Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. I am in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise, I just use their creations to have my wicked way with them. No copyright infringement is intended.

As always, my beta The Real Teacher worked her magic on this chapter and made it look pretty.


~ Part nine ~

It was a rainy Thursday, the day our baby girl had come into this world; the world bleak, cold and dreary and the people rushing to and from work and home with grim looks on their faces as they tried to shield themselves against the weather.

But to me, it was the best day of my life.

The moment they carefully laid our little baby girl on Bella's chest, all other things faded into the background. Somewhere around us, nurses flittered about and doctors did their thing but right then, my whole world had been reduced to just the three of us: me, Bella and the perfect little life we'd created.

I never thought I could love someone so much as I loved her from the very first moment she came into our lives.

It was a rush, stronger and more intense than any kind of rush I'd experienced in my life; a fierce need to protect and defend, to provide and shelter, to love and cherish…

It was better than anything in the world.

The moment I first held her in my arms, fast asleep and newly cleaned, it was like a meteor shot through the constellation that made up my brain; illuminating parts that had been shrouded in darkness and making me see things in a completely different light.

I was a father now; a parent, and with it came a responsibility to love, protect and provide this pure, little innocent miracle that had been given from the first, shaky breath she took until I would take my last.

I got it now.

The love that ran so deep and strong that you were willing to risk your life – to risk everything just to keep her safe.


"Dad." I looked up, tearing my eyes away from her for only the slightest hint of a moment to acknowledge him before fixing them back on my baby girl as she lay sleeping, a small pink bundle amidst a room full of small pink and blue bundles. Not that any of them could hold a candle to her.

"May I…." he looked and spoke so hesitant, so sure that I was going to turn him away from seeing his first grandchild, that I felt a tingle of sadness rippling the surface of the sea of happiness I was floating on.

I smiled, hoping to reassure him. "It's okay dad."

He smiled, but it didn't reach his eyes as he inched closer. "Which one is she?"

"In the middle." I pointed out her little crib to him.

"I should have known," dad chuckled, leaning closer to the windows. "She has your hair."

I looked back, smirking as only now I noticed how the few locks of auburn hair that had escaped from underneath the little hat they'd put on her, were sticking up in every direction. Just like mine.

"Of all the things she could have inherited from me," I mumbled, hoping that in time she wouldn't be too pissed off at me for cursing her with hair that never wanted to cooperate, no matter how hard you tried to beat it into submission.

"She's beautiful," he breathed his eyes holding that same bewitchment as mine probably did.

"Yeah." I sighed, chuckling as my baby girl scrunched up her nose as if she smelled something nasty. Seriously, if one of those little fuckers lying next to her had farted in her direction I was going to kill a bitch!

We remained side by side, watching over her for what could have been minutes but might have been hours in a silence that was lighter and more comfortable than it had been for years.

We'd come to a silent understanding- finally, after more than a decade and two near deaths.

That, or we'd both concluded that there were more important things in life than guilt.

"By the way?" I looked up to see dad looking back at me inquisitively. "What are you going to name her?"

I smiled at him, noticing for the first time that night how he – too – seemed lighter. "Grace. We're going to name her Grace."

Dad smiled, his hand on my shoulder as we both looked at the little miracle that had entered the world. "That's a very fitting name."

And that's it. Originally I'd intended another new chapter in between parts 8 & 9 but, as happens so often, time got in the way and prevented me from writing it. However, I do intend to come back and add it sometime in the future.

Thank you so much for reading this short little story and sharing your thoughts. It has been a blast.

Miss Baby