Well, my friends, our happy couple is about to have their babies. I debated on the sex of the twins, wrote as boy/boy, boy/girl, and girl/girl and reader DarkNightShadow2012 solidified my decision in a review (thank you!) Shout out to my sister, Laurie, for helping with the names!
Huge THANK YOU to my beta for everything. Love-Tart, you are awesome! Thanks for thinking of the small details I didn't. So many have put this as a favorite story - THANK YOU! Please review as well!
So many have put this as a favorite story - THANK YOU! Please review as well!
"I swear, I'm going to boil these poor babies, I just know it!" Bella complained two weeks later as she fanned herself like crazy.
We were sitting on my parent's deck and the late June heat was pleasant for the rest of us, but excruciating for a woman pregnant with twins, apparently. Alice and Jasper were home from Italy and we were having a family bar-b-que at my parent's house to celebrate their homecoming and the birth of Lily. My mom was in her glory having everyone together again. She was playing hostess, flitting around the kitchen with Rosalie and Alice, making an assortment of appetizers, salads and kabobs. There are several things Cullen's do well, among them eating, which quite possibly ranks number one.
Emmett, Jasper, Bella, my dad, and I were lounging on the back patio. Tiny Lily was oblivious to the heat, fast asleep in a pink and green striped sleeper, cradled in my dad's arms. Jacob, Vanessa and Emmalie were splashing around the shoreline, Emma's squeals of delight making me smile.
"I'll go get you a glass of ice water," I told Bella. Getting up, I kissed the top of her head and she smiled her thanks at me.
"Grab me a beer while you're up," Emmett told me.
"Me too," echoed Jasper.
"Iced tea with lemon for me," my dad asked.
I rolled my eyes. "Would there be anything other requests?" I asked sarcastically as Jacob and Vanessa walked back to the deck, Emmalie perched on Jacob's broad shoulders.
"Beer us up," Jake asked and Vanessa nodded her agreement.
"How about you, little miss? Would you like a juice box?" I addressed Emmalie.
"She'll just have some of my beer, won't you, lovie?" Jacob teased.
"Yeah right, Uncle Jacob, my daddy would kick your butt!" Emmalie announced, her ponytail swaying side to side as she shook her head no; Emmett wholeheartedly agreed.
"One juice box coming up, then," I told her as I headed inside.
In the kitchen, the girls were busy chopping vegetables for the shishkabobs, chatting away as they did. I stole a chunk of red pepper from my mom's cutting board and popped it in my mouth before she could swat my hand away. I found a serving tray, got the drinks ready for everyone, and brought them back outside.
"So next Thursday is your c-section, right? Are you guys ready?" Vanessa asked. Bella shrugged as I handed over her drink and passed out the rest, then scooped Emmalie onto my lap for a cuddle while she had her juice box.
"I guess so. The bag's been packed for a few weeks now and the room's ready." Bella rubbed her protruding belly with both hands. "I'm definitely ready! Seriously, can I get any bigger?"
I glared at Jasper, stopping him from opening his mouth and saying anything that would make Bella cry. Emmett, having been through it twice before, assured Bella she looked great and not large at all.
Truthfully, I doubted she could get any bigger; she was massive, but if she ever asks if I called her that, I will absolutely deny it. Through it all, Bella had been a real trooper – rarely complaining, enduring kicks and punches to her spleen and other vital organs. Not to mention the off and on bleeding once again and, at thirty-seven weeks pregnant, her morning sickness had returned with a vengeance.
Both Alice and Rosalie were released from kitchen duty and came to join us on the deck. Rose sat beside Bella while Alice stole Lily from Dad and sat down beside Jasper. The two of them smiled at each other then down at sweet Lily. Jasper stroked her fuzzy, blond head, whispering sweetly as she slept peacefully. Observing them, I had a feeling that sooner, rather than later, Alice and Jazz would be taking the pregnancy plunge as well.
Jacob and my dad starting talking shop and Emmett, Jasper, and I joined in. My dad had recently bought a 1956 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing Coupe and Jacob was itching to get his hands on it.
"Carlisle, that car is one of the most memorable coupes of the fifties," Jacob was telling him, excitement in his voice. "It was the first true sports car to be developed by Daimler-Benz after the war."
My dad shrugged. "If you say so, Jacob. I bought it because it was a good price."
Emmett laughed. "Yeah right! You bought it because Dr. Demetri has a new vintage car and in true Cullen fashion, you had to one up him - just like Edward and the twins one upping me." The smirk on my dad's face told the truth.
As we continued to chat about the car, the girls had tuned us out, starting their own conversation and I eavesdropped.
"How are you feeling?" Rosalie asked. "I know how awful those last few weeks can be."
"I've been feeling pretty good. I do get winded easily and the middle of the night Charlie horses, oh my God - they are horrible!" Bella winced at the memory and Rosalie agreed that they were painful.
"And today the Braxton Hicks are coming regularly."
"How regular?" My ears picked up the concern in Rosalie's voice.
"Well, I've had about five in the last hour, one right now actually."
Rosalie raised her eyebrows and placed her hand on the protruding belly, rubbing in a large circle.
"Keep an eye on them, you could be in the early stages of labor."
Bella immediately shushed her, glancing in my direction. She lowered her voice, but I could read her lips.
"Shh! Don't let Edward know that. He gets freaky about any little symptom."
No I didn't…well maybe I did… a little. I made a mental note of the time, just in case.
Rosalie shrugged. "Maybe it's nothing. Keep me in the loop okay?" Bella nodded and Rosalie continued. "Have you given any more thoughts to names?"
"Well, I really wanted to a combination name like you did with Emmalie –"
Rosalie snorted. "What like Edwarda or Bellard?" I snickered quietly, amused that Rosalie had come up with the same combo names that I had. That girl was awesome.
"God, you're like Edward in a woman's body!" Bella laughed and at that point I couldn't help myself and I joined their conversation.
"Go on, Bella, tell her your name of choice for a girl," I urged and my wife glared at me.
"Fine. I thought about combining Renee and Esme and came up with something I think is unique and beautiful. Shut it, Edward," Bella snapped at me when I started laughing and I half-heartedly apologized. "Anyways, I came up with Renesmee."
Not one for tact, Rosalie snorted and laughed – harder than I had. She carried on so long that I actually cleared my throat to get her attention. Rose settled down and wiped the tears from her eyes looking at Bella and then me. I pursed my lips, raised my eyebrows and stroked my chin to make it look like it was a name I was considering.
"Oh God, Bella, I'm so sorry. That was horrible of me! Renesmee, huh? It's, uh, certainly very….interesting." Rosalie nodded her head like she too was considering it, but I knew her well enough to know that she also hated the name.
In a huff, Bella attempted to stand up to storm away from us, but her weight and girth had her stuck to the chair. If the situation been another time, we would have laughed together, but I knew better. Emmett, the dumb ass, chuckled at the sight and Bella's glare was lethal. I offered my hand to help her up, but she slapped it away. She did manage to get out of the chair without assistance, stomping off into the house. I sighed, lifted Emmalie off my lap, and went to follow her.
"Edward, I feel so bad! Let me go talk to her!" Rosalie offered, but Carlisle intervened.
"Trust me, leave her be. Pregnant women are very emotional-"
Before he could finish, Rose interrupted.
"I wasn't!" she protested and Emmett let out a loud "HA!" If Emmalie wasn't around, I was pretty sure Emmett would have been down to just one testicle.
Ten minutes later, mom and Bella came back onto the patio, Bella's face was tear strained and my mom scolded us with her eyes before she took a seat beside my dad. Rosalie and I both stood up to greet them and I whispered an apology in Bella's ear. It sure felt like I was doing an awful lot of apologizing lately.
Bella sniffled quietly before she spoke to Rose. "I'm sorry I acted the way I did. I guess I'm a little emotional."
"I'm sorry too, sweetie. I didn't mean to hurt your feelings. I guess Renesmee isn't my style," Rosalie apologized.
"Ouch!" Bella exclaimed. I was surprised by Bella's outburst as it was unusual for her to harbor bad feelings and I could tell Rosalie was a little surprised too.
"God, I'm so sorry, Bella!" Rosalie fought back the tears. In six plus years, I had never seen the two best friends fight before and I stood there awkwardly, staring down at my feet.
"No, really, I mean OUCH! I'm pretty sure that wasn't a –fuck- Braxton Hicks!" Bella clutched her hands around her swollen stomach, a pained look on her face.
"What's going on?" I asked, glancing over at Rosalie with confusion.
"Pain….fuck….. right here, " Bella pointed with her finger to her lower abdomen and collapsed, her body a dead weight in my arms. That kind of pain couldn't be normal for labor, I was sure of it. Thankfully she was still conscious, but the moans escaping her mouth were agonizing to hear.
"BELLA!" I screamed. "Dad! Help me!" Thank God, he was at my side inhumanly fast and kept his cool because I was about to lose my shit.
"Emmett, get my phone, call the hospital - speed dial two. Tell them we are bringing in Bella thirty-seven weeks pregnant with twins, with possible placenta abruption. Jacob, get your truck out front, you're driving." Both Emmett and Jacob sprung into action immediately. I noticed with relief that Vanessa had taken Emmalie into the house so she wouldn't be frightened by what was going on.
Carlisle turned to Bella next. "What are you feeling, Bella? What kind of pain – stabbing or waves like a contraction?"
Bella had her eyes closed tight, the obvious pain she was in was written all over her face, and I felt so completely helpless. She answered my dad with labored breaths.
"Stabbing pain, really low….. oooooohhhhhhh!" She moaned then opened her eyes, staring intently at dad. "Carlisle, please don't let anything happen to my babies, please Carlisle, please!"
"I'll do everything I can, sweetheart. We need to get you to the hospital. Jasper, help Edward and I get Bella into Jake's truck now," he instructed and we carried Bella like an injured soldier out to the waiting Pathfinder. As we were getting her situated in the back seat, Esme, Rosalie, and Alice, who was still holding Lily, lined the driveway, concern etched on their faces. Emmett, also worried, passed my dad his phone telling him the ER doctors would be waiting for us.
"Esme," Bella spoke quietly and held out her hand for my mom. Mom went to her side, kneeling by the back passenger door clutching Bella's hand, tears in her eyes.
"I'm sorry for ruining your bar-b-que." Of course, only Bella would apologize at a time like that.
"Don't worry about it, honey." She smiled at her.
After a chorus of 'I love yous', Bella was buckled safely into the back of Jacob's Pathfinder. Carlisle insisted on being in the backseat to keep a close eye on her vitals and as much as it killed me to not be right beside her, I knew to trust my father. Jacob sped away and I sat backwards in my seat, my hand resting on Bella's knee. She smiled at me weakly, but closed her eyes after a few moments.
I could see that my dad's disposition had change from father-in-law to medical practitioner. He held Bella's wrist, checking her pulse and spoke quietly to her in a low tone. I couldn't hear what he was saying, but Bella nodded her head and I was so thankful that he was reassuring her and keeping her calm.
Myself, I was a fucking wreck; I have no idea how I managed to continue breathing. In that moment, all that mattered to me was sitting in the back seat. If something happened to the babies or, God forbid Bella, I didn't know what I would do. Shaking my head momentarily dispelled the worst-case scenarios and I looked at my wife. Her eyes were squeezed closed and she was taking deep breaths, beads of sweat had formed on her brow. She was so pale; my usually strong Bella looked so fragile. Seeing her like that physically pained me - my heart felt like it had been ripped from my chest.
Watching my father, I knew it was serious by the graveness in his face. We made eye contact and I spoke volumes to him with mine, silently pleading with him to keep my wife and children safe. Dad frowned slightly and nodded once, then turned his attention back to Bella, murmuring to her again.
Jacob drove like a bat out of hell and we arrived at the hospital in less than ten minutes. When we pulled up to the emergency entrance, there was a team of doctors and nurses waiting for us; they very quickly got Bella onto a stretcher and into the ER. My father spoke briefly with the surgeon before I found myself suddenly dressed in blue paper hospital scrubs, booties and hat being pushed toward the operating room. I later found out that because it was an emergency section I shouldn't have been permitted in but because I was Dr. Cullen's son, they made an exception. I'd be forever grateful.
I stopped just outside the operating room, noticing that my dad was still in his regular clothes.
"Dad? Aren't you coming in?"
He shook his head. "No, Edward. I'm leaving this up to them, babies are not my expertise." He pulled me into a tight hug. "She's in the best of hands. Get in there – Bella needs you." I nodded and started into the operating room, but turned before the door closed.
"Thank you, Dad."
"You're welcome, son."
As I entered the operating room, I realized that not once had my father told me things were going to be okay and that really made my stomach churn. But for Bella, I had to put on a brave face.
The OR was lit up with bright, florescent lights. Bella's torso was hidden behind a screen, leaving only her head and arms exposed. There were at least sixteen doctors and nurses in that room and I found out later that each baby had a team of specialists and the rest were surgeons, nurses and a couple of interns. The room was busy, but not at all chaotic - everyone had a job to do and was doing it. There was no idle chatter, no banging of equipment, and the room was oddly quiet except for the faint beeping of machines. I overheard the surgeon my father had spoken to comment that Bella may have a partial placental abruption. I had no idea what the hell that meant but it couldn't be good.
A nurse smiled at my meekly and instructed me to sit on a stool by Bella's head.
"Hi," I said softly as I sat down; I stroked her forehead with my thumb.
"Hi, baby. Are you okay?" she asked, her chocolate brown eyes fixated on mine.
Was I okay? No, I wasn't okay. I was worried to death and wanted to throw up the bile from the pit of my stomach.
"I'm fine," I lied. "How are you holding up?"
"I don't care what happens to me, I just need those little ones safe."
"Everything's going to be just fine, Bella." I honestly had no idea if I spoke the truth or not, but I wanted to reassure her, even if it was false hope.
"Edward, if anything happens to me-"
"Ssshhh, Bella," I shushed her by putting my finger over her mouth - I simply couldn't go there. Bella pursed her lips, kissing my finger and continued speaking while I swallowed the lump in my throat.
"No, I have to say this. If anything happens to me, love our children like you love me."
I shook my head, tears stinging my eyes. I couldn't bear to hear any more.
"Promise me, Edward. Promise me you will love them like that."
Hearing my wife beg me was gut wrenching and I couldn't stop the tears that streamed down my face.
"Please, Edward," Bella pleaded again, her voice hoarse, but determined. I brushed away my tears with the back of my hand and nodded.
"I promise," I told her quietly. "Stay strong sweetheart, you're not going anywhere. Not for a very long time. God, I love you, Bella." I wasn't ashamed of the tears that were falling.
"I love you too, forever," she whispered. I tipped my head so our foreheads were touching. My tears fell on her cheeks, mixing together with hers. There were no other words between us - there was nothing more to say. I wasn't a religious man, but in that operating room I poured my heart out to God, silently begging him to keep all that was sacred to me safe.
I repeated my prayer over and over again. My thoughts were interrupted a few minutes later when one of the doctor's told Bella she was going to feel some pressure. We didn't bother acknowledging him, our heads were still touching, our eyes locked on each other.
What happened next may have been the most defining moment of my life. Bella and I heard the faint whimper of a baby, not just any baby – OUR baby. In that instant, I catapulted from Edward Cullen – son, brother, husband, to Edward Cullen - father.
"Congratulations, you have a son!" the doctor announced.
We got the briefest of glimpse of him before he was quickly shuttled over to a team of pediatric doctors who checked him over. He was quiet and so fucking small. They put an oxygen mask over his nose and mouth as they poked and prodded at the same time. After a few heart-stopping moments, one of the specialists called over to us, telling us he was small, but had good vitals. Both Bella and I had our heads turned in his direction, straining to get another look of him, but we collectively released our breath when we heard he was okay.
We had a son! But it wasn't over - there another baby to deliver. The doctors told us the second twin was wedged high under Bella's rib cage and to be patient. It took another agonizing four minutes before we heard the loud shriek of baby number two.
"It's another boy!" the doctor announced. The nurse who was keeping an eye on Bella's vital signs made eye contact with me.
"Congratulations, Daddy!" She said her voice full of enthusiasm.
Daddy. Holy shit! That sounded like a whole lot more responsibility than 'father'.
When I looked down at Bella, her eyes were closed and she was extremely still. If it weren't for the tears that were streaming down her face I would have thought the worst. When she opened her eyes and smiled at me, joy radiated from her. Those dark chocolate brown eyes sparkled like I'd never seen before.
"Edward, they're okay! Our babies are here, we have two sons!" she cried happily. If I hadn't been there to see it, I never would have believed it. They were safe and Bella was okay; I closed my eyes and silently thanked God for being in the operating room that day.
The surgeon my father had spoken to came over to talk to us a little while later. He explained that Bella had indeed suffered a partial placenta abruption – stage one - which was good. It meant no long-term effects for another pregnancy; no harm to the babies or Bella. The doctor informed us the c-section was successful and they would be finished up soon without any further complications.
"You're were very lucky that Dr. Cullen recognized the signs and called to give us the heads up," he told us before patting me on the back in manly congratulations and went back to assisting with stitching up Bella.
Next a nurse came over and told us that she was taking photos with a digital camera they kept in the OR so we'd have some pictures of the newborns. Bella and I thanked her, realizing we'd been in such a state that bringing in a camera was the last thing we were thinking of.
It felt like a long time before we were able to see them up close. Because they were premature, they were being checked out thoroughly, which we certainly weren't going to complain about. Doctors and nurses alike reassured us that they were both doing well and a good size for being twins and premature. Finally, my eldest was swaddled in a blue blanket and a nurse brought him over to where we were, offering me the tiny little bundle. I looked at her apprehensively, but she smiled and nodded and placed him in my arms. She told us he weighed five pounds even, but honestly, it felt like the weight of the world in my arms.
He was peaceful and serene, fast asleep in his little cocoon. I couldn't get over how everything about him was so tiny; his ears, his nose and lips. Bella and I gawked at the perfect little boy in silence, taking it all in. I felt numb, but more alive than I ever had before, if that even makes sense. Bella reached up and stroked his cheek and then pulled the blanket away to reveal his teeny tiny fingers and toes. I smiled when I saw her lips moving as she counted.
"He's perfect, isn't he?" I noted.
"He certainly is. God, he looks just like you." Bella looked up at me, a smile on her lips.
"Really?" I cocked her one eyebrow in question. "Because he kind of looks like any other baby to me, all wrinkled and old-man like. Wait a sec, are you saying I'm wrinkled and look like an old man?" I teased.
"Oh Edward!" Bella laughed. "Look at the shape of his eyes and his lips they are identical to yours, just on a much smaller scale."
As she replied, Bella peeled off his little hat and we both started to laugh. Any doubts I had diminished as soon as I saw little boy Cullen's dark coppery hair sticking up in a crazed way. I ran my hand over his head in an attempt to flatten it down, but it sprung right back up again.
"Poor kid," I laughed. "Is he too young for hair gel?"
"You know it won't help! He's going to have to learn to deal with it. Besides, in thirty years his girlfriend is really going to love it," Bella winked.
"Mr. Cullen, do you have room in your arms for one more?" The nurse asked, holding out another blue bundle for me, this one with a white hat. I shifted my oldest son to my left arm and she placed the next baby into the crook of my right. Although in unfamiliar territory, holding my children like that felt….right. Unlike his brother, this one was definitely awake and was still testing out his lungs.
Bella reached over and brushed her fingers lightly across his cheek.
"Hush, my son. Mommy's right here, it's okay, don't cry," she cooed quietly. As soon as he heard Bella's voice, the baby stopped crying and settled into my arms nicely, blinking a few times as he looked at me in bewilderment. He came with his own perfect features, looking different from his brother. Once again, Bella unwrapped the blanket and counted fingers and toes. As she was wrapping him back up, the baby grasped onto his mommy's finger instinctively, holding on for dear life, his tiny hand a fraction of the size of Bella's. The sight made tears sting my eyes. Damn it, I'd been a father for less than an hour and I was already soft.
"I hope he has a better head of hair than his brother," I joked as Bella took off the little hat. He had much less hair than his counterpart, but it looked to be more like Bella's - chestnut brown with a bit of a curl to it. He started wailing again and I awkwardly jiggled him in my arms. Over the screaming, Bella asked how much he weighed and we were told he was four pounds ten ounces. What he lacked in weight, he most certainly made up in lung capacity. Not sure what else to do to calm him, I softly started singing the first song that came to mind.
"Lay where you're laying, don't make a sound. I know they're watching, they're watching. All the commotion, the kiddie like play, has people talking, talking. You, your—"
"Edward," Bella warned. "You're going to have to learn some more age appropriate songs."
"Well, it worked didn't it? It's not my fault the kid has a thing for the Kings of Leon." I smirked at my wife then smiled at my boys in my arms, both quiet once again, lulled by the opening verse of 'Sex on Fire'. Damn, they were my kids.
"Have you chosen names already?" The nurse asked and Bella and I exchanged looks.
"I know you want a combination name, but Bellard isn't working for me." I laughed. "I was thinking we could incorporate some of our more memorable experiences together."
Bella looked interested. "Like?"
"Well, our first date was at Brown's."
Bella's laughter filled the room. "You want to name one of our sons Brown?" she questioned. "And you made fun of Renesme!"
"Touche. No to 'Brown' then. Well, we drove up to Vancouver once upon a time and I know how much you love Stanley Park."
"Hmmmm, Stanley." Bella scrunched up her nose as she tried it out. "It's kind of formal and old fashioned. Not that there's anything wrong with old fashioned," she winked at me. "What about Parker? Parker Stanley? It's kind of cheesy, but I like it."
"I think I like that too - Parker Stanley. What do you say little man? Can we call you Parker?" I directed my question to the bundle in my left arm and he sighed heavily in his sleep. "We'll take that as a yes. Now what about this little man?" I looked down at my second born son. "What about Kai in honor of our wedding in Hawaii?"
"Love it! We have to work our Cabo trip in somehow, too." Bella looked thoughtful for a moment, then a smile spread across her face.
"How about Lucas – for Cabo San Lucas – Kai Lucas?" she proposed
"You're a genius, and I love it," I told her sincerely.
Bella reached over and drew her hand down the side of Kai's cheek and he turned his head toward her, opening his eyes briefly. "Hello Kai Lucas, I'm your mama," Bella whispered as his eyes fluttered closed again.
The nurses told us it was time for the babies to go with the medical team for further evaluation. Bella and I took turns kissing Parker and Kai and I reluctantly handed them back. Although they hadn't been on this earth for very long, they had already stolen my heart and it pained me to have them leave my sight. The nurses assured me my sons would be well taken care of, but that didn't stop me from threatening to have them all fired if anything happened to them. Bella nervously giggled, telling them I was kidding, but my glaring look assured them I wasn't.
With her surgery finished, Bella was wheeled over to recovery. Before we parted, I kissed her lips, lingering long enough to cause the waiting doctor to clear his throat loudly.
"You did great Bella. Thank you for our babies. I love you," I told her after we parted lips.
Bella told me she loved me too as I watched her gurney be wheeled down the hallway. When she was out of sight I went back to the waiting room, empty-handed, but with a full heart.
When I got there, my dad and Jacob were both still there, along with the rest of my family awaiting word. They all stood up as I entered the room, rushing over to me. My father looked extremely worried – I guess because he was the only one who really understood the gravity of the situation, probably better than I did.
"Everyone is fine." I told the group as I hugged my parents first. "I have two sons," I announced, still with some disbelief that what had just transpired was real.
"How's Bella?" Rosalie asked as we shared a hug, careful of Lily who was asleep in her arms. I kissed the little one before I continued.
"She's doing great." I told her. "It was placenta abruption like you thought, Dad, but Bella and the babies are good."
Alice could hardly contain herself. "Did you decide on names?" She bounced up and down on her toes as she asked.
"Not yet," I lied, wanting Bella to be the one to announce the names. "I can tell you that my oldest son weighed five pounds. Bella says he looks just like me, but the only resemblance I can see is the hair – sticks up all over the place." I laughed.
"Poor kid!" Emmett laughed. "Let's hope he doesn't have your temper to go along with that hair!"
"He's actually really chill, hasn't cried yet. My second child, on the other hand, he's got some lungs! I think he's going to be a handful."
"It's called payback, my son," Esme laughed and Carlisle agreed. Oddly enough, Emmett and Rosalie didn't look thrilled with what could be coming their way in a few years with their two daughters.
While we were in surgery, my mom had called Renee and Charlie. I excused myself from the group, walking outside to call Renee and Charlie to give them an update, telling them the boys had arrived safely and were perfect and beautiful, just like their daughter. When I told Renee their names, I had to sit down on the bench because the reality hit me hard. I was a father – I had two little boys that were my responsibility now. Holy fucking shit!
Finally, we were told Bella had been moved to a private room and were allowed to go visit her. The nurses laughed as we all crowded into the space, as did Bella who was sitting up in bed.
"Has mom had a chance to hold her babies yet?" The nurse asked and Bella shook her head no. I helped the nurse prop a pillow under each of her arms and then I lifted one baby from the bassinet and placed him in the crook of her arm, then did the same with baby number two. I settled myself on the bed beside her, my arm around her shoulders and admired the two perfect sleeping angels in her arms.
"Did you tell everyone the names?" Bella asked.
"You jerk! You said you hadn't chosen names yet!" Alice complained, her hands on her hips in annoyance.
"I wanted Bella to tell you, she did all the work," I explained as I smiled proudly at my wife as she made the introductions.
"I'd like you all to meet Parker Stanley and Kai Lucas."
"Which is which?" Emmett asked and honestly, I didn't know since they had their hats covering their hair. I looked to Bella for help..
"The one with the blue hat is Parker; the white hat is Kai," she explained.
"Just don't ever take off their hats!" I half-joked.
"The twins aren't identical. It's easy to tell them apart. Parker has Edward's crazy mop." She took off his hat and the bronze-brown tuffs were certainly reminiscent of my own and everyone laughed. Poor kid. "And Kai, has darker hair with more of a curl to it." As Bella removed his hat, Kai protested with a loud cry.
"And Kai's the one with the good lungs, apparently," Alice noted. He quieted down when Bella put his hat back on and shushed him lovingly.
The babies were passed around so everyone could have a chance to snuggle them but when they started a hungry wail, they made a hasty retreat so Bella could nurse them in private.
I saw everyone out as Bella had help from the nurses in attempting to feed them at the same time.
"You did well, I'm proud of you," Mom told me as she hugged me goodbye. "I know you'll make a good father because you are a good son." She wiped away tears as she moved aside for my father to have a word with me.
"Congratulations, Edward." My father shook my hand as he continued speaking. "When Emmett was born, my father gave me the best advice and I've always remembered his words. I shared them with Emmett when Emmalie was born and I'm going to repeat it for you. Grandpa told me the most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother, and the most important thing a mother can do for her children is to love their father. Always remember that." He pulled me into a hug and whispered that he loved me. I had to fight back my own tears as I thanked him.
As I walked back into Bella's room, the nurses stepped out. For the first time it was just our little family of four and I stopped where I was to take in the moment. My Bella, the cute, drunk girl from Brown's, the woman who held my heart in her hands, was now a mother, cradling my two sons in her arms. She was sitting up in bed, her dark hair pulled back, leaving her creamy shoulders bare. Both of my boys were latched onto her, nursing quietly, her breasts enormous compared to their tiny heads. That vision in itself was beautiful, but more so was the look on Bella's face.
There was a small smile on her lips as she stared down at the products of our love. She looked more than happy - her face radiated pure joy. When she looked at me, Bella's warm chocolate eyes gleamed with happiness.
In our years together, I'd heard Bella call me many names – some good; some bad – but hearing her call me 'daddy' as she nursed my boys ranked up there as number one. I crossed the room to her in a few short glides and sat carefully on the edge of the bed. With a light touch, I rubbed Parker's little head, his hair so soft under my fingertips then gently touched Kai's cheek.
"God, Bella, they are perfect. I am so proud of you. Thank you for them, thank you." The tears stung as I raised my eyes to meet hers.
"No need to thank me - we made them together." Bella smiled at me. "Two more little Cullen boys on this planet, I hope the world is ready," she said with a laugh.
"What could be better than two more of me?" I teased.
Leaning over, I gave the mother of my children a tender kiss on the lips. She responded favorably, deepening the kiss, and our tongues melded together as easily as they always had. Soon enough, I felt the familiar stirring in my groin and had to pull away. Could it get any more inappropriate than a boner in front of my boys?
"Sorry," Bella whispered against my lips as I roughly adjusted myself in my jeans.
"It's fine. I'm sorry I got carried away. Seeing you like this is pretty fucking sexy." I moved back and settled myself against the pillows. I looked down the valley of Bella's breasts, our boys still latched on, and felt indescribable love.
"Seriously, Bella, as I love you, I promise to love these boys. And I will teach them to be honorable men and to always respect women."
"I know you will. What better example than the man you are right now."
We sat there quietly; Bella and I watching our sons nurse. After they finished nursing, we each took one to snuggle, their tiny bodies curled up in the crook of our arms. We didn't sleep that night, well, the babies did - Bella and I were too pumped full of a mixture of adrenaline and love to get any real rest. That night was the first of many of our family of four. After we took the babies home from the hospital, I still helped with the middle of the night feedings. Sometimes Bella would nurse them and I would sit up in bed with her and we'd talk and re-connect. Or I'd get one to burp, change, swaddle and rock back to sleep. Sometimes, Bella would have pumped milk and I'd sit in the nursery with one or both and let her catch up on her sleep. Obviously, there were times when I pretended to be sleeping so that I didn't have to get up with them at all. I'm sure Bella knew I was faking, but not once did she complain. She loved our sons and thoroughly enjoyed the special bond she had with them.
One afternoon about three years later, we had the whole family over at our house for a summer bar-b-que. Sitting on the back porch, we watched the children playing together. Rosalie's little mini me Emmalie was bossing the little ones around. Alice and Jasper's oldest, thirteen month old Jace, was toddling around the grass, following Emmalie. Parker, with his crazy, untamed hair, was in the corner of the yard playing quietly by himself and Lily was screeching dramatically because Kai, the little devil, had thrown grass at her head.
Bella and I did rock, paper, scissors to determine whose turn it was to discipline Kai and I won. Bella sighed as she went down to him, telling me it was my turn next. With Kai, there was always a next time.
Alice and Jasper laughed as they lounged together on one of the rattan sofas, six week old Stella asleep in Alice's arm. They'd wasted no time in having their kids close together.
"As opposite as twins can get, hey?" Alice noted. It was true, Parker was an old soul – shy and quiet, often off in his own little world, where as Kai was inquisitive and rebellious.
I shook my head as Kai stomped his feet in protest to whatever Bella was telling him and crossed his arms over his chest in defiance.
Jacob laughed aloud at Kai's tantrum. "Dude, I've totally seen that face before," he said to me and I gave him the finger.
"I wouldn't laugh too hard, Jake, your time is coming. Sorry, Vanessa," I meekly apologized to his wife who was due any day with a little boy of their own.
"I can only imagine the trouble he got into when he was young." Vanessa laughed.
"When he was young? It wasn't that long ago that those two were both as stubborn as Kai," Rosalie commented, gesturing to Jacob and I.
Through it all, our parents remained quiet, smiles on their faces. They adored every minute of our playful banter and each of their grandchildren. They loved Emmalie's bossiness, Lily's theatrics, Parker's bashfulness and Kai's unruliness. The found joy in Jace's awkwardness and Stella's newness, and I knew they would welcome Seth Levi Black into our family circle as well, whenever he decided to arrive.
"He may look like me, but that boy is all you, Edward Cullen, through and through," Bella sighed as she walked up the steps.
"Let's just hope this next one is a girl then," I winked at her.
Rosalie picked up on my comment first. "You – you're pregnant again?"
Bella nodded and I grinned proudly.
"I am. I'm about thirteen weeks now, due in early March." Rosalie screeched loudly - there was no doubt who Lily got her shrieking abilities from.
There were hugs and kisses and congratulations all around. Eight year old Emmalie heard the commotion and skipped across the yard to join us on the deck.
"Mom, did you tell them?" She asked excitedly, clapping her hands together.
Rosalie and Bella looked at each other as Bella pointed a finger expectantly at her best friend and Rose nodded.
"Due in late January. We wanted to wait until I was far enough along, in case, you know." Rosalie smiled sheepishly as she rubbed her stomach.
"Huh, I thought you were just getting fat," Jasper teased.
"Even pregnant I can kick your ass, brother," Rose threatened. "Anyways, we had an ultrasound last week and it's a healthy little…."
"Girl!" Emmalie shouted.
"Lord help me!" Emmett laughed.
The rest of the afternoon progressed in a celebratory fashion with the knowledge of more babies joining our family in the New Year. It was hard to believe that less than ten years before we were strangers. Now, Bella was my wife, I had my boys and another baby on the way. Life was good.
My wife and kids were my whole life. Parker with his green eyes and bronze hair was a replica of myself but his personality was all Bella. He was sweet and kind-hearted, very meticulous in his thinking. Although Kai favored Bella with his wavy, chestnut hair and big brown eyes, he was just like I was as a teenager - impulsive and reckless. But he had a kind heart like his brother, he just needed Parker around to keep him on the right path, kind of like I needed Bella to keep me in line. I couldn't help but to wonder if our next baby would be a boy or a girl? Boys were all I knew but I would love to give Bella a baby girl that I know she desired. Emmett said it best when he told me to wish for another boy.
"Edward," he told me with his arm slung around my shoulder. "With a boy, you have one penis to worry about, with girls, you have hundreds to contend with. I will have three girls, brother, that's THOUSANDS of dicks I have to worry about! Pray for a boy!" Believe me, after that, I was praying for a boy.
Later that night, after everyone had gone home and the boys were fast asleep tucked into their beds, I crawled into mine, the sheets crisp and cool against my skin. The early stages of pregnancy tired Bella out and she was almost asleep already, curled up on her side. My hand ghosted up her hip and stopped on the life that was growing within her belly. In her drowsy state Bella rolled over as I lay down on my back, her head rested in the crook of my arm as she snuggled up to my side, scissoring her legs with mine. Our fingers intertwined comfortably and rested on my bare chest, my other hand wrapped around her shoulder.
As we lay like that together, I was reminded of a poem I'd once read back in high school, a verse by poet Pablo Neruda. At the time, I didn't understand it; couldn't comprehend what the author was trying to convey but I'd always remembered the verse. That night, with my wife by my side, I understood it completely.
"I love you without know how, or when, or from where. I love you simply, without problems or pride: I love you in this way because I do not know any other way of loving but this, in which there is no I or you, so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand, so intimate that when I fall asleep your eyes close."
Thank you for allowing me to share my story with you. And thank you for all the kind reviews and for continuing to read along through the bad Spanish and Football errors.
Please: Leave me a review to let me know what you thought of this final chapter, of the boys names and to say goodbye!
Until next time...
PS In my head, their next baby is a girl, named Britt (after British Columbia where Stanley Park is - my home town)