't mean it that way, Bella," Jake interrupts. "It's just, we know your thoughts on food and exercise, and we just…"
"I know what you thought—that I will starve myself the moment I start to gain weight, become a monster, and deny your baby the nutrients that he or she needs," I retort.
My two best friends look at me as tears start to form in my eyes.
"Bella, you're beautiful," Jake whispers pulling me into his arms. "You don't have anything to worry about. You're going to be so beautiful with a round, pregnant belly."
"Oh, great, that makes me feel better."
I hold onto Jake and feel Eric wrap himself from behind. I feel love and security flowing between them. They know I tend to go overboard with my workouts, and have been there to pull me back when I do.
The following week, I find myself spread eagle once again in the doctor's office, being inserted with a mixture that is supposed to root itself to my body and grow into Jake and Eric's love-child.
The feeling at that moment when the, for lack of better words, turkey baster is inserted, are very vivid; the bright lights of the room, the cold steel touching my body, Eric on one side of me, and Jake on the other, both holding my hands. As the doctor begins the procedure, Jake strokes my face, pushing my hair off of my forehead.
I can't help but think at that moment, what a wonderful thing we were going through together, bringing life to this world.
My normal morning consists of a quick run. But instead of getting out of bed and putting on my running gear, my head spins as I stand up, causing me to sit back down. My whole body feels off— light and nauseous at the same time. I try to think of what I could have eaten to make me feel this way, or what I did while working out yesterday to cause my body to react like this.
Don't judge; it's happened before.
Giving my body a few moments, I try and stand again; this time I feel weak, like my body has been drained of all energy.
"Oh, not good," I groan.
Once I make it to the bathroom, my body gives out, and I wind up on the cold floor lying next to the toilet, praying that my body will feel better.
"Bella?" It's Jake's concerned voice.
I feel cold and sweaty. "Jake?" I open my eyes and see Jake leaning over me.
"How long have you been like this?"
"What time is it?"
"It's ten thirty."
"Oh, well, I guess since six then."
"Jesus," he breathes.
Swooping me in his arms, he carries me bridal style back to my bed. "When you didn't come into work, and you didn't call or answer your phone, I got concerned."
"Good thing I gave you an extra key then."
Jake wipes my forehead, "How do you feel?"
I think for a second and look at Jake.
"Do you think?"
That afternoon, and three tests later, I find out that I'm pregnant.
But just to make sure, the next day the boys send me to the doctor's office for a blood test.
After that, I spend the next two months feeling weak and sick the majority of the time. Eric starts a routine of coming to pick me up for work everyday, while Jake either sends a packed lunch for me or comes by with something.
I never thought I would be carpooling with Eric. But it's not really like carpooling, since he's my boss and just leaves the office to come pick me up since I only live three miles away.
Eric owns a fitness center, which has two dance studios, a weight room, a cardio room, and two swimming pools. After I graduated college with a degree in business, Eric was looking for someone to help market the business and help with the day-to-day dealings. We became fast friends, going to lunch after my interview, leaving with a hug and a job offer.
It was only a month into my job that Jake came by to check out where I was working and take me to lunch. I introduced Jake to Eric, and that was the beginning of their life together.
Jake and I grew up together, but from the time we were little, I knew that Jake was different. But it wasn't until high school, when I noticed he was staring at the football players and swooning over them like I did, that I realized he was gay.
I couldn't ask for two better friends.
Jake packed everything for lunch that he could think of that I would eat. My sense of smell was so sensitive that canned chicken sent me running for the bathroom. I don't remember eating much of anything but lots of toast with peanut butter.
And then one morning, I wake up, sit up in bed, and I feel... normal. Well, as normal as one can feel with something growing inside of them.
I get up, get ready, and eat a small breakfast before calling Jake and Eric, telling them that I'll drive myself to work today, and I can handle my own lunch.
That night at dinner, I eat the more food in one sitting that I've eaten in God knows how long. It's like my body is possessed and now needs food all the time.
Only a month later, I start to notice my belly starting to swell—just a tiny bump like I've eaten too much Chinese, but definitely something different. And instead of freaking out, like the boys assumed that I would, I smile and change my normal weight lifting and step class routine into a swimming and yoga workout.
During my first yoga class, Rose is teaching, and she smiles as I enter and setup my mat. "Bella, didn't expect to ever seen you in one of my classes."
"Well, guess it's time for something new."
"Anything else I should know about?"
"What the hell did Eric tell you?"
She steps closer to me as the class starts to come in, and the studio starts to fill. "Oh, just to keep an eye on you."
"And?" I question, knowing that Eric would have given her specific instructions about my 'condition.'
"And he told me to read up on techniques for pregnant women for my classes."
"Bitch," I mumble.
"Hey, don't be mad at me."
"No, not you. I mean Eric."
Rose shakes her head and laughs at me before telling me to just follow the class as normal.
At the end of the class we're in relaxation, and I'm lying on my mat following Rose's instructions to concentrate on my breathing, letting all thoughts leave my head.
But my hands can't help but rub just the tiniest bump on my stomach, and my smooth skin feels like it's protruding slightly. I feel happy. You hear about pregnant women having a glow about them and some even being happy during pregnancy. I just never thought I would be one of them.
It's a feeling that I didn't expect being pregnant. And now that I have this, I wrap myself in it and hold on tight.
My pregnancy is typical, or so I read. After the first trimester and getting my energy back, I start eating more food than I have in years—back to regularly exercising and enjoying my growing belly.
Jake and Eric supply me with a few books to read. One is almost the size of a phone book and scares the shit out of me, and I only use it for reference if I want to know more about a particular subject. Then there is another that is like a coffee table book and gives me the rundown for each month, what is going on with the baby and my body. But the best book they give me is specific on exercising while pregnant, including techniques and tips. My eye light up as I dive into the book, reading cover-to-cover, happy to absorb everything about nutrition.
That's right; knowledge is power!
During college, I was the typical freshman and gained weight. But I wasn't so typical that I gained fifty pounds. When I went home for Christmas and my mom wouldn't let me open half of my presents, saying that she bought the wrong size and needed to exchange them, it didn't take long for me to run back to school and find the gym.
I worked out, lost the weight, and stuck to a rigid diet and workout routine.
That's why the boys were so worried about me. Jake has seen me go through this. I know that he told Eric what happened. But with the baby, I knew I would never do anything to harm the growing being I was carrying. With this baby, my redefined workout did everything to compliment my growing body.
On a cloudy and rainy Thursday morning, it was slow in the office, so Eric told me I could go take a swim.
As I swim my laps, back and forth, I catch glimpses of people entering and walking to other parts of the building. When I flip, I can see the lifeguard and the stairs that lead to the second level where the studios and cardio rooms are located.
I'm concentrating on my strokes, the placement of my hands as they enter the water, and breathing on both sides. Reaching the end of the lane, I move to flip when I see a man with reddish brown hair ascending the stairs.
After I finish my workout, I rest on the edge of the pool, enjoying the weightless feeling that the water gives my body. I pull my goggles off and dip back under the water to remove my cap and shake my hair loose in the water.
When I emerge, the man with the colorful hair is at the bottom of the stairs, watching me.
And here we go with the horny portion of my pregnancy. Great, why start now? Why not the pimply-faced Mike that works at Palmers? Flirt my way to free ice cream.
Staring back at this drool-worthy man, I can't help but try and memorize his sculpted face, strong neck and shoulders... his toned arms and chest looking comfortable in his almost tight shirt.
I stop at his chest, knowing that he works out, and if I keep eye-fucking him all the way down, it's not going to help my state at the moment.
I close my eyes and take a deep breath. You've seen hunky muscle men here before; what's so different about this guy?
"Hi," he says. My eyes fly open, and I watch as he approaches me.
"Hi." I manage to squeak out.
He squats down, bringing his face on an eye level to mine. "Um, you might want to work on kickboard some. I noticed your kicking isn't as strong compared to your arms."
My eyes automatically glance to his left hand. Hmm, no ring.
"I know." I do know this. From the time I learned to swim, I've never had good kicking; I really need some flippers if you want me to get anywhere without my arms.
Without waiting for a response, I grab my cap and goggles and swim under the one lane rope to the ladder to exit the pool. When I turn to make my way to the locker room, the 'drool-worthy suggestionaire' is watching me as his eyes fall and land on my starting-to-swell belly.
The look on his face is one of confusion, trying to figure if I'm just getting fat or if what h thinks he sees is right.
That's right, pregnant. Care to make any more suggestions?
Trying to ignore the battle of horny and hungry in my body, I shower quickly, noticing that I'm starting to see the curves forming on my backside, making it lush and grab-able, along with my breasts feeling full and drool-worthy themselves. Somehow being pregnant makes me feel sexy.
The pregnancy progresses, and every moment feels like it takes forever but passes quickly at the same time, if that is even possible. Jake and Eric attend every doctor appointment with me and spend way too much time following up on me.
I feel good, my body is healthy, the baby is growing, and everything seems to be going along.
Over the next several weeks, I continue my routine at the gym—swimming and yoga mixed with some walking on the treadmill. Each time I enter the building, I'm looking for 'drool-worthy.'
Then one day, I practically run into him coming out of the cardio room. With my ear buds still in, my head nodding to the beat, I'm not paying attention to who is on the other side of the door when I open it and start to walk through.
One moment I'm in motion, and the next, I'm encased by a sweet smelling strong pair of arms. Sucking in a sharp breath when we make contact, my hand immediately moves to protect my ever-growing belly. I look up to see 'drool-worthy' grinning at me, his arms still holding me.
"Um, sorry," I mumble. Up close, I really get a good look at his eyes, which seem to be locked to mine. Wow, they'e really pretty. They're green; so green that it looks like a forest after it rains, with flecks of gold on the edges. But what is even more interesting is the sparkle in them.
After he finally blinks, he rubs my arms as he lets me go.
Now, if I hadn't just walked over two miles on the treadmill, my body already heated, when his touch hit my skin, I would be on fire.
"Um, I'm Edward, by the way."
"Bella," I respond. "Sorry for running into you."
"It was my pleasure," he whispers.
It's my turn to blink. "Excuse me?"
He just smiles and walks around me, leaving me to ponder what the hell he just said. Stunned, I make my way back to the locker room, dazed and confused as I shower quickly and change into a fresh pair of clothes.
After eating a quick lunch at my desk, I'm poring over some new marketing flyers that Eric wants to use, when there's a knock at my door.
"Bella, you got a second?" Eric asks, popping his head into my office.
"Yeah, sure, boss." Eric rolls his eyes and steps into my office. Behind him 'drool-worthy' follows.
"Bella, this is Edward Cullen; I just hired him as a new trainer to work alongside Emmett."
I smile, the pieces of seeing him sporadically around here over the past two months coming together. "I believe we've already met."
"Nice to see you again, Bella," Edward says, extending his hand to shake mine.
Edward's voice is smooth and sexy. All of the sudden I know my body is in full blush mode, and everything feels hot in my little office with no windows.
Our hands meet, and the heat doubles. My body is calling to pull Edward over my desk and kiss him. Hell no, devour him. Stupid pregnancy hormones.
Somehow I make it through the rest of the day; my legs clench looking for some kind of relief. After work, I rush over to Palmers and order a strawberry milkshake that comes covered in extra fresh strawberries.
Humming with every spoonful, I let everything float out of my mind and begin to wonder if there is a way I can take a bath in this milkshake.
As the days pass, I continue to see Edward at work. He smiles brightly at me each time I see him, and as much as I prefer to stay holed up in my office, I have to workout as well as work throughout the building. Somehow we manage to run into each other, chatting politely about how my workouts are going.
With each small passing, I find myself more and more turned on by Edward. Stupid pregnancy hormones. He's sweet and flirty when speaking with me, making it harder in my head to just say no to getting to know him better. As soon as I finish talking with him, I rush back to my office and hide, praying for the end of the day so I can run to Palmers and drown myself in another milkshake.
One evening, I find myself at Jake and Eric's for dinner, when Jake pulls out this lotion he was told would help stretch marks and rubs a more than healthy amount on my belly.
But I know what Jake is really doing; he's trying to connect to this child already. He lowers his head and whispers.
I finally get annoyed with his tactics, smack his head, and remind him he can talk in a normal volume to his baby anytime he wants. I'm just the taxi for the ride.
It's official; I'm carrying an alien in my belly.
I swear it happened overnight. One night I went to bed, my belly big, but not weighing down on my body, and the next morning, I wake up and—bam!—instant huge belly.
I shake my head as I attempt to get dressed for work, stretching one of the maternity shirts that the boys bought me, making it fit over the massive bump that my body has developed.
Arriving at work, I find Edward sitting on the floor outside of my office.
I have to hold in a groan as he raises himself up off the floor just using his legs. "Bella."
"Did you need something?" I move around him to unlock my door, walk in, and flip on the light.
"Eric said you have an iPod with a nice music selection on it."
Moving to stand behind my desk, I place my bag on the floor next to the wall and look questioningly at Edward.
"Well, I have this client that is a little difficult when it comes to playlists, and I was hoping that I could see what you have that could work."
"Um, sure." I reach down and pull my iPod out of my purse, turning it on.
"Thanks, I really appreciate it. Most of my music is vinyl."
"I love vinyl!" I squeal.
And that begins a thirty-minute conversation about the difference between digital music and the classics of vinyl. He tells me that his collection is mostly classical, and I inform him that mine is mostly of classic rock, consisting of The Beatles and anything British.
Edward is easy to talk to. After he leaves my office, I find myself smiling, thinking of Edward and how much I've instantly taken a liking to him.
"I forgot," Edward starts, coming back into my office only ten minutes after leaving it. "Wow."
I look up from my desk, and Edward is staring at me. I wonder what he is wowing about, but instead of asking him, my smile widens, and I just look at him.
A few minutes pass, and there is this fog that floats between us. "Forgot what?" I mumble.
"Um," Edward stutters. He continues to stare at me before his phone buzzes against his hip, knocking us out of the fog.
He looks down as he pulls his phone out, and after taking one look at the caller id, tells me that he has to take the call and will be back about the playlist.
I hear him answer the phone sweetly as he leaves my office.
"It figures," I groan. I bet that's his girlfriend or wife. No man would be that sweet toward his mother.
When work is over, I head to Palmers and indulge in their banana split milkshake.
Edward and I start chatting more when we are at work. Even though I'm desperate to ask him about his personal life—whether he's married or has a girlfriend, amongst a long list of other things—I restrain myself. I find it better that I don't think about him other than in a working environment. As much as there's this attraction that lingers between the two of us, I don't think I can let anything happen.
If he was single and wanted to pursue me, wouldn't he ask?
Sitting in my car after parking, I stare at the building in front of me. I can see the Volvo that Edward drives and wonder what music he was listening to during his drive in this morning.
I wonder many things about him.
What do his lips taste like?
What would his strong hands feel like on my body?
I grab my bag and pull it over the console to place in my lap before getting out of the car.
Then it hits me.
He's not going to pursue anything with me because I'm pregnant.
Even though I want to know about him and his personal life, I've offered nothing of myself.
But he's also never asked.
I shake my head, knowing I really can't go in there right now; I'll just burst into tears at any moment.
Texting Eric, I tell him that I'm going to Palmers for an early morning snack and will be in later.
Sitting at my booth, a simple vanilla milkshake in front of me, I try and shake any thoughts of Edward from my mind. As I take the first bite, my belly jumps.
The baby is kicking again, which isn't something unusual, but it's harder this time, like the baby is trying to use my belly for a punching bag. I look down and watch in amazement as the physical movements roll from one side of my protruding stomach to the other. Giggling at this amazing feeling, I take another bite of my milkshake, and the baby does it again.
"Do you like milkshakes, sweetpea?" I whisper to my moving belly.
After twenty minutes of eating and watching, my stomach slows down. Wearing a smile, I return to work.
A couple of hours after holing up in my office, the alarm on my phone goes off to remind me to change for Rose's yoga class.
Even using straps and a block to help me with some of the positions, I feel like the class is giving me a great workout for my body. When I enter the class, I'm happy but surprised to find another pregnant woman participant. She's petite, and her stomach looks like it can outweigh the rest of her body.
As I set my mat and assistance up, I notice from the corner of my eye the other pregnant woman setting up next to me.
"Do I need a block too?" she asks. With her so close, I get a better look at her. She's shorter than me, black hair in a very cute and modern style, and she is wearing what looks like a very comfortable pair of yoga pants and fitted top. Her face is sweet and open, her eyes bright. Wow, I wonder if I look that good with my pregnancy glow?
But what grabs my attention as I take her in is the light beacon of a ring on her left hand. For a few moments, I can't help but stare and admire the simple beauty of her setting.
"Yeah, in your condition it will help, since you'll have to modify some of the poses," I respond.
"Oh, are there any extras?"
"Sure, I'll get you one." I walk to the back of the class and retrieve a block and a strap.
"Here you go. Rose will give you the modified instructions."
She smiles brightly at me, and I can't help but think she looks familiar. "Thanks."
As she opens her mouth to say something else, Rose calls the class to start.
We move through the class, and as I perform each position, I whisper pointers to the woman.
As class ends, I roll up my mat and put everything away in my bag. Slipping on my shoes, I see Rose talking with the other pregnant woman.
"Bella," Rose calls me over.
"Bella Swan, this is Alice Cullen."
Cullen... she must be Edward's wife. Just fucking wonderful.
"Nice to meet you," I say as calmly as I can.
"I'm…" Alice starts.
"I can't stay and chat," I choke. "I gotta run, sorry." I flee the room as fast as I can waddle, the tears already coming as I hit the door.
I make it to my office and throw my bag on the floor before grabbing my purse. Making my way to the exit, I run into Eric.
"Hey, what's wrong?" he asks, taking me into his arms, letting me cry on his chest.
"Nothing," I sob.
"Are you going to Palmers?"
I nod my head as I continue my emotional outcry.
"Okay, do you need me to drive?"
I wait a few moments and work to calm myself before looking up at Eric. "I'm fine. I just need some time."
"Take as much time as you need," Eric coos, leaning down and kissing my forehead. He walks me to my car, helping me in, and making sure I'm calm before letting me leave.
When I arrive at Palmers, I feel calmer as I walk in the door and up to the counter. Mike takes my order and tells me to go sit, and he will bring it to me.
I sit in my booth, and I try to forget the information I just learned.
Edward is married, and his wife is pregnant.
As the thought crosses my mind, and Mike places the milkshake in front of me, I begin to cry. I cry for my stupid brain letting in that slight chance of hope that he was single, that he might have been interested in me. But I'm pregnant, too; what the hell would he want with a fat cow like me?
So that's how I end up at Palmers, with chocolaty goodness in front of me, crying.
Crying over him. Edward.
As my crying continues, I just hold my face in my hands, waiting for the next emotional wave to come.
I sniffle and dab my eyes before looking up to see who I know called my name.
Then the next emotion hits me.
"What do you want, Edward?" I sneer his name.
"Um, I saw you leave the gym, and you looked upset. I just wanted to make sure you were all right," he responds.
"Well, that's none of your fucking business is it?"
"Hey, I just wanted to check on you," he defends.
"I have enough people worrying about me. Thanks anyway." I know that I should be nicer to him; he really hasn't done anything wrong, other than being married and unavailable. I'm just so fucking mad!
He braves taking a seat across from me, and I glare at him as he takes a deep breath.
"This is about your hormones; I understand."
"You have no idea what it's like being pregnant."
He takes another deep breath. "You don't seem very happy right now."
"No shit, Sherlock." I continue to glare at him, hating that I'm taking out my aggression on him right now; also knowing that after he leaves, I'll be crying because of the way I've treated him.
"Being pregnant, carrying Eric's child... does he make you" —he pauses, gulping— "happy?"
I look at Edward, and he looks scared and sad at the same time. Not at all like the confident man that I see at work.
"Eric? Make me happy?" I'm confused at this point.
"Eric," Edward repeats. "You two are having a baby together. He told me."
I shake my head. "This is Eric's baby. But this isn't my baby."
Edward blinks, and the confusion in the room has moved to his face. "Care to explain that?"
"Eric and Jake—I'm their surrogate."
Edward's forehead wrinkles, and I can tell he is trying hard to put all the pieces together.
"Haven't you seen Jake at the gym... tall guy, Native American, black cropped hair, muscles?"
"But," he starts, then closes his mouth.
"Edward, if you don't mind, I really would prefer to be alone right now." I sniffle and dab my eyes with another napkin, fighting back more tears, more pain for pushing Edward away.
He looks at the milkshake in front of me, giving me a soft smile before standing.
"I would like to talk to you some more. I think there's…"
"I think you've done enough talking, Edward," I interrupt.
"But I –" he starts.
"But nothing. I have a milkshake to eat," I snap, pointing to the glass in front of me.
Edward's mouth turns up into a cocky grin as he walks away from the table and makes his way to the counter. I watch as he orders his own milkshake and comes back to my table.
"Now what's so damn great about these milkshakes?"
I stare at him, trying to figure out why he isn't running for the hills right now. I just told this man—the one that I've been flirting with for the past three months—that this is not my baby, that I'm a surrogate. And he's still here.
"Um," I start. "They're homemade."
"Why do you keep pushing me away?"
I huff. Edward clearly doesn't understand this situation. I can't be friends with him outside of work; it already breaks my heart to see him everyday, and I don't think I could offer myself up to him anymore than I already do. "You're married. A working relationship is the only thing I can offer you."
"Jesus, Edward. Am I the only one that will acknowledge that you're married? And that your wife is pregnant? You flirt with me all the time; the smiling, the subtle touches. Does your wife realize what an ass you really are? How can you do this to Alice?"
Frustrated and hungry, I take a huge spoonful of the milkshake, the sweetness giving me the only joy that I have left. Finishing the bite, I put the spoon back in the glass and stare at it, willing it to give me comfort.
That's why it's called comfort food, right?
"Why do you think I'm married? Have I ever told you that I was married? Do I have a ring on my finger that would indicate that I am?"
"But I met Alice today; she was in yoga class," I explain. "She had this huge ring on, and you to have the same last name. I just put two and two together."
"Yes!" I practically yell at him. "Alice Cullen." Frustrated and hungry, I return my attention to my milkshake.
At least you will never let me down, I coo internally at the chocolaty goodness.
"Alice is my sister-in-law."
My head pops up, glaring at Edward. "Excuse me?"
"Alice. Is. My. Sister-in-law," he repeats, slowly. "I'm single. Not attached."
My mind is swimming this new information. That would explain a lot.
That means he's free.
I'm not condemned to hell for coveting a married man.
I can date him.
I can kiss him.
I can fuck him.
My hungry changes instantly to horny, and I resolve right then and there that I can't wait any longer. The sexual tension that has been between us from the first time we met has reached an all time high.
"Ten seconds, Edward."
"Ten seconds, what?"
"You have ten seconds to let me know that I not imagining the attraction between us. Give me something to work with here. Because at this point, I'm going to drown myself in milkshakes or…"
In a flash, Edward is sliding beside me in the booth, his strong arms wrapping around me. His face inches from mine, he stops me with his lips as I try to speak. Ever so softly, they press against mine, brushing back and forth, sending pure lust coursing through my body. He releases his lips from mine and looks into my eyes.
"You don't know how long I've been waiting to do this."
"Oh, yeah. I do."
We kiss for a few more minutes, nothing furious or rushed. Just our lips delivering on the tension that we both have been feeling since we first met.
As we slow down, peppering each other with a few soft kisses, Edward spoon-feeds me my milkshake, ignoring his on the other side of the table.
The final spoonful before I have to drink what's left enters my mouth. "Go out with me tonight?"
I swallow the bite, letting Edward remove the spoon from my mouth, so I can answer. "Is there a rush?"
"Well, I don't want to waste anymore time getting to know you better."
I blush, wondering if Edward has had the same thoughts about all the things I want to know about him.
A few hours later, I'm getting ready with Jake lingering in my bedroom while I finish my hair in the bathroom.
"Are you going to sleep with him?" Jake yells over the blow dryer.
I finish and turn it off. "What?"
Jake sighs and looks down, playing with his fingers. "Are you planning on having sex with him?"
"Jake," I start, moving to sit by him on my bed. "I'm eight months pregnant, I'm super horny, it's been two years since I've had sex... I've built up sexual frustration that you wouldn't begin to imagine. Wait—think about what it was like when you were fifteen."
Jake ponders my suggestion before speaking. "Oh."
"Yeah, oh." I pause. "Plus, I've read all the books, and so have you. You know that sex doesn't hurt the baby."
Jake hangs his head, going back to playing with his fingers. "I know."
After slipping on a v-neck, sleeveless, empire waist navy dress and open toed wedges, the minutes start to tick off as the time comes closer to Edward arriving, and I'm starting to get very nervous. Not only is Jake still here, but I'm actually going on a date with Edward. We've had this instant attraction since we first met, which has been evident in all the flirting, and now I get the chance to get to know him better, to learn more about him. I'm not going to lie, I'm really giddy about this.
While I'm standing in front of my dresser putting on my jewelry, the doorbell rings.
"Jake, could you?" I ask as I slip on my earrings.
He huffs and gets off the bed, stomping out of my room.
"And be nice!" I yell after him.
I hear their voices down the hall, and I can't help but smile even though my insides are about to jump out of my throat. As I take a deep, calming breath, I remind myself of how much I've wanted this. Grabbing my sweater and purse, I leave my room.
Edward and Jake seem to be in some sort of silent staring match when I arrive at my front door.
"Is everything all right?"
They both break the glaring and turn to me, smiling.
"Everything's fine. You two have fun tonight," Jake says a little too sugary, even for me.
I cringe at Jake, giving him the 'I don't know what you're doing' look before stepping to stand beside Edward.
Edward reaches down and takes my small hand in his large one, lacing our fingers together before pulling my hand to his mouth. As he kisses my knuckles, I whimper just a little. In the background of my fog of lust, I hear Jake huff, open the front door and say bye.
Thirty minutes later, and a silent car ride with Edward, I find myself sitting across from him at a very intimate table in a small Italian restaurant.
"I should have asked what kind of food you prefer, but I thought Italian was a safe bet. Alice loves Italian food; even more so since she became pregnant," Edward explains.
I shake my head. " I love Italian."
Talking with Edward during dinner, I start to learn all the things that I've wanted to know about him. He's thirty and has a biology degree that led him into the field of sports medicine in college. Alice is married to his only brother, Jasper, and she is finally pregnant after trying for two years. I can't help but say a little prayer that things worked so well with this pregnancy after hearing about her problems getting pregnant.
He loves music, which I already knew, but I learn that he plays guitar and piano and has dabbled a little in writing music.
He loves sports, and has played almost everything that he could.
But as dinner comes to an end, I find myself lost in his eyes, genuine and sweet. The warm feelings that he is making me feel, make me want to curl up in his lap and stare at him forever.
When dinner is over, he drives me back to my house, holding my hand at every point except when helps me into the car and moves around it to get behind the wheel.
I don't have to ask twice if he wants to come in and watch a movie with me. Ten minutes into the movie, we are snuggled together on my couch, his arm around my shoulders, his thumb rubbing gently along my bare arm. His touch isn't doing anything to calm me down. With each pass of his thumb, my skin erupts with a shock that thunders through my body.
Over and over again, thundering through my body.
I close my eyes, willing my body to calm down. But as Edward sighs loudly, I snap and turn to kiss him.
His warm, soft lips are pressing firmly against mine while one of his hands holds my neck, and the other holds my outer thigh, daring my body to move and come closer to his.
Instead of melting into him, I take the dare, moving my body to straddle his. My belly is in between us and I never realized how big I really am until there's something that I want to be so close to.
Edward is gentle, touching me everywhere he can, trying not to hurt me, and being very mindful of my belly.
Our kissing becomes frantic, and soon turns into 'let's see how fast we can remove our clothes' frantic. My dress is unzipped as the buttons on his shirt come undone.
"More," I groan.
He pushes me to stand. I blink at the sudden loss, wondering if I've pushed him too far, or if he has reached the point of being disgusted at the thought of having sex with a pregnant woman.
After standing he moves to my shoulders, pushing off my dress, slowly, torturously, causing me to repeat my words from moments ago, "More."
His hands move to my back, pulling my body as close to his as possible as he moves his nimble fingers to unhook my bra. The lace finds the floor as Edward's mouth latches onto my sensitive nipples. My eyes roll back into my head when he sucks, then bites, causing me to hiss and grip his hair.
His shirt is next, leaving his sculpted chest open for my hands to roam, touch and explore.
Edward's lips then start a trail, from my neck, down my front, but skipping over my protruding belly to pepper kisses on my sex. Looking down, Edward's head disappears, and if I wasn't so turned on by what he's doing, I would be laughing at the sight. Fingers find their way to the outside of my panties, moving and sliding them down my legs. His lips trail up and down my legs, his hands rubbing and brushing my pussy before he stands.
I'm completely naked in front of him now, and in the shape that I'm in, I should be embarrassed and shy. But with Edward, I feel nothing but ease. As I reach for his pants, he halts my movements with his hands.
"Are you sure?"
"Edward, didn't anyone ever tell you not to argue with a pregnant woman?"
He shrugs and smiles at me.
"Goes double for a horny, pregnant woman."
"I definitely don't want to argue right now; I just want to make you comfortable."
I lean closer, giving him a small kiss on the lips. "I don't think I've ever been this comfortable with anyone before," I whisper. "Please."
Edward allows me to unbuckle his pants, but removes them himself, revealing his toned legs.
"Those too," I tell him, fingering his briefs.
He grins and follows my wishes, pulling his briefs down, allowing his hard cock to pop out and bounce against his stomach.
And, yes, I lick my lips.
With both of us naked, he lets me take the lead on positioning. I push him to sit on the couch. Edward is sitting straight up, back firmly against the couch as I move to straddle him again.
We start kissing, slow at first... sensual and teasing. My body is ready for him, needy. I begin to rock, sliding my wet core over him, hitting my clit in the process with each pass. He pushes against my hips, raising me to position over him, and guiding my body back down, allowing him to fill me.
"Fuck, yes!" Edward hisses.
Unintelligent words stumble from my mouth as every sensation rolls around in my body. Oh, yes, it's been too long.
I start to rock, lifting with the aid of Edward's strong hands. and work into a quick frenzy. My belly hits Edward's stomach, but I try to focus on our movements.
"Bella," Edward moans.
Edward rises up, meeting my rhythm and increasing the pleasure for the both of us. Somehow he curls himself over my belly to attach his mouth to my neck, biting and sending shivers along my body. We continue until my body reaches it's peak, Edward thrusting harder with each lift, sending our orgasms over the edge, together.
He holds me close as our breathing slows, and I realize for the first time that we just had sex on our first date. Not something I normally do.
"Um," I start. "I normally don't do this."
Edward laughs. "Have sex on your couch?"
I pull back and smack his chest. "Have sex on the first date."
"Oh," Edward says, smiling. "Well, I think I've made that exception for you, too."
"Stop it," I protest, thinking that Edward is joking with me.
"I'm not kidding, Bella. I just don't sleep with anyone," Edward explains.
"I don't, either. I really like you, Edward."
"And I like you... more than I should," Edward whispers, pulling me back to lie against him.
Edward and I begin dating, which seems odd to me since I'm nine months pregnant. We see each other at work, but remain professional when we run into each other. Our plan for now is when the workday is over and he doesn't have a client, we join each other for dinner and other activities.
Spending the night is optional.
With only four weeks to go to the due date, I want to try and do as many things as possible with Edward. At some point, I know that we need to talk about what will happen after the baby is born, but I just can't seem to bring myself to do it.
Who knows, maybe Edward has a fetish for sleeping with pregnant women.
One week after our first date, Edward drags me over to his brother's house, and I come face-to-face with Alice again. I owe her an apology for my actions the day we were introduced. Edward assures me that he explained what happened to her, and she said it was nothing.
And he's right. During dinner, Alice doesn't even mention anything, only talking to me about workouts and food. However, I find it interesting in seeing the differences between Alice's pregnancy and mine. She's bearing a child of her own, one that she will bring home from the hospital. I, on the other hand, won't have much to do with the one that I'm carrying. Not to say that I won't be apart of its life, but just a very interesting distinction between the two.
Edward and I continue on a steady routine of spending time with each other after work. He joins me a few times with Eric and Jake, and I get to watch a somewhat silent showdown between Edward and Jake. I really don't get Jake. He's never really been this protective over me before, and I don't think it's because I'm carrying his child. One of these days, I'm going to have to talk to him about this.
Five days before my due date, I'm home after work, waiting on Edward to come over for a late dinner after an appointment with a client.
Making things simple, I pull out the lasagna that's in the oven to let it set, while I open the salad in a bag, placing it in bowls and doctoring it up with some feta cheese, cranberries and pine nuts.
My back has been hurting all day, and I set everything up and sit down on the couch to rest. When the doorbell rings, I just yell to Edward to come on in.
"Is everything okay?" he asks, concerned since I usually answer the door.
"Yeah, my back just hurts."
Edward offers to rub my back, which I immediately accept.
"Hmm," I hum as his strong fingers work over my aching back.
"Feel good," he purrs in my ear.
During dinner, I ask Edward to tell me about all the different sports he's played, requesting interesting and fun stories.
"No way!" I exclaim as my fingers roam over Edward's perfect teeth.
"Yep," he mumbles.
Edward just finished telling me about his one semester of college that he played rugby. Apparently some of the opposing teams didn't care for how 'pretty' Edward was and decided to rearrange his face some, which ended up in a few broken noses and two teeth being knocked out. Edward had them replaced, and I couldn't help but inspect them. If he hadn't told me, I would never have known.
After dinner, Edward cleans up as I go to run a hot bath. Stripping down, I stroll back into the hall and call for Edward.
The light in the kitchen flicks off, and the next thing I know, Edward scoops me up and places me into the hot water. In record time, he is naked, too, and snaking in behind me, pulling me back to lean on his chest.
As we soak together, I move to lie on my side, my head resting on his shoulder, leaving him open to rub my back.
Then I feel something new.
"Yeah," I say, taking his hand and placing it on my lower belly where I felt what I can only refer to as a 'stitch.' "Here."
"Bella, how long has your back been hurting?"
I think for a minute before answering, "Um, there was a dull ache last night, but this morning it was more persistent. Why?"
"I think you might be going into labor."
"No, I'm not due for five more days."
"You know you can come before the due date, right?"
"But," I begin to protest, not wanting to acknowledge that I could be in labor.
"Bella, I think we need to call Jake and Eric. They're going to want to know."
I huff, not admitting defeat out loud of my ignorance, but giving Edward the okay to help me.
"I'll be right back," Edward says as he hops out of the tub and reaches for his pants to pull out his phone.
A short call to the boys, and I know that they'll be over here soon, panicking and demanding that I go to the hospital.
Robert Payton, or Bobby, as Eric and Jake like to call him, is born twelve hours after Edward made that phone call. I have a fairly easy delivery; just more pain than I imagined my body being able to go through.
Edward stays with me the whole time, until I'm given the yes on time to push. He leaves Jake and Eric on either side of me, my hands gripping theirs, telling me that he'll see me when we were done.
With a paler face than usual, he leaves. Can't say I blame him.
Bobby is now home with his fathers, being cooed to and held almost every moment. I never knew that Eric and Jake would be so motherly with Bobby, but as it turns out, they seem to be more motherly than I will ever be.
I spend two weeks at home recovering after the birth, mostly lounging and allowing my body to heal. But what I didn't realize was my heart needed to heal as well. Even though I'm what I refer to as the taxi for Bobby in his journey to being born, I didn't think I would have such a strong connection to him. Not realizing what I should be thinking or feeling about this, I start to cry a lot.
I try hiding my emotions from everyone, but I know that Edward can see there's something going on with me. He holds me, and just lets me stay within my thoughts, not pushing me to talk. Having him over every night, sleeping next to him, I feel relieved of my emotions. But when he's at work, I cry.
After almost five hours of being alone one day, I think I have my emotions under control, until Eric and Jake pop by with Bobby for a visit to see how I am doing. One look in my eyes, and they know I've become an emotional wreck.
They encourage me to talk and to cry. So I do, and they remind me that my body is coming down from a hormonal high unlike anything else. But more importantly, they remind me that I don't have to cut myself out of Bobby's life. And that I'm a part of their family; a family that they tell me wouldn't have been possible without my body and love.
And I cry some more.
That night, I finally talk to Edward. He reminds me of the same things that Jake and Eric told me. He also adds that I have to give my body and heart time to recover. This transition just doesn't happen overnight.
After my two weeks is over, and I've shed more tears than I knew I could, I find myself back at work and back to working out. Jake took two months paternity leave from work and brings Bobby in to see Eric everyday at the gym. Sweet Eric set up a pack-n-play in his office, and has a second set of just about everything so that Bobby can be here comfortably.
I spend time with Bobby, too, adjusting to my new role as his Godmother. And everyone is right... it just takes some time, but after a while, my emotions seem to balance out, and I feel more like myself.
Of course, working out helps, too. Getting back to a routine, and training with Edward helps me focus and get my body back into shape.
At my six-week doctor's appointment, I get the green light.
That night, I cook a special dinner for Edward; afterward slipping into a simple nightgown. I'm still unsure of my body even though Eric assures me that I'm back to normal.
After some very tender and gentle love making, Edward holds me close, his fingers threading through my hair, and I rest on his chest. "What do you want to do now?"
It's such an odd question for me to ask. Edward could take it many ways, even though I only really mean one. What happens now that it's just us, and there's no longer a growing being waiting to pop out of me at any moment? It's not like we haven't been forming a relationship all this time, but it started off with me being pregnant; it's not been a traditional way of belonging together.
But then again, who's to say what's traditional?
He kisses my head and whispers, "Simple; now, it's time for us."